Neale Whitaker is warming up for summer.
One question I get asked a lot at this time of year is how to change the decor for summer, and my hesitant response often surprises. Because while it’s nice to think our winter furnishings get tidied away and that a whole new selection appears genie-like in their place, I don’t really believe that’s how it works for most of us.
The idea of seasonal decor is something that’s crept up on us in recent years, as home trends started moving a little closer to fashion trends. So, to use a simple metaphor, we’re trying to find a way to shrug our homes out of the winter woolies and into T-shirts and thongs.
The good news is that in Australia we’re blessed – maybe not with those long, European-style hours of summer daylight, but with endless days of warmth and sunshine that really allow us to live differently. We have the kind of summers the rest of the world dreams of, and while climates other than ours might need to rely on tropical prints and gelato cushions, we get to live, breathe and feel summer.
So, yes to packing away throws and blankets, and yes to placing winter clothes at the back of the wardrobe. And if we’re lucky enough to have polished floors of the wood, terrazzo or concrete variety, we might even roll up the rugs for a few months and take down heavy curtains to replace them with sheers. Changing over artwork and photography – especially larger pieces – and stringing outdoor lights through the trees can also have a transformative effect.
These are all simple and perhaps obvious changes to make. But what’s always felt more important to me at the start of a new season is a change of attitude, an inner reboot that comes with the anticipation of summer.
From a trend-watcher’s perspective, I could tell you that summer will be about the play of blues and greens and our ongoing love affair with botanical prints, especially those of Australian flora and fauna. I could tell you that – for once – summer is not just about pale pastels, and that the
“We’re trying to shrug our homes out of winter woolies”
SUMMER LOVIN’ (below, from left) Stringing lights through trees is a festive way to usher in the warmer months; a departure from pastels to warm spice colours is forecast for decors this summer; (below inset) trend-watchers say Persian rugs and traditional tapestries will also have their moment in the sun.