It’s time to get out the soft cottons, gauzy linens and summer whites.

We change our personal fashion wardrobe for the seasons, and our homes can also benefit with a little tweaking for the long hot days ahead.

From a change in colour to the addition of flexible furniture pieces, there are a host of ways to dress up your condo for the summer and make downtown living seem spacious and breezy.

When you’re downtown and short of space, blending the edges of your balcony and living space can make your condo click with the summer season in both comfort and high style.

Now, there are many new furniture pieces that do double duty – both inside and out.

Ernest Hemingway knew the value of a wicker furniture for evoking that tropical refuge feel. Even when you’re a dozen storeys up in an urban home, a wicker furniture or big comfy chair can be heaven at the end of a long, humid day.

Or try a wicker furniture or wrought iron tea wagon, which can glide both inside and out with a selection of summer drinks and snacks. Teak can also go from indoors to outdoors. The key to making outdoor garden furniture suitable for both the patio and more formal settings is to dress it accordingly.

The mattress and cushions give it not only softness for sitting but also lend some texture, which makes it blend effortlessly as both an inside or outside piece of furniture. Cool canvas in solids, bold stripes and country ticking are all good choices to signal casual garden style, offer breathable comfort and still work in a bedroom or other interior spaces.

Summer dressing almost always dictates a new approach to windows. Billowing columns of real linen or muslin – in neutral tones, soft pastels or orange and browns – stop the heat of a late afternoon sun but still give you that breezy sense of summer.

Try matching muslin curtains with a fresh set of white linen pillows in a fern motif for the sofa or seating area. Slipcovers have always been the best way to offer a change of outfits for your basic furniture. And, although they are sometimes an expensive investment, they can pay huge dividends in helping turn your city place into a summer haven.

Look for ready-made slipcovers in department stores. Or try tossing large muslin painters’ sheets over your chairs and sofas, and either artfully tuck them into place or tie them up around the bottom with ribbons and nautical ropes.

And, if you’re artsy and creative, why not use plain white cotton sheets or vintage tablecloths and drape them hither and yon in your condo living area to bathe it in summer white?

Over the couch, the chairs and even the coffee and side tables, the swaths of white can offer a cheap and instant makeover to your decor.

Underfoot, it’s also a snap to add the feel of an earthy garden to your condo. If there is space in your storage room, roll up the wool rugs, put them away, and then throw down some grass mats or textured sisals and twinkle your toes in the great outdoors! Well, sort of.