Nature Calls

You don't have to step beyond your front door to enjoy summer's bounty. Brandon Sitler, owner of Urban Orchid floral shop in Ohio City, suggests how to breathe some fresh outdoor air into your home.

Add an herb garden to your kitchen window.

Mint, basil and thyme do well indoors and produce blooms that will brighten your decor. "Plus, your favorite herbs are on hand for delicious dishes," says Sitler.

Place a vase of flowers on your bedside table.

Look for long-lasting and affordable options such as freesia. "This will be what you wake up to every morning and will give you that burst of energy to start your day," Sitler says.

Bring summer's best scents inside.

Sitler suggests using Peripeti Home's soy candles ($15-$25) in fresh forest, wild flowers or woodland breeze. "They will transport you back to your favorite childhood memory — swinging in the park or playing kickball with friends," he says.

Twist an alfresco theme into every event.

Use fresh apples as place card holders, Sitler says. "Or find large leaves and write your guests' names on them for the place cards."

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