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From Farm to Table – August Decorating

Talk of the House porch tableYes, I know.  It is almost the end of August, and I am just now getting around to showing you the decorating for this month.  I apologize, but I wanted to do the giveaway this month, and those posts that went with it came first.  Some of you are probably already looking at pumpkins and mums and don’t want to see anything else related to summer!:)

foyer buffetBut summer marches on in full force here in Georgia.  Full force with lots of vegetables! This decorating actually started in mid July when tomatoes were coming out of the gardens here by the bucketfuls.  (Is bucketfuls really a word??)

foyerI love heirloom tomatoes with their gorgeous range of colors from yellows to reds to even browns. (You can see that here.) So they were the inspiration for this month’s decor, and because I was using garden vegetables, I thought cans made a nice metal accent for my “vases”…

family roomwith a few canning jars thrown in for good measure.:)

family room mantelA group of my teacher friends went together and gave me a very nice gift certificate to Pottery Barn when I retired in May.  Pottery Barn gift cards can also be redeemed at pbkids, PBTeen, and Williams-Sonoma.  So I had quite a few stores from which to choose!

dining roomI had spied these tomato plates in Williams Sonoma earlier in the summer.  They are beautifully hand painted. I knew I wanted several sets of them; so I waited until they were on sale, and then I happily ordered them with my gift card (and I still have some money left on it to spend!:))

dining room tableI mixed a couple of patterns of silver for the flatware, and mason jars just seemed like the perfect choice for our glasses for this farm to table setting.

dining room tomato tableI loved how the centerpiece with all the vegetables turned out!  (Those cardboard berry baskets came from Hobby Lobby I think, but I am not 100% sure.)

dining room centerpieceI ordered the sets of plates in a couple of different patterns so that I could mix them.  (You have to look closely to really be able to tell the difference in them.)

dining room table with Williams Sonoma tomato platesThe red and yellow color scheme is also in the kitchen.  The little stool there that had been blue earlier in the summer got painted with my wall paint.

kitchenHere’s the desk with a few canned vegetables from Fresh Market.  Aren’t those labels just perfect for this?:)

kitchen deskAnd a recipe for tomato pie just had to go on the chalkboard.:) Even Garden and Gun magazine went with a cover of tomatoes this month!

kitchen chalkboard tomato pie recipeAnd finally, I want you to come out on the porch (even though it is hot as the devil out here!)  There has been a domino move of furniture around here lately.  Our daughter got the sofa from the playroom.  The playroom got the wicker sofa from the porch, and the porch got the wicker loveseat from my classroom when I retired.  Got all that?:) My plans are to paint it the same color as all the other wicker out there when the weather cools off some, and I want to get the cushions recovered as well.


I used more of my new tomato plates out here too.

porch dining areaThe fun chalkboard has vegetables listed all around the border.  :)

porch chalkboardLove love how this table turned out with the candles and more vegetables!

porch table

porch Talk of the House farm to table

 It is really tooooo hot to be out there in the day, but the early morning and late evening are nice with the fans on.

porch Talk of the House

In my next post, I will share a meal with you that we enjoyed out there with all that tomato goodness (and maybe a recipe or two.:))

porch farm to table centerpiece

And one last reminder to enter the giveaway that ends tonight.  You can read the details here. All you have to do is leave a comment on a post that publishes between 8/13/2015 and midnight 8/21/15.  If you’re reading the post from an email delivered one, you will need to go to the actual website to leave a comment. Click on Leave a Comment.  Then scroll to the last comment on the post to leave yours in the comment form.   You can enter on all the posts in that date range if you want more chances to win. (Only one comment per post please.) The entry deadline is midnight Eastern time 8/21/15.  I will do a random drawing and announce the winner in my next post.

Talk of the House August giveawayHappy Friday!  I hope you have a super weekend as we near the end of this summer season.  I’m sorta ready for some fall temps around here….and maybe a few mums.:) How ’bout you?

Until next time,


Lynne - August 21, 2015 - 11:15 am

I just love your new tomato plates and the summer/veggie table decorations!

Susan - August 21, 2015 - 11:18 am

I love your vegetable decorations! So original and fresh for the hot end to summer. Thank you for the chance to win the cookbook too.

Nancy L - August 21, 2015 - 11:18 am

Love your new tomato plates!

Nancy - August 21, 2015 - 11:21 am

You are so creative, Kelly! I always want to duplicate everything you do. Now if I could only do calligraphy!😊

Maureen detwiler - August 21, 2015 - 11:22 am

Love your porch

PJ Bronson - August 21, 2015 - 11:27 am

Love your tomato plates!

MaryAnna C - August 21, 2015 - 11:29 am

Love the vegetable theme! I too have a porch and live in Georgia and enjoy early in the morning with my coffee and very late in the afternoon with my book. Yes, it has been hot as the devil and I am really looking forward to this cold front the weather folks keep talking about.

Frankie - August 21, 2015 - 11:30 am

I love the plates, flowers and all the red and yellow!

Donnamae - August 21, 2015 - 11:36 am

Cute plates! I love the summer decorating…but, fall is really my favorite! Quite the variety of tomatoes you had there…did they make a great salad? 😉

Nancy - August 21, 2015 - 11:36 am

I am new to your website and am enjoying everything that I have read! Love your farm to table post!

Lynn - August 21, 2015 - 11:49 am

I love love your decorating style. Hope your retirement is going well, your blog readers will undoubtedly reap the rewards!

Delores Clark - August 21, 2015 - 11:54 am

Ooh I love those tomato plates!

Kathy P. - August 21, 2015 - 11:57 am

Love the new plates. Your tables are always so beautiful. Hope you do share the recipes. Have a great weekend!!!!

Ellen Martin - August 21, 2015 - 11:58 am

What a charming farm to table post!! I love your new plates, and the way you have used them at your tables. Coming to dinner in your home must be such a treat for anyone who is invited……and always for your family! Thanks for all the inspiration!

Priscilla - August 21, 2015 - 11:59 am

I always enjoy your blog and your southern style. Keep ’em coming! and thanks!

Julie - August 21, 2015 - 12:07 pm

Love your blog. Would love to win a guest luncheon slot with 4 other lucky readers of Talk of the House.

Susan - August 21, 2015 - 12:10 pm

This was such a fun, and appropriate, post! (We are buried under our garden tomatoes, right now :) You made a wise choice with your gift card – those plates are beautiful! I’m sure that you will get a lot of use from them.

Trish - August 21, 2015 - 12:11 pm

Love your porch decorated with all the veggies.

ChrisTea - August 21, 2015 - 12:28 pm

I love those tomato plates! So cute. You’ve also made me hungy for a huge plate of veggies. I think I’ll do that tonight. Thank you!

LJ - August 21, 2015 - 12:37 pm

I seem to love everything “tomato-y”…truly made up word…and following that reasoning I like your summer decorating. I have fond memories of helping my Dad in the garden when I was a child. He had a huge garden and every kind of vegetable that he knew my mother would cook or can. I loved every minute being with him. He was a really good man and a great father. Thank you for bringing him to mind with the theme.

Paula Jolly - August 21, 2015 - 12:50 pm

I love a pretty tablescape: they really don’t have to be incredibly expensive – yours are always so thoughtful & seem to be a nice mix of collected treasures, gifts from others, & bargain finds! What a wonderful way to bless those you love!! Dinner at the table is almost a lost art. Thanks so much for sharing & inspiring others to bless their family & friends.

Debra - August 21, 2015 - 12:52 pm

I will say it endlessly….I love your porch! Your decorating is charming. Fun garden/tomato goodness! I bought the pumpkin print plates last fall. Ugh, after seeing this post, I think I might need the tomato ones now. :( Does this mean I have plate addiction?

Jackie Layton - August 21, 2015 - 12:54 pm

What a warm and welcoming home!

I love the decorations. This morning I went outside early and cut daisies to put on my kitchen table. Now I’m tempted to go cut more.

Thanks for sharing!

Joan Rhea - August 21, 2015 - 12:54 pm

Your tablescape and especially your tomato plates make me feel like I’m about to sit down to a meal at my grandmother’s table. Makes me remember smells from her humble kitchen that included fresh churned butter, fresh sliced tomatoes, okra, butter beans, chicken, gravy, biscuits and then a fresh pound cake for dessert. MMM!

Julie {Lilacs & Longhorns} - August 21, 2015 - 12:55 pm

You really outdid yourself, Kelly, with your summer home!! I ADORE it all! Those plates are so much fun and I love all the bounty of summer with your veggies, zinnias and such. You are just so darned talented! Happy late summer to you!

Betty - August 21, 2015 - 12:57 pm

I am going to see if I can find those plates—perfect for August!

Julie Atwell - August 21, 2015 - 12:59 pm

Love those plates!!
Your pictures provide so much inspiration!

Nancy - August 21, 2015 - 1:08 pm

It is all so beautiful as always! Love it all.

Pat - August 21, 2015 - 1:14 pm

Never have I seen someone so creative. And when do you find the time to come up with all these beautiful decorations? Please keep it up because I love your style.

