Hot Tips: Summer Inspiration from Some of Our Favorite Designers

To celebrate July 4th (and summer in general), Gilt Home asked some of our favorite designers — and one architect who slipped in there — how they warm up to the changing of the seasons. We bet you’ll find more than a little decorating inspiration in what they’ve got to say:


“I love how the light shifts in summer, and I generally move the furniture to take advantage of it. I just moved my dining room banquette into my entrance foyer as the morning light is now perfect there. I love to have breakfast there with the doors wide open. If you don’t have a light shift, then change out your throw pillows to fresh pale colors of linen. It makes a huge difference and is lighter- and fresher-feeling.” — Barbara Barry, Barbara Barry Incorporated, Los Angeles, CA

“For me, a true sign of summer’s arrival is spotting the classic folding wooden deck sling chair.  When the days become longer than the nights, people stay out later to catch the beautiful sunsets and enjoy barbecues or picnics at the beach—these chairs are perfect for savoring all of these timeless summer activities.”  — Amy Lau, Amy Lau Design, New York, NY

“It officially feels like summer as soon as it’s warm enough to be out on my screened porch at my house in the country. My house is actually quite small, so being able to use the porch effectively doubles the size of the first floor of the house — giving me an extra living room and dining room. And in the warm weather — rain or shine — there’s no better place to be, day or evening!” — Gil Schafer, G.P. Schafer Architect, New York, NY

“My summer actions are washing and putting in window screens. Yea! Fresh air and cross breezes while sleeping, heavenly!” — Charles Burleigh, Charles K Burleigh Interior Design, Garrison, NY

“It’s officially summer when we’re biking to the farmers market every Saturday morning on the trail, going to the nursery for flowers and vegetables for our raised beds, and sitting on our front porch with a glass of wine in the evening, relaxing and visiting with neighbors.” — Kriste Michelini, Kriste Michelini Interiors, San Francisco, CA

“When summer rolls to our New England town, my kids need to run wild in our backyard, and having a tepee tent to run to makes them run faster. As for me, throw me an open-toed shoe in a bright color anytime … coral is my favorite, and playful stitching doesn’t hurt.” — Alli Lynner Gilbert, ALG Interiors in Hingham, MA

“Lilly Pulitzer outfits and Jack Rogers sandals! Even though it’s now okay to parade your fashionable self in white 365 days a year, well-mannered preppies still wouldn’t dare break out the Lilly before Memorial Day . . . and Labor Day is always its last hurrah of the season.” — Elaine Griffin, Elaine Griffin Interior Design, New York, NY

“The summer in Texas can only be hot or hotter — which means it’s time to drop what you’re doing, grab your favorite cold drink (for me, a mojito) and run for the nearest pool. One of my favorites is the pool at Barton Springs in Austin, a natural, freshwater spring — always cold, no matter how hot it is outside.” — Lee Lormand, Dallas TX

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