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The Summer Home Tour – part 2

Talk of the House Summer Home Tour part 2Welcome back!  I am so glad you came back for part 2.:) I have been waiting to show you a few more rooms around the house.  Summer is such a good time to be here.  Yes, I know you really like visiting during Christmas. I enjoy that too. (Who can resist all that red and evergreen stuff?)  But summer…summer is sooo much more relaxed.

Talk of the House Summer Home Tour master bedroom

I can still use red everywhere I want,:) but in summer there is no trying to wrestle a 12 foot tall tree through a 30 inch doorway…no standing on a ladder out in the cold hanging up garlands…no running from store to store shopping for gifts…no having to attend a dozen band concerts or school plays. The pace in summer sloooows down.

master bedroom chair and ottoman red white and blueAnd the flowers. Summer has such beautiful flowers…geraniums, black-eyed Susans, Queen Anne’s lace, roses, daisies…and a million more.  They are much better than those poinsettias of Christmas (whose red flowers are merely leaves trying to impersonate flowers.)

daisies in the bedroomNow you know I do looove the Christmas holiday season, but it seems to get all the glory with decorating and food and tours and music.  But I think we should share some of that love and glory with summer. Don’t you agree? After all, some of us do decorate for the summer season (but thankfully it doesn’t involve wrangling ginormous trees.:))  Holiday meals don’t hold a candle to all the wonderful summertime foods, and I am trying to help her out by doing a summer tour.

master bedroom summer decorating

And who can resist great summer music that gets you energized like the Beach Boys’ Surfin USA or my favorite, Sheryl Crow’s Soak Up the Sun?  Yes, summer deserves some adoration, and to show my respect I made a list of things I love about her.  But guess what.  I am not putting this list on a chalkboard. Oh I can hear you now…Kelly, you’re falling down on the job. Well, I am not putting it on a chalkboard because I am doing like Kari Anne did.  I am spreading the list out through this post.  It deserves more than a single chalkboard.:)

So here are my 30 things to love about wonderful Summer (and I am giving her a capital letter…Why in the world should seasons be discriminated against when mere days of the week can have a capital letter in their name?! Who came up with that anyway?)  Sorry…sometimes the rules of our language just don’t make sense. Let’s get to the list…

30 Things to Love About Summer

1.  The taste of vine ripened tomatoes sprinkled with salt and freshly ground pepper

2.  The slam of the back porch screen door

3.  Small towns all decked out in red, white and blue

Master bedroom red white and blue room

4.  The smell of freshly cut grass

5.  Juicy watermelon slices on newspaper waiting to be eaten

6. The soft whir of porch ceiling fans as the blades spin round and round

bathroom sink flowers

7. Lightning bugs blinking on and off at dusk making the yard look like a fairy land

8.  That smell in the air when a thunderstorm is approaching

bathroom clawfoot tub

9.  Homemade ice cream made with peaches from the roadside stand

10.  A touch of pink on your cheeks after a day spent outside

11.  The smell of ribs being barbecued on the grill

bathroom flowers and basket of towels

12. Red geraniums spilling out of hanging baskets

13.  Houses with flags flying from their porch 

14.  Tan lines and freckles

childrens bathroom for summer

15.   Hotdogs charred on the grill topped with sweet pickle relish

16. That chlorine smell in their hair when the kids have been swimming 

childrens bathroom chalkboard for summer

17.  The 4th of July fireworks show at our local fairgrounds

18.  Peach milkshake time at Chick-fil-a

19.  Daylight that hangs around until way past suppertime

20.  Shasta daisies and daylilies blooming in all our flowerbeds

childrens bathroom shelf summer vignette

21.  The taste of silver queen corn on the cob dripping with melted butter

22.  The smell of suntan lotion

23.  Playing with sparklers on the deck at night

hallway bench with pirate books for summer

24.  Queen Anne’s lace blooming wild in roadside ditches

25.  Reading Treasure Island for the umpteenth time

Treasure Island and other pirate books for summer

26.  Cobblers made from wild blackberries you just picked by the edge of  the field

27.  Hearing Braves baseball on the radio

28.  Wearing flip flops

girls bedroom for summer29.  Half price drinks at Sonic

and finally…

30.  Not having a schedule to follow

summer vignette for girls bedroomThat last one is the biggie.

Having the freedom of time wins hands down over the harried holiday schedule every. single. time.

* * *

Are you wondering where the dining room and kitchen went for our tour?  I know I told you in part 1 that I was so excited to show you the dining room all jazzed up for summer, and I really am.  But….I was more excited to use that fancy-schmancy photograph to start this post for the bedroom portion.:)And would you believe the only difference in the first photo and the last one was the first one was taken in the morning, and the last one was taken in late afternoon?  What a difference sunlight makes!  Anyway, there will be a final part 3 of our Summer Home Tour, and just because you didn’t get to go in the dining room today, here is a little sneak peek for you.  Hope you like it.

table setting sneak peek for Summer Tour part 3

What do you love most about Summer?

I bet some of the things in the list were things you like too, but if I left out your favorite, please don’t hesitate to talk about it in a comment.

We’d love to hear!:)

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Stacey - June 19, 2014 - 9:16 pm

Just read Part 1 & 2 of your summer home tour. Your home is just wonderful, as always. Your list is very similar to ours too. By the way, another Beach Boys lover here. :)
Thank you for such a sweet comment, Stacey. How could anyone not like the Beach Boys? Their music is so happy. You just have to dance when you hear them!
Happy Summer!

Shar - June 19, 2014 - 9:33 pm

Hmmm…I second all your ideas, and add–strawberry anything, a porch swing with a pillow and a good book and toasting marshmallows over a camp fire.

(I’m ready to start “Kelly-ing up” my house for summer after seeing all of your fun ideas!)
Oh yes, a porch swing! How in the world did I leave that one out? Your other two are also good ones.
Thanks for adding to the list Shar.:)

salmagundi - June 19, 2014 - 9:37 pm

I’m all for 1/2 price Sonic drinks all year long!!! Sally
They are certainly a bargain, and they had the shakes half price today too! My favorite drink there is the Java Chiller. :)

Hilary @ My So-Called Home - June 19, 2014 - 9:44 pm

As one who actually lists summer at the bottom of my “favorite seasons” list (give me pumpkins and hot chocolate any day!) you just made my heart swell with all the goodness summer has to offer :) Your home is the perfect mix of cozy and welcoming mixed with impeccable taste and style. Good on ya sister!
I am so glad the list helped you see the good things about summer. Thank you for your VERY sweet comment about the house Hilary!
Have a great Friday!

Kim - June 19, 2014 - 9:45 pm

Yum, silver queen corn, my favorite. You listed so many things I love, too. I adore your blue plaid drapes and the cushion on the bench.
My father in law used to plant silver queen every year, and then he got converted to growing ambrosia corn. I always thought it did not measure up to silver queen. So I begged him for several years to plant it again. And this year he did! It will be ready soon, and I can’t wait! Those blue plaid drapes would fit in your house somewhere perfectly. :)
Happy Friday!

Lynne - June 19, 2014 - 9:46 pm

Swinging on my front porch swing, planting flowers, having cook outs with my friends out in our screened in pavilion, going camping and rafting down the Toccoa River, “fixin” up my front porch and patio for summer, vacations at the beach,popsicles with my granddaughter, and last but not least, wearing pretty summer dresses. These are some of my favorite things about summer. Hope you are enjoying yours!
Great things to add to the summer loves list Lynne! Your family always has such a good time on the Toccoa. My daughter and I both need to do some shopping for “pretty summer dresses.” (She would be happy that you added that to the list to inspire me to do that. :) )
Happy Friday!

Diane - June 19, 2014 - 9:49 pm

Great list but let me add summer concerts in the park, long walks on the bay with my husband, late dinners because who cares how late we sleep in the morning, patio doors left open until bedtime, the sound of kids laughter at the pool, little tummies poking out of little bikinis on a 2 year old, squirt gun fights with the grandkids, sweet tea from McDonalds, late into the night card games with friends, eating dinner outside, the sound of fireworks every night from the nearby ballpark, flags flying everywhere. The list goes on and on………..

