Holiday home... Go tropical this summer
It's the time of year when everyone you know seems to be jetting off to warmer climates and soaking up the sunshine while you're stuck at your desk hoping it doesn't rain on your lunch break. While you might not be able to turn your office into a tropical vacationland, we can certainly help you bring this season's trendy, beach style home with a few quick fixes.
One of the nicest things about home decor is the flexibility to adjust the vibe when the seasons change by incorporating just a few accessories. When a total home makeover isn't on the cards or in the budget, adding a few flamingo cushions or tropical house plants can give you a summer pick-me-up or turn your living room into a permanent tropical oasis. Here's how to get the look.
Add texture with natural fibres
Natural fibres, like jute and rattan, bring a tropical feel with their warm tones and outdoorsy textures. Try adding storage for magazines and newspapers with natural baskets, or adding a layer of texture with an occasional rug in jute.
Bring the outdoors in
Stock up on a few tropical-looking houseplants - real or faux - like a banana or palm plant, and tuck them into corners. Smaller plants make excellent decorations for shelves, breaking up stacks of books. buy it: Faux palm, €71, homesense.com
Accessories make this seasonal look pop. For the summer season, pick up cushions and accessories emblazoned with flamingoes and palm leaves to bring the beach-party vibe to our long summer evenings. Cushions are also easy to pop into storage when you're ready to get cosy as autumn temperatures return.
Buy it: Flamingo cushion, €10, Tesco
Use sea colours
Tie in another beachy aspect with hints of those beautiful, calming blue shades so you can picture yourself floating on the waves. Side tables or lamps in sophisticated pale, blue-green tones will tie the tropical look together.
Buy it: Nest of tables, €98, Meadows & Byrne
If you're worried about keeping your new leafy accessories alive, we've got you covered. We checked in with assistant manager and dispenser of helpful plant wisdom, Lorna Mulcahy, at Johnstown Garden Centre in Naas, for a few tips to keep your tropical indoor plants alive and well.
Lorna tells us, "Most houseplants will need sunlight but not direct sunlight. You'd be looking at watering every seven to 10 days, depending on the temperature of your house. After seven days, see how they're doing. You always want them a little on the dry side, never too wet."
Each plant will have its own type of plant food, which you can apply once a month. If your indoor plants start to turn yellow, check to make sure they are planted in a big enough pot and try giving them a feed. And of course, Lorna reminds us to take full advantage of your local plant experts, "Always ask at the garden centre for any specific tips for the plant you're purchasing."