Life & Style: Summer decorating ideas


IM Blog Archive


By Leslie Linsley

Contributing Writer


(April 13, 2015)

I put this in the category of dreaming of summer. I know. I’m
rushing the season. But this is such a beautiful oasis in one of my
favorite Key West homes that I have to share. And while the palm
trees aren’t found on Nantucket, this casual porch scene could be


Bamboo furniture is hot again. I’m not sure if it ever went out of
style but it’s sturdy and light, carefree maintenance and good-looking. It can be left outdoors and if you cover the cushions with
Sunbrella or another weather-resistant fabric it’s pretty durable for
our weather.


The thing I like are the playful retro accessories. The homeowner
collects early sand pails with delightful illustrations on them. She
buys them on eBay. The old-time radio is another artifact from the
past, retrofitted to work.. Even the lamp made of bamboo spokes was
an eBay find. I love a table lamp in an outdoor room. It turns it into
a real living-room feeling.


The turquoise fabric and the white orchid add an element of elegance.
This little vignette would be simple to duplicate on your Nantucket
deck sans palm trees. Big pots of ferns or grassy plants around the
perimeter could be just as effective. Or even pots of white hydrangea


Another interesting material for summer furniture is sea grass. It’s
sturdy and good-looking. We don’t usually see this on Nantucket.


Much of the interior decorating in Key West is downright creative.
It has personality. There are not too many rules and lots of individuality. The
only consistent object that’s ubiquitous is the orchid. It’s kind
of like our hydrangea. If you don’t see the orchid (or hydrangeas)
on the table – well, the décor falls flat. I know it’s a cliché.
I get it. But I’m a victim like everyone else. When in Key West I
have orchids. If it’s June on Nantucket its gotta be a vase filled
with roses and if it’s August, OMG if you don’t have a few fat
blue blossoms in a clear glass vase. It just plain works! No sense
protesting against a sure thing. This year I’m going to get daring
and favor all white hydrangeas.



But you have to admit, this all-natural room has character. While
it’s in Key West a lot of the details translate to a Nantucket
home. Those carved wooden shell valances alone. You could make this
by painting a plain wood valance white and then covering it with
shells so they overlap each other. Use a glue gun to secure them.
What fun! I think I might try this in my powder room which I plan to
paint black. I’ve been planning to paint this room for ages. Last
year I had decided on Mole’s Breath, a gray color from Farrow
Ball. The year before it was celadon green. In the fall I thought
about sailcloth. After a winter in Key West I thought coral would be
good. But a friend of mine painted her bathroom black with pure white
glossy trim. It is so sensational! That is what I am going to do as
soon as I stop procrastinating.


I got a great e-mail from someone names “Jack”. He wants to know two
things: 1. What kind of iron do I use? and 2. How do you fold fitted
sheets? Any suggestions?


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