Summer Home Tour 2014

Flip, flop. Flip, flop. Flip, flop.

Don’t you love it when a word so perfectly describes the sound it makes?

And nothing says summer quite like the sound of flip flops.

In fact, I was tempted to just scatter flip flops all around my house and say, “There. Consider my summer decorating DONE!”

But then, well, I figured that since the lovely Gina from Shabby Creek Cottage invited me to be part of her Summer Home Tours I should probably show you just a tad more than that.

But, don’t believe for a second that I’m not wearing flip-flops while you’re reading this!

Simple Summer Decorating Ideas and Home Tour

In fact, why don’t you go put on yours and we can just flip-flop our way through this tour together! If you’re just coming over from Nesting Place I want to welcome you to At the Picket Fence and to my home here in the beautiful Willamette Valley, Oregon.

stucco exterior Mediterranean style home

Come on in!

And see…flip flops! 😉

welcoming to summer home tour2

When it comes to summer decorating I like to take a ‘Beach Boys’ approach.

Stay with me here…you see, decorating for Fall and the Holiday season seems to be so much more obvious and attention grabbing. Those seasons are all like, “Look at me! Look at me!”

But summer, well, summer is cool, relaxed and nonchalant.

It’s less ‘Joy to the World’ and more ‘Good Vibrations’.

And when it comes to adding touches of summer around my home, I keep it simple and subtle.

living room summer decor

Because frankly, once you start getting some sunshine in Oregon the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time worrying about home decor.

I want to be outside soaking up those glorious rays of Vitamin D people!

Living room summer mantel

So, I go for soft touches here and there. Like fresh flowers on the mantel next to this beautiful painting done by my incredibly talented father-in-law. This one is called ‘Here Comes the Sun‘ and I think it fits perfectly in here. You can find more of his amazing pieces on his website.

summer mantel decor

Summer in the dining room doesn’t involve elaborate tablescapes.

traditional dining room

A simple tray filled with fresh flowers and candles makes for an easy centerpiece with plate, forks and napkins all ready for casual entertaining.

We keep things laid back even in this more formal space. Gotta make sure the flip-flops fit in here too, right?

summer dining room centerpiece

My roses are in full bloom and I love being able to get fresh flowers right outside my door.

French country entry with curved staircase

Even the laundry room gets a little bit of summer-fi-cation.

french country laundry room

The breakfast nook is flooded with light this time of the year and every morning you will find me sitting here starting the day with a cup (or 2 or 3!) of coffee.

breakfast nook

And the sideboard is all ready for friends to pop over at a moments’ notice.

summer buffet table decor

How is it possible that something as simple as bottles of Pellegrino can look just so pretty lined up on a tray?

summer buffet table

I used to be filled with a sense of dread when it came to switching out my mantel decor to welcome a new season. I would scour Pinterest and stress out over the fact that my family room mantel is dark wood instead of white. In fact, do you know that if you do a search for ‘Summer Mantel’ you will not see one single dark wood fireplace? Not-a one folks!

traditional family room with dark cabinets

But, then I just channeled my inner Elsa and ‘Let it Go’! (Anyone else out there sing that song in their loudest Operatic voice just to annoy there kids? Yeah…me neither)

I remembered that what I really love and what really reflects my style are simple, natural touches. Like ferns in urns.

And frankly, that’s really fun to say. Ferns in urns.

simple summer mantel decorating

With 2 skylights above, my kitchen stays fairly bright even on the cloudiest of Oregon days. But, in the summer…oh in the summer it is the absolute best!


The older I’ve gotten the more I’ve realized that there is less I really want. Does that make sense?

I want less filler, less stuff.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t still enjoy the process of turning my house into a home.

It just means that I’m more selective about what I bring into it.

And this approach takes all of the guess work out of decorating for me.

globe collection

Because summer decorating can be as simple as a little silver bucket filled with lavender.

lavender on coffee table

Or a sailboat tucked into the corner of a room.

sailboat decor

Or seashells filling bowls on tables.

seashells on coffee table

It can just be flowers that you can’t help but bury your face into every time you walk by them.

summer roses

Or your grandmother’s vintage cocktail napkins ready and waiting to be used by guests…who aren’t really guests…because everyone is family once they walk through our door.

And I wish you could walk through my door this summer.

I wish my flip-flop wearing feet could greet your flip-flop wearing feet.  I wish I could put a nice cold bottle of Pelegrino in your hand…or maybe a Corona with lime.

vintage linens and silverware

I wouldn’t point out all of my summer decorations and you wouldn’t really even notice them.

Because, we would head straight out the back door and onto the deck. Where we would watch the kiddos jumping on the trampoline and running through the sprinklers. We would eat the best grilled chicken you’ve ever had after my husband smoked it on the Traeger for a few hours and you would have brought some kind of amazing dessert for us to enjoy. You know you would!

We would laugh and talk and laugh and talk and laugh some more until the sun went down and we had to light the candles in the lanterns and pull on sweaters as the temperature dropped.