Sandy - August 21, 2015 - 1:22 pm

Seriously, you never cease to amaze me at your creativeness. I simply love those tables with the tomato plates. Your chalkboards are adorable too… such talent. O look forward to your posts.

Ren - August 21, 2015 - 1:23 pm

Such a creative vegetable theme! Love the plates. I think it may be buckets full. But, then I was an apparel and textiles teacher, not English! As always, I thoroughly enjoyed this post.

Dana - August 21, 2015 - 1:47 pm

Tomatoes, daisies and mason jars… these are a few of my favorite things. Although I do prefer autumn, I want to enjoy the last of summer and this post is inspirational, as usual.

Sallie - August 21, 2015 - 1:53 pm

Your table is delightful and I love the plates. I think we all want to come to your house for dinner!

Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes - August 21, 2015 - 1:53 pm

So many wonderful ideas, Kelly! I love your flowers displayed in tin cans!! Such fun to see the red and yellow touches in your kitchen. I adore the beadboard back splash!! Love your beautiful chalkboards, too! What do you use to write on them? The retired teacher in me would love some small chalkboards at home to hand letter, but I don’t want chalk dust! My Pinterest boards are filling up with your great ideas!! ♡

Helen - August 21, 2015 - 2:14 pm

I have always liked using old cans and jars for flower vases. Love the plates and all your little touches as always.

L. Bratton - August 21, 2015 - 2:15 pm

Love your porch!!!!

Julia - August 21, 2015 - 2:29 pm

I really like those tomato plates :) Thank you for posting these decorating ideas – I starting my fall decorating (I’m in Florida) and it just seems out of place. I will re-do using some of your inspirations!

Happy weekend to you Kelly!

Sherry Myers - August 21, 2015 - 2:36 pm

You had me at tomato! I am ready for the fall temperatures, but I guess as a former teacher, it’s in my blood to want summer to last a little longer. I love your summer decor, from the entry and the too cute little red truck (wherever did you find it?),to
the new dishes (envy!), all the table centerpieces (loved how you tucked in the radishes and okra too.) On a trip to Savannah, I found a couple of ceramic berry cartons. I have used them all summer. What a clever idea for your flower vases. It all came together perfectly. The new stool color blends well, and yes, the Fresh Market canned vegetables add just the right touch. The porch is pleasing perfection as always. The red plates inside and the yellow plates outside coordinate smartly with the tomato plates. The table looks inviting, well, the entire porch does for that matter. I am still in love with the chalkboard in your kitchen and the one on the porch. AND, Yes, we will take some more recipes. Looking forward to the post on your tomato goodness meal! Thanks, Kelly.

Renee Cook - August 21, 2015 - 2:46 pm

I especially love a farmhouse theme! The cans for vases idea was so simple and cute. I sure wish I had your knack to be able to write so well on a chalkboard! Good job, as always!

I feel certain you’re enjoying your retirement, but imagine it feels weird with school starting back and you’re not! Hope you’re feeling better, too. Enjoy the remaining lazy, hazy days of summer!

Mary Ellen - August 21, 2015 - 2:58 pm

Oh, your tomato dishes would be so fun to have! I love, love, love dishes and would be tempted to have tons if I had room to store them. Love your decorating as usual! Have a good weekend.

jerri - August 21, 2015 - 3:00 pm

Love the veggie decor. Now I know what’s for supper………tomato pie!

DEBI - August 21, 2015 - 3:14 pm

I have had my eye on the fabulous tomato plates! Love your style and willingness to share with all of us.

Crystal B - August 21, 2015 - 3:20 pm

The plates are lovely, and the farm veggies look great!

Nicola - August 21, 2015 - 3:24 pm

Love, love the plates! The table are so pretty, great inspiration!

Donnie - August 21, 2015 - 3:30 pm

Love the tablescapes. Made my mouth water looking at all the beautiful tomatoes. Thanks for such cheerful posts, look forward to hearing from you!

Beth - August 21, 2015 - 3:44 pm

Your table setting is beautiful and so appropriate for the last weeks of summer. As a fellow retired teacher I am so happy that you are now having a chance to relax with your family and share your fascinating creativity with your blog readers. I always look forward to your next post. Thanks for inspiring us!

Cheri - August 21, 2015 - 3:57 pm

I am not a fan of eating a tomato but I LOVE those plates. You did a super job on your tables…can I come over to eat?

Bonnie - August 21, 2015 - 4:07 pm

It’s great to celebrate the fresh vegetables, especially tomatoes, of summer! And, I always enjoy seeing how you make it all come together.

Judy - August 21, 2015 - 4:22 pm

Vegges are my favorite. Could use some of those bucketful of tomatoes over here.
Wish you could toss me a few but it was great looking at yours.

Michele Bailey - August 21, 2015 - 4:29 pm

Love your new dinner plates. I’ve been debating on getting some pumpkin plates I seen at pottery barn. Enjoy the rest of your summer

Tina sneed - August 21, 2015 - 4:44 pm

love the tomato plates!

Louvina - August 21, 2015 - 4:58 pm

Can almost smell those delicious tomatoes!! Where’s my salt shaker?! This is the time of tomato harvest– and I have canned many jars of juice and fruit to use during the winter. Hot, hard work but oh, so rewarding! My mother in law used to say “beats eating snowballs” coming from a family of 11 children! Last year my daughter got me the tomato smelling soy candle from WS and it was wonderful!

Debra C - August 21, 2015 - 5:10 pm

I love the tomato plates.

Mechelle - August 21, 2015 - 5:34 pm

You can never have too many tomatoes! Looks fabulous!

Darla B - August 21, 2015 - 5:46 pm

Yet another table scape I love, absolutely love the tomatoes plates!

Cindy Ross - August 21, 2015 - 6:18 pm

Well I might be deathly allergic to tomatoes but I do believe that I want those tomato plates. I love those. I don’t think they would go in my kitchen. I have brown and turquoise. I would try to find a way. So cute!!! I always love reading your blog and look forward to seeing your next creation. Your the best!!!

Gina - August 21, 2015 - 6:25 pm

Perfect theme for August! Tomatoes galore. I visited my grandparents yesterday and they had lots from their garden. We had BLT’s for lunch. :)I love the plates you chose.I’m sure you will get plenty of use from them. Can’t wait to see what “tomato” recipe you made! :)

Dawn - August 21, 2015 - 6:42 pm


I love your new tomato plates. I am not ready for Fall yet. We are still enjoying the Summer time weather here. It has been a very pleasant Summer here in Missouri this year. We have been making salsa from all of the tomatoes we have been getting out of our garden lately. I can’t wait to see what recipes you made. Have a great weekend!

Nan, Odessa, DE - August 21, 2015 - 6:44 pm

Like how you used the veggies!
Give a tutorial on painting the love seat when you paint, please.
Thanks for the tour.

Tiffany - August 21, 2015 - 6:54 pm

I love the tomato plates!I am always inspired by your decorating posts. Can’t wait to hear the recipes.

Cindy Kuhens - August 21, 2015 - 7:26 pm

Your decorating is so inspiring – love it !!!!

Cindy - August 21, 2015 - 7:47 pm

Love reading your website and would love to win the give-away.

Janet nunn - August 21, 2015 - 7:53 pm

Kelly, You have a flair to make everything pretty. What a wonderful gift!


Monika - August 21, 2015 - 8:28 pm

I, too, have a gift card from Pottery Barn in my wallet … will have to check out those gorgeous plates at Williams Sonoma … and that little red truck! Where did you find that beauty?
Thanks much for another very inspirational post, Kelly.

theresalh - August 21, 2015 - 8:30 pm

love it all. i had my eye on those plates!

karen charleston, sc - August 21, 2015 - 8:55 pm

Kelly, Beautiful post as always!I feel as if i’m right there enjoying your hospitality!What time is dinner?

Patty in Michigan - August 21, 2015 - 9:45 pm

Kelly, I just love this tablescape. I am loving those tomatoes plates!

sharon - August 21, 2015 - 10:35 pm

Love the summer theme using fresh produce. The plates were a perfect choice.

Diana Taylor - August 21, 2015 - 10:44 pm

Loving that tablescape! And with fall in the air, I too am ready to decorate with all the rich colors. I have a love affair with plates and the tomato plates are fun, fun!

judy e - August 21, 2015 - 11:11 pm

love the tomato plates also, and also your table set ups

Joan - August 21, 2015 - 11:17 pm

Yikes, Kelly, where has Summer gone? I like how you have painted the stool in your kitchen which in turn reminds me that I have a bookcase, wicker shelf unit, and something else that I have conveniently forgotten, that all need to be painted before the hot weather leaves us. And those plates are great.
I believe it is considered more correct to say bucketsful though my spellcheck doesn’t agree. You have a slew of teachers to confer with; let us know what they conclude. Have a great weekend.

Kathryn - August 22, 2015 - 12:20 am

Love Love how you place a decorative plate on a plain colored! I am watching for some perfect 3/4 plates for me. Good luck to me for the drawing. Thanks for all of your inspiration

Karen - August 22, 2015 - 8:38 am

Was so happy to see your post featuring farm to table dining. Your table settings are beautiful, fun and inviting. Keep the summer posts coming, I am not ready for mums or pumpkins!

