Embellishment > The Well-Appointed Outdoor Living Room

Now that summer is at its peak, what a joy it is to spend long stretches of time outdoors at home with gardens to savor and so much more room to relax! After a long week at work, the sunlight, fresh air and open space are tonics for the mind and soul—and they stimulate the senses. That’s why food cooked and eaten outside tastes so good, and books and magazines are better reads on the chaise longue. Morning coffee brings an extra jolt when accompanied by birdsongs, and even parties are more fun when everyone can play horseshoes or stargaze.

Here are a few accessories to help make the most of your outdoor living room this summer.

The Teka copper fixture shown here is mounted on a ten-foot mahogany pole at a seaside home. Teka also makes a smaller version of this large fixture, which is perfect along paths or in gardens. Both sizes—which also are available in brass from Hill Road Lighting Design in Wells, Maine—use sand-blasted glass to provide a soft pool of light.

For eye-catching tableware—inside or outside the home—visit Les Cadeaux in Portsmouth.

Among the array of great pieces for outdoor entertaining are this blue striped melamine tray with aluminum handles by Mariposa, as well as Mariposa’s spreader, picture frame and napkin box decorated with seahorses. Monet makes the glass bowl and old-fashion glass that’s shown, as well as a wine and martini glass, a dinner plate and serving bowl that are not pictured.

Smith & Hawken’s umbrellas are made in nine- and twelve-foot widths and feature hardwood ribs, hubs and poles. The single- and double-vented canopy styles provide stability in windy conditions. Choose from ten colors for the all-weather Sunbrella® fabric, which is mildewand fade-resistant—and from two umbrella bases, which are sold separately, at Churchill’s Gardens in Exeter and Cole Gardens in Concord.