It’s no secret; this is my time of year. Born in the heat of a West Texas summer, I love the warm season. So now that the daylight hours are incrementally increasing, my thoughts turn to trading the clutter and heaviness of fall and winter for an easy, breezy look.
My first step is to strip the room bare of all non-essentials. Wait, back up. My first step is to put on some great music like Stan Getz’s “Samba De Uma Nota Só” and swing by my favorite local florist for a seasonal bouquet. This sets the stage for my decorating muse to make herself known and inspire a new look.
So now I can pare the room down to the basics: sofa and chairs, table(s), all arranged with conversation in mind. Some years I’ll even roll up our rugs and expose the hardwood floors, which for me are a real treat to walk across barefoot, on a hot Oklahoma summer day.
In my fantasy room, I have a neutral background that requires only swapping out one season’s color theme for the next, and voila! My work is done. The reality is that my husband and I live in a Crayola box of color, which can be a little trickier.
In both scenarios, the same principle applies: Make sure the major element, let’s say the sofa in this case, is a solid or at least subtly patterned fabric. In our own home, we have a black sofa. The one at Su Casa, my needlepoint haven in the Paseo, is a burnished coral, veering to orange. This year, I will swap the darker throw that was so perfect for the holidays for a brightly patterned kantha, which is a lightweight summer quilt made from vintage saris. Needlepoint pillows give way to ones made from handmade textiles called molas by Kuna Indian women from the San Blas Islands of Panama, or at least to brighter, summery hues: think yellows and citrus colors.
My great love is vintage china. After packing away the Spode “Christmas Tree” pattern, I will pull out something lighter like Fitz and Floyd “Golden Heron,” Wedgwood “Woodstock” or the sublime all-white Rosenthal “Sanssouci” for the dining room. I like to leave our tables set, because it gives me great pleasure to walk by a pretty tableau even if we don’t always dine there. If we’re entertaining, I’ll have floral arrangements here, as well. If not, a bowl of lemons looks so fresh. I’ll tuck a few magnolia leaves in, too.
Speaking of magnolias; they grow all over our property and are an inexhaustible source for cutting branches, no matter the season. In May and June they are smothered with the most delicious buttery, lemony blossoms that last for one ephemeral day indoors … but ah, what a day. I’ll place one perfect bloom in a vase on my guest bathroom sink. (Bonus: it will be reflected in the mirror so it’s a two-fer.) A crisply ironed vintage linen hand towel and hand-made guest soap complete the look.
By now, I’m probably inspired to invite some friends over for an intimate gathering. Mah jongg, anyone?
About the author
Lin Sanchez (right) is co-owner of Su Casa with Liz McGuinness. The duo has owned and operated an interior design company for 12 years, and has now brought their love of needlepoint, tea and antiques to life in the Paseo Arts District. Su Casa is a new place to indulge your itch to stitch with needlepoint kits, classes, collaboration and a fresh pot of tea surrounded by luxurious antiques, modern art and a dog or two.