Thanks for inspiring me to take the time to think about it!
What beauty you have added to the list Diane! Love it! I could just picture the 2 year olds with the little tummies poking out of bikinis…too cute!!
Thank you for reading and for adding to the list. :)
Happy summer!

Lynne - June 19, 2014 - 9:58 pm

I love everything on your list! The only thing I’d add is the laughter of kids playing games outside in the dark. It’s the sound of pure joy! Btw- your house is gorgeous as always! Happy summer!
Yes, that sound definitely needs to be on the list..especially when they are chasing fireflies and are yelling, “I caught one! I caught one!” Thank you for your sweet compliment about the house.
Happy summer back to you Lynne! :)

Kathy - June 19, 2014 - 10:23 pm

How many VW buses do you have? You covered most of the things I love about Summer, my favorite season. I live for the smells (freshly mowed grass, sunscreen, and watermelon), the tastes(anything grilled, fresh vegetables grown in a friend’s garden, especially cucumbers, tomatoes, and green beans..and watermelon) and the warmth of Summer…. and watermelons! Oh, and my favorite flowers…bright red geraniums. And, watermelons! Love this post!
I have 3 medium sized and 1 small bus. I love those toys! You wouldn’t watermelons would you Kathy?! :) They are one “flavor” that just says summer to me. I eat mine with salt…which my kids think is awful. And the smell of suntan lotion is just one of those things that instantly takes me back to childhood days at the beach. Isn’t it amazing how a smell can do that?
I am glad you enjoyed the post!

Dawn - June 19, 2014 - 10:36 pm


I love your list and agree to most of it…we are Cardinals fans around here. I do get so excited for peach everything this time of year. The relaxed schedule does win hands down. The only thing I might add to your list is sweet mint tea and s’more. Your gerbera daisies look great!
Yes, you would have a difficult time loving listening to Braves baseball then. :) My oldest son is the peach lover here..peach ice cream, cobbler, tea…everything! I should have put iced tea on the list (but there were so many foods already listed it was beginning to look like all I do is eat in the summer!)
Glad you liked the daisies. I can’t resist the red ones!

Yvonne @ StoneGable - June 19, 2014 - 10:36 pm


anita - June 20, 2014 - 12:15 am

I am sure most Canadians would say a big hooray to warm weather! I absolutely cannot wait for some nice weather. The rain is still holding on. Personally, I love sitting on my deck with some ice tea and reading a book. Not having a schedule is another great thing. I love all the red happening in your posts too!
After this brutal winter, I know you are ready for some summer warmth Anita. Hopefully the rain will let up soon, and you will be blessed with some summer sunshine. :) Iced tea and book reading sound quite relaxing. I am glad you like all the red. I am addicted to the color!
Happy Friday!

Cindy - June 20, 2014 - 6:59 am

Hi Kelly, love your “summer time” house tour, great idea. My cousin and I were just talking about you and how we love the way you change up a whole room with color. We also wondered what is going on in your husband’s office, any progress?
To add to your list, Jimmy Buffett and slow pontoon rides on the lake.
Enjoy your summer. Cindy
Husband’s office is slowly but surely being finished. It IS being used as an office with some furniture and a refrigerator and coffee maker up there. And the bathroom is almost finished (but pictures are waiting on me to hang them and cabinet shelves need to be built.) That is my next week project.
How in the world did I leave out Jimmy Buffett??? He is the epitome of summer music! Pontoon rides sound fun!
Have a fun Friday. :)

Gail - June 20, 2014 - 7:23 am

Hi Kelly: Beautiful rooms, beautiful accents! I love the Beach Boys as well. I usually listen to mostly Christian music, but I have a CD of their most popular tunes and play it faithfully in the car when I have to travel long distances. It kind of makes the time goes faster. My favorite summer things are, of course, cold red sweet watermelon (my favorite food), silver queen corn on the cob slathered with lots of butter and juicy red tomatoes straight off the vine. Maybe a trip to the beach when I’m visiting my children in NC but the mess involved with clean up of sand everywhere brings it in at number four:-) Have a blessed day summer girl!
Such a great idea to listen to the Beach Boys when traveling! You and I could definitely enjoy the same summer meal. Yum! I understand ranking a beach trip below all that great fresh food. :)
Have a happy Friday!

Donnamae - June 20, 2014 - 9:05 am

I love all the red in your bedroom…so cheery! And all the red you have both inside and out…looks fantastic…and shouldn’t just be reserved for Christmas! Now I’m anxious to see part 3. ;)
Oh yes, red is everywhere here! (except for the playroom…I did have a little restraint. :) ) Part 3 is coming soon..probably over the weekend.
Thanks so much for reading Donnamae!

Debra - June 20, 2014 - 9:16 am

Love your floral summer touches. I am definitely a kid in a candy store when it comes to floral goodness. I was just in Lowes the other day and their bedding flowers were 60% off. You know I did not leave empty handed. Like I needed more flowers. Ha! I love summer too and agree with your list. Well, with the official day of summer approaching, let sunshine, good food and all things that makes one happy, fill the days. Well, at the moment Spring is ending rather damp here in the Midwest. We have received 4 inches of rain just this week. I’m tucking pots of flowers under cover to save them from drowning. Being outside will be challenging I fear in the days to come. I can take the heat and humidity, just not the mosquitos. I need your big screened porch Kelly! Someday…..

You and I are both like kids in a candy store then. I can’t resist daisies and anything with red flowers (except roses for some reason…not a big fan of them.) Our Lowes had shasta daisies marked down to $1 yesterday…yes $1!! My mom and I both loaded up a cart with them (like I needed any more plants to put in the yard!) Whoa to 4 inches of rain…at least your ground will be easy to dig in . I hate hate hate mosquitos since they seem to love me. I always have to cover up with long sleeves and long pants and wear a lot of insect repellant. I hope you get a big porch one day!

Patty in Michigan - June 20, 2014 - 10:17 am

Kelly, okay, first I have to say that you should be doing picture layouts for Pottery Barn catalogs. Your intro photo of the red flower pot, the VW van, white pop can with paperstraw…..super cute!! I think that’s one of the reasons why your blog is one of my favorites. Your pictures are so beautiful. Love the list of things you love about summer. I read a comment that said it inspired them to even think about it. I agree! I homeschool my kids and we take summer off. So I really love summer because I get to get off the normal routine of everyday school and just relax and see how the day unfolds. We get to be spontaneous with the day. Love Summertime!
Now that would be fun job! (but I am terribly slow at the job…takes me a while to get it like I like it.) You are so right about the school orientation making you really love summer. I am sure my being a teacher really makes me like it more than folks who have to work every weekday of the year. Spontaneity is wonderful!!

Cheri - June 20, 2014 - 10:40 am

I think most of us have a list similar to yours but I would add hearing the crickets, listening to and seeing the diff. birds, swinging on swings, laying in a hammock, drinking a glass of wine outside and hearing the laughter of the neighborhood kids.
Your items sound soooo relaxing Cheri! Love them! Thank you for adding to the list. I also love hearing the frogs croaking for rain when a storm is on its way.
Here’s to summer joys!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - June 20, 2014 - 12:16 pm

Hi Kelly…oh the gorgeous pics that had me scrolling up and down, over and over to absorb every beautiful detail in each of your incredible rooms and vignettes….I had to re-subscribe (again) and hopefully it will work this time…Summer…even though I would much rather lose the heat of the season, you cannot beat the beautiful fresh fruit, the sight of children playing in the sprinklers. Off to take Tour # 1 !!
Have a most wonderful weekend.
Shirley you leave THE sweetest comments! I hope the delivery system works now…seems to be doing better. How did I forget running through the sprinklers??? Man. I should have put that one on the list…did that many many times as a child. Our children preferred the pool, but boy was our dog fun to watch when the sprinklers were going. He would try to bite the water!

lori lucas - June 20, 2014 - 12:24 pm

As a fellow teacher and also fellow RED lover, I completely relate to the Summer vs. Christmas decorating. I put out flags for Memorial Day and they stay out through July. And I love every second of it. (Then I move on to yellow and sunflowers in August…but as a seasonal decorator you completely understand. ha!) Anyway, I was going to add 1. Swimming. My all time summer fave. 2. The smell of sun tan oil. 3. Sleeping late!

