Coastal Designs of Summer

Coastal designs of summer and the decor accents, palette selections, and classic in the style of accessories that exemplify coastal chic inspire this show and tell.

Sightings of retail sources rush to fall and Halloween in mid-July is just a bit too early for me, and although this heatwave is currently zapping the summer living life out of many, fun in the sun days and summer nights is still a working season.


Photo by Shifaaz shamoon

You may ask yourself what attributes truly define coastal design style.

Cozy (yes, cozy) lays the foundation, natural elements set the tone, serene seaside and sky scenes inspire the palette, and the implementation of classic decor accents the necessary element to create an understated yet elegant aesthetic.



Customarily when the ocean-sea-gulf floats to mind, it conjures up a canvas of natural to neutral sandy beaches, waves of water stroked in crystal blue and aqua green beautifully tipped by curls of white, skies brushed from nature’s pastel palette, and seashells by the seashore in sizes and shapes only matched in marvel by their colors, textures, and patterns.




Nevis 15-Light 2-Tier Chandelier

Varaluz Banana Leaf 6-light Chandelier

Savoy House Charter 6-Light Chandelier in Warm Brass and Rope

Distressed White 3-Light Wooden Drum Chandelier

Coastal Capiz Shell Linear Chandelier Island Pendant Light

Poppy 3 Light Matte Black Ceiling Mount


Sayulita Mexico Oil Painting

Seascape Art Print


Sayulita Mexico Oil Painting

Seascape Art Print

Fish Coral Look

Woven Seashell Basket

Blue & White Yuan Fish Open Top Jar

Woven Rattan Plantation Chair

Resin Bird Table Lamp with White Linen Shade

Willa Grey Resin Imitation Whale Shark Wall Decor

Tropical and nautical design styles align on a branch of the coastal designs of summer family tree like that of your favorite second cousin once removed, and in certain design and decor situations are most deserving of an invite to the family reunion, so to speak.


Interior decorating is all about allowing the spaces and places in the home to mirror image our tastes, interests, passion, and personality -the paradigm of personal style.


 Photography by Maura McEvoy

Impressions inspire and inspiration directs decor choices.


Stone walls, sand-washed woods, regional antiques, and elegant simplicity throughout is the Maine reason I have fallen in love with Hunting Island, a restored summer cottage featured in “The Maine House,” by Maura McEvoy and Basha Burwell.


New Grange Gray Spindle Back Dining Chair Set of 2 

8-Light Antique Guild Traditional Transitional Hanging Candlestick Chandelier

Kasha Dining Table


Maine Seaside Coast Sand Dunes Sea Oats

Eastern Point Prout’s Neck

Maine Coast Lobster Boat Original Oil Painting

Original Painting of Harpswell, Maine


River Brook Design & Construction

Exact in the style of matches don’t always come our way.

This is where options along with a keen eye and a bit of decorative interpretation enters the picture.


Elle Decor – Photography by Francesco Lagnese



Court-French-Vintage-Performance-Velvet-Dining-Side-Chair (1)

French Vintage Performance Velvet Dining Chair in Natural Teal


Reef+Fabric (1)

Barbados-Reef Cut Velvet Fabric


Court Vintage French Upholstered Fabric Dining Side Chair




Coral Chandelier

beach-house-homer-oatman Home Adore-Homer Oatman Architects


Currey & Company Seaward Large Chandelier

Cord covers cover a multitude of unsightly sins.



Veranda – Photography by Douglas Friedman

in the style of graphic


Neillsville Atlantic Sea Fan

Pirate Portrait 

Grace Mitchell Rectangle Rattan Decorative Tray

Snapping Turtle Shell

Silver Nautilus Wine Bucket

Medium White Clam Shell Accent

Gold Polystone Crocodile Sculpture


Becca Interiors

Two styles for the price of one cohesive look is a visual bargain of the very best kind.

Achieve cozy harmony by intermingling coastal designs of summer together with pieces traditionally associated with the deep rich patina of fall.


New England Home – Photography by Nat Rea

 Love your coastal designs of summer style!


Show & Tell

Go Fourth All-American Fare

All-American fare consisting of spirited sips, bbq bites, and Fourth of July dessert delights await patriotic preparation.


Country Living Magazine – Photography by Steven Randazzo

Patriotic picnic provisions.


Cotton Napkins, Buffalo Check Plaid

3ct Checkered Scrunchies by hildie & jo

Summer White Star Basket With Handle

Royal Norfolk Blue Floral Dinner Plate

The Pioneer Woman Heritage Floral Round Bowl

Biltmore® Chateau Serving Platter

Summer Mini Glitter Berry Wreath

Mainstays Unscented Decorative Mottled Pillar Candles Set

Staub Tomato Mini Stoneware Cocotte

These tasty, easy, and 4th of July spectacular recipes can be found by clicking on the link below each image.

Let’s fire up the all-American fare flavor!

bluecoat-rwb-pThe Bluecoat Red White and Blue Gin and Tonic Recipe

Refreshing beverages of the leaded and/or unleaded kind kick off the festivities.