Linda - August 22, 2015 - 9:01 am

As always so fun, I am ready for cooler temps also. Have a great weekend.

kathy - August 22, 2015 - 9:44 am

Kelly, I can never get enough posts about summer. I am not ready for mums and pumpkins yet. How sweet that your friends gave you a Pottery Barn gift card! You are spending it well. The tomato plates are fun. Do you like fried green tomatoes? They are one of my favorite things.

Garden, Home and Party - August 22, 2015 - 9:52 am

Happy weekend! I love the tomato plates and of course, all of the red touches! We’re really still in summer mode so this post was perfectly timed. :-)
I like all of the changes on the porch. The wicker love seat from your classroom looks happy there.
Karen - August 22, 2015 - 8:57 pm

Great decorations, Kelly, and I love the Williams-Sonoma plates!

Sherri - August 23, 2015 - 8:05 pm

Cute and creative idea to use veggies for decoration! It’s always fun to see what you will come up with next.

Lanita Anderson - August 26, 2015 - 9:03 am

Love, Love, Love the tomato plates and the beautiful tablescapes!! I have similar plates and am going to use your ideas for dinner this week! Thanks for sharing – I so enjoy your blog and your fun ideas!
I’m so glad there are ideas here that you can use Lanita! Thank you for putting my ideas to work! :) I hope your tomato plates work for the meal.

Libby Patterson - August 30, 2015 - 9:19 pm

Love the tomatoe plates and your table decor. Also love the lamps on your table with the books, framing your family pics. Where did you find those?
Enjoy your blog!

Yet Another Disney Birthday Party

front porch disney partyIf you have been reading this blog for a few months, you may remember that we hosted a Disney themed birthday party for my father and sister back in April.  (If you don’t remember you can read about it here.:))  My sister is a BIG Disney fan, and our children are even more addicted to all-things-Disney than she is, but the biggest fan of all is our daughter – the one who was actually working at Walt Disney World last semester.

porch balloonsShe wasn’t really happy that she missed that Disney birthday party, so I decided that this year for her birthday we would do it all over again…or at least something very similar. And that is precisely what we did a few Sundays ago.  So come on inside and be our guest at our latest Disney shindig.  I want you to enjoy the party!

We started the decorating outside with polka dot balloons on the steps and a Mickey Mouse saying on the door.

front door for partyIn the foyer, more balloons were tied to a Mickey Mouse who was seated on a few of our son’s Disney art books.  (I was careful with them Will.:))

foyer buffet

Disney party foyer buffetThe piano had a candy jar filled with “Goofy’s gumballs,” while a tray on the piano bench held thank you gifts for the guests.

Disney party treat bags

Disney party gumballsI searched everywhere for something Disney-ish that would not be so juvenile. Let me tell you that was a challenge – especially when you are on a budget.  I lucked out with these polka dot journals at Michaels, and the tags for them were super easy to make on my computer.

polka dot journals as thank you gifts for Disney partyWe decked out the family room with more balloons and a continued color scheme of red, black, and yellow.

living room for partyAnother Mickey Mouse silhouette was framed for the mantel.

mantelAnd I added some Disney sunglasses there for one more themed accent.

mantel vignette

Mickey Mouse silhouette pictur

Our handy dandy red and black pillows worked perfectly there on the sofa.sofa for Disney partyThe table for gifts had Minnie Mouse with another bouquet of balloons.
(Wish I had remembered to photograph this table when it actually had all the presents on it!)

gift tableThe dining room had all the best stuff though.:) Black and white polka dot gift wrap with kraft paper layered on top made our table cloth again.

Disney party tableA pot of flowers with Mickey and Pluto made for a simple centerpiece. And I want to tell you about the birthday “cake.”  Our daughter loves petit fours….and when I say she loves them, I mean like she tells me that she wants her wedding cake to be tiers and tiers of them!  So I knew I wanted to order them for her party.

Mickey Mouse centerpieceNormally they run around $12/dozen at our local bakery, but when I ordered them they told me they would be $24/dozen to have them decorated with a Mickey silhouette (instead of their typical flowers.)  Well that was not in my budget, so I told them to just make them undecorated, and I would decorate them myself.  And I did.  I used 2 red M&M minis and 1 red regular M&M to make the silhouette.  Easy peasy folks – super easy!

Mickey Mouse petit foursWe also served Chex mix with peanuts and M&M’s stirred in, strawberries and pineapple with a yogurt dip, potato chips with Ranch dip, and pigs-in-a-blanket.

Disney party balloonsI added a couple of “hidden Mickeys” around the room.:)

Mickey Mouse cookie jarHere’s the beverage bar.  The red drink dispenser was on sale at Walmart,and I just added a big Mickey Mouse sticker to it.

Mickey Mouse beverage barDo you spot the “hidden Mickey” in the cabinet above the kitchen desk?

kitchen deskA chalkboard seems to be required of every birthday party around here.

birthday chalkboardAnd I just couldn’t neglect the back porch even though I knew it would only be used if everyone stayed for dinner.

porch buffet

porch chalkboardThose polka dots took over the table!

porch table for disney partyAnd here is the birthday girl blowing out her candles!
Make a wish…

birthday cake

And with the cake we also served a copy cat version of Disney’s Dole Pineapple Whip.  The recipe for it is here.

Disney Dole Whip recipeI do believe our daughter enjoyed her party.:)

porch disney partyAnd that wraps up all the details for her party.  Before I go let me remind you that you can still enter the New Perry Hotel cookbook and Sur la Table giveaway until Friday 8/21/15.  You can read the details here. All you have to do is leave a comment on a post that publishes between 8/13/2015 and midnight 8/21/15.  If you are reading the post from an email delivered one, you will need to go over to the actual website to leave a comment. Click on Leave a Comment.  Then scroll to the last comment on the post to leave yours.   You can enter on all the posts in that date range if you want more chances to win. (Only one comment per post please.) The entry deadline is midnight Eastern time 8/21/15.  I will do a random drawing and announce the winner in the next post after that.

Talk of the House August giveawayThank you sooooo much for your super sweet compliments on our daughter’s apartment in the last post!  I appreciate all of them very much.

Until next time…


Stacey - August 18, 2015 - 11:34 pm

You are a master party planner! Happy Birthday Hayley!

Pat - August 19, 2015 - 4:23 am

Incredible how you can take a theme and build and build on it! Magical indeed.

Anne Boykin - August 19, 2015 - 5:50 am

Hi Kelly, Wow, you really throw a fabulous party! I love all the Disney details. It must be fun to be related to you!!

NancyL - August 19, 2015 - 5:50 am

Happy Birthday Haley!!!

TracyK - August 19, 2015 - 6:06 am

I love all the little details you add!

Betty - August 19, 2015 - 6:17 am

I love the Kraft paper and the polka dot runners on the table. Looks like a great party!

Anne from Atlanta - August 19, 2015 - 6:45 am

What a fun party! Cute picture of your daughter with mouse ears!

Vicki - August 19, 2015 - 6:58 am

What a beautiful party!

Carol Ann - August 19, 2015 - 7:03 am

I love the red M&Ms on the cake squares. Ingenious idea….saved time and money and just as cute!

jerri - August 19, 2015 - 7:03 am

Cute party! I love petit fours, too!

Debra C - August 19, 2015 - 7:18 am

You did a fabulous job! Happy Birthday to Haley!

Lois - August 19, 2015 - 7:27 am

Your family is so lucky – all you celebrations look ‘magical’!

Louvina - August 19, 2015 - 7:34 am

What a FUN birthday!! I know your daughter was thrilled with this bd theme! I just can’t understand how you keep coming up with all these creative ideas?! The M&M Mickey’s were perfect for the cakes!! Everything was simple BUT oh so special!! Loved the way you used the polka dots–and it was just “Magical”! Hope I can come up with some magic ideas for my daughter’s Mermaid bd theme next month!! It’s a “Girl Fins” weekend at the beach!! :)

Yarlette - August 19, 2015 - 7:46 am

You are such a creative person. Love that you make things special for your family. You are making wonderful memories for everyone.

Jill - August 19, 2015 - 7:49 am

Wow! I just love all the polka dots and the mouse ears on your daughter, super cute. Thanks for sharing, blessings, Jill :)

Cindy - August 19, 2015 - 7:53 am

Happy Birthday Hayley! You are one lucky girl. (folks can you imagine her wedding!!!) I do theme parties for my grandchildren, everyone loves them. They are just so much fun no matter your age. I do hope we get to see what you do with your son’s apartment.

Stacey Y. - August 19, 2015 - 7:55 am

Love the magical Mickey birthday party! Happy Birthday, Hayley!!!

Debbie w - August 19, 2015 - 8:14 am

Cute ideas for a birthday party!

Jan C. - August 19, 2015 - 8:22 am

You do such a great job! Just sooo cute! Every detail attended to.

