10 room refreshers

By Suzanne Morrissey

Summer is here, so it's just the right time to invite Mother Nature into your indoor living spaces. With a few simple ideas, you can create a refreshing oasis anywhere at home.

1. Go big. If you have the option to simply swing open the doors and flood a room with light and fresh air-go for it! Worried about bugs ruining the mood? A good breezy day keeps those pests at bay, and so will citronella candles or mesh door screens.

2. Create art. Even an amateur photographer can capture a beautiful blossom or a breathtaking view across a city garden or lake. Pop your masterpiece in a frame with a white mat and add it to an interior wall for a constant reminder of spring.

3. Let the sunshine in. If a renovation is on your project list, consider a bold move: Add skylights that allow light to flood upper rooms. Or replace skimpy, light-stingy windows with larger ones to create a grander view of the outdoors. Keep the mood bright by using sheers or simple unlined shades as window treatments.


4. Store in style. When organizing a room, check local garden centers for containers that become eye-catching catchalls when brought indoors. How about a wire window box hung inside to hold mail and notepads? Or a pedestal urn to corral magazines and books?

5. Add texture. Rattan baskets, capiz shell lampshades and carved natural wood bowls are just a few of the home accessories that allow you to bring the textures of the outdoors in. Introduce a sampling of these elements into your rooms for instant earthy appeal.


6. Pot it up. Line a window or counter with a row of pots planted with herbs or grasses for a touch of green.

7. Rock it. A clear vessel filled with smooth river stones adds a calming, neutral touch of nature in any room. Consider a trio of tall cylinders filled to the brim on a mantel, or a shallow dish on an entry table to set the natural tone from the moment you walk in the door.

8. Flaunt flowers. Naturally, a vase filled with cut blooms brings an instant boost to any room. Try creating an arrangement of long-stemmed branches in a super-tall vase for even more floral impact.


9. Stick with it. Gather chunky sticks or fallen branches from the yard and paint them stark white or black for a quick modern display. Alternatively, attach the sticks with hot glue to a plain metal lamp base, or use smaller painted twigs and stems to add earthy appeal to a picture frame.

10. Fold in fabric. A trip to the fabric store opens up a whole world of nature-inspired patterns and colors. From traditional florals to modern botanical silhouettes, fabrics that echo the natural world can evoke the uplifting feeling of an outdoor escape in your home.


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