Hello everyone and happy summer! I am so honored to be participating in this exciting week of summer home tours with thirty amazing bloggers hosted by Marty at A Stroll Thru Life. If you are coming over from my talented friend Laura’s blog, Decor To Adore, or if you just happened to stop by the blog, I am so glad you are here! Today I am welcoming you to join me for an early summer tour of “My Old Kentucky Home!”
Summertime has arrived in Kentucky and the livin’ is easy! It’s time for enjoying lots of sunshine and flowers, (especially my beloved lavender)! Of course there are also some simple decorative changes and festive touches around the house that reflect the joys of summer and laid back summer living. Come on in and take a look around!
Even though school is out, I continue to give music lessons throughout summer and our home is filled with music and fun activities all summer long. Instead of changing out seasonal wreaths on our front door, I use a white washed wooden treble clef year round (the perfect door decor for a music teacher who adores all things white and chippy-shabby)! As you enter right into the living room the first thing you see is our DIY painted stairs and a gallery wall of antique frames and mirrors that I have collected over the years.
I love how the mirrors reflect all the extra sunlight in summer and brighten up the entry way and living room. Before touring the rest of the living room and dining room, let’s head to the kitchen for some refreshing, organic lemonade!
Later this summer there are some big changes coming to the kitchen which include some construction messes, so I decided to keep things simple for now. The only new kitchen purchases for summer are the farmhouse style sign with lyrics from our Kentucky state song, “My Old Kentucky Home,” and a vintage picnic basket to add to my collection. I thought the kitchen needed a bit of red, white and blue, so I repurposed a patriotic bunting as a valance for summer too. A couple of Rae Dunn summer pieces purchased earlier this spring have been added to the “Rae Dunn cabinet.” *To hear an amazing a capella version of My Old Kentucky Home performed by The University of Kentucky Acoustikats Men’s Chorus, click here.
It just isn’t summer in Kentucky without watermelon and lemonade! Then again, is it summer anywhere without watermelon and lemonade?
For now I am loving a bright and sunny lemon theme in the kitchen. I replaced my spring green dish towels with a couple of pretty French lemon towels, and created a simple centerpiece on the breakfast nook table using an antique ironstone bowl filled with fresh lemons on stack of vintage ironstone platters.
Hot Kentucky summers are perfect for enjoying lemonade, and this pitcher will be gone in no time as soon as I let my family know my “blog prop” is up for grabs!
Summer is all about fresh herbs, fruits and veggies! I am an avid herb gardener, but I like to use faux herbs for simplicity in the kitchen. I am also a “use what you have” decorator, so for now some faux parsley is standing in for basil and faux mint for oregano in my Rae Dunn herb pots. Even though I am not a soda drinker, when I think of childhood summers or even old “all-American” summers there is “always Coca-Cola” in my mind, so I often use a few vintage Coca-Cola pieces in my summer vignettes.
This vintage Coke tray depicting a lovely lady in a pretty blue and white summer dress surrounded by bright yellow flowers will be on display now through fall. Some faux yellow Queen Anne’s Lace and mint sprigs in an ironstone pitcher brighten up the sunny corner of the breakfast nook even more.
Now let’s move into the dining room for more all-American, simple Kentucky summer decorating ideas.
Our “old Kentucky home” is almost 98 years-old, and it still has all of the dark, original unpainted woodwork which is part of it’s charm. In contrast I like to keep the wall colors and main decor and furnishings as light and neutral as possible. This makes it easy to simply add in seasonal colors through accent pieces. Recent changes to the dining room include a faux shiplap accent wall (hard to see in the sunshine, but after a long, cold, and dreary spring I am not complaining!). I also added a new ficus tree for a touch of green in the corner where a shabby antique secretary used to be (moved to the living room).
I always like to show a bit of Kentucky state pride in our home, and I am loving my new burlap horse pillow and a DIY French blue (or KY blue!) grain stripe pillow on the antique church pew.
Another change since my last home tour is the addition of a DIY corbel shelf above the windows. Because our dining room is shady most of the day, I removed my linen curtains altogether and added the shelf for interest. I love having the extra space to display some favorite vintage salvage and ironstone pieces from my
For summer I created a “berries and cream” themed tablescape with a patriotic feel. I used a mix of vintage thrifted finds and just a few new pieces. I think “fresh from the farm” organic blueberries and strawberries (shh…those are actually faux strawberries from Hobby Lobby…) are perfect for serving up on a 100+ year-old farm table for a little summer snack!
