Masthead header

A Meal From Mitford

porch tableOkay. I have been wanting to talk about Jan Karon’s new book since the day I finished reading it…which was a week after it came out earlier this month.

Jan Karon Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good
Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good: The New Mitford Novel (A Mitford Novel)

 BUT I also knew I wanted to do this meal to celebrate the bookand it has taken some time to get it done.   We have had a lot of schedule “disruptions” this month.  (You probably didn’t know that my husband accompanied our sons on their 2 week roadtrip/move to Seattle.  I wanted to wait on his return before doing my Mitford meal.)

Mitford meal serving table

For quite a while, the idea of doing an entire meal from recipes in this book has been spinnning around in my head.

Mitford Cookbook

Jan Karon’s Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader

That was before I knew there would be another Mitford book to enjoy.  So I when I did hear about Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, I knew it called for this celebration dinner.

Mitford meal table full tableI don’t know if it was the fact that we haven’t had a Mitford book in over 5 years (Absence makes the heart grow fonder), or if this newest book was truly that well written, but whatever the reason, I LOVED it!  In fact, it is now my favorite of Jan Karon’s books, and reading it was like being with old friends again. Truly.

Mitford meal centerpiece

If you have read them, you probably adore all the characters, and they begin to feel like friends to you.  So for this meal, I used a craft paper runner with the names of characters from the books lettered around the border.

runner for meal with Mitford characters hand lettered

I know it is not Christmas, but I needed a piece of Mitford to use in the centerpiece…so out came Lord’s Chapel from my Hallmark village (snow and all!)  If I had owned the summer village pieces, I would have definitely used them, but I only have the Christmas ones. (I think the summer ones are very hard to find.)

centerpiece for Mitford dinnerHere is the menu I ended up putting together from recipes in the cookbook. (I try to do a trial layout of the table and the serving table before a dinner party to make sure which platters and serving pieces I will need.)

Mitford menu chalkboardAnd here is the table almost ready with the food.

Mitford meal buffet

Mitford mealCynthia’s Roasted Chicken was very tender – full of garlic and lemon goodness.

Mitford meal Cynthias Roasted Chicken


Puny’s Squash Casserole was delicious, but I will say if you are going to reheat it for leftovers – don’t use the microwave.  It really needs the contrast of the crunchy topping (crushed potato chips) and you will only get that by reheating it in the oven.  Also, don’t be a big klutz like I was.  I had crushed the potato chips in a ziplock bag, and when I pulled the casserole dish out of the oven to add the topping for the last 10 minutes of baking, I accidently let the bag touch the very hot oven door.  Bad idea.  The heat immediately melted a hole in the bag, and all the crushed potato chips came out on the open oven door, the floor, and my feet. Not fun. (Thank goodness my husband came to the rescue with the vacuum cleaner.)

Mitford meal Punys Squash Casserole

I could eat Emma’s Green Beans with New Potatoes every day of the year. (My favorite vegetable combination.)  And Cynthia’s salad with its toasted almonds was yummy.  I would recommend adding two teaspoons of sugar to the dressing recipe.  (When there is fruit in a green salad, I like a sweet dressing.)

a meal from Mitford Cynthias roast chicken Punys squash casserole Emmas green beans and potatoesBelieve it or not, for this Mitford meal we did not have the famous Orange Marmalade Cake.  It just seemed that apples were more fitting for September…and they needed to be Sadie Baxter’s apples. (I actually used Granny Smith apples.) The Mitford cookbook has 4 different versions of apple pie, but I chose the Baxter Apple Pie on page 3.  I am a big lover of pie crust, but this recipe did not call for a top crust – so I just added my own.

Mitford meal Baxter apple pieIt turned out perfectly.


Baxter Apple Pie slice from MitfordI wish all of you could have been here to enjoy the meal…especially all you Mitford fans.  If you have the cookbook, perhaps you would like to make your own version of a Mitford Meal.  I am thinking of something with Velma’s chili and perhaps Harley’s brownies for a future meal.:)

table for Mitford mealHave you read Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good? If so, what did you think of it?  I know everyone does not love Mitford like I do.  My mom – who reads fast paced mysteries – thought it was enjoyable but too long. I, on the other hand, would never think it is long enough.  A daily installment would be wonderful to me.:)

 Until next time,

a signature


Christine - September 30, 2014 - 7:40 pm

so glad to hear you also loved the newest Mitford story. I was glad it was as long as it is. It was so nice to get into all those wonderful characters again. Maybe absence does make the heart grow fonder but I thought it was excellent.

