Are you up for summer lovin’

Summer brings fun times around the pool, games around the garden, get-togethers around the braai, and family gatherings around the dining table. But for some it brings a never-ending run-around of hosting, cleaning and sorting to keep homes in order and looking good, and guests happy and comfortable.

“A home that is well designed to cater for the summer loving South African lifestyle certainly takes the stress and time-demands out of maintenance and up-keep,” says Karina Palmer, interior designer and marketing director of AMERICAN shutters. “Allowing everyone to relax and enjoy the season as much as possible.”

Here are our practical tips on how to create a summer lovin’ home:

Cover up: Use washable slip-covers and throws on fabric seating, from sofas to dining chairs. This will protect them against sweaty sun-screen covered bodies, wet swimming costumes, and the occasional drink spills.

Open up: Integrate your indoor and outdoor spaces by creating a seamless flow between the two areas. Install practical and stylish shutters that open up completely to allow for uninterrupted movement and views, and that close securely to keep the home safe. “Our Security Shutters are perfect for patio doors as they can be installed both indoors and out, and are as beautiful as they are robust,” says Karina.

Pack up: Store all your valuable accessories and loose furnishings; creating a clutter-free simple décor scheme that is conducive to the active summer lifestyle, especially holidaying children.

Clean up: Easy-to-clean floors, furniture and finishes are summer-practical. Ensure that your floors are non-slip to avoid accidents and always check the cleaning requirements of finishes. “One of the great benefits of shutters as opposed to fabric window dressings in braai areas and kitchens is that they are quick and easy to clean, and will not take on any of the smoky greasy smells associated with these areas,” says Karina.

Add up: Invest in some practical fold-away tables, seating and beds to cater for those additional guests that sunny days, warm evenings and long nights invite.

Brighten up: It has been proven that colour and light affect mood, add brightly coloured accessories to get that summer feeling, and opt for finishes such as shutters that can control the natural lighting and ventilation of a space.

Loosen up: Summer also brings a sense of abandon and carefreeness. Don’t worry and obsess about the little things, have fun around the pool, stroll around the garden, socialise around the braai and sit around that big family table before autumn is upon us!

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