15 MEMORIAL DAY MUST-HAVES

by Marisa Marcantonio

It seems as though the weather on the East Coast will not be cooperating this weekend, so kicking off summer may mean less beach, more movie-going. You can still be prepared for the sun's arrival with beachy basics that have you covered all season long. From picnics in the park to sunsets in the sand, here are some summery designs you will want close at hand.

Serena and Lily just launched the most amazing Shop at the Beach in Wainscott, LI where I spotted this heavenly perch. Spend lazy days swinging away in their woven Double Hanging Rattan Chair. Throw some of their festive printed pillows into the mix, a cool lemonade and a good book, and you are all set.

Photo courtesy of Crate and Barrel

A summer classic, the Adirondack Chair gets a modern spin with Crate and Barrel's Vista Chair. Strong lines give their teak version an entirely new look.

Photo courtesy of C. Wonder

Carry meals to and fro the garden or set up bar on this Melamine Cane Tray from C. Wonder in a classic navy and white color combo.

Photo courtesy of West Elm

Inventive and festive patterns can transform melamine plates into another realm. Fun plastic plates should never be boring, as with West Elm's cheery Mexican-inspired Bright Shapes design, available in pink, yellow and orange salad and dinner sized versions.

Iced tea and lemonade quench thirst better when consumed from a chic glass, in this case, C. Wonder's Cane Tumbler Plastic Glass.

Photo courtesy of World Market

Could this flatware be any chicer? Dipped-handle enamel and stainless steel flatware from World Market is picnic ready and a major steal. The great color adds punch to a summer table.

Photo courtesy of Pomegranate

The new coral and shell Lyford print in aqua from Pomegranate is one of my favorites. The two color hand-blocked pattern is casual and breezy.

Photo courtesy of Terrain

Have a bottle opener handy at all times, you never know when the party will start. Terrain Just Hooked Fish bottle opener will ensure the ginger beer is flowing.

Photo courtesy of Target

Named after my favorite beach, Surfside, Nate Berkus's Target Collection Towel with an interlocking woven pattern in navy and white is chic and crisp.

 Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler

Pillows that look nice both outdoors and in are tricky to find. Jonathan Adler's Aegean Wave Pillow in cobalt with turquoise trim is a good summer find.

Photo courtesy of Matouk

Amazing graphic abstract patterns on plush beach towels from Matouk, now available through their website.

Photo courtesy of C. Wonder

Perfect your swing with C. Wonder's Paddle Set in lively stripes. 

Photo courtesy of Turkish T

Stock up on soft cotton Turkish-T Fouta towels in the skinny Candy Stripe, they double as a beach towel, sarong and scarf.

Photo courtesy of Iomoi

Stash jewelry, shoes and small stuff in Iomoi's monogrammed canvas set of 3 Travel Bags. You will feel SO organized. Choose from a darling assortment of custom designs and motifs Irene has designed.

Photo courtesy of J. Crew

Pack beach balls and towels in a roomy tote, like this one designed by the talented graphic artist Virginia Johnson for J. Crew with friendly sharks swimming in a blue sea.

HANGING AROUND: TASSEL TIME

by Marisa Marcantonio

Adding a tassel to everything was de rigueur in the 80's. Today, the tassel has its place, albeit a more subtle one. Rather than hanging them from dresser pulls, doorknobs and lamps, try them in a less conspicuous role. They will never lose their allure as tiebacks, it just depends how luxe the look you are going for.

 Photo courtesy of Geronimo Balloon Troopers

With giant hanging tassels made of ribbon, Geronimo Balloon Troopers gigantic balloons deliver happiness. Seen here, a red balloon flying high in downtown LA.

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Anthropologie's Sombrero Sheet Set with a mini multicolor tassel border

Photo courtesy of Leif

Like  a charm bracelet, Lennebelle's Tassel Bracelet in Topograph has a festive tassel swagger

Photo courtesy of World Market

Throw on this cheap and cheerful scarf with coral tassels to ward of the crisp autumn chill from World Market Cost Plus

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Pom Tassel Mini Bag fromAnthropologie.

Photo courtesy of C. Wonder

A jolly orange knotted tassel on C. Wonder's Suede Foldover Tassel Clutch is simple and suave.

 Photo courtesy of Blair Ritchey

Hang a tassel on it. Add this little dash of color with Blair Ritchey's suede or lambskin tassel to a clutch or case as a zingy zipper pull.

