Sunday 26 January 2020

Summer is here . . . so here's how to make the most of it

Eva Byrne

Like a lot of people, we'll be holidaying at home this year. How can we make the most of the precious sun we do get and embrace summer at home?

The recent sunshine has got us all thinking about how to tweak our homes and outdoor spaces to best enjoy the sun and the possibilities for outdoor living.

Our best months over the last few years have tended to be May and June, so now is the time to track down any pieces of outdoor furniture you may need. Aluminium bistro-style furniture can be left out all year round, meaning your outside spaces are always occupied and welcoming. Coloured cushions on fine days will add a sense of vibrancy and fun.

If you prefer wooden furniture, bear in mind where you are going to store the pieces in winter or how you plan to protect them if leaving them outdoors. Folding pieces will ease the issue of storage here.

If you have a sunny wall, a simple awning will provide outdoor shade and blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.

It will also allow you to sit outside on misty days and provide some protection for laundry being aired. Awnings available range from retractable versions – with manual and motorised options – to simple sheets of sailcloth tied in place when needed.

If your doors open outwards, you may need to consider a bespoke solution. Outdoor canopies produce a beautiful effect indoors too of soft light and mottled shade.

Dress your front door for the summer also with a canvas cover that will lend seasonal cheer and protect the paint from any sun.

We won't be outdoors all the time, so assess your furniture layouts inside to maximise space and light. Keep furniture away from windows where possible and place large items away from the source of natural light.

Consider how each room is being used. Is each room working as hard as possible? Could an upstairs room be put to better use to enjoy better light on darker days?

Where the budget is tight, simple touches like stripy cushions or nautical towels will reinforce that sense of summer on even the dullest day.

You can find a Registered Architect on

Eva Byrne is an RIAI registered architect and founder of houseology, which specialises in house consultations to make the most of space, light and storage in your home.

Irish Independent

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