29 1of29Carey Karlan, owner of Last Detail Interior Design in Darien, considers her home’s conservatory — with its larger outdoor planters, garden stools, terrarium, indestructible indoor/outdoor coffee table, green garden-like etagere, botanicals, and pitchers of flowers — a summer retreat. “I have coffee here every morning,” she says.Paul JohnsonShow MoreShow Less 2of29Blue and green are the standouts in this summer-inspired space, according to Kate Smith, owner of Kate Smith Interiors in Fairfield. “I love rehabbing vintage and antique finds, and this mid-century faux bamboo cabinet was custom painted in a cheerful green to set the color palette for the rest of the room,” she says.Ashley Therese Photography /Show MoreShow Less 3of29 4of29A 100% cotton quilted throw, available from The Dock Shop in Darien and Westport, features a colorful graphic of Northeast harbors, and could be hung on the wall, thrown over an armchair, or used for a spontaneous picnic.The Dock ShopShow MoreShow Less 5of29Outdoor furniture in neutral tones with brightly colored pillows and cushions will provide a welcoming gathering spot for socially distanced summer evenings with family and friends. A fire pit will keep everyone outside longer on chilly summer evenings. All available from Seasons Too in Darien.Contributed /Show MoreShow Less 6of29 7of29Woven shades (from Budget Blinds in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Rowayton) in a summery hue coordinate beautifully with the other neutral colors in this coastal-inspired living room.Budget Blinds / 3darcastudio - FotoliaShow MoreShow Less 8of29If you’re going to be “staycationing” at home this summer, why not make the most of your outdoor space? Here, the season makes a grand entrance at this Greenfield Hill home (currently for sale), the back of which serves as a spectacular backdrop to the sophisticated outdoor furniture and a fire pit.Michelle&Company / William Raveis RE Westport /Show MoreShow Less 9of29 10of29Design experts recommend using fabrics in summery colors and patterns, such as this one available from Good Goods in Darien, to freshen up home decor during the warmer weather.Good GoodsShow MoreShow Less 11of29Summer is the perfect time to swap out heavy window treatments for their lighter counterparts, such as this simple relaxed Roman shade valance with a simple blue floral on a white background, created by Norwalk-based Laura’s Draperies, Bedspreads & More.Laura's Draperies, Bedspreads & More /Show MoreShow Less 12of29 13of29Flower power: Mixing a variety of flowers in different vases in the same hue creates a fun and sophisticated centerpiece, and is easy to create even for floral novices. Here, Kate Smith, owner of Kate Smith Interiors in Fairfield, works her magic on a group of floral arrangements.Ashley Therese Photography /Show MoreShow Less 14of29A summer-inspired table setting from Seasons Too in Darien features lightweight patterned napkins with a pretty napkin ring, neutral plates, and casual drinks glasses. And remember the fresh flowers!Seasons Too Ltd.Show MoreShow Less 15of29 16of29This sunroom, created by Kate Smith, owner of Kate Smith Interiors in Fairfield, was designed to be a family space. The bold pops of summer hues, balanced with natural materials, creates a layered look with varying texture and visual interest.Ashley Therese PhotographyShow MoreShow Less 17of29Inexpensive grocery store flowers set in small vases march down a table, adding a fresh and effortless look, so typically associated with summer, to this dining space designed by Carey Karlan, owner of Last Detail Interior Design in Darien.Paul JohnsonShow MoreShow Less 18of29 19of29Local artist Pamela Riley-Abear used sea glass and shells to capture the beauty of the Mahi in this wall art, available from The Dock Shop in Darien and Westport.The Dock ShopShow MoreShow Less 20of29Carey Karlan’s beloved Boxer, Beanie, enjoys the summer vibes of conservatory in the family’s Darien home.Paul JohnsonShow MoreShow Less 21of29 22of29Changing to your summer linens and table settings will help make it feel like summer inside, according to Carey Karlan, owner of Darien-based Last Detail Interior Design, who designed this tablescape.Stephane KossmanShow MoreShow Less 23of29The homeowners of this New Canaan home (currently for sale) have created an inviting outdoor covered seating area, the perfect place to gather.Hannelore Kaplan / William Raveis Real Estate New CanaanShow MoreShow Less 24of29 25of29Local, independent stores, such as The Dock Shop in Darien and Westport, carry nautical- and beach-themed home decor, such as this brushed nickel 20” porthole clock.The Dock ShopShow MoreShow Less 26of29This living space, with its summery blue, green, and white color