Warmer weather in Palm Beach has me in a summer mood

Warmer weather in Palm Beach has me in a summer mood
Carleton Varney
Special to the Palm Beach Daily News

How delighted I am that summer is here — or so it seems in Palm Beach, where the warmer weather is reminding me of summer halfway through spring.

Summer is a time for whites, for straw hats, and for men’s pincord suits and women’s pincord jackets and skirts. If you’re not familiar with pincord, it is similar to corduroy but far lighter in weight. Think of it as cousin to seersucker. And while it’s great for apparel, pincord also is super for home furnishings.

You can purchase blue-and-white pincord, beige-and-white pincord, gray-and-white pincord and even pink-and-white pincord by the yard to be sewn into Roman shades or draperies for your windows. You will, however, need to line the fabric.

Pincord also is a fine choice for bed skirting and even for covering one side of a comforter.

Pincord accessories can go a long way to add a touch of summer to the house. I recall attending a lovely luncheon given by a friend whose table featured place mats and runners made of pink-and-white pincord fabric. The napkins were solid pink with cord bindings.

How up-to-the-minute the table looked; it was made even more special with cups, saucers and luncheon plates of a pink rose pattern. A way with china and table décor is as important a skill today as the choice and placement of accessories for a coffee table — perhaps more so.

Summer is synonymous, of course, with the great outdoors. My associates and I once designed an apartment at the Ritz-Carlton Towers in Dallas. The apartment had an outside terrace, high in the sky, which we “summer-ized” with trees anchored in containers, plant boxes and furnishings that said, “Come on out. Enjoy the view, the cocktails and the buffet.”

If you have a terrace, patio or loggia, think of items that will make it a treat for you, your family and your guests. Summer-ize your alfresco dining table with raffia place mats or with those colorful acrylic goblets that are virtually unbreakable. In Palm Beach, we’re lucky enough that the climate allows us to enjoy those items year-round.

Think also about hanging baskets filled with colorful plants. When I plan a garden or other outdoor space, I like to coordinate flower colors. I might use pinks, whites, lavender and blue in one space — and I keep my oranges, bright reds and yellow blooms in another. This rule works well when you’re hanging flower baskets in a small terrace area. For example, you might mix pink blooms with white and purple ones. Forget the orange tones, in this case.

And here’s another summer idea: Mix your white bed sheets with, maybe, some yellow-and-white striped versions. Then add just a touch of light blue for fresh summer zip.

One of the perks of being in Palm Beach during the warmer months is that shops await the folk searching for a good buy for the home. Stores on the island and across the bridge on South Dixie Highway and in Old Northwood are filled with merchandise, much of it on sale for the end of the season.

Enjoy the rest of May — and then have a happy summer!


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  • Lynn Taylor on

    Another delightful reminder…thank you. Incredible, just brought out my light blue pin cord capris for the summer! Have had them forever. Carlton, You bring out the best in ourselves. 🌴

  • Deirdre Burton on

    Always look forward to reading your emails. Great ideas! It’s great here in Naples too!

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