Red, White & Blue Sparkling Juice

Red, White & Blue Sparkling Juice Recipe

Sparkling Cherry Limeade Recipe

Sparkling Cherry Limeade Recipe


Triple Berry Sparklers Recipe

Burgers, barbecued chicken, corn dogs and ribs fire up the crowd and the grill.

swiss_mushroom_burger_22-685x1024Swiss Mushroom Burgers Recipe

Barbecued Picnic Chicken

Barbecued Picnic Chicken Recipe

State fair approved corn dogs.

corn dogs

Corn Dogs Recipe

BBQ Ribs with Mopping Sauce

BBQ Ribs with Mopping Sauce Recipe


Summer Hoppin’ John Salad Recipe

The taste of home is well-represented.

pickled-tomatoesPickled Tomatoes Recipe

No photo to share, but trust me on this one; Sue and Gloria’s Baked Beans with Pineapple recipe is all-American fare spectacular.

baked-beans-recipeSue and Gloria’s Baked Beans with Pineapple


4 (16 oz) cans baked beans

1 (20 oz) can drained crushed pineapple

1 cup molasses

1 cup bbq sauce

2 tablespoons or yellow mustard brown mustard

6 slices cooked and crumbled bacon

1 (6 oz) can crushed French fried onions

1 tablespoon hot sauce

2 teaspoons garlic powder

So, here’s the deal- I got this recipe for Sue and Gloria’s Baked Beans with Pineapple from an episode of Paula’s Home Cooking and tried it out for the great Fourth of July camping trip of 2008.

Oven baking is not always camping convenient, but the 7 qt. slow cooker I brought from home sure is.

Easy assemble of the recipe ingredients while drinking coffee in the morning matches the easy, slow, and low 6-8 hours cooking time until the goodness comes together for dinner.

If you prefer to oven bake this recipe, you’ll find the instructions by clicking the link above.

All-American Fare Kentucky Butter CakeKentucky Butter Cake Recipe

Kentucky Butter Cake will be the featured dessert placed front and center on our Fourth of July celebration dessert table.


My paternal grandmother copied the above recipe for pound cake from the Knoxville News Sentinel newspaper years ago.

Delightful as her copied recipe is, I’ve adjusted the recipe and cooking time & temp just a smidge to better suit the taste of the baker.


Grandmother Willie’s Pound Cake Recipe


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs, room temperature

3 Tablespoons vanilla extract

3 Tablespoons almond extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon mace

¾ cup heavy whipping cream


Generously spray tube pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium-high speed until combined.  Add eggs, one at a time and mix to incorporate.  Add vanilla extract, almond extract, and mace; mixing well.

In separate large bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Gradually add ½ the dry flour mixture to creamed butter and sugar mixture. Mix to combine. Pour in ½ of the heavy whipping cream mixing to combine.


Finish this step with remaining flour mixture and then ending with remaining heavy whipping cream. Spoon batter into sprayed tube pan, and place in cold oven.


Turn oven to 325°; bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 75 minutes. Allow cake to cool in tube pan before turning out onto cake plate.


Top with a generous scoop of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream or my favorite, Mayfield Signature Vanilla ice cream.

Mayfield signature vanilla ice cream

Garnish cocktails, punches, salads, and desserts with fresh raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries for a true red, white, and blue all-American fare taste.


Ice cream goes so good with summer and slow cooker peach cobbler.

slow cooker peach cobbler

Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler Recipe

Atlantic Beach Pie

Atlantic Beach Pie Recipe

Celebrating the 4th of July with friends and family over good food and good old fun is a let freedom ring and the good times roll summer tradition.

Go fourth and enjoy!


Show & Tell

Patriotic Party Ideas

Patriotic party ideas ranging from color-rich decorations to delicious food and beverage recipes to beat the summer heat welcome the best of 4th of July style.

Welcome Bicycle Coir Door Mat

Welcome Bicycle Coir Doormat

Patriotic pretty-seasonal delicious-summer essential themed decorating, entertaining, and tablescape goodies; this patriotic party ideas picnic basket is brimming with party essentials.



Southern Living-Photography by Laurey W. Glenn

Also included throughout this post will be lovely photos of interiors awash in colors red, white, and blue for the sake of continuity and stylish measure.


 Mark D. Sikes


1stDibs – Photography by Emily Andrews


House Beautiful


Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles 

Rocking in the U.S.A. takes on a whole new meaning when I ponder the interiors and decor accents in the above image.

Dave the Builder had a rocking horse like the one in the photo when he was a little boy, and often referenced it throughout our courtship.

A friend found one while antiquing one afternoon in a neighboring city, phoned me, I purchased it via telephone, and presented it to Dave for his birthday that year.

Antique Primitive Glider Rocking Hobby Horse Rustic Carved Wood Cast Iron Red

Antique Primitive Glider Rocking Hobby Horse

Goodness only knows where it is at this point, but I do love this found treasure almost as much.


Keeping cool and comfortable is essential element number one in the party in the U.S.A. equation.

Today’s temperature in this neck of the woods…102°.

That’s hot, and not in the good way.

Popular opinion proves the only thing you want hot is the look, the style, the music, the grill, and the decor.


Lasko 3 Speed Box Fan

Don’t try to be a hot and humid hero- plug in and cool off.

Academy Sports + Outdoors Retro Lawn Chair

Academy Sports + Outdoors Retro Lawn Chair

Call me old-fashioned, but it is my long-held belief it isn’t summer without a summer sittin’ session on the porch, deck, patio, balcony, or just out in the yard.


Who says the party has to be on dry land?

Hydro-Force River Tube

Hydro-Force River Tube

Pure joy!

norman-rockwell-boys-fishing (1)

Color, texture, and pattern combinations reminiscent of blue watercolors visually associated with summer strike a chord of style.


