Hot outdoor products for summer

(Lehigh Group)
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By Jura Koncius
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 27, 2010

Get out your shades and charcoal. Memorial Day weekend brings the eternal hope of three months of sunny days and lazy times.

Hopefully there will be trips to the beach. But for many of us, June, July and August will be spent in our houses, apartments, back yards and balconies, finding time to experience a simple pleasure, such as reading a book under a whirring ceiling fan.

Last summer, a lot of us spent more time hanging out with friends at our own grills. "In 2009, because of the recession, people were really looking to stay home, rather than going on long vacations," says Ben Gaffney, the outdoor furnishings buyer at Design Within Reach. "It's when the whole concept of outdoor living and the outdoor room really became true."

This year, retailers have lots of new summer ideas. We've rounded up some of the best here. If you can't get to Ocean City, paint a room the color of sea glass. It might be time to give your clothes dryer a rest and let your beach towels dangle dry in the breeze.

The good news is, by July 4, many seasonal items will be on sale to make way for back-to-school wares. But today, let's savor the fact that it's only May.

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