Other than Christmas and fall, I normally keep the dining room neutral, but I though it would be super fun to add a bit of red, white and blue to the faux fireplace and antique mirrored shelf behind the farm table for summer. Later this week I plan to share a detailed “Patriotic Dining Room” post with more photos and vignettes.
Our house is decorated with an eclectic mix of vintage styles, but you will always find that my love of French Country is evident. I am also happy to brag about how much I didn’t spend on my decor! I found this pretty basket with blue toile de jouy liner at a yard sale for $1 this weekend (I did give it a quick chalk-paint white wash) and the little blue and gold Florentine coasters for $1 as well. The French sign was on clearance for $2 at Jo-Ann Fabric last season, and the ironstone pitcher was also $1 yard sale find. My lovely gold flatware is plastic from the party section at Home Goods for $3, and the “vintage” red French ticking stripe napkins are actually $3 paper napkins from Magnolia Hearth and Hand at Target! So I guess I could have done a separate quick blog post on “How To Style A Pretty Summer Basket for $10” basket included!
Since I don’t eat refined sugar, these sweet blueberries are certainly a delightful summer treat. I think blueberries just look so pretty when displayed on ironstone pieces or white dishes.
The gorgeous, antique ironstone blue and white transferware platter in the center of the table was a recent find that I am thrilled about! It was the one piece that inspired the whole red, white and blue summer tablescape and patriotic touches in the dining room.
A few more bargains for the table included four dark blue saucers (.95 each) and some dainty, ivory lace (paper!) place mats, 8 for $1.00!
I am really enjoying this inexpensive summer tablescape, but after finishing up this post I do plan to snack on some of those sweet blueberries while checking out all the amazing summer home tours!
Now it’s time to tour the living room to see how I have changed up the decor for summer.
In just the past couple of weeks there have been two changes that have made the living room feel like a new space and totally refreshed for summer— a new natural jute rug and a dreamy leather Chesterfield sofa! If you are considering a jute rug for your home, be sure to check out my recent post, Refreshing The Living Room With The Perfect Jute Rug.
The jute rug will work well year round, but it is really great for summer and looks perfect when combined with a few nautical or natural decorative accents like a blue stripe summer blanket and a boho belly basket.
Since the Chesterfield sofa has a lower back than our previous couch, I moved the antique theater seats from behind the sofa where they had been and put them in front of the window. A French script DIY upholstered bench now sits in their place. I love that our living room has plenty of seating along with the dining room. Since the dining room and living room open to each other through a set of French doors, there is a lot of room for family and friends to enjoy a summer meal together and to sit around and socialize (or play guitar and sing along, since both sides of my family are musical!)
I knew I wanted to add just a little bit of blue to the living room for summer, so switching out my springy teal pillows with blue striped pillows was an easy way to do just that. They have a bit of a Boho look which was exactly what I was wanting in order to keep my overall vintage cottage style from looking too dated. I also added some new, trendy “vintage-looking” macrame pillows to the sofa.
I styled our antique trunk-turned-coffee-table with an ironstone platter filled with neutral, natural, and nautical treasures. Our family is full of beach lovers, so there are always seashells and “beachy things” on display for summer in anticipation of our yearly beach vacations. A large hurricane candle holder is filled with more ironstone, seashells, and topped by a fun air plant in a glass terrarium.
What is summer without fresh flowers? Our Annabelle hydrangea bushes are in full bloom just in time for this tour so I decided to add a few to the summery glass bottles on the mantel to share with you.
Like the artist Claude Monet, I, too “must have flowers, always and always!” Gardening is a passion of mine so I certainly like to include some garden style in the decor for summer. A little bit of green through fresh or faux flowers and plants keeps our neutral home feeling “alive” and cheerful.
On the antique mirrored buffet behind the sofa I styled a dough bowl for summer “garden thyme” with a few faux succulents, herbs and other vintage treasures.
Well friends, as much as I would love to head out and work in my real herb garden right now, it is going to be an extremely hot Kentucky summer day so I will have to stay inside until later in the evening. I have been extra busy the past few days getting ready for this tour, so I think relaxing on the sofa with a couple of good decorating and gardening books sounds like great way to embrace easy summer living today! First I am going to snack on those blueberries and catch up on all the beautiful home tours. Don’t forget that the tours continue tomorrow beginning with Haneen’s Haven! If you missed any of the tours you can find the full schedule at the end of this post.
Thank you so much for visiting today! May your summer tote be filled to the brim with flowers or farm fresh produce, seashells and natural treasures, or vintage junkin’ finds…whatever makes your heart happy!