All your dishes for your Mitford meal bring back nice memories. Thanks for another lovely little ‘taste’ of Mitford.
Aw man…that’s what I should have used for the title of this post…A Taste of Mitford. Thank you Christine! And JK has another novel in the works! :)

Katrina - September 30, 2014 - 8:25 pm

Oh your meal looks fabulous!!! I have never read a Mitford book but I sure love the title of this new one! I bet it is a sweet story. Did you watch the Roosevelt series on PBS last week? It was fascinating!! Now I am obsessing over Franklin and Eleanor and just finished my second biography about their lives.
How exciting that your husband went on your sons’ adventure! I can’t wait to hear about it! When is their sweet mom traveling that way?
Katrina, you MUST start the books. I can’t believe you haven’t read them considering where you live. OMG. I watched part of the Roosevelt series, and meant to see more. I was so startled to see how handsome Theodore looked when he was young – reminded me of Matthew from Downton in the eyes. His story was so sad to me.
Yes, my husband enjoyed his travels across the country with the boys while I stayed behind…boo hoo. Not sure when I will get to make a trip there.

Kim - September 30, 2014 - 8:45 pm

I have this on my list to read soon! So glad to hear you enjoyed the book. I love the Mitford books, also. I enjoy Southern authors that develop such wonderful characters.
I know you will enjoy it Kim. It really is one of her best…and she brings in little memories from the other books. The characters really make her books.

Barbara - September 30, 2014 - 8:58 pm

I don’t know why this is my first time to write you, but Mitford got me to do it. It is my favorite series by far. I have fallen in love with all the Mitford characters, but Father Tim holds my heart. I have created a ladies’ night with fellow Mitfordphiles using the Mitford kitchen readers. I was unaware Hallmark came out with the buildings of Mitford. I would love to have them. I am on chapter 5 of the new book. I am really trying to read it slowly at night. I, too, am a school teacher (first grade) Your blog is my absolute favorite in all of blogland. You have a gift of making a cozy, personal home that instantly makes you want to come in and stay awhile. Thank you so much. I always look forward in my email when I receive a notification of a new post.
I am so glad you jumped in the conversation Barbara! How fun to have a ladies night with Mitford at its heart. :) Do a search on Ebay and you can usually find a couple of the buildings from the Hallmark Mitford village collection. I tried to pace myself slow through the book, but I couldn’t help but read it every chance I got. Just couldn’t resist. Thank you for your very sweet compliments about the blog and our home here. I appreciate it so much.
I hope you have a great school year.

nan odessa de - September 30, 2014 - 9:03 pm

Kelly. Like u I could enjoy Mitford everyday. Waiting for next book. Thanks for the post.
Oh yes…every single day would be perfect!

Dawn - September 30, 2014 - 9:12 pm


I have not yet read a Mitford book but they look interesting. I do love to read! The meal looks wonderful. I always appreciate your recipes. I did make that Orange marmalade cake for my Mom’s birthday last year and she loved it. The apple pie looks delicious as well. Thanks for sharing.
Dawn I really think you would love Jan Karon’s books. Get started with At Home in Mitford as soon as you get the chance. The orange marmalade is delicious, but the Baxter apple pie was MUCH easier. :)

Louvina - September 30, 2014 - 9:13 pm

Oh everything looks so delicious! I want to get that cookbook. Haven’t had time to read this new book– maybe when I go to the mountains for two weeks would be the best time to get into it. That meal looks like a great fall meal for family and friends!! And out on your special porch would make it perfect!!
Your time in the mountains would be a perfect time to read the book – especially since it is set in the mountains of North Carolina. Have fun!

Maria White - September 30, 2014 - 9:21 pm

Wait. Backup. What move to Seattle? I’m in Seattle. Do tell! If you need anything, let me know. I love when you post on Mitford. <3
Too funny Maria! Okay, backing up here. Oldest son got a new job in Bellevue, so that is where they are living. Middle child makes a lot of money in the summer, so he has moved in with brother and will be tutoring people who are taking the LSAT to get into law school. Hopefully he will be in law school himself next year.Thank you for your kind offer for them.

Garden, Home and Party - September 30, 2014 - 10:07 pm

I’ve got this book on my list and fall seems the perfect time to read it. I absolutely loved all of the other books and the sweet characters. Wow, this menu looks delicious. My mom made a delicious version of new potatoes and green beans. I’ll have to try this one. The potatoes, oh my! Thanks for the review and recipes…how do you stay slender while enjoying apple pie a la mode? :-)
Yes, fall IS the perfect time to read it. Love potatoes and green beans! I bet your mom’s is delicious. I am not that slender, and I justify the a la mode as my daily calcium intake since I don’t drink milk. LOL

Vicki Crowe - September 30, 2014 - 10:29 pm

I LOVE the Mitford series and I would love to have all of the village pieces of “my” dream home town. I have made Puny’s cheesecake numerous times, and everyone that eats it says it is the best cheesecake they have ever had. Be sure to try it. I was a novice at making cheesecake, but all the directions are included in the book. Your meal looks fabulous!

