Simple Summer Decor - Shades of Blue, Ombre Accents & Succulents

Last summer, I worked with a friend who needed some design help with a major renovation. We started by looking at the fixed features already existing in her home (mainly flooring) and then collected some of her favourite paintings and sentimental items for inspiration.  A theme of ocean blues and far off, exotic destinations quickly emerged.

While perusing through pages of pins and images to find items and ideas for her home, I came upon a stunning ombre wall. I usually change my decor up seasonally and with summer around the corner, I had already decided on blue as an accent colour, so the ombre style would work perfectly with my blue colour scheme. Since my home is more classic than contemporary in style, I decided to try out an ombre painting (or three) instead of an entire wall, and now I can say that I am officially ombre art obsessed.

Working on a friends' project inspired me to update my own living room with a summer theme of layered blues and ombre paintings.

To create a simple summer look, I started with a few ombre paintings. Next, I added some sea glass vases and other decor items with natural textures and some throw pillows in coordinating shades of blue. I finished the look off with an air plant and some succulents to evoke a summer vibe.  I can now use this simple and inexpensive look to style my living room for several summers. Have a beach home or waterfront cabin? Then you can use a look like this year-round.

This project is seriously one of the easiest and least expensive ways you can create large scale and impactful art for your home at a low cost.  Another huge benefit is that you can choose the colours to make sure they work with the fixed elements you already have in your house (floor tiles, counters, etc.). I made three paintings for less than $100 CAD including canvases, paint, and brushes and one of them is HUGE (36"x 36").

Bonus: These paintings are so cost effective that you can change them in and out of your decor often (unlike the geometric tiles  that are currently trending), plus you get bragging rights for being the artist.

My largest ombre painting, styled with other beach themed items. Less then $50 CAD and an hour of my time to make this!

All of this brings me to one of my favourite deign tips: Splurge on neutrals and accent with colour. 

Choose a design style that works with your home and reflects your taste (contemporary, minimalist, farmhouse, etc.) and then invest in (splurge on) furnishings and fixed features like tiles, countertops, and flooring that are neutral, timeless and high quality. 

Adding texture, pattern, and colour to your room with things like throw pillows, blankets and other decor items is easy and less limiting than having to match everything in your room to that big red leather couch, for example. Even paint and light fixtures are things that you can change up to quickly update your home without a complete renovation.

Original art and unique decor items add a personal touch. You can choose an item that has special significance to you as a starting point for your room. Then pick one or two dominant colours from the piece and repeat them in your other decor choices. 

My second ombre painting, styled with matching candle. I used the floor tile to help pick out the colours for the paintings.

But I digress: back to the ombre art. If you want to try out some ombre paintings for yourself, here is a link to the great tutorial that I followed to create my paintings. My biggest tip if you attempt a large canvas, is to make sure you have enough paint as it dries really quickly. Also, don't worry about making a mistake, just paint over it. One of my mistakes ended up adding a lot of depth to the painting, so I added a few more. These "mistakes" are now my favourite parts of the picture.

Comments? Questions? Please feel free to contribute below.