Whites, pas­tels, flow­ers sum­mer­ize home

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

OH, these lazy, hazy days of sum­mer! It’s time to kick back and let the great out­doors per­form its magic. I have a mental alarm that goes off at the be­gin­ning of July to re­mind me to sim­plify all things home-re­lated, turn a blind eye to all but the most ba­sic house­work and take the time to savour the sum­mer. Here’s a check­list that will point you in the right di­rec­tion for a beau­ti­ful, has­sle­free few months.

Sim­plic­ity in dec­o­rat­ing leads the way. Pack up all the heavy blan­kets and car­pets, clear ta­ble sur­faces, de­clut­ter as much as pos­si­ble. Your rooms need to breathe and so do you. By edit­ing down the cool-weather fur­nish­ings and ac­ces­sories, the over­flow­ing book­shelves and stuffed clos­ets, you will no­tice that your home has a weight­less air about it that is very free­ing.

Win­dow treat­ments are an in­te­gral part of your sum­mer decor. White and light­weight fabrics float at the win­dow. Check out the new looks in sheers and blinds, such as the Hunter Dou­glas Sil­hou­ette Shades or their Duette Doulite se­ries (shown here). They of­fer UV pro­tec­tion, block out heat trans­fer and have a mod­ern de­sign that suits any style.

White is a sum­mer sta­ple in­side and out, al­ways fresh and cool.

In­tro­duce as much white as you can; it’s bright and light­weight at the win­dows, as a slip­cover for a couch or chairs and lay­ered on the bed.

Add a few shots of hot-cli­mate bold pas­tels — turquoise, orange, lime green and le­mon yel­low are fun and youth­ful. Some throw pil­lows, an area rug or some vases for your sum­mer bou­quets in these shades will lift your rooms and con­trib­ute a zesty hol­i­day feel­ing.

No fuss melamine dishes are back in favour! In­vest in some of this colour­ful pic­nic ware; not only prac­ti­cal for out­door din­ing, but fun for a rainy day in­side too.

There is no sur­face or room that flow­ers won’t im­prove. Cut a bou­quet of fat blos­soms for the liv­ing and din­ing rooms, a soli­tary stem be­side the bed, a jar of fresh herbs on the kitchen counter. Their colours, shapes and scents in­fuse your days with sea­sonal style. Dear Deb­bie: We live in a low-rise con­crete build­ing. Our con­do­minium has an in­ter­est­ing ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign with a curved wall and sunken liv­ing room. My prob­lem is the ceil­ing, which has con­crete beams and those aw­ful 2x4 foam pan­els di­vided with metal spac­ers — usu­ally seen in com­mer­cial spa­ces. We are plan­ning a kitchen ren­o­va­tion and I’d like to do some­thing about the ceil­ing. What are my op­tions?

De­bra and Oliver Dear De­bra and Oliver: One op­tion is to build a new ceil­ing with dry­wall and then sim­ply paint it. But why not dis­cover the va­ri­ety of ceil­ing pan­els that are avail­able now at your lo­cal build­ing store or on the Net (search words: ceil­ing pan­els). You’ll find a style that suits both mod­ern and tra­di­tional res­i­dences. One good source is www.arm­strong.com. There are the pop­u­lar paintable tin-look tiles in dif­fer­ent pat­terns. These will cre­ate an his­toric am­biance. Wood planks and pan­els in light and dark shades will work well in a mod­ern set­ting. I would keep the con­crete beams vis­i­ble, as they are part of the build­ing’s in­te­rior ar­chi­tec­ture. You may have to re­place the ex­ist­ing grid to fit which­ever pan­els or tiles you choose.

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