I loved the last book. I actually went to see her during her book tour here in Birmingham, got a signed copy and had my picture made with Ms. Karon. She is such a gentle soul. I hope she sees your post!
Thank you for the recommendation for the cheesecake recipe in the book. I love cheesecake, and I will be adding this to my upcoming recipes to make list. How lucky you were to get to go to one of the book tour stops, AND get a signed copy, AND get your picture made with Ms. Karon! We are all jealous of you here!:)

Kathy Thompson - September 30, 2014 - 10:43 pm

Just the mention of Mitford got me to write. I do think this last book was among the best and I’m so happy to know that I am part of such a far-flung family! I don’t know how I ever missed the cookbook, but it’s now on my list to find. Have you ever been to Blowing Rock, NC (the inspiration for Mitford)?

Jessie @ Dream and Differ - October 1, 2014 - 12:04 am

I am in the middle of the new Mitford book now, and as you said, it is like visiting with old friends. The food descriptions have always been a big part of the books’ appeal for me, and I am a huge fan of the Mitford cookbook. Cynthia’s roast chicken is my all-time favorite way to prepare a whole chicken. It’s a staple at our house! I only tried the OMC one time though, and my old oven died half way through; leaving me with three cake pans full of runny batter and company coming for dinner. :( I was so upset, I’ve never tried it again! Maybe this new book and your wonderful inspiration will spur me to try one more time. Your meal looks delicious, and I adore the little Lord’s Chapel figurine. So sweet!

Jill - October 1, 2014 - 7:49 am

What a fun idea for a meal! And everything looks so delicious! YEARS ago, I read the first couple books of the series and then never read the rest. I’m not sure why. Now that I’m “older and wiser” I may need to revisit them. My Mom loved them all and her birthday is coming up…..hmmm.

Barb - October 1, 2014 - 8:05 am

Reading your post…..what a great way to start my day. Between you, Jan Karon and the feel of Fall in the air, this is going to be a good day. Thank you!

kathy - October 1, 2014 - 8:46 am

I didn’t think I would like this post….what! not liking a Kelly post!…because I haven’t read the books. But, now I want to read one…and bake something! (Maybe Katrina can move away from true crime and I can move away from beach novels.)Should I start with this book, your favorite one, or start with At Home? Oh, and I loved the post…as always. The food looked fabulous and your writing on the chalkboard and table runner were awesome!

Design Chic - October 1, 2014 - 8:57 am

I cannot wait to read her newest novel. We were in Blowing Rock this summer and it was all the buzz…Emma’s Green Beans with New Potatoes looks amazing…perfect for the chilly weather we are having at night!!

Cheri - October 1, 2014 - 9:24 am

Did I miss my invitation to this wonderful looking meal? I have never read this book and might be one I have to pick up. Thanks for sharing.

Paula - October 1, 2014 - 11:14 am

I have had the new Mitford book for a couple of weeks and am saving it for a vacation trip to the mountains in 2 weeks. But, you comments makes me even more eager to read it than I already am! All of the Mitford books are near or at the top of my favorite books, and I am so glad there is a new one. They stand the test of being read or listened to repeatedly!

All the best,

Vikki - October 1, 2014 - 11:26 am

So glad you did this. Great idea. I also LOVED the book and felt like I had come home (to the characters). I have loved her books from the beginning and agree with you- a daily chapter would be great! I thought this would lead into another book. Glad its in the works. Keep us posted, please/

The Porch in September

porch sofaHappy weekend sweet readers. Before this month is completely a page off the calendar, I wanted you to come for a visit on the porch.  There aren’t any bright orange pumpkins out there yet, but that doesn’t mean the room is lacking in color.  Far from it!:)

porch chairIf you were here earlier this month, you might remember seeing apples with all the school-y decorating inside the house.  A few of them decided to try to escape to the porch.  (I don’t blame them.  It has been very nice out there today.:) )

porchYou can see that yellow and red have invaded all the seating in the form of throw pillows.  Please don’t call the quilt police on me.  The solid yellow pillows on the swing and sofa were once part of a lovely boutis quilt. Major sin, I know, but they made wonderful pillows.

porch swingAnd since I am confessing my scissor sins, you  should probably know that the patchwork quilts on the swing and sofa were also… one quilt.  I cut it in half years ago to use on the boys’ beds in their bedroom.  Hanging my head in shame.

back porchI also made a throw pillow from part of that quilt. Yes, I really murdered it… big time.

porch desk

And there’s more ….

I also murder…mums.  The ones all over the house right now…the white ones… are still miraculously alive, but I can assure you, this is definitely not the norm.  These on the porch are a week old, but they probably won’t make it much more than a week or two before I kill them.

September on the porch

I bought them for a special meal that I have been dying to show you.

