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Editor's Note

 What makes a home truly welcoming? That question has been on my mind as we put the finishing touches on this special outdoor living issue. The summer season naturally lends itself to opening up and hosting friends, so many of our features this month focus on entertaining. These stories are laced with different ideas for creating an inviting home—and throwing a fun party.

“I always have lots of flowers around and I use my best pieces for outdoor dinner parties,” says Greenwich designer Cindy Rinfret. “My advice is, Live your life and use your wedding gifts! Every day should be special.” For more entertaining ideas, check out our Q&A on page 88.

For landscape designer Phillip Watson, hospitality lies in the hydrangea, peonies and hundreds of plants in a beautiful garden. A Southerner, he favors sun tea and hand-churned peach ice cream for pool parties. Our cover story features an extraordinary Greenwich property and pool house that Watson designed (“Emerald Palace,” p. 38).

The magic of Bungalow-owner Wende Cohen’s house (“Treasure Island,” p. 50) is not just its polished design but also the location. When your home is on an island in Long Island Sound, it’s destined to draw in visitors.

And if you’re in the market for furnishings and accessories to facilitate stylish hosting—from salad servers to chic seating—don’t miss “Summer Entertaining” on page 75, where we have sourced some terrific finds from Westport’s Design District.

Of course, the most important ingredient in entertaining is the people. Here’s wishing you many summer evenings spent in the best company and hoping you’ll be inspired to utter the phrase, “Come on over!” much more often.

Mary Kate Hogan