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A North Carolina Mountain Home – part 1

cottage exterior frontWelcome back dear friends! I mentioned in our last post that we had been traveling some.  A week or so ago, my husband and I took a trip to North Carolina.  I will give you our itinerary and show you a number of places we visited in another post later in the week, but today I want you to see the house we rented.  The home is owned by Angela who blogs at The Painted House.  I had first read about the cottage when I was following Nester at the Nesting Place blog.

cottage exterior sideI followed Nester for a number of years, but as her tastes changed into a more modern style, and mine remained the traditionalist here, I stopped following her blog, but I kept remembering the cottage that she had written about here (6 years ago folks!)  I also followed Angela as she documented how her family changed the place from a dark and spooky cabin into a light filled cottage, and she even set up a blog for it.  What I remembered most from all of their posts was that the cabin was peaceful.  After such a busy and hectic March..(well actually a busy and hectic 8 months!) I wanted/needed to escape to a peaceful place.

cottage exterior backSo the cottage in North Carolina seemed the perfect choice.  And it was. It is located outside of Waynesville on a road all by itself…nothing else around but forests.  When we got out of the car, I inhaled deeply and then exclaimed to my husband, It smells like Highlands!…which is of course the best smell in the entire world in case you didn’t know. 🙂 view 1When I say Highlands, I mean Highlands, North Carolina.  The entire town smells like evergreens mixed with rich dark soil and rain – a smell that no candle has ever been able to emulate for me – and I’ve checked a zillion searching for one.  The photo above shows the view to the front of the cottage, (so you can see how truly secluded it is) and the photo below shows why I instantly smelled that wonderful scent when we got out of the car.  There’s a Christmas tree farm behind the cottage!  Oh how I love you Frasier fir trees!

view 2Yes, there is a hot tub, and yes, that is the glorious view.
Obviously I took these photos on different days.
The sky didn’t just suddenly cloud up like that.

view 3Here’s the view from the hot tub on the clear day. 🙂

view 4At one end of the cottage is a screened porch.  The evenings and mornings were very chilly while we were there, but I would love to visit again when the weather warms up and enjoy breakfast on the porch (or grill out in the evening and have dinner there.)

porch dining

porch seating

porch

Now I am going to take you inside through the front door rather than through the porch, but I want you to know that the decor is different from what I normally gravitate to.  (No I am not changing my style. 🙂 ) The cottage is more modern than what you normally see here at Talk of the House, but it fit the location perfectly.

foyerWhen you come into that huge great room you are instantly drawn to that wall of windows that look out to the forests and the mountains beyond.  You also notice all that wonderful wood on the ceiling.  It is in every room of the cottage. 🙂

great room wall of windowsThere is comfortable seating in soothing tranquil colors.

great room seatingI really liked that painted green chest.

great room chairs

great room vignetteThe great room has a huge stone fireplace, but unfortunately the chimney does not work.  So just use the candles in it for ambiance when you go. 🙂

great room fireplaceThe leather chair is perfectly positioned to take in the mountain view
(or read a book.)

great room seating areaAt the other end of the great room is the dining table.  It is actually an old picnic table that Angela painted.

Dining areaAnd her centerpiece is simply a huge dough bowl filled with pinecones. (You can see my similar one in a photo on last year’s Christmas post here.  I just need to dunk a few of our cones in some paint for a little color contrast.)

dining table centerpieceNow turn around, and you will see the kitchen.

dining view to kitchenThey took the old upper cabinets off the wall and reused them elsewhere.  They then needed some space for storage, so she bought this glass front cabinet to house their dishes.  Handy dandy!  There is also a walk in pantry located in the space behind that cabinet.

dining storage cabinetI also liked the cabinets painted green.

kitchen with green cabinetsNow walk back through the great room so I can show you the master bedroom.  If you scroll back up about 6 photos, you will see that we walk through an opening with a sliding barn style door to enter the bedroom area.

Angela used blues in this space.  Don’t you just love that painted blue bed?!

bedroom blue painted bedAcross from the bed is this chair and a grouping of art done in more blues.

artwork and chair

And there is another painted cabinet in this room as well.  We have never had a television in any of our master bedrooms.  So it was a nice luxury to be able to watch the tv in bed at night. (We watched and laughed through an old Superman movie with Christopher Reeve that we had seen many many years ago when we were dating.)

bedroom chest

Now let’s go across the hall to the master bath.
bathroom sink

bathroom cabinetThe large mirror in there made the space seem even bigger.
Besides the claw foot tub, there is also a walk in shower
(which you can see reflected in the mirror.)

Bathroom mirrorAngela is a gifted artist, and she did the cloud painting that hangs beside the bathtub.
bathroom painting

And that is all of the North Carolina cottage that I have time to show you today.  We have toured all the main level spaces, and for part 2 we are going to go downstairs. Yes, there is a downstairs!    

Now don’t forget about the giveaway that is going on here until Sunday night 4/24/16….a $50 gift card for Amazon and Kristy Woodson Harvey’s two wonderful novels.  Did you know she is from North Carolina? 🙂

April 2016 giveaway from Talk of the House

To enter, all you have to do is simply leave a comment on any/or all posts that publish between 4/17/2016 and 11:59 p.m. Eastern time 4/24/2016 (on the blog itself – not an email reply please)- one comment per post please. Remember I’ll announce the winner, chosen from a random drawing, in the first post that publishes after that.

Thanks for coming on the house tour today, and I will see you for part 2 soon!

Until next time…

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Peggy - April 23, 2016 - 7:17 pm

A cottage in the woods! Sounds like a little bit of heaven! My best friend lives in High Point, NC so I have been to the state many times. So beautiful!

Susan - April 23, 2016 - 3:59 pm

Beautiful cottage and some great decorating ideas… I may have to paint some furniture.

At Rivercrest Cottage - April 23, 2016 - 2:22 pm

this cottage out in the forest would be wonderful for shaking off a fast paced life for a short while, but Highlands NC would be my first choice if I were ever to win the lottery. We had lunch at the store in town (a unique experience) and started looking at houses for sale right after! Couldn’t afford them, but a girl can dream.

Rosemary - April 23, 2016 - 4:31 am

Hi Kelly! The cottage looks to be perfect for a chilled, relaxing time away …. and that view!!!! They chose the perfect spot for the hot tub and seating. If I could just have my morning coffee sitting there ……
Rosemary

Kimberly - April 22, 2016 - 7:13 am

This would be a great place to go and recharge. So beautiful and relaxing.

Phyllis Huseby - April 22, 2016 - 12:03 am

The cottage looks like the perfect place to unwind! Lved the painted furniture.

Irene Harrison - April 21, 2016 - 4:22 pm

Thank you for taking us with you when you travel! You have a great blog—I love your ideas and your super organizing ability. It is a breath of fresh air to my disorganized soul!

Jeanne bell - April 21, 2016 - 12:38 pm

I would love to smell the pine scent!

Lin - April 21, 2016 - 9:57 am

I like the simplicity of the bathroom.

Pamela Christopher - April 21, 2016 - 8:18 am

I would be outside enjoying that view if I stayed at this lovely cabin. Hoping to win those books.

Donna - April 21, 2016 - 12:13 am

Kelly, thank you sharing North Carolina with us. One of my favorite places. Enjoy your blog so much.

MerriJo - April 20, 2016 - 11:42 pm

What a lovely cottage ( in beautiful surroundings) for a much-needed get-away. So glad the 2 of you were actually a retired couple relaxing together!😉

Donnamae - April 20, 2016 - 11:19 pm

What a beautiful mountain home! Looks so peaceful and relaxing! 😉

Ashley - April 20, 2016 - 10:49 pm

Love this post! I am from North Carolina and now live in Georgia, just outside of Columbus! I’m especially partial to the NC mountains, having graduated from Appalacian State University! Love, love, love your blog and all that you share with your readers! Let me know if you ever find that wonderful scent of Highland, NC in a bottle…I’ll be the next one in line to buy it!!

Kathy - April 20, 2016 - 10:18 pm

I would love to visit and stay at that peaceful home. Thanks for showing us North Carolina. Next summer my husband and I want to visit Georgia and the Carolinas. We live in Utah and have visited most of the west, it’s time to see your area. I appreciate all the places you have taken us! I would love to win the books and gift card. Reading is a favorite hobby of mine. Thanks again!

Anita - April 20, 2016 - 9:48 pm

I love the mountains and especially being able to sit on a porch or even sit in the living room, drink my coffee and soak in the peacefulness!! Love her mountain home, as well, and she has it decorated beautifully.

Bonnie - April 20, 2016 - 9:07 pm

What a haven!

Keith Newberry - April 20, 2016 - 8:45 pm

During my career, we once lived for several years in Hendersonville, NC. I’ve played golf several times in Waynesville.. It is a very beautiful place.. Have a great time in your travels!!

