7 decor updates to make your home sizzle with style this summer

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Your home’s interior can be as sunny as you like, no matter the weather – all it takes is a few simple, budget-friendly updates and best buys.

Indulge in the sweetness of the season with sugary shades and accessories; transform your outlook with exotic prints and a mural; change your view with blue-sky window shutters reminiscent of Mediterranean scenes; turn up the heat with tropical foliage (real, faux or palm print will do the job), and last but not least, create your very own ‘hot spot’ for essential chilling on sunny days.

Be inspired and put your own spin on the suggestions – and your space will brim with personalised style all summer long…

1. Scoop up style with ice-cream shades

Valspar has a range of delicious ice-cream shades, such as (front walls) Clementine Cream, (back walls) Blueberry Mash (both Valspar Premium Blend v700 Walls & Ceilings, £28 for 2.5L) and (door) Peach Syrup (Valspar Premium Blend v700 Wood & Metal, £32 for 2.5L). Available from B&Q stores nationwide (Valspar/PA)
Valspar has a range of delicious ice-cream shades, such as (front walls) Clementine Cream, (back walls) Blueberry Mash (both Valspar Premium Blend v700 Walls & Ceilings, £28 for 2.5L) and (door) Peach Syrup (Valspar Premium Blend v700 Wood & Metal, £32 for 2.5L). Available from B&Q stores nationwide (Valspar/PA)

“We’re all naturally drawn to certain colours and tastes. Why not choose a paint colour that reminds you of your favourite flavour ice cream?” says Sue Kim, senior colour designer, Valspar. “If you’re really brave, go for them all, in a perfect palette of ice cream colours. Choose sugary shades like Strawberry Parfait, Blueberry Mash, Pineapple Crush, Pistachio Cookie and Peach Syrup.”

If you really want to transform your home landscape, splash out on an exotic beach scene mural. Wallsauce’s Acapulco Wall Mural, from £32 per square metre, could have you reaching for the sunglasses and swimsuit.

TIP: If a medley of sweet shades is just too rich for your taste, add one or two as ‘pops’ of colour set against an overall dominant neutral, such as Coconut Juice (Premium Blend v700 Walls & Ceilings, £28 for 2.5L), suggests Kim.  Alternatively, choose one shade for a furniture up-cycle project, or for doors and skirting boards for a smart update (use Valspar’s Premium Blend v700 Wood & Metal).

2. Sweet tooth decor

(L-R) Pick ‘N’ Mix Round, £195, Andrew Martin; Apple sculpture: Orange Glazed, £199; Hot Magenta Velvet Matte, £249; Pick ‘N’ Mix Square and Round, £195, Andrew Martin (Andrew Martin/PA)
(L-R) Pick ‘N’ Mix Round Stools, £195 each; Orange Glazed Velvet Matte Apple Sculpture, £199, and Hot Magenta Velvet Matte Apple Sculpture, £249; Pick ‘N’ Mix Square Stools, £195 each, Andrew Martin (Andrew Martin/PA)

Follow that ‘sweet’ theme with fun stools from Andrew Martin, that look as though you’ve bagged a handful of pick ‘n’ mix. As a ‘healthier’ choice, add a couple of apple ornaments – a five-a-day decor delight.


3. Create a ‘hot destination’ wall

Tropical Paradise, Wall Art Print Set of 8, £99.95, Abstract House (Abstract House/PA)
Tropical Paradise – Wall Art Print Set of 8, £99.95 (prints also sold individually), Abstract House (Abstract House/PA)

“Bring instant sunshine to a room, no matter what the weather outside, with summer- themed prints,” suggests Omar Obaid, co-founder of art print specialists, Abstract House.

“Photos of dreamy beaches you’ve enjoyed can transport you back to happy times and conjure nostalgic memories, while images of those tropical destinations on your bucket list could inspire you with hopes for the future. Research has also shown that just looking at pleasing art can lift mood and reduce stress.”

TIP: The best way to unify a frame set for a gallery wall is to choose a quality wooden frame in a single colour, advises Obaid. Co-ordinate artwork by colour, tone and subject, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different layouts. A simple trick to help you visualise the artwork display is to lay all the frames on the floor, and swap the pictures around until you find the perfect fit or your favourite shape.