(It’s kind of different!)

porch table setting with mumsIt will be in my next post, but I did want you to see the porch table in all its red and yellow September glory before I kill the mums.

table setting on the porch

So thank you for coming to visit on the porch today.  If I were a more advanced seasonal decorator, there would have been pumpkins and orange and more fall things for you to see, but I am slooooow.  Hopefully, those things will appear in October around here (probably late October.)

I am sure I will have murdered more mums by then.:)

September table settingEnjoy this first official weekend of fall …

and try not to kill any mums…

or quilts.:)

a signature

Susan - September 27, 2014 - 11:07 pm

Your porch looks so pretty! Love the red and yellow…to me, that says Indian Summer, which is what we’ve got here. (ps >>> I also murder mums)
Thank you Susan! Indian Summer…yes, that IS what it is. Thank you for reminding me of that. :) Glad to know that I am not the only mum murderer around here!

Laura - September 27, 2014 - 11:15 pm


I just love your home!
I think it was last year you posted about tiny pumpkins and mums in brown paper bags so I remembered and this year decided I was going to do the same! Well I had the mums inside on our kitchen table and I watered but they didn’t make it! I was bummed but I was wondering if they’re an indoor plant? Has anyone offered tips to keeping them alive longer inside?
Thank you Laura. We have done a better job of watering ours this year, and that must be why they are still living. :) The ones by the kitchen sink and the bathroom one seems to be doing the best of all of them…which makes me think they must like sunlight. How much sun did your table one get? I don’t think their bloom time is very long even if they are planted outside. I guess I look at them as less costly than a bouquet of cut flowers, and we can usually plant them outside when they are no longer at their best inside.

Sherry - September 27, 2014 - 11:15 pm

Beautifil! Love your home! And I sooooo enjoy each and every post you do!
I am soooo glad you do, Sherry! Thank you for your super sweet comment. :)

Martha - September 27, 2014 - 11:18 pm

I always love it when I get an e-mail notifying me of a new post on your blog. Usually I am in the midst of grandchildren and have to wait to read it. I am so envious of your porch….mine tends to drive me crazy with pollen and dust. I keep eliminating things from it just so I have less to keep clean. Yours is beautiful and I know it takes time to keep it that way.

I confess…..I have murdered quilts too. I even committed a greater sin because I cut not one, but two, vintage quilts my grandmother made over 100 years ago. They were very ragged around the edges and I turned them into pillows for myself and my brother and sister.I have a quilt I would like to cut in half, how did you do the binding? Sometime do a post on cutting up quilts…we won’t call the police.
Our porch is awful in the spring with pollen, but for the rest of the year it is not too bad…just vacuum it. You are a major quilt murderer if you did that to your grandmother’s quilt…but it was a great way to share it with your siblings. So I think your sins will be forgiven for that. LOL The batting was thin in the one I cut, so I just pulled out some so that I could roll up the edges and hand stitched it close (I think.)

Mimi - September 27, 2014 - 11:37 pm

Your porch looks gorgeous! I always think of red and yellow as August/September colors and orange is definitely for mid-October. (I’m sure Crayola will be contacting me soon to develop a line of seasonal crayons! Ha!) I am still laughing hysterically about your “scissor sins” confession…
Mimi, thank you for the compliment on the room. I think Crayola SHOULD contact you for a line of colors! Glad you could find humor in the post. :)
Have a great weekend!

Sue - September 28, 2014 - 12:04 am

As always, I love your porch. I confess, too, to be a mum killer. I had 5 In a basket and just threw them away. I think they lasted a month. Pretty good for hot tx. Your colors are some of my very fans – love the red and yellow. ( and I spied your candle on your coffee table, those are my newest obsession. I love the vases when The candle is finished. So versatile!)
If your mums lasted a month in the Texas heat, I think you did well! Aren’t those candles recycled as vases wonderful?! My basket beside it has a metal liner, and it is one of my new favorites. :)

Sue - September 28, 2014 - 12:05 am

Favs, not fans. Auto correct doesn’t like made up short words:-)
I’ve read the inventive spelling of elementary students long enough that I can read any kind of spelling on the planet! :)

Peggy Bryant - September 28, 2014 - 8:05 am

I’m pea green with envy. Such a wonderful porch. I want to add a porch to our home. Not sure it will happen, but enjoy seeing your beautiful porch. – Peggy
I hope you get your porch one day soon Peggy. It is like having another living room on this house, and it is Heaven to sit out there when there is a light rain falling (or a thunderstorm on the way!)

Arlene@Nanaland - September 28, 2014 - 8:46 am

Of all the houses you share on your blog…your house is my favorite and I love love love your back porch! The red and yellow look great together.
Really? Good grief there are a zillion more talented people who design rooms, so thank you for such a compliment! I wish you could come and enjoy relaxing out on that porch Arlene.

