Bring The Outdoors In
  Summer offers a wonderful opportunity to bring the freshness of the outdoors into your home. Why not make a few minor changes or perhaps even some major ones that reflect the change in the season?

START WITH A CLEAN SLATE -- Everybody knows that a good Spring cleaning does wonders not only for your home, but for your psyche as well! Wash the windows to maximize sunlight, sweep out the cobwebs, take down the drapes and give them a good shake or better yet, replace them with more seasonal sheers, polish the furniture, chase away the winter dust bunnies. In a nutshell, give your room a fresh, clean face for the new season. Set the stage for your new, seasonal look.

DETERMINE YOUR THEME -- One of the best ways to maximize bringing the outdoors in is to continue your outdoor landscape theme inside. Whether your outdoor space is a formal, manicured setting, a lush cottage garden or a Zen-like oasis of calm, you can continue the theme indoors. Continuing the theme makes bringing the outdoors in easy.

ACCESSORIZE -- Accessories can play a major role in setting a room’s seasonal mood or tone. To continue a formal tone, for example, consider flanking the entrance to your room with potted topiaries. Needlepoint pillows featuring botanical prints, formal flower arrangements of summer blossoms in crystal vases and elegant throws in a summer weight and color palette can bring the outdoors in yet maintain a formal feel. If your tastes and landscape run more towards that of a cottage garden, fill your room with overflowing galvanized pails of peonies or other lush summer blossoms, replace small pieces of occasional furniture with pieces in wicker or rattan. Place a whimsical garden ornament among a grouping of terracotta pots filled with an abundance of summer flowers. For a Zen-like ambience create a tablescape with a single potted orchid, a shallow dish of smooth river rocks and a rice paper lantern. Whatever your outdoor landscape style, when decorating to bring the outdoors in, keep your eye on the overall theme and your look will fall into place.

Accessories are critical in achieving a compelling look. Wall hangings, mirrors, throw pillows and scented candles will go a long way towards setting your theme. Consider using outdoor accessories indoors – why not place a birdbath in the corner and fill it with some floating candles? Hang a wind chime in the window, place some silk flowers in a birdcage on the mantle, have a luscious bowl of fresh seasonal fruit out on the table, throw open the windows and let the fresh air in! Your imagination, a theme you love to work with and a little creativity are all you need to make the indoors as inviting as a Summer day.