Top 10 tips for interior styling this Summer
Looking ahead to the onset of summer amidst the uncertainty of Covid-19, we reflected on a wonderful week we spent in Provence last year. We have frequently visited this incredibly special area of France, visiting one of our oldest and dearest friends. We have taken inspiration from this, and other visits, to help you prepare your home for the summer season.
Here are our top 10 recommendations for a Summer scorcher.
1. Beautiful Light Linens
We adore linen. This versatile material can be utilised for all manner of uses from beautiful, free flowing curtains to a contrast piping detail on an armchair. Its natural composition is a welcome contrast to the mass produced world we find ourselves in. An odd crumple here or there, simply nods to good use; perhaps a cushion that has propped you up for an afternoon nap or a well used napkin following a delicious al fresco meal!
We just love the recently launched Studio Erhart. It is an impossible choice to select our favourites, so we are giving a heads-up to their handmade Pampa and Panglau linen cushions. These exquisite cushions are made from luxurious Spanish linen and ethically sourced horn or shagreen. They are the perfect complement to any stylish interior.
2. Al Fresco Dining
Eating outside is so good for the soul and a beautiful table setting is the icing on the cake. We love to mix raffia table mats with simple white porcelain, Laguiole cutlery and some good sturdy crystal. We also love Pepper & Inks Bobble Bowl! It is the most perfect backdrop to this beautiful Sabrina and Scarlett salad, which ensures the most perfect splash of delicious colour.
3. Drinks Trays
Trays are fabulous, especially in the summer months where we seem to constantly transport all manner of delights between home & garden. Whether it be freshly pressed lemon juice and a selection of patisserie for a well earned mid-afternoon treat or an early evening G&T accompanied by anti-pasti.
We rather love antique butler trays found in abundance in the flea markets of Paris, as well as Nicholas Haslam’s rope tray, Rita Konig’s Belle Rive scalloped lacquer tray, Laura Ashley’s water hyacinth tray and Arte Cuoio leather trays.
4. Hats Hats and more Hats
Hats are absolutely essential in our home for all seasons, especially raffia sun hats found readily in the artisan markets of Southern France. We love to wear them, but also to make a feature wall with them. These can also be mixed with natural baskets filled to the brim with beautiful bunches of intoxicating dried flowers and grasses.
During the long summer months, there is nothing more wonderful than taking time out to relax. These wonderful settings ensure the most sumptuous and luxurious of hammocks, banquette seating and loungers featured at The Pod Boutique Hotel in Cape Town in South Africa and Ralph Lauren Home’s Desert Modern Collection.
6. Something Special to Read
Whilst lounging, what better than to take time to read the latest interior magazines: House & Gardens, Homes and Gardens and Architectural Digest. We also love to flick through our prized collection of books. Some of our favourites include:
7. Lightweight Seating
A good supply of collapsible or stackable chairs ensures you are always prepared for unexpected guests and impromptu parties. We love theses super simple folding chairs from La Redoute, as well as antique 60s bamboo chairs found on 1stdibs. Sohohome’s footstools can also easily double up as temporary seating.
8. Atmospheric Lighting
When the lights go out, there is nothing more atmospheric than a firepit. It is a point where friends and family are united around a single warming point. Made even more special with blankets, music, story telling and the all important marshmallow toasting. Basil and champagne infused marshmallows, which we first tasted at Kew Gardens Light Festival, are divine!
The Tswalu Kakahari Lodge rocks the firepit vibe and is firmly on our bucket list!
9. Ocean Vibes
Our wonderful over sized resin clams are a beautiful way to store all sorts of summer essentials: shells, towels, bathroom products and even keep some bubbles on ice! These wondrous stone resin replicas created with the latest technology, also help to prevent the further decline of our precious coral reefs.
10. Fresh Flowers
Flowers are always the perfect finishing touch to any interior. In recent months, life has been stripped back to basics and our summer selection is one of simplicity with statement stems for maximum impact. Check out our Pintrest Flowers board for more ideas.
Provence holds a very special place in our family’s heart. Looking back on our visits we have enjoyed so many happy times. In our twenties we enjoyed long summer days lounging by the pool and barmy summer evenings filled with culinary delights and delicious rosé. In our thirties we returned for their wedding on the sun kissed escarpment of Gorges and after party delights filled with music, happiness and laughter. In our forties, we have reunited with our ever-expanding tribes, for totally gorgeous family holidays albeit slightly less relaxing!
We do hope Provence, our happy place, has also inspired you to prepare for a fabulous summer. Enjoy, xxx
Ralph Lauren Home
Pepper & Ink
Nils Preston Schlebusch