The Art of the Seasonal Retreat: Curating Your Perfect Berkshire Summer Home

The Art of the Seasonal Retreat: Curating Your Perfect Berkshire Summer Home

The Art of the Seasonal Retreat: Curating Your Perfect Berkshire Summer Home

Nestled in the rolling hills of Western Massachusetts, The Berkshire Hills beckon with their tranquil beauty and bucolic charm. A favored hideaway for artists, intellectuals, and those seeking solace from the city's clamor, this region glows especially bright in the summer months when its verdant landscapes and gentle breezes invite a slower pace of life. The art of creating a seasonal retreat here is not just about finding a place to stay; it’s about crafting a sanctuary that embodies the area's serene spirit. This is your guide to curating a perfect Berkshire summer home — a canvas where memories are painted amidst nature’s masterpiece.

Understand the Berkshire Vibe

Before diving into interior choices and architectural details, one must first soak in the essence of the Berkshires. Here, time moves to the rhythm of rustling leaves rather than ticking clocks. Life here is understated elegance rather than ostentatious luxury. Your Berkshire home should be a reflection of these core principles: tranquility, simplicity, and connection to the natural world.


Choosing Your Ideal Locale

The Berkshires are speckled with quaint towns and open meadows, each with its unique character. Whether it’s the music and literary aura of Lenox, the historic charm of Stockbridge, or the artistic pulse of North Adams, select a locale that aligns with your personal retreat vision. Consider proximity to cultural establishments like Tanglewood and MASS MoCA if the arts are your refuge, or opt for a more secluded spot if peace and privacy are what you seek.

Architectural Harmony

Your summer abode should complement its surroundings, not compete with them. Classic shingle-style homes, renovated farmhouses, or modern constructs with expansive glass facades can all find their place here, as long as they honor the landscape. Think about incorporating local materials such as Berkshire limestone or wide-plank wooden floors that tell a story of the region's heritage.


Interior Design that Echoes Nature

With your backdrop chosen, it's time to infuse your interiors with a sense of tranquility and airiness that echoes the great outdoors. Opt for a palette drawn from the surrounding environment—shades of forest green, sky blue, and soft earth tones work wonders. Fabrics and textures should invite touch, think linens and cottons that breathe with the summer air.

Open Spaces, Mindful Places

Prioritize open living spaces that foster togetherness and conversation. Frame views with floor-to-ceiling windows or French doors that blend boundaries between inside and out. Select furnishings that facilitate relaxation and introspection—a cozy reading nook by a window or a screened porch adorned with a hammock.


A Bespoke Blend of Old and New

In the Berkshires, history weaves through the present. Your home can reflect this by integrating antiques with contemporary pieces. Hunt for vintage finds at local markets to add character but balance these with sleek, modern fixtures that speak to the now. It's this dialogue between eras that gives your space a timeless quality.

Cultivating the Outdoors

A summer home in the Berkshires is incomplete without attention to the outdoor living areas. Patios and gardens should serve as additional living spaces. Utilize native plants to maintain the authenticity of your retreat and encourage local wildlife to visit. Outdoor fire pits or stone ovens are ideal for evening gatherings under the stars.

Edible Landscapes

Consider planting a vegetable garden or a patch of wildflowers that you can tend to during your stay. Not only does this root you to the locale, but it also provides fresh, seasonal produce to enjoy at your dining table.


Art and Culture Integration

Allow the rich cultural tapestry of the Berkshires to seep into your home. Art pieces from local galleries or photographs of the local landscape can adorn your walls. Shelves might boast books by authors who once called the region home, like Herman Melville or Edith Wharton.


Musical Threads

Since music is an integral part of the Berkshires' soul, particularly with Tanglewood in full swing, why not incorporate musical elements into your home? A vintage record player or a collection of classical CDs can be both decorative and functional, setting the tone for those languid summer evenings.

Sustainability Matters

Sustainability goes beyond being a trend—it's a philosophy especially pertinent in a region celebrated for its natural grandeur. Invest in eco-friendly technologies, like solar panels and energy-efficient appliances. Water-conservation practices such as rainwater harvesting systems will ensure that your retreat remains in harmony with its environment.


Wrap Up the Day with Cozy Comfort

As delightful summer days transition into cooler nights, ensure your retreat offers snug sanctuaries. Fireplaces or wood stoves become the focal point of living spaces, inviting guests to gather and share stories. Plush throws and soft lighting create a warm atmosphere where the day's end is welcomed with a contented sigh.
In curating your Berkshire summer home, remember that it's not about creating a showpiece but a haven—a place where the art of living is practiced, and the seasons set the scene. Let your home be a tribute to the timelessness and contemplation that this beautiful corner of the world inspires. With thoughtful attention to detail, your Berkshire retreat will not just be a location but a journey, one that refreshes the spirit and enriches the soul each summer season.
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Selina Lamb is a study in contrasts — analytical yet creative, fun yet serious-minded, easygoing yet a fierce marketer and negotiator. She synthesizes years of experience in Berkshires' real estate; a liberal arts education from Williams College; a successful career at top U.S. fashion houses; and experience founding a nationally recognized landscape design firm into a real estate consultancy that centers around client well-being. Repeats and referrals comprise 98% of her business, and review after review mentions her market knowledge, vast network, warm sense of humor, and presence in her clients’ lives long after the deal has closed.
As a real estate partner, Selina aims to make people feel at home during each moment of the transaction, whether they’re seeking residential, commercial, or land development opportunities. A longtime Berkshires resident, she works tirelessly to plug her buyers into the community, ensuring they have every professional and resource they need to create fulfilling lives here. In addition, she leverages her expansive global network and marketing expertise to get her sellers’ properties maximum views, visits, and offers. Her future-forward service features tech, design, analysis, and humanity in equal measure — making it highly personalized and undeniably modern.
Selina’s unique approach comes from the circuitous path that brought her to real estate and back to the Berkshires. After graduating from Williams, Selina held executive roles for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, J. Crew, and Polo Ralph Lauren. During that time, she would escape to her Berkshire house on weekends to find delight in her garden, which inspired her to earn a graduate degree in site planning and landscape design. She eventually let go of her New York City address permanently and founded her acclaimed landscape design firm, which has been featured by Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, and HGTV.
Selina’s design experience makes her an expert in envisioning clear and practicable solutions for presenting properties to their very best advantage, from staging to photography and beyond. For buyers and sellers, her wide breadth of knowledge of local regulations and permitting processes make her an invaluable resource.
Beyond real estate, Selina serves on the Williams College Parents Fund Committee and co-chaired the Emma Willard School Parents Fund Committee. In addition to gardening, she enjoys painting, skiing, and playing tennis.




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