Monday, June 2, 2014

Easing into Summer

This is such a glorious time of the year. The garden is lush, days are long and weather blissful. I'm trying to savor every minute and not rush, too quickly, into summer.

Tom and I recently went to Maine to open up the house for the season. The weather was cool but comfortable. It was a welcome surprise to see forsythias, daffodils and azaleas in bloom. I really enjoyed this "second" spring!

On Memorial Day, Tom and I ventured out to our town's annual observance, which opened at Castine Cemetery, then moved to the Town Common, and finished at the dock with a wreath cast upon the waters in honor of the naval veterans. All of Castine came out to pay tribute to the fallen heroes - it was very poignant.

Afterwards, we hosted our first guests for supper. I gathered a few seashells and wildflowers to give the house a summer feel. Enjoy~ 
A beautifully framed view of the 1829 Trinitarian church in Castine.
Veterans, cub scouts and residents observing Memorial Day on the Town Common. BELOW: Well done, Tarrantine Fifes & Drum Corps!
Closing tributes on the dock.
With summer in the air, I created this inexpensive hurricane piece inspired by an image on Pinterest.
- Hurricane from Target
- Sand from Home Depot
- Shells and starfish from local souvenir shop
Use plenty of sand as it helps to keep the candle in place. And, of course, be mindful of the burning candle - you don't want burnt shells and starfish!
I'm currently loving all things galvanized. Found these small galvanized candle trays at a local garden shop and thought: cool coasters for Maine. Its lipped rim is purrr-fect for containing water / condensation. The footed wine glass is from Ikea. And speaking of love, I'm crazy about Down East magazine - highly recommend it!
Placing part of my shell collection on an antique creamware platter over a runner from Target. The runner reminds me of Japanese tatami mats.
An organic salad to start supper. Everything is simple and unfussy including the wildflowers from the garden in a footed hurricane as vase from Walmart. Yes, Walmart :) The Williams Sonoma white dishes are in different patterns. This is the only set of china in the house, and I like how it can go from casual to formal-ish. Galvanized napkin rings are from Crate and Barrel.
Not overly fond of ceiling fans but we need air circulation in the screened porch. I found this very cool industrial fan from Barn Light Electric, and it's galvanized - what a bonus! BTW, I had the drywall ceiling removed to expose the beams and rafters.
Ending this post on a colorful note with the bouy wall from Carrier's Mainly Lobster in Bucksport.
Cheers!
Loi

82 comments:

  1. I think I am the first "guest" here Loi, and I am having my quiet tour of your most magnificent MAINE HOUSE! AHHHHH!

    OK, where shall I start? First of all, I love Maine. Having lived in Massachusetts for 11 years, we would go to Maine for lunch and romp about on the coast and have fun at the shops, eat "LOBSTA" and then be back in Mass. for dinner. The homes, the people, the history...it is all so intriguing. Loi, your decorating sensibilities are divine. :) I too am having a love-jones with galvanized and also zinc. My garden is graced this year with old galvanized watering cans, my deck is adorned with an old French pastry table with zinc embellishments.

    I too have sea shells on a silver platter in my writing studio and a friend who is a painter painted me a small oil of the ocean that now sits on my mantel. You again have inspired me and I wish you and Tom a perfect summer as you travel to or stay up in your Maine home for the summer. Let's savor this season!

    XOXOXO Anita

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    1. Anita, what a great idea to place an old pastry table on the deck - please share a photo on your blog. Thanks so much!

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  2. Looks like the perfect weekend. We visited Maine many years ago and I want to go back. Sometimes a ceiling fan is necessary especially here in the south. We had to put one in my sun room too that can get quite hot with all these windows. I love the one you chose.

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  3. Oh, I love this perfect days too Loi! Looks like you have a lot of fun and a lovely weekend! Love that summer feeling in your home!
    Hugs,
    Vesna

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  4. Loi, check Maine Home and Design. Nicely written, beautifully photographed.

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    1. TTT - Thanks for the recommendation. I'll look for it the next time we are in Maine :)

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  5. oh i am drooling!!!! i love every image here. you are making me miss new england. i loved growing up in such a beautiful area full of charm and history. i loved the late spring, and the cool summer nights.

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  6. Loi your home in Maine is just what I envisioned! You have made it so inviting and I can only imagine that guests are so thrilled to be invited. You have given me some wonderful ideas today! PS if you are missing my posts please sign up to receive email notifications on my site. I miss your visits!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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  7. Hi Loi.....sounds like a wonderful holiday weekend.....Love that you shop at Walmart:)
    The flower arrangement with the Hosta leaves in it was perfect....and of course like you I love all things galvanized!

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  8. Hi Loi, Of course lovely Castine would celebrate Memorial Day properly! Beautiful traditions to honor the holiday. I love your tabletops, the exposed rafters and the ceiling fan!

    The cottage we rented last fall had back issues of Down East that I read each morning cuddled in a blanket in an Adirondack chair facing the Penobscot Bay. We miss Maine! Thank you for sharing. Loving your new home!

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    1. Cindy, I really enjoyed your Instagram photos of Penobscot. Hope you'll visit Maine again - perhaps we can meet up?

