30 Ways To Get Relaxed Summer Style In The City
After a weekend at the cottage, coming home to city digs can seem stifling. And if you haven’t had a chance to escape, you may need more of a reason to create a summery home base that feels laid back. Here are 30 ways you can transform an urban home into a staycation-worthy spot this summer.
It doesn’t have to be fancy — that’s the whole point of summer style. This collection of flea market spoons were picked up on the way to cottage country and not only serve as souvenirs of life at the lake, but add interest to walls.
One of our favorite designer tricks to add a summer feel all year long is Philip Mitchell’s nautical rope stair rail in his Chester, Nova Scotia, home. Source brackets and fittings from a sailing supply store or online retailer like Stair Ropes, and use one well-affixed bracket for every meter of rope. For safety, choose a rope that fits snugly within the bracket so it won’t slip.
Casually hung hammam towels (no fussy folding required) are an equally homespun touch in a Muskoka cottage, or city bathroom.
Swap out your window treatments for something that looks even better when rumpled, like farmhouse-style neutral linen or muslin drapes.
Maps are an evocative, graphic addition to walls, especially when displayed in multiple frames. To make a version like this, cut a matboard to size and affix it to the back of your map with spray adhesive. Cut the map sections with a utility knife and press them firmly to the back of the frames. To frame it, we used canvas floater frames with a 1″ lip for depth.
An AC system can generate an arctic blast, but it can’t compete with a metal rotary fan’s old school summer camp appeal.
This is a classic cottage staple (and often a family heirloom). Paint it white for an authentic vintage look with freshness.
Moroccan-style lanterns are an easy way to inject an exotic mood. Carved openwork versions in white are ambient additions on a coffee table, but consider splurging on wired lanterns like these pagoda-shaped stunners for stronger illumination.
Give furnishings a whole new look in the summer with fresh white slipcovers. In the Kawartha cottage of L’Atelier owner Youssef Hasbani, slipcovers are fashioned from ultra-indulgent terry cloth.
A faux-wicker chair is hardy enough to brave the elements, but looks fresh indoors, too. Outdoor furnishings can offer a budget alternative when extra seating is required for summer entertaining.
If you can, go bare to allow maximum light to reach windows and give a pared-back look to spaces.
Lush raffia turns a bed into a destination. Oversized pillows make the bedroom in designer Michelle Lloyd Bermann’s boathouse looks like a luxury resort.
Give kitchens a breezy vibe with open display that makes it easy to grab what you need. This space gets extra summer style points for showing off a pretty collection of dishes and glassware in a coastal blue and white palette.
Turn down the visual thermostat with crisp, cool white walls and upholstery. A white palette is a summerhouse standby guaranteed to impart freshness, and won’t overpower views (like this enviable one overlooking Chester Harbour in Nova Scotia).
Dreamy artwork is almost as good as a lakefront view when you’re landlocked. Designer Sarah Richardson brought even more coastal charm and color to a Prince Edward Island vacation home with a painting depicting a beach house under miles of sky (and lots of blue furnishings in her trademark watery palette).
Indulge in a set of pure white bed linens that are easy care, such as a no-iron-required linen duvet cover and matelassé coverlet. Damask shams and a lush bedskirt makes slipping between the cool sheets in this Georgian Bay cottage bedroom even more enticing.
The ultimate in casual comfort, oversized floor pillows are easy to move and can accommodate extra guests in a pinch, indoors or out.
Oversized pendants are a major trend, and versions with woven shades strike the perfect summery note. The scale has presence and the chunky weave adds textural interest.
Metal furniture feels cool to the touch — not a bad thing in the summer heat — and imparts rustic bunkhouse character to a home office.
The insider’s version of a hammock, an indoor swing is just the spot to catch up on summer’s hottest bestseller.
Channel the casualness of a Malibu beach house with slouchy canvas containers to corral toiletries and towels.
Rescue a thrift-shop find and paint it a vibrant hue. This water-spotted bamboo nesting table adds a major hit of color to a room.
Hudson Bay’s iconic striped Point Blankets are cottage staples that deliver a colorful, classic touch in a bedroom (they are warm, so you may opt to layer it over a chair back instead if chilly Northern nights are not in the immediate forecast).
Make indoor or outdoor spaces feel like island escapes with tall bird-of-paradise palms that thrive in the summer heat.
Skip the red roses and go for something a little more humble, such as daisies or wildflowers displayed simply in a jar. A clutch of blowsy poppies looks plucked from a cottage garden, and a few palm fronds, hosta leaves or ferns make thrifty filler.
A coat of crisp white paint on the floor makes rooms appear larger. Pick a version with some gloss to reflect the light and the worn patina will develop more charm as it ages.
Even if your city home has loads of storage, there’s something romantic about owning an armoire. Follow the lead of this cottage, where an armoire offers a more interesting architectural detail than a closet.
Shells are natural picks for cottages, as seen in this Muskoka great room where they also serve as travel souvenirs. Shells are easy to incorporate into any vignette, but for environmental reasons, opt for resin replicas of coral which can be found through many retailers.
Bringing the outdoors inside is an easy proposition with the addition of a stump table. This functional piece is a one-of-a-kind way to reference the raw beauty of wood.
Tour this cottage on H&H TV.
A touch of flirty raffia trim lightens the mood of any room, but don’t be afraid to combine wicker, sisal, seagrass and raffia to grand tropical effect.