House Tour: Beach Cottage Chic

Dearborn Builders Inc., Residential Projects

With summer officially here and beach season in full swing, we thought it made sense to tour an amazing beach house today–as if we need an excuse! This home designed by the talented Tory Haynes and built by Dearborn Builders is the perfect mix of updated beauty and that classic, beach cottage chic that makes this the kind of place we would want to come back to again and again.

Dearborn Builders Inc., Residential Projects

Juxtaposition is one of our favorite things in pretty much all facets of life, and this kitchen nails it! This range is like a gorgeous piece of jewelry and the blue backsplash is an update on a classic style. The drawers and cabinets are a simple throwback. We absolutely love them!

Dearborn Builders Inc., Residential Projects

Speaking of a throwback… Get out the puzzles, please! Beach time is made for board games and card games and seeing who can find the corner pieces. We love the idea of putting away the electronics for some real bonding.

Dearborn Builders Inc., Residential Projects

Is this dining porch amazing or what? This is simple beauty in all its glory. Forgive us for staring!

Dearborn Builders Inc., Residential Projects

Wood paneling and exposed brick are beach house touches that make a house feel like a home. This one is so incredibly inviting!

Dearborn Builders Inc., Residential Projects

Here it is again in the bathroom, that mix of modern and classic that makes us adore this home so very much!

Dearborn Builders Inc., Residential Projects

Why have a sink when you can have a wash basin?

Dearborn Builders Inc., Residential Projects

The neutrals are so great here, and we love the addition of the perfect beach blues throughout.

Dearborn Builders Inc., Residential Projects

We are big, huge fans of an outdoor shower, and this one looks so fun! The stripes are adorable and add a whimsical touch to the classic exterior of the home.


The outside is just as big on beach house style as the inside is. We don’t know about you, but we could move right in–at least for the summer! Do you like classic touches in a home or are you a fan of more modern styles?

Thanks so much for stopping by today!



The Secret to Southern Charm


If you are in the Raleigh area, I will be at Quail Ridge Books on Thursday, June 21 at 11am for a TALK and SIGNING with the fabulous Mary Alice Monroe. We would LOVE to see you there!


More The Secret to Southern Charm Events

June 20: Luncheon with Mary Alice Monroe benefiting Beaufort Historical Society in Beaufort, NC; luncheon at Coral Bay Club; ticketed event, Contact is Patricia Suggs, [email protected]; 252-728-5225; open to the public

June 21: Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC, 11 am, Talk and Signing with Mary Alice Monroe

July 11: Coral Bay Club Book Club, Atlantic Beach, NC, 12 pm, private event

July 17: Ladies Day Luncheon at Dunes Club, Atlantic Beach, NC, 12 pm, private event

July 18: Blue Cross Blue Shield Event, Palmetto Bluff, SC, private event

July 28: Country Club of the Crystal Coast Author Dinner, Pine Knoll Shores, NC, 5 pm, Open to the Public, $19.95 and includes dinner

July 31: Quarter Moon Books, Topsail Beach, NC, 6-8 pm, Kristy Woodson Harvey and Amy Reichert in Conversation, Wine and Cheese Provided, free and open to the public

August 3: Cocktails and Conversation at The Cloister, 5-6 pm, 100 Cloister Dr, Sea Island, GA, open to the public

September 13: Chapel Hill, NC Event, Details TBA

September 21: Cashiers, NC Library Event, Details TBA

September 21: Chattooga Club Speakers Bureau Event, Cashiers, NC, Details TBA

October 3: Houston, TX Women’s Club Breakfast, 7 am

October 4: Pink Ribbon Project Luncheon and Purse Auction, 11 am-1 pm, Wilmington Convention Center, Wilmington, NC

October 11-14: Poppy Con 2018, Tall Poppy Writers Retreat, Chicago, IL, private event

In Good Taste: Olivia O’Bryan Design

living-room Olivia O'Bryan Interiors

Good morning, chic readers! Do we ever have a treat for you today! We have the pleasure of getting to share some of the beyond fabulous designs of a talented duo.  Olivia O’Bryan is a partnership of sisters, Ashley “Olivia” Waddell and Courtney “O’Bryan” Whatley.  Recently named to Traditional Home Magazine’s  New Trads for 2016, we think their  work is positively dreamy! Take your time perusing and get inspired from a few of our favorite rooms photographed by the uber talented Jessica Glynn, that we profiled here.   These sisters are sure to add good taste to your day!

kitchen - Olivia O'Bryan Interiors




















Happy Tuesday, Friends!

