Helloooooo? Anyone out there?

We love August because it seems like everyone is gone. The city empties out. The commute becomes bearable. It's the perfect time for a "staycation," to dig in those heels and enjoy the comforts of home: 300-thread-count sheets, stainless outdoor fire pit, well-stocked fridge.

"Staying at home when it's hot out is so luxurious -- especially now that travel is a little more complicated than it used to be," says Sidra Forman, owner of Flowers at Relish and a restaurant consultant. Forman says the perfect home respite includes lingering at the dining table a little longer, noting, "I'd love to bring some of my own flowers home, and the farmer's market is at its very, very best this time of year." Plus, there are all those things she never gets around to: catching up on movies, bubble baths, poking around the garden and doing things that are completely cathartic -- "It sounds absolutely heavenly to me," she says.

Ilene Rosenzweig, co-author of "The Swell Dressed Party" and co-creator (with designer Cynthia Rowley) of the Swell line at Target, even August-ifies her entertaining. "I host a Sunday morning media brunch -- invite lots of friends over to hang out by the pool, and just catch up on gossip and news. . . . I load a bar cart with iced coffee and fresh fruit from the farmer's market and make one thing that's easy, like cobbler or fresh jams for bagels," she says. "And then I can hang out -- it's a good way to relax and have heated conversations with friends, catch up on what's going on in the world and not be a manic hostess."

-- Janelle Erlichman Diamond

Oromono throw pillows ($136.50 each), at Vesta Home, 3101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Tocca's Stella blood-orange candle ($32) and Laundry Delicate ($15) at Blue Mercury, 1619 Connecticut Ave. NW or 3059 M St. NW. Rattan ice bucket ($88), at Proper Topper, 3213 P St. NW or propertopper.com. Walter Gropius by Rosenthal wine glasses ($50 a pair), at Apartment Zero, 406 Seventh St. NW.Kiss That Frog gnome floor mats ($19.99 each), at Home Rule, 1807 14th St. NW.