It’s Summer — And We’re Ready to Bloom

Sinichak JessicaFrom traveling to Disney World for the first time to attending Pressley Ridge’s annual Ice Cream Fundae at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium in the pouring rain, my family had an eventful summer in 2022. Among my fondest memories, though, are sitting around my friends’ patios, drinks in hand, while our kids ran wild around us.

Of course, our backyards looked nothing like the ones featured on these pages, but I have hope.

See, after five years of living in our house, I finally got some patio furniture for our deck. It was a momentous occasion — for me, at least.

The next step is to add the kind of finishing touches, such as an outdoor rug, pillows and plants, that will turn it into a true outdoor living space. For inspiration, I’m looking no further than Meghan McDermott.

By adding a curved plunge pool, a diamond-patterned stone patio and her signature blue-and-white color scheme, McDermott created a crisp, cool wonderland in her own backyard. The founder of Blue and Blanc Design told April Johnston she wanted it to look like something out of a magazine — mission accomplished.

Early childhood music educator — and accomplished gardener — Margaret Hooton is the proprietor of another gorgeous outdoor space. During the pandemic, Hooton used flowers from her Mt. Lebanon garden to create a bouquet a day, which she posted on Instagram as a way to make people smile. New contributor Susan Morgans finds out what Hooton is digging into next.

Summer HOME also takes a look at the fascinating Rachel Carson EcoVillage under construction now at Chatham University’s Eden Hall campus in Richland. Made up of 35 units, the multi-generational community aims to connect residents through sustainability and inclusivity.

Elsewhere in the issue, Hot Property columnist Rosa Colucci details what’s selling around the region, while “Cooking Guy” Chris Fennimore shares his go-to picnic recipes. The easy-to-make dishes are sure to become a summer staple, ones I can hopefully serve to family and friends in my newly furnished outdoor space this year.

HOME Editor Jessica Sinichak can be reached at

Categories: HOME Editor