Do you ever feel like your home looks best in one season? This house is a summer house. We live in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts so I always find myself decorating like the ocean and summer… just look at our blues, white and grays. My husband, AJ, and I have two biological children, Drew (6) and Elle (4) and are in the process of fostering (and hopefully adopting) six month old twins, Vera and Grayson (who are wearing a little disguise until hopefully the adoption goes through). Our life is incredibly full and I’ve found myself being frustrated at the lack of “accomplishment” around the house lately but it’s been worth it to have the twins join our family!
We bought this house almost two years ago and have painted many of the rooms, renovated two bathrooms and removed some wallpaper but still have the biggest project, the kitchen, in front of us. AJ and I are constantly brainstorming ideas (it’s a tricky, and large, two level space so it’s not something we could have jumped into right away).
This room received a major paint job last year. It was the previous owners’ dining room; we made it into our office and opted for a rich Hale Navy on the top half of the walls and a crisp white on the bottom. I have a desk that I found at my favorite thrift store and two gorgeous tufted chairs that are under $250. I have the sea fans hanging year round, despite them being quintessentially summery. The lavender is from Trader Joe’s and has been going on strong for months now, it’s such a simple way to bring in something live without always having to refresh cut flowers.
One of my favorite spots in the house is our breakfast nook, we eat every meal here and many masterpieces get created here (if you’ll look closely at the table you’ll see the results of coloring time). The table was one that a friend of our wedding florist was getting rid of, I painted it and then we added in some of these X-back chairs that I’d been in love with for a while. The look is classy yet beachy. Our centerpiece is a mix of practical and beautiful: hydrangeas, ripening fruit and lemon bread. When we renovate the kitchen we are very excited to have hardwood to match the rest of the house in here… instead of light carpeting that our children love to spill on.
This past Christmas we added two more of the same chairs we have in the office we love them so much. They are really affordable (as far as well made chairs go) and are $500 cheaper than Pottery Barn’s almost identical version. This winter I decided to really use our furniture, and love it, or get rid of it. We had this big blank space at the end of our long and narrow living room and I got the idea to put our former kitchen table into this space and use it as a puzzle table. Elle was always doing puzzles and leaving them all over the coffee table or the table in the breakfast nook so I wanted to give this area purpose in a way that made the room feel more well-thought out.
My wonderful neighbor loaned me a vase full of beautiful peonies and wild flowers for this photo shoot… this room has never smelled better!
Our dining room is incredibly simple. Last week I found this oil painting at my favorite thrift store for $8 and knew I had to have it… I’m sure it’s not worth a dime, except to me, but I love the colors and texture in this painting. This room was really lacking a little color and something on the wall in between the windows. Now to figure out some curtains for this space!
Table: Restoration Hardware Outlet (the prices are incredible… this table was 1/3 of a price that you’ll see it online!) | Chairs: Raymour & Flanigan | Painting and Buffet (not pictured): Savers
The master bedroom doesn’t look like this anymore… after multiple 90 degree days I moved our bed out from under the window. It was making me lose my mind not being able to open the windows behind the bed. I traded a breeze and light for the inability to have nightstands… but every time I go to Marshalls I see these little marble topped side tables that I think would look perfect right next to our bed. We used the nightstands you see in the photos below almost as a dresser in the new set up.
Bed | Nightstands | Blanket: Shawl from Banana Republic Outlet | Flowers: Balsam Hill | Lamps: Marshalls | Navy Pillows: Target | Gray Pillows: Home Goods | Rug | Chair: Secondhand | Metal Table: Home Goods
My peonies are blooming so I’ve been making these adorable arrangements for our bathroom… and then doing from crafting by turning this adorable preppy little girls suit into some artwork for the back of the toilet. I’m thinking I may hang some black and white photos of Drew and Elle at the beach on the wall.
Lastly… a teaser photo of how the exterior painting is coming along:
The house is in the process of being painted Ultra Pure White (Behr). The shutters are Club Navy (Behr Marquee) which is also the same color we used on our last house’s shutters.
That’s all for now, Friends. I hope you enjoyed the tour… this summer you’ll find us doing endless projects and visiting Singing or White Beach in town daily.
Many thanks to Nina Hendrick for putting this great group of women together for this summer house tour. You are sure to gain some amazing inspiration!
Simply Summer House Tours