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How to Freshen Up Your Interiors this Summer

How to Freshen Up Your Interiors this Summer
5 July 2023 Samantha Anderson

Scandi interiors expert at Contura shares guide to the art of summer scaping your home.

As the sunshine season gets into full swing, with the summer solstice now behind us and the promise of heatwaves ahead, there’s no better time to embrace that summer feeling by giving your home a seasonal spruce up.

Scandi interiors expert at Contura, Catharina Björkman, says: “As the season changes, so does our relationship with our homes; summer means that we seek an environment that offers a comfortingly cool retreat from the warmer weather as well as one which helps us make the most of the much-awaited longer and lighter days – a far cry from the snug haven that we tend to crave during the autumn and winter months.

“Despite these seasonal shifts, it is not uncommon for Brits to make little to no changes within their homes for months, or even years, at a time. Too often, this can leave interiors that feel uninspiring, tired, and are simply not fit for purpose. And yet this is so easily avoidable.

“One of the key pillars of Scandinavian design is functionality; there is an overarching belief that the best concepts are those which merge minimalist and beautiful style with useful purpose. For this reason, Scandinavians often make small seasonal changes to their home styling and décor in order to ensure that their interiors align with the natural world outside and provide a relaxing retreat which is well-suited to their needs as they inevitably change throughout the year.”

Read on for Catharina’s guide to transforming your home for the summer…

Bring the outdoors in

Make the most of the flourishing flowers and glorious green landscapes that come with the summer season by bringing a piece of them into your home. The presence of flowers can add a delightful splash of colour to brighten any room, and has also been proven to improve air quality, create a more welcoming atmosphere, as well as increase feelings of happiness .

Milky-white lilies, sky-blue hydrangeas, and pale lilacs can help to create a cool and calming haven, perfect for an escape from the summer heat.

On the other hand, for those hoping to use flowers to foster more uplifting and mood-boosting interiors, yellow marigolds, orange dahlias, and pink roses are wonderful choices.

To keep your beautiful blooms fresher for longer be sure to trim the stems at a forty-five-degree angle – this maximises the surface area through which the flower absorbs water – and to replace the water every two or three days, or even more if it begins to look cloudy, to ensure that there is a fresh supply. Similarly, avoid putting your floral arrangements near direct sunlight or other heat sources as this is likely to cause them to wilt prematurely.

If you are looking for a slightly more hands-off approach for bringing the natural world and its benefits into your home, houseplants offer a great alternative given their relatively low-maintenance needs and longer life cycles.

Home scents

Another wonderful way to add a touch of summer to your interiors is through scent. Much like the presence of flowers, scent has been shown to bring both mental and physical benefits. Go for delicious-smelling floral, fruity, and citrusy diffusers – made using natural ingredients such as essential oils – to add uplifting, summery scents to your home.

Don’t just use one aroma throughout your home, instead, tailor each room’s scent to its specific purpose. For example, smells of lavender, rose, geranium, and jasmine have been shown to aid relaxation and improve sleep quality, making it the perfect scent for one’s bedroom. Eucalyptus, peppermint, and citrus-based scents are believed to boost alertness and focus levels, so are ideal for your kitchen, shower room or office.

Summer scape

Decorating your home need not be an activity resigned to the festive season alone. Start by simply hanging a floral wreath on your front door to give everyone (including yourself) a delightful welcome to your home during the summer months. Use seasonal flowers and plants such as cornflowers, roses, sunflowers and gypsophila.

Summer scape different surfaces throughout your home for the most impact. Add a bright-coloured, gingham-printed, or floral-patterned table runner to your kitchen table and place washed-out jam jars, filled with small bunches of flowers along it, for the perfect cottage core vibes.

For your living room, arrange an array of individual flower vases in one concentrated space to create an eye-catching centrepiece. For a mantelpiece, gather vases of varying heights with wildflowers and dot them across the surface. On a coffee table fill a wooden or light ceramic bowl with bright fruits or carefully place candles of various heights around for softly lighting up summer nights – just be mindful not to take up too much space so as to compromise on the table’s primary function.