Lanita Anderson - August 19, 2015 - 8:36 am

Love the Disney party ideas and decorations! Although we’re not huge Disney fans, I loved the color coordination and fun ideas, especially all of the polka dots on your porch table!
Thanks for sharing!

Sue - August 19, 2015 - 8:42 am

ADORABLE! I love every detail, and especially the Mickeys on the cakes. Great idea! We did the Oreo and mini oreos once on cupcakes for the very same reason and they turned out cute too. In fact my last post, a year ago, was on that Minnie party for my granddaughter.
I am looking forward to seeing your son’s apartment as your daughter’s was such a treat to see. You did a great job! It’s hard to pick a favorite element, the table in the bathroom, the quotation artwork, the beds, and so on. Such a wonderful time those girls will have in that space that was decorated with so much love:-)

Cynthia - August 19, 2015 - 8:51 am

Kelly, I lived Hayley’s apartment. It was precious. I especially loved the New Perry Hotel furniture makeovers. Hayley is a very lucky girl to have a creative and fantastic mom like you. The Disney party was just as cute as the last one.

Susan - August 19, 2015 - 8:57 am

Happy Birthday Hayley! What a great party!

Lynn A. - August 19, 2015 - 8:58 am

Okay – I just had my birthday on Sunday but I want you to come decorate for my next birthday. :-) This was awesome. Everything works together so well. Thank you for sharing with us.

Diana Taylor - August 19, 2015 - 9:08 am

love your styling for all your parties and gatherings! You make everything so special! You are an inspiration!

Michelle G - August 19, 2015 - 9:19 am

Super cute! I love how you made the theme perfect for a young adult!

Bonnie - August 19, 2015 - 9:39 am

It’s always fun to ‘attend’ your parties! It may seem effortless to see everything after it all comes together, but I know that a lot of thought, planning, and work goes into making it look and feel so special. (And, we did see the edge of the gift table through the doorway in the picture taken from the other end of the food table. :) )

Monika - August 19, 2015 - 9:41 am

What a wonderful birthday party! Happy belated birthday, Hayley. Fell in love with your red beverage dispenser, went to the Walmart web site and ordered one. Can’t believe only a little over $14 – with summer coming to an end, looking forward to using it much next year. Will go beautifully with all the red accents in our home. Thanks for this inspirational post, Kelly.

Mechelle - August 19, 2015 - 9:41 am

Mickey would be so proud! A party anyone would enjoy!

Mary Ellen - August 19, 2015 - 9:49 am

Who wouldn’t enjoy a Disney party and you always make parties extra special. You truly have a gift for decorating!!!

Donnamae - August 19, 2015 - 9:54 am

Happy day for your daughter! You sure do know how to throw a party! 😉

Kim - August 19, 2015 - 10:01 am

Even I would have enjoyed your Disney themed party!

Pam Jenkins - August 19, 2015 - 10:08 am

Wonderful party decorations! I’d love to win the hotel cookbook- many fond memories of there.

Arlene@Nanaland - August 19, 2015 - 10:39 am

Kelly, my birthday is in May and I like Purses!!lol Really you could be a party planner. Love all your special touches as usual.

Ellen - August 19, 2015 - 10:39 am

You are undeniably the queen of the party-givers! I love the way you carried the polka dots throughout. The micky stickers or cutouts or whatever they are — really cute! Where on earth does one find things like that?

Cheri - August 19, 2015 - 11:05 am

Kelly, I don’t know if this is a gift or it was because you were a teacher, but you sure can throw a wonderful party of any kind. We generally set the table with the theme and we are done, but I love how you incorporate of little of the theme everywhere. You missed your calling girl.

Shelley - August 19, 2015 - 11:18 am

You are Queen of theme!!! You are so creative…I can’t imagine how much time you put into all your entertaining…Love it all!

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - August 19, 2015 - 11:22 am

What a beautiful daughter and a fun party! You get an A+ for your Disney font skills! The M&M idea on the petit fours is creativity at its best!

Garden, Home and Party - August 19, 2015 - 11:35 am

What a fun party! Your daughter is darling and I love petit fours and how clever, they would taste even better with a little chocolate. Such a fun event and I’m always so inspired by your creativity. (seriously, you need to publish a book of party ideas for those of us who love to have parties but don’t always have the great ideas you come up with :-))
Have a wonderful rest of August, just think, you would be working right now if you hadn’t retired. Good for you.

ChrisTea - August 19, 2015 - 11:43 am

It’s nice to see that people still have sweet parties instead of some of the ‘circuses’ which people do nowadays. I loved your cute party.

Pat Peele - August 19, 2015 - 11:55 am

Lovely. So well pulled together, not cutesy or child like. Great ideas.

Jane - August 19, 2015 - 11:55 am

Love how you integrated the theme into your existing home décor ~ Very elegant, yet fun!

Nancy - August 19, 2015 - 12:50 pm

I love everything you do around your house! The Disney theme is soooooooo cute, and I think the M and Ms on the petit fours is so clever. Selfishly, I am glad you retired so that you could blog more.😊

lissy parker - August 19, 2015 - 1:10 pm

I love a good party and this one looks great! Happy Birthday to the birthday girl.
xo, lissy

Tricia - August 19, 2015 - 1:36 pm

Kelly, such fun to see how you incorporate your themes into every aspect of the home and meal! Love it!

Emily - August 19, 2015 - 1:57 pm

Love the polka dots! What a cute and inexpensive way to decorate the petit fours as Mickey.

LJ - August 19, 2015 - 2:33 pm

Great job! It all came together nicely right down to the guests’ thank you gifts.

N from VA - August 19, 2015 - 2:43 pm

Oh can I join your family (joking). What a lovely party and great decorations. So fun!

Helen - August 19, 2015 - 2:46 pm

I wish I had your talent – such great ideas!

Gina - August 19, 2015 - 2:52 pm

Your parties are always awesome. They’re some of my favorite posts. :) I love your M & M Mickeys! Great idea. I’m sure your lovely daughter enjoyed it immensely. :)

Sherry Myers - August 19, 2015 - 3:06 pm

Your welcoming door decoration was certainly true! What a fun party. Everything detail flowed together so well. It’s hard to choose what I liked most. I guess it would have to be the gift favors, the silhouette of Mickey on the mantel, oh, yes, the petit fours, polka dots, and without a doubt, the Disney lettering!! Love was evident throughout! It had to be a wonderful birthday for Hayley. Magical I’m sure! Thanks for sharing with us. No one does it better than you. You truly have a gift!!

Ann - August 19, 2015 - 3:19 pm

Thanks, Kelly, for inviting us to the party!! Everything was just adorable. I am always amazed at your creativity!! It was so much fun! ~Ann

Judy - August 19, 2015 - 3:42 pm

This has got to be one of the cutest parties I’ve ever seen! I pinned quite a few of your photos for future use. I might even get to use them in a couple of weekends when we go further south to celebrate my two August grandchildren’s b’days. I usually end up doing the lion’s share of the decorating and party planning as that’s just not up my DIL’s “alley” and she gladly turns it over to me (or someone at the party)!

Hope you are enjoying your first “retired” summer!

Julia - August 19, 2015 - 3:46 pm

Happy Birthday Hayley! What a cute party and I really like that you decorated the petite fours yourself. I’m all about saving money while still having a great party!

Charlene - August 19, 2015 - 4:18 pm

Love your parties!! The attention to detail! Looks so fun and like your daughter enjoyed it. Heading back to school here. Looking forward to more blog posts. I check everyday since this blog is my favorite!

Susan W - August 19, 2015 - 4:31 pm

You are so talented Kelly. Great ideas – I especially like the petit fours decoration and kraft paper/wrapping paper table cloth ideas, but everything looks so nice and pulled together!

Joan - August 19, 2015 - 4:59 pm

These ideas are so ‘happy making’, Kelly. What is there about Mickey and Minnie that puts a smile on our faces. Maybe they lift the spirits and remind us of less stressful times. I found myself grinning at many of your pictures and the idea of using the M&Ms on the petite fours for the Mickey. Happy home, happy family, Happy Birthday. You can do mine next year. :-)

Cynthia Boyd - August 19, 2015 - 6:07 pm

Looks like a fun time was had by all. Clever ideas!

DiAnne - August 19, 2015 - 6:42 pm

This looks like a fun party! I love that she worked there!

Vicki - August 19, 2015 - 6:53 pm

Your love for others shines thru in every thing you do. Your friends and family are very lucky to have you in their lives.

Vicky Hunt - August 19, 2015 - 7:32 pm

This is absolutely adorable! One of my best friends is a Mickey Mouse lover and she would swoon over this! I will ahve to share this with her. I’m off to check out the Dole Whip recipe! Sounds so yummy! Have a lovely rest of the week!

Dawn - August 19, 2015 - 7:39 pm


It looks like your daughters birthday was swell! I love the attention to detail you always have for decorating. Tonight I am making the chicken pan pie from your recipe when you talked about the Perry hotel. I can’t wait see how it turnout but it sure smells delicious. Thanks for sharing and take care.


