We finally made it into Summers Cottage to explore the eclectic nooks & crannies. The style is a blend of Pacific Northwest Cabin & UK Cottage. The saturation of vibrant colors along with the one of a kind tokens & trophies of all sorts, is a near spiritual experience. The owner has an amusing eye for creating, grouping & displaying items that the average person would never consider. It is an inter-mixture & fusion of masculine & feminine, vintage & mid-century elements. She shows captivating design confidence.
The House & Front Porch
The Living Room
The Guest Bedroom
The Master Bath
The Master Bedroom
Nooks & Spaces
The Sun Porch
Tour du Jour is our favorite of all our posts to write and publish. Every home design lends new ideas and thoughts about where people come from. Wheeler Ranch tells us about the owners' history of riding horses as a child and the love of the ranch/farmer implements. Like her, we value our fathers & grandfathers hard work and love displaying items that mirror our memories. This home certainly is not typical. A one room space, L shaped, has only two doors that lead to the water closets. There is a pantry door that it is a vintage screen.
It's quite overwhelming at moments but that is the trick to looking at a space like this, finding a spot to focus on and gradually work your way out. All the photos we took overlap in spots as the view changed with each side step. It's a brand new, custom home, built like it was a homestead from a century ago. She infused just enough feminine to balance the wood, metal and concrete structure.
Let's not forget the wrap around porch built for relaxing and adopting a simple lifestyle. The vast yard has seating vignettes hidden under trees, nestled in the woods and a fire pit for a huge family & friends gathering.
Enjoy the frantic simplicity. We are awe struck by the ingenuity and value placed on common tools & hardware that regain high regard for what it means to be a rancher, farmer or homesteader. Knowing those tools are in a good home being upcycled into "extremely cool" decor instead of fading away in a falling down shed in the middle of nowhere, well that is blog worthy to us. We hope you feel the same.
Jim & Deb have been vacationing outside Albuquerque, New Mexico their entire marriage. Embracing the slower pace, along with the beautiful views, pleasant weather and green chilies, this is where they hoped to retire. This story is a testament to living THE DREAM.
While vacationing last year, they looked at homes with a realtor (on a whim). One home that caught their eye was built by a couple who created an oasis. Built with a tennis court, guest cottage, party terrace, space for a donkey and a view to die for. As a musician, Jim couldn't find a place more inspirational to write & play music.
Deb, a professional organizer, looked at this deteriorated property as her ultimate challenge. There were built-in planters inside & out. The heating system happened to be fireplaces in each room and a swamp cooler was their air conditioning. Quirky & dated -- indeed!
A stained glass window adjacent to the door had a "C" in it. That is the first letter of their last name. It truly was love at first sight! They took the leap of faith, made an offer and it was theirs.
They sold their historic McKinney home in a flash, so Deb organized local NM craftsmen and enlisted McKinney talent to undertake their "Rehab Project".
While I was there, she must have had a dozen people working simultaneously on 12 different tasks. Her excitement & urgency was contagious. There were friends, a designer, carpenters, painters (home painters & furniture painters), restorers & refinishers, a seamstress and handymen that contributed to help Deb & Jim get their dream casa in order. Her generosity to all her craft folk was amazing. For everyone there, it was an experience of a lifetime.
They created a space to share with friends and family. They love their home and area so much, they just want everyone else to feel the love they have. This could not have happened to a nicer couple and in the process of moving, they created a vacation destination for everyone they know.
Thanks for the photos -- Deb, Diane & Paul
Master Bedroom & Bath
Path From Tennis Court
We had to take some time out of our week to visit the Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch at the Dallas Arboretum this year. You don't need children to go for this "photo op". It is an amazing display of 75,000 pumpkins crafted into seemingly endless walkways, a village and fall botanical color. There are giant pumpkins & tiny ones made into garlands with corn husks. Our favorite was the Cinderella carriage with hay & husk horses. Everyone seemed to have a camera! Several quinceanera photo shoots were taking advantage of the incredible display of autumn. There were princesses of all ages.
It's an unbelievable sight and a must see for young and old. There are tram tours that are driven by guides who make it a great experience for those who don't want to walk the distance. An outdoor cafe that serves brats on the patio to help you get the all-around October feel of the space.
