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East Hampton Gardens

There is nothing like Fourth of July in the Hamptons. Fireworks on the beach. Poolside barbecues. Hydrangeas in full bloom. Afternoon boat trips. Main Street festooned with the red, white and blue.

To celebrate July 4, Kim Seybert is in the Hamptons!

We are visiting Michael Giannelli of East Hampton Gardens. And Kim is hosting a casual get together in her own garden.

On the patio of East Hampton Gardens, the enchanting home and garden store on the eastern tip of Long Island, Michael Giannelli, the store’s owner, is hosting a casual Fourth of July lunch. Under a nautical themed umbrella and surrounded by boxwood formations, rows of hydrangeas and roses, as well as garden sculptures and copper roofed bird houses, Michael created the most idyllic table setting.

He has used Juliska dinnerware and flatware which he also stocks at his store. He’s mixed these with Kim Seybert’s wicker-like woven Bistro Placemats in White, Bateau Napkin and Reef Napkin Ring in Coral. He’s also added acrylic glasses by Mario Luca Giusti. “I love using acrylic outside so you don’t have to worry about “THAT” friend, which we all have, breaking the glass.” At the center is a lovely bouquet of white and blue hydrangeas and pink peonies he arranged himself, a service he does for clients too.

The overall effect is on theme with the red, white and blue but not clichéd.

“It’s a bit of Americana by the sea,” is how describes the table. “I always revert back to classic Hampton style whether in the way I dress or set the table.  The striped napkins from Kim Seybert remind me of a favorite shirt I have.”

When entertaining, Michael goes to the many farms and markets in the area for his spread, like “fried chicken from Red Horse Market and salads and pies from Round Swamp Farm.”

Reflecting on the spirit of this summer holiday, Michael fondly recalls July 4th celebrations of his youth. “When I was a kid we would drive to Florida to visit my grandparents over winter break. My dad would stop at all the fireworks places and buy up a storm so the anticipation for the 4th started early. We would have a huge family BBQ and then sit on the curb as he and the neighbors shot off these crazy big fireworks.  It was great and totally illegal I’m sure.”

After decades working for multinational companies like the Gap, Loft and Victoria’s Secret, Michael struck out on his own when the former owners of East Hampton Gardens decided to retire and sold the business to him. With the so called decline of retail, it was gutsy of Michael to take ownership of a store. “I wanted a local place that was beautiful and curated, an experience for the customer. We take pride in our assortment, how it is merchandised and our customer service. We spend time with people, we care.  You can’t have your garden shipped in from Amazon!”

Every summer, Kim hosts a barbecue get together for friends who are out in the Hamptons. “I invite them and their dogs to my house where we all gather outside by the pool. I like to make these parties easy and relaxed where people don’t have to worry about spilling or breaking anything.”

For this Fourth of July Kim creates a table that is ultra-casual with our disposable Tangle Placemats in Blue as the foundation of the setting. Their nautical deep blue color with fibrous webbing hints at the layer of silver foiled white tablecloth underneath. On top—vintage red splatter ware metal dinnerware with dappled detailing and our ikat embroidered Marrakech Napkin with the fun and patriotic Fiesta Napkin Ring in Red, White & Blue.

Sometimes there might be a gust of wind on these afternoons which will knock and break glasses, which is why I have decided to use acrylic glasses, by Mario Luca Giusti, in ruby red and clear to avoid such mishaps. And I’ve kept the flowers low and simple in red and white with touches of indigo.

“I often serve classic Fourth of July fare like hamburgers and hot dogs and apple pie. And, of course, plenty of rosé.”

Happy Fourth everyone!

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