Summer Home Tour

Summer Decorating Home Tour

I love all seasons, but summer is always the season that brings the biggest change around the house.  I welcome it with open arms.  I want to show you what becomes my focus every summer.

Summer Tour of Homes 2014 In My Own Style blog

Come on in, but we are not staying long… follow me…

Summer Decorating Ideas for the Foyer

…through the foyer.

Make your own chalk paint to paint furntiure

…and past the family room…

Summer-book-to-read Gift of the Sea

a.k.a…my backyard.

This is where you will find me as soon as the weather turns warm. It is where the living is easy. Fresh and breezy (until August), and carefree. It is my little piece of paradise that Ed and I worked hard to create. We DIYed everything on a tight budget so we could splurge and have a pool built 15 years ago.  It was a good decision especially while our daughters were growing up.  Lots of fun memories   – like the time the entire high school girls Cross Country team challenged themselves to see how many of them could fit in the hot tub – wondering?  – 30 girls.

I set the backyard up in a way that friends and family will feel inclined to …have a drink, sit back, take a dip, relax because it is sum…sum…Summertime!


After enduring the long and brutal winter, I think we have all earned enough reasons to enjoy the season of sunshine and good times. It is time to go barefoot, BBQ, swim, have a picnic on your lawn, and dine alfresco.


I shop my house and bring decorative items to use outside that can take the elements.


Ed and I entertain a lot in the summer, so much so that I have a system set up that works best for flow and seating. I tweak it every few years. I found this sideboard at Walmart many years ago.  It always looks lost against the siding on the house. To remedy the situation, I decided it needed a piece of outdoor wall art. I made it using styrofoam. I only had one piece, but I do plan to buy more so I can create a larger area behind the bar with color.

Deck Decorating ideas

One of the tweaks I made this year was getting new chairs. These rockers are made from recycled plastic milk jugs. They are my new favorite place to sit.  They have been moved back and forth to the patio where everyone seems to gravitate when there is a crowd – they are heavy, but portable.


Summer at my house is all about time… time to live and be as carefree as  our lifestyle lets us.  I try to take time each day to relax and read a book, take a nap, or simply watch the clouds roll by.

  • I posted how I made the beach towel chaise covers a few years ago, the towels are perfect for chairs –  truly wash n’ wear.

If life gets too busy and I can’t take the time to sit back and daydream, I make sure I at least eat my lunch or dinner outside.

We have had this set of patio furniture for over 15 years. It is getting a little beaten up, but it would be too hard to paint because of the woven straps, I decided that since everyone who is wet from swimming lays a towel over the chairs before sitting down, I would do it for them.  I made simple beach towel covers that are tied on so they don’t blow away.   I  will post how I made them soon. I bought the towels at Walmart.

Outdoor table setting ideas

Up on the deck is the outdoor dining set that I painted last summer.  If we are having more than 4 people for dinner or a weekend brunch, we eat here, but everyone seems to like it down at the small table. We have moved this table more than once down to the patio to be right by the pool.


I found the big rectangular basket at my local thrift store for $6.90. I plan to make it hold ice for soda, beer, and bottled water. It is not quite finished, but I will post about it when it is. The round basket acts as a trash can. I have another one for recycling.


As long as it is not raining, we dine out every night and cook mostly on the grill – less pots and pans to have to clean up.

Inexpensive Outdoor-chair-covers

We get full sun all day, so I have three umbrellas to create shade.   One is on this table.


It goes right down the center of the table. I use drinking glasses as vases to go around the pole.


Everything tastes better when the sun goes down and dining is alfresco. I like the ambience of lit candles at dusk and have created and posted quite a few for the backyard over the past few years.


Let’s go back inside.  I don’t change much inside for summer, but do replace heavy bed spreads, and…


bring flowers in from the garden.  I use whatever is blooming outside.  Right now it is the Rhododendron. You will see more of this room this summer since I am going to be painting the walls to reflect a lighter and brighter feel.