Artistic Weavers Cooke Industrial Abstract Area Rug

Artistic Weavers Cecelia Contemporary Navy Area Rug

Dip 29″ Ceramic LED Table Lamp, Blue/White by JONATHAN Y

SAFAVIEH Lighting 29-inch Color Swirls Glass Table Lamp

Leo 26″ Ceramic LED Table Lamp, Seaside Blue by JONATHAN Y


Building a celebration around patriotic party ideas is the primary theme, however, tablewares and serveware in classic summer colors and themes will stand up for use at other holiday and entertaining events.

blue-white-plates (2)

Blue and white plates never fail to catch the eye and set a party table in classic form.


Royal Norfolk Blue Beaded Ceramic Dinner Plate

Tabletops Unlimited Carmine 4-pc. Dishwasher Safe Stoneware Salad Plate

Summer Watermelon Melamine Plate

Buffalo Check Melamine Dinner Plate

Royal Norfolk Red Beaded Ceramic Dinner Plate

Royal Norfolk Blue Floral Dinner Plate

Melamine Americana Salad Plates – Set of 4


Cotton Napkins, Buffalo Check Plaid

3ct Checkered Scrunchies by hildie & jo

Summer White Star Basket With Handle

Royal Norfolk Blue Floral Dinner Plate

The Pioneer Woman Heritage Floral Round Bowl

Biltmore® Chateau Serving Platter

Summer Mini Glitter Berry Wreath

Mainstays Unscented Decorative Mottled Pillar Candles Set

Staub Tomato Mini Stoneware Cocotte

You may be questioning the addition of the 3 ct. checkered scrunchies to the list, but hang on.

Brand spanking new, never ever used checkered scrunchies of red, white, and blue colors set off by patterns of eyelet and check will make super cute napkin rings.


Hey gang, did you know ears of fresh corn with the husks slightly peeled back exposing the corn kernels, grouped in threes, and tied with woven ribbon of your color, pattern and texture choice or metallic twisted rope makes a fresh summer centerpiece?


Keeping with the summer fresh theme, personal watermelons on a natural table runner paired with Pittosporum and Lemon Lime Nandina is yet another summer simple and summer chic centerpiece option.


Summer chic.

Easy and affordable.

Eye catching.

baseball players

Baseball is a beloved summer sport.

Baseball Ball Planter

“Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet,
they go together in the good ol’ USA.”

Fill a baseball themed container with blooming flowers or greenery fresh from nature’s arts and crafts store (your yard).

Baseball Wood Wall DecorHit a charcuterie or cheese board home run with this Baseball Wood Wall Decor piece from Hobby Lobby (measures 13″ in diameter making it a good fit for a serving board).

Tip: pop off the sawtooth hanger on the back so the piece will be lay even when flat.

The-Pioneer-Woman-Heritage-Floral-Round-Bowl (1)

The Pioneer Woman Heritage Floral Round Bowl

Using small bowls and platters to house your cheeses, nuts, fruits, and meats will keep the board base clean and eliminate any cross contamination to the food from the finish.


Summer tastes highlight these go fourth and celebrate recipes.


Red White and Blue Mason Jar Salad (Fruit and Feta Salad)

Red White and Blue Mason Jar Salad (Fruit and Feta Salad)


Fried Crispy Chicken via Your Favorite Deli Department
How Easy and Delicious Is That?

Root Beer Baked Beans

Root Beer Baked Beans

Brined, Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob

Brined, Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob

Fairground Corn Holders, Set Of 4

Fairground Corn Holders, Set Of 4


Nature lends a helping hand to assist in color coordinated food and drink.

Firecracker Sangria

Firecracker Sangria

Alma Blue Double Old-Fashioned Glass

Alma Blue Double Old-Fashioned Glass

Pretzel Crumb Caramel Banana Cream Pudding

Pretzel Crumb Caramel Banana Cream Pudding


Dark Red, Ice Cream Float Cup



I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream at 10, 2, and 4!

If you get it, you get it.


Simple projects result in casually elegant and a much needed accessory to help combat mosquitoes- the party guest pest of summer outdoor living times.

Citronella Candle in a Mason Jar

DIY Citronella candles – Click HERE for DIY details

Float seasonal flowers from the floral department at your local grocery store or nature’s arts and crafts store ( your yard) in a large galvanized bucket filled with water along with a floating candle for an impressive party light option.

flowers-floating-candle-in-bucketMidwest Living

Proven patriotic classic.


Louisiana hurricane season has begun, and hurricane lanterns become a necessary addition for our storm kits.  The upside of preparation is the purchase of several of these lanterns and their immediate use as outdoor party lights.


Stansport 12″ Hurricane Lantern

Fabric is a party go-to solution for making tablecloths, napkins, basket and serving dish liners.



Independence Toile

Pack a patriotic party pail for partygoers with festive items that carry out the theme and the fun.

red-beach-pail-blue-shovel (1)

Suggestions for items to fill your plastic beach pails with are as follows:


Men’s Ocean Flip Flops

His and hers flips and/or slides.

O’Rageous Women’s 2 Buckle Americana Slides

O’Rageous Women’s 2 Buckle Americana Slides

Battery operated plastic hand-held fans paired with  individual aluminum spray bottles filled with chilled homemade rose water (the guys love this stuff almost as much as the gals).

hand held battery operated fan

Sparklers because they’re just so sparkly.


