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Simple seasonal updates key to making your home fit for sunshine entertaining

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By making a few subtle changes, you can turn your home into a cool haven during the summer months.

Update your space

It’s time to swop anything that reminds you of cold weather with lighter, brighter accessories. Store heaters and thick blankets out of sight and exchange winter scatter cushions with cheerful patterned ones.

If your entertaining area needs a facelift, it’s not as hard or expensive as you may think. Add a carefree feel by throwing down a colourful carpet in weather-proof fabrics, or opt for natural fabrics such as coir, sea grass and sisal if your outdoor space is under cover. A breezy, lightweight throw for outside couches also screams summer, and organising suitable storage for towels and pool accessories means less mess when entertaining around the pool.

Be smart

To save having to dart to the kitchen every time someone needs a refill, keep a stocked drinks trolley – complete with ice buckets – on hand. Consider a portable fire pit to add warmth once the sun goes down. And don’t forget the cool tunes – good quality Bluetooth speakers needn’t break the bank.

Consider your colours

The start of the holidays is a good time to tackle small painting jobs. Sand, varnish and oil wooden balustrades, outdoor furniture, picnic tables and window frames to ensure they stay in tip-top condition in the elements.

Update tired furniture with a lick of paint, and experiment with colours. Plascon’s Favourite Hue for 2020 is Mulberry Leaf, a rich green shade that could also work brilliantly on an accent wall. Complement this burst of green with a warm neutral (Cream of Mushroom), golden tones (Gold Cadillac) or a trendy copper pink (Warm Welcome).

Light the way

Fairy lights strung through trees, on awnings and above garden pathways add an instant touch of festivity and whimsy. Modern hurricane pendants, with black steel frames and clear glass shades are bang on trend, boasting a wonderful ability to add a rustic-inspired style to both indoor and outdoor spaces.

As Melissa Davidson from The Lighting Warehouse says, these pieces combine Georgian-inspired undertones with a sleek, contemporary simplicity.

“Whether they are added to your outdoor patio or installed indoors in your home’s entryway, over your dining room table, or in your kitchen, these oversized lanterns are bold and audacious, and they have the ability to draw the eye upwards to make a room seem more expansive, pulled together and infinitely more elegant.”

Seat yourself

If you love to entertain, your outdoor space needs to include plenty of seating options to cater for large groups of family and friends. Invest in a large table and chairs plus another zone with extra casual seating to provide you and your guests with a choice of places to come together, or escape if the need arises. 

Keep in mind that outdoor furniture often gets moved around so opt for lightweight materials that will withstand the harsh summer sun. Sunken seating areas offer a more intimate, relaxed feel and can be dotted with oversized, textured cushions for an on-trend boho feel.

Pool pleasures

It’s time to get to grips with the time and attention it takes to keep with water sparkling and blue. Nothing puts a damper on a summer gathering more than a green, algae-infested pool.

If you’re struggling to maintain the correct pH levels, take a water sample to your closest pool shop where they can recommend the correct concoction of chemicals to keep it in good health.

Throw some shade

A day-time summer gathering invariably calls for shelter from the elements. Canvas umbrellas, retractable awnings, shutters and screens can work wonders when it comes to reducing glare, adding privacy and limiting the effects of wind.

Good scents

Citronella candles add atmosphere and do a good job of keeping mosquitoes at bay. Buy pillar candles in summer scents and place them in glass hurricane jars to prevent them blowing out.

Five quick tips

  • When you’re stocking up, get yourself party ready too.
  • Keep lots of beverages and snacks on hand for impromptu gatherings.
  • Make sure the braai grid is clean and buy plenty of charcoal.
  • Clean the outdoor chairs and cushions.
  • Make sure you have bug spray and sunblock. 
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