For those of us with traditional homes, it's sometimes challenging to work out how to inject a bit of summer decorating into these classical spaces. The happy bright colors we see in design magazines somehow seem to be too much and surf boards and tiki huts just won't do.
I turn to another classic - British Colonial Style
Born in a time when the sun truly never set on the Empire, British colonial style evolved between the 17th and early 20th century, when British citizens went to live in Africa, India, Asia, and the Caribbean They adapted their refined design style to the climate and available materials where they moved.
Nowhere is this style more appealing than in the West Indies. Merging with styles brought by other European colonizers - France - Spain - Holland -West Indies Style is the perfect inspiration for sophisticated summer design.
Elements of The Style
Key to the style is the idea of expatriates adapting their familiar decor styles to their new surroundings and making use of local materials.
Classic mahogany pieces
Campaign furniture - easily transported pieces
Rattan, bamboo and wicker
Solid white linen or cotton
Indigenous fabrics - batiks, palampores
Natural colored jute, sisal, or sea grass rugs
European colonials were a surprisingly cosmopolitan people.
They were well traveled and liked to show off their treasures.
Asian blue and white porcelain
potted trees and exotic blooms
Some easy ways to bring the style home
Fill them with your favorite shells
Consider investing in summer slip covers. I had white matlesse covers made for my living room pieces years ago. I love that they go right in the washing machine and lend a calm cool air to the room. I love mine so much, I sometimes leave them on all year.
Roll up the carpets. Leave your hardwood floors bare, or put down some seagrass rugs.
Pick up some bamboo pieces.