I bring out a few beachy touches like shells and starfish that I have collected. I put them somewhere different every year. This year they are in the hutch that I stripped in my kitchen.


One change that makes a big impact is when I switch out the shelf backdrops in my kitchen. They went from orange…

How to paint kitchen cabinets

…to cool blue instantly. It only takes a second, but changes the feel of the space for pennies.


Another reason I like to keep summer simple, is we like to travel. I have many destinations I would like to get to in my lifetime. This map is a reminder for me of where I want to go.

As you see, I keep summer decorating simple, easy, breezy, and as carefree as my life allows.

Remember my fave quote – “Life is too short to be the caretaker of the wrong details.”

In the summer, this is even more true. I want less work, less stress, and more down time relaxing, having fun, and being outside.


Thanks for taking the tour.  This photo was taken a few weeks ago when the azalea were in bloom. Now they are faded and I am waiting for the hydrangeas to show off in a pinky purple riot of color.  I still have a few weeks for that to happen. Keeping my fingers crossed they do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I want to stay there for 1 month and enjoy the beauty. Thanks for sharing this blog.

  2. I have to say thanks for the initiatives you have
    actually placed in creating this site. I really hope to check out
    the exact same high-grade blog posts by you in the future.
    In reality, your creative writing capacities has actually
    motivated me to acquire my very own website now ;-).

  3. Jennifer Rizzo says:

    Everything looks so beautiful and fresh! Thank you for sharing your home!!!

  4. Kate, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating says:

    Everything looks beautiful! Love all your fresh flowers and I want to come jump in the pool. :)

  5. Monnaie Cochin says:

    Nice tour.
    Beautiful interior furnishing and interior designing, Especially I like the stairs. outdoor designing also attractive and colorful!

  6. Absolutely beautiful, Diane! I’d love to catch up in your outdoor living room ;)

  7. Lisa at Concord Cottage says:

    Hi Diane,
    Your home is BEAUTIFUL and I loved the tour. It’s so funny because here we did that crazy Scotch Gift Wrapping Contest and you only get a little small snippet of a person and a few minutes to spend any time and it is so nice learning more about you from your blog and seeing things you are doing pop up on Facebook etc. So what I’m trying to say is Bravo to you, Love your home, Love your decorating and thanks for the inspiration!! Hugs, Lisa

  8. I think I have found the lady to ask….

    I purchased a sweet little sling back chair for my nephew who is turning 2 years old. I was wondering if you have ever monogrammed an outdoor chair before? If so, what are your recommendations on the most durable paint?

    Any information would be helpful?!?!?

  9. nan, odessa, DE says:

    Thank you for hosting us!!!! Two questions:

    1. How do you keep the cut hydrangras fresh? Mine always droop.
    I want to use them inside and don’t because of this!

    2.Who is you quote by????????????? Love it. So true for me also.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nan –

      1. Check out this informative site where you will find a few options:

      2. I have always credited the quote to Alexandra Stoddard. I have met her on a few occasions and she said she does not remember ever writing it. If I re-read all of her books, maybe I will find which one it is in and can prove to her that she did :-) I say this quote a few times a day to make sure I stay on track and don’t bring needless things into my life.

  10. Kelly - Talk of the House says:

    Love it! Can I just come and spend the day by the pool (and forgot the darn to-do list here)?? All the deck areas are summer ready, and it all looks beautifully relaxing. And I love how you change out the colors in your kitchen cabinets (although this lover of red was liking the hot orange with all your brightly colored Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. :)) It does call for cooling blue for summer. Your map area is also great, and the cupboard full of white pieces would be perfect in my house. If it goes missing you know where to look.

  11. Caitlin @ Desert Domicile says:

    Gorgeous space! I love the bright colors and how peaceful your pool looks!

