The Ultimate Summer Guide for Materials
After a very tough first half of the year worldwide, summer couldn’t come soon enough! 2021’s interior trends have focused on creating a home environment with a sense of sanctuary, escapism, and calm, and this will particularly manifest over the summer.
One key way of achieving serenity has been through adopting elements of the natural world into our interiors. This means maximizing natural light, dried flower displays, and of course… houseplants! Natural materials, including fibers, woods, and metals, are also more popular than ever, allowing you to get creative with contrasting surfaces and textures.
Let’s take a look at how these materials can transform your living space this summer.
To make a room immediately summer-ready, slipcovers and blankets can be draped across couches and chairs, and throw cushion covers can be interchanged. So, if you still have heavy winter curtains around, why not switch them out for airier alternatives?
Linen is a must-have summer fabric made from flax fibers that are breathable, lightweight, and allow for airflow. A linen throw can be taken from couch to bed, or dragged into your backyard as a picnic blanket. If you want to splash out this season, a full linen bed sheet set makes for a dreamy sleep during a balmy summer’s night.
Seagrass is a marine plant that grows in shallow waters and Asian paddy fields. It’s a very eco-friendly option, as it’s biodegradable, easy to cultivate, and fast-growing. It’s also durable and provides noise insulation, making a seagrass rug best placed in “high-traffic” areas of a house such as a busy hallway.
Natural fiber products woven by hand can often lead to irregularities in color, size, and shape, so no two items will be alike – a perfect homage to the wonderful randomness of nature. Try a three-piece set of seagrass baskets as a storage solution for spare blankets and books.
Another versatile natural fiber for summer is grain sack. This material, made from hemp or burlap, was originally used to store grains, but why not repurpose it? The interior design blog “Tidbits and Twine” has some great ideas on how to get creative with grain sack fabric, including making a table or stair runner.
Don’t be put off by the word “distressed'' – wood in your home has been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase positive social interactions, simulating the calming effects of spending time in nature.
📷 Liz Roth
Distressing mimics the natural weathering process of wood caused by the elements, giving your home an authentic “lived in'' feel. This chair by Lulu and Georgia in “weathered gray” combines distressed wood with woven teak, which can be used both indoors and outdoors for maximum versatility. Or, for an immediate positive impact, consider a console table made from distressed elm or white willow placed in your entranceway.
On a budget? Give an outdated dresser or wooden mirror frame a new lease of life. Use a dry, hard-bristled brush, lightly dipped in white paint, and stroke the wood vigorously in different directions. This creates a bleached driftwood effect for a fresh coastal look. You can take this a step further by adding distressed wood paneling across a whole wall, making you feel as if you were in your very own summer house.
Bronze and Brass
The hard and ultra-smooth texture of brass and bronze contrasts perfectly with coarse woven fabrics and distressed woods. Bright golden brass or amber bronze can add depth to fresh living room spaces. Accessorize your interiors with brass floor planters filled with green leafage, bronzed statement coffee table vases, and lantern-style candle holders dotted around the room.
Purchase a retro brass bar cart with matching cocktail shakers and bar tools to be used as an indoor display piece, or wheel it out into your backyard to serve Margaritas at your summer garden party.
In a farmhouse-style kitchen, think oil-rubbed bronze countertops, sinks, and faucets, with metallic accents like a giant fruit bowl or water pitcher, or perhaps Venetian Bronze light fixtures.
Whatever summer interior scheme you’re trying to create this season, whether a Mediterranean villa, rustic farmhouse, or tropical coastal chic vibe, these natural materials are the way to go.
For further seasonal design tips, check out some of our recent summer-inspired articles on the DecorMatters blog.