Ah, sweet, sweet summer. Bright sunshine, hot temperatures, cool drinks and great eats. Who doesn't love this season and just being outside?
With the sunniest of all seasons upon us, there's no better place to bring the great outdoors indoors than the heart of your home: the kitchen. Liven up your kitchen with some simple and easy tricks to make it bright, warm and inviting for all those summer get-togethers. Boston-based interior designer Jeanne Finnerty, founder of Finnerty Design, shares her summer kitchen ideas.
Summer is made for entertaining. Whether it's a morning brunch with fresh fruit, a barbeque with smoky grilled meats or an evening drink in the backyard, summer is the ideal time to throw an impromptu party. For Finnerty "A mid-week grill on our roof deck before sunset with a few close friends is perfect. I also like to set up an umbrella and string some lighting underneath for a summer drink at twilight."
"To lighten and simplify a space for summer, take down those decorative window valances and let in more light," says Finnerty. Think of how wonderful your kitchen will look with the morning sun streaming through while you enjoy breakfast or entertain during the morning meal.
Summer is all about clean and fresh, so clear off that counter space and only keep out what you absolutely use on a daily basis. Just by tidying your counter space your kitchen will look larger and more inviting when you have guests over for a drink.
Creating a cool summer drink and having it on-hand for expected (and unexpected) guests is a great way to bring that relaxed summer feeling into your home. Finnerty's favorite drink? Cool lemonade punch, of course! Here's her signature lemonade punch recipe.
Jeanne Finnerty's Cool Lemonade Punch
"I recently came across this punch recipe from the 1970s. It is called 'White House Punch' and was served by Mrs Pat Nixon at the White House. It is really refreshing, and alsoâ€¦it is a beautifully colored punch!'
2 quarts lemonade
1 quart pineapple juice
1 quart grapefruit juice
2 quarts orange juice
2 quarts chilled ginger ale
Mix juices together in a large punch bowl. Right before serving, stir in ginger ale.
A simple and classic way to brighten up your counter space is with some fresh cut flowers. To keep simplicity at its best, Finnerty suggests a clear vase. "A large clear glass vase packed with simple white mums or daisies will instantly make your kitchen feel more summery," she advises. "Trim all leaves and cut stems until they are a perfect height for the vase and be sure to keep the water fresh and clear."
Update your kitchen with hints of lemon yellow and grass green. Whether you add a fresh coat of paint to the walls or trim, or add a few accents in summery shades, these vibrant colors ooze long summer days and can update a drab kitchen quickly.
Lemons and limes are a must to make your kitchen feel more summery. They may just be the cheapest and easiest accessories you'll find for your home, and they will definitely add freshness to your home that can only come from citrus fruit.
There's a reason why the kitchen is often called the "heart of the home." It's where everyone gathers to create meals and to feast on delicious food. "The kitchen is a great gathering space because the function of the kitchen is to nurture and feed us." Finnerty explains. "People are naturally giving to one another in a kitchen, that is why we all like to be there."
And in the summer the food is especially delicious and perfect for entertaining. "Summer is all about corn on the cob and it's great fun to have cob holders -- especially for the little ones," says Finnerty. And for patio gatherings, "Crate and Barrel has some wonderful clear acrylic wine glasses for patio or yard parties."
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