Jeanne Bell - August 19, 2015 - 8:51 pm

Happy Birthday Haley! You have a great Mom who can make any event super special.

sharon - August 19, 2015 - 9:06 pm

What a wonderful birthday party! It was obvious that your daughter had a great time. Disney is a great choice at any age.

Donna - August 19, 2015 - 9:13 pm

Great party! Thanks for sharing all of the fun details!

Sharon Heinzel - August 19, 2015 - 10:15 pm

Great job on the Disney birthday party! The decorations were so cute!

Dawne - August 20, 2015 - 6:03 am

So Kelly….how many colored pillows do you have? Your color coordination is amazing! Really enjoy reading your site! Thanks!

Amy O'Quinn - August 20, 2015 - 8:45 am

How awesome! You should seriously write a party planning book–or give classes. I would definitely be a customer! :) My ‘mouse pad’ I’m using right now has Mickey on it, and it’s always a fun reminder of good memories!
Thanks for sharing all your great ideas. I always get such inspiration from your posts.
Have a lovely day!

liz piccione-volger - August 20, 2015 - 10:55 am

Wow great job on the grown up Disney theme! Those journals are adorable.

Design Chic - August 20, 2015 - 11:26 am

You always have the best parties!! Just love seeing the images of your daughter and she looked thrilled -now that’s what it’s all about! Happy Thursday, Kelly!

Juli - August 20, 2015 - 6:49 pm

What a great birthday party!! Picture perfect!
Looks like Hayley had a very special and happy day!

Mary - August 20, 2015 - 7:36 pm

Love the Disney par tay!

Susan - August 20, 2015 - 8:49 pm

No matter what age our children are – birthdays and their parties are very special.

Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes - August 20, 2015 - 10:09 pm

What a magical way to celebrate Hayley’s birthday! I can tell that she really enjoyed her special day. Kelly, your petit four design was perfection! The big, polka dots made your table settings so festive and fun. Love your framed chalkboard art, too, Kelly! ♡

Cindy Ross - August 20, 2015 - 11:10 pm

Love it!!! You are so creative!!! I am sure your daughter loved it! I noticied that you did get a pic of the presents if you look back at the pics there is one that has the presents sitting on top of the table and with a little imagination and your beautiful Disney party you can just put the presents on the table where they belong and visualize just what it looked like. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!

Kathy - August 21, 2015 - 1:11 am

How fun! I know Hayley loved it! I love all of the polka dots. I’m not sure I would have thought to use yellow as the third color. Everything was perfect! The M&Ms on the cakes were so smart! Your theme parties are always so clever! Do you have a Disney alphabet to go by when you are decorating all of the signs and chalkboards? Thanks for the inspiration!

Gail - August 21, 2015 - 1:00 pm

Love all those tomatoes. They are beauties

Debra - August 21, 2015 - 1:01 pm

Love all the polka dot decorating. I came across that drink dispenser too at Walmart, but I resisted. I have a red one already from World Market. I really need to find a glass one. Simple enough party and look at her, sporting the mouse ears! Happy belated wishes to Hayley.

DEBI - August 21, 2015 - 3:16 pm

You can never go wrong with a Disney Theme. Your family is so blessed to have you. You make everyday a MAGICAL DAY!!

Katrina - August 21, 2015 - 5:36 pm

Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter! She looks like a mini Kelly!

KellyinPA - August 22, 2015 - 5:28 pm

I know you just retired from teaching school but event planning might be your next calling!;) I always love your parties, attention to detail but never over the top and you can do a theme like no other. I hope Hayley had a happy birthday and I’m sure she was thrilled with her Disney party! Great job, Mom:)

Paula B. - August 23, 2015 - 9:20 am

Adopt me, please. So I can have the best birthday celebrations, ever! The entire house was so simply and beautifully adorned – just the right for an “adult” Disney partay! I love petit-fours, too, but how did you ever get the M and M’s to actually stick in that firm icing? (That was the cutest touch and so economical.) You really need to do a party book: food, decorations, gift ideas, etc. You have the best touch with all you do.

Decorating Our Daughter’s College Apartment…and some diy art

apartment living room beforeOur daughter is a senior at her college and due to a critical housing shortage, her school has booted all the seniors off campus.  I am not happy about it because I think you get so much more out of living on campus, but she is more than happy to have an off campus apartment.

apartment dining room beforeThis past semester while our daughter was doing her internship at Disney, her roommate checked out many many apartments in the city.  She narrowed the choices down to a few, and when our daughter returned home in May we all went “apartment touring” one Saturday.

apartment bedroom beforeThis is the one we all agreed upon.  It is a two bedroom two bath apartment.  I really like the flooring in the bathrooms.

apartment bathroom beforeI wanted you to see all the “befores” before I show you the “afters.”  I forgot to take a photo of the kitchen “before,” but here is the “after” (not much different anyway.)  The kitchen is super tiny.

apartment kitchen sink

Our original decorating plan had been a color scheme of hot pink, kelly green, and black with Kate Spade type accents.  We looked everywhere for things but kept coming up empty handed on finding that particular green. Then one day in June, my daughter and I found a placemat with a paisley print that we loved.  It became the springboard for a different look.  We totally changed direction and went with blues for fabric and furniture with some metallic gold thrown in for an accent.  Here is how their dining room looks for the “after.”  Oh, and the lamp is the one I purchased at the New Perry Hotel’s liquidation sale.  I gave it a new finish with antique gold Rub ‘n Buff.

apartment dining roomYou can kind of see the placemat in the photo of the table below.  My mother donated the dining room furniture for the apartment.  (She scored all of it in yardsales!:))

apartment dining room tableTarget also had a shower curtain in the colors and print we wanted for the bathroom.

apartment bathroom tubAnd that little gold table was the perfect accent with towels.

apartment bathroom windowRoyal blue and aqua towels add a nice touch of color with the white.

apartment bathroom sinkNow here is my favorite part (and the parts that took so darn long to finish!) The beds were originally bunkbeds from Cargo looooooong ago for our sons.  They had a rail design all the way around them.  At some point in their life (the beds’ – not the boys’:)) my husband covered the head and footboards with bead board, and I painted them black.  We used them like that for a number of years, but after our sons went off to college the beds just went into storage.  I pulled them out and painted them aqua this summer.  Don’t you just love how they turned out?!

apartment bedroom painted bedsWe kept looking and looking for a bright blue quilt or comforter, and we finally had good luck at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  This quilt and sham set is actually made by Fiesta – yes, the dish company!  The aqua dotted throw pillows came from Target. And again we found a gold and glass table there – this time to go between the beds.

apartment bedroomMy favorite thing about the room is the book page art. I had seen a similar thing done on canvas at Sugarboo. (You can see it here.)  That one cost $400, but we weren’t about to invest that much in art for our daughter’s apartment.  My husband typed up the quote and had it printed out on 24″ by 36″ paper.  I believe you could probably do the same by taking a document to Staples or other office supply stores and have them enlarge it.

diy Audrey Hepburn posterThe frames are merely large poster frames from Walmart.  I used Rub ‘n Buff antique gold to transform the plastic into a new look.  The total cost of each was less than $20….much better than $400.:)

diy Maya Angelou posterNow let me tell you about the desk.  This is the desk we bought at the New Perry Hotel’s liquidation sale.

 Remember it?

old desk from New Perry Hotel

 We painted it white, and I used Rub ‘n Buff again on some new hardware from Lowe’s.  The upper hutch part was a black painted hutch leftover from one of our son’s pieces of furniture.  The bottom had collapsed, but we kept the top knowing we could use it again.  That lamp was an old brass one that was also given a coat of antique gold Rub ‘n Buff.  (Can you tell I love that stuff?)  My husband made the desk chair from the parts of 2 broken chairs, and my mother made the cushion from fabric from an extra drapery panel. (I purchased an extra one to sew strips to the bottom of the two panels that were a little too short for the window.)  Got all that?:) Anyway, here is the new/old desk.

apartment bedroom desk

I thought it turned out pretty darn good.:)

The blue and aqua color scheme continues in the living area with the throw pillows.  (The bright blue ones came from TJ Maxx, and the aqua ones came from Target.)  The sofa was the Ikea one we had in our playroom.  (Our daughter says she is going to return it to us when she moves out of the apartment.) The loveseat belongs to her roommate, and the blue rug came from Target. (Where else?:))

apartment living roomWe did more book page art in the living room…this time with our daughter’s roommates’s choice of quotes. Although these frames are a little different from the ones in the bedroom, they also came from Walmart (for around $8 each) and they got their share of the antique gold Rub ‘n Buff as well.

apartment living room art I wish I had taken a photo of the coffee table before my husband painted it.  It was purchased by my mother in law at the Hotel sale.  It had a scratched up cherry finish.

apartment living room coffee table

And here is their balcony overlooking….the parking lot.:( But at least it does have 2 nice rocking chairs!

apartment balconyAnd that concludes our tour.  Can you believe there is not one dab of red nor one speck of gingham in the entire apartment?!  A miracle!  I am just happy that it is finished. Now onto our law school son’s super tiny apartment in Connecticut..I don’t know if it will even be photo worthy enough to show you.  We’ll see. His request to me was, “Mom, I want it functional – not decorated.”   (Ha. I think it can be both! 😉 )

Before I leave you today I want to remind you of the giveaway going on here with the various New Perry Hotel items and a $25 Sur la Table gift card. You can read the details here. All you have to do is leave a comment on a post that publishes between 8/13/2015 and midnight 8/21/15.  If you are reading the post from an email delivered one, you will need to go over to the actual website to leave a comment. Click on Leave a Comment.  Then scroll to the last comment on the post to leave yours.   You can enter on all the posts in that date range if you want more chances to win.  (Only one comment per post please.) The entry deadline is midnight Eastern time 8/21/15.  I will do a random drawing and announce the winner in the next post after that.

