Even though we’re in the midst of a cold Sydney winter, now is a great time to start thinking about how to prepare your home and garden for a fabulous summer. We sat down with Landscape Designer Joanne Neylon and Interior Designer Angela Neylon to get their insider tips on what elements to consider indoors and out to make your home a serene setting for a hot summer.
Outdoors Having been a horticulturalist and landscape designer for over 39 years, Joanne has seen trends come and go, but these three recommendations have stood the test of time and will make your outdoor space that much more liveable in summer.
Outdoor dining Everybody loves to eat al fresco, so make sure you have a suitable outdoor dining area that’s both comfortable and stylish. Whether you have the space for an entire outdoor kitchen or you’re thinking of adding dining furniture to your balcony, there’s a few things to consider. How many guests will you be able to seat comfortably, is there sufficient lighting for evening meals, what style of furniture do you prefer and what sort of maintenance will it require, and would it be beneficial to have some landscaping to separate and define the space?
Joanne loves using bench seats to fit more people around a table like this stunning space from our award-winning Manly project. She also uses different textures like sandstone walls or paved/pebble flooring to separate dining areas from grassy play areas. You could also consider an extendable table if you have a smaller space, as it gives you the flexibility for family meals and larger gatherings.
Shade There’s little point having a stunning outdoor dining area if it’s too hot in the sun to be enjoying it! Consider shade, especially for your dining area, so you can enjoy a meal in the middle of the day without sweltering. Awnings, umbrella’s and even strategically positioned plants and trees will create a beautiful and functional garden that you can use all day long.
While we get to enjoy lighter evenings in Summer due to daylight savings, the warm weather means we can enjoy our gardens even later at night and this is where lighting comes into play. Strategically placed lights in a garden can be truly magical. Consider highlighting key features, like hanging lights in trees to light up your dining area, up-lighting trees such as a Crape Myrtle or using wall mounted lights to illuminate paths or steps.
In summer we’re naturally drawn to light and bright indoor spaces that have good flow and comfortable, natural furnishings. Having worked on numerous mid to high-end residential projects, Angela always focuses on creating interiors that suit the needs of the family and our quintessential Australian way of living.
Light linens Not only are light linen fabrics stunning in the bedroom but introducing them into your living room will lighten and brighten the space for summer. Angela loves that sheer linen curtains can bring texture and softness to a room and look stunning contrasted against crisp white walls. Linen curtains also provide privacy whilst letting light fill the space and look elegant draped to the side of windows and doors. Another option is lounges with light linen covers in neutral tones, as these are comfortable, timeless and will instantly enhance a space.
It’s essential to keep functionality and practicality in mind when designing, which is why Angela loves this Smoked Lime Oak engineered flooring installed in our Mosman project.
Smoked & Limed lifts the low grain of the timber with white highlights to evoke a brighter, softer identity. The smoky hues of the natural wood are offset with the white lime to accentuate the overall tone, creating an interior style perfectly suited to coastal residences. The durability, strength and high quality of an engineered timber floor makes it a winner for family homes, while this style of flooring makes a space feel bigger, brighter and acts as a neutral backdrop for a variety of styles of furniture.
There are so many different forms of art that can evoke light, summery feelings. Maybe you’d like an ocean scene, an abstract painting with a soft colour palette or a beautiful mix of unique ceramic pieces; art is really an opportunity to show off your personality. Artwork can also be a form of escapism, transporting your mind off to a serene distant shore, if only for a moment, can bring you immense joy and happiness, all without leaving your living room!