Photo by Ethan Hoover 

Drum up the drama and set off the visual fireworks in shades, hues and tones of regal reds, shades of white, and brilliant blues.

paper fans

Invite the idea of KISS, Keep It Summer Simple, to your summer soiree and  patriotic celebrations.

Happy 4th of July!

Let freedom ring in all your stylish 4th of July party ideas glory.


Show & Tell

Sweet Summer Southern Tea Cakes

Sweet summer Southern tea cakes lead the topic of conversation on this particular June afternoon in the Places In The Home test kitchen.

Places In The Home defines tradition as collections, recipes, and/or generational practices from your past bringing about complete and utter joy deemed repeat worthy.


tra·di·tion \trə-ˈdi-shən\

a :  an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)

b :  a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable

2: the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction


Summer has only been official for a hot minute, and the South is already experiencing oppressive heat. Frankly speaking, the only heat I’m remotely interested in on days better spent indoors is that of the oven.

Holds true for the cooks, bakers and heat haters in my family as the summertime tradition passed down in our family is a simple piece of advice- cook early, stay cool late.

However, I will make an exception when it comes to baking up a dozen or so sweet summer Southern tea cakes.


Back-Home Tea Cakes


½ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

¼ cup milk



Cream shortening; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer.  Add egg and vanilla; beat well.  Combine flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, mixing well. Cover and chill 2 hours.  Work half of dough at a time, and store the remainder in refrigerator.

Roll dough to ¼-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.  Cut with a 2-inch cookie cutter; place on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

Sprinkle with sugar. Cool.

Yields 3 dozen.

Mary Lou Adkins, Sulphur, LA.
Southern Living Magazine, July 1990

Here’s the aged index card recipe from which I’ve baked many a tea cake, and it means the world to me on many levels.

To me, tea cakes signify the simple, classic, and unpretentious taste of home.  I like to think that’s how I roll.

Giving into part craving, part memory driven tradition I baked up a couple dozen sweet summer Southern tea cakes working with a few recipe additions and adjustments.


Photo by Laura Adai

Sweet Summer Southern Tea Cakes


3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½  teaspoon salt

1  cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

fresh lemon zest


Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine flour, soda, and salt together and set aside.  In separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar.


Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add in vanilla extract, almond extract, and fresh lemon zest.


Beat together until combined.  Stir the dry ingredient mixture into creamed butter/sugar mixture.  Mix until all ingredients are blended together.


Divide dough in half; lightly dusting each half with flour. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and place in refrigerator allowing to chill for 1 hour.


Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough on lightly floured board to ¼ inch thickness.  Cut out in round shapes with cookie cutter or good old dependable jelly glass.


Place cut out tea cakes on parchment paper lined cookie sheet; bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly brown.

Makes 2 dozen.


If serving sweet summer Southern tea cakes for dinner is wrong I don’t want to be right.

Perhaps not the best example of a traditional dinner entree, but the combination of a summer evening coupled with a couple of sweet summer Southern tea cakes is very appetizing and oh, so summer.



Show & Tell

What’s In A Summer Season

Today’s Fetching Friday shines the seasonal spotlight on what’s in a summer season fun and activities to anticipate, emulate, and participate in.


That Friday feeling of fun, adventure, happiness and joy mirrors the essence of summer- the June to late September time of year serving as inspiration for this what’s in a summer season scroll.


Picturesque stillness makes a splash.


Carousel on Brighton Beach

Sky above, sand below, peace within.




 Cat In Birdfeeder Print

“Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.”

—Al Bernstein


Picnic in Central Park


“Summer means happy times and good sunshine.”

—Brian Wilson


Interiors by Kim Armstrong – Photography by Michael Hunter

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

—Henry James


House & Home – Photography by Jessica Glynn

“The best time for ice cream is always.”


What's In A Summer Season

Better Homes & Gardens – Photography by Jessica Delandy

“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.”

—Wallace Stevens



Enjoy your Friday, dear friends, and may your weekend epitomize what’s in a summer season.


Show & Tell

Outdoor Living Lagniappe

Outdoor living lagniappe hints and inside information helps to start the season with a clean slate.



Two outdoor living features close together in postings support what most of us know to be the case when it comes to good subject content- too much of a good thing is a great thing when it comes to summertime outdoor living lagniappe.


[ lan-yap, lan-yap ]

Louisiana French, from Spanish la ñapa

:something given as a bonus or extra gift; by way of compliment or for good measure.


Luxe Interiors + Design – Photography by Lisa Romerein

Outdoor furniture, decor accents and the like attract dirt, dust, pollen, creepy crawlers, and garden variety grime over the course of winter and early spring.

It’s just an outdoor living lagniappe fact that outdoor spaces and places demand attention at the beginning of the fun in the sun season.

outdoor living lagniappe

Lincoln Brooks

Outdoor Life is Dirty So Let’s Clean It Up

Give your outdoor oasis a look see through the lens of polish and refresh.

Clean what pieces will greatly benefit from a brush-sweep-soap session, and assess the situation of items not so worthy.

Clear the deck so to speak of debris, replace rotten/rotting/missing boards, secure loose ones, nail down pop ups, and sand down signs of splinter or potential problem areas (ouch!).


Good Housekeeping – Photography by Christopher Baker

Do you refresh or has the time come to replace outdoor furniture, umbrellas, pillows, and cushions?

When it comes to the decision to refresh or replace, weigh initial cost and difficulty in replacing item against budget friendly-ample retail availability.