Absolutely love your posts. Your talents are many and amazing.

Lori Lucas
Boy howdy do you put flags out!!! I love it. I know a trolley goes down your road, but I also hope a 4th of July parade does as well. Your home is picture perfect for a parade photo. Ahhhh…sleeping late. I wish I could do that. My body just wakes up around 6 every morning regardless of whether or not I have to get up. It would be soooo nice to snooze later.
Thank you for your very kind compliments!

Mary - June 20, 2014 - 12:52 pm

thanks for the home tour. My favorite is #7 with the fireflies twinkling. I’ve always lived on the west coast and we don’t have fireflies here. They are definitely on my bucket list to see!!
You’re kidding! I thought fireflies were everywhere! I wish I could put some in a jar and send them to you, but I don’t think they would live long enough to make it there. You need to make a trip to the deep South! :)

Garden, Home and Party - June 20, 2014 - 1:03 pm

Your home is equally lovely dressed for summer as it is for Christmas. I loved getting to see a bit of a bathroom. I thought that even that room looks dressed and ready. So pretty.
I’m with you, what’s up with the seasons not getting their due. I almost always capitalize the first letter then have to go back to correct it. I think we should start a trend and capitalize the first letter of each season, they are at least as important as the days of the week, at least to me!
Can’t wait for more of the tour. Where did you find those darling VW vans? they are the perfect accent for the season.
Thank you so much, Karen. I have never understood that rule of capitalization. And it would help children see a difference in the meanings of spring and fall when they are used as verbs. Our language can be so confusing to learn (and teach.) The VW vans came from Amazon in a set of 3 but I repainted all of them in the colors I needed them to be. I want to get a toy ice cream truck next. :)

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - June 20, 2014 - 1:09 pm

Kelly…yes,yes,yes to the things you love about summer! In the Northwest our list looks a little different…I.e. No Chick Fil A or Georgia peaches here :(. I would add eating al fresco as much as possible, fireworks on the lake, early morning coffee on the deck, and kayaking at dusk…love summer! Love your use of red flowers everywhere…one of my favorite colors! Can’t wait to see the rest of your Summer house tour!
Your list sounds good too, Gracia. My husband would love kayaking at dusk, and I would love the early morning coffee on the deck. I enjoy my early morning coffee on the porch. :) So glad you liked seeing the summer tour here.
Have a good weekend!

Jayne - June 20, 2014 - 4:52 pm

Oh, Kelly, I think I’m going to have to follow suite and do a list of all the things I love about summer. You did mention some of my favorites, like listening to the Braves, but one of my favorite things about summer are flip-flops. The home tour will have to wait on my post. (in the middle of some major redecorating) Maybe next summer! Enjoy the long lazy southern summer days we are having!
You should definitely do it, Jayne! I made out my list in a little notebook on our way to Atlanta a couple of weeks ago. Or….you could do a fall home tour with all your loves of autumn. :) I AM enjoying these days. It was just raining here with the sun shining!

Benita - June 20, 2014 - 6:36 pm

Two other things to add: Popsicles and the smell/taste of freshly cut cucumbers! YUM!
Yum indeed! Thanks for adding to the list Benita. I love a freshly cut cucumber with salt and pepper, and when I was a little girl I remember having a cucumber and onion salad mixed with some mayo. I haven’t thought about that in years. :)

Ann - June 20, 2014 - 9:54 pm

Summer = fried okra, dirt between my toes and drinking water out of a hose (omg I rhyme). But seriously, as a lover of red, I am coveting that plaid chair (I may have told you that before). I was once told by an interior decorator not to put red in the bedroom b/c it was too stimulating. I said that is precisely why I am doing it. But where did you get such a cute chair? You must have had it recovered b/c everything in the stores now is brown leather. I also love the blue/red bench cushion. I struggle with the furniture thing because what I want is what you’ve got but I can’t find. I guess I will just dream.
Yum, I love fried okra! Too funny about the “stimulating” chair.:) I ordered the red plaid chair years ago from one of our local furniture companies. It took about 2 months to get in. The plan was to use it in the playroom, but the scale turned out to be too big for that room, so it wound up in the bedroom. That was at the time when I ordered all the plaid fabrics for the drapes around here.They are not made anymore either. I know exactly what you mean about not being able to find things you like. That is why I have to make almost all of my drapes.
Thank you for reading and leaving your comment!
Have a good weekend!

Joana_JW - June 21, 2014 - 12:35 am

Oh I am in love with this season and the freshness of flowers it extends. Being a woman, I think I am inherently biased towards red color. Red is life,it is passion, energy, emotions and romance. Red makes us so ALIVE. You made a wonderful home, Glad reading this post :)
Thank you so much for all your comments Joana! I have never really thought about red being all of that, but I do agree. I think it is the color of celebration! :)
Have a great weekend!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality - June 21, 2014 - 10:44 am

Kelly, I never tire of seeing your beautiful home & I know that we would be friends if we met, cause your list of summer mimics so much of my own. Oh, the joys of growing up in the South! It’s a heritage I wouldn’t trade for anything and I know you understand that too. Your home just screams summer and all things good about it!
Thank you so much for stopping by Rhoda. I know we would be great friends too! You need to make a trip to middle Georgia in your “spare time.” :) I definitely understand the appreciation for all things Southern – especially summer in the South. I am so glad you liked the rooms ready for the season. Now if I can just get my hands on a fresh from the garden tomato… :)

Anne Boykin - June 21, 2014 - 4:06 pm

Kelly, You have one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever seen. I just love it. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.
Wow Anne! What a super kind comment! Thank you so very much. I am glad you enjoy looking around the house.
Come and visit any time you would like. :)

Sue - June 21, 2014 - 5:56 pm

No one appreciates summer like a teacher does. You need it to heal and recharge. Enjoy your summer.
Sue, you are SO right about that. I know that it really makes us appreciate the summer season.
I hope you are enjoying your weekend! :)

Megan - June 21, 2014 - 7:31 pm

Hi Kelly,
I have really enjoyed your list of favorite summer things. I personally love a horse that has shed out all of its winter coat for the summertime. They look so slick and summertime shiny! I do have to say that I checked out the other blogs that were linked with the summer house tours, and yours is by far my favorite. You do such a great job with the writing, photography, styling and decorating! Keep up the good work – and enjoy your summer!
Thank you for SUCH an encouraging comment Megan. You have no idea how much I appreciate it. I did not know about horses’ coats for summer. So thank you for helping me learn something new today! :) Your description paints a beautiful image in my mind.
Have a great weekend!

Laura - June 24, 2014 - 1:15 pm

Two things I adore about summer are hummingbirds chittering all over the lawn chasing each other and ice cream trucks! Just hearing that old timey sounds just makes me smile.
Laura those are good ones to add to the list! I have been wanting to find a toy ice cream truck to use in one of my summer vignettes around here. Boy if I could find a musical one, that would be hitting the jackpot!! You are so right about their old timey sound. :)

Angela - June 26, 2014 - 8:55 am

Love your website, love your house! I’m wondering what paint color you used in your master bedroom? I love it – I love decorating with reds and blues and that wall color is perfect!
Hi Angela! So glad you like the house! Yes, that neutral color works great with red and blue. The color is pretty much the same throughout the entire house. I believe that room is Twine, an old Martha Stewart from K-mart color, but I have had it color matched to Lyndhurst Timber from Valspar at Lowes. Benjamin Moore makes a very similar one that is a little bit lighter – Brandon Beige. That is what we have in the family room.
Hope this helps!

