As the days of summer stretch forward, many of us focus on all of the lively activities and fun. What happened to those “lazy summer days” we aspire to? I’m almost afraid the catch phrase “lazy summer day” has become more fantasy than reality. Rather, it seems that the extra daylight just creates an opening to pack more into our schedules. Summer sports, events, travel, visitors . . . the list can really grow!
Growing up in the south, I remember my grandmother always encouraged us to take time to cool off and settle down for an afternoon rest. In the South, we always laughingly say, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!” and it’s so true how easily wilted one can become. Memories of a glass of iced lemonade and the whirl of a ceiling fan take me back to those special nap times. Just recently, while on vacation, I realized I could give myself permission to luxuriate in a little extra slumber—and not just at night. What a novel idea. Restoration on vacation with no scheduling allowed!
Looking at this delicately shaped antique pewter metal bed from Hooker Furniture, I can almost imagine the whir of the ceiling fan above me as I melt into summer oblivion on a Saturday afternoon. This metal bed, with its simple architectural appeal, can move effortlessly from studio apartment to loft to cottage to villa to suburban home.
During my recent vacation when I let myself unwind, I was reminded that we shouldn’t have to go away in order to slow down the pace of summer. It also had me pondering how I would help a client create a little retreat in their own bedroom. I often refer to “nesting” in one’s own home. In the chillier months, it might mean adding layers. In the summer months, it means stripping them away or using lighter ones, in order to allow the space to breathe, as well as the occupants.
Here are a few extra tips for creating a summer dream of your own:
- Keep the furnishings light. I love upholstered headboards but I think we’ve forgotten the delicate appeal of a metal bed. The one I featured, from Hooker Furniture, allows air to circulate in and around the bed. Instant architecture, too!
- The same goes for the bedding.Light layers are a prerequisite for comfort. I love to do beautiful sheeting in the event a coverlet might be folded at the end of the bed. Thread count is also important. Our skin loves to be nestled in softness – especially if we’ve been in the sun a little too long!
- Colors are important. Tango Tangerine, while being the “hot” color for 2012, might need some thermostatic adjustment by being paired with cooler hues and soft neutrals. You’ll notice I used it only as a small color pop on my design idea board. The light-finished Harbour Pointe chest included in the idea board is a great example of a cool neutral with casual lines that help you relax.
- A small spritz of a delicate room or linen spray goes a long way. For some reason, anything with a light citrus or verbena vibe works wonders. Summer Verbena by Le Blanc is a favorite!
- Room darkening shades, laminated in a coordinating fabric, can drop down to create a cocoon.These are a beautiful step above the old roll-up shades and if done in a black-out material, control the heat, too.
- Keep it quiet. Soundproof doors do wonders for blocking out external activities. Add soft music or white noise. True confession? I always sleep with the hum of a fan. Those peaceful days at my grandmother’s aren’t too far from memory.
When was the last time you took a nap? I hope you’ll schedule one, soon!