DiAnne - April 20, 2016 - 8:03 pm

Kelly,
Soooo happy you made a trip to our part of the world. This house was fun to see. I need to read the blog about the decorating because I would like to see what it looked like before.
Hope you are having a good week.
DiAnne

Susan W - April 20, 2016 - 6:04 pm

The cottage looks lovely and very relaxing. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Tricia - April 20, 2016 - 5:47 pm

Hi Kelly, love travelling with you, you find such lovely places. The view from the hot tub is beautiful.

Pat Peele - April 20, 2016 - 5:02 pm

Love this part of NC! A lovely bit of restfulness and a beautiful cabin.

Elaine - April 20, 2016 - 4:06 pm

I like that the serenity of the inside lets nature steal the show.

Debra - April 20, 2016 - 2:38 pm

Must have been so peaceful to stay there. I love the soft colors she used through out the home. I am a traditionalist as well, but find the mix pleasurable. That view looking out from the hot tub area is just breath taking, as well as her artwork by the bathtub. She did an amazing job on the clouds….. Soothing.. Thanks for the getaway today Kelly, if only through your blog… 🙂

Les - April 20, 2016 - 1:30 pm

Love the NC mountains, but I request that you not blog about them because then everyone will want to come! J/k haha
Love the pinecones!

Amy O'Quinn - April 20, 2016 - 1:09 pm

What a lovely cottage and view! The weather looked like it was perfect for your trip, but I think I would also enjoy a rainy day looking out all those glorious great room windows. We almost went to Highlands or Asheville on our recent trip, but in the end, we decided on a B&B in St. Mary’s, GA and went over to Cumberland Island instead. We knew we had to stay pretty close to home this time, and we were not disappointed. But I can’t wait to travel back up into western NC ASAP. Love that area so much!
Great post!

Annie Dull - April 20, 2016 - 12:45 pm

I love that cottage, a few years ago I saw it on The Nester blog…..I need to book a weekend there!

Ann Fuller Crupi - April 20, 2016 - 12:36 pm

Waynesville, Highlands, Franklin, Silva-wonderful North Carolina towns to visit and enjoy the mountains and the homes. Our son lives in western NC and we visit often. Good for you to have a trip there!

Marianne in Mo. - April 20, 2016 - 10:46 am

That looks like a perfect place to just BREATHE! And I agree with you about the smell. We were in Banff, Canada many years ago, and walking out our hotel, it smelled like Christmas trees – I loved it!
Have you seen the bleached pinecones on Pinterest? I plan to try that one day, as well as the painted ones.

Glenna - April 20, 2016 - 10:36 am

I love the mountains of North Carolina. Your blog is one of my favorites – enjoy following you.

Arlene@Nanaland - April 20, 2016 - 9:14 am

Kelly, that is my dream mountain house. While our little house will not be that fancy, there are some elements that I am going to think of using if I can. My brother in law lives in Brevard NC and he posted a pic of their front yard the other day and I was just drooling…so beautiful. Thanks for sharing!!

Pat in Georgia - April 20, 2016 - 5:47 am

Highlands NC is on my bucket list. Thank you for letting the fans of Talk of the House travel with you.

Vanessa - April 19, 2016 - 10:56 pm

What a charming cabin! Thank you for sharing the pictures.

Sharon - April 19, 2016 - 10:48 pm

Beautiful! I love North Carolina and that house is so cute..

Joni - April 19, 2016 - 10:35 pm

Thanks for all the house tours. We are beginning the process of building our home & enjoy looking.

Tracy K - April 19, 2016 - 9:36 pm

Looks like a very relaxing place!

Emily - April 19, 2016 - 9:22 pm

I agree with you that the furnishings are mostly too modern. But it does look like a fun place to visit.

T sneed - April 19, 2016 - 5:08 pm

Now I want to go to the mtns!

Bonnie A. - April 19, 2016 - 4:27 pm

What a wonderful mountain cottage in which to spend a little relaxing time! As always, thank you for sharing the details.

Debbie w - April 19, 2016 - 4:14 pm

I love Highlands, too!! Love this cabin…look forward to part 2!

susan - April 19, 2016 - 3:46 pm

So pretty and relaxing! I love the huge dough bowl and the iron bed!! I want!!!

Garden, Home and Party - April 19, 2016 - 3:39 pm

Kelly,
It looks like such a relaxing location. Is there a town nearby?
What a nice getaway.
xo,
Karen
P.S. I hope you received the info on Seattle and Bainbridge Island…2 different emails.

Claire @ A PREPPY PERSPECTIVE - April 19, 2016 - 2:52 pm

Such a cute cottage and relaxing environment! I hope you enjoyed your trip just the two of you? You sure spent a wonderful time in such a peaceful place!
Wish you a very nice day,
Claire

Kathy P. - April 19, 2016 - 2:47 pm

What a beautiful, serene home.

P. - April 19, 2016 - 2:38 pm

I can imagine the Frasier fir scent… you’ve tried the Thymes candle? That’s my go to, here in the Michigan woods. Thanks for the tour!

Lois - April 19, 2016 - 2:28 pm

Never had the pleasure of visiting the Highlands area of NC, but this post certainly could persuade me there’s more to the state than the Outer Banks! What an amazingly peaceful cottage-would love to have vacation here…

Eva - April 19, 2016 - 1:33 pm

I have never been to Waynesville but we actually have a cottage in Highlands. That is how I first found your blog as you had done a post on Highlands.I agree with you,the smell is the best!I always enjoy your travel posts.
Eva

Helen C - April 19, 2016 - 1:31 pm

What a beautiful place for a relaxing vacation.

Jane - April 19, 2016 - 1:26 pm

This is a wonderful home! You have to have a ton of windows to enjoy the view of the mountains in NC and this doesn’t disappoint. The decor also suits this area (we have a vacation home nearby in Asheville). I really love the porch and all of the rustic touches!!

Thanks for the tour!

jane

Susan - April 19, 2016 - 1:07 pm

What a peaceful place! I felt more relaxed after looking through the pictures.

Linda Miller - April 19, 2016 - 12:51 pm

It looks wonderful! I can’t wait to see where you went in North Carolina. Your trip to Virginia encouraged us to follow in your footsteps there. Love North Carolina mountains so maybe we will follow you there.

L - April 19, 2016 - 12:50 pm

Love the mountain home! Especially love the screened in porch.

Gina - April 19, 2016 - 12:45 pm

How funny! I recognized the cottage in the first photo! 🙂 I remembered it too from Nester’s blog. I’m glad it didn’t disappoint. I love the open airy feel and that view!! I can just imagine the smell. My husband and I were going to try to visit that area this spring too, but haven’t made it yet. 😛

margaret - April 19, 2016 - 12:08 pm

Highlands is a beautiful area.
Looks like the cottage in Waynesville would be a great place to spend a few days just relaxing.

Deana - April 19, 2016 - 11:58 am

Beautiful home. I’m glad you were able to escape for a few days.

Sherry Myers - April 19, 2016 - 11:55 am

Aaahhh, I can smell it! I agree, what a hideaway! Thank you for the tour. It would be hard to stay inside. My favorite part about the house is the bank of windows. I can just imagine the beautiful colors in the fall looking out those windows. I am glad you were able to visit the mountains of our beautiful state. You deserved the retreat. You are invited to the coast sometime too. I promise, you won’t be disappointed with this side of the state either.

Christy - April 19, 2016 - 11:22 am

Wow … all that sun in the house and absolutely beautiful scenery right outside your windows. It looks like a wonderful spot to live.

Vicki - April 19, 2016 - 10:50 am

I cannot wait for your future travel posts! My husband and I were in Highlands just two weeks ago- our first time.. Beautiful area! Why can’t I have a job traveling to my favorite places!.? Lol!

marianne - April 19, 2016 - 10:42 am

Love the mountain top view from the deck. Highlands smell…come to Washington state and the fir trees and rain smell will knock your socks off!

Cheri Geer - April 19, 2016 - 10:24 am

I remember reading also on The Nester’s blog about this cottage and thought then how peaceful of a place that would be to go. Glad you were able to do it and get some rest.

Loretta Hamilton - April 19, 2016 - 10:22 am

What a beautiful retreat! Love the blue bed…

Mary - April 19, 2016 - 10:14 am

Thanks for sharing such a beautiful place that you visited.

Lynn - April 19, 2016 - 10:14 am

What a beautiful, peaceful cottage in North Carolina. So happy you were able to get away and relax.

Carolyn - April 19, 2016 - 10:13 am

What a lovely charming cottage. I’m glad they kept the wood stain on the ceiling and beams to give it some of that rustic look. If it had been painted I think it would have felt too beachy with those colors. You picked a chilly week to come sounds like. April has been colder than March was, but we finally warmed back up yesterday and it was 82 up here at 4000′! Eating breakfast on the porch for the first time this year, with fresh strawberries. We’re on the other side of Asheville from Waynesville. Glad you enjoyed your trip to our beautiful mountains. We still don’t have any leaves on our trees up here even though it was 82!

