During the dreary winter or cool spring months your summer holiday can feel quite a way off, can’t it? How then do you prolong those precious weeks of holiday bliss when you’re back in the thick of daily life? Well, it can be done, and it’s easier than you think. Stylist Kate John shares her tips for bringing your holiday into your home.
A splash of colour
We can all be inspired by colour – that sheer blueness of the sea in the Mediterranean, or the sun bouncing off whitewashed houses. Playing with your colour palette is a great way to start bringing your holiday home. I love white as a base for walls. It means you can change your interior on a whim without having to repaint everything. Think fresh white on the walls of your kitchen or dining room, with door frames and window sills picked up in that lovely Aegean blue. Accents of turquoise and pale green can be layered in tablecloths or seat cushions. Add a pop of colour with deep bougainvillea pink, or a lemon yellow in the form of ceramics and you’re back in your holiday villa in Greece.
Ceramics Spanish style
Spain is leading the way in interior design at the moment and their cement tiles are everywhere. Not only are they hardwearing and practical, but they bridge the gap between traditional and ultra-contemporary geometric. They add vibrant interest to a hallway, bathroom, or even a splash back for the kitchen. The rest of your interior can be styled around these to your tastes, from rustic to cutting-edge, mid-century industrial. Coloured tiles or painted ceramics can also add energy and interest to a space in a way that’s wonderfully easy and economical. Coloured bowls in the bathroom could hold soaps, or a collection of beautiful pebbles, collected every year from far flung places. Single tiles brought back from a market can be used as coasters, or placed along a garden wall.
The great outdoors
A painted wall in a garden can add a surprise element. A bright pink or orange invites the eye and sets off the foliage of plants brilliantly. My own sun terrace has a bright blue wall, against which my red geraniums in simple, terracotta pots remind me of my favourite island of Mallorca. Also, have you ever noticed how memories are easy to evoke with scent? A border of Mediterranean lavender or rosemary – in the garden or scattered about window sills – might give the sense of sitting back on your villa terrace.
“Every country has a wealth of inspiration that can add colour, depth and lovely memories to your home.”
Think rustic charm
A rustic flavour adds warmth and depth to an interior and is easy to achieve with a generous supply of baskets or rough-hewn furniture – think Van Gogh’s chair with the cane seat. Earth-coloured throws and textured cushions contrast beautifully with warm or strong colours, like a deep blue lampshade or painted ceramic bowls. I love recreating this Tuscan or Provençal vibe of back-to-nature simplicity
A place to rest your head
Your bedroom should be a restful, welcoming place, reflecting just what makes you tick. For instance, my own preference is for a light and airy feel, pale walls and white bed linens – perhaps one of those white throws brought back from a market in Italy. And loads of cushions! Either crisp, dark blue and white, or shades of pink and cerise. A white-painted, French-style bedhead, and of course, a pile of interior design books and travel magazines, piled up on an old, pale blue painted chair.
A quick creation
If you are still yearning to recreate your holiday but don’t have the time and space to do a complete interior overhaul, my favourite trick is to create a shelf or mantelpiece and make a seasonal homage to your holiday. At the moment my mantel piece holds an Eiffel tower souvenir, three pewter plates, hot pink candlesticks and 1950s postcards with images of the Italian Riviera, by Slim Aarons. For me, just by changing one element of my interior around seasonally keeps my holiday experience alive.