8 Essentials for Summer: My Faves for the Home, Beach, & More

Today we’re sharing our 8 essentials for summer – the must-have items that help us get through the season in comfort and style!

summer essentials patio setting with marble table chairs and plants

Summer is home to some of my absolute favorite things in the world. Eating dinner alfresco on the patio, reading by the pool or on the beach, enjoying nature and beautiful weather, picnics in the park….

But summer can also be tough! It’s hot. It’s humid. That’s why we all need ways to make the season not only more special, but also more comfortable, delicious and stylish!

So on that note I’m sharing my favorites for around the house, yard, beach, and more. These are the things that get me through the fun part of summer (read: warm summer nights or days spent outside) as well as the not-so-fun part when it’s well into the 90s and has been that way for weeks!

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This ice cream maker is hands-down one of my favorite appliances I’ve ever bought!

One of my favorite things to do once the weather warms up is to make homemade ice cream. And no, you don’t need to add salt or stir by hand or any of the other super involved things you hear about. 😉

Once you’ve made your recipe, you simply pour your cream mixture into the ice cream maker and turn it on. And twenty minutes later you’ve got delicious, made-from-scratch ice cream! No additives, thickeners, chemicals or any of that other stuff you don’t need. It’s mind-bogglingly (is that a word?!) delicious, I promise! 

Sometimes when we’re having friends over I’ll make two or three flavors and serve an ice cream bar with toppings as dessert. It’s so fun and seriously, so delicious!! And while you’re at it, why not add these cute summery bowls?!


My favorite folding beach chair that makes going to the beach or park so much easier!

A beach chair might seem simple, because of course you can buy the cheapest one at the nearest Rite Aid. However, once you’ve had one this good, you’ll never go back!

This beach chair is perfect in every way. It folds up for easy storage and carrying. Has a built-in cup holder (love that!) And it even has a storage pocket in the back. And the best part? It converts to a backpack for easy carrying which is amazing when your arms are loaded down with beach bags, coolers, bags of buckets and shovels, umbrellas, etc! (Also available here in another cute colorway).

There are lots of chairs out there that look similar, but the key is that backpack feature. I also have the Tommy Bahama version and they are equally good with all the same great features, plus they sell for a little less! 

Side note: both of these brands I’ve owned and used for years and years and they look as good as new!


A straw market bag is a summer favorite I can’t live without!

I adore straw bags so much that I even wrote a whole post on them last year. Their casual vibe just suits how I’m feeling in the summer, and they’re practical, too. Because they are made from natural fibers they stretch quite a bit, so they hold an amazing amount of stuff. And the straw lets things like sand fall right through! 😉

I have several straw bags, but one of my favorites is a this one. It’s a generous size, well-made, and not too expensive. In the summer, I use it to carry fruit home from the farmer’s market, to bring wine and cheese to our annual concerts in the park, and even as a beach bag. And of course, I love them as a handbag, too!


essentials for summer favorite sunscreen supergoop

Recently my daughter turned me onto Supergoop sunscreen and I’m in love!

I have kind of a love/hate relationship with sunscreen. Of course, I know I need to use it, but to be honest, most of them are either too heavy, make my eyes sting, or leave a white residue. I haven’t ever really loved any.. until now.

Supergoop makes a whole line of non-toxic sunscreen products, but there are two I’m using and loving so far. The first one is “Play,” a basic, all-over sunscreen that is my daily sunscreen. It disappears completely and it smells absolutely delicious! My other discovery is their “Glow Screen” which is a combination primer and sunscreen. It literally makes your face glow (thus the name), and comes in a few very subtle barely-there colors. You can use it under your makeup for added glow and protection (there is a no-color version). Or use it as I do for beach days or days when I’m at home working where I’ll just wear that and mascara. 

I’m a huge fan of their products so far, and the fact that they are safer then typical versions makes me feel much better about using them!

And if you’re looking for a good drugstore sunscreen, Neutrogena is my hands-down favorite.


summer essentials jergens natural glow tanning moisturizer

This one is so simple, and inexpensive – it’s a no-brainer! I’ve been using Jergen’s Natural Glow Self-Tanner for years now and I’ll never go back.

Before I discovered it, I actually never used any kind of tanner. I had heard they streak or turn your skin orange or even stain the palms of your hands.But this is different.

It’s very subtle, which is key. I use the medium. No, it doesn’t turn you dark brown right away, but that’s not really the look I want anyway. I just use it like I’d use a regular body moisturizer. And it builds over time so you can never use ‘too much’. Once you start using it a few times a week you will notice a nice even color. 

