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Summer Homes

Published:Sunday | July 26, 2015 | 7:00 AMKimberly Goodall

The summer season brings to mind easy, lazy, breezy, days by the beach. But with it also comes the heat, leaving us hot and in distress at home.

Fortunately for us, according to Christine Stephens, designer at Decor Spaces International, there are a few decorating tips that can actually help us beat the heat.

According to Stephens, your first major change should be colour. She recommends choosing cool colours - blue, green, or purple, along with white hues. These colours may be used on walls, furniture, cushions, bed linen, and window treatments - drapes, blinds etc. Your second change to beat the heat is to remove pieces that are dark, gloomy, or fuzzy, until it is time to cozy up in the cooler months. She also recommends using fabrics that are cool and light. Light linens, cotton, and sheer drapes are good for window treatments. Try to remove heavy drapes until the cooler months.

Stephens highlights that the most important design element during summer, is to ensure that you provide a cool and cheerful atmosphere, when the temperature gets extremely hot and uncomfortable. To help, she recommends glass vases with bright summer flowers in the dining and living rooms. "Interject bright, summery colours in your home with freshly picked flowers and to make the biggest impact, stick to arrangements featuring warm colours - such as bold oranges, radiant yellows, or vibrant pinks. Small clusters of bright colour look cheery and create an undeniable summertime vibe," she explains.

She also encourages the use of warm hues such as red, orange, and yellow, as accent pieces and floral arrangements. "Remember, it is good to use cheerful accent pieces such as vases, colourful art pieces, and cushions that will work well with the cool colours."

But the best way to keep cool is to incorporate outdoor living. Stephens notes that summer encourages outdoor living and dining, which cannot be done during the colder months. "Embrace the outdoors by creating beautiful patio spaces and garden setting. Add cheerful prints for outdoor chairs and cushions, create comfortable outdoor spaces for seating, family and entertainment gatherings.

And don't forget to pull back the curtains, open up the windows, allow all the light and breeze to come in, you will be surprised by the result you feel and see in the home.