More about my new book, SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE

Also, if you want to know a little more about my new novel, SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE take a peek at the video below! (It’s only 90 seconds. No major commitments here!)

Upcoming  Tour Dates:

Tuesday, May 16: Reynolds Plantation Girls Night Out Event, Lake Club, 1000 Vista Dr. Greensboro, GA 30624, Contact: Marie Garrison, Cultural Arts Director, [email protected],

Wednesday, May 17: River Hills Country Club, 1 Country Club Dr., Lake Wylie, SC 20710, 12 pm, Contact Sue Foster, vice president of programs [email protected], noon-1:15 pm

– JUNE –

Monday, June 5: “Prologue” Series with Wilmington Star News, 7 pm

Saturday, June 17: Dee Gee’s Books and Gifts, Morehead City, NC, 12-2 pm, Signing

Tuesday, June 20: Suzanne Westenhofer Book Club, 12 pm CST

Wednesday, June 28: Gainesville Newcomers Club Luncheon at Chattahoochee Country Club, Gainesville, GA, 3000 Club Dr, Gainesville, GA 30506, 9:30 am, Contact Joanne Dandrea, [email protected]


Nod to Summer

HB Home 

From the living room to the kitchen, from a statement-making centerpiece to soap dish, a gorgeous shell adds a touch of summer to every space. Check out a few of our favorite ways to incorporate a shell into your home–even if you’re miles from the shore!


Things We Love:Beach Chic

Tom Stringer Design

We’re dreaming of long days at the beach… It’s just that time of year I guess! From sailboats to sea shells to a hint of nautical rope, we’re celebrating those tiny touches that take a home from chic to beach chic. We hope these photos make you feel like you’re on a mini-vacation today! To put your mini-vacay over the top, pick up a copy of Lies and Other Acts of Love to read while you’re relaxing!


House Tour: Sea Island


I’m busy packing today. But not for this gorgeous Sea Island home designed by Mary-Bryan Peyer. (If you missed yesterday, check out more of her good taste.)

In Good Taste: Mary-Bryan Peyer

Mary-Bryan Peyer

You know good taste when you see it. It strikes you like lightning, kind of like love at first sight.


If you don’t have room in your heart for any more love today, then we urge you to close your eyes!


Because the good taste of Mary-Bryan Peyer is going to make you feel something. 


For us, that something is utterly refreshed, which is exactly how you should feel if you’re in St. Simons or Sea Island, GA, where this firm is based.

mary bryan

The designer’s gorgeous mix of color and texture, just the right pieces with just the right accessories… Well, it’s pretty universally fabulous.


For, I don’t know, say the past seven years or so, my hubby has gone on and on about how great our kitchen would look if we turned it into a solarium. (And it would, but, I mean, come on…) So he’s going to be a little jealous of this one.


But, even in the absence of an all-glass roof, this designer has no trouble turning a kitchen into a light-filled haven.


And, if you’re like us, the place where you have your morning coffee needs to wake you up, not make you want to get back in bed.


We spend a lot of our time looking at a lot of decor. And we’re pretty sure we’ve never seen barstools quite like these. Too cool!

mary bryan1

One of the best things to us about this designer is that she knows where to be subdued, and she knows where to be spunky. We don’t know about you, but we’re loving this spunk! (Another room that says, “Hey! Wake up!”)


But, then again, sometimes you prefer to go at a little slower pace, to feel soothed by a space. And literally bathing in luxury.

mary bry32

Coastal touches make this room beachy without taking a turn for the kitschy. The bed is so amazing!


To us, anything from the natural world fits right in. These sea fans are both beautiful and add a refreshing pop of color. We love how the red carries through from the accessory on the nightstand in the bedroom.


Speaking of bedrooms… Could this one possibly be more charming? This is such a great use of a small space and is perfect for kids and adult guests alike. 

So what do you think of Mary-Bryan Peyer’s work? Was it love at first sight for you too? 

Design Chic

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