Decorating & Design

July 8, 2009

Summer Pleasures

Ahhhh summer, where have you been all my life? Each year I try to remember to drink this season in and sometimes I even picture a frigid winter day just to make sure I appreciate what I’ve got! These warm days truly are the time for just “being” and enjoying one’s life and home. I was thinking about this recently as I sat wiggling my toes on my tiny city fire escape with its terracotta flowerpots brimming. I noticed that while my teeny garden was far from perfect, it really brought me peace and joy just being out there and appreciating the home my wife Sara and I have created.

After all, that’s why I do what I do — it’s certainly not about the stuff. It’s about creating a home where life can be lived. It’s feathering the nest to reflect the person who lives there. Before summer slips by, let’s all take time to stop and soak up the simple (and stylish) pleasures in our lives each day.

The art of napping is something I like to work on during breezy summer afternoons. Why not bring a daybed outdoors and set up the perfect snooze station right on your porch like this?

daybed outdoors for afternoon naps

I think this is a fantastic idea — so here are some affordable options to get you started.

Ikea Meldal Day-bed Frame

Ikea Meldal Day-bed Frame is a steal at $129.

Crate & Barrel Tallulah Sheet Set

Love this inky cobalt bedding. The Tallulah Sheet Set ia now on sale at Crate & Barrel. From $45 USD.

Ikea Alvine Band Pillowcase
Can’t go wrong with a fresh ticking bolster like the Ikea Alvine Band Pillowcase. $7 for the case.

Pine Cone Hill Vintage Asian Peacock Pillowcase
And for a splurge you can add some romance with delicately embroidered Vintage Asian Peacock Pillowcases from Pine Cone Hill. But I’ll bet you’ve got some of your mother’s vintage versions tucked away in your linen closet!

Make sure you spend lots of time with friends this summer at cottages, camping and barbecues.

Spending time outdoors with friends

Grilling outdoors has never been more charming with these classic staples from Canadian Tire and Pier 1.

Master Chef Charcoal Grill

Those stainless steel behemoth barbecues are not for me! Less is more and spherical is so cute! This little grilling beauty will set you back only $70!. (Ahem, Dad, how much did that monster you call a barbecue cost…?) Master Chef Charcoal Grill from Canadian Tire, $70.

Enamel High Bowl and Enamelled-Steel Coffeepot
Enamelware is a country stand-by, and that inky blue colour is clearly on a roll. Enamel High Bowl and Enamelled-Steel Coffeepot from Canadian Tire. From $5.

Pier 1 Latte Chair Frame
This collapsible director’s chair ($64) is a chic alternative to that other drink-holder-included variety. My vote is for this elegant wooden frame and canvas seat. McGuire even makes one like it, so it has to be chic! Pier 1 Latte Chair Frame (2157082), $49, and canvas cover in Bleached Sand (2157145), $15.

Finally, take some time to get your hands dirty. Since our little piece of the Earth is frozen 99 per cent of the year, we Canadians should get up to our elbows in dirt while we can. Even if you don’t have a garden of your own, take a stroll though a public garden.

Enjoy Gardens This Summer

These snapshots are from the Corby Rose Garden in Belleville, Ontario (that’s Sara in the picture) and the Peony Festival in Oshawa this spring (thanks, Margot!). Sara even bought a flopsy garden hat for $10 at Joe Fresh for the occasion. Otherwise, these stylish events are free, free, free!

Even planting a pot of herbs to harvest or annuals to snip will bring life and freshness to your home. Lee Valley has a garden catalogue that will make you drool if you’ve got a green thumb, and if you don’t, it will help get you started. Their English wooden handled tools have a comfortable grip and will last a lifetime.

Lee Valley Gardening Tool - with English Wooden handle

Lee Valley Gardening Tool - with English Wooden handle

Lee Valley Gardening Tools

Check out Frankie Flowers’ gardening tips for an easy way to start up or maintain your own little plot of greenery.

Whatever you choose to do to celebrate the lazy days of summer, remember to relax and enjoy. There’s only 150+ days till Christmas!

Celebrating the lazy days of summer

Photo credits:
Country Living
Ikea Meldal Day-bed Frame
Crate & Barrel Tallulah Sheet Set
Ikea Alvine Band Pillowcase
Pine Cone Hill Vintage Asian Peacock Pillowcases
Michael Penney
Master Chef Charcoal Grill from Canadian Tire
Enamel High Bowl from Canadian Tire
Enamelled-Steel Coffeepot from Canadian Tire
Pier 1 Latte Chair Frame
Michael Penney
Lee Valley
Michael Penney