Also, it now comes in a pump bottle which I’m loving (it’s the small things!) Plus, they’ve added a face moisturizer which they never had before!


essentials for summer espadrilles summer fashion favorite

I look forward to summer every year so I can wear my favorite summer shoe – the espadrille! They’re so classic, and so French, I can’t help but love them! 😉

There are two espadrille styles I typically keep in my summer closet. A simple, natural colored wedge like this one or this slightly higher one – I love this look because it’s so versatile and looks great with shorts, jeans, and dresses. And the flat versions are fabulous for just an everyday throw-it-on casual summer shoe. I can’t think of many shoes that connote summer quite as much as these do!

For even more French summer fashion ideas, be sure to check out my French Summer Fashion Essentials post.


I bought my Toddy Cold Brew System a few years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since!

This is seriously the simplest product but I am in love with it! If you aren’t familiar with these, this product makes cold brew coffee by soaking the coffee grounds for 12-24 hours.

By soaking the grounds with cold water, you produce a coffee that is actually smoother and lower in acid than regular coffee. Which for me, means no stomach aches from acidic coffee on an empty stomach!

This makes a coffee concentrate that you can then refrigerate for up to two weeks. Then whenever you feel like it, you can pull it out to make an iced coffee. And if you’re wondering if it’s better than making your regular drip coffee and putting that in the fridge? I can only say a resounding “yes”!!

This system is hands-down 100% better! And it lasts a long time. It’s also easy to use, easy to clean, and inexpensive. I make a batch every week and I can enjoy a delicious iced coffee on a hot afternoon simply by mixing it with milk – it’s heaven! A definite “summer essential” for me! 😉


Probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever bought, we love this portable table! 

We’ve owned this table for probably fifteen years, and I love it as much now as I did the day I bought it. It’s low to the ground, portable, and comes with its own carrying case. It’s perfect for the beach, park, or my personal favorite, concerts in the park! 😉

I purchased mine at Crate and Barrel which still carries it (see? that’s how good it is!) Sometimes it sells out and there were a few years where it was discontinued, but for now it seems to be back. It’s such a perfect essential for summer, and it also makes a great gift.

I can’t tell you how many people come up to me when we’re using it and ask me where I got it!


And there are a few bonus items, too!

A large serving tray is essential for summer entertaining, and bringing things outdoors and back in.

A good, packable hat is essential and I’m a big fan of the J.Crew ones. This wide-brimmed one is perfect for the pool or beach, and I love this style for sporting events or street-wear. And I love a fabric hat for walking or hiking. 

This is my favorite self tanner when you want more color than what the moisturizer above provides. I apply it with this mitt.

Nothing adds more ambiance and charm to even the most mundane outdoor space than string lights. We have these and love them!

If you have ants (and we have many!), you need this natural Ant Repellant! It’s non-toxic, smells minty, and works like a charm. I can’t live without it!


I hope you enjoyed my essentials for summer!

And if you have any things you love and have to have for the season, I hope you’ll share them, too. I love finding out about tips and tricks that can help us all get through the summer in style 🙂


Shop Essentials for Summer



Happy Summer!



Eight Essentials for Summer graphic on Maison de Cinq


If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out some more of my summer posts below!

French Girl Summer Fashion Essentials

Six Ideas for Casual Chic Summer Entertaining

Outdoor Entertaining Essentials: 7 Must Have Items!

How to Host a Summer Wine & Cheese Party





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  1. I saw your recommendation last year for the Crate and Barrel table. I ordered it for my daughter and son-in-law as one of their Christmas gifts. They are avid campers and just recently used it on their first camping trip of the season. They loved it! Thanks for great ideas.

    1. Yay! That makes me so happy to hear that!!

      Thank you Joan! 🙂


  2. Thanks for the tip on the self-tanner! I have that and I forgot all about it!

    What a fun series!

    Happy summer friend!

    1. Haha you’re so welcome!! It’s the best stuff!!

      Thanks for joining KariAnne!


  3. ICE CREAM MAKER!!!! And all the other stuff too! 😉 I’ve been using the Natural Glow Tanner for several years now, and I love it too. My legs are pretty glow in the dark most of the time! Thanks for the round up – I really want that ice cream maker! 😉

    1. Haha I love the ice cream maker – you have no idea how good homemade is until you try it -seriously!! Glad you liked the post Barbara!


  4. Oh wow, now I want an ice cream maker! I agree with all of these essentials.
    Hugs, Jamie

    1. haha YOU DO!! They are the absolute best, I know you would love it!!


  5. Love this Sheila! What a beautiful round-up of items…this post feels like summer!

    1. Aww thanks Deb!! I for one cannot wait this year:)