Renee Cook - July 18, 2014 - 4:07 pm

I so enjoyed your post! I love your great list of the joys of Summer and the beautiful pictures of your rooms. You’re right, it makes such a difference just by the direction from which the sun is shining. I would enjoy having your blog put into book form. What a great coffee table book it would make!

The Summer Home Tour

Talk of the House porch

 Sometimes you just have to unplug.

I didn’t really mean to stay away from the computer for a week.  In fact, it was only going to be two days, but then I read Kari Anne’s post here.

vw van and summer travel booksAnd it inspired me.  I decided I wanted to give you all a summer home tour – complete with my list of favorite things about summer.  And once I get an idea in my head, I do whatever it takes until it gets out of there and into reality land.

foyer summer vignetteBut this house was in no way ready for a tour – not a summer one or anything else.  In fact, what it needed was a long overdue spring cleaning. Yes, I know it is the middle of June.  That’s how far behind I was.

summer vignette on foyer buffetBecause May is when your college daughter returns home with all her clothing and books and linens and things, and you tell her to just put it all in a pile somewhere until you can find space for it.  Because when you are a teacher, May is also the month you rush to finish every single piece of paperwork ever invented by mankind and leave the rest of your life piled up.  And those piles patiently wait on you to sort them all …in summer.:)

foyer buffet summer vignette

And if you have looked around you’ve seen that summer is definitely here.  Hallelujah! So I dove into those piles and tried to make space in the attic for college things and I made bags of donations for Goodwill and I scrubbed walls high and low and washed linens and dusted bookshelves and vacuumed mattresses and … fought lizards on the porch.

Talk of the House porch for summerOh yes, I know lizards are supposed to be good and eat insects, but this lizard?  This lizard thinks our porch sofa is his sofa for napping and um..for his…um..restroom.  And finding him on that sofa or under a throw pillow has made me scream and given me a heart attack too many times.

porch wicker chairs

I’ve tried to vacuum him up…twice.  He escaped both times.

I decided I needed to rearrange the furniture on the porch so that he would be confused.  That meant bringing in another piece of wicker that I had in the garage because moving that sofa meant the domino effect of furniture happened…which meant…that old piece of furniture I brought in had to be repainted.

The moved sofa didn’t confuse him.  He found “his spot” again.:(

So I drank a Coke and contemplated my next battle plan.

geraniums in gift wrapI’ve learned that Lowes does not carry anything remotely resembling lizard deterrent.:( Perhaps a sticky trap will catch him.

I’ll add that to my shopping list.

During my unplugged week, (when I wasn’t making battle plans for the war on the lizard) I thought about summer and all the good things I like about it….like ice cream.:)

porch summer table

So while I was cleaning, I started coming up with ideas for how I wanted to decorate the house for summer…for fun…for your summer home tour here…starting with ice cream.

porch table vignette with ice cream buckets

Did you know that old ice cream containers will make a planter if you wash them out and poke drainage holes in the bottom?  And did you also know that banana split ice cream truly tastes like a banana split? (except of course, you have to add your own whipped cream.:))

ice cream bucket planter for summer decorating

During my unplugged week, I made new tags for the storage baskets on the back porch, and I pulled out an old ice cream churn to use as another geranium planter, and I thought more about decorating for summer fun…which made me think of frozen Cokes because I like them in the summer.  So I filled the big jar on the porch with bottled Coke..totally logical, right?

porch serving table and storage basketsAnd I thought more about ice cream and all its yummy flavors.  So I made a chalkboard listing them.  Which one is your favorite?

ice cream vignette for summerThere are currently five ..yes, really five containers of ice cream in our freezer…all different flavors.

ice cream chalkboard decorating for summerBesides ice cream, I also thought about summer being a good time for playing games and watching movies.

fun and games summer chalkboardAnd I bought a set of toy cars that made me think of summer traveling.

vw vanAnd while I was cleaning everything in the house, I thought of all the things I want our family to do this summer, and I started making a list.

playroom for summerSo our summer to-do list chalkboard was created.

summer to do list chalkboard and wicker chairAnd now that the piles have been taken care of and the house is clean (well almost all clean…there are still two rooms that need some work:() it is time to get started on this summer list.

summer to do list chalkboardSo that was my unplugged week.  Much was accomplished with the house, and now I can actually concentrate on summer fun.  And guess what.  Your tour is not over.  This is just part 1.:) Remember, I  still want to share my list of favorite things about summer with you, so please come back for more of the summer home tour later in the week.  I can’t wait to show you the dining room!

I’m off to check on a certain lizard.

Until next time…

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Therese - June 18, 2014 - 12:37 am

From a frosty, winter’s morning in Canberra, Australia……some places are certainly more inviting than others!
Loving that warmly, light, breezy feeling and the longing for the geranium blooms!
Oh wow Therese! It is so strange to think of it being winter elsewhere. Wish I could send you some summer warmth and bright geranium blooms!
Stay warm, :)

Mimi - June 18, 2014 - 12:40 am

Your house looks beautiful with all your pretty touches–as usual! I can sympathize about the lizard–our neighbor’s cat has taken up residence on our patio and has scared me countless times this summer. I will say he is probably more lovable than a lizard though…

I love your summer list! The item that has me most intrigued is the “have a party in the new room.” I can’t wait for details about that! Have a great week!
Someone told me to get a cat to get the lizard, but I think the cat would do lots more damage to the porch. Hope your neighbor’s lovable cat doesn’t scare you any more. Glad you like the summer list. You are very observant to notice the party in the new room part! Hope to get to that very soon. :)

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - June 18, 2014 - 12:42 am

Kelly, I love your summer touches to your home…the bright red pillows, the peanuts in a jar, the VW vans (which I grew up with in Brasil)’ the ice cream accents, the red geraniums, the summer to do list…and on and on! I was just “summerizing” my house today too and plan to post very soon. Love your taste and style! So happy to have found your blog! Happy Summer to you!
Goodness, Gracia, you noticed it all! Saw all your pretty summer touches in your home over on your site. Loved all the stripes. Summer is so fun to decorate for, isn’t it?!
Happy summer to you too!

Colleen - June 18, 2014 - 3:48 am

Kelly your home is amazing. I noticed that even the curtain rods and rings are colour coded for Summer!!
Very funny! You are something to be noticing the curtain rods Colleen! I suppose it is winter where you are, right? I will try to send some summer vibes to you.

Joana_JW - June 18, 2014 - 5:38 am

‘Take naps': the best part I like in the things to do board:)
Well, deep cleaning is not fun and I am sure you must be an enthusiast to do that. I must say that your home looks beautiful and CLEAN..It reminds me of my mother and all her efforts for cleaning home. I play the part your daughter plays for the home; we are the dirty ones :)
I would have to agree with you that naps are one of the best things on there. No deep cleaning was not fun, but there is certainly a lot of satisfaction in knowing that it does not have to be done like this for quite awhile.

Pat - June 18, 2014 - 6:44 am

Sticky trap is the way to go. We have been trying to catch a chipmonk who moved in and is digging up all of my flowers in pots on the deck. Took several tries to get him in a hava hart trap. He is still alive just relocated about 2 miles away to some woods. Good luck. We have them in our garage too.
Oh my goodness…chipmunks?! That would really be something! They are so cute, but I know they could be a problem as well. Taking him 2 miles away was a smart thing to do. Glad we don’t have those on our porch!

Vicki - June 18, 2014 - 6:52 am

Party in the new room?…..Room above garage? … Can’t wait to see it!
Boy you all are observant! Nothing gets past you guys. :) Yes, the room above the garage. It currently has a refrigerator and a coffee maker. Sounds like a party right? LOL

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen - June 18, 2014 - 7:12 am

Very inspiring post for decorating in the summertime. As far as the lizard goes, we lived in the tropics for years and lizards seem to be territorial and never go very far in their lives. You might try shooing him out the door with a broom, but he thinks your porch is his home and he’ll probably return sooner or later.
He goes out the door…there is a gap between the floor and the doors. Then he returns back to “his” porch for his nap and all. If I could catch him, I wonder if I took him miles down the road if he would return since he is territorial. Thanks for the info. By the way, loved the salad on your website!

