Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer House Love

My house has a tendency to look summery all year long. I can't help it. I'm a lover of all things light, clean, and breezy. If I could pick anywhere in the world to live, it would be by the ocean. It's no surprise that my coastal love not so subtley finds its way into our home.  

Therefore when it actually is summer, the season for all things beachy and light, my home is in its heyday. Come Christmas it will look like summer is awkwardly trying to make small talk with tinsel and ornaments but June has it saying, Awww, yeah.

So in the spirit of my little house that is all summer all the time, here's a few homey updates and practices that keep me calm{ish} in my home. Which is where I look to stay. Way too much of the time. 

Yep, I'm trying out new paint colors. 

I swiped them on the walls weeks ago and we're just living with them for a while while we let the right color speak to us. 

Sweet succulents.

These plants make me smile. And because they are hard to kill {or perhaps just slow to die}, I can have them around for a while.


I planted a hydrangea bush last summer. It died. But my neighbor's hydrangeas are loaded with blossoms and she let me snip some of her lovely blooms. {Thanks CA!} They make me so happy. If I don't have hydrangeas, I just cut the branches and leaves off of anything I can find and stick it in a vase. 

This new thing. 

The TV has new digs. We ventured to IKEA to get a small Expedit bookcase to turn on its side and came out with this monstrosity instead. It was on clearance, has great storage, and it fits the TV just perfectly. But it's large. Really large. That's the downside of looking at furniture in a store the size of a city. The scale of things is all wonky. 

And because it's large and it sits besides the mantle, there is no focal point for this room. I'm still not sure how I feel about the set-up but we'll just live with it for a while. 

"New" chairs.

Because I just can't have enough white and bright, I'm painting the kitchen chairs. Three down, three to go. I'm just spraying them with Rustoleum's Heirloom White. It's amazing what happens when you take out the dark and replace it with white. At $2.50 a can, it's a super cheap redo. 

Clean surfaces. 

When two-thirds of the square footage of your home is one giant room, there are some practices that help the space feel tidier. Clutter in one part of the room has a way of feeling like clutter in the rest of the room. The absence of walls will do that. I remember The Nester talking about clearing the surfaces and I think it's the best decorating advice ever, especially for open spaces. 

I don't have picture frames or candles or other tchotchkes sitting around and I'm ruthless about trashing paper and the rest of the junk that a family of five seems to breed so effortlessly. For me, clear surfaces = calm mama. And I'm in the need of all the serenity I can get. 

So where do I put my little "set-arounds?" I house them in this hutch...

Or assemble them in a seashell "village" on the mantle.

Keeping collections of little things together allows you to enjoy them without feeling overtaken by the tyranny of the tiny.

Our great room will probably only look this clean for another hour. The only reason I could even do this post is because we had out-of-town guests passing through last night and the place is unusually tidy. It's a lovely feeling even if it does only last for one day. 

So that's the summer vibe in this place...seashells, succulents, creamy whites, and cleared-off countertops. 


The Lettered Cottage


  1. Not sure I'm talented enough for seasonizing my house. But I sure enjoy looking at yours ;)
    I agree about th clutter. My house is so much calmer with the surfaces clear.

  2. Just loved this post . . . and the pics. And, like you, I also loved the half day following hosting a party or guests. I would just walk around admiring how straight and clean things were, even for a moment.

    Had a thought or two about the lack-of-a-focal-point situation. We'll talk tomorrow.


  3. I am a clean lines, minimalist kinda your style! The shells on the mantel are perfect. Most of my home is open space as well, so I too, find that clearing the surfaces is definitely key to having the whole space feel clean and uncluttered. I love the lone plant on the desk. It makes a great impact.
    You have a beautifully comfortable home.
    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

  4. Beautiful! I know exactly what you mean... The "common areas" in my house are just one big long room, and it's difficult to keep it tidy because one item out of place in one room can be seen throughout the whole house! Found you through The Lettered Cottage's Summer Mantle Party :)


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