Talk of the House August giveaway

I will be back next time with the details from a fun party we recently hosted.  Have a super day, and I hope to see you then!

Until next time…


Lois - August 16, 2015 - 8:17 am

Your kids are so lucky to have you as their mom. Your daughter’s apartment looks fabulous. So sure she and her roommate will make many wonderful memories there this year!

Terry - August 16, 2015 - 8:35 am

You did a fabulous job decorating your daughter’s apartment. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an apartment for college girls looking so well put together!
Thanks for sharing!

jerri - August 16, 2015 - 8:43 am

darling apartment, but i agree with you. i preferred my daughters lived on campus……

Martha - August 16, 2015 - 8:46 am

Love your blog and would love to win!

Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes - August 16, 2015 - 8:47 am

What a lovely transformation, Kelly! It’s so heartwarming that Mom, Dad, and Grandma have all put love into your daughter’s first apartment, using their special talents for all of the DIY touches. I just love the book page art in the bedroom and living room! The beadboard beds look amazing in turquoise. Wishing your daughter and her roommate a wonderful senior year in their new apartment! ♡

Barbara Hinske - August 16, 2015 - 8:47 am

Wow! That has got to be the most beautiful college apartment ever! Lucky girls. Having it be so nice will help them feel like adults, too. Well done!

Sandy Webster - August 16, 2015 - 8:53 am

Love your blog. I am a lover of gingham. FYI there is an old hotel in Petoskey Michigan called the Perry Hotel. It is also a gem and looks similar to your Southern Belle. This northern destination is historic, charming, and has priceless views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding area. Check out this old Yankee nestled in the northern pines and forests of this great State.

Pat - August 16, 2015 - 8:54 am

I was thrilled to see a new post this morning. I love all the repurposing you did of the old furniture. The apartment is beautiful.

Stacey Y. - August 16, 2015 - 9:18 am

When I grow up, I want to be you! Love that your children let you decorate their apartments! I wish you could come to my house and repurpose/decorate with all my old stuff!!!

Joan - August 16, 2015 - 9:24 am

BUT I was wrong. I LOVED seeing how creative all of you were in making that apartment so functional and charming. It is fresh, simple, but very pretty and it seems like your whole family has pitched in the make it a pleasant home for the girls. Really liked how the desk turned out. A complete transformation.

Tell more about the Rub and Buff; where you found it and how to use it. It seems there must be different colors of it from what you have said.
Also, where did your hubby get tho large prints made? You have given me some great ideas that will upcycle somethings and yet won’t break the bank. (even if you didn’t use any red buffalo checks )

Donnamae - August 16, 2015 - 9:43 am

Love what you did for your daughter’s apartment…so cute! My youngest son moved into his own place 2 weeks ago…and it’s amazing that you can take items from 2 brothers, his parents (us), his grandparents…and his own stuff…and voila! You have a fantastic loft apartment perfectly suited to him! And we can’t forget Target either…he’s made many trips there! Hope your daughter loves her place as much as my son does! 😉

Vicky Hunt - August 16, 2015 - 9:43 am

I have been so busy getting my classroom ready and getting back into work/school mode that I haven’t been able to visit recently. I absolutley love how you decorated your daughter’s apartment. It is so lovely. Very sophisticated yet still youthful and fun! My favorite thing is the book page art. I will be sharing this idea with my daughter. She is a book lover and so am I! I know she would love this in her own place when she returns home from Prague to stay! The Disney internship must have been so fun! I love Disney and would love to go again someday. We are less than 3 hours away but have no children to take. My kiddos are both all grown up. Maybe the hubby and I can go on our own one day! Anywho, I look forward to seeing your son’s functional apartment…lol! Have a lovely Sunday!

Hugs, Vicky - August 16, 2015 - 9:47 am

It turned out so darn cute. What a great place to be for her last year in school. I adore the wall art, will have to try that at some point. The desk is perfect, what talent. Thanks so much for sharing. fondly ~lynne~

Kelly Tye Vallis - August 16, 2015 - 9:53 am

What a beautiful apartment! What lucky young ladies! Where were you when I had my first college apartment 20 years ago? :) LOVED the quote art! Pin! Always enjoy your posts!

Sherry Myers - August 16, 2015 - 9:57 am

I love it!! I love the color choices. So comforting but fun. I know who the decorating genius is😉,but how sweet to see that all of you worked together to make this a cozy home. What wonderful memories are to be made here, and you built the foundation for them. Do you realize how many families have a hard time working together like you all do? How blessed you are. Thank you for sharing this with us. I can’t say it enough, I just LOVE it!! Have a super Sunday!!!

Garden, Home and Party - August 16, 2015 - 10:05 am

This post brought back fond memories of the days when our sons requested my assistance with setting up their apartments/dorms for college. I had so much fun. We still share a few stories of moving furniture in or out and the logistical challenges that cropped up! The girls apartment turned out so well Good job by all!

DeeDee - August 16, 2015 - 10:15 am

You did a fabulous job on taking a cookie-cutter, bland apartment and making it colorful and inviting! I know when my 2 daughters where 21and college seniors, they were ‘over’ anything pink! Job well done, Kelly!

Donna Pleasant - August 16, 2015 - 10:17 am

Every thing you post inspires me! i can’t wait until your next post,😃

Nancy L - August 16, 2015 - 10:20 am

All I can say is “WOW”! What a fabulouse job you have done on your daughter’s university apartment. Lucky, lucky girl.

Love your blog :)

Louvina - August 16, 2015 - 10:33 am

Totally enjoyed seeing how you decorated your daughter/friend’s apartment!! So very different and must reflect her colors and sense of style and decoration ( of course, being your daughter how could she not have style!):) I have never seen book page art before– so wonderful!! Now I know what has been keeping you so busy out there in the work area!! When you were working on this project, very little was mentioned about it so I was really hoping you would do a post about it– it was worth the wait!! Outstanding, my friend!! You truly have a special talent in this area and it would not surprise me if you wanted to, you could make this your second career!! Lovely taste and I know you could have many clients!! Think about it?! Hope you are enjoying your adventures this week and maybe taking photos to post?!:)

Benita - August 16, 2015 - 10:42 am

I love the kitchen and bathroom floors..those are awesome for an apartment! Everything looks beautiful, even though it is missing your signature red and gingham. 😉 I really liked the idea of book page art…keeping that one for a DIY project in the future!

Lucinda - August 16, 2015 - 10:45 am

Love how this turned out. Curious how you painted the aqua table. Spray paint? and did you use a primer?

Stacey Long - August 16, 2015 - 10:49 am

I love how you decorated your daughter’s apartment!! It looks beautiful!! Thank you for sharing information about the wall art! I need to discover rub and buff!! :)

Nancy - August 16, 2015 - 11:14 am

Really pretty–just right for two college seniors who are young adults. Reminds me of my own college dorm decorating. In the 60’s, we used olive green!

Mary Hanson - August 16, 2015 - 11:17 am

Love the apartment. Looks nothing like the places I lived in when I was in college! I am in a decorating slump and this haves given me some inspiration. Thanks!

Joni Webb - August 16, 2015 - 11:22 am

So cute!!! We did that too – but ours went into an apartment her sophomore year – oy!!!! Y’all did a great job – it’s darling.

Kathleen - August 16, 2015 - 11:42 am

What an adorable apartment. My daughter is on campus for her senior year this year, but she is living in a 1-bedroom condominium turned dorm that her school purchased to help with their housing crunch. Unfortunately, she is 1000 miles from home and I don’t have the ability to tote furniture to her easily. I’m going to share this with her so she and her roommate can get some ideas though. I especially love the quote art – never would have thought of that, but I really love it. And the quote by Audrey Hepburn is awesome!

Jennifer - August 16, 2015 - 11:54 am

Wow Kelly!!! Such a beautifully decorated apartment! Your daughter and her roommate are so blessed to have your talent and expertise! I so need a girl. 😉 I’ll never get this opportunity with my boys…well maybe if you can decorate your son’s apartment, there might be hope! Oh and congrats to him on going to law school in CT! How amazing! And how awesome of you to do this giveaway! Me being local, I would absolutely LOVE that cookbook! :)

Carol Ann - August 16, 2015 - 11:56 am

Love all of your posts. The New Perry Hotel post was wonderful and I can’t wait to see how it is renewed. The vintage hotel cookbook is a treasure. The tastes, recipes and memories we attach with people and place last a lifetime. I loved seeing the pieces you purchased from the hotel and revived for your daughter’s apartment. Thank you sharing your vision of being able to see past what the objects were and what they can become. The desk looks great in white and the coffee table in aqua is precious. You are so talented and thank you for sharing with all of us time and time again.

