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DECOR AND DIY TIPS: You won’t want to leave your home

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You’ll want to stay in and enjoy your home if you follow these decor and DIY tips provided in response to readers’ questions

EXPERT: designer Marika Meyer

Q We love entertaining outdoors in summer. Is there anything fun we can add to our usual decor?

A It’s all about casual, approachable materials and lots of texture. Linen is always a great choice for a tablecloth, napkins and placemats. Layer on texture with rattan or bamboo napkin rings or placemats. If you want to add colour, I love coloured water glasses. Also, try incorporating metallic elements.

Q My oldest child is 10, with a bedroom in need of rehab. I’m struggling with what to choose so we don’t have to update it again in three years when he is a teen.

A The key is balance. Make sure the larger, more expensive furniture pieces are something he can grow up with. Look for simply styled adult pieces. Changing bedding and accessories over time will allow the room to grow with your child and won’t cost a fortune.

Q We often eat in our dining room. We want to update the room and I am trying to decide on wall colours. I think the wall colour should coordinate with both our daily dishes and our formal china. Both are shades of green.

A Lots of shades of green can work. I would do something in a mid-tone range. Also create some contrast to your plates.

Q We live in an older home and some rooms are dark in summer. Any suggestions for brightening the space? More lights? Fabrics and wall colours?

A Painting a wall in a bright neutral will help. Window treatments in light, sheer fabrics also help dress the space. I would keep the larger pieces of furnitue light .

Q I don’t like faux candles, but lighting my outdoor table with real candles is frustrating on a windy day.

A I use hurricane candle holders outdoors. You can use a large candle for events that burn long into the night.

Q We love our open-plan living space, especially for entertaining. But we are battling with how to arrange the space and make it feel cosy.

A When I create a floor plan, I ask: “How will this space be used?” A room will feel like a space you want to live in if it is designed with a purpose in mind. Scale is key. Make sure furniture is sized appropriately so it doesn’t get lost.

Q We love our weekend summer home. I want to update it gradually but start small.

A The easiest way to update a home without spending a lot of money is with paint.

Q I have an old wooden bureau that I would like to put outside. Is there some way I can make it weatherproof?

A If your summers are humid, avoid putting the bureau outside. I found an old wicker piece and painted it for our porch. We sprayed a protective coat on top and it has lasted.

The Washington Post

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