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Carleton Varney: Watermelon serves up a juicy decorating scheme!

Posted on July 01 2022

Carleton Varney-Special to the Palm Beach Daily News

Monday is Independence Day, and in homes across America, the celebrations are sure to include slices of juicy watermelon. 

Holiday or not, summer always meant watermelon time in my hometown of Nahant, Massachusetts. Today, my son, Sebastian, grows watermelons on his farm in upstate New York, including the seedless variety.

Nothing beats the taste of watermelon on a hot day, as far as I’m concerned. But I love the color of the fruit, too. 

Once upon a time, I decorated a country home in Virginia where we painted the kitchen and breakfast room watermelon red. A ceiling border was hand-painted in white and green, like the rind — and to my delight, the artist added black seeds along the bottom.

I am not the only creative type who is inspired by watermelons. There are countless watermelon-patterned fabric designs. If you start looking, you might be surprised how many there are — the internet is bursting with them. 

There also are countless watermelon-themed accessories. From placemats and cereal bowls to napkin rings, vases, throw pillows and candlesticks — the list goes on. 

Artists, too, have found favor in the color and shape of watermelons. I’ve seen lots of works by contemporary artists depicting a watermelon wedge. But you’ll also find watermelons in paintings that date back centuries. 

Let’s plan a watermelon-inspired living room or family room, shall we? Begin by painting the walls the loveliest shade of ripe-red watermelon. Perhaps you can even paint in a hidden seed or two. For contrast, the trim should be crisp white. 

At the windows, hang curtains in a cream color — or perhaps you might favor a soft honeydew-colored fabric. Whichever you chose, band the curtains in watermelon pink or green. 

On your wood floor, place a cream-colored rug.   

For the sofa, choose a watermelon print in a sturdy fabric. And for your lounge chairs, pick a floral or other print with watermelon colors — reds, pinks, creams and greens. 

A coffee table lacquered in a green-rind color should do the trick. The tables on either side of your sofa might be made of natural wicker or rattan, but be sure to choose a warm tone. Think of a picnic basket. 

Lamps in the room can have jungle-green bases with white shades. You’ll want to hang a painting of a watermelon — whole or sliced — above the fireplace mantel or bar. 

Then toast your new room with watermelon margaritas, garnished with small slices of the fruit itself and served on watermelon-theme cocktail napkins. 

Happy Fourth, and enjoy the taste of summer!

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