Shelley - April 19, 2016 - 10:10 am

Love the blue front door and the white tobacco basket. Both are very unique.
Thank you for the give away!
Shelley

Joy Cooper - April 19, 2016 - 10:04 am

Love following your blog for the decor, but I also live in the Atlanta area so the posts about nearby areas are valuable to me also.

Tricia parker - April 19, 2016 - 10:01 am

Love your blog. The cottage is lovely. Looks so relaxing there.

valerie - April 19, 2016 - 9:48 am

Love love this cottage

Mimi - April 19, 2016 - 9:37 am

Love this cottage. I love my North Carolina home also!

Pam Jenkins - April 19, 2016 - 9:35 am

Looks like a wonderful place to stay. I love the Waynesville area. We have a friend who has a cabin near there – nothing fancy like this one, but a great , peaceful getaway. I would really love that gift package to enjoy in such a peaceful setting.

Cindy T - April 19, 2016 - 9:31 am

Love, love this, so peaceful and what a view!!

nan - April 19, 2016 - 9:31 am

I live on the NC coast and LOVE that mtn. home. Would love to stop by sometime and visit! Great photos of the inside!

Carole - April 19, 2016 - 9:30 am

Love the soft grays and aqua so. So soothing as if all is right in the world.
The farm sink and claw foot tub are calling my name! Bless you for sharing.

Julie in Asheville - April 19, 2016 - 9:30 am

Oh, Kelly, you were so close!! Love the darling cottage. When you visit the cottage again, you must, just must skip on over to Maggie Valley for a weekend evening and enjoy some mountain dancing/clogging at the Stompin Ground! They also have some great places to eat as well. On another note, I’m glad I’m not the only one who notices smells. My favorite place to visit is Jackson Hole and The Tetons, the entire NW section of Wyoming, and my favorite thing to do is a sunset float down the Snake River. Our guide decided to take a small branch not on his usual route. We went through an area that had the same smell you described and it was something I have never, never forgotten. It was just delicious with that clean, piney smell. Thanks so much for all your lovely posts.

kathy - April 19, 2016 - 9:21 am

That was fun! I like the way the cabin was decorated. I do like staying in a place that is decorated differently than I decorate my own house. Oh, andI do love a dough bowl. You would not be surprised to know that seashells are in our dough bowl. I know what you mean about the smell of the mountains. It makes you want to breathe deeply. That view was ok…but it will be so much prettier when the mountains “green up” or in the fall when the colors are so vibrant. So, you will have to come back.

Peggy Mossing - April 19, 2016 - 9:10 am

Beautiful cottage. Thanks for sharing!

Patty - April 19, 2016 - 8:58 am

Would love to visit Waynesville again. Beautiful countryside – love the home you rented.

Lynne - April 19, 2016 - 8:56 am

Such a beautiful mountain home! I loved the use of space and the uncluttered feeling in it. The table she used for the sofa table was perfect! Thanks for sharing.

Jan P - April 19, 2016 - 8:48 am

Loved seeing this NC cottage. I’m currently in NC visiting my son and family. Hopefully we have time to go to the mountains.

Lyn - April 19, 2016 - 8:39 am

Looks like a great place to de-compress. I am book marking this post for when we take that bucket list trip up the east coast

Louvina - April 19, 2016 - 8:38 am

What a lovely serene mountain cabin! And I know you truly enjoyed the peace and quiet. Glad you are finally able to do more traveling and the things you and your husband want to do. Thanks for sharing! Loved the openness and the furnishings were quite different but I did like it. I enjoyed her paintings especially the one over that soaking tub. Looking forward to the next installment!

Linda Mickelson - April 19, 2016 - 8:37 am

What a gem! The colors and surrounding scenery set the mood for a relaxing retreat 😊

Jacki G. - April 19, 2016 - 8:33 am

Hoping to win your book giveaway. Beautiful home in your post today!

Karen - April 19, 2016 - 8:19 am

It is always a pleasure to take a virtual trip with you!

Karin - April 19, 2016 - 8:15 am

Love North Carolina. What a peaceful place. Love reading your blog.

Tamara E - April 19, 2016 - 8:14 am

Love this cottage with its peaceful and beautiful view. I too could smell the evergreeens! Can’t wait to see the rest of the cottage.

Barbara S. - April 19, 2016 - 8:09 am

Wow! Beautiful North Carolina views! Love the mountains! Thank you, Kelly, for a chance at winning your giveaway! Barbara S.

allison albainy - April 19, 2016 - 8:09 am

Love your blog..and all the great ideas for parties ..cottage looks sweet…

Susan - April 19, 2016 - 8:02 am

Beautiful home! Thanks for sharing!

Joyce Mays - April 19, 2016 - 8:01 am

I know that Hghlands smell! If only it could be made into a candle! Lovely fragrance, Gorgeous views!

Cindy - April 19, 2016 - 7:54 am

Beautiful! So very serene. I know you had a wonderful trip, you can’t beat our North Carolina mountains.
Cindy

Frances in England - April 19, 2016 - 7:48 am

*happy sigh* You always go to such gorgeous places – I am very jealous, but thank you for sharing this with us! I love painted wood. I also really enjoyed North Carolina when we visited a couple of years ago, so eagerly await hearing more! 🙂

Leslie Anne Tarabella - April 19, 2016 - 7:43 am

Such a treat to be able to relax! Often it’s nice to spend time in a house different from yours for a different view of the world. I would be able to get some serious writing done in a place like that! Glad you had a good time and can’t wait to read your report about the surrounding area.

Lisa Fields - April 19, 2016 - 7:41 am

So happy you had a relaxing get away. We all need those! Thanks for sharing all your adventures. I loved the views from the cottage!

Stacey Y. - April 19, 2016 - 7:37 am

What a beautiful, relaxing getaway!! Thanks for sharing with us!

donna - April 19, 2016 - 7:25 am

Such a beautiful view. It must have been so relaxing to be there.Love the painted furniture.

Calypso in the Country - April 19, 2016 - 7:23 am

What a beautiful place – and view! It has such a relaxing vibe with the natural elements and soft colors.
Shelley

Betty - April 19, 2016 - 6:44 am

I love the green cabinets in the kitchen. Looks like the cottage was a great place to relax!

Marianne A - April 19, 2016 - 6:41 am

Love the beautiful view.

Mary A. - April 19, 2016 - 6:35 am

Love this cottage and the surrounding area is beautiful and it looks very restful! Looking forward to hearing about the things you did in the Waynesville area. So glad you were able to spend time in this gorgeous area of the country!!

Sandy - April 19, 2016 - 6:07 am

Spent the past ten days with dear friends in both North and South Carolinas. The weather was sensational,and the beauty of the trees and flowers in April was a joy to behold. We traveled back to Ohio yesterday on I-77,and were able to view the changes of spring in five different states.

Theresa Parks - April 19, 2016 - 5:45 am

Love the cottage in North Carolina! It looks peaceful, I would not mind visiting there

Monica - April 19, 2016 - 5:43 am

Wow! What a beautiful place!

Talk of the Weekend #33 (and a Giveaway!)

painted wicker yellow accents porchHappy Weekend!  Yes, I totally abandoned the blog for a week. Sorry friends, but I had to let it go.  We have been traveling and going to events for our daughter at her college as she winds up her senior year.  (How in the world is it time for graduation???) But I am back in blogland, and I have a giveaway for you today too. 🙂  So what shall we talk about this weekend?

Let’s start with food…always a good thing to start with right? Most of the weather this week has been dreary cloudy, and for some reason, rainy weather makes me crave breakfast dishes.  Does the same thing happen to you?  Anyway, since I had that creme brulee French toast for Valentine’s Day, I have been wanting to find a recipe to duplicate it.  I think I found it here, except I plan to use croissants for the bread in it like the restaurant did. This is going on my list-of-things-to-cook very soon. Yum!

Creme Brulee French toast casserole recipe Mirlandras Kitchensource

Now moving on from food to kitchens.  This is an oldie-but-goodie located in Atlanta. Don’t you love those plank walls and that charming light?

Atlanta kitchensource

And through the doorway you can see this perfect little butler’s pantry.
(Be sure to click on the links.  There is more of the house to see there.)

butlers pantry Atlanta kitchensource

This kitchen, designed by David Sharff Architects of Medfield, Massachusetts, has such wonderful windows to let in all that natural light!  And not only is there a lot of glass with the windows, but there is more in the upper cabinets and in that transom. Beautiful!

kitchen with white cabinets and blue accents David Sharffsource

I must be in a “kitchen mood,” because here is another one for you to see.  This one is in Madison, Georgia.  The range hood wood lines up perfectly with the walls, and isn’t that old flooring gorgeous?!  Do any of you know what the piece of stained wood is there below the sink?  Is it just trim, or does it serve some purpose?