Given the more time-consuming nature of fresh flowers, it is a good opportunity to use artificial flowers and plants. Aside from the obvious benefit that they will last all summer long without the need for much attention (excluding the occasional dust or wipe), they are also a great option, especially for those with children and pets, given that they are non-toxic unlike some real flowers and houseplants.

Be drawn in

One of the best things about summer is the longer, brighter days, and given that the increased exposure to sunlight is thought to support the production of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin, it is so important that we make the most of them.

Maximise your window areas to take advantage of this abundance of natural light. Much like how many Brits have winter and summer duvets to ensure optimal comfort throughout the year, consider investing in two sets of curtains too. Move away from the heavy and dark drapery which is better suited to the colder months and swap in curtains made of lightweight materials, such as linens and cottons.

For maximum effect, hang white cotton voile curtains, a Scandi favourite that focuses on the use of natural materials and minimalist colour palettes to create a stylishly simple interior. These can remain drawn throughout the day, keeping your home cool by providing shelter from the direct sunlight, and yet will still allow you to enjoy some natural light. Likewise, the lightweight material won’t block any outside breeze but will allow air to circulate around the room thanks to its soft billowing movements, minimising the likelihood of stuffy air.

That said, consider using blackout curtains in rooms which might require or benefit from having the option of near-total darkness, such as bedrooms, or south-facing spaces in the house, where semi-sheer curtains might not offer enough defence against the heat of the sun.

Lighten up

To make the most of the natural light in spaces which receive little of it, such as north-facing rooms with small windows, use decorations with reflective qualities. Hanging a large, statement mirror can be a stylish way to dramatically increase the amount of a room’s perceived light and space, even creating the effect of another window. Another fun and effective way of using mirrors to boost a room’s brightness is by assembling an eclectic mix of them together – small, circular, square, long, and large – to create a decorative wall.

Similarly, place homeware made with reflective materials along shelves and on tables for a more subtle illuminating effect. Use mirror coasters, silver photo frames, or golden plant pots to achieve this. Metallic gold tends to have a particularly brightening effect given its warm-hued undertones.

When the daylight does eventually fade, maintain a relaxing home environment by smoothly transitioning into the use of the softer, more varied glows of lamps and candles – as opposed to the harsher, uniform lighting of a ceiling light – similar to that of the setting sun’s own light, to illuminate the evening ahead.

Material matters

Given that Scandinavian interiors are all about minimalist décor, it is not surprising that objects with little purpose are rarely left lying around. Though it can be easy to do, the effect of keeping items predominantly used in the winter months out in your home can create a cluttered and unpractical living environment.

Retire your thick fleece blankets and cosy cashmere throws, no longer needed for snuggling up in the evenings, to storage until the temperatures start to drop again. If you like the option of something cosy whilst lounging, or feel your sofa looks better for it, opt for a thin-knit, cotton or linen blanket instead.

Similarly, put away wool or nylon-based rugs – used for their insulative qualities during the colder months – in favour of hard, wooden flooring which will keep your home much cooler. Such surfaces create a relaxed summery interior, adhering to the Scandinavian appreciation for clean lines too. Though, if you feel your room is too bare without a floor covering, go for a sandy-toned, woven straw or jute rug instead.

These simple changes will elevate your home into a summery escape that you will want to enjoy day in and day out.


Notes to Editors:

  • Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood.
  • The Contura PR team will also arrange visits to the nearest Contura Design Centre dealerships or the Contura showroom in Doncaster to see the product range.

For further press information, please contact:
Tilly Everard | Anna Nyman | Elsa Findlay | Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0)203 440 8930
E: [email protected]

About Contura:
Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.

Starting at £1,495, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.

Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. All Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.

Contura stoves can be purchased through a network of 165 independent retailers nationwide.

Contura is part of the NIBE group, a Swedish manufacturing company producing world class solutions in sustainable energy across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Contura is a founding member of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) in the UK.

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