Gail - September 28, 2014 - 9:35 am

Hi Kelly: What a colorful, inviting porch you have created! Love the yellow pillows stolen from the quilts. I too kill mums that’s why I hesitate to buy them. Good for a week or two and then gone:-) Maybe we should all keep mum on the mums so we don’t discourage others from buying them:-))) Can’t wait to hear what lovely food you cooked up to be eaten on that wonderful porch! Blessings…Gail
Keep mum on the mums…hilarious!! :) So glad you liked the porch Gail.

Kim @ Vintage Pretties - September 28, 2014 - 9:39 am

Haha, another mum murderer over here. Those people who are able to plant their mums in the yard at the end of the season — I can’t fathom that!

I love the quilt pillows — I think that it’s perfectly fine to cut up a quilt that is no longer useable. Antique quilt dealers even label quilts like that as “cutters”.
I suppose we can go to jail together for our crimes, Kim. :) I did not know that about antique dealers…cutters – that’s a new term for me. My crime is worse because the quilt was perfect – almost brand new. I just needed 2 of them, and no more could be found. (That one had come from the outlet and I had searched ebay for a long long time.)

Louvina - September 28, 2014 - 9:49 am

Mercy, now you have me thinking about some serious scissor crimes!! But I don’t know IF I am brave enough!:) but would like to try to make some pillows for my porch. Maybe I will start by using them as throws! My porch is still in summer mode because I am running around all the time doing my world traveling! This weekend at my daughter’s work place– oh my, Kelly you would love this resort!! She is Sr. PR person for 13 Holiday Inn Resorts and we are staying at Orange Lake Resort in Orlando. Must be the best kept secret in FL. Just beautiful!! I could live here!! PS– going to Home Goods today! Looking for that perfect piece I need to use in my decorating!!
Be brave Louvina! When you return from your world travels make yourself some pillows. There is stiff competition in the resort business in Orlando, so I know you enjoyed the Orange Lake Resort. We need to get back to Orlando some time. Hope you found your perfect piece at Homegoods today. I love that store, and the closest one is over 2 hours away. boo.

Scribbler Unfocused - September 28, 2014 - 10:03 am

I am so envious of all the square footage on your porch! We are really enjoying ours, but I do wish it was bigger. Your porch looks fantastic with all the red and yellow — which are the two colors I like best. Apples are a nice theme for fall, and they go right into Winter, too.
It is big…probably bigger than I was thinking it would be when we were designing the space…but I am not complaining one bit. One day I want to put a stacked stone fireplace out there (when I win the lottery!) I love the red and yellow together too…not so sure I want to bring on the orange now.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life - September 28, 2014 - 10:24 am

Your porch is so fabulous. I love your fall colors. This is the place where I would be all day every day.
Marty, thank you for your sweet words here. It is a great place to relax (except for when the darn lizard makes an appearance on the sofa!)

Carolyn - September 28, 2014 - 10:31 am

Your porch is lovely and looks so clean! We recently moved from our home of 26 years – a 1920’s Cape Cod – that had a lovely screened porch with a flagstone floor. We also had a lot of large old trees in the yard with resultant shade. It was always an effort to keep the dust, pollen, mildew, and spiders at bay! With southern humidity I found that the painted furniture I put out there would peel and the wicker cushions would mildew, as would the tablecloths/placemats. I was buying the outdoor cushions, too. I would either have to bring them inside or replace them every year or so, which was expensive. What’s your secret?
I don’t know that I have a secret Carolyn. All the cushions have been sprayed with a scotchguard type spray. All of the wicker has been painted with an exterior paint (the same paint as the house.) I vacuum and mop the room (with Mr Clean) often, and I wipe off the furniture every two weeks with a cloth wet with a solution of Mr. Clean and water. I pretty much treat it like a room in the house. Twice a year we take all of the furniture off the porch and hose it down. The pollen season in the spring is AWFUL for about a month, so we just let it stay dirty for that period of time, and do a big cleaning when it is over. Spiders don’t stand a chance with the dreaded lizard that I can’t seem to chase away.

Jackie Caruso - September 28, 2014 - 10:45 am

I love your porch – in my mind I’m sitting out there now with a good book and a glass of wine. I think the red and yellow are perfect for September and the orange and gold will be perfect for October.
Oh yes, a good book out there – especially on the swing – is wonderful. (I’ll take a cup of black coffee with my book – need a little warmth. :) )So glad you liked the bright colors Jackie.