Aluminum Market Patio Umbrella in Navy Blue Features UV Resistant

Aluminum Market Patio Umbrella in Navy Blue Features UV Resistant

Outdoor Cushion Cleanser


1 Tablespoon dish detergent

¼ cup Borax


Add dish detergent and Borax to a bucket of water. Dip a soft bristle brush into the cleaning solution and proceed to scrub cushion in a circular motion cleaning the entire surface.

Allow at least five minutes for the cleaning solution to penetrate the cushion.

Using a garden hose, rinse the cushion thoroughly in order to remove residual cleanser.

You’ll want to use an old towel for the next step. Pat the cushion with the towel in order to absorb as much of water as possible. Prop the cushion(s) upright in a sunny spot and allow to air-dry until completely dry.

outdoor space on water Palm Beach Florida

Luxe Interiors + Design – Photography by Jessica Glynn

In all things outdoor oasis summer spaces, keep it summer simple.

Mediterranean herbs

Mediterranean Herbs

Vegetable and herb gardens unite and produce- it’s your season to be in the  spotlight and on the patio dining table in seasonal cocktails, dishes, and salads.

Garden Sun Tea

Garden Sun Tea Recipe from Must Love Herbs

Garden Sun Tea


5  Black Tea Bags

Approximately 1 cup Fresh fruit

A Few Sprigs of Garden Herbs (Lemon balm, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, Bee Balm, Sage, Mint, etc.)

Filtered water




Add tea bags, fruit, and herbs to your half gallon container. Cover contents and fill jar with filtered water.  Seal the jar tightly and set it out in the sun for 4-5 hours.  Once the tea is finished steeping add honey to taste while it’s still warm.  Strain and serve over ice.

Store any leftovers in the fridge.

Please note, make sure to make Sun Tea on a very warm day (85° plus is what I use). Also, make sure you’re using a good filtered water. You don’t want bacteria growing in your sun tea… yuck! You can swap out the honey for flavored simple syrups!

-Must Love Herbs


Better Homes & Gardens Acrylic Ribbed Tall Tumblers


From full-on rows of growing goodness to a patio container garden, fresh is best.


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Decorative outdoor planters give good outdoor living it up visual zest and appeal.


One Kings Lane


If your existing plants have beautifully weathered winter simply refresh by adding a fresh top layer of mulch.


House Beautiful – Photography by Harperley Hall

Saw this on social media and boy, does it apply.

mosquitos-like-your-post (1)

Certain herbs and plants naturally repel mosquitoes while looking and smelling so summer good.


Photo by Markus Spiske

Here’s my favorites:


Lemon Balm





Make sure to empty standing water from planters and containers to eliminate attracting mosquitoes.


Photo by Yoris Yunanda 

Beat the summer heat and mosquitoes by setting up fans.


 Image by Freepik

There’s something so delicious about the combination of a warm evening and a cold summer salad.


Summer salad season exemplifies the crisp, the chill, and the complement of garden tomatoes topped with a dollop of mayonnaise, fresh asparagus spears spritzed with lemon and sea salt, and vinegar marinated cucumber slices.


Good lighting lights the outdoor livin’ it up night setting a relaxing, inviting, and aesthetically pleasing backyard bistro scene.


Photo by Vitor Monthay 

Deck out the deck, patio, and backyard spaces with chic outdoor living it up accent lighting.


2 Pack LED Vintage Lantern Battery Operated Flickering Flame Lanterns

Candle filled glass jars and holders hanging around, twinkle string lights wrapped tree trunks and branches, tabletop lamps or paper lanterns- all super ideas!


One Kings Lane


Woven Solar Pathway Light


Large Table Top Studded Glass Oil Lamp 


Glass Tabletop Torch Clear – TIKI


Lit Coastal Objects

Lit Coastal Objects

DALA Lounge Chair

DALA Lounge Chair

Iron chandeliers purchased at auction have become outdoor candle chandeliers.

iron-candle-chandelier1 (1)

Votive candles with battery operated LED versions in flicker fabulous mode replaced standard votives, and the look and the ease of operation confirms its patio practicality.


Simple is always a welcome guest at any outdoor gathering. Nothing is more simple, and might I add simply elegant, as a glass container filled with string/fairy lights.

string-fairy-lights-in jar-at-night

Photo by Abijith K on Unsplash

Regarding design and decorating, when I love and appreciate the look of a space I interpret the core design style influence and fashion to my own taste in the style of the original.

In the style of the French tradition, an apéro, short for apéritif, is the planned or spontaneous pre mealtime custom of cocktails and converse with the inclusion of savory bites.


Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

Summer evenings seem tailor-made for an in the style of apéro featuring light bites and tasty beverages to enhance the idea of relaxing and connecting.

Click on the link below photos for recipes.



Country Living- Photography by Becky Luigart-Stayner

Easy plan, prep, and presentation begins with super easy items picked up at your local grocery store in taste and flavor combinations light yet flavor packed.


May I suggest:


Veggie Strips







Cherry tomatoes

Dolly Parton Acacia Wood Butterfly Serving Tray

Dolly Parton Acacia Wood Butterfly Serving Tray

From the Dolly Parton line of products, this butterfly serving tray is an in season serving tray gotta have for crackers, cheeses and chips.