Kim - June 18, 2014 - 7:24 am

I sure hope you get that lizard. I would scream, too. It would have no chance with Bailey and she would have the house destroyed trying to get it. Your house always looks great. We can’t see the dust.
I need Bailey to come and catch it! Our previous dog had a lot of lizard “friends” around here and would go crazy barking at them. Thank you for the compliment on the house. The piles of things around here were worse than the dust!

Debra - June 18, 2014 - 7:26 am

I was checking your blog the last couple of days and wondering where you were. I thought, hmmmmm, she’s already on another trip? Your home is always so welcoming and pretty. I have to say that even on a messy day at your home, I am sure I’d have no problem settling in on your delicious porch, Lizard and all! Poor thing just wants a cozy home and like the rest of us, finds yours irresistible. Coke, ice cream and well, those books in your second picture with Nantucket, Hamptons titles would definitely have me settling in for the afternoon on a wicker piece and let the escape begin…… P. S. I am with Mimi, you have me curious of the “have a party in the new room”. Can’t wait for that reveal Kelly.

I’m afraid house cleaning is not nearly as fun as traveling! Sorry to disappoint you. Yes, lizard enjoys the porch…sofa, ceiling fans, and there are even speakers out there from the stereo. He has it made! I hope to show the new room in a couple of weeks. I have curtains to sew and a cabinet to paint and 2 Ikea chairs to put together. Then the fun accessorizing begins!

Gail - June 18, 2014 - 7:41 am

Good morning Kelly: This post so reminds me of the children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie! If You give Kelly an Inspiration…she will..redecorate:-) So cute and so inviting. You porch is definitely a place one could so relax in…except for that rascally lizard. Just put him outside with a half gallon of ice cream and he would grow so plump he couldn’t possibly make it inside again:-) Just a thought! Anyway, thanks again for such a lovely post. Blessings…Gail
Yes, it does, doesn’t it?! :) I like the idea of the ice cream to fatten him up! The only place I feel “safe” from being scared by the lizard out there is the swing. He has yet to find his way up to it.

Nancy L - June 18, 2014 - 7:54 am

What a lovely home you have Kelly. Absolutely <3 your porch! I am sitting in my porch as I write this….we have a robin sitting on her nest in the vines covering the porch windows. A bird's eye view if you will pardon the pun :)

Enjoy your summer.
Thank you Nancy. I am happy you like the porch. It sounds like your porch is a pretty awesome place too. Having a bird’s eye view of the bird’s nest is delightful!

Arlene@Nanaland - June 18, 2014 - 8:26 am

I would like a week free to just go through each room and declutter and clean. With the grands here two days a week, it is just not possible. Maybe in the fall, before I get out all my autumnal decor, I can swing it then!! I always enjoy seeing picture of your house, Kelly. It is so warm and welcoming. And I am with you on Lizards!!UGH….hope you get rid of him soon!
You are right that it would not be possible to do that heavy cleaning with grandkids here twice a week. I am at a good stage in life that affords me the freedom to do that. Thank you for your sweet words about the house.

I hope the lizard is gone soon too, and I have not seen any “evidence” of him in the last day or so. :) Maybe he doesn’t like such a clean porch!

Louvina - June 18, 2014 - 8:33 am

Mercy Me! Mercy Me! What an inspiration, Kelly!! This was Sooooo much fun– I want to hit the deck a runnin!! And get my summer on! But since I’ve had some vein procedures ( teacher legs!) — ladies — take care of you feet and legs if you are on them 10-12 hrs a day or there may be a price to pay! So I am having to take it easy– BUT I can dream and make plans for later this summer. Love all your changes!! Love your porch changed around! LOL with the leapin lizard antics– I can just see you after that stinkin lizard– they are crafty and here in FL they are abundant! Found one in my bed Yikes! And sic my 4lb Yorkie, Holly Berry after it — pandemonium– can I tell you! Thank you for a great wake up call! I never know what to expect from you, girl!! Knew you were up to something! :) Still laughing!!
Ohhh…not fun to have to have leg work. You do need to take it easy. And yes, I am guilty as charged with being on my feet for long periods of time. I don’t sit down much during the school year.

If I found a lizard in my bed, I don’t think I would ever be able to go to sleep!!! How very scary!! A dog and a lizard is a MESS. Glad I could give you a laugh Louvina. :)
Stay off your feet.

Susan M - June 18, 2014 - 8:39 am

Kelly…..your porch is beautiful as usual. Love the furniture change!! I hesitate to put geraniums on my porch because of the mess the petals make….do you find this annoying? LOL…..but every time I see your porch I want red geraniums again!! I ordered the pottery barn pillow you have on the couch and it is back ordered(boo!)…..I love the flag and red, white, and blue decor in the summer too! You mentioned in a previous blog that you have to go back to school in July….WHAT?….is your school a year round one? Thanks for your inspirational porch decor….LOVE your blog!! Happy June!!!
Thank you Susan. I have to pick up the petals or they leave a red stain…scrubbed some off the porch floor the other day. I hate that the pillow is back ordered. I got that one at the PB Outlet on sale. We do go back to school in late July, and no it is not supposed to be year round school. It seems that our summers shrink each year.
So glad you are enjoying the blog. Thank you for reading and leaving your comments here!

Jennifer from Chesapeake, VA - June 18, 2014 - 9:09 am

What an inspiration you are to me!! I had my teacher piles too, and just got those taken care of. Then I had my “junk kids brought home” piles have 1 taken care of and now 2 to go. I DO like everything to be organized and have its place, I seem to be much sweeter in general when my house organized and picked up. Doesn’t have to be perfect but at least picked up!! (with three kiddos it is NEVER perfect!)

My question to you is do you have “bins” of color themed items to decorate with? I know you change yellow, blue, red etc. Everything from candles and books to pillows, so do you store it away TOGETHER to make it easier to pull out??

PS. Being from Texas my husband I adore Bluebell Ice-cream…..even had some shipped up here for his birthday one time. It has been in Virginia for maybe a year now!!! Praise to the MOST HIGH!!!!
I totally get your comment about being “sweeter” when everything is organized. :) And with 3 kiddos here as well there is always some kind of pile waiting. (Some are even made by me!)
For organization of the decorating things, I have seasonal tubs in the attic – more like tubs labeled with the names of the months on them. The small cabinet in the dining room holds all the Christmas china and gingerbread houses in jars. The pillows are a big mess right now. They are all in tied up garbage bags out in the garage right now. (They had been in the foyer closet for awhile.) As soon as all my husband’s stuff is moved out of our shared study and into the room over the garage, I will then have a closet for the pillows and all my craft stuff. Not sure if I am going to keep the study as a study or swap it and the playroom for my office. If I change it, some rewiring for computers will have to be done. One step at a time for everything. :)

judy - June 18, 2014 - 9:09 am

girl, you never fail to amaze me with your creativity and vignette skills…you could make a fortune by becoming a merchandise expert with the way you display things…and your vignettes make sense! (i hope that makes “sense”)!

i’m coming to your house this summer to have fun. and can you bottle your energy and give me some when i get there?

i think instead of cleaning today i’m going to get a pedicure…one of the “perks” of retirement is that the messy house will be here when i get home!
Thank you thank you Judy for the “make sense” comment! That is what I say is missing in so much of home decor today. The things that are put together in so many rooms just don’t even make sense to me. (Or maybe I just have limited brain skills. LOL) Come on over and we will have fun together. :)

cindy hattersley - June 18, 2014 - 9:14 am


You simply amaze me with what you can get accomplished while finishing your school year! Your house is so darling. It reminds me so much of growing up in the midwest and my idea of what the perfect house would look like! Where did you find those wonderful jars with the metal (what looks like metal) lids? Love all the black and white family photos and the way they are framed. You have great style!
Thank you for your very sweet compliments Cindy. :) I believe those jars came from Target..not sure. I have had them for a number of years. I love the black and white photos too. Since I seem to change color schemes so much around here, I have a hard time committing to artwork! LOL

Jill - June 18, 2014 - 9:17 am

I’ve been missing your posts, but I’m glad you got a chance to unplug and catch up. After a lot of busy-ness, I always love to have a couple days to just putter around the house. I love how your house is looking for Summer, especially the red, white, and blue on the porch. Using the ice cream tubs for geranium planters is genius! You always raise the bar with your creative ideas. Can’t wait to see the dining room!
Aw thanks Jill! I always hope that I can share ideas that other people can easily do without having to spend a ton of money. Ice cream buckets come pretty cheap around here the way we go through ice cream with our crew!

