From the looks of things around blogland, I should have done this post two days ago, but we have been putting away all things Christmas around here – and there was a lot! Regardless, it would be a shame to start a new year without looking back at where we were in the previous year (even if I am 2 days late.) So with that in mind, let’s see what we talked about in 2013 at Talk of the House.
We began the year talking about Downton Abbey. Then we looked at a number of rooms done by the always talented Phoebe Howard. (I think her work was the subject of 3 entire posts here!) After that, we talked about using black and white in spaces (both inside and out), and we ended the month with the start of a series on author Jan Karon’s homes.
We started February making the delicious Orange Marmalade cake from the Mitford series. Then I wrote my first post on The Inn at Little Pond Farm - not even knowing that my husband would plan a trip there for us later in the year. (What a wonderful surprise!) We looked at a lot of spaces decorated with red around Valentine’s Day (including recipes for a few Red Velvet cakes), and the month of February ended with a series of 6 posts on our trip to beautiful and charming Beaufort, South Carolina.
A first look at the construction of our room over the garage was given in March. Then we looked at a number of rooms decorated with green (including our kitchen.) Later that month we toured Chattooga Club in the mountains of North Carolina and then some gorgeous beach houses in Seaside, Florida.
In April, I was in a mood for all things Southern…from my imaginary Pinterest Southern dreamhouse for spring to the almost-famous Macaroon pie from an old restaurant that was once in Macon, Georgia, to the work of local talent James Farmer, and to a visit to Georgia’s Callaway Gardens. We also did some decorating for spring around here as well.
And then came May..with a big-time craving for a beach vacation. A house on the Newport Harbor home tour gave us some great eye candy as we compared how it looked for the tour with its appearance in a magazine photo shoot. I did manage to get our daughter’s room redecorated amid my beach craving, and then it was on to sharing part of our trip to California (the Napa part.) That was followed by beach house after beach house…a California beach house, the Nights in Rodanthe beach house, an Outer Banks beach house, and finally two beach houses in Seaside, Florida. I ended the month with a personal post about three very challenging weeks in that month (and your heartfelt comments touched me deeply.)
The house craving didn’t end in May…no sirree. There was one more beach house to see in Seaside at the beginning of June. Then some real fun began. My back porch was featured at Kim’s fabulous Savvy Southern Style blog (and I got that porch organized, too!) After that, I wrote a post on the handsome and talented Stephen Saint-Onge, who totally surprised me with a comment on the post and donated books for a giveaway, and I even got to do a little Q&A with him. (Be still my heart!) More beach houses finished out the month… this time from the charming community of Watersound on the Gulf in Florida.
July was super duper busy. We decorated the porch for the 4th of July and had a hamburger bar to celebrate the holiday. We took a vacation to Amelia Island, Florida. Our sofa finally got reupholstered (despite all the rain to move it in.) We talked about tomatoes in the heat of the summer – everything from recipes to china and even a tomato wedding. I shared with you a post on how I do my lettering. Super kind Marty featured our home on her wonderful blog, A Stroll thru Life, and I shared a post about the gifted Gil Schafer with you to round out the month. And then school started… and it was August.
We started the month by talking about a pretty planned community in Alabama called The Waters, and I finally shared a tutorial with you on chalkboard lettering. Then there were seven posts on summer camp style..from homes to weddings to recipes for s’mores. We celebrated my birthday that month, and I added the Our House page to the blog (which I need to update..soon!) And I shared my new classroom with you as the final post of the month.
Labor Day weekend brought a trip to Cashiers. North Carolina and a tour of their Designer Show House. It took three posts to show it all to you! We stayed at the gorgeous Inn at Little Pond Farm, and Pinterest pinners went crazy with the rooms in the two posts on it. I also gave you a tour of some places we saw in Valle Crucis and Blowing Rock. Then we worked on updating the hardware on our bedroom furniture. One of my favorite movies, You’ve Got Mail was the subject of a post near the end of the month followed by a post on its real movie sites in NYC.
Francie Hargrove, another local talent, was featured in a post in early October. I redid the boys’ bedroom, and showed it to you in two posts. We toured the Bedford Post Inn in the middle of the month. Another of my favorite movies, On Golden Pond had a cottage I have always loved, so it made a perfect autumn post topic to share with you. I also shared one of my favorite fall meals in October (and all its recipes), and we ended the month with decorating with pumpkins and mums around the house.
We had a fall lunch out on the porch in November featuring a couple of Ina Garten’s recipes. Kathryn Greeley’s gorgeous rooms provided some eye candy for us during the month, and the holiday season began with decorating with green for Thanksgiving. And then it was time to start the busy Christmas season with a recipe for my favorite hot Christmas punch.
And then it was officially December, and I bombarded you with all things Christmas…from decorating the kitchen and dining room, to making a Christmas raspberry ribbon salad, to going on a local Christmas tour, to decorating the family room with peppermint and making a peppermint ice cream pie. If all of that wasn’t enough, I even shared Christmas decorations of our daughter’s room and our porch (and everywhere else in the house!) The month and the year ended with our home ready for New Year’s Eve.
So what were your favorites this year? In 2012, it appeared that you liked kitchens and food. This year, it appears you enjoy reading about houses. Based on the number of page views these were the top 5 posts of 2013:
#5 The Nights in Rodanthe House
#4 – A Pinterest Dream House for Spring – Southern Style
#3 – The Inn at Little Pond Farm – Part 2
#2 – The Inn at Little Pond Farm Part 1
and the#1 readers’ favorite post from 2013 was Loving Mitford: Jan Karon’s Homes.
And that was 2013. Doing this post has literally taken me all day (12 hours – no joke!), but it has been good to look back at everything. It has given me a better “whole picture” view of Talk of the House. (I wish I had done this at the end of 2012 as well.) I can see that we spend most of the year perusing the homes and decor of other people, but once late November rolls around, the posts I share from then until the end of the year are about our house. I am sure that the cycle will continue because I have a couple of posts on some decorating here planned for January, and then it is off to look at the spaces designed by talented people. So I thank you for staying with me for wherever my interests take us…whether it is an inn, a town, a designer, a home tour, a dinner, or even our own house here. I appreciate all of you.
I also want to thank my top referring sites this year.
#1 – Pinterest – that would be all of you who pin my photos that send readers here. Thank you!
#2 – Southern Hospitality Blog – Thank you Rhoda!
#3 – Hooked on Houses – Thank you Julia!
#4 - Savvy Southern Style – Thank you Kim!
#5 – Vignette Design – Thank you Delores!
I wish I could do as good a job with this blog as all of those ladies do with theirs. Unfortunately, blogging is not my full time job, but I have plans for improvement. My New Year’s resolutions are: 1. Get the office organized so that it is more conducive to working in it. (It is quite a disaster right now.) 2. Get back to replying to emails and comments. (The last 2 months have killed me in that area.) 3. Read other blogs and leave comments. I feel so guilty about not having time for that right now.
And finally, to make up for my tardiness with this year in a review, I made the print at the top of the post for you. If you would like to print it out, right click on the image, and save it to one of your photo files. Then you should be able to print it out to whatever size you would like from there. Perhaps you will find it a good thought to keep in mind as you begin a new year.
Happy New Year!
p.s. My husband went to the doctor today, and he does not have the flu. It is… pneumonia. We are currently watching a movie – The Bucket List.