Lynda Lamon - August 16, 2015 - 11:56 am

Love your daughter’s apartment!! Very well done!! Thanks so much for the chance to win!! Love your blog!!!!

Ruth - August 16, 2015 - 12:22 pm

While you’re right that life on campus has so much to offer students, it’s also true that seniors can hit a “been there, done that” point, and that having an apartment for their senior year can be an important part of a student’s preparation for adult life. A college apartment provides basic training in handling the household business affairs students will face as adults. It’s enough to make a parent wistful, I’m sure, being faced with such strong evidence that their baby is headed into the adult world soon… a step similar to college move-in day in the student’s freshman year. What a great launch your lucky daughter is getting, though! A lovely, clean apartment, fully furnished with the help of her entire loving family, and expertly decorated by a pro! Everywhere she looks, she’ll have a reminder of someone who loves her.
I love everything you did with the decor. I especially love how your husband revamped “Frankenchair” and refreshed the beds. That man is so handy! And the tray table in the LR is precious!
All spring and summer I’ve been considering how to revamp a BR here, and have been mulling over the possibly of painting some of the furniture with a similar, but paler, shade of aqua, but I haven’t had the guts (or time) to delve in. Seeing how well all your projects turned out has me champing at the bit to start spraying! (Did you spray paint or brush on?)
Well, congrats on a wrapping up that project with such smashing success! And thank you for sharing it with us!

Sandy - August 16, 2015 - 12:22 pm

kelly, Rub and Buff tops my shopping list after reading and seeing the marvels it can produce. Love the framed quotes. Definitely copying that inspiration.

Lou Clifton - August 16, 2015 - 12:23 pm

Your daughter apartment looks great with some great find. It stinks that the college is not remembering the seniors and taking in too many freshman.

marlyn - August 16, 2015 - 12:31 pm

The apartment looks great! I especially love the color choices.

Julie White - August 16, 2015 - 12:39 pm

What a lucky girl! I lived in apartments for 40 years and never had one so put together. Amazing! I agree with you about living on campus – best 4 years of my life. Loved it so much, went back years later to work on campus for 6 years!

Jean Tovern - August 16, 2015 - 1:03 pm

This is beautiful…full of great ideas. I would live there in a heartbeat!! :)

Cindy Ross - August 16, 2015 - 1:11 pm

Beautiful, refreshing, and WOW!!!! You have done it again. Your daughter and her roommate are both so lucky to have so many loving and supportive people helping them work on their place. I love everything about it. I am sure they do too. I hope that they have a successful senior yearas well as memoriable. Good Luck with your son’s place.

Kathy - August 16, 2015 - 1:13 pm

I love what you and your daughter did with her apartment. What a fun color scheme! I know you enjoyed decorating together. It was definitely a family affair! It looks very beachy and I love that look. My favorite things are the book page art and the painted furniture. I hope you share what you do to your son’s apartment. My son is moving into an apartment too. The only thing we have bought is a Pottery Barn rug. It is our inspiration piece. I am interested in knowing about the sofa and love seat. Did you buy matching slip covers? BTW, were your ears burning last night? Katrina and I were at a party and talking about you, like you were a friend that should have been there with us. - August 16, 2015 - 1:13 pm

I love the blues you used throughout the entire apartment. And what a great idea to use book quotes as wall pictures! Your daughter is lucky to have a great mom and beautiful apartment!

Rosario - August 16, 2015 - 1:20 pm

Everything looks lovely.

Debra C - August 16, 2015 - 1:42 pm

Lucky girls! It looks great!!

Anne from Atlanta - August 16, 2015 - 1:50 pm

What a great job you did on your daughter’s apartment! I love the painted furniture. Everything looks so fresh and young. Ditto to everyone’s comments on what a lucky daughter you have! She has a great mother and father. I know she will have a fun Senior year. As always, thanks for a great blog. XOXO, Anne

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life - August 16, 2015 - 2:00 pm

The apartment looks amazing. Such lucky girls to have you help them.

Holly - August 16, 2015 - 2:01 pm

I love the blues you used! They look classic but fun — a great combination.

Lanita Anderson - August 16, 2015 - 2:23 pm

You did a great job decorating your daughter’s apartment – love the combination of colors!! I especially love how the desk turned out…it doesn’t even look like the same desk!? Thanks for sharing and giving us the tour.

mari1017 - August 16, 2015 - 2:47 pm

Very pretty transformation of a cookie cutter apartment – you’d never know those were the same pieces from the hotel – my creative wheels are spinning….

Linda@limeinthecoconut - August 16, 2015 - 2:51 pm

Oh….It is bittersweet, these growing kids! Love what you guys did. Functional and beautiful!

ChrisTea - August 16, 2015 - 3:05 pm

Such a darling apartment! I need to go to more flea markets and garage sales. I haven’t been for a long time. Great job to you.

Mary Ellen - August 16, 2015 - 3:15 pm

Beautiful rooms and I love your color choices. Your daughter and her roommate are lucky girls!

Kathy Killilea - August 16, 2015 - 3:18 pm

Love the colors and the repurposed furniture! Your blog always inspires me!

Dana - August 16, 2015 - 3:49 pm

So fresh and pretty! My kids are still at home, but this brought back fond memories of my own years living in apartments as a young teacher. Mine never looked as great as this though. I admire the talent you have for DIY. You may have even insprired me enough to have the courage to try painting some furniture myself. We’ll see:)

Nan, Odessa, DE - August 16, 2015 - 4:04 pm

Thanks for sharing! Your daughter is blessed. This is a family affair. Mom, Dad, both grandmothers. We didn’t start out with as nice a place as newly weds back in the day. All for a good girl!

Tell us more about the gold rub. Where do I buy it? Give us a tutorial! Like the art and didn’t know such inexpensive frames were available. Where the frames gold when you made the purchase? Wood or metal?
HELP! I like the black frames you use in your home and have purchased several of them!

Waiting for the next post!

PS How is the father in law?

Arlene@Nanaland - August 16, 2015 - 4:08 pm

Kelly, the college students have cuter apartments that I did when I got married. Of course we got all our parents cast offs and there was no pinterest to inspire us!!lol…It looks so pretty..using some of my favorite colors.

Jo Anne Hayon - August 16, 2015 - 4:15 pm

Very nice job! Those girls should be very thankful for a nice apartment.

Nan, Odessa, DE - August 16, 2015 - 5:01 pm

PS what is the covering in the bathroom floor?
Details, please

Ellen - August 16, 2015 - 5:18 pm

Your daughter and her roomie are lucky girls to have such a talented decorator helping them to set up home. I think the two things I like best are the former bunk beds and the old butler tray table. I would never on earth have expected to see that color — but it is one of my favorite colors, and it looks smashing on those traditional pieces.

Pamela G - August 16, 2015 - 5:47 pm

Love your daughter’s apartment. Y’all did a great makeover.

classic•casual•home - August 16, 2015 - 6:23 pm

LUCKY GIRLS! YOU DID THE BEST JOB EVER. How cool is the quote art??!!! Love it.

Great give-away…me me me !

Susan W - August 16, 2015 - 6:33 pm

Kelly you did a beautiful job of decorating your daughter’s apartment. I love the blue and aqua color scheme. The old/new desk and the aqua table both look great. Thanks for all the great ideas.

Stacey - August 16, 2015 - 7:09 pm

That is one gorgeous college apartment. I love the blues you chose. The artwork is amazing. I am always laughing about the difference between the apartments of guys (or maybe it’s just my sons) and girls. My guys will let me do a little something here and there but full out decorating is not on their agenda.

Tricia - August 16, 2015 - 8:43 pm

Kelly, what a beautiful job! How I wish I had your vision and abilities. I could so use your advice! I love your son’s comment – it cracked me up…so like a guy!

Susan - August 16, 2015 - 8:45 pm

Enjoyed the tour of your daughter’s apartment. Found some inspiration that I am going to incorporate in one of my children’s apartments.

liz piccione-volger - August 16, 2015 - 8:58 pm

The apt looks great! I have two in college also but they both commute. Love the giveaway items!

Debbie w - August 16, 2015 - 9:15 pm

You have been busy! Love the apt!

Vicki - August 16, 2015 - 9:23 pm

Great job! Very comfortable and functional.

PEGGY - August 16, 2015 - 9:30 pm

I can see why you have been so busy- but we have missed your posts!!! The apartment looks so great and I bet you were happy sharing this project with your daughter! I’m so glad you have found some free time to update us- I was worried about you!

Bev - August 16, 2015 - 9:47 pm

LOVE the colors…..she is a lucky kid!!

LJ - August 16, 2015 - 9:58 pm

Great job decorating, Kelly, and it looks superior to any college apartment I’ve ever seen. I imagine it was fun shopping with dtr and planning it too. Keep making those family memories. Love to you.