Fresh Pineapple Salsa with Sesame Tortilla Chips

Fresh Pineapple Salsa with Sesame Tortilla Chips


The Casa Wedge Salad

Casa Wedge Salad Recipe

Creole Shrimp Caesar Salad with Cheesy Croutons

Creole Shrimp Caesar Salad with Cheesy Croutons Recipe

20-Minute Burrata Salad with Stone Fruit and Asparagus

20-Minute Burrata Salad with Stone Fruit and Asparagus Recipe


Shrimp Ceviche

Easy Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

BBQ Chicken Wings

BBQ Chicken Wings Recipe


Grilled Pizza



Tropical Fruit Salad


2 cans tropical fruit, drained

1 can pear halves, drained

1 pint fresh blueberries

juice of one(1) lemon

1 large ripe avocado, halved and cut into slices

1 small container plain Greek yogurt

2 Tablespoons honey

black pepper


In a mixing bowl, toss together canned fruit with juice of one lemon. Cover and chill 1 hour.  Add two Tablespoons of honey to a small container of Greek yogurt and you’ve got the dressing.

Garnish with avocado slices, yogurt dressing and a fine dusting of black pepper.

Lemon Ice

Lemon Ice Recipe

Pick up a luscious lemon layer cake and proceed to sweetly impress with the addition of fresh blueberries and lemon slices topping it all of with a generous tablespoon of lemon curd and/or whipped topping.


Sweet summer s’mores because who doesn’t crave s’more sweet moments.


Architectural Digest – Photography by Amy Neunsinger

Spending time outdoors is a big part of summer fun, making it easy to understand why outdoor living spaces have become extensions of the life lived within our home- a retreat of heart and home.

Consider this summertime outdoor living lagniappe hints and inside information a little something extra for your summertime let’s patio times.


Show & Tell

Summer Scenes to Come

Summer scenes are coming into focus.

Memorial Day weekend kicks off the unofficial start of the summer season, and with that comes “we’ve been having fun all summer long” activities associated with fun in the sun times.

summer scenes

Shopping farmers markets and strolling American flag lined main streets for treats and treasures goes with the summertime territory.


Ceramic Berry Colander - Yellow Floral

 Ceramic Berry Colander – Yellow Floral

I’m sure I’d be amazed if I realized the amount of hours Dave the Builder and I spent together early morning and late afternoon porchin’.


Southern Living Magazine
Photography by Van Chaplin, Laurey W. Glenn, John O’Hagan

Perfect lighting scenario is the one nature supplies.


John Kraemer & Sons, Inc.

Summer offers pretty pastel flowers in pitchers, creamers, jars or even cans inspiration.


Victoria Magazine

In season blooms here today and gone tomorrow spark buzz and demand.




Linen Throw Pillow

Warm breezes in May remind me of a favorite summer scene set in a small North Louisiana town.


Country Living Magazine – Brent Darby Photography

Included in this forever memory is cross-stitch pillowcases, crisp cotton sheets fresh from the clothesline, a vintage chenille bedspread, and a bedside window raised just enough to allow the morning breeze to fill the room with the scent of African violets.


Summer will always be hot, delightful, and golden.


Cold drinks and cool creeks right this way.


Texan family members refer to any and all soft drinks as cold drinks.

Tennessean family members refer to any and all soft drinks as a col cola. Not cold cola or coca-cola, but a truncated version of the two.

It’s true what you’ve heard; most Southerners do in fact refer to any and all brands of carbonated drinks as Coke.

Classic Coca-Cola in bottle

Photography by Artem Beliaikin

Regardless of what you call it, Coke is summer in a glass, bottle or can.


Martha Stewart

Speaking of Martha Stewart- salute to 81 years young looking summer chic gorgeous on the cover of Sports Illustrated 2023 Swimsuit issue.


Thin patty grilled hamburgers and frosted mug root beers from Reed & Bell Drive-In was the summertime treat and the taste of my childhood.

We always parked and walked up to the counter window to place our order, and our mother would indulge my brother and me by letting us sit in the wooden school desks painted in primary colors of red, yellow, and blue situated under the shaded overhang.

Sipping on an arctic cold frosted root beer while waiting for our hamburgers to cook and listening to the hum of the fans overhead rated summer fantastic.

In our summer travels down the highways, interstates, farm-to-market, and backroads less traveled by, wonderment and nostalgia ride shotgun.

old-gas-pumps-highway (1)

Points of interest past and present fill mile after mile with sights appreciated, underrated, and outdated.

Beauty is in the eye and heart of the beholder, the mind and memories of the observer.


Summer’s big bang theory proves we’re all big kids at heart.


Photography by Zuza Gałczyńska on Unsplash

Hold on, summer fans. The ride is just beginning.


Show & Tell

Outdoor Living Decor

Life styled for outdoor living decor meets the needs and desires of those ready to take the party outside.

outdoor living decor

Lula & Georgia

We’ve covered the front-of-the-house curb appeal, now let’s take the party to the patio-porch-terrace-balcony-deck.


Country Living- Photography by Annie Schlechter


Luxe – Photography by Eric Piasecki

Grillin’ and chillin’ outdoor living is concept design with attitude requirements.


Elle Decor – Photography by Joshua McHugh

Creating a space around an attitude of relaxation and unwinding at home requires outdoor living features and accessories tailor-made to suit your lifestyle.


Southern Living – Photography by Patricia Lyons


Aesthetically pleasing outdoor lighting lights the night, afternoon, or evening for mood, task, and setting.


 Marissa Rodriguez

Layer lighting choices to create depth, contrast, and visual appeal.