palette, was designed by Carey Karlan, owner of Darien-based Last Detail Interior Design.Stephane KossmanShow MoreShow Less 27of29 28of29This New Canaan home (currently for sale) features an inviting covered dining area in close proximity to the pool (not pictured is an adjacent seating area).Hannelore Kaplan / William Raveis Real Estate New CanaanShow MoreShow Less 29of29 The summer house Design experts offer warm weather decorating advice by Lisa Sullivan By now, some three months into the coronavirus, you are likely a little tired of your house. The initial novelty of “hunkering” down, whether you live alone or with others, has probably worn off, and you might be ready to freshen things up for summer. This can include anything from a simple decorating project — such as adding some seasonal throw pillows to your couch or using summery fabric napkins on your dining room table — to a larger, more involved plan — like repainting your kitchen a sun-drenched yellow or hanging breezy, lightweight drapery panels around your living room windows. Whatever you decide, this is definitely the year to bring the summer inside. To help get you started, we asked several area design experts for their ideas on how to make a house into a summer home: Kate Smith, Kate Smith Interiors, Fairfield Summer is my favorite season, and I love designing rooms that exude the cheerful, fun, and optimistic mood of this time of year. My favorite way to create the feeling of summer is through color. Bright blues and greens really reflect the landscape and they are an instant mood booster to bring into your home. I love to tame these pops of color with more neutral hues so your eyes have a place to land. Incorporating whites and natural tones serve as a palette cleanser for the eye. Another way to reflect the season is to bring the outdoors in. I do this with plants, greenery, and fresh flowers to make the space come to life. A room will always feel more welcoming with fresh flowers, and plants look great and can fill up visual dead space. I also try to incorporate nature in subtler ways, such as using natural fiber rugs in jute or sisal, and organic materials like bamboo and rattan. These materials add warmth to a room, and help to ground the space. They also add a dose of textural interest. One of the best parts about summer is the relaxed feeling we all get, and I think a home should reflect that as well. While I love a tailored look, I think a family should be able to really live in their home, without fear of anything being too precious to use. Because of this, I’m a huge fan of performance fabrics on everyday pieces. Carey Karlan, Last Detail Interior Design, Darien Summer is about indoor/outdoor simple living. Everything that we would do to freshen up our home is about lightening up and stripping down our interiors and simplifying our lifestyle. During the summer, in particular, it's useful to think of your entry as starting with the drive up. It's worth it to lay in those cheery annuals, redo the window boxes, and create some drama with your entry flower containers or wreaths. Colorful, fun new doormats, inside and out, will help shake off the winter grime and handle the spring mud. Paint is still the most economical way to have a big impact on home decor. Consider painting the front door a fun new color, or just painting a tired room a pleasing soft white such as Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. Heavy winter area rugs can be inexpensively replaced with sisal rugs purchased online. In my dining room I change the brown lampshades to cream — sounds extravagant but it makes a big difference. Changing your pillows and throws to lighter linens and cottons is refreshing. It's a great time to pull back the curtains, pull up the shades, open the shutters, and throw open the windows — at least to let some fresh air circulate. Scents (candles and soaps) should change with the seasons as well. Consider restyling and decluttering your coffee table, mantel, bar, and dining room table. Shop at home for lighter, brighter objects/centerpieces. A good technique is to remove everything from the surface and just start over. At the very least, if you put fewer things back and add some flowers, you’ll feel refreshed. Tools, glasses, liquors and mixers on the bar should be changed up for summer drinks. In terms of silly swizzle sticks and cocktail umbrellas — if not now, when? A simple white bowl with fruit or greenery from the yard makes a great dining room centerpiece. Even if you can’t change all your bed linens, just putting a simple white matelasse coverlet over what you have will say summer. Michael La Scala, The Dock Shop, Darien and Westport We encourage our customers to bring the beach and/or coast right into