Madison Georgia home kitchensource

And look at the foyer in the house!
All those pressed flowers remind me of the botanicals in our foyer. 🙂

dark botanicalssource

Yes, another kitchen.  This beauty is in Palmetto Bluff where we traveled a few years ago.  I especially like how they built the island with the seating and the open shelving.

Palmetto Bluff home kitchen Traditional Homesource

Here is the exterior that belongs to it.  You will want to see the entire house on the website. 🙂

Palmetto Bluff home exterior Traditional Homesource

Okay, one last kitchen.  When I read that this one is on St. Simons Island, (Georgia) I just had to check it out.  Then I learned it is a rental.  What a fabulous place for a group to stay!  All that old brick really adds to the vintage style of the space.

St Simons Carriage House kitchensource

Here are the living and dining areas of that house…more brick!
You can see that the three sets of French doors open to the private pool area.

St Simons Carriage House living roomsource

Alright no more kitchens today.

Some time ago, I wrote a post about the work of Barbara Westbrook.  At the time, I could not find photos of her personal home, but since then some have appeared on her website.  The bathroom below is from her home, and if you follow the link below the photos, you can check out many more rooms in her pretty house.

Barbara Westbrook homesource

Now let’s talk about cleaning.  I did some spring cleaning after we got home from our trips.  (Hallelujah!) Have any of you seen these products by Common Good at your local Target?  Our store has not carried any of them, and I am a sucker for the cute packaging!  The all purpose cleaner comes in 4 scents, and I was wondering which you prefer.

Common Good at Targetsource.com

And have any of you seen Disney’s new Jungle Book movie?  I have read mixed reviews.  We have not seen it yet but hope to soon. The old animated version was one of our favorites around here when our children were young. I am also excited that Disney will be releasing Roald Dahl’s BFG on July 1st.

BFG movie poster Disneysource

The trailer looks rather scary, but the book was always always one of the favorites of my students when I taught 3rd grade.  In fact, my copy of the book is very worn from being passed around so much. 🙂

And now lets go from movies made from books to simply books. 🙂

If you enjoyed Mary Kay Andrews’ Beach Town you will want to read the prequel, Change of Scene that just came out.  This short read is only available in e-reader format.

Change of Scene Mary Kay Andrews

Change of Scene: A 100 Page Novella

(My Amazon Affiliate link)

And make plans to get a copy of her newest full length novel, The Weekenders, when it is released on May 17 – just one month away!  It will make your perfect summer read.

The Weekenders Mary Kay Andrews

The Weekenders: A Novel

(My Amazon affiliate link)

Now do you remember the book, Dear Carolina that I wrote about here last year?  I loved LOVED it, and it was amazing to me that it was Kristy Woodson Harvey’s very first novel.  She managed to give two main characters authentic voices throughout the story and tie them together in a heartfelt way.  Plus it just left me feeling good when it ended.  Don’t you just love it when books do that?!

Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Dear Carolina
(My Amazon affiliate link)

Well she has written her second novel, Lies and Other Acts of Love. (Totally unrelated to her first one.) You have probably seen it in a number of places in blogland.  Karen at Garden Home and Party wrote a perfect review of it here.  Like Karen, I enjoyed this second novel even more than the first…and that is saying a lot!  I read it while we were on our recent trip.  At one point we were stopping to go in a store, and I was at a really good part of the book.  I commented to my husband, “Do you suppose I could find a chair in there and sit and read this book some more??!!”  Seriously, it was that good.  The girl’s got talent! 🙂

Lies and Other Acts of Love by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Lies and Other Acts of Love

April 9th marked the 4th birthday of Talk of the House.  To celebrate and thank you for your wonderful readership I’d like to do another giveaway for you:  a copy of both of Kristy’s books and a $50 gift card to Amazon.com.

April 2016 giveaway from Talk of the HouseTo enter, simply leave a comment on any/or all posts that publish between 4/17/2016 and 11:59 p.m. Eastern time 4/24/2016 (on the blog itself – not an email reply please)- one comment per post please.  I’ll announce the winner, chosen from a random drawing, in the first post that publishes after that.

I hope you take the time to leave a comment to enter.  Both of the novels are soooo good, and if you win, you could spend your gift card on….more books! 🙂  (Or anything else you would like.) Any of these would make great Mother’s Day gifts.  Good luck to all of you!

Until next time…

a signature

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Susan - April 23, 2016 - 4:01 pm

Thank you for such a fun post and chance for a giveaway!! Books, recipes, kitchens….the perfect post!

Rosemary - April 23, 2016 - 4:25 am

Sorry I’m so late commenting! It’s been my daughters birthday …busy …but very happy few days 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful time with your daughter…in fact I’m sure you did! Great blog post, as always! The Creme brûlée French toast …just looks amazing ….variations on “bread pudding” is always my favourite dessert and not found on many menus. My all time favourite is one made with brioche and apricots …just perfect!
Hope you’re having a good week!
Rosemary

Kathleen - April 22, 2016 - 9:54 am

I love the mix of topics that you present. I am also an avid reader, so really appreciate knowing about the Kristy Woodson Harvey books. Thank you for sharing on your blog! I am a big admirer of your beautiful and decorative handwriting on your chalkboard and gift tags, and always wonder how you accomplish that. Perhaps you could focus on that in a post one day…Best wishes!

Kimberly - April 22, 2016 - 7:09 am

I really enjoyed this post. It covers everything. I love the kitchen photos and movie and book recommendations. The books would make great gifts and I am excited to learn that you enjoyed Ms. Harvey’s second book more than the first. That is really saying something.

Karen H. - April 21, 2016 - 5:11 pm

Thanks for sharing!

Sally - April 21, 2016 - 12:08 pm

Thank you for sharing your beautiful ideas, your home, your travels and family with us.

Cindy - April 19, 2016 - 10:35 pm

I always enjoy seeing what books you are reading. I’ve never read any of Kristy Harvey’s books, but thought I would really enjoy them after reading the description. What a treat it would be to win them since my library didn’t have them. So sweet of you to do that! Looking forward to seeing all the fun graduation posts that will surely be coming in the future! 🙂

Emily - April 19, 2016 - 9:25 pm

Love looking at all those kitchens!! I got some ideas for decorating my own! Thanks for sharing!!

Claire @A PREPPY PERSPECTIVE - April 19, 2016 - 2:47 pm

Happy Birthday Talk of the House! I can’t believe it’s been 4 years already! And thank you so much for all the inspiration you share here! 🙂 Your blog is just amazing Kelly!
Xoxo
Claire

Ann Fuller - April 19, 2016 - 1:43 pm

I love your pictures and descriptions of lovely homes. I also love to read and enjoy getting a tip on a good book. Thanks for both!

Libby Barnette - April 19, 2016 - 10:24 am

Although I am many years your senior I love reading your cheerful blog and always love the lovely homes you feature. Living in Chas. SC I am familiar with many of the places you feature. I am reading the Jan Karon series of Mitford novels because of your praises. Don’t know how I missed them 20 years ago.

Lisa - April 19, 2016 - 10:08 am

I’m definitely making the creme brulee French toast. Looks delicious.The books sound like great reads.
Want to take my granddaughters to see The Jungle Book. They’re 4 & 5. I’m wondering if some scenes will be too intense.

Terri - April 19, 2016 - 9:44 am

Love reading Mary Kay Andrews…. and recently read Dear Carolina by Kristy Harvey…. What a great story!! Love it !!! (Now to check out some of these kitchens you posted!!!) 🙂

Amy O'Quinn - April 19, 2016 - 9:36 am

Love all these gorgeous kitchens! I don’t think the Madison house has been on any of the tours (at least not the Christmas ones I’ve been on), but I hope it will be! I’d love to see that one!
Thanks also for the book recommendations–I love to find new-to-me authors. 🙂

Sandy - April 19, 2016 - 5:48 am

Oh what a nice birthday gift your giveaway would be for me; April 24 is my big day. My husband and I celebrated early at the Biltmore Village Hotel this past weekend. Yes, we toured the House and Gardens too and visited the free wine samples daily.

Lynne - April 18, 2016 - 11:19 pm

I was going to buy the books you mentioned, but maybe? I’ll get lucky and win them? Thanks for a great give away!

Barbara - April 18, 2016 - 11:13 pm

Hi Kelly…I love, love your blog…your ideas are so practical and down to earth and beautiful! I find myself anticipating your next post. Thank you for sharing your talents with all of us. Your table settings are always so pretty. I really liked your Easter table. Out of curiosity, you seem to always set the table…dinner plate, salad plate, etc, but you also serve buffet style. Do you collect the plates and place them on the buffet table before serving or when your table is set, as in your Easter table, do you place food on the table to pass? I have a dinner coming up and I am weighing my options on this. I love the way the table looks when it is set with pretty dishes, but buffet is prob more practical. Thank you again for this wonderful blog.
Barbara

Row. - April 18, 2016 - 10:25 pm

Oh that brick in the kitchen!!! :::swoon:::
Thank you for this fantastic giveaway! looking forward to reading these…adding them all to my wish list!

