Summer is all about enjoying the great outdoors. Homeowners are detailing their decks and patios with comfortable furniture and high-tech accessories to extend their living spaces to soak in the beauty of the season.
“Summertime is fun time — entertaining, relaxing, fun activities,” says Michael LaScala, vice president of sales and marketing for The Dock Shop, with locations in Darien and Westport. “One of my favorite [items] is from Anywhere Fireplaces in Darien. The company makes a wide range of indoor/outdoor tabletop fireplaces, tiki torches, table torches, and more.” This year, the company has introduced a two-in-one lantern/fireplace that can be used on a tabletop or hung from a hook or pole. “You have the option of using it as a gel fuel fireplace that gives you beautiful dancing flames or as a lantern by switching out the cup for the candle holder,” LaScala explains.
Lorraine Amaral, a Danbury homeowner, looks forward to spending summers in her custom stone patio and dual decks. “Summer is all about having an easier, carefree lifestyle, less inside cooking and more barbecues,” she says. Amaral furnishes her patio and decks with a casual, yet elegant theme, and has an outdoor TV to watch sports and exterior surround sound to enjoy music. “We even keep a large deck box to quickly access items for relaxing on the patio.” That’s where she stores lanterns, extra pillows, utensils, and ice buckets.
Amaral’s patio offers various seating options, including two dining sets, lounge chairs with side tables, rocking chair, and recliners. A round, marbleized granite gas-fired fire pit is a fun accessory. “It’s a pleasure to enjoy on cool evenings.” A stainless steel gas grill is nearby for large parties.
Darien Sport Shop in Darien recently launched a new home section. “We’ve seen a lot of excitement around the wicker furniture, which is perfect for outdoor living,” notes Alex Bruzzone, e-commerce marketing manager for the store, “and seaside accessories are also popular. Starboard Planks features classic nautical-themed serving trays that can be custom-engraved, and they’re perfect for summer parties.” The shop also carries pillows in pastel pinks and blues from Villa Home, which give a nice pop of color mixed with the wicker furniture, according to Bruzzone, who notes they have a full line of barware and drinkware. “Our new vendor, Corkcicle, has items that keep your wine cool, and we also have a fabulous bar cart,” she says.
To increase your outdoor enjoyment, Tom Ginty, vice president of Durkin’s Inc. in Danbury, recommends installing a custom, retractable lateral arm awning. “Decks and patios need protection and people need solutions. You can extend an awning quite a bit farther than an umbrella and you get more coverage,” says Ginty, noting awnings span 16 feet from the home’s exterior and offer rain, wind and UV protection. Durkin’s carries motorized and manual awnings, but motorized is easiest to use, with the press of a button on a hand-held remote. The awnings are self-storing, maintenance-free, and equipped with a sensor device to detect wind exposure, allowing the awning to automatically retract itself.
For more than 15 years, Patio.com in Ridgefield has helped homeowners stretch time spent outside. “We create a happy place for gathering and entertaining,” says Julian Ross, business development and e-commerce manager, noting that furniture made of all-weather teak originates from managed forests. “It’s low maintenance and weathers to a soft gray when left untreated outdoors year-round,” he explains. “Mixed materials is a cutting-edge trend. You can enjoy a versatile look — a piece featuring a teak frame with a sling seat with a metal arm, or a piece constructed by pairing a woven wicker seat with teak legs.”
At Pure Poetry in Trumbull, fauna-inspired décor and accents will work well for summer entertaining, with collections from Plat du Jour, Twine, and Creative Coop. The store also carries botanical print ceramic trays and dishes, driftwood-inspired pieces, Simpatico Home’s soy-based blend candles with fragrances like cactus, rain, and ambergris in color-coordinated hobnail glass vessels, and multi-dimensional glass bottles, which can be adorned with flowers or beach glass, according to owner Portia Antonio.