Gardening Life

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Chill out: 7 steps to a shady room

Love shady plants? Use them to set the stage in an idyllic DIY retreat perfect for those summer scorchers Produced by Heather Cameron; Photos by Janis Nicolay

Rising mercury levels pose the ultimate summer paradox when everyone’s tempted to take refuge indoors. But the heat doesn’t have to keep you from enjoying the garden—it’s easy to create a shady respite for chilling out with guests on even the most sweltering days. Inspiration for this serene shade room came to Vancouver stylist Heather Cameron from one of her favourite shady plants, rex begonias. The beautiful patterned leaves sparked her idea for all-green centrepieces of sun-shy plants including ferns and moss, and shade-tolerant succulent echeverias. From there, everything else fell into place: a few inexpensive screens and fun, organic accessories, all chosen to build on the fresh and calm feel. You don’t need much to create your own private shade room. Just a few simple pieces of furniture (pinched from indoors even) and a little creativity add up to a shady sanctuary that no one will want to leave. **1. Find an inspiration** Vancouver stylist and homeowner Heather Cameron loves the swirling patterns and rich greens of rex begonia leaves, and decided to showcase them in all-shady-plant centrepieces. By sticking with a green palette and a white backdrop, she ensured a calming mood. Beautiful green-glazed vintage leaf plates she was eager to debut match perfectly. Even the food is green, including the melon balls for dessert and kiwi drink garnish. *A rug grounds the space and is a welcoming texture for bare feet (and the family pet).*

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