How to Choose the Perfect Material Palette for Summer?


Indian summer has a character of its own. The scorching sun, sultry weather, and constant lookout for a fresh breath of air are everything this season is about. Building a suitable indoor environment with the right material palette interior design is the ultimate way to shield your building from the toughness of the climate. Including more natural materials for summer decor can reduce the indoor temperature, improve air circulation, reduce the entry of sunlight and heat, and create a tranquil ambience.  With this blog from Gharpedia, explore the most suitable material palettes for the season and give the perfect summer makeover to your space!

Let us first decode the material palette meaning before moving on to the best material for interior design.

What is Material Palette?

A material palette is a group of materials chosen for interiors. For instance, a natural palette includes using all the natural materials, like stone, hardwood, organic textiles, canes, and others, for the interiors.  Here we have emphasised the different groups of materials (material palettes) for keeping interiors cool in summer.

Here are the top 10 material for interior design handpicked by interior experts for a cool summer palette:

01. Nature Inspired Material Palette

Using Natural decor materials

The material design palette sourced from nature best suit summer home decor. Their natural appearance, organic fibres, and breathable layers make them an ideal addition to any home during the summer. Use raw stones in whole as a showpiece with fountains in the common areas or in part as bowls or pedestals in bathroom fixtures. One of the best options is to choose a material colour palette for the decor that goes with the surrounding nature. You can also try other earthy variants that recall the outdoor vibes, such as ceramic, terracotta etc. They introduce more appealing and intricate designs to the spaces, with backdrop panels, artistic sculptures, wall murals, table tops and more that are made out of them.

To know more about the advantages and reasons to add a nature-inspired material palette interior design, we have brought you an article that is worth reading.

Quick tip: Avoid high-maintenance options like rough-cut stone works and go for neat and ready-to-use types like polished stones and glazed ceramics.

02. Replace finishes with exposed Materials like Brick

Exposed brick work finishes for cool summer palette

Summer is all about removing unwanted layers. Try replacing the multiple coats of paint on your walls and other surfaces with the best material for home decor-exposed brick, preferably wire-cut, with top-notch quality, to give an indigenous touch to the walls. Bring in more brick experiments like jali wall partitions, masonry pillars etc., to make the best use of exposed brickwork. Parallelly, introduce more barefaced materials like Mangalore tiles, raw concrete etc., and give a naturalistic meaning to different parts of the space like ceilings, wall niches, and floors. You can also get your hands on artistically crafted materials like mosaics and terrazzo to beautify patio floors, accent walls, enclosed sit-outs and more.

Quick tip: If exposed brickworks exceed your budget, try bringing in faux brick options like panels, wallpaper, wall paintings etc., to recreate the look and feel of the work. Of course, they do not shield you from the summer.

03. Beat the heat with Brass, Copper Crockery

Adding brass and copper crockery

Metal is the best material for home decor. Metal cookware has been a part of the tropical Indian lifestyle for centuries. Brass and copper cookware have inherent cooling properties and a natural appeal that provides various health benefits in today’s hotter summers. Hand-beaten brass pots, brushed copper cutlery, cast iron vessels etc., give a healthy look to your space while radiating a rich metallic shine that emphasises the interior theme. You can also try a high-maintenance metal material palette like engraved silver for a selective range of serve ware like plates, tumblers, bowls etc.

Quick tip: Keep the cookware dry to avoid moisture-induced effects, such as tarnishing etc., in the material.

It is always suggested to be wise and choose proper copper utensils. Here, we discuss the advantages of using copper utensils, which may help you decide whether to purchase one.

04. Make your Upholstery Breathable with Cotton, Linen

Adoption of Soft Upholstery

Upholstered furniture is the talk of the town. Choosing soft, light, and breathable fabrics, like cotton, linen, hemp etc., can make your summer home decor exceptional. Experiment with a variety of specifications in the fabrics, like organic cotton, plain woven linen, fine woven hemp and others. You can choose these textiles for a variety of furniture like sofas, chairs, recliners, Ottomans, footstools etc., and create a subtle, simplistic, and summery look in the overall theme of the space.