Dawn - September 28, 2014 - 11:06 am


I love your Fall-ish decorating. I don’t think the red and yellow seem too Summer time-ish. I do love mums and tend to forget about them. I have better luck if I put them in the ground and let them go. The ones that I put in pots on the front porch, screened in back porch and in the house usually either die from over watering or from being ignored. So I do not think you are a mum murderer. I just think mums are meant to last a short while if not planted. I really like how made that cute yellow quilt fit your needs. I looks lovely as two quilts and pillow! Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to see the dinner party you had.
Thank you Dawn. You are right about the mums. I think of them like fresh cut flowers that come with greenery. :) (And Lowes has them for a much less cost than the florist or Walmart have their cut flowers.) Glad you liked the remade quilts! Dinner post coming soon. I have all the photos, just need to put them into a post.

Peggy - September 28, 2014 - 2:09 pm

Red and yellow — sunshine colors for fall! I am trying to stretch summer a little further in my neighborhood as I am not ready to let go of the summer garden. Enjoy the fall days on your porch! I have porch envy.
We have had a string of about 7 straight days with clouds, so I have enjoyed having some sunshine colors out there on the porch. You go right ahead and stretch your summer as long as you can. We will be wishing for it in a few short months.

Katherine Leighty - September 28, 2014 - 3:01 pm

Love your porch so coastal fall….very inviting! But you know what I loved most and thought unique? Was the brown shipping paper wrapped planters with twine on the table! So simple and yet made such a statement on the table! I like that rustic make do touch much! Must be fun to bundle up on the porch with a big cup of steaming tea or cocoa! Have a Splendid Blessed Autumn!
Easy peasy way to do the plants in pots. I stay on the lookout for wrapping paper in patterns I like to do the same with. We have not had cold enough weather to need to bundle up out there yet, but I do like it at Christmas when there is a tree out there to enjoy in the dark. Thank you for taking time to leave your kind comment Katherine. Hope you had a great weekend!

Renee Cook - September 28, 2014 - 7:23 pm

Lovely as always, Kelly! Your blog is a beautiful respite in the middle of a busy day. Thanks for sharing; I know it takes more effort than we realize to publish a blog. Have a wonderful week…
Thank you Renee. You are so very kind! Glad the post could give you a little peace and quiet in a hectic day.

Donnamae - September 28, 2014 - 9:01 pm

I love that you were brave enough to take scissors to a quilt! Now…if you would just take water to mums…your problem would be solved! Enjoy your week! ;)
Ha ha! We have been much more deligent this year about watering the ones in the house, so I think that is why they have been able to survive. Water DOES help. :)

Garden, Home and Party - September 28, 2014 - 9:21 pm

I think it’s great that you utilized something so pretty and made it into several things…boutis into pillows, quilt into 2 throws and a pillow! :-) Is your porch screened in or are those solid windows? If they are screens, do you have to move the furniture in when it rains? Also, while I know this isn’t your intent, the colors scream USC, our oldest son’s alma mater.
And one more thing, the tomato/olive dip you gave the recipe for is the new favorite here. Several of us like tapanade and this is similar, only better. It was a big hit. Thanks for the recipe.
The porch is screened, but we have deep overhangs, so the rain is not usually a big problem. We also leave the ceiling fans on for long periods of time, so I imagine that dries things up some when it is damp.
No I did not intend for it to be USC colors, but that is alright by me. :)
So glad the olive dip was a hit for you! I could eat some right now (except I have been devouring spinach dip and crackers for the last half hour.)
Hope you have a good week, Karen!

Susan M - September 28, 2014 - 10:59 pm

The porch is beautiful as always Kelly!! I see your Park Hill candle on your coffee table…..I LOVE those…what scent is yours ?The apple basket is adorable too…..mind if I ask where you got it? Seeing pictures on your porch never gets old….so relaxing just to browse your porch blogs. We have a Nags Head hammock swing on our porch and it is so comfy we fall asleep swinging in it!! You would love it….have you ever seen them? Thanks for the lovely blog today Kelly!!
You are so sweet Susan. Thank you. The basket with the apples in it came from a small shop on St. Simons Island. I have looked online, but I am afraid I cannot find a source there. Yes, that is a Park Hill candle – boy you have a good eye! That one is the Farmhouse scent – not sure why because it smells more like Christmas to me. :) I would most certainly like your Nags Head hammock (and would love a nap in it!)
Thank you for reading the post and leaving your compliments in the comments!

Debbie S. - September 29, 2014 - 4:26 pm

Kelly, your home is absolute perfection! Would you please come decorate mine??? Okay. I know you’d love to, but you do have so many things to do … family, school, blog, jars to fill. Really, I don’t know how you do it.

Since you won’t come decorate my house, would you tell me what color paint you used on your porch wicker? Please. It’s a wonderfully warm neutral and obviously goes with so many colors. I’m sure you’ve been asked before, but I can’t find the answer in the archives.

Thanks so much for being such an inspiration. I smile every time I see a new post from you in my email.