Garden, Home and Party - June 18, 2014 - 9:25 am

The house looks wonderful. Seasonal to the max. In fact I noticed that the pillows really make the room ready for Independence Day and are so summery.
I love Blue Bell ice cream…a takeaway from our job transfer to Texas all those years ago. We can’t get it in our west coast stores, darn. But our Austin son always has it on hand when we visit.
Can you catch the lizard and transplant him? If they creep you out too much, maybe hubby would do it? I’ve caught them when they inadvertently sneak into our office and they are always so appreciative to be back in the great outdoors where they belong.
I also love the green and black accents in the sun room.
Glad you liked the rooms Karen. I am sorry that you all can’t get Blue Bell in California. They must really be regional. I thought they were nationwide, but from everyone’s comments I see that they are not. Yes, my husband (or perhaps my daughter) will have to catch the lizard because they totally creep me out!

Leslie - June 18, 2014 - 9:46 am

Oh Kelly, you do what you do very, very well! Now I am going out to tweak my garden room and I am filled with inspiration! Thanks! As for the lizard, how about a sweet little kitten? Our 26 pounder is a love magnet for our family and he loves to play chase and catch. Double bonus. BTW can you tell us were you found that great VW van? Too cute. Happy summer to you and yours.
You are so sweet Leslie! So glad I could give you a little inspiration for your garden room. I’m afraid we can’t have a kitten here…daughter is allergic to cats. :( But thanks for the advice!
I bought the VW vans here: But I repainted all of them. The bright blue one was navy, and the green one in the playroom was hunter green. The red one, which you will see in the next post, was supposed to be red, but it was really more of a rust color…so I painted it as well. Hope this helps!

Jen - June 18, 2014 - 9:49 am

Kelly – your “summer” house looks so beautiful. What an inspiration! I need to get out to my porch and get it cleaned up and decorated…if only summer lasted longer here in Western, NY! Oh, and COKE FLOATS…YUM!!
I am happy you like the summer decorating Jen! Yes, go get on that porch of yours. At least your summer temperatures are milder than what we get here in Georgia. I do need to make some Coke floats…very soon. Maybe even tonight! (The ingredients are all just waiting in the refrigerator.) :) Hope you get one soon!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life - June 18, 2014 - 10:03 am

Oh I love your home, so pretty and good luck with that lizard.
Thanks Marty! (on both things!)

Martha - June 18, 2014 - 12:54 pm

Kelly, your house looks great.Love your changing color schemes and all the neat little touches you do that add so much. I have
several little lizards (skinks) that drive me crazy too. I had 3 of my granddaughters yesterday and they caught 2 of them and took them down to the creek. I have a feeling they may return with buddies.
Send your granddaughters my way so that they can catch my porch lizard please! I hope they didn’t return to your house with those little creatures for their friends.

Cheri - June 18, 2014 - 1:24 pm

Everything looks beautiful already, don’t know what more you can do…you can come to my house and change things up. I have brain freeze when it comes to that and my house looks the same all year long…BORING.

As for the lizard…make friends with it and have him be part of your family. Maybe that is what he/she wants…a family. We have them here and our one doxie looks for them when she goes outside. She thinks they are her friends. LOL
If we still had our beagle, he would be having a fit over this lizard! I am sure your doxie has a good time with them outside.
Thank you so much for reading the posts here and leaving your sweet comments, Cheri!

Jayne - June 18, 2014 - 3:34 pm

I was wondering what happened to you! You were doing just what I need to do. My college son is home and he has his pile of stuff I need to do something with. It is good to have our college ids home isn’t it!
Your porch looks great! As for that lizard…Bless your heart! Bless its heart. haha All is fair in love and war!
Thanks for the inspiration and ideas! Happy Summer!
It is amazing what all college kids not only take with them, but also what they accumulate over the school year! Glad you like the porch Jayne. I hope that lizard leaves! (but I know that is not likely. :() Got your email about the pinterest board. Please do add me to your pinners. Thanks for including me!

Ann - June 18, 2014 - 5:18 pm

Love the pictures and it has inspired me. . .beginning tomorrow. Regarding your squamate reptile (lizard). . . .creatures only stay where their food source is. If you remove the lizard’s food source, it will leave. Food source – bugs, spiders and flies, oh my! He is eating those brown recluse and black widow spiders. Let him live.
Can I house train him? LOL I just feel like every time I sit on a piece of furniture he might be under a pillow or under a cushion. Perhaps I should just check each one before sitting down. He must not be terribly afraid of humans since he stays out there with all our talking and everything.

Ellie - June 18, 2014 - 5:44 pm

i just love your porch! I’m so excited to have just rented a home with a screened porch. The screens were all removed in late winter for replacing, but before the landlord had a chance to do so, a sweet bird (a Phoebe)made a nest in the rafters so we’re anxiously waiting for her babies to fly the nest before putting up the new screens. Please don’t vacuum up the lizard or, heaven forbid, get sticky traps. They are SO inhumane. Animals have torn off their legs trying to get off them. It’s true what Ann says about it following its food source on your porch. Catching and releasing far from your property is the way to go for sure.
I am glad you like the porch Ellie. Hooray for your screened porch! How thoughtful of you all to wait on the babies to fly before putting up the screens. It brings to mind the Patricia Polacco book, Mr. Lincoln’s Way and what they did for some baby ducks in a school. I will heed your advice on the sticky traps and try something else for Mr. Lizard.

Dawn - June 18, 2014 - 6:32 pm


I have been wondering what you have been up to. I love all of your summer decorations and what makes them even better is that most of them are not just decorations but are useful items as well. My favorite room in your house is still the game room with all of its touches of green but the screened in porch is looking very inviting as well. I don’t know what it is about Coke but I always crave it in the summer time too, especially Coke floats. We usually have several flavors of ice cream in the freezer too, right now just two. Thanks for sharing your summer decorations with us. I can’t wait to see what else you have done.
Yes, they are definitely useful (except of course for the toy cars. :) ) Coke Floats and frozen Cokes are two of my favorites. There seems to always be a plastic Coke in the freezer now waiting to have some ice formed in it. It sure beats the heat! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment Dawn.

phyllis - June 18, 2014 - 11:42 pm

Bluebell buckets!! You are so genius.
I love the little VWs…saw that toy in Hawaii and wanted it but resisted! Happy home you have!!
No genius here…I (along with everyone else in this house) just love ice cream! You should have bought that toy VW in Hawaii. I searched for one with a surfboard here, and although I found a couple on Amazon, I figured my sweet husband could whip one out the surfboard pretty quickly. (And he did once we nailed down what I wanted it to look like. :) )
Thanks for commenting Phyllis!

Patty in Michigan - June 19, 2014 - 5:12 am

Hi Kelly, You had me laughing over your lizard run in! You’re home looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
The story IS funny Patty, but being startled by that darn lizard is not. I only feel “safe” from him on the porch swing (which is actually a nice place to sit. :) ) Thank you for your kind compliments on the house. I appreciate you for reading and jumping in the conversation here!