Better Homes & Gardens 10-Count Warm White LED Ribbed Outdoor String Lights

Better Homes & Gardens 10-Count LED Ribbed Outdoor String Lights


4-in-1 Cage-Style Garden Torches, Set of 4

When it comes to outdoor citronella candles the jury seems to still be out on the verdict of whether they work or not.

candles in wrapped jars outside living

 Kelly Sikkema

Thermacell Mosquito Repeller products for mosquito control win the superior function over superior style case every time.


Ronald Langeveld

Speaking of function over style, how many of you remember using mosquito coils at the drive-in?

Drive-in theaters were on the way out by the late 70s when I was a teen, however, every now and then you would run across one fully operational.


My older cousin, a teen of the 60s, still got a big kick out of going to the drive-in on hot summer nights.

Her go-to mosquito control involved a trip to the snack bar to purchase a mosquito coil for dashboard placement and mosquito control.

Better Homes & Gardens Citronella, Blue Lavender, and Cedar

Better Homes & Gardens Citronella, Blue Lavender, and Cedar

If the repeller product is unsightly place out of sight in or behind planters.

Minka Textured Pot

Minka Textured Pot

Earthen-Ware-Terracotta-Vessel-Planter.-3-colors-available (1)

Earthen Ware Weathered Egyptian Terracotta Vessel/Planter

Reserve hurricanes, buckets, and jars filled with citronella votives and pillars for your viewing audience to see.


Black Wood Cutout Lantern with Rope Handle, 20″
Glitzhome 14.25″ Solar Powered Outdoor Lantern
Large Seagrass Candle Lantern

For a shell of a good look begin with a clear cylinder vase(s) of your size choice, add decorative craft shells and starfish, and drop in a pillar or LED flameless candle.


Libbey Clear Glass 8″ H Wide Cylinder Floral Vase

Better Homes & Gardens 6 White Flameless Flicker Outdoor LED Candle 2-Pack

Better Homes & Gardens 6″ White Flameless Flicker Outdoor LED Candle 2-Pack


Veranda – Photography by Lisa Romerein

Perhaps cozy is more associated with the fall into the winter season, but I like to think of it as the year-round hallmark of a relaxing ambiance.

Bryndle root fire pit

Bryndle Root Fire Pit

Solo Stove Mesa Tabletop Fire Pit with Stand

Solo Stove Mesa Tabletop Fire Pit with Stand

Round Concrete Natural Gas Fire Pit in Pewter

Round Concrete Natural Gas Fire Pit in Pewter


Round Hammered Wood Burning Fire Pit in Copper with Fire Tool

Round Hammered Wood Burning Fire Pit in Copper with Fire Tool

Classic black and white is always so chic, and according to trend spotters, this fabulous color combination is on-trend for the 2023 outdoor living decor season.


Outdoor Rugs

Hampton Outdoor Wood/Wicker Club Chair (Set of 2) by Christopher Knight Home

Hampton Outdoor Wood/Wicker Club Chair (Set of 2)

Tone-on-tone blended with texture and pattern advances the overall appearance to next level style.

Better Homes & Gardens Tarren 5-Piece Outdoor Conversation Set, Black

Better Homes & Gardens Tarren 5-Piece Outdoor Conversation Set, Black

Embrace your curves.

Dark Gray Rope Lorenzo Outdoor Swivel Chair

Dark Gray Rope Lorenzo Outdoor Swivel Chair

Outdoor French Bistro Chairs

Louna Outdoor French Bistro Chair (Set of 2) 

Scatter spot stools, stands, and ottomans about to serve comfort and purpose.

Sunny Club Black Wicker Outdoor Ottoman

Sunny Club Black Wicker Outdoor Ottoman

Hammered Finish Metal Garden Stool, Copper ColorHammered Finish Metal Garden Stool, Copper Color

Punched Metal Plant Stand

Punched Metal Plant Stand

Porto Striped IndoorOutdoor Filled Ottoman Gray Square Pouf

Porto Striped Indoor/Outdoor Filled Ottoman Gray Square Pouf

Look familiar?



Let the music play and the sunshine in.

Bose SoundLink Revolve Plus II Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Bose SoundLink Revolve Plus II Portable Bluetooth Speaker


Round Ivory Tufted Sun Face Indoor Outdoor Throw Pillow

Shades of seasonal colors in rays of sunshine hues add a touch of bright and cheery personality to the overall primary palette.


T.J. Maxx


Sanibel White Outdoor Chaise Lounge

Pink on the patio continues to be a house favorite.


Unique Loom Outdoor Trellis Area Rug
Nevis Palm Frond Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug – JONATHAN Y
Pink & White Beach Umbrella
Cabana Stripe Outdoor Throw Pillow DuraSeason Fabric™
Plushlines CH342 Multicolor Pillow
Women’s Farm Rio Green Slip On Flip Flop Sandals
The Novogratz Poolside Gossip Collection Priscilla Folding Chair (2-Pack)
Travelwant Wall and Railing Plastic Pots
Iron Outdoor Lantern Candle Holder
Ribbed Geometric Outdoor Stoneware Planter Pot Cherry Pink

Ellen Merchant Melamine Pitcher

Ellen Merchant Melamine Pitcher

Summer breezes usher in touches of tropical times, and for around $3.00 a pink with tropical green leaves swim float becomes a chic and festive centerpiece ring sitting pretty with a vase or planter full of seasonal floral or a themed ice bucket placed in the center.

tropical wim ring

Bluescape Pink Tropical Inflatable Swim Tube Pool Float

round galvanized tub

Better Homes & Gardens- Round Galvanized Tub

palm tree ice bucket

Pastimes Palm Tree Ice Bucket, 3 Quart


Fawn Concrete Planter with Drainage Holes

Fawn Concrete Planter with Drainage Holes

Among the many Southern sayings in my dad’s rotation was the infamous “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

Simple logic flanked by deep wisdom, folks.


