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.


by Marisa Marcantonio

With cute visages and wise reputation, the owl is the go-to bird of choice these days. From feather festooned ornaments to hand painted dinnerware, their tell-tale silhouette, large eyes and unique feathers are open to a variety of creative interpretations.  These noble, winged creatures gained their image of being scholarly because of their extremely good night vision. They can be cute and fuzzy or wise and serene, and there is a bevy of character in their round little faces. If you give a hoot, there is a feathered friend you will come to adore.

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Resting on a single branch, Hedwig the white Snow Owl from Anthropologie gives off a warm vibe.

Photo courtesy of World Market

Need a glitzy mod owl for your yuletide? World Market's Metal Owl ornaments resemble vintage jewelry, pick silver or gold.

West Elm's Black and White Owl Ornament with gazing eyes and a speckled coat.

Sparkly and blue, the Glimmer Glass Owl from Anthro adds a glow to the tree.

With bark and twine and feathers around his eyes, The diminutive Nature Nursery Owl has his peepers trained on you. From Anthro.

If he was alive, I would consider adopting him. Fuzzy wuzzy, The Tussled Feather Owl at Anthro is all personality.

Combining tiny twigs and pieces of bark, Anthro's Sprig and Spruce Owl sits on alert.

A folksy hand painted clay pitcher in the shape of an owl from Anthropologie.

Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Wide eyed and vibrating with wisdom, Urban Outfitter's Owl Cooke Jar is just as good as his vintage counterparts.

Covering the entire surface area of the plate, Owl Dessert Plates from West Elm have hand done artistic flair.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler

Shake up the table with Jonathan Adler's all white ceramic Owl Salt and Pepper Shakers.

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn

Whenever I see a vintage version of an owl lidded box like this,  I want to scoop it up. This pretty lidded Pottery Barn Owl Cloisonne Box lined in blue enamel has a Japanese influence. 

Keep books organized in wise style with Z Gallerie's split-personality White Owl Bookends in polyresin.

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Strong

An owl sits in the shadow of the moon on Mrs. Strong's note card.


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.