IT’S HIGH TIME TO LIGHTEN THE MOOD

Bring a brighter, more sum­mery feel into your home, says Catalina Stog­don

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Front Page -

While we might not be able to coax our cli­mate into end­less sun­shine, we can do some­thing about our homes. From balmy sky blues and look-at-me lip­stick reds to colour-clash­ing and pranc­ing pheas­ants, there’s a lot you can usher into the house to brighten it up for the sum­mer. Jill Fran­come takes stan­dard brown fur­ni­ture and strips it down, re­buffs, re­paints and repack­ages it, giv­ing it more of a Mediter­ranean feel. Her com­pany Baroque Ardor (baroque-ardor.co.uk) com­bines this ap­proach with lightly wo­ven re­uphol­stery. A fusty brown chair is trans­formed into a distressed cream and grey af­fair (Far­row & Ball Parma Gray and Manor House Gray paint), re­uphol­stered in a light pink Hun­gar­ian sack­cloth. Fran­come rec­om­mends choos­ing fab­rics first, and al­low­ing this to dic­tate the colour scheme in the room. She sources her fab­rics on­line (try hand­made linen stock­ists such as Parna, parna. co.uk; or ebay. co.uk), and scours auc­tions for old brown fur­ni­ture that is ripe for re­vamp­ing. Also try The Trea­sure Trove (thetrea­suretrove. co.uk) for bespoke fur­ni­ture treat­ments. In fresh, sum­mery pas­tel green, pink, blue and mono­chrome de­signs, Kate Mor­ris’s fab­rics cel­e­brate the rich­ness of our wildlife and bring a wel­come sprin­kling of sum­mer into the home. “We have pheas­ants and par­tridges dot­ted around our farm­house, so I took pho­to­graphs and made sketches of them and had them made into fab­rics.” And so her com­pany Mil­ton & Manor (mil­to­nand­manor.co.uk) was born, work­ing with wildlife pho­tog­ra­phers and lo­cal crafts­men to make her up­hol­stered stools and cush­ions (foot­stools from £195; cush­ions, £28), embellished with ev­ery­thing from nim­ble pheas­ants, sit­ting hares and stag heads to ponies and trac­tors. Out with the heavy in­ter­lined drapes, in with the float­ier sum­mer fab­rics. “If you start with a good ma­te­rial, which has been wo­ven well, then new cur­tains do not have to cost a for­tune,” says Joanne Cass­abois from Prêt à Vivre (pre­ta­vivre.com), a com­pany spe­cial­is­ing in English fab­rics and wool linens spun by third-gen­er­a­tion weavers in Italy. Cheaper, more light­weight fab­rics, which still hang well and feel lux­u­ri­ous to the touch, in­clude the mixed blends linen vis­cose (from around £33 a me­tre) and wool linen (£38). “A lot of home own­ers rip out the back of their house to ex­tend, in­stalling bi­fold doors, but haven’t given any thought to what to do with the light flood­ing through; heavy voiles dif­fuse the light and give a lit­tle more pri­vacy,” she says. Vin­tage linens, which are treated be­fore they are wo­ven, “give a twotone ef­fect” to win­dow dress­ings. Be­yond France (be­yond­france. co.uk) stocks beau­ti­ful hand-spun vin­tage linen, in­clud­ing caramel striped grain sacks (from £45), which can be trans­formed into at­trac­tive win­dow blinds. Botan­i­cal prints on blinds dress up a tired bath­room or kitchen (the Delilah Moss ro­man blind, pic­tured be­low, costs from £138, through hil­larys. co.uk). Chris­tine Chang Han­way, an edi­tor for Re­mod­elista.com, the cel­e­brated web­site for bud­ding in­te­rior de­sign­ers, sug­gests stick­ing to a neu­tral palette of beige or grey so­fas or chairs and high­light­ing with colours such as dusky pinks or burnt or­ange in your cush­ions or fab­rics. Oth­er­wise, for those who are feel­ing a lit­tle more ad­ven­tur­ous, clash colours – oth­er­wise known as “colour block­ing” – with bright pinks and reds and flu­o­res­cent ac­cents, she ad­vises. “Mint green is very pop­u­lar at the mo­ment. Pas­tel pinks, or­ange and bit of flu­o­res­cent coral com­bine well, and painters’ drop­cloths can be used as table­cloths or as in­stant ca­sual slip­cov­ers if you are tired of your up­hol­stery.” The home-im­prove­ment (one-woman) em­pire that is Martha Ste­wart (marthastew­art.com) has an en­tire sec­tion de­voted to “drop­cloth decor”, cush­ion cov­ers and pil­low­cases dyed in bright cit­rus hues, sim­i­lar in tex­ture and colour to muslin but a frac­tion of the price (avail­able from fab­ric shops or DIY stores). Bodie and Fou (bod­ie­and­fou.com), the top in­te­ri­ors blog and shop, rec­om­mends light­weight Moroc­can rugs and sun­shine-yel­low throws for a “beachy feel”. Also try the beau­ti­fully hand-spun cot­ton dhur­ries (flat­wo­ven rugs) or run­ners from Ma­hout (ma­hout­lifestyle.com) in lime greens and deep reds, with bold chevron, chain-link and di­a­mond pat­terns. Richard Ward, who runs Wawa (wawa.co.uk), an in­te­rior de­sign Sum­mer so­lu­tions: clock­wise from main, chairs by Baroque Ardor; Hil­larys’ Delilah Moss ro­man blind; a Bodie and Fou rug; Prêt à Vivre voiles; a Mil­ton & Manor cush­ion (stool, main im­age); Be bold with colour with Ash­ley Wilde pat­terned fab­rics and Wawa de­signs com­pany known for its bold and bright mod­ernist ap­proach, cham­pi­ons “state­ment or­anges, yel­lows and reds against barely there blues and nat­u­ral tones” in his fab­rics. “Give sim­ple fur­nish­ings a sea­sonal boost by com­bin­ing flo­rals with strong colour and feisty pat­tern for a more con­tem­po­rary feel.” He mixes botan­ics with bold stripes, del­i­cate voiles and satins, in a palette of acid limes, turquoise blues and pil­lar-box reds, “an eclec­tic mix of styles and colours, with a nod to Fifties retro, to cre­ate that hol­i­day feel within the home”. For more sum­mer in­te­ri­ors and fur­nish­ing tips, see

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