their home. Our goal is for them to feel like they’re on vacation in their own home; it should be their happy place. We carry home furnishings and accessories that can help homeowners achieve this…such as the ship’s bell from a clock, hand blown glass buoy balls which look great placed on a bookshelf or in a corner by a window where they can reflect the light, wind chimes, a wreath made of driftwood and starfish, lightweight blankets with whimsical drawings of a coastal map (this looks beautiful hung on the wall or thrown over an upholstered white or cream armchair), a seaglass Mahi or Marlin created by a local artist, or porthole clocks in nickel or polished brass. Sandra Long, Laura’s Draperies, Bedspreads & More, Norwalk A simple way to lighten up your home for the summer includes adding some bright color accessories that remind you of fun summer activities, like going to the beach, hiking in the mountains, or just chilling in your backyard. I would remove heavy and dark color window treatments and replace them with lighter colors and softer palettes, and I would simplify the treatments with simple valances, Roman shades, or just soft shades. For summer, I would suggest fabrics that are light, summery, and cool (with seashell, fish, or sailboat patterns), or that feature a simple design on a white or neutral background, a pastel palette, or bright fun prints with vibrant colors. The fabric background should be fairly light so the fabric does not have visual weight, and lightly textured fabrics such as linen or sailcloth always feels light and airy. Andrew Bogdan, Budget Blinds, Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Rowayton In the summer, people want to cool things down both inside and outside their homes, and many of our clients are opting for solar shades, which can be internally and externally, and which block UV rays but still offer a view through them when they are lowered. This also helps keep furniture, fabric, and rugs from fading. These shades are available in several colors; the darker color shades are particularly useful for rooms in which you want to reduce glare, such as the kitchen, home office, and rooms with TVs. They pair well with draperies to provide enhanced insulation during the summer and winter seasons, helping to keep energy bills down. Our woven wood shades, which always seem to say, “beach” raise like a Roman shade and add texture to a space. They are available in a wide variety of colors, such as traditional wood tones but also white, gray, blue, and green, all ideal for summer decor, and they can be cordless (motorized), which most homeowners seem to prefer today. This time of year, we find that clients who have skylights want some type of shade or covering on them; we recommend honeycomb shades, which help keep a room much cooler and can be ordered as manual or motorized. Joe Soave, Seasons Too, Darien When it comes to outdoor living, we always recommend solid, pattern-less colors for large pieces, such as sectional or chaise cushions; this way you can move around, replace, and care for these essentials without trouble, plus your eyes won't get tired easily of the selected color. For a splash of summer color, rely on throw pillows, table cloths and dining ware, instead. You can also consider changing the layout of your outdoor furnishings. If you have seating groups or multiple areas, for example, move the pieces around — swap your lounging vs. dining areas and you'll have a new patio right away. You can also change the color of your umbrella canopy: match it to a non-dominant color in your furniture, or go with a bright new option. Add some bright colors to your throw pillows and update your dining ware to finish off the transformation. For chilly nights, consider a fire pit. Aside from the warm, cozy look it provides, it adds function by making late nights comfortable and extending the patio season well into fall. Set up some classic adirondack chairs around the pit and you'll have a new favorite spot in your backyard for socially-distanced evenings with family and friends. Debbie Simon and Iwona Dobson, Good Goods, Darien We feel that summer is a time when homeowners tend to step out of their comfort zone and decorate with bright color…pillows, lamps, and throws are often used to bring a pop of color into the room. Another pop of color can come from wallpaper. We are finding that an accent wall in a bright multi color print to coordinate with the accessories has become popular and keeps the cost down from covering all the walls. Whether you are decorating inside or out, performance fabrics, which are available in many colors and patterns, are popular, and you don’t have to worry about the sun fading them and there is little maintenance required.