Turn Your Home Into a Summer Retreat

Even if you can't get away for vacation until August, you can turn your home into a summer retreat that's perfect for long, languid summer nights and playful weekends. Follow these tips to see how.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionBring your garden into the house. Designer: Dave Stimmel

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Bring Your Garden Indoors

One of the easiest ways to create a summer retreat atmosphere is by bringing your garden indoors. In this kitchen, bright yellow flowers, textured greens and even a row of red apples all contribute to a seasonal effect.

Like lighting and furniture, flowers can also help to blur the lines between your indoor and outdoor spaces. "You can use the colors of the flowers and the pots to create continuity between the outdoors and indoors," says Cheryl Wilson, owner of Creative Garden Designers in Redmond, Wash. (www.creativegardendesigners.com). "Be careful that the colors don't conflict with each other, though."

If you have lots of natural wood floors and furniture, Wilson suggests using neutral pots packed with colors that pick up an accent color in your indoor decor. For example, mix and match jewel petunias in a window flower box, with throw pillows on a couch from which the blooms can be viewed.

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