Let the sun shine in: Lots of different ways to bring the outside in during the summer months

2013-08-15T08:45:00Z 2013-08-21T16:13:05Z Let the sun shine in: Lots of different ways to bring the outside in during the summer monthsCarrie Rodovich Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 15, 2013 8:45 am  • 

It's still summer, and although there haven't been many days with unbearable heat, sometimes an escape indoors to enjoy the air conditioning is still needed.

But there are numerous ways to bring the outdoors in and add a touch of summer to your home. By adding certain plants, colors or even creative planters, you can make your home feel like a summer beach house.

Patty Hupke, lead gardener for Taltree Arboretum and Gardens, said there are several varieties and colors of flowers that work well indoors during the summer months.

Any kind of hostas, geraniums and mini-roses work well, she said, as do ferns, herbs, coleus and cactus.

Lavender in shades of dark purple, light purple and white are also good inside choices, Hupke said. 

Jan Rains, owner of the Hobart stores Like New, The Beach House and Wicker Gallery suggested potting low-growing ornamental grasses in creative containers to give your home a touch of summer.

“They are so beachy, and have a great look to it,” she said. “You can use anything as a container.”

She also suggested using the color aqua to pull a pop of color into your home.

“You can take a sand pail and respray it aqua, and it would be darling,” she said. “Aqua is a hot color for summer. It’s very coastal and beachy, and it reminds you of water. It’s a happy, popular color.”

The aqua color can go with virtually any home’s color scheme, complimenting browns, blues and greens. It also looks good with touches of salmon or orange.

Rains suggested scouring big-box craft stores for unique or unusual planters, or making them yourself.

If you want to create your own planters, Pinterest offers hundreds of jump-off inspiration points for how to decorate using plants.

Families with children can turn to plants for project ideas to keep the little ones busy during the long summer hours. Terrariums, which are small self-contained gardens, can be made out of anything from 2-liter pop bottles and used mint tins to old fishbowls or garden trowels mason jars. 

For more ambitious projects, you can turn to Pinterest for directions on how to make an indoor garden wall covered in moss, ferns and other small greenery.

Kari Bunde, owner of the Copper Butterfly in Crown Point, said she likes to plant in unusual antiques, like a baby bathtub, an old coffee container or an old flower box.

“Things like that make great containers,” she said. “It gives a little more charm than a terra cotta pot.”

And when summer is over and you want to make your home feel warmer during the winter months, you can always continue the “summer indoors” feel by bringing in your tropical plants.

Bunde has a little palm tree she leaves outside during the summer months, and plants annuals around the base. When the weather gets cold, she brings it inside and takes out the annuals.

“Even if it’s cold outside, it gives a tropical, summery look,” she said.

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