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Summer Tour Of Homes 2014

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Summer Decorating Home Tours

If you just arrived from Finding Home – Welcome to my blog, In My Own Style

If you are a long time reader   – hello again.  Today I am taking part in the Summer Tour of Homes that Gina from a Shabby Creek Cottage is hosting all week long.  5 bloggers  x  5 days = 25 summer homes to inspire you.

If this is your first time here, Hi! You can find out more about me, here.


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.

Hello 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 big table 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.

  • To see more outdoor and summer inspiration, check out my Project Gallery where you will find lots of affordable ideas that you can make for your home.
  • To take the tour of my entire home, you will find it here: Bloggers House Tours


The next home on the tour is the fabulously talented Kristen from The Hunted Interior.

To start at the beginning of the tour – head over to the Shabby Creek Cottage and then follow the links to see all the blogger’s  summer home tour posts – 25 in all.

Bloggers Summer-Tour-of-Homes-2014

 Summer Home of Tours Schedule 

Monday, June 2nd

The Shabby Creek Cottage
The Nester
At The Picket Fence (Vanessa)
Thistlewood Farms
The Inspired Room

Tuesday, June 3rd

The Handmade Home
My Fabuless Life
Finding Home
In My Own Style
The Hunted Interior

Wednesday, June 4th

Inspired By Charm
Jennifer Rizzo
Madigan Made
Makely School for Girls
Funky Junk Interiors

Thursday, June 5th

Jones Design Company
Beneath My Heart
The Pennington Point
White Buffalo Styling Co.
Southern Hospitality

Friday, June 6th

At the Picket Fence (Heather)
Desert Domicile
Tatertots & Jello
Home Stories A to Z
Live Laugh Rowe


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.