Debbie S. - September 29, 2014 - 4:35 pm

Kelly! I found it!! You painted the furniture “Pelham Gray”. I just needed to look at the posts in “The House” … Duh! You’re so organized and helpful, I just knew I needed to look a little more.

Anyway, thanks again!!
Yay! Good research Debbie! Thank you for all your sweet (and funny!) comments. I am glad my posts brighten your day. (It is VERY dreary here today. :( )

Mary from Virginia - September 29, 2014 - 7:14 pm

The secret to keeping mums is watering them EVERYDAY. They love lots of water. Don’t flood them, just water daily and keep in a cool spot.

Your porch is lovely as always!

Frances in England - September 30, 2014 - 4:35 am

Now that is a fabulous porch – so envious! I love porches generally, but yours is always a favourite.

And (as a quilter) quilts are meant to be used and enjoyed. :-)

I wish you a lovely autumn (my mums are still going… just)

Julia - September 30, 2014 - 2:04 pm

I love your porch and the red and yellow is perfect for this time of year! As for the quilts, I would’ve never have thought to repurpose them into pillows – but I like it! Now about those poor mums…water!

Nancy - September 30, 2014 - 3:06 pm

Love your personality and sense of humor in addition to your home!

Barbara Westbrook – A Designer to Love

Lake Keowee Barbara Westbrooksource

Over the last couple of years, I have included several photos of Barbara Westbrook’s spaces in a number of different posts, but I have never written one devoted entirely to her work.  That is, until now.:)

Lake Keowee dining  Barbara

I had planned to do one on her brilliant work this month because I seem to be drawn to lake houses in the month of September.  Yes, I know that is strange, and it happens every year. Weird, huh?  I have saved this photo from House Beautiful for a looooooong time.  I love this room she designed in a lake house in South Carolina. Don’t you just love the soft colors, the plank walls, the stone fireplace, and her use of antiques?

lakehouse living room Barbara Westbrook

And even though this photo is from long ago, this room is still one I could live in today.


This foyer is in the same house.


And so is this office…

Lake Keowee office Barbara

and this wonderful porch.

Wouldn’t you like to be sitting out there right now?

lakeside porch Barbara

Now here is what is so uncanny about this.  You won’t believe what I discovered while I was researching this post.  This house, with its classic Barbara Westbrook rooms, was designed by….Keith Summerour – the architect I wrote a post about last Friday!  Isn’t that a strange coincidence??

And there’s more….

This elegant kitchen…

Atlanta kitchen Barbara

and this charming bedroom with its gingham linens and headboards…

Atlanta bedroom Barbara

are both in an Atlanta house (built in 1936) that belongs to…that same architect, Keith Summerour.  Guess who did the interior design…Barbara Westbrook.:)Cue the theme song from The Twilight Zone.

Okay…enough with the strange coincidences.  Let’s look at some more beautiful rooms by Westbrook Interiors.  Here are a kitchen and two bedrooms from another lake house.

lake house kitchen Barbara

lake house bedroom Barbara

traditional bedroom Barbara

I am not sure where the house is in the next photo, but I think you will like this kitchen she designed for it.

white cabinets in kitchen  Barbara

traditional kitchen Barbara

So are you as smitten with her work as I am? Even her studio is a gorgeous space (cat included:))

Barbara Westbrook office

both inside and out.

Westbrook Studio

Her studio is located in Atlanta, so if you are in need of a designer who can help you with elegant and classic spaces that are comfortable at the same time, Barbara Westbrook can handle your project. Or if you are more of a do-it-yourself decorator, then I hope these photos have given you some inspiration.

porch Barbara

Until next time…

a signature

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - September 24, 2014 - 1:06 am

Kelly, Oh my goodness…I have that photo of the foyer with the fishing creels pinned as the cover photo on one of my Pinterest boards! I love Barbara Westbrook’s interior designs…the use of antiques and classic styling that is timeless. I covet her one of her kitchens :). Thanks for sharing this post and for the research you do on your favorite designers! I so enjoy them.
I am so delighted that you enjoyed it Gracia! I had saved the foyer photo too..for a very long time. I can’t remember when that issue came out, but I know it has been years and years. She is one talented designer!

Vicki - September 24, 2014 - 7:35 am

Thank you Kelly for such a great post. I read lots of blogs and I can truly say that there is not another one out in web land like yours. Your niche is your research , details, connection, and writing skills. And don’t let me forget the beautiful photos! I love this type of design and your post today was just the inspiration I needed to jump start a remodeling project. Thanks again!
What a sweet sweet comment Vicki! Thank you for being so appreciative. :) I am glad the pictures could give you a spark of inspiration. Good luck with your project!