Becky in 'Bama - June 19, 2014 - 2:48 pm

I truly love your decorating style/flare and of course,I’ve mentioned in former posts how much I LOVE the color RED. I marvel at all the details and doo-dads, because for many and various long-winded reasons, my daughter (Kelly) and SIL and my five grandchildren are in my life (and house) for an extended period of time. Though not actually living at my house, she and the children have been home-schooling, etc.. there daily – since mid April. I have had to child-proof the house and put up and away all the breakables, pretties, etc… so when I see your pictures I laugh to myself at how quickly they would rearrange everything. They are ages 8, 6, 5, 3 and 1 year. Hope you get to check off a lot of those activities I see on your to do list. Happy Summer.
I do remember the child proofing days. They were in our first home, and this one is definitely not child proof. It is a lot of work to have it that way, and you are wonderful to do that for your daughter and SIL. Wow 5 children! They do grow up so quickly.
Happy summer to you. Enjoy those grandkids!

Susan - June 19, 2014 - 9:21 pm

Out at our farm, if I find a lizard in the house, I capture him in a drinking glass and let him go outdoors. They don’t mean to bother you!
That is probably what I am going to have to do to capture him, but we are going to have to take him far away to release him. Hopefully that will work. I know he means no harm. It just startles me (and I guess I startle him!)

Donnamae - June 19, 2014 - 9:42 pm

Oh wow….you’ve really been busy! Here too…isn’t that what summer is for? Your lizard story is priceless…good luck with that! So…what’s the “new room”…I saw on your chalkboard? House looks great…clean and summery! ;)
Yes, that is exactly what summer is for…at least at the beginning of the season. And then it is time for fun! The new room is the room over the garage that has been in progress for two years. We just have a hard time making time to finish all the little things that are left to do in there. Hopefully it will be through very soon.

Kathy - June 19, 2014 - 10:27 pm

Katrina and Josie, did you see the titles of Kelly’s books?!!!
I have been in love with New England forever! That’s why I have so many of those books. We have made it up through a lot of the coast, but we’ve not been to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. I hope they will be on our next “big trip” somewhere…probably going to have to wait until I retire though.

Kathy - June 19, 2014 - 10:48 pm

Kelly, I love the look of your house for summer! (I read Part 2 before reading Part 1.) I wanted to comment on Part 2 about how clean your house is and then I realized from Part 1 that you had been cleaning up a red streak. Everything looks beautiful! I want to curl up somewhere (on that screened porch) in your home and read a book…but first I must spring clean. Thanks for the inspiration! Enjoy your summer and start checking off things on that to-do list.
Don’t you know you are supposed to read things in order girl! LOL (And this coming from the one who reads the last page of a novel before she even starts a book!) If you curl up on the porch with a book, make sure it is on the swing. Otherwise you may be sitting on the lizard.
Would you believe we have already checked off several things on that list?! :)
So happy you liked the summerized rooms.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - June 20, 2014 - 12:27 pm

Kelly…there is something so magical about your porch…it is one that always wants you to come in and sit and never want to leave…So crushing on the chalkboards and the color of the frames…one of my favs!..the entire color scheme of your home is truly my favorite..and must say that your handwriting is magnificent!..
Thank you again for such kind words. I love the porch too, but would love it more if Lizard would leave.:) I have been sharpening my chalk in an old school pencil sharpener lately, and it has made writing on chalkboards so much easier. I can’t believe the difference it has made!
Enjoy your weekend!

Carola - January 9, 2015 - 10:30 am

Just finding your site…love it! As for the lizard, if still a problem, I have a solution. We used to have the same lizard problem at a camper we had “parked in the mountains. An “ol-timer” told me to sprinkle crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper around the outside of my screen porch. It worked! I went to the dollar store and bought large, cheap bottles of both and sprinkled around the outside and the little varmint stayed away. I have been told this works for snakes too, as they spice “burns” their skin.

A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay

Talk of the House  A Little Inn on Pleasant BayWe haven’t looked at an inn in awhile, but I think today is a good day to enjoy one.  I just know you are going to love this one!:) Several years ago, my husband and I traveled to Cape Cod.  I had done tons of research to decide where we should stay.  (There were like five bazillion choices!)  After hours and hours of internet browsing, A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay met all my requirements and more. (Yes, that is really its name.)  Normally when I share an inn with you, I begin with the exterior architecture or the rooms, but not here, and it’s not because those aren’t pretty – quite the opposite in fact.  Since I have been on a gardening kick for the last week, I really want you to see the grounds first.  They are amazing.

A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay outside

A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay

Aren’t they simply breathtaking? It made me want to plant hydrangeas all over our yard (until my husband reminded me that Georgia’s climate is nothing like that of Cape Cod.:() So let me tell you about A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay.  First, it is situated next to a real cranberry bog that is actually harvested each year.

A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay main buildings

There is a main building that dates back to 1798 (and some research suggests that the house was used at one point as a place to hide slaves as part of the Underground Railroad.)  One other building has rooms that overlook both the gardens and Pleasant Bay, and there is also a carriage house with two rooms.  Here is the view of the bay from the inn.

A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay view of the

A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay

Wouldn’t you like to be sitting in one of those chairs?

adirondack chairs at A Little Inn on Pleasant

Now let’s visit the inside of the main house.

A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay

candles at A Little Inn on Pleasant

A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay lounge

The inn is run by two sisters from London, Pamela Adam and Sandra Arnold, along with Sandra’s husband Bernd Zeller, from Germany.  Together they operate the inn as a bed and breakfast, serving a large  European breakfast buffet each morning for their guests.  We had a choice of dining in the dining room, out on the terrace overlooking the garden, or on another terrace that overlooks the bay.


You have a choice of nine rooms in the inn, all named after sailboats that sail along Pleasant Bay. Here are a few of the rooms:

Knockabout An Little Inn at Pleasant

room at A Little Inn on Pleasant

A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay

The inn is located between Orleans and Chatham, Massachusetts.  There was a very delicious coffee/ice cream/dessert place called Hot Chocolate Sparrow we visited one night in Orleans.  If you are in the area, definitely check them out.

Hot Chocolate Sparrow Orleans

And charming Chatham was one of my favorite places on our trip.

Chatham MA gazebosource

(The shopping was a lot of fun in that little town too!)

Chatham shoppingsource

If we return to Cape Cod, I’d love to stay at A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay again.  It’s a beautiful place in a wonderful location, and it really has the feel of old Cape Cod.  Perhaps they can give me some gardening tips while we are there!

A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay

Oh, and one more thing…I don’t normally purchase souvenirs from hotels or inns (cookbooks – yes, souvenirs – no.) But the little vase at the top of this post, the vase that looks like a bag?  That I could not resist.  I thought it was just so cute, and don’t my daisies work perfectly in it?:)

bag vase

 I hope you enjoyed touring A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay. Wouldn’t it be nice to be visiting there, looking out across the water?

Until next time…

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Gail - June 9, 2014 - 6:48 am

Kelly: Thank you again for taking me on a wee vacation to Cape Cod. How very beautiful! You’re so very blessed to be able to visit these marvelous locations and we your readers are really blessed to be able to tag along with you on your adventures. So thankful each time I open my email to see Talk of the House there. Blessings…Gail
Yes, we are most certainly blessed to be able to take a trip like that one. I am so happy that you enjoy the virtual vacations, and I wish I could take everyone on some of these. Thank you so much for reading and for leaving such encouraging comments Gail. I appreciate it so much. :)

Kathy - June 9, 2014 - 7:27 am

OMGoodness! How beautiful! I would love to take a little vacation there and sit out in those chairs by the bay with a cup of coffee and a good book. Then, I would go to Hot Chocolate Sparrow and sample every piece of cheesecake with a chocolate shell on top. (OH, I just got an idea! I have those molds, I am going to put chocolate shells on my cheesecake. I ALWAYS get ideas from your blog!) Katrina, can you and Josie visit this inn when you go up to New England?
A sampler tray from Hot Chocolate Sparrow would be delicious Kathy!! Great idea! And I do hope Katrina and Josie can visit A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay. The owners there are wonderful folks too.

