summer Archive



Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, Quickies

I’m easily distracted in the summer, the weather lures me outside to sit in the sun with a glass of lemonade… okay, white wine, you guys know me too well. And then there’s weeds to pull, gardens to tend, flower pots to deadhead, porches and patios to sweep. Not to mention all the other fun in the sun activities that can prevent us from completing projects around the house. My advice, summer is the time to plan, contemplate and prepare for more extensive (time consuming) fall make overs and renovations. Summer is the time to have a few ‘quickies at home- projects that can be completed in under an hour on a rainy Saturday morning or Tuesday evening or in a panic just before house guests that surprised you with the ‘we’re in town and would love to drop over for a visit’ phone call. Here are my top 10 Quickies that really make a difference around the house:

  1. Wall paper the inside of your cupboard doors- on my list is to paper the inside of my pantry door with this amazing Christian Lacroix butterfly wall covering.
  2. Create a herb garden on the kitchen counter- using an oversized ice bucket, a set of three fabulous pots, or a large crystal bowl (be creative here) plant your favorite herbs, they’ll taste great, smell great and of course, look great.
  3. Next to the herb garden fill a beautiful bowl with kosher or course sea salt for a real chef look on the counter top. I also have a bottle (repurposed wine bottle) that I filled with olive oil and inserted a bottle spout.
  4. Redress the sofa with new toss cushions- have fun and add summer glamour to the sofa with linen and crystal or pattern printed cushions.
  5. Drape small sheep skins over top of your dining chairs for a fresh glamorous look.
  6. Hang sheer ready-made white drapery panels to a naked window. The perfect summer look billowing in the breeze of an open window.
  7. Repaint something. Let your inner artist loose on an uninspired piece of furniture, go crazy, hand paint all over a boring upholstered chair, even if you just throw paint at it literally or white wash an inherited bedroom dresser, paint striped on a wooden end table or paint the kitchen chairs hot pink.
  8. Hang some floating shelves. I love shelves and love to artfully arrange them with books, treasures and art that I have collected. Look for a wall of opportunity and hang ready-made shelving available from do it centers or large box stores.
  9. Lay down a new area rug in an underwhelming room
  10. Create an art wall by hanging a collection of framed black and white photos and toss in a few unexpected pieces such as paintings, etchings, ceramic plates, a clock, wooden or metal sculptures- any neat pieces that you wouldn’t expect to see on the wall.

Enjoy the sun and try to fit in at least one quickie project every week- that’s how you live fabulously!


Pop of Colour

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group

Summer is all about an abundance of energy, fun, friends and family… and that sounds colourful to say the least! Colour will literally raise your energy levels, attract good energy, conversation and laughter.

Inside and outside, this is the season to enjoy a bounty of colour in your décor. Bouquets of hot pink peonies, fuchsia, tangerine and pineapple coloured throw cushions, turquoise vases and red corals all come home. Don’t be afraid of too much colour or to be creative with your hue combinations. In the past, we have shyed away from neighboring hues on the colour wheel being seen together but not this year. Top designers are creating fabulous rooms using neighboring hues such as yellow, orange and pink, even adding in a punch of red or yellow, turquoise, fuchsia and purples with no regrets. Always grounded with a foundation of neutrals, we love to see these fresh palettes in our spaces. They are crisp, clean and fresh in their appeal.

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group - Pop of ColourDreaming of colour in your rooms, but not sure how to get started? First, find inspiration. While sipping a delicious, chilled glass of chardonnay on the patio (designer tip: keep stainless steel wine glass in your freezer for just such as occasion, they keep wine cooler longer and look very on trend) flip through the latest issue of your favorite fashion magazine, find an ad or runway shot of a colourful outfit or even a scarf and a bag and use this as your inspiration. Next head to your local paint store and pick out paint chips that are in the picture, grab them all, both the neutrals and the brights. Do not edit the colours. Head home and on your dining room table surround the picture with all the paint chips. Now, pull your favorites and place them to one side. Keep the remaining chips on the other side of the inspiration photo. I bet you’re saying wow, these colours look amazing together but how do I use so many and can I really mix it up like this?

Next, pick up the phone and call your favorite designer, and arrange for a consultation so that you two can collaborate to find great wallpapers to bring colour to a wall or two, maybe even consider painting a ceiling and of course move in the bright, colourful accessories to add all the ‘wow factor’ you’re looking for.

Colour is the easiest way to inspire fun energy and inject passion into a room. Remember that hot colours such as shades of yellow, orange and red will raise your heart rate, increase levels of conversation and appetite, while cool shades such as blues, greens and violets will soothe the spirit, and create calm, restful spaces. It’s a great skill and an invaluable tool knowing how to use colour and to also not be afraid to use it and to mix creative palettes.


Classic Summer

When I say “summer”, what’s the first decorating item that comes to mind? Seashells, coral, driftwood, sand butterflies?

These are classic summer motifs that you can use to enhance your summer decor and at no charge.  How often can we get free decorating items that look amazing and are perfectly suited for our rooms? Almost never – so let’s decorate! One of my favorite summer do’s is to take a group of glass vases, canister or urns and fill them with sand I bought home from the beach and then to add a few shells on top. This group looks great on a bathroom counter-top, the fireplace mantel even the kitchen table as a center piece, they’ll also look fabulous outside on the patio table. What the heck, we love this idea so much let’s create two sets: One for inside the house and one for outside. A tray or bowl filled with sand and a shell or two also looks great mixed in with this group or as a stand alone piece.

A designer friend of mine keeps a collections of apocathery jars and every year she collects sands from her travels brings a bag of it home, fills a jar, labels it by beach and year and displays the collection amongst her books. Because we love design surprises during the summer we always lay a few shells or beach pebbles around the drain in the bathroom sink or if you have a beautiful larger shell, carefully drill two holes through it and insert about two meters of cording and make your own drapery tie back. We also love to cover mirror frames, lampshades and even furniture with shells. Keep the project going year to year as you gather more shells- it doesn’t have to be finished in one session and even a partially finished (shell covered) project looks great.

In my living room I have three large glass floor vases sitting behind my sofa each with a five foot piece of drift wood set in it. Driftwood is one of my personal favorite found items and I’m an avid collector. On our deck off the master bedroom sitting beside a pair of arm chairs we have a large piece of wood that we hauled home a couple of years ago from the Eagle River. As much as Roger, my husband, protested about hauling this sanding, ant covered hunk of wood in the car, he is now the first one to comment on what a fabulous piece of wood this is. Of course when I got it home I gave the wood a thorough hosing and even a quick coat of clear varnish and now it is natural sculpture. I’m a lover of weathered wood and one of my favorite pieces is an old weathered piece of two by ten that sits on the sofa table (inside or out). I added a couple of feet to the bottom and drilled holes just the right size in the top for tea lights-fabulous!!

Show off a great shell or butterfly collection using bell jars. Put the shell on top of a stacked set of coffee table books and set the bell jar on top or use a tray instead of books and set it outside on the sofa or coffee table. A bell jar displaying a summer classic can also work amongst the glass vase collection. Mix and match your summer collectables for fabulous summer living.

Sam and I were shopping for groceries last week and we came across solar powered white pvc planters. OMGosh for around fifty dollars these planters lit up the patio beautifully so we of course went back for more, now they sit on the dock and all around the house. But as always we try to think creatively and outside the ‘box’ or in this case the planter and now use a few of the planters as summer chillers. We fill the bowl with ice and then stock it with bottled water, beer or soda drinks when companies over for a summer gathering-When not in use they still look fabulous empty.