Marsha - April 18, 2016 - 9:26 pm

I would love to read these books!

Carolyn - April 18, 2016 - 8:45 pm

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. I like to have new authors recommended to me, and admittedly I am a book addict, and would enjoy expanding my collection! As for the decorating eye candy, I love Barbara Westbrook’s house and could easily move in and not change a thing.

Barbara - April 18, 2016 - 8:30 pm

Thanks for the book recommendation, Kelly. While I don’t have any beach time scheduled in my near future, I have a 12 hour drive to Colorado and need something to read. I will be sure and get my copy of Kristy’s book.

Congratulations on four years!!

Barbara

Kristy Woodson Harvey - April 18, 2016 - 8:06 pm

Congratulations on 4 years! And thank you for hosting a giveaway of my books!

Nicole - April 18, 2016 - 7:39 pm

I’m really loving that Butler’s pantry – although the idea of neat tiny little spaces I love even though I’m not neat by nature. Those books look so good too! I’m so happy I found your blog! What a nice giveaway!

Kathy P. - April 18, 2016 - 5:59 pm

I read “Dear Carolina” at your recommendation and loved it. Can’t wait to get the new book.

Debbie Powell - April 18, 2016 - 2:27 pm

Congratulations on your blog Anniversary! I so enjoy your posts! I love your website and all that you share.

Gina - April 18, 2016 - 2:06 pm

Wow, four years! I’m not sure how long I’ve been reading, but I think I need to take some time to go back and read some of your archives!! 🙂 Oh, and the links in this post. 😉 Glad you were able to get away and enjoy your daughter’s graduation festivities. Thanks for the inspiration and give away!! 🙂

Donnamae - April 18, 2016 - 12:58 pm

Those were all beautiful kitchens! And, thanks for the opportunity to win such a generous gift? I could use some good summer reads! 😉

Cindy - April 18, 2016 - 10:56 am

Wow – 4 years – Congratulations! Love your website 🙂 Both books sound good, can’t wait to read them!

Lynn - April 18, 2016 - 10:36 am

Thank you for posting the recipe for Creme Brulee’ French toast – I am going to try that for sure!! Thank you also for the chance to win your wonderful giveaway ~ I look so forward to your postings on your blog!

P. - April 18, 2016 - 10:33 am

Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve been studying your porch photos too, as I get myself psyched up to paint the wicker I’ve been given! Hope you have a lovely week.

Valerie - April 18, 2016 - 10:29 am

Love the kitchens. Starting a kitchen remodel and got some ideas. Happy 4th Anniversary. Enjoy your blog so much!

Helen - April 18, 2016 - 10:15 am

So glad you posted about books – I need a couple to read on vacation this year and these look great.

liz piccione-volger - April 18, 2016 - 10:14 am

Happy Anniversary! I would love to read these. You’ve mentioned this author before and its been on my list. Thanks for the opportunity. And I love the ceiling in that Palmetto Bluff home’s kitchen!

Pat - April 18, 2016 - 9:53 am

Oh, my! Books and kitchens are two of my favorite things! I will have to try a new author but then I get hooked and have to read everything they wrote.

Wendy D. - April 18, 2016 - 9:50 am

I just love Mary Kay Andrews, and I did not know she has a new release!! Putting it on my summer reading list now. I have it read anything by Kristy, but they sound great. Always love to find new favorite authors. As always thank you for the inspiration and also the wonderful giveaway.

Jenna M - April 18, 2016 - 9:38 am

Happy anniversary! 🙂

Margaret - April 18, 2016 - 9:34 am

I just recently discovered your blog and have enjoyed your posts and beautiful pictures. Thanks.

Kay - April 18, 2016 - 9:34 am

Thanks for the recommendations. Love your blog and would love to win.

Ang Wilbie - April 18, 2016 - 9:33 am

Your talent for decorating and entertaining is incomparable- love your sense of style, Kelly! As an 8th grade teacher I could sure use an escape from this craziness that is middle school, and for me, reading is it. I hope I win! Thanks!

Peggy Mossing - April 18, 2016 - 9:26 am

I cannot believe that your daughter is a senior already! Can’t wait to read my prizes!! Thanks for your upbeat and beautiful blog.

Linda - April 18, 2016 - 9:15 am

Your porch is just beautiful. Makes we want to read a book and drink ice tea. Have a great week.

Marsha Greer - April 18, 2016 - 8:47 am

Your blogs are like candy! So sweet and good you never know what you will get…but you just can’t wait for the next “piece” to be shared! Thanks!

Catarina G - April 18, 2016 - 8:37 am

Thank you, Kelly, for your generous giveaway.
As you know i am an avid reader of your blog and a huge fan of your pictures.
I have that authour on my To Be Read list for such a long time (well not so long but as book are concern too many are not enougth!) and I would really like to give her a try.
Love from Portugal.
Cat

Cheri G - April 18, 2016 - 8:33 am

I love all of your reviews from places to stay.. to restaurants…shopping and books. I LOVE to read and always like to hear what other folks have to say about the books they read (even bad reviews) and to check out new authors (new to me). This is a really wonderful giveaway…thanks Kelly.

Jacki G. - April 18, 2016 - 8:17 am

Keeping my fingers crossed that I will win this lovely prize. Thanks for offering it!

Tracy K - April 18, 2016 - 6:19 am

Congrats on the blog anniversary and on your daughter’s graduation! These books are on my Want to Read list.

Nancy - April 18, 2016 - 1:32 am

Thank you for new authors to read this summer! I needed some recommendations. I so enjoy your blog. I wish you posted every day.😊

susan - April 18, 2016 - 1:00 am

Kelly – Oh Gosh! Loved loved this post! Loved all the kitchens….and how I would love to win those books! Been looking for a good read!!

L. - April 18, 2016 - 12:26 am

I love your blog. It is so refreshing to read about a family who prioritizes what’s truly important in life. Thanks for sharing your heart!

Laura - April 18, 2016 - 12:19 am

Love your blog…and these books sound like must-reads to me!

Dianne R - April 17, 2016 - 11:50 pm

Kelly- I love hearing great book reviews as I am always on the look out for an escape to dive into! Thank you also for giving this California girl peeks into Southern and island homes and places to get away to. Dianne

LJ - April 17, 2016 - 11:17 pm

I too can scarcely believe that your daughter is in her senior year and that the blog is four years old. Congrats! on both–daughter finishing and blog is 4-years old.

Diana Taylor - April 17, 2016 - 11:12 pm

I just put Dear Carolina on my Amazon Wishlist! I can’t wait to read it. And I think I will try the Creme Brûlée French Toast soon when company comes. Love your blog!

Garden, Home and Party - April 17, 2016 - 10:45 pm

Kelly,
I followed the links on each of the kitchens you’ve shared…what great homes connected to these beautiful kitchens.
There are so many wonderful kitchens, the heart of the home!
Thank you for the shout out. Didn’t you just love Lies and Other Acts of Love. I know many of my friends have ordered Kristy’s book. They are enjoying it as much as you and me!
xo,
Karen
P.S. I did miss you last week.

Ellen Martin - April 17, 2016 - 10:37 pm

Although I don’t comment often, I do love your blog, and look forward to each post. Congratulations to your daughter on graduating from college. I look forward to seeing the party you plan for her. Can’t wait to try the creme brulee French toast!

Sherry Myers - April 17, 2016 - 10:36 pm

I can’t wait to try the recipe. It looks delicious. My favorite kitchen is the one in Bluffton. Clean and cool looking! I plan to see if they carry the Common Ground products at our Target. I love the packaging. Love pretty packages. I appreciate the book reviews. They sound so intriguing. Thank you for this opportunity. Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation and your time spent together. Memories made and long remembered. Time is so swift. Enjoy it. Can’t wait for the week’s posts.

Sharon - April 17, 2016 - 10:33 pm

Can’t wait to try the French Toast recipe. Looks Yummy! I love the home on Palmetto Bluff.

Pamela Christopher - April 17, 2016 - 10:30 pm

How wonderful, my birthday was April 9. I was so glad to get this great post. Such lovely rooms and great book reviews. I would be honored to be considered in this great giveaway.

Joanne - April 17, 2016 - 10:25 pm

Can’t wait to read Kristy Woodson Harvey’s novels. Sounds like great reading while at Folly Beach in May with girlfriends. Love Talk of the House!

Shannon - April 17, 2016 - 10:17 pm

I’m always looking for new authors, thanks for the recommendation 😊

Janna - April 17, 2016 - 10:17 pm

Happy 4th Birthday! And, Happy Graduation to Hayley (hard to believe)! I want to get one of your book choices for beach trip this June- thanks for the suggestions!