Arlene@Nanaland - June 9, 2014 - 8:16 am

This is just what I picture when I think of Cape Cod Kelly!! A return visit to New England is on my bucket list!!
It was the epitome of Cape Cod (at least in my mind.) Yes, you need to make a return trip to New England and stay there. It was unbelievably beautiful. I know you would love it Arlene.

Katrina - June 9, 2014 - 8:48 am

Oh what beautiful pictures to start the week with! You and you hubby sure go on fascinating trips ( add writing a book of lovely places to visit to your list of things to do when you retire) My friend and I are flying to Rhode Island on Thursday to visit a friend who recently moved to New England. Our plans include Newport , Martha’s Vineyard, Cambridge and Boston. I am so excited! Yea Kathy, maybe we can fit in trying to find Pleasant Bay. If I do, I’ll send you and Kelly a pic of me and Josie sitting on those great white adirondack chairs!!
Writing a book…glory! I can’t even keep up with the house and blog and comments as it is now! Guess I should just hire an assistant. LOL Your trip sounds like HEAVEN!! Can I fit in your suitcase? Please? Definitely send me photos from the places you visit..especially Martha’s Vineyard. I hope you have gorgeous weather all the way.
Jealous jealous.

Debra - June 9, 2014 - 8:48 am

What a wonderful Monday morning wake up. Oh, to visit Cape Cod! You know it is on my bucket list. This place looks so charming. It must have been so lovely there. Thank you for the tour this morning. I so enjoy and look forward to your posts, always. Have a wonderful week ahead Kelly.

It was such a beautiful place. I would definitely recommend going when the hydrangeas are blooming. They were unbelievable. So be sure you remember that for your bucket list Debra. :) Hope your week is wonderful too.

Louvina - June 9, 2014 - 9:29 am

Nice! nice! New England is calling me! I do have a longing to go there–but the next best thing is seeing it through TOTH. Remember, you need to go back in the winter so you can go on that one horse open sleigh ride!! Right? Loving the gardens –just planted my old black coal bucket with red, white and blue flowers to go along with my flag bunting on the white picket fence. Getting ready for Flag Day, the 4th and summer time– all decorations are in that color scheme and I love daisies which I used in our wedding– 50 year anniversary this August as well as my 50th class reunion!! A BIG year for us—1964 was the best — but went by so quickly in many ways. Life is good!:)
Louvina, New England is always calling me, and I keep trying to talk one of our sons into moving there (so I will have a good excuse to travel there!) But both of our boys want to live on the west coast for some reason. Yes, that winter sleigh ride is still on my bucket list. :) Your flowers and flag bunting sound like the perfect summer touches. Congrats on the big big big events! Those are major. You should be celebrating them all summer long!

Jennifer - June 9, 2014 - 12:21 pm

After a particularly busy couple of weeks I checked your blog last night. I may or may not have squealed with delight when I saw I had several posts to read : ) Thank you for letting us live vicariously through you with your travels. Love Katrina’s idea of your publishing a book one day…
Sorry you have been so busy Jennifer, but I am glad you have time to read the posts now. (May is a crazy time for me as well.) Publishing a book…hmm…I will have to think on that one. Katrina seems to always be a great cheerleader for me, but glory, she comes up with more for me to do! LOL

Dawn - June 9, 2014 - 3:37 pm


Thank you for the lovely tour of your vacation to Cape Cod. It looks divine. Do they serve any dishes with cranberries in them? I love cranberries. We just had a girls weekend at the lake house and I made cranberry, white chocolate, macadamia nut cookies for us. I would love to sit in those crisp white Adirondack chairs and enjoy the view, sip coffee or wine and read.
Dawn, I don’t recall them serving a cranberry anything when we were there in the summer, but I can easily see them doing a cranberry bread at some time…especially when the berries are being harvested. Your weekend and your cookies sound wonderful. Cranberries, chocolate, and nuts all in a cookie…yum! Those would not last long around here.

Garden, Home and Party - June 9, 2014 - 4:04 pm


I love this inn. The inside as well as the grounds are both fantastic. The view is beyond wonderful. I’ve been to MA and even to Chatham but never Orleans. That Trip Adviser picture of the entry with the hydrangea is what I wish my house could look like!
Great post, as usual.
Karen, you need to add this place to your travel list. You would soooo love it! Perhaps you can get hydrangeas to do that in your climate. We tried them in our front beds for a couple of years, but they required daily watering. It just gets way too hot here in the summer for them to hold up the flowers.
Glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Penny - June 10, 2014 - 10:35 am

How beautiful those gardens are! I’ve only been to the cape once and after reading this, I’m itching to go back. (While in Maine, I, too, purchased a “canvas tote” vase, except I use it as a pencil holder.) Speaking of Hydrangeas, they always look so beautiful in photos of New England, but I grow lots of them in my yard. (Charleston, SC, HOT and humid!) I have several varieties, from lace cap to French hydrangeas, but the key is planting them in the shade. A couple of them now get afternoon sun, since I lost a few limbs, and those do wilt.
I loved loved Maine! What a good idea to use the little vase as a pencil holder. I just might have to steal that idea Penny. :) We had our hydrangeas planted under the shade of river birch trees, and they wilted every single day in the afternoon. I just couldn’t keep up watering them daily. I think if we had put a drip irrigation system on them, they would have done better. Glad yours are doing well.

Jayne - June 10, 2014 - 6:36 pm

I feel like I take a mini vaca every time your share an inn you have stayed in. What a cute little vase! Love it! So many different ways you could us it! Pencils/pens, for holding silverware… is it big enough to hold a hand towel and some lotion to set in a guest bathroom? That would be cute! Everything was so lovely. The house, the grounds. I would probably choose to eat outside, weather permitting of course. Thanks for sharing!

Paula B. - June 10, 2014 - 9:21 pm

Sending Cape love right back to you. When I read the title of this post in my RSS feed, I thought, hmm, I know that place, but Kelly wouldn’t be writing about Cape Cod. Or, would she? This place looks amazing and it is located in my favorite part of the Cape: the Chatham/Harwich/Orleans area. And, Main Street in Chatham just can’t be beat – you even have a pic of my all-time favorite destination! (shhhhh, it’s Candy Manor, enough said) I, also, frequent Chocolate Sparrow because they also have ice cream. I’m going to brag and say there is no better place for hydrangeas than the air and soil of the Cape! I hope you will return here someday soon and I will treat you to lunch at the Impudent Oyster or Chatham Bars Inn. And, take you to some of my favorite little shops along Route 6A. What fun we will have!

Charlene - June 10, 2014 - 10:53 pm

Absolutely love this blog. Love Cape Cod also. My husband and I honeymooned on Martha’s Vineyard 25 years ago this October. I was interested in seeing about A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay to visit for our anniversary this year, but I noticed that they close for the season after September 23rd. :( Also wanted to let you know that we are building a new deck on our house and have been looking for a dining set for it. We are getting the one that you have this weekend. It is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for such a great, informative, top quality site! Hope you are enjoying your summer break. Mine started today. :)

Jenb - June 12, 2014 - 1:13 pm

I’m supposed to be in Cape Cod right now! We ended up having to cancel our vacation due to childrens sporting events. But thanks for giving me a few minutes of feeling like I was there…

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - June 12, 2014 - 10:18 pm

Who needs a travel agent when we have you!!..What a fabulous place….I will be sure to check it out when we one day get to Cape Cod…..gorgeous, gorgeous inn…and I would have bought that “vase” too!!!

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - June 14, 2014 - 2:35 pm

Kelly, a friend of mine recently found your blog and told me to check it out. I love your style! Love your posts with all the photos. I’m glad or see that you love some color, buffalo checks, and even furnishings that are not all painted grey :). I’ve really enjoyed going through your older posts and catching up with all you have done on your home! Looking forward to following you this summer…Warmly, Gracia

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