by Marisa Marcantonio

Last week, I had the opportunity to chat with Matouk about my 4th of July plans, summer entertaining and more, as I answered their lively Q and A. Not only did it provide me with a chance to espouse the pitch-perfect summery sensibility of one of my all-time favorite designers, Tom Scheerer, it gave me the chance to share my easy breezy sunny day standards, from my favorite pair of sunglasses to the best source for well-priced, non-hokey festive decorations. Now that summer is in our midst, it's time to celebrate the joys of the season, from a vase full of the bluest hydrangeas on a beautifully set table for friends to lounging on a retro-inspired printed beach towel, the pretty details make entertaining and gathering that much better. Ahead, my summer selects, including great hostess gifts and entertaining essentials alongside the best organic unscented sunscreen. Thank you to Matouk for sharing my discoveries with your dedicated following of bedding and table linen aficionados. 

10 Questions for Marisa Marcantonio of Stylebeat—4th of July Edition

Left: Marisa Marcantonio of Stylebeat. Right: Marisa loves this beachy room by designer Tom Scheerer.

Marisa Marcantonio marches to an impeccably stylish beat. The veteran magazine editor, who has held senior positions at House Beautiful and Oprah Home, is the voice of Stylebeat, a savvy design blog through which she demonstrates her keen eye for emerging design trends (flamingos, anyone?), her classic yet contemporary sensibility, and her vast knowledge of design world news.

Marisa launched Stylebeat in 2006 as a vehicle for engaging with the design industry and its fans. “I adore design and am very passionate about sharing great finds and creative people. Readers come to me to help them sort through what’s going on in the industry,” she says. While the site has evolved over the years, it recently underwent a major redesign. “My priority was to keep the look crisp and have lush, large-size images in an easy-to-read, quick-to-navigate layout with an easy search functionality,” says Marisa.

She also added an e-commerce section called Stylebeat Shop, where, alongside cheeky-chic stationery and palm-printed deck chairs, you’ll find Matouk’s Mirasol collection. “It has become my neo-traditional mainstay,” says Marisa. “A new classic.”

In her “complementary life,” Marisa is a consultant to interior designers and brands. She recently helped bring an interior designer’s creative vision to Bergdorf Goodman Home. “This part of my career also plays into my desire to share great design,” she says. “It all goes back to getting beautiful designs out into the marketplace.”

Here, Marisa answers 10 of our most pressing questions about blogging, shopping, and the upcoming Fourth of July weekend.

Photos courtesy of Matouk

Photos courtesy of Matouk

1) You’ve been blogging for a lifetime by social media standards. What’s the best part? 
Sharing the interesting and talented people I come across on a daily basis. I love championing great design and helping those that create it get seen and heard.

2) The biggest challenge?
I could do five posts a day given how much great design I come across. It is really a time-management issue! Blogging can be all-consuming, so it needs to be a passion.

3) Now let's talk about the upcoming Fourth of July weekend! We hear it's your first visit to the Cape... What are your plans for the Fourth? 
Yes, I am headed to Osterville to be with my family. I grew up going to Nantucket. We were always en route to the Grey Lady, yet we never made a stop on the Cape. Finally, I get to experience the beauty of a place you do not need a long ferry ride to get to! I’m looking forward to checking out the beautiful views of the Harbor.

4) What will you be wearing on the 4th?
My Fourth of July plans include a clambake on the beach with my family and then watching fireworks over the water. My get-up will be my usual—red, white, and blue. I have an unabashed love for festive Fourth dressing.

5) Surely there is beach time in your near future. Your beach essentials?
Having great beach towels makes the whole beach-going experience more luxe. As much as I love the beach, I like a chaise every once in a while, too. Matouk’s graphic, art-inspiredLulu DK for Matouk Abstractions (3, above) towels have a throwback, ‘60s quality to them that I love.

I considered buying two pairs of these Tom Ford sunglasses (6, above), I love them so much. They look good on women and men, believe it or not.

It is a bit of a splurge for a straw beach bag, but I love the Valdez Bullseye Tote (7, above) from Club Monaco. It has a bit of color and punch to it.

As any derm will tell you, sun protection is key, especially once you pass the age of 30. I love the unscented sunscreen spray by Coola (8, above).

6) Whether it's fashion or design, July Fourth-inspired goods can tow the line between cute and kooky. Any all-American products you've seen that you really like? 
I always find great things at World Market. They do holidays right! It’s my little secret; a lot of East Coasters don't know about it. But they have a great website, so the word is out! These fabric garlands (2, above)? Adorable; not hokey.

7) Let's pretend you've been put in charge of setting the for July Fourth table. Can you identify a few tabletop items you'd be sure to include?
Well, now that I have gotten to experience Matouk’s Casual Couture Octagon Placemats (4, above) after winning them in your Instagram contest, I am a convert. The way the colored edge compliments the china placed on it, especially if it is in a contrasting color, is great.

Garden Follies (5, above) paper plates and napkins for outside (designed by Harrison Howard for Caspari) are just great, too—so colorful, and the Chinoiserie details add a charming motif.

8) What about flowers? 
When it comes to flowers, I think simple is best. The look of a single type of flower, like a grouping of the bluest hydrangeas (1, above) can do wonders for a summer table setting.

9) The perfect hostess gift for a summer weekend, particularly this one? 
Bring something unexpected and guaranteed to be used and enjoyed. A plush stack of cool beach towels or guest towels for the powder room are sure to be appreciated. I like Matouk’s Quatrefoil guest towels.

10) Any interiors you've come across in your extensive browsing that scream July 4th/summer to you? 
This room by Tom Scheerer, which mixes wicker, blue and white, and casual materials in a beachy, relaxed way.