Nothing beats the feeling of calm and relaxation that comes from being on holidays. Out of office on, with endless empty days stretching ahead of you, is it any wonder many of us find ourselves aching to bring the same ease and chilled-out coastal decor back home with us? If you’ve long taken inspiration from hotel and resort-style interiors, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the work of Soul Home. Helmed by interior design and building expert Simone Matthews, whose credits include Soul of Gerringong, Soul Cottage and The Pause, it brings holiday rental know-how and styling advice to anyone seeking a bit of extra guidance and expertise.
And even if you’re not in the business of creating beautiful holiday homes, Matthews has plenty of simple and useful advice for incorporating summer holiday style into the home. Below, read her best tips and tricks for creating an at-home vacation vibe.
1. Bring the outdoor in
“When you think summer, think light and bright. It’s about bringing the indoors outdoor, to make the most of longer days,” shares Matthews. “If your home has the space, create an outdoor lounge area that promotes an indoor/outdoor living vibe. Or, if your home doesn’t allow, add a print or wall hanging to one of the outdoor walls to create your own summery vibe. A really simple way to add a more relaxed yet stylish look to your home is through wall hooks. These look great pretty much in every room— then add a straw hat, jute bag and some mud beads, and you'll instantly think summer.”
2. Think texture and materials
“I embrace textures first, then colour palettes second,” says Matthews. “Linen is your best friend in summer. Try linen for your bedding or table setting, and remember, there's nothing better than a sheer linen curtain blowing in the wind on a summer’s day.” She also suggests opting for natural and soft materials like cotton to use as as light throws on your sofa, rather than heavier fabrics like wool.
“Natural materials such as jute and rattan also spell summer. Think jute rugs on the floor, or added as a basket next to your sofa. Rattan furniture will bring in a touch of classic/Bahamas vibe; nothing beats a rattan occasional chair in a living area or a bar stool.”
3. Adjust your colour palette
“For summer colourings, personally, I’m always a fan of neutrals with warm whites,” says Matthews. “You can add some colour into your home through soft furnishings such as cushions and throws. Lighter blue tones also offer a coastal summer mood. Or introducing a pop of yellow will really brighten a space, with buttery colours very much on trend right now. Or for a more fun look, pops of pink are a great way to inject personality and a summery attitude.”
4. A resort vibe
“Focus on your bedrooms, so you can emulate that feeling of staying in a luxurious resort,” suggests Matthews. “Add a full length mirror and a wall hook next to it; then pop a hat or a beach/pool towel on the hook, and its instant holiday at home.”
And never underestimate the power of plants. “Greenery is also your best friend,” adds Matthews. “Adding a cluster of pots to a balcony or deck will add a holiday feeling. If I have the space, I like to add a feature light—it’s one of my favourite styling elements—I’m a big fan of an oversized linen pendant. It adds texture, an interesting focal point and just adds a new look instantly to your home.”
5. Create calm
“You know the saying, a clear space equals a clear mind… that also applies to your home. For a sense of calm, try to avoid over-styling, or just adding pieces for the sake of it. Add some negative space (i.e. space that doesn’t have anything in it)— it allows your eyes to land there and feel calm and un-cluttered, and to breathe."
6. Joyful moments
Matthews also recommends finding a ‘go-to’ object—a special object or motif that never fails to draw a smile. “For some people, it might be a colour that brings joy. For others it could be a special cushion, or a photo or print in the home. For me it’s an object: I love palms, they just make me feel good! It’s why you will always see palms at my home, in my landscaping, on wall prints, as wall hooks, coasters and coffee table books. It’s my thing that always makes me feel summery and brings me joy.”
7. Know your hit list
Lastly, if there’s one thing Matthews knows, it’s where to go to find the best summery and coastal-inspired homewares.
For furniture, she suggests Byron Bay Hanging Chairs, Uniqwa Collections, Totem Road, Barefoot Gypsy, Yak & Yeti Trader, GlobeWest, Malawi Cane, Spence & Lyda and MCM House.
For homewares, The Dharma Door, Papaya, Woven Husk, The Balcony Garden, Booktopia (for coffee table books), Armadillo and Zebra Home.
For art, Matthews loves Blacklist Studio, The Art & Framing Company, Fineprintco, Jai Vasickek, Ozlem Savelle and Ash Holmes.
Written by Yeong Sassall.
This article originally appeared on Vogue Living Australia.