Quick tip: Try upcycling your regular decor and furniture with upholstered boards or cushions to achieve a practical and budget-friendly summer makeover.

05. Give a Reclaimed Wood New Lease of Life

Trying Reclaimed Wood

A sustainable and cool summer palette is the best inspiration for this season. Try material palette options like reclaimed wood instead of regular wood to repurpose the material sustainably without increasing the carbon footprints on the planet. It also comes with an alluring, rustic look which sets the space in a unique theme that stands out from the rest—which is why reclaimed wood is the next big thing. You can make sofas, coffee tables, consoles, cots, closets, and even flooring, wall panelling etc., with reclaimed wood planks and create a countryside-inspired look in your home.

Quick tip: Get your hands on all wild textures attributed to nature, such as warps, streaks, age rings, and more features of raw wood.

06. Include Handcrafted Material Palette like Rattan, Cane

Include Handcrafted Materials

Nothing matches the summer house decor better than handcrafted natural fibres. To bring the summer vibe alive, try rattan, cane, wicker etc, for your furnishings and decor. You can bring these material palette designs in everything-from the large seaters, side tables, swings etc.,to the smaller interior accessories like pendant lamps, stools, baskets, vases, mirror accents and other decorative pieces. Explore the different textures with basket weave, radio mesh weave, and diagonal weave that come with open, fine, superfine and closed specifications in the pattern of weaving. Then, pair them with other solid natural fibres like a cork to give a complete picture of a proper summer home.

Quick tip: Use natural fibres in spaces with a semi-outdoor or open-to-sky zone to create a flavourful natural theme that is appropriate for the season.

07. Don’t forget the Greens

Bring Green Plants

The green pockets are the ones that make room for oxygen pockets, creating an airy atmosphere ideal for summer. Greens are currently thought to be the best colour for a cool summer palette. Bring in some raffia palms, a dragon tree, a peace lily, a bird of paradise, a rubber tree and other plants that match the details pertaining to the hot weather. You can also try succulents, like cacti, jade, aloe vera etc., for a more lively and low-maintenance green space setup where cleaning can be minimal. Choose between contemporary brass planters and vernacular terracotta pots to accommodate these indoor houseplants in style and do not forget to pair them with your statement furniture, like a sofa set or a bed.

Quick tip: Keep the planters near outdoor spaces such as doors, windows, or courtyards to facilitate easy cleaning of mud, leaves and other debris.

08. Creating Ambience with Khus Curtains

Khus Curtains

The best way to add more sunlight and reduce the burning heat is to introduce khus curtains in your home. Simply placing Khus curtains at windows or balcony doors ensures a lower heating effect.

Quick tip: Just sprinkle some water on the Khus curtains at certain intervals and see the magic of how it blows cool air into the room.

09. Make it Lit with Cosy Lighting

Cosy Lightings

Start picking up string lights for your summer house decor. String lights in the garden or along the edges of a gate, door, or railings would enhance the ambience.  Next, turning towards party lights or party bulbs, why don’t you get some solar lighting?

Quick tip: Don’t give up on the idea of adding lanterns to gardens and walkways. In all, try to add less but effective lighting and have the best illumination to enjoy your evening time.

10. Sit under a Shady Awning

Shady Awning

Installing a patio awning or terrace awning is the winning point. Consider a gathering of family or friends in a shadow to avoid the sun’s rays.

Quick tip: If you have a spacious balcony, placing awnings there is a way to create sitting areas. Also, an open patio can be covered with this too.


The perfect summer material palette thus includes traces of nature, organic sources, raw earthen textures, a rustic metallic sheen, unrefined appeal, breathable skin, and other hints of summer-friendly ambience that is both experiential and practical at the same time.

We have also created an infographic, which compiles this article and is easy for you to save. Please click on the link below:

Besides these cool summer palettes, there are other ways to get your home summer ready. So read this out and adopt it.  

Spruce Your Home Up in Time for the Summer!

Author Bio

Akshaya Muralikumar – I am a graduate Architect turned writer with innate affinity towards written expression. I thrive in the print-digital media intermix with my works ranging across Books, Magazines, Blogs, and Web content. Being a free-spirited creative mind, I value new opportunities.

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