And after it was all said and done, you would leave my home knowing what I think summer is really all about.





Who could ask for more?

 Now, how about you take your flip-flop wearing feet right on over to visit my friend KariAnne at Thistlewood Farms, I know she wears ’em too!

And here is the full list of all of the incredible homes you can visit each day on this Summer Tour!

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

Thanks for meeting me here today At the Picket Fence,

Vanessa signature


  1. says

    Vanessa, you have a beautiful and bright home! I love the sunny color on your walls- may I ask what color you have on your entry, dining and sitting room?

  2. says

    Vanessa, your home is just beautiful and I love that photo of you in your light-filled kitchen! I’m a flip flop kind of girl, too. Thanks for the tour and you’ve inspired me to put some ferns in urns just so I can say it multiple times! :)

  3. says

    Vanessa…you are inspiring me to go to my “storage room” and start taking out the summer things!….Love your home and al of the great summer touches and details….cannot imagine how beautiful your area in the Williamette Valley is….Oregon is on our “list” to explore!

  4. says

    We are so fortunate to live in the NW, but now that we’ve spilled the beans everyone is going to know the awesomeness of it hahah! :-) Your home is lovely, warm and welcoming in all seasons, but I love the subtle summer touches and the pretty greenery too, it makes it all feel fresh and alive! Thanks for the tour! I love being a part of it, too! xo
    melissa @ the inspired room recently posted..Decorating for Summer {Summer Tour of Homes}My Profile

  5. says

    You are right!! Summer is all about Family and Fun!!
    I have so many flip flops some regular some fancy but
    I wear them all. Thank You You and your Home are Beautiful

  6. says

    Oh, Vanessa! SO good to catch up with you. I love your easy summer style. I am all about flip flops and sea shells and fresh picked flowers…
    Wishing I could come out and share a cup or three of coffee with you in your breakfast nook. I know the conversation would be extra sweet.
    Lynn Richards recently posted..Friday Ramblings: Words Escape MeMy Profile

  7. Janet Egan says

    I need to know the yellow paint u used love the crispness and light in it! Your home is beautiful!

  8. karen says

    Your home looks wonderful, fresh, inviting and I love the simple summer décor. Loved the tour, thank you for sharing it with us. I am wondering what kind of plant on either side of your front door is, is it boxwood?
    Look forward to the next post/tour.

  9. says

    Vanessa! How fun to get to know you like this. I am gonna HAVE to come sit in some of those comfy chairs and drink Pellegrino and talk all night like teenagers. Love it all! Just beautiful. Lisa~

  10. says

    It was a pleasure meeting you at SNAP Vanessa. Your home is beautiful and I love your carefree attitude. You will find me in flip flops all summer long as well :) As I’ve gotten older I’m trying to take a less is more approach as well. Have a great summer!
    dawn@joyfulscribblings recently posted..10 Summer Centerpiece IdeasMy Profile

  11. Gina says

    Your home is gorgeous and your tour was fabulous! I really felt I was there with you on your deck with a Corona laughing and talking and laughing some more. I even got real comfy and put my flip flopped feet up!

  12. says

    Your gorgeous Summer home is calling to me, sweet friend … thanks for inviting me over! It’s gorgeous, as are you! I’ve loved watching how your taste has evolved … love the less is more … and, the fabulous soft pops of seasonal color! I envy your enjoying your home, as mine is in a state of one.big.mess right now! Ugh … “let it goooooo, let it goooooooo!” LOL xoxo
    Becca recently posted..Spring Kitchen ShelvesMy Profile

  13. says

    Such a lovely home! I put on my flip-flops just for the tour too {giggle}. Girl, I took a sigh of relief to see your dark cabinets too. We’ve talked about painting ours, but boy does that make me nervous. I felt right at home in your space — and I’ve all over wearing my flip flops 99% of the time during the warm weather. HUGS!
    Kelly recently posted..Summer Home Tour 2014My Profile

  14. Anne says

    Your home is lovely – and so perfectly clean! Mine usually has piles of clothes in corners & shoes everywhere. Love the old dresser & the small anchor hooks look beautiful as well.

  15. says

    Hi! I could have sworn I have actually seen this site prior to but after searching with a few of the write-ups I recognized it’s new to me.

    Regardless, I’m definitedly delighted I located it and I’ll bee bookmarking it and will bee back
    boob Lift recently posted..boob LiftMy Profile

  16. Mary Beth B says

    I love your blog!!!! found it while reading about the house tour at Thistlewood Farms and I am now a follower. Would you be able to share with me the yellow paint color in your dining room? I am sitting here in my family room with painted squares of yellow all over the walls–we want to paint it yellow but just can’t find the right one. it’s so frustrating –and time consuming. There are too many choices! The yellow in the photos of your home looks beautiful. Thank you!!

  17. Katie says

    Your house is beautiful!! I love the sideboard. Did you paint it or was it already that color? What is the name of the color?


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