ORANGE ALERT

by Marisa Marcantonio

Orange seems to have incredible staying power. The Pantone Color forecast of Tangerine Tango being THE color of 2012 is showing few signs of letting up. Perhaps that's because it is such an uplifting color that complements a variety of schemes, when used sparingly.  Chevrons and ikats in this color du jour have hit critical mass, but hey, I can't say I mind.

A three box Vanity Set from JM Piers in glass-covered orange faux lizard keeps odds and ends at bay.

Chelsea Textiles Furniture added a Jetson-would-like-this  Wingback Chair with contrast trim and button tufting along with a simple arm. So good looking.

Lacefield Designs has many new patterns to add to their stellar assortment, like these orange and white printed beauties from the gift show.

Photo courtesy of C. Wonder

The oversized scale of this C. Wonder Chevron Pillow makes it a cozy addition to a sofa.

Sandra Morgan's HP Designs laminated placemats are easy to clean and always look crisp. Her new ikat pattern was especially striking.

Photo courtesy of C. Wonder 

A lacquered orange bamboo bowl from C. Wonder incorporates shiny and matte for a nice contrast.

Dana Gibson launched travel bags, including this one with her cheetah pattern that can also be found on pillows

She also launched a zig zag pattern that's also great.

If you want to use a chevron in a bigger way, Dana Gibson's new Pagoda lantern is divine. She sold out at the gift show, so I hope new stock arrives soon as I have it earmarked for my apartment freshening.

But wait, there's more! A painted bombay dresser is petite charmant.

I am constantly amazed at the endless assortment of great pillows out there now. V Rugs and Home does unusual things with appliques that add a bit of texture.

One question I get a lot is where to find nice shower curtains that are reasonably priced. Jonathan Adler's new Arcade Shower Curtain is trimmed in grosgrain ribbon adding a nice, dressy detail.

Carnaby Street dishes from Jonathan Adler have a tight graphic geo and work well as catchall trays.

Adler's new Arcade bath towels come in all white with an orange border or a geometric all-over diamond pattern. Towels add a lot of zip to an all-white bath.

Arteriors Cassidy Porcelain Lamp in orange resembles something that lives 10,000 leagues under the sea, adding a breezy island touch to any table.

Photo courtesy of World Market Cost Plus

With a chic double ribbon border, World Market's orange lampshade looks like a bigger investment than it is.

After it's debut at High Point, bloggers can't get enough of Lexington Home Brands Aquarius collection orange dresser.

CHIC SEASIDE 4th OF JULY

by Marisa Marcantonio

Are you ready for the 4th of July? Or are you feeling like it just snuck up on you like ever holiday seems to? Get ready for some fun in the sun, with some beach reads, red white and blue wardrobe additions and entertaining basics that will carry over from year to year. Because after all, this classic color combo is going nowhere fast.

Photo courtesy of Assouline

Photographer Claiborn Swanson Frank's new book American Beauty by Assouline  captures accomplished women in their natural habitats.  With a distinctly American point of view, her photographs tell their design stories with a mix of glamour grounded in realness. 

Photo courtesy of West Elm

Melamine plates are a great basic to have on hand for summer entertaining. Schooner Melamine Plates from West Elm has old school summer idyl charm.

Photo courtesy of West Elm

Serve seafood on this cute stripey fish platter by designer John Newdigate for West Elm.

Photo courtesy of C. Wonder

Make sure your holiday guests don't leave rings on your Oomph tables! Nautical Paper Coasters, set of 12 C. Wonder.

Photo courtesy of J. Faukner

Send cute thank you notes for your hostess gifts like these Nautical Lifesaver Thank you's from J. Faukner.

Photo courtesy of C. Wonder

Need a cheap and cheerful hostess gift to give in a pinch? Try this Anchor Decorative Plate from C. Wonder. The classic anchor and striped border are ship shape.

Photo courtesy of Clare Vivier

Having just visited her all-white Silverlake shop, I was instantly taken with this Clare Vivier racing stripe pochette. A great carry-along or addition to a stuffed market tote.

 Photo courtesy of Rikshaw Designs

Block printed in India, Rickshaw Designs Classic Kurta goes from beachside to barside.

 Photo courtesy of J. Crew

Take to the waves in style with this crisp navy and white Anchor Bathing Suit from J. Crew.

Photo courtesy of J. Crew

Guys, here are some J. Crew stylin' shorts to wear to Docktails, a new expression I learned for dockside cocktails. Yup, you heard it here.

 Photo courtesy of MZ Wallace

Tote it all with MZ Wallace's manageable stripey red and white tote.