Pictures: Summer entertaining essentials

Whether you're hosting an elegant dinner party for friends or planning a family grill-fest in the backyard, now is the time to spruce up your space for summer entertaining. What's the secret to summer style at home? Think color, texture, a signature piece of furniture and accessories with panache, say design experts. Add to the mix a bevy of touches that evoke the natural beauty of the season. "This time of year, you can keep it simple," says Stacy Prather Connelly, a buyer and design consultant at Patrick Sutton Home in Harbor East. "Your decor should be romantic, organic and refreshing." Leslie Archila, an interior designer at Su Casa in Fells Point, agrees that summer decor should be organic and easy. "It's easy to have play around with your decor and have fun. And it doesn't have to be expensive." Ready to give your abode a summer makeover? We scoured some local stores, consulted with design pros and checked online retailers to find the latest trends. - Donna M. Owens, Special to The Baltimore Sun
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