4. Change your view

Tier-on-Tier coloured shutters in custom colour from £499 plus £75 per panel for colour, Hillarys (Hillarys/PA)
Transport yourself to the Mediterranean with shutters in the region’s characteristic vibrant blue. Ramp up the effect with touches of the shade in art and accessories. Hillarys has Tier-on-Tier Shutters in custom colour, from £499 plus £75 per panel for colour (Hillarys/PA)

“If your home could use a seasonal pick-up, windows are a great place to start,” says Susan White, design director at Hillarys. “Whether the light in the room is natural, artificial, reflected, muted or diffused, it can have a major influence on our mood and feelings. Shutters are widely regarded as the ultimate window dressing both from a style and security point of view, allowing plenty of light and air to filter in, and they have a perfect summer feel.

“They can be a boon for allergy sufferers, because as long as they’re wiped down regularly they’re less likely than swathes of fabric to attract dust mites,” she adds. “Tier-on-tier styles, where the top half operates separately from the bottom, offers privacy while still allowing light to flood in from the top.”

TIP: Summer brings longer days and shorter nights, so fitting a blind with a dim-out or black-out fabric is a good solution for restful sleep, especially in children’s rooms. Many Hillarys fabric blinds, roller, pleated, vertical and Roman, have special sun-reflecting features (Blackout Roller Blind from £108).


5.  Turn it tropical

(L-R) Percy Parrot Green Parrot Ornament, £120; Touch of Tropical Velvet Stool, £120; Plushious Velvet Emerald Green Bedspread, £380, The French Bedroom Company (The French Bedroom Company/PA)
(L-R) Percy Parrot Green Parrot Ornament, £120; Touch of Tropical Velvet Stool, £120; Plushious Velvet Emerald Green Bedspread, £380, The French Bedroom Company (The French Bedroom Company/PA)

“We’re great fans of the sultry colonial aesthetic – tropical birds, hibiscus flowers, fresh palms and bright ferns are key elements in creating this look,”  says Georgia Metcalfe, founder and creative director, The French Bedroom Company.

“This on-trend look combines perfectly with furniture of all styles from classic to contemporary, for a style that is reminiscent of holidays, summer, jungle-freshness and nature – all things that make our hearts sing!”

6. Let it grow

Living Wall with 14 planters. Planter sets £9.99 for three pockets or £7.99 if purchasing three sets or more. (Dobbies/PA)
Create a lush dining area with a living wall, seen here with 14 planters. Wonder Wall Self Watering Vertical Planters, £9.99 for set of three pockets (£7.99 each for three sets or more), Dobbies (Dobbies/PA)

“Fresh green foliage and plants are the ideal way to bring an outdoor, summery feel to a room, and living wall planters have to be one of our favourite finds in recent years,” enthuses Claire Bishop, from garden centre specialists, Dobbies.

“They were incredibly popular at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the finished look is hugely Pinterest-worthy. A ‘vertical garden’ gives you a statement focal point – you could have a kitchen herb garden or a leafy living room jungle feature – and because they come in sets of three ‘pockets’, they can be tailored to suit your space.”

TIP:  “These are quick and easy to fit and simple to use, even if you’re not very green-fingered, and as they’re vertical they take up little space,” promises Bishop. “Simply water the top row of the living wall and this will cascade down to water every pot.”

7. Conjure a summer spot

Squishmeister Love Seat Chaise, in Thatch House Fabric, Mellow Yellow, £1,145, Loaf (Loaf/PA)
Kit out a sunny spot with your favourite chair, a side table and lamp – a perfect place to daydream. Squishmeister Love Seat Chaise, in Thatch House Fabric – Mellow Yellow, £1145, Loaf (Loaf/PA)

Rearrange furniture for summer and position it to take advantage of any sunlight coming into a room, so you have your very own corner where you can stretch out and bask on hot days.

“We all like a special place at home where we can  kick back, put our feet up and enjoy lazing on summer days,” says Charlie Marshall, founder of furniture company, Loaf.

“Colour choices play a big part in the atmosphere of a room. While light, pastel tones always work well, recently there’s been a big move towards zingier, bright statement shades – yellow, orange and pink – as people become more adventurous about decor. Demand for yellow upholstery is up 64% this year, and this colour’s brilliant way to give a room a visual lift and can’t fail to cheer a space on a dull day.”

TIP: Turn an awkward space – a corner or under a window – into a mini-retreat by building a simple wooden bench. Make it comfortable with foam seat cushions covered in your favourite fabric.

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