Jeanne bell - April 17, 2016 - 10:02 pm

Happy Anniversary, I have followed you from the first and you keep getting better. Thanks for taking us along on your journey.
Jeanne

Eva - April 17, 2016 - 9:58 pm

Your blog is one of my favorites.Thanks for the giveaway.I am always looking for a great read.

Debbie S. - April 17, 2016 - 9:51 pm

Happy Birthday! And here you are, Kelly, giving us a chance for presents! Should be the other way around, but thank you! Have loved your blog from the beginning!

Marilyn - April 17, 2016 - 9:43 pm

I love your blog–and so much enjoy seeing your decorating ideas!

Nancy - April 17, 2016 - 9:42 pm

Always look forward to reading your blog. Would love this giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity.
Nancy (in NE GA)

Debbie w - April 17, 2016 - 9:39 pm

Would love some summer reading ! Thanks for a perfect giveaway!

Bonnie - April 17, 2016 - 9:25 pm

Both of those books sound like a great read! Perfect for a summer break.

Bonnie - April 17, 2016 - 9:24 pm

What an enjoyable post of various things! Glad that you’ve been busy enjoying time as your daughter graduates and changes the focus in her life. I love to read, and have several children who like to read, and now, my 87-year-old mother lives with us (and, she’s a reader as well). Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your giveaway!

Mickey - April 17, 2016 - 9:18 pm

Love reading all about your adventures, cooking, decorating, family etc. Thanks for the update on Mary Kay Andrews newest book in May. I am going to check out Kristy’s book, sounds so good. Have a glorious day! Mickey

Stacey Y. - April 17, 2016 - 9:17 pm

I always look forward to your blog posts! Happy Anniversary!!!

Debbie@debbiethisandthat.com - April 17, 2016 - 9:16 pm

Welcome home, Kelly! So glad you had a good trip for your daughter’s end of senior year celebrations. Loved all the kitchen looks and it’s always great to learn about new books. Congrats on four years of blogging!!

KAREN IN SOUTH CAROLINA - April 17, 2016 - 8:36 pm

Hey Kelly, love your blog and all your wonderful party ideas.I was missing you this week but I figured something came up. Thanks for the giveaway any many more years of Talk Of The House!

Ermetta - April 17, 2016 - 8:21 pm

hI Kelly,
I enjoy your blog so much…thanks for taking the time to do it. Thank you especially for the book reviews. I can’t wait to read them, Have you read any of Julie Klassen’s books.? I highly recommend them!

Mary - April 17, 2016 - 8:21 pm

Love reading your blog and seeing what beautiful rooms are shown

Carol - April 17, 2016 - 7:53 pm

Hi Kelly!
I so enjoy your blog, especially the parties you throw….they are so creative and fun! Love your house too! Happy Anniversary!

sharon - April 17, 2016 - 7:46 pm

Happy anniversary. I was so happy to find your blog awhile back. Love your posts and I was in your back pocket as you took your son to college and all your wonderful trips you have shared. I so enjoy all your parties and all that you do to make them so special.Those books look like excellent reads too. Thanks again for all your great posts.

Joyce A Ward - April 17, 2016 - 7:19 pm

Hi Kelly!
Happy Blog-a-versary and happy birthday to me! Your blog is always refreshing,
your family celebrations, travels, home decor,and cooking are right up my alley!
Thank you for sharing, it makes my day!

KARENANN - April 17, 2016 - 7:16 pm

Thank you for such a lovely giveaway opportunity! That is so sweet of you! I absolutely love reading your blog!

Shelley - April 17, 2016 - 6:59 pm

Happy Blog-a-versary! The beautiful kitchen with the brick wall makes my heart melt. I enjoy reading your blog!
Shelley

Dawn - April 17, 2016 - 6:52 pm

Kelly,

I was wondering where you had been and was hoping you were traveling and doing family things and not sick. Glad to hear from you and to see so many fun kitchens. This time of year I get in the mood to cook and feed my friends and family new recipes. The weather has been spring like here lately. I am not much of a breakfast person but I love desserts and my favorite food for breakfast is leftover dessert from the night before with coffee. Thanks for sharing the kitchens and book ideas the I may need to check out. I read tons in the Summer time. Take care.
Dawn

Sue - April 17, 2016 - 6:17 pm

Going to check out MaryKays Change of scene tonight while I patiently wait for Weekenders to come out. Thank you for telling us about the ebook, not sure how I missed it. Anxious to check out the new author as well. Bring on summer.

Jenny blanc - April 17, 2016 - 6:04 pm

Read your column daily. Love how you decorate your chalkboard and surrounding area with themes. You know to have fun!!

Tricia - April 17, 2016 - 5:32 pm

Kelly, I was genuinely concerned not seeing a posting for such a long time, such a relief to see your post today! Happy 4th birthday. I look forward to seeing your posts for years to come – your blog is my number one favourite. Have a wonderful week.

Vicki - April 17, 2016 - 5:26 pm

I love a give-away, but I love your blog more! I have missed you! Hope you were having a good time. How are you handling retirement with your husband? My husband retired and wanted me to come home with him (I lack a few years before I can actually retire). I love to travel, plus I have had occasion to keep the grandchildren, which I absolutely love. So glad I have had an opportunity to be home for a little while. I may go back to work one day – I was a paralegal for many years- and I would like something much more “uneventful”, if you know what I mean! Lol!

Have a great week!
Vicki

Kim Lippard - April 17, 2016 - 5:12 pm

I love Mary Kay Andrews books! So I will definitely look forward to checking these two out!!!
Missed your blog last week. But was blown away to get an email response from you to a question I had asked about maintaining your porch furniture. You are a sincere, thoughtful, and very talented lady! I wish you lived closer….i would love to sit with you on one of our porches and have coffee someday!!!

Cathy - April 17, 2016 - 4:57 pm

Alway enjoy reading your blog. (A friend shared it with
me a year ago, and love checking into what you are doing
around your home.)

Susan McMillan - April 17, 2016 - 4:51 pm

I just discovered your blog not long ago and have enjoyed it so much. I’ve added those two books to my ever growing list of books to read. Thanks for the recommendations! And congrats to your daughter!

karen - April 17, 2016 - 4:44 pm

Hi Kelly,
Oh those kitchens were so dreamy. Nice way to spend some time reading all those sources! Thanks for that.

I am a reader . I have a list so long I’ll never live long enough to read them all. Thanks for the give away!

Donna M Gott - April 17, 2016 - 4:39 pm

Love the kitchens…and the French toast recipe I will surely try. I am addicted to your blog and thank you for offering the give away.

Joti - April 17, 2016 - 4:36 pm

Happy blogging anniversary!!! love the book recommendations 🙂

Ann - April 17, 2016 - 4:31 pm

I found your wonderful blog when searching for Easter decorating with red!! Red is my favorite color and I adore buffalo check and gingham. I love everything about your blog and I will be a lifetime fan! Thanks for all of the time and effort that you put into it. Congrats to your daughter on her graduation. Mine has one more year to go!

Meredith - April 17, 2016 - 4:09 pm

Welcome back,and congratulation on your daughter graduation.

Pam Jenkins - April 17, 2016 - 3:58 pm

I would love to read those books and then pass them on to friends 😊 !!!

kathy - April 17, 2016 - 3:56 pm

Kelly, another fabulous post! I just texted Anita for book recommendations! How funny that you would have book recommendations, especially from Mary Kay Andrews. I will have to read Kristy Woodson Harvey. I can’t wait to go back and click on all of the links. I especially love all of the kitchens. Kelly, please stop feeling like you need to respond to all of the comments left on your blog! That takes way, way, way too much time! We love you whether you respond or not. RIGHT, KATRINA!?Congratulations on four great years! Your blog is my very favorite one!

Heidi - April 17, 2016 - 3:50 pm

I don’t find time to read all the blogs I subscribe to, but never miss reading yours!
You bring us such gorgeous pics of beautiful places and things that inspire me to
Continually look around my own home for opportunities to freshen it up. Keep up the good work!

Mary B. - April 17, 2016 - 3:44 pm

I so appreciate your book recommendations. I needed a new author to try!

Ellen - April 17, 2016 - 3:40 pm

We love our blogs, but sometimes we do indeed need a break because real life is more important. Congratulations to your daughter for a successful conclusion to her college year.

I have to get MKA new book, and I am thinking I would also like to read the two books by KWH. So — I hope I win!

Glad you are back.

Linda - April 17, 2016 - 3:26 pm

Thanks for all the pictures of beautiful kitchens.

Deana - April 17, 2016 - 3:24 pm

Thanks for the giveaway! Sounds like wonderful Summer reading.

julia walker - April 17, 2016 - 3:24 pm

Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation, Kelly! Thank you for your inspirational ideas. You’re wonderful!!!