  12. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitlaity says:

    Beautiful, Diane! Your home is just gorgeous and wow, what an outdoor space you all have there. Love everything you’ve done, so talented and inspiring. Enjoy your summer!

  13. Jenn @ My Fabuless Life says:

    LOVE everything. It’s all amazing, as always!!

  14. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life says:

    Gorgeous. Everything is totally gorgeous.

  15. I loved having a tour of your home! Exactly my decorating style!! Thank you for sharing!

  16. Stylish architects design and interior designing!

  17. Tina Matteson says:

    I absolutely love it! Especially your outdoor living room. Thank you for sharing it all with us.

  18. Now I feel like I have been to your house! I love getting to know you that way.

    Next time I wanna do it in person. By the pool. With some of those flowers nearby. :) Lisa~

  19. Lisa Reinhardt says:

    Diane, I know you are in the South somewhere…I’m near Charlotte and would love to come visit! When are you free?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lisa – I would like to live in the south again. I lived in Durham, NC when I was first married, but have lived in PA for the last 21 years. Both Ed and I would like to move south, so you just never know – it could happen. :-)

  20. Funky Junk Interiors says:

    Diane… goodness! What I adore about your home is how you make our outdoors every bit as inviting as your indoors. What a pleasure to be able to sit out there and enjoy! Loved it all!

  21. Incredibly beautiful :)

  22. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    Your home decorated for summer looks great, Diane! I love the attention you pay to the outside as well. We used to do that at our old house ~ having a really long patio and then a separate pool deck area. It gave us lots of entertaining space and I always was outside a lot, too, once it got warmer. We also had full sun in our yard, although the years shortly before we moved were changing a bit thanks to a growing tree that helped block some of the afternoon sun. Hoping to do a little something here at our condo now once we get a patio in that we are waiting for approval on.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kathy – I hope your approval comes quickly so you can get to work on your new patio. I would be calling them everyday to hurry up so you don’t miss getting to spend time outdoors. Our house was built on a corn field. We have trees along the back and street trees that were planted when we moved in which are much bigger now. About 2 years ago I looked out one of my front windows and did a double take wondering what was on the lawn – it was shade from the trees that got big enough to produce enough substantial shade. :-) In the backyard we have to wait for the house to block the sun which is usually around 2ish. Happy Summer!

  23. Kimm at Reinvented says:

    Gorgeous! I love your style and the colors you’ve chosen for your home. AND I might be more than a little envious of that pool! :) Thanks for giving us a tour. Have a great day!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Kim – It was a big decision many years ago to take the plunge :-) and add a pool. We have never regretted it. It has been a wonderful addition to the house.

  24. Beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL! I just love your home and all of the summer touches!

  25. Great blog today. Makes me begin to appreciate summer! Wonderful home you have made.

  26. I have been reading your blog for a while now but don’t ever recall seeing outside! How lovely and peaceful. Makes me want a pool in my backyard :-D Thanks for the beautiful tour.

  27. I love your pretty summer backyard! I would never leave :)

  28. Heidi @ Decor & More says:

    Beautiful, fresh, and fun, Diane! Thanks for sharing!
    xo Heidi

  29. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    I love your back yard. And your pool is just huge….. hmmmm….. PA is a long way from me, but my oh my would it be fun.

    I like that you make things so beautiful, but also smart and elegant. Smart is a key thing for my thinking. You always make really good sense with your style. If I were rich, I would pay you to do every tiny thing for me. Really I would.

  30. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    So so pretty! You totally have a resort outside. Love it and I’m so envious because I don’t have room for a pool :(
    Looking forward to see you again next week.

  31. Your summer tour is beautiful, I really enjoyed seeing it! You have an amazing outdoor space and I hope you get spend a lot of time out there. I really like you idea of using the rectangular basket as a cooler and can’t wait to see how you pulled it off.

  32. Debbie refresh resytle says:

    Everything looks so refreshing, especially your outdoor space. I’d love to watch the clouds roll by on a float in that pool ;)