Soon, summer’s final sunset will have been and gone - and yes, the warmer months always seem to slip away too fast.
But while the weather rules outside, indoors at least, with a few simple tweaks, it’s easy to conjure rooms where the sun shines on.
Follow these expert tips for keeping forecasts bright on the home front...
Scents like cut grass, mimosa or even lemon groves can instantly bring summer days to mind, even if the weather outside isn’t co-operating.
“Our home fragrance collection helps the home to feel fresh and light, making summer last that little bit longer. Scent is all about triggering memories and creating atmosphere, and our Happiness Candle, by Jenny Packham, includes a cut grass note as well as mimosa, white neroli and lemon,” says Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom, who specialise in home and personal fragrance.
:: Jenny Packham for Neom Happiness Candle (Luxury size, 50hrs), £80 (neomorganics.com)
:: Alternatively, evoke a far-off sun-kissed clime with The White Company’s Seychelles home fragrance range: Home Spray, £15; Scent Diffuser, £25 (thewhitecompany.com)
Perfect blue skies and fluffy white clouds could be an antidote to unwelcome showery, stormy weather.
:: Designers Guild’s new Cielo Sky wallpaper, £213 per 12m roll, depicts a dreamy skyscape. There are also complementary floral fabrics, whose designs are inspired by Pre-Raphaelite painters, with a palette as broad as that of the artists (designersguild.com).
:: Alternatively, let that symbol of summer - the butterfly - flutter across a wall. Butterfly Repeat Collection Butterfly Valley wallpaper, £199 a roll (in-spaces.com)
Why waste time looking up at the sky trying to work out if the weather’s going to change, when you can simply glance at the wall indoors? Bramwell Brown’s weather clock has a barometer tucked inside, and a scene on the front of the clock - depicting sunshine, showers or storms - changes accordingly.
“We British are passionate about observing and commenting on our weather and we thought this was the perfect answer for those who love to weather-watch and can be prepared for any change,” says Rob Leigh-Bramwell, co-founder of the innovative company which is reinventing classic timepieces.
“This is our update on the traditional barometer, and we thought it could make it fun - even if it does warn of unwelcome showers on the horizon!”
:: Weather Clocks, available in black, blue, grey, copper and chrome frames, start from £275 (bramwellbrown.com)
Garden parties needn’t be seasonal if your landscape is always rich and colourful - inside and out.
Artificial grass is ‘growing’ in popularity, and now, hot on its heels, comes faux green living wall panels, customisable with a mix of faux plants. These could look lush inside in a dining area, or outside to compensate when your plot’s lost its lustre. “People want to use their gardens all year round to entertain, and a faux living wall is perfect for providing foliage when nature starts shutting down and borders are devoid of blooms,” says Harriet Thompson at Evergreen Direct, whose green wall panels include selection of plants clad on a timber backing.
:: Evergreen Direct’s plants on panels include Holland ivy, English ivy, Boston fern, dracaena, zebra plants and grape ivy and start from £76.95 per square metre (evergreendirect.co.uk)
SAVE THE MEMORIES
Holidays may be over but memories of happy days can stay fresh, with a display of photos taken on trips and days out.
“As an interior designer, I find there’s no better starting point than taking a photographic memory the client loves and designing a space around it, so it has real meaning to them,” says Richard Randall. “One of the of most popular choices for wall displays are summer holiday photos, according to a recent survey, as they instantly lift people’s wellbeing and bring an informal free-spirited feel to a place, as well as injecting loads of personality.”
:: Online photography specialists, WhiteWall, who carried out the research have a gallery of images and will also convert personal photos into wall art. One of their suitably summery images is ‘Wicker Chairs On Beach’ by Jorg Greuel, from £9 (whitewall.co.uk)
There’s still time to enjoy a sultry sanctuary, before you have to resort to layering on warm throws and covers for winter.
:: Dress a bed with Harlequin Paradise Tropical Print Bedding, available in Flamingo or Lagoon colourways, and which is full of colour, pattern and tropical flora and fauna and could add a little jungle fever to a boudoir: Double Duvet Cover, £95.00; Pillowcases, £22; Cushions, £45 (bedeckhome.com)
:: Add atmosphere with a Closer 2 Nature Artificial 3ft 6ins Kentia Palm Tree , £55, from the artificial silk plant and tree range, £55 (amazon.co.uk), and a Lime Humming Bird Cushion, £14.99 (dobbies.com; available in store)
Bold colours and cheery designs on cotton fabric can be an easy way to give a room a lift - use for curtains, a tablecloth or new cushion covers.
:: The Joy collection from JAB Anstoetz, in a bright palette of teals, fuchsias and sunshine yellows, is evocative of sun-bleached settings. There are 17 designs, including Villabate, a bold retro-inspired graphic, and Delia with all-over blossoms, and prices start from £56.30 a metre (jab-uk.co.uk)
To make a home an inspiration space, which is always bright and welcoming whatever the season, make the most of natural light and bring nature indoors, suggests leading textile designer, Clarissa Hulse.
“I compensate in dark rooms by adding colour and designs with hints of nature, combined with layered lighting and decorative mirrors to reflect any available daylight back into the room,” she says. “Plants and flowers are essential for me, and I think being surrounded by living things, especially as autumn draws in, is wonderfully cheering.
“I love succulents and have them dotted around my home in decorative pots. Orchids are a labour of love but they last forever, and nothing beats the feeling of getting them to flower again the following year.”
:: Refresh a room with two Clarissa Hulse accessories, a Feather Fern Silk Lampshade in Storm/Tiger Lily, from £75, and matching Small Virginia Creeper Silk Cushion , £59 (clarissahulse.com)
Be bold with colour to brighten spirits on gloomy days, says Sachin Bagga, director of homeware specialists, Sabichi. “Colour’s such a wonderful tool, which can sway thinking and change moods, and it’s not difficult to update or simply redecorate one wall,” he says.
“I’ve used pinks, butter yellows and bright green, which are uplifting and have the effect of ‘turning up the heat’ because we associate them with the colourful exteriors of Caribbean homes. If you prefer to stay with a neutral backdrop, simply add colour in a statement chair or an accessory.”
:: Bailey Chair Yellow, £399, and Fuschia Chenille Throw, £26 (sabichi.co.uk)