To end our tour of a beautiful visit, we headed northwest on the trails to enjoy the fountains, waterfalls and view of White Rock Lake.
Enjoy autumn in it's greatest setting. It doesn't last long around here!
Patricia's elegant style is extraordinary -- but only looks effortless. Through design editing, her home evolved into simplistic grandeur. She creates a distinct continuity that flows throughout the house.
Not one to boast, her humble attitude makes her a better curator of luxury than most. European architectural pieces give it old world style. Being a first generation Italian-American, classic style is in her DNA.
The outdoor space lends itself to a formal garden with a beachy undertow. Patricia designed it much like the interior -- classic yet very casual.
The devil maybe in the details, but this style is heavenly!
Rustic furniture is made elegant by adding gold and glitz.
Restoration Hardware chairs with slipcovers add a relaxed mood to this space.
Marble, wood, brass & steel are old world elements.
Slate grey piping elevates the look on this slipcover.
Older steamer trunk and crystal decanters help to find that medium space between rustic and elegant.
Drapery continuity should be noticed throughout the house.
More of that coastal presence in the Master. Unassuming Custom Headboard With Vintage Linens
Office/jewelry studio has a casual, comfortable feel.
Less is more when it comes to style. Simplicity is the key to success.
Modern touches keep this elegant space from being stuffy.
Cane, wing chair given the "Patricia treatment" with a European, grain sack.
Velveteen replaces tattered leather seats.
This grouping includes a miniature, pastoral book. Her design sense unites curious pieces.
The galvanized pot rack, made by Patricia's husband, utilizes this unique space.
Pet mattresses made of cream linen & white trim are inside her cupboards.
Patricia updated these chairs with a coat of paint on the fabric and wood.
Elegant & organic - poolside
Outdoor rooms are defined by statuary and plantings.
Oh how we love a chair! Good structure deserves a second chance - good chairs deserve another glance.
With a new year it is time to take an inventory of our home. What should go, what should stay & what should go in its place? We found these design links to help you update your look!
Historic McKinney is the perfect location for garden weddings. Large yards or small gardens can equally accommodate an outdoor celebration. It can be a labor of love for a homeowner and a bride & groom. Instead of investing in a commercial venue, many families are opting to revitalize their own yards for these special occasions.
This garden's extraordinary transformation went from average to over the moon. This project developed with many months of planning, patience, & being surrounded by friends and professionals. Oh and not to mention some serious nail biting!
Some yards can be DIY projects while others may require architects & contractors. We all know our limits in time & budgets. Planning ahead is everything. It can be something as easy as a can of paint & recovering furniture cushions, to building a fancy courtyard with fountains, lighting, fencing & big trees.
There are many resources (thank you Pinterest!) to help design the look you want. So plan early!
See our prior post to help you get started with planning your event Garden Parties
Summer Hill, tour du jour, takes us on an aviary outing. Lona's love of the bird, takes us into her office & out to her garden and aviary. We will soon visit Summer Sky Cottage, Lona's twin sister Lana's home & garden. (see childhood photo above)
To see previous Summer Hill posts go to Summer Hill - Revisited.
Lona of Summer Hill, the queen of curious, is always on the scout for something new to revise her home & garden. In her mind, trading up is a constant pursuit. Personally, I didn't see anything wrong with the way it looked before, but she continues to intrigue me with her design updates.
Through time & accessory editing, fewer pieces are displayed & only her favorite finds remain. It may not look like it, but less has become more for Lona. She is no longer stacking & layering, she has larger single items to stand on their own. It's a lighter look that translates into her design confidence - can she be any more confident?!?
Enjoy this visual taste of her new look. Fourth stop on Summer Hill's Tour du Jour. Boarding passes for previous tours available at these links!
The Garden of Summer Hill
Summer Hill Christmas Tour 2011
Welcome to Summer Hill
We are all worthy of feeling satisfied about where we are in our homes. Our approach to the adventure is as important as the results. The journey of finding our design ideals shifts with seasons & people passing through our lives. We are more likely to enjoy the creative process when things are made easy and How To Love Your Home's passion for finding & sharing tools, tips, & triumphs is here for simplifying the journey to a commonsense approach to homemaking & design!