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Dream Home News, Issue #022 – How To Create A Summer Sanctuary
July 01, 2011
Hello ...

And welcome to your new (or your first!) issue of Dream Home Decorating News. This month's issue is about simple, easy ways to capture the magic of summer in your home.

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Thanks for joining me today, and enjoy this issue!
Renate Hering-Shepherd

PS) If the newsletter is difficult to read as an e-mail,
read this issue online.

  1. Create Your Summer Sanctuary!
  2. Book Update
  3. Legal Stuff

Create Your Summer Sanctuary!

The promise of a summer vacation is the carefree world of endlessly blue skies, of ease, fun and relaxed enjoyment ... a light-filled, simple world.

And if we're lucky enough to see the promise fulfilled – how can we then 'transfer' some of this serenity and soothing simplicity into our daily lives? Because somehow all holidays seem to have the annoying habit of ending sooner or later. (At least mine do.)

So here are a few summer ideas for an easy, happy, 'vacation' home:

1. Simplify!

  • One of the most straightforward ways to simplify your home is to have a cleanout. It creates breathing space and new home decorating options! If you don’t have time for a top-to-bottom raid, at least clear surface clutter to create a clean, classy look.
  • Edit your color scheme: Reduce the number of colors, add a neutral, reduce pattern, or just lighten things up by
    • replacing some pattern with a solid color or a light neutral
    • (slip)covering a sofa in a light solid color (or neutral) & covering a few sofa cushions into the same color
    • (slip)covering a table in a solid color
    • repainting a dark dresser or sideboard and changing the knobs
    • replacing heavy drapes with light, neutral ones for the summer
    • replacing a patterned area rug with a simple sisal or sea grass version.

2. Create A 'Happy' Focal Point.

  • Fill a footed bowl or cylindrical glass vase with natural eye candy:
    • lemons
    • limes
    • bright green or red-cheeked apples.
  • Fill a high glass container halfway up with sand, add a few shells or pebbles at the top, and stick tall, slender candles into the sand.
  • Half fill a shallow glass bowl with water and add floating candles in beautiful colors, plus rose petals.
  • Replace a simple shower curtain with a gorgeously colorful one (as long as the rest of the room, including your bath towels and accessories, can handle it).

3. Bring The Outdoors In.

  • A very large/high green leafy branch in a floor vase can make a wonderfully bold statement against a clean wall where there’s little else going on. (Alternatively, a tub of elegant bamboo will do the same trick.)
  • Vintage, textured and/or weathered items can add a laid-back, 'beach house' flavor to your home: raw chunky baskets, a wicker chair, a few galvanized metal containers for plants.
  • Plant a large window box with scented herbs - lavender, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage. Touch the leaves to set the perfume free!
  • When I was in university and seriously strapped for cash, I used to go to the farmers’ market on Saturdays around closing time, and look for broken-off flower heads. It's amazing how long you can keep them not just alive, but looking utterly elegant in long-stemmed (or cocktail) glasses!

4. Wall Accents

  • Do you have a wall you could paint? How about a soothing, deep Mediterranean blue? Looks particularly great in marine-inspired or neutral spaces.
  • Make your own wall art with simple ‘color meditations’: paint sheets of paper in different hues/shades of one color, cut them to size and frame them in charity shop picture frames. Use different sizes and styles (a few gilded ones won't hurt, either – think French!) Alternatively, dye fabrics, or use fabric cutoffs instead of the paper. Hang as a cluster or fill a whole wall.

5. Make Something.

  • Buy a junk-shop wooden tray and paint it a really upbeat color (bright red, glowing orange, cobalt blue ... whatever fits into your color scheme). Set it atop a little occasional (folding) table, a simple stool, a tree stump, or whatever else will give you some height. You could even take a cardboard box & wrap it in canvas & 'crown' it with the tray. Place it next to your favorite reading chair. Also makes a great bedside table.
  • Use homemade lights for a magical window display: hang a large number of tea lights in differently sized/shaped jam jars on chains or wire from the curtain rod.
  • Cut an old mirror into mosaic-sized pieces and glue them onto a large charger plate, then grout. Display on a mantel behind live candles for fantastic lighting effects. For a colorful alternative, use prettily patterned (cheap, broken) china and/or colored tiles!
  • Make a folding screen out of thin plywood, using double action (pivot) hinges. Paint it in a really inspiring color, wallpaper it, or cover it with fabric, bamboo matting or woven raffia. Use it to screen off a 'sanctuary' space in your home, or to hide an unsightly corner - or make a small version of the screen and cover the black gaping hole that is a fireplace in summer :-)

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Color Schemes That Always Work:
How To Create, Tweak & Optimize
Colors For Your Home
Book Update)

I'm still in my writer's cave, working furiously, but also getting through (and/or around) loads of weird & wonderful distractions. (Amazing what life throws at you when you’ve set a big goal for yourself!)

There's no definite publication date as yet, but I'll let you know as soon as we have one. I’ll send you an additional notification right before the launch date, so that you can take advantage of the reduced-price launch offer for my e-zine subscribers!

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And with that, I’d like to sign off for today, wishing you all the best.

Happy Summer!

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Legal Stuff

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Here's to a gorgeous home – yours!

"See" you again on September 1, 2011 -
Renate Hering-Shepherd

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