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How to create an indoor retreat for hot summer days

As the months get warmer and warmer, there may be days where you are looking for a nice cool retreat. I recently worked on a unique space that has the Canadian Shield built right into it. Not all spaces will have this kind of natural element but that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate that outdoorsy feel in any space. Follow these tips to create an indoor oasis that feels like you are still within nature’s reach.

Living on the Edge – There is nothing like adding a raw edge piece to make a space feel like you’ve brought a touch of nature inside; they are investment pieces well worth their price tag. In this space I used a number of pieces from Artemano, including a live-edge round coffee table, raw edge stools to act as end tables, and sofa table made from driftwood.

Picture Perfect – It’s utterly easy to switch out your art to really update your space, even seasonally if you want. If you are looking to add a little outdoor feel to your room, think about changing your artwork to something nature inspired. Posterjack has great nature inspired options from animal prints to landscape shots. The best part is, it’s all at the click of your finger tips and delivered right to you door, mounted and ready to hang as soon as it’s unpacked.

Sensational Seating– Seating is one of my favourite elements in a space. Finding the right piece to fit the room and creating conversation settings is key. For my most recent project, I was tight on space but still needed high style. I turned to Urban Barn who had the perfect size sofa for my tight space and it delivered big on comfort and style – the perfect piece for drizzly summer nights or days so hot you need a cool place to chill. To complete the coziness, comfy and stylish pillows were added to make every spot the best seat in the house.

Packing a Punch – The easiest, and most economical, way to update your décor is with accessories. Accessories are where you can really have fun when trying out a new motif. Bouclair has some wood and metal inspired decor that can readily add a hit of the outdoors. One of my favourites is their antler table top accessory.

Get Stoned – If you truly want to make a statement in your space by creating a feature wall, I suggest starting with a single wall and trying a stone veneer. It’s easy to install and makes a huge impact in a small space. For the recent makeover, I wanted to create continuity above the existing rock that was built into the space; using ErthCoverings stone veneer produced the exact look I wanted.  To highlight the stone veneer wall, I opted for a floating bookshelf from Cutler Modern Living; placing this open concept bookshelf directly in front of the feature wall draws attention to it and enhances its beauty, instead of obscuring it.

Cozy Underfoot – I love to add rugs to really tie a room together. Rugs are comfy and cozy and add style to any space. For this space I chose carpet tiles from Flor. Carpet tiles allow you to mix and match a pattern and shape.

Book Nook – There is nothing like a cozy little nook on a rainy summer day to cuddle up in. Find a big comfy chair, toss some cushions onto it, and you are all set. Allow me to recommend the pillows from my Jo Alcorn Collection (now available on Esty) – they were designed for style without compromising on comfort. Once your nook is set up, it is the perfect spot to tackle your summer reading list.

Nature is full of beauty and an innate style that adds tranquility and elegance to any setting. Try these suggestions to infuse your space with natural and stylish elements. And don’t forget to pick up a good book to enjoy once the decorating is done – you’re going to want to curl up and enjoy your new space!


About the author: Jo Alcorn is a design specialist and designer on HGTV’s Home to Win.

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