Category Archives: Friend’s Houses

language of flowers collage

The Language of Flowers

I’m lucky enough to be in a book club with a great group of smart and funny women. Our latest pick was The Language of Flowers, a debut novel from Vanessa Diffenbaugh. This month we celebrated our book club anniversary and it was hosted by our founder Ashley (and Susie) in her beautiful backyard.

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The book tells the story of Victoria Jones, a struggling foster child who ages out of the system. Victoria explores the Victorian language of flowers and uses flowers to communicate and thrive. The hosts used hydrangeas from their gardens to decorate the tables—simple and gorgeous! book club 1book club 5The conversation is always good, and we always know to come hungry. An al fresco salad bar with tons of chopped veggies—-my favorite!!food book clubAdmittedly, book club wouldn’t be complete without a few drinks. Wine glasses and Ball jars with colorful straws were at the ready!

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Ball Jars make such cute drinking glasses! I was so inspired that I picked up some Heritage Blue Ball Jars. I’m using one to store makeup brushes, and my daughter snagged one to store hair accessories!

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Besides wanting to share the beautiful backdrop for book club, I also started thinking about the main character, Victoria Jones. If she had a budget to decorate, what would it look like?

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Using the book cover and narrative as inspiration, I think she’d like to surround herself with bright and beautiful objects, things she could get on a tight budget! If you read the book, you’ll also recognize that she may want a hyacinth painting of her own.language of flower collage

1. This Amethyst Sphere Lamp is from Pier One and can be had for $75.

2. This Oval Gemmed Filigree Mirror from Pier One would make a beautiful accent for $24.95.

3. The Hyacinth Print can be found in various sizes at Fine Art America.

4. The Rayna Fabric Sofa comes in a variety of colors from Macy’s.

5. This Yellow Botanical Accent Chair is on sale at Target for $139.

If you’re looking for an easy, good summer read, I’d recommend The Language of Flowers!

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Cottage Chic Garden

I had the pleasure of spending the July 4th weekend at my parent’s house. In the summer, they live in the same sleepy small town where we had a cottage growing up. On hot summer days, vacationers crowd this lakefront community to fish, boat and visit the sandy beaches.

beachWe visited family, spent a few days at the beach, perused a flea market, ate fresh walleye, drank by the bonfire, and went to the fireworks. As part of the fun, I was fantasizing that our life had room for a cottage near the beach. Anyone else love visualizing themselves in many different styles of homes? The great thing about a cottage is the opportunity to decorate in a style that differs from your everyday look. Here are a couple of images from my mom’s garden. She has perfected cottage decorating with found objects.

different angleThe birdhouse has a victorian feel and it looks great with the natural garden.

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Chairs, birdhouses, and watering cans become part of the scenery in a cottage

A great way to design a cottage chic garden is to simply group some of your favorite items together.chairLet the wildflowers grow! If that includes a weed or two, so what? There is too much fun to be had to be worried about constantly weeding a garden. They simply add to the charm!another feeder another chairTo start planning your own cottage garden, here are some links with great ideas and inspiration. Go here and here.

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Ashley’s Backyard

Our community has a Memorial Day parade where scouts, baseball players, characters, and other organizations celebrate by marching through the streets to the park. The route passes right by my friend Ashley’s house and she hosts a fun party in her charming yard.

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Ashley’s adorable yellow house is welcoming and festively decorated with American flags! While everyone was up close getting a look at the parade, I snuck a few shots of the space.

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She’s lived in her home about eight years and has done such a great job creating delightful areas throughout her large yard. The many trees offer privacy and respite from the sun. Conversation and dining areas are well planned, with plenty of places to sit.

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Doesn’t this seem like the best place to relax on a summer’s day? Just far enough from the house to feel like you’re getting away.

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A fire pit is great for cool summer nights and crisp fall days.

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Her wine bottle path is so much fun. Many of the bottles have special meaning, either hostess gifts, or wine they’ve bought on vacation.

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I love her enclosed porch area. So inviting! Small enough to be intimate, large enough to comfortably fit four.     ashley 8