This proven advice applies to the still popular choice of a clear beverage dispenser equipped with a spigot for displaying-holding-serving liquid refreshment to wet your whistle.

Pink Classic Outdoor Rolling Patio Cooler with Wheels and Handles

Pink Classic Outdoor Rolling Patio Cooler with Wheels and Handles

Speaks fluent ready, set, summer to me!


Social Cut

Chilling out with cool libation of the leaded or unleaded kind goes hand in hand with as the character Bick Benedict from the movie Giant puts it where we can sit and talk… and the breeze can get at us.


Glass Carafes

Converted vintage iron sewing machine stands and French marble-top baker’s tables serve style when used as an outdoor cocktail station.

French Cast Iron Marble Bakers Table

French Cast Iron Marble Baker’s Table

Carolina Chair and Table Vera Marble Top Bar Table

Vera 42 in. White/Black Standard Rectangle Marble Console Table

outdoor barware

Rene Lacquered Linen Matte Black Ice Bucket
Mila Oyster Bottle Opener
Better Homes & Gardens Acrylic Ribbed Short & Tall Tumblers Clear




Classic Gold Metal Console Table

Classic Gold Metal Console Table

Although the Classic 43 in. Gold Metal Console Table in gold is not an outdoor piece, it is a piece that I would definitely include in my outdoor living space for a focal point party presence.


You know—a take it outside for the event then bring it back inside afterwards piece.


Retro Yellow Outdoor Steel Glider

Chillasan Palm Trees Outdoor Hanging Chair And Cushion (1)

Chillasan Palm Trees Outdoor Hanging Chair And Cushion

Classic seating choices reply will attend to the outdoor living decor RSVP- retro style vibe party.


Bella Botanica Designs Inc.

Finding an exact piece eludes the hunt at times, and this is where in the style of decorating comes into play.

Farmhouse 2 Person Wicker Porch Swing - Dark Brown

Farmhouse 2 Person Wicker Porch Swing – Dark Brown


Blue Summer Hydrangea Square Decorative Throw Pillow 

Al fresco dining deliciously pairs with the spring-into-summer outdoor living package.


Scott Shrader – Introspective Magazine

Dedicated outdoor living kitchen areas range from state-of-the-art outdoor kitchens complete with elaborate designs and every creature comfort known to trend to a card table, galvanized beverage tub, and a hibachi grill.

Outdoor Gourmet 5-Burner Stone Island Grill

Outdoor Gourmet 5-Burner Stone Island Grill

Kamado Joe Classic III 18-Inch Ceramic Kamado Grill

Kamado Joe Classic III 18-Inch Ceramic Kamado Grill

Traeger Timberline Wood Pellet WiFi Grill Black

Traeger Timberline Wood Pellet WiFi Grill Black


7-ft. Stone Veneer 4 Burner Propane Gas Grill Island 

You’re the captain of the SS Whatever Floats Your Boat, and when the goal is to create a serene and stylish space, a harbor, if you will to relax, connect, refresh, and still the day into evening, there is no wrong way of achieving the goal.


White Woven Decorative Platter, 12″

Bamboo Food Cover

Woven Jute Tray

Mini Table Lamp with Shade 12.75″H – White Finished Traditional Style

Natural Brown Faux Wicker Barrel Lantern with LED Bulb, Medium

Woven Garden & Patio Storage Box – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia


Giannetti Home

Spending quality time outdoor living it up doesn’t necessarily involve spending scads and scads of money.

Great looks at good prices exist, my friends.


Cushioned Rattan Armchair

Safavieh Idola White Washed Dining Chairs (Set of 2)

Idola White Washed Dining Chairs (Set of 2)

Round Woven Vase

Round Woven Vase

Melamine plates and acrylic glassware color, texture, and pattern options have come a long way, baby.

Bamboo and Melamine Printed Salad Plate - Threshold™

Bamboo and Melamine Printed Salad Plate – Threshold™


Green Ombre Bamboo Cup
15-pack Food Friends Good Times Paper Napkins


Set of 6, Indoor or Outdoor Melamine Plates (9″-6 Piece Set, Toile de Jouy)

Classic patterns and on-trend favorites translate to Melamine serving pieces for the KISS-keep it summer simple-decoristas.


Pink Ball canning jars pair pretty with the summer salad season.


Serving salads in canning jars continues to be a KISS serving staple.

Ball 4pk 32oz Regular Mouth Quart Canning Jars Rose Vintage

Pimpernel Blue Italian Sandwich Tray
Yellow Leopard Print Small Oblong Melamine Serving Platter
Ball 4pk 32oz Regular Mouth Quart Canning Jars Rose Vintage


Cool sips, light bites, late suppers, and tasty sweet treats delightfully entice and satisfy the taste for a light nosh on a hot summer day into night.


Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe

Tuscan Artichoke Salad

Tuscan Artichoke Salad Recipe


Strawberry Salsa Recipe

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart Recipe

Summer is soon to be, and with its arrival comes the propensity to ready your outdoor spaces with spiffy summertime, and the outdoor livin’ is easy decor.


Show & Tell