Ellen Martin - August 16, 2015 - 10:01 pm

Your daughter and her roommate must be thrilled with their apartment. It is wonderful, and I love the colors!! The book page art is a great idea, and I really like the quotes they chose. I look forward to every post!

DiAnne - August 16, 2015 - 10:16 pm

You did a beautiful job on this apartment. I love the book page art and the beds are just beautiful! I love the touch of gold with the tables. I love rub n buff too.
I just bought a butler’s table at a thrift store and am thinking maybe it should be painted. I have painted just about everything else but it has never crossed my mind to paint a butler’s table.
BTW the party Kathy was talking about was @ my house and you should have been there.
Super post! I can’t wait to see what you do with your Aron’s apartment.
Safe travels.

Julia Walker - August 16, 2015 - 10:19 pm

What wonderful parents you and your husband are Kelly! The apartment looks fabulous especially the beds. I hope the girls will be safe and happy there.

Diana Taylor - August 17, 2015 - 12:09 am

love the apartment! My favorite color is blue ! Hope your daughter enjoys her senior year!

L. Bratton - August 17, 2015 - 12:19 am

I love how the desk turned out!

Linda - August 17, 2015 - 1:43 am

This hardly looks like a “student” apartment. It’s nicer than my first apartment and our first home when we started out. Lucky girl!

Joyce W - August 17, 2015 - 8:41 am

Hi Kelly,
What a transformation! Your daughter and her roommate are very lucky indeed.
Bet the girls are excited to settle into such pretty rooms! Hope their school year is fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

Cheri - August 17, 2015 - 9:49 am

Kelly, I LOVE the color combo you did for your daughter. I have a hard time decorating with blue and I LOVE how you incorporated it in each room. Now I want to redo our color scheme.

TracyK - August 17, 2015 - 9:53 am

Great job on the apartment! I think I need to work on our home… :)

Julie Atwell - August 17, 2015 - 9:54 am

Would love more step by step instructions on the book page art. I think they are awesome and believe my daughter would love them in her apartment.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - August 17, 2015 - 9:58 am

What a beautiful apartment….love the colors, the furniture makeovers, everything!….A perfectly beautiful space for young ladies preparing for their bright futures!

Valerie - August 17, 2015 - 10:01 am

I love color and I love happy spaces. What a happy place to be after a long day of classes. I love what you did with the apartment and with a small budget. Great job!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - August 17, 2015 - 10:07 am

P.S. Did you get that gold table at Target too? love it!

Paul @ Eco Stores Direct - August 17, 2015 - 10:16 am

What a lovely thing you did for your daughter, this looks fantastic

Kaye Ann - August 17, 2015 - 11:07 am

Gorgeous room. Lucky daughter!!

cindy hattersley - August 17, 2015 - 11:59 am

What a lucky girl to have such a talented mom!! Love the Target Shower curtain and that darling gold table!!

Kim - August 17, 2015 - 12:10 pm

Love the apartment! You are quite the miracle worker!!

Kathy P. - August 17, 2015 - 12:58 pm

Love the colors and all the DIY furniture.

Jill - August 17, 2015 - 1:26 pm

Your daughter is 1 lucky lady to have so talented a mom! It all looks terrific, thanks for the pics. Blessings, Jill :)

Cindy - August 17, 2015 - 2:43 pm

I had missed you and thought surely you were sitting by a pool somewhere! Lol. No, you were very, very busy. Her apartment looks great, I love the colors. (lucky roommate)

Mechelle - August 17, 2015 - 3:08 pm

What a great job. So peaceful! Lucky girls. It’s so beautifully decorated, it would be a great starter design for after graduation as well.

Donna @ Modern on Monticello - August 17, 2015 - 3:16 pm

I think my favorite part is the framed quotes. Your daughter and her roommate should be proud to call this apartment home – even for a little while.

Emily - August 17, 2015 - 4:40 pm

It must be great fun to decorate a girl’s apartment. I tried to decorate my son’s apartment when he went to college. I had bought cute throw pillows in the school’s colors and lots of other accessories that were school related. The next time I visited, the pillows were under the bed and the accessories could hardly be seen. Oh, well, that’s the life of the mother of a boy.

Gina - August 17, 2015 - 5:01 pm

Oh my goodness, your daughter’s apartment is so cute! I love the color scheme. And those beds! I love them. The desk too! Haha, the page art too! 😉 You did a great job. I’m sure it was lots of fun. Good luck on your son’s. I remember what fun it was decorating our daughter’s dorm room. She had to live off the grounds for the next three years but she shared an apartment with three others so it was a mish mash of stuff. :) Hope your daughter has an awesome year! :)

Helen - August 17, 2015 - 5:53 pm

Love the apartment – it sure looks nicer than my first apartment!

Paula B. - August 17, 2015 - 6:16 pm

I want to go back to college and I want you to decorate my off campus apartment. Just fab! The entire family was so helpful and creative, kudos to all of you. I love the “bedroom printed quotes”, what wonderful words. (As well as those quoted in the living room!)

Jeanne Bell - August 17, 2015 - 8:55 pm

Love the new apartment, my dorm room in college sure didn’t look anything like that!

theresalh - August 17, 2015 - 9:16 pm

The colors, the quotes, and the rub n buff. Love it all!

Vickie White - August 18, 2015 - 1:06 am

Love your daughter’s apartment! Can’t wait to see you “functionally-decorate” your son’s apartment!!:)

Patti Wilson - August 18, 2015 - 11:51 am

Great apartment. I only have a son, who is on his way back to college to live with 7 other boys in an old house. I’m heading there tomorrow to help them “decorate”…

Dawn - August 18, 2015 - 3:38 pm


Your daughters apartment looks really nice. It covers cozy, clean, comfortable and functional. You guys did a great job and I love the stories behind each item. I hope your sons functional decorating goes well. Thanks for sharing. Take care.


Mary - August 18, 2015 - 3:50 pm

Even though I loved seeing what you did with your daughter’s apartment, I would have liked to see what you could do with a college dorm room even more! As always, thanks for sharing your wonderful sense of design. Yours is truly one of my most favorite (and most visited) blogs.

Kathy R - August 18, 2015 - 8:46 pm

Loved, loved the apartment. The colors are perfect and so calming. Loved the repurposed furniture too. The wall art…my…perfect. I wish I had your talent in decorating. Thanks for sharing so we can gather ideas!

Jan C. - August 19, 2015 - 8:37 am

Oh, my goodness! Can you come to my house to decorate? How beautiful! Love the beds especially, the color combo is super! What a lucky daughter!

Bonnie - August 19, 2015 - 9:46 am

The colors are wonderful! And, I fell in love with the beds with beadboard. I have a couple beds that I’d love to be able to do that with.I’m sure that your daughter will enjoy having such a pleasant and welcoming place to stay.

Angela Wells - August 19, 2015 - 10:11 am

The apartment looks great…and on a shoe string budget from the sounds of it. I enjoy seeing how you use colour; the combination of blue and teal work great together.

Pam Jenkins - August 19, 2015 - 10:16 am

The apartment is SO cute! I’d love to win the hotel “stuff”. Great memories there.

Pat Peele - August 19, 2015 - 11:58 am

Lovely colors and well put together!

Wendy D. - August 19, 2015 - 2:50 pm

I just love the color combinations! The beds turned out beautifully, but my favorite is the desk. Since you are getting the sofa maybe she will give me the desk! 😁 Great job on the entire apartment, I know they will enjoy it.

Vicki - August 19, 2015 - 6:57 pm

Such fun times to share with your daughter. I imagine she is very thankful for your help in creating such a nice apartment. I don’t think I have ever seen an apartment that clean( the before shots). And I am definitely borrowing the poster art idea. Great Job!

Amy O'Quinn - August 20, 2015 - 8:49 am

You are the master of turning the ordinary into awesome! I love how you mixed and matched and refinished some of the things you already had. It’s perfect. When my twins moved to NC to attend grad school, my mom, sister, and I had the best time helping them decorate their apartment. Now, when my son moved into his dorm last week, he could’ve cared less. He was more concerned with food. LOL Ah…boys. :)
Great post!

Dana - August 21, 2015 - 12:23 am

I adore your blog! Thank you for the chance to win.

N from VA - August 21, 2015 - 7:52 am

Know I am not the only one. Am going to buy some Rub and Buff today. What a lovely apartment–wonderful before and afters.

DEBI - August 21, 2015 - 3:19 pm

I love Rub and Buff, I regularly find something that can use a little sprucing up!! Times have certainly changed since I attended college… our apartments certainly had nothing on Hayley’s!! Looking forward to helping my daughters, they appreciate a beautiful place to live. Great Ideas

Katrina - August 21, 2015 - 5:39 pm

I just love what you guys have done with your daughter’s apartment! I especially like the art and the frames… What a great idea! I hope she has an awesome senior year!

Debra - August 22, 2015 - 9:06 am

Love the repurposed furniture. I think the desk, chair, beds and coffee table turned out great. What a family affair. Good job!

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