Judy Whitmore - April 17, 2016 - 3:10 pm

Love reading your comments on all these things and would love to read Kristy Harvey’s two books as I have not read either.

Nan, Odessa, DE - April 17, 2016 - 3:01 pm

Missed you! I always want to be one who comments at the very beginning of a new blog. I kept looking, looking no Kelly! Hope you had a much needed rest.

Happy Birthday! That is being committed. I can honestly say, I enjoy the blog as much today as my first read. That is doing a good job! You are good, keep me interested, motivated and we enjoy much of the same things/styles. I am still waiting for the next blog, every TIME.

I haven’t read the Harvey books because they have been advertised on blogs and I dislike blogs that advertise. On your recommendation and those of your readers, I will check them out.
Have my calendar marked for May 1 for the newest Andrews book. Just one of many things we share.

Can’t wait for the graduation party, and plans for your daughter. Seems we just got the apartment ready.

Be well. Enjoy spring!

Heather - April 17, 2016 - 2:51 pm

I missed you! Glad you are posting! I’ll keep my fingers crossed 🙂

Karen B. - April 17, 2016 - 2:20 pm

I would love to take chance at your giveaway! Thank you.

Christy - April 17, 2016 - 2:11 pm

I would love to try these books. Summer is here and I’m in the mood to read. Thanks so much for offering books to us.

Sherri - April 17, 2016 - 2:02 pm

Another pretty blog! Thanks for another gift offer!

Bobbie Allgood - April 17, 2016 - 1:28 pm

Thank you for the reading selections. How are you feeling about retirement now?

janet - April 17, 2016 - 1:24 pm

Kelly, Thanks for the book recommendations. I always like to know someone else enjoyed a book before I get into it. Have not heard of Kristy Harvey. Love your blog and look forward to seeing Talk of the House pop up on my e mails and then to find inspiration from your writings. Thanks.

Janet

Donna - April 17, 2016 - 1:07 pm

I love your blog, Kelly. I have not read either of these books but they sound great. Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation.

lin - April 17, 2016 - 12:05 pm

I enjoy reading your blogs and looking (many times) at the “house” pictures. Will obtain the books you suggested for some good reading. Here is another suggestion: The Ambassador’s Wife – deals with current issues of women of various backgrounds/nationalities and survival.

Patty - April 17, 2016 - 12:04 pm

Loved this post. Will be reading it more than once and looking at all the links since absolutely everything in it was of interest to me. Will keep me busy for hours! Thank you!!!

Dana Black - April 17, 2016 - 11:51 am

I’m in the mood for a good read. These books sound perfect! Love your blog! Congrats to your daughter on her graduation. Time does fly by so quickly with children.

Vanessa - April 17, 2016 - 11:39 am

Happy 4th Anniversary! Always enjoy your delightful blog. The book recommendations sound great. Perfect for summer reading.

Cindy T - April 17, 2016 - 11:24 am

Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation!! I am loving all of the kitchens, couldn’t pick my favorite if I had to. Thanks for the giveaway Kelly, I’m a book lover too!

Patty - April 17, 2016 - 11:23 am

Since I am now retired I have more time to read. I like your selections very much and look forward to reading them. Thanks for doing this.

Lyn - April 17, 2016 - 11:15 am

I think the answer to the kitchen sink is that farm house sinks are very heavy ,especially the thick ones, so I would venture to say it is an iron support rod used to keep the sink secure. We have restored an 1859 farm house and have learned all about supporting heavy objects . Good to learn you were traveling, feared you may have been sick – so enjoy your posts. Looking forward to reading these two books.

Lynne - April 17, 2016 - 11:14 am

What an exciting time for your daughter! Congratulations and best wishes to her!
I always look forward to your posts. I have been looking for some new book suggestions as summer will be here soon. Thank you for the generous giveaway!

Carolyn. Smith - April 17, 2016 - 11:08 am

You are like a friend and family. I start worrying about you when days go by with no contact. Always love your posts and give always.

Laurie P - April 17, 2016 - 11:07 am

I really enjoy your blog, I smile when I see it in my inbox. You cover all my favorite topics. Food, homes, travel and books. I especially enjoy the books you recommend, I have enjoyed them all.

Julie in Asheville - April 17, 2016 - 11:05 am

Oh, how funny. I just couldn’t wait and ordered both books before I got to the bottom of the page!! LOL I appreciate recommendations on books and am so looking forward to receiving them from Amazon. I’ll still be very happy if I win, but believe I’m a winner regardless. And, many congratulations to your sweet daughter…a very exciting time for her.

Jill Peters - April 17, 2016 - 11:02 am

I always look forward to your new blog posts!

Linda - April 17, 2016 - 10:49 am

Look forward to reading your blog, glad you’re back. Reading is my favorite past time, thanks fo the giveaway. Fingers crossed!

nan - April 17, 2016 - 10:46 am

I always look forward to your “talk” and I’m glad you are back. Thanks for all the pretty kitchen photos …. maybe I can gather and idea for mine.

Mary Michelle - April 17, 2016 - 10:45 am

I am a new reader of your blog and know I am in for a treat every time I see a new post in my email. Thank you for adding joy to my day.

Dawn W. - April 17, 2016 - 10:39 am

I love to read. This is a great give away….thank you!

Louvina - April 17, 2016 - 10:38 am

Nice posting! Lots of info and suggestions to think about– and since I am in the midst of serious spring cleaning I needed a nice diversion. Been missing you and was in hopes you have been out and about enjoying your retirement with your hubby. Can not believe it is graduation already for your baby girl! That went by so quickly. Hope to hear what she is looking forward to afterwards as she sprouts her wings! Happy exploring to you!! Nice cool spring weather here but have a feeling summer heat is coming soon.

Mary Hanson - April 17, 2016 - 10:34 am

Always so happy to see your blog post show up in the in box!

Tamara E - April 17, 2016 - 10:24 am

Kelly…Congrats on your 4 yr Blog Anniversary. Your blog is the FIRST blog I have followed and I so enjoy reading it! I am a very detailed person too when we are entertaining… I really love your post when you share your entertaining ideas. Thank You!

Kay - April 17, 2016 - 10:22 am

I have a beach trip planned with my girlfriends in June. We are all teachers, or better than that…some of us are retired! Would love to add those books to my beach bag!

Paula B. - April 17, 2016 - 10:21 am

A belated Happy Blogaversary! Where has the time gone? I must have started following TOH right after you began writing it. I still think you have one of the best blogs around, for sure. Those kitchens look amazing although I would need some color to offset all that white-ness. And, that home on St. Simons, I would move there in a heartbeat. Gorgeous. I am a lover of MKA’s books, especially the earlier ones, adored the Callahan Garrity series. But, I was disappointed in the last one, was that Beach Town? Very interested in the two books by Kristy, I need some new reading material.

rebecca - April 17, 2016 - 10:10 am

I have been debating about buying Kristy’s books…I do read her blog, although most of the time it is more formal than I am…now that you have endorsed it I probably will order it.

Love the pictures of Barbara Westbrook’s bathroom…couldn’t find more on her house though. I do have 2 of her books and love them…especially the first one.

anita - April 17, 2016 - 10:04 am

Congratulations to your daughter! My daughter graduates this month as well from university. My goodness time flies! Love the dreamy kitchens. Thank you for the summer reading suggestions. And I wonder if Target ships to Canada? I would love those nice bottles as well. Sadly, there are no longer Target stores.

Angela - April 17, 2016 - 9:55 am

Congratulations Kelly on 4 years. How kind of you to offer this giveaway. Your blog is such a joy to read and so different from so many others that I follow. I hope you continue to write for as long as you enjoy it.

Judith N - April 17, 2016 - 9:53 am

Congratulations on the success of your blog for these many years,
I just loved the wicker porch pieces. Having finished renovations on my lanai, I’m looking for some white wicker pieces myself. I decided I wanted a wicker rocker. Something I could use to enjoy the warm Florida evenings that are soon to arrive.

Karen McLeod - April 17, 2016 - 9:46 am

Thank you for the generous giveaway. Love your blog and all you do.

Sheena - April 17, 2016 - 9:41 am

I’m glad you’re back, Kelly. I love your blog and appreciate the giveaway. I’m excited to check out today’s featured authors. You got me into the Mitford series, and I’m so glad you did. Thanks again!

Sue Berg - April 17, 2016 - 9:38 am

Happy Anniversary!

Bonnie - April 17, 2016 - 9:32 am

Can’t believe she’s finishing college! Can’t wait to read some of these books.

Charlene - April 17, 2016 - 9:30 am

So happy to see your post! Missed you! The books look perfect for my summer read collection. Can’t wait to follow the links for the kitchens you posted to see more photos. As always, thanks for the work you do on your blog. It is by far my favorite!

Martha - April 17, 2016 - 9:25 am

Oh, I really enjoy reading your blog. It is so lovely. And as a matter of fact….I have a beach bag ready to pack up those wonderful books! Happy Anniversary!

