Use your summer holiday as inspiration in your home, says interior designer Sarah Berry
It appears as if summer may finally have arrived and the holiday season is definitely upon us.
As the Olympics gets underway here in London, bringing with it the arrival of squillions of tourists, my mind is drifting to thoughts of travel in slightly more exotic climes than East London...
Summer holidays are surely one of the loveliest things in life, the discovery of new, beautiful places, encounters with different cultures and the slow delicious pace we adopt when away from our routines and familiar surroundings. I'm always looking for ways to extend that post holiday glow, not just in terms of tan but in maintaining that mellow, easy breezy vibe. I encourage my clients to shop while abroad and to bring souvenirs home. You may have just raised a wary eyebrow, and rightly so, many souvenirs are of the hideous variety, BUT if you are selective and make considered purchases you will have things in your home that remind you of your travels all year long and that is definitely one of the best ways of extending your travel memories.
I love being creative with a souvenir display. One of my biggest design principles is that pretty much everything looks better collectively. In other words, whatever your souvenir of choice, buy several in various sizes and colours and cluster together as a display. Case in point these fantastic woven baskets clustered together and hung on the wall creates an instant, affordable art piece.
I love pebbles, and the meditative search for the perfect pebble is one of those lovely ways to while away warm summer hours on a beach. You can do as Diane Keaton did in 'Something's Gotta Give' and search out the pristine white pebbles and display them in shallow bowls throughout your home or do as I do and selectively choose your favourites and dot them in small clusters in front of photo frames. I love my pebbles, whenever I look at them I am transported to the warm summer days and the beaches where I found them. Plus they are free!
I love colour and one of the biggest sensory experiences of holiday is light and vibrant colour. Bring some of your colour memories home and use it more boldly in your interiors. While hotter climates can accommodate more intense, vibrant hues, we can also embrace more saturated colours in old Blighty. My favourite way of brightening and lightening spaces for the summer season is to start with a clean white space and introduce bright pops of colour, the white acts as the perfect, calming background neutralising the vivid shades, just think of those beautiful Greek villages. throw in some variations on whichever shade you choose (and try to stick to only one bright such as blue) and temper with some darker variants.
I love anything al fresco. I've talked about this before, but it remains one of the best parts of a holiday and while this glorious sun lasts is something we can extend to our own outside spaces. Hang some sheets to make an impromptu shade sail, lay your finest china and linens on your garden table and throw a party to celebrate the sun, or just slip outside at every available opportunity and soak in some rays. I've moved my office to the garden while the sun lasts, and it truly makes me feel like I'm on holiday.
I love linens, and you really can buy the best ones abroad. My absolute favourite are the linen beach towels you can buy in France, they are the single most versatile item ever, you can use them as a beach towel, sarong, sun shade, pashmina, tablecloth, throw, baby carrier, rug, blanket and perhaps most vitally of all, take up minimal valuable suitcase space!
Daily tip from the lady archive
"What makes leisure and holidays delightful is just the fact that they come rarely. If you can have them whenever you like they lose their nature.”The Lady. The Joy of Work. 14th May 1914
Attractive salary and benefits.
Furnished accommodation provided.
Must have excellent references.
Single or couple with partner who could assist with household and garden work.
Drivers licence required.
Must be good with pets.
Contact: Apply Box 15573