Design and Style: Time to get your home’s outdoor and indoor spaces ready for summer

Creating an outdoor space can help you enjoy the summer season. Inset photo shows how a covered structure can extend the outdoor season. Photos courtesy Christine Roberts.


As the days grow longer and warmer, it’s time to start thinking about getting your home ready for the summer season.

As an interior designer, I know that a few simple changes can transform your home into a refreshing oasis that’s perfect for enjoying the sunshine and warmth. Here are some tips on how to get your home ready for summer entertaining.

1.) Bring in the Light: Summer is all about natural light, so make sure to let it in! Start by cleaning your windows to allow as much sunlight as possible to filter into your home. Consider swapping out heavy drapes for lighter curtains or sheer blinds that will allow light to filter through while still providing privacy. Cleaning your windows and all window treatments will keep your house cleaner once you open things up and let the fresh air in.

2.) Create an Outdoor Oasis: Take advantage of the warm weather by creating an inviting outdoor space. Whether you have a backyard, balcony, or patio, make it an extension of your home by adding comfortable seating, outdoor rugs, and plenty of greenery. Invest in outdoor furniture that is durable and weather-resistant, so you can enjoy it throughout the summer season. Consider adding a firepit/fire table for the cooler nights so you can enjoy the outdoors for longer.

3.) Lighten Up Your Fabrics: Swap out heavy fabrics like velvet and wool for lighter ones like cotton and linen. Opt for light and breezy curtains, throws, and cushion covers that will help your home feel fresher. Consider changing your bedding to lighter materials and colors for a fresh and summery feel in your bedroom.

4.) Declutter and Refresh: Summer is a great time to declutter and refresh your home. Store away heavy winter decor and accessories and bring out lighter, summery pieces. Consider rearranging your furniture to change things up a bit. Donate or sell items that you no longer need or use to create more space and give your home a renewed and rejuvenated look.

5.) Add Natural Elements: Incorporating natural elements into your home can create a soothing and calming atmosphere that evokes the spirit of summer. Consider adding potted plants, fresh flowers, or even a small indoor herb garden to bring the outdoors in. Woven baskets, linen table runners and Jute rugs can be added for texture and interest. Outside, be sure to get some large planters and create container gardens – be sure to vary the heights of planters and the plant materials. Tall grasses/plants add visual interest and can serve to section off areas and create an intimate environment.

6.) Get Your Air Conditioning Ready: With summer comes the need for air conditioning. Make sure to clean or replace your air filters and check your air conditioning unit to ensure it’s in good working condition. Consider getting a professional tune-up to ensure optimal performance during the hot months ahead.

7.) Consider building a covered structure, or covering an existing deck or patio area. It extends the outdoor season, keeps things clean and dry and creates a more inviting and cozy atmosphere. If this isn’t possible, be sure to add height to your outdoor spaces to create drama – stringing lights across a patio works well to create a contained space.

8.) Create a Refreshment Station: Set up a beverage station indoors and out and stock up on a variety of refreshing drinks like iced tea, lemonade, or infused water. Add a stylish bar cart or a tray with glasses, pitchers, and garnishes for a functional and stylish setup or install a more permanent outdoor bar so you can entertain outdoors. Choose durable, weather resistant materials and if possible, run electrical and water supply so it’s fully functional. Add in some bar stools and this will become the hub of your outdoor space.

9.) Just like inside your home, create “Zones” for your outdoor spaces. Lounge areas with more comfortable seating (maybe even an outdoor projector for movie nights!), dining area with seating and table and lighting above, garden spaces to add green and life to the area.

10.) Consider Outdoor Lighting: Summer evenings are perfect for outdoor gatherings and dining al fresco. Consider adding outdoor lighting, such as string lights and lanterns and update your outdoor light fixtures to a more stylish option. Adding up lighting to trees can add a beautiful, dramatic nighttime vibe.

Our summer season is short, so plan ahead and get things ready now so that when the warm weather is here you can sit back and enjoy it!

— Local resident Christine Roberts is an Interior Designer and Stylist.

She can be reached at 416-873-3982, and online at and on Instagram @christinerobertsdesign

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