Joyce Mays - April 17, 2016 - 9:22 am

Welcome Back! Missed you this week. Congratulations on 4 years

Pat - April 17, 2016 - 9:16 am

Oh thanks for coming back. I was missing you and your blog fix. I would love these books.

Kathleen - April 17, 2016 - 9:16 am

Once again, great blog! Love all the kitchens & Barbara westbrook! I’ve been wanting to read Kristy Woodson Harvey’s books too! Congrats to your daughter on her upcoming graduation!

Julie Foy - April 17, 2016 - 9:14 am

Congratulations on the anniversary of your blog! I always enjoy reading it! I would love to have these books for my summer reading on the back porch!

Carol M. - April 17, 2016 - 9:13 am

Congratulations on your 4th year of blogging. I am new to your blog and have loved going through the archives and reading your posts. I teach and am looking forward to my summer reading so these books will be added to the list.

Beverly - April 17, 2016 - 9:12 am

Love your blog! Missed you this week.

Joy Cooper - April 17, 2016 - 9:11 am

Enjoy all of your posts very much. Would love to read these 2 books. I am out of books to read right now!

Sherry - April 17, 2016 - 9:08 am

Thank you for this opportunity! Can’t wait to check out everything on today’s post!

Kay - April 17, 2016 - 9:00 am

I have both of these books on my ‘to read’ list already – so glad to get your endorsement of them as well, plus an opportunity to win them! Love reading your blog – happy 4th birthday!

Debbie Robinson - April 17, 2016 - 8:58 am

Congratulations on your blogging anniversary. I love your blog and look forward to your reading recommendations. I MUST have a stack of books ready for summer reading!!

Barbara Jo - April 17, 2016 - 8:56 am

Happy 4th to Talk of the House!!! We are getting our house ready to sell and I always find inspiration in your blog photos for staging! Once we are settled in our new home, I hope to relax and read some of the books you suggest. Thanks for the opportunity!

MaryAnna Cochran - April 17, 2016 - 8:54 am

I love to read your blog, and It never fails to brighten my day:) thank you for the book reviews and recommendations! I have just cleaned the pollen from my porch and enjoy this time of year siting there and reading a good book!

bev - April 17, 2016 - 8:46 am

Thanks for a list of new books to read. I love Mary Kay Andrews….have been a fan for years. Having knee replacement surgery next week so will add those to my read list. I have been saving Susan Branch’s 2 new books for that time too.

Elaine - April 17, 2016 - 8:45 am

always enjoy your blog and refer to the archives when traveling to check your recommendations for lodging and dining.
On another note, the kitchen that has the odd piece of brown trim could possibly be a pull out mini step ladder believe it or not, we have a friend who builds high end kitchens and they put those in the dead space that is there so they are handy to access tall cabinets, just a thought, although odd that it doesn’t match the cabinetry like they usually do.

Marianne in Mo. - April 17, 2016 - 8:44 am

First, congratulations to your daughter (and you!) on her upcoming graduation! A great accomplishment!

Second, I loved seeing all the kitchens here today, and my favorite was the St. Simons one. Or maybe the Palmetto Bluffs? Or the light-filled David Scharffs? Let’s just say I liked all of them!
I’m re-reading some classics lately, mostly Jane Austen. I’m working on Emma right now. Guess I’m missing Downton and crave a little old England. 🙂
Have a great rest of the weekend! It’s been lovely here this week.

Sandireese - April 17, 2016 - 8:36 am

Ty!!! Love me a good book!!

Amy Canby - April 17, 2016 - 8:32 am

The books look great and as always, your blog photos give me a warm cozy feeling.😊

Nancy H - April 17, 2016 - 8:30 am

Thanks for the giveaway!

Jan - April 17, 2016 - 8:29 am

I just love your blog. We have very similar taste!! I love to sit down with my morning coffee and read your posts. Thank you for sharing your talent.

Karen - April 17, 2016 - 8:23 am

Congratulations for your daughter! Glad you are back to blogging. I am a librarian so of course I would love to win some books!

Pat in Georgia - April 17, 2016 - 8:22 am

Happy Birthday Talk of the House! Four years have flown by and I, for one, have enjoyed each and every post. I have gained so many beautiful ideas for my home, loved the recipes, and have been able to wander with you to many wonderful places. Thank you for the beauty and joy you bring to our world!

Susan W - April 17, 2016 - 8:21 am

I enjoyed your post Kelly. Great kitchens and would love to win the giveaway. I printed the french toast casserole recipe and will try it when my sister comes to visit in two weeks.

Kelly Tye Vallis - April 17, 2016 - 8:17 am

Thank you for this generous opportunity! I always enjoy seeing what inspires you! Enjoy this special time with your daughter.

Anne - April 17, 2016 - 8:09 am

We’ll be in St. Simons Island in a few weeks…have to check that place out. All are lovely!

Shelley - April 17, 2016 - 8:07 am

How I’ve missed you! Graduation can be so busy though…I get it. Loved your post and would love the book gift certificate!

Andi Willis - April 17, 2016 - 8:05 am

Congratulations on your blog anniversary! You do such a fabulous job and I enjoy looking at all the eye candy.

Jacki G. - April 17, 2016 - 8:04 am

Would love to win this prize, and thanks for your great blog!

Sherrie - April 17, 2016 - 8:01 am

Thanks for the pictures of all the beautiful kitchens and for the book recommendations! With summer right around the corner always looking for some fun summer books!

Roxanna - April 17, 2016 - 8:00 am

I’ve read all of Mary Kay Andrews books. I haven’t read Kristy’s books, so it would be awesome to win. Thanks for the giveaway.

Fran - April 17, 2016 - 7:57 am

Books are my passion (next to reading your blog!) Thanks for this giveaway opportunity!

monica - April 17, 2016 - 7:53 am

Thanks for the giveaway! Congratulations on the graduation of your daughter, it is an exciting time! And thanks for some amazing book suggestions!

Dorothy Sadler Hemphill - April 17, 2016 - 7:51 am

I have not read these books – so happy to hear about more good books. Thanks for such a great giveaway.

Jennifer - April 17, 2016 - 7:50 am

I always love your pictures. Thank you for the book suggestion.

Linda - April 17, 2016 - 7:45 am

I just finished my book and was wanting a new one to enjoy. Thanks for the suggestions! Congratulations on your daughter’s upcoming graduation. Don’t those four years just fly by!

N from Va - April 17, 2016 - 7:37 am

Love the kitchens. Lots of white and light (my favorites). Your blog is my favorite. Thanks for the chance too at the give-away.

Karen - April 17, 2016 - 7:33 am

Glad to see you back blogging, I was wondering where you went! Graduation is fast approaching at my house too. It felt like those high school years went by fast, but college flies by! Seeing your children grow into beautiful young adults and entering this new stage in life is priceless!

Betty Sparrow - April 17, 2016 - 7:31 am

I look forward to you blogs. The kitchens were delightful!

Jackie - April 17, 2016 - 7:28 am

What a great giveaway!

I hope you enjoyed your time off. As always, you posted beautiful pictures. I almost always save something on Pinterest from your blog.

Also, happy anniversary on your blog! Seven years is great!

I’d love to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks so much!

Cindy Horton - April 17, 2016 - 7:22 am

Missed you, but so exciting your daughter is about to graduate. I also love, love, Kristy Harvey’s books. I take much pride that she is from my home town. Would love to win. Thanks, Cindy

Lois - April 17, 2016 - 7:14 am

Always enjoy your book recommendations, so these are all on my list of must reads now-thanks! I remember the amazing feelings involved with all the festivities of our younger child graduating-a wonderful, but somewhat bittersweet time. Cherish every minute!

Betty - April 17, 2016 - 6:56 am

Thanks for the book reviews and I love the beautiful kitchens. I missed your blog last week–glad you’re back!

Marianne A - April 17, 2016 - 6:35 am

I always look forward to reading your blog. You travel to woo many places and I love seeing the inside of the inn’s you have stayed in.

donna - April 17, 2016 - 6:17 am

Oh yes…would definitely buy more books! Have not read those two but would love too! Thanks Kelly!

jan - April 17, 2016 - 6:08 am

Our taste in books is very similar…so I love.when you review or mention something you have enjoyed…I know I will enjoy too and since I kindle read Amazon is my best friend. Have a.more relaxing week.

Anne Boykin - April 17, 2016 - 5:50 am

Thanks for the giveaway, Kelly!

Barbara - April 17, 2016 - 5:25 am

Thank you, Kelly, for a chance to enter this generous giveaway! Love all you do on your blog. It’s so inspiring! Thank you! Barbara S.

Merri Jo - April 17, 2016 - 3:02 am

It was such a treat to receive your sweet email, Kelly. I, too have enjoyed both of Kristy’s books–I could not put “Lies and ….” Down! I had my kindle affixed to my hand for a few days!

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