Barbara Hinske - September 24, 2014 - 8:32 am

Oh my….thank you for such a wonderful post! I’m going to be late for work–I stared at that last kitchen for far too long. And enjoyed every minute of it. The monochromatic color schemes are so soothing. Thank you!
Oh dear..don’t be late for work! Yes, that last kitchen is gorgeous, isn’t it Barbara? Soothing is a good word for those rooms.

Garden, Home and Party - September 24, 2014 - 9:05 am

How do you do it? You find rooms that speak to my heart…and probably the heart of everyone of your readers! I have 3 of the images you’ve shared that are in a file called “Absolute Favorites” Sometimes when I’ve saved pictures of rooms, I don’t have the related article and the name of the designer eludes me. I loved each and every inspiring image you shared and will never lose the name of this designer again. :-)
Thank you for always providing a bright spot in the day with your posts.
Gosh thank you Karen! Good rooms are good rooms, and there are so many rooms today that are downright strange that these classic ones are even more beautiful by comparison. I hope Barbara Westbrook will continue to do these gorgeous spaces for us to enjoy and that her work will continue to be published. Hope you are having a good week.

Sue - September 24, 2014 - 10:21 am

I love your lake house posts Kelly. We are in the midst of designing a new lake house {albeit a modest one} and I find so much inspiration in your posts. I just wish I could do half of the things I see, but, still will have so much fun in the process. Thanks for all the legwork!
Oh I am jealous of you and your lake house!! (But I am glad you can find ideas for it in the posts here, Sue. :) )

Jayne - September 24, 2014 - 10:28 am

I love her use of neutral walls and dark wood. I thinks it gives it a charming, rustic feel. That foyer! So simple, yet elegant! I love that feel. I think that’s what I liked about every picture you showed. Simple, yet elegant! Thanks for the inspiration.
I like the contrast too, Jayne. Simple but elegant…good words to describe her work. I am happy you stopped by and enjoyed the photos. :)

Terri - September 24, 2014 - 12:58 pm

That house at the top of your post is absolutely a classic!! Looks like it was designed yesterday… not several years ago.. Love love that studio!!
It is most definitely a classic in my mind too. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to work in a studio like that??? I know I would accomplish so much. :)

Vicki - September 24, 2014 - 1:01 pm

What a great post. Barbara Westbrook and Keith Summerour are a design dream team, for sure. I get the lake house in September appeal. Makes me think of On Golden Pond. Watching the leaves change and hearing the loons call from a cozy screened porch sounds pretty perfect.
Maybe that IS why I have the longing to be at a lake every September. Great psychoanalysis Vicki! A screened porch overlooking the water would be great right now. :)

Dawn - September 24, 2014 - 9:53 pm


You already know which room is my favorite…the green office has me written all over it! I just love the use of in homes! My second favorite space is that cozy screened in porch. I could sit there and read all day. Thanks for sharing these photos with us. I do like being at the lake house in September. The temperatures are cooler and their are different animals to watch. Then their are all of the pretty colors to see. I am with you on liking lake homes in September.
Yes, that green office certainly does have you written all over it Dawn! That is one green room. You are so lucky to have a lake house to enjoy. :)

Charlene - September 25, 2014 - 12:11 pm

Loved that post! That designer is just my style! If you can – I’d like to see more of her rooms. You are such a terrific researcher! Thanks for scoping out all the best designers for us.
I am so glad you enjoyed seeing her work Charlene. She has such a talent for creating timeless rooms that so many of us love. I will be sure to include more of her rooms in future posts.

Julia - September 25, 2014 - 4:21 pm

Kelly – thanks for these photos. They are beautiful to look at and get some really great ideas.
Thank you for reading and leaving a comment Julia! I am happy you liked Barbara Westbrook’s work.

cindy hattersley - September 26, 2014 - 9:26 pm

Well you are “preaching to the choir” here. She is one of my all time favorite designers. LOVE everything she does. It was so fun to revisit many of her older designs. She is wonderful!
Perhaps we should start a fan club (and urge her to write a book!)

Peggy - September 27, 2014 - 10:20 am

I enjoy my Saturday morning cup of coffe with you! I have pinned myself happy with these scrumptiously designed rooms by Barbara Westbrook. I had just pinned the living room from from the House Beautiful pagesthis past week without knowing the designer’s name. Thank you for all the research you do. I would love to have any one of these rooms.
Barbara Westbrook’s rooms are certainly pinworthy! I could move in any of them too, Peggy. Enjoy your Saturday!

Trisha Troutz - September 27, 2014 - 12:04 pm

Kelly, I love her laid back traditional style. Very livable but intentional. So great to see her work in one place and study her style. Thank you for pulling this together to share
Laid back and traditional…I had not thought of it like that, but that does describe a lot of her spaces, Trisha. So happy you enjoyed seeing her work!

S u b s c r i b e   b y   E m a i l