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  9. Dear Loi, I can tell you are going to have the most wonderful summer. Castine seems like a magical spot. I love your recent finds; would you tell me where the rug by the sofa is from? xo, Phyllis

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    1. Thanks, Phyllis. That is a beautiful wool rug meant to look like sisal....has wonderful texture and striations. I'll find out the vendor and email you.

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  10. Congratulations Loi, You and Tom have apparently already become Old Maine Salts. You are lucky to have your new house to use so early in the season--especially since the season is shorter up there. By the way, I have never seen galvanized fan blades before, and am kind of fascinated by them.
    --Jim

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  11. Sooo charming Loi, and so is that picturesque little Castine. Great way to savor the holiday weekend. Can't wait to see more of the progress you and Tom make on your home. Yay to all things galvanized :)!!! I've spied that fan too-and just bought a few lights from barn light electric for our PB home. Will share progress soon :). Hugs, Sarah

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    1. Can't wait to see all your updates! Thanks, Sarah!!

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  12. Every time I visit I am awed by your creativity and vision. That fan!!
    And, to attend a Memorial Day service & tribute is what we all should have done. You rock, big time !!

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  13. Love the shells as decor - especially for a Maine home! And I LOVE that ceiling fan! I'm not a lover of ceiling fans either but that one is so cute I could be talked into it! Happy summertime Loi - have a wonderful one!

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  14. Loi, I love seeing how you are incorporating some color and of course it is beautifully incorporated. You have the perfect touch! Also fun to hear you go to Walmart to find treasures. A true treasure hunter can find treasures in the most unlikely places. Did you see the galvanized grape olive buckets they had? They would be a fun container for you to use in your Maine home. Have a lovely Sunday with Tom in your welcoming Maine home,
    Kathysue

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    1. Oh, no - I missed galvanized grape / olive buckets there?? Will need to make another trip, so I'll look for it. Thanks!

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  15. Hi, Loi,

    It looks as though you and Tom have stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting! They don't make beautiful church spires like that anymore. And I found it interesting that some of your Maine seashells (like the sea urchins) are familiar to our Florida area.

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  16. I love how you mix items from big box stores with your lovely antiques. I really dislike ceiling fans too but the galvanized one you found is truly charming.

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  17. Good Morning Loi! Your vignette is perfect for spring/summer. Growing up on the beach in Southern CA I have a fondness for shells. Every year I create a scene similar to this for our home and it's always a conversation piece. Here in the PNW we have ocean near by but it's mainly lakes so we enjoy lots of nautical decor:) Your menu looks so delicious and it sounds like you are enjoying your new place! xxleslie

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  18. Loi, Thanks so much for sharing your Memorial Day in beautiful Castine with us (makes me wish we'd done the same here in Fairfax!). I have a question: why don't you like ceiling fans? Ann Z.

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    1. Ann - I find that ceiling fans visually bring down ceilings. Also, they can be distracting reflected in mirrors, etc.....especially mirrors over a mantel. Thanks for asking. Loi

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    2. PS - But I'm not against using them. They are practical!

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    3. Thanks! Glad to hear you're not totally against them (we have one but it's waaaay up there in one of those two-story high ceilings that should be outlawed IMO!). If you're up in Maine right now--count your blessings (along with that lovely, balmy, early summer weather ;>) 'cause the dreaded, heavy,oppressive, miserable southern humidity has arrived in metro DC & it's soooo debilitating. Wish I could be in Maine right now, eating lobstaaah, and then a piece of wild blueberry pie. Love your summer house! AnnZ

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  19. Hi Loi, I love this post--the simplicity of Maine calls to me. So sweet. I love that hurricane/shells/candle idea. I have many, many shells hanging around........I'm on my way to the shop; Target's on the way home. (My politics keep me from stepping in WALMART.....)
    xoxo Mary (PS.... Detail photos of Maine House? Please)

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  20. Loi,
    Happy Sunday, Happy June. I enjoyed your photo essay in magical Castine. You and Tom celebrating Memorial Day in Maine, the start of a new tradition. Everything looks inviting and I am sure your guests at your first dinner party had their senses rocked! By not only your menu, the fragrance of your lovely flowers and the dazzling simple but elegant Summer shell embellishments. Love your hurricane idea. I have pencil starfish in a lovely wire basket I just picked up at Crate and Barrel. A visit to Tone on Tone blog always leaves me happy.
    Vera

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  21. Beautiful! And you know from my recent post how I love shells! That role-handled hurricane from Target is very cute. And the candle, sand and shells inside are so beachy. Your table is lovely, as always. Lastly I must say that here in the South we rely on ceiling fans to keep things cool. I have grown to love them, and now there are many great looking ones. Your galvanized model is unique and very nice.
    Claudia

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  22. We use ceiling fans here in Texas because it is HOT! They're not lovely, but I must say, yours is the coolest fan I have ever seen. I'm loving galvanized things, too. I'm going to try aging some soon...will let you know how it goes. Have a lovely week!

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  23. Beautiful Loi! I've created a similar hurricane piece using sand, candle, and starfish in apothecary jars. So simple and fun! Love your tablescaping too! Regarding the ceiling fans, not a fan either, but like you, I have an industrial/modern one in the sunroom that I can bear to look at. There is also one on the screened in porch; not as pretty but it's white and simple. Here in NC, they are necessary! Happy Sunday. xx

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  24. I love what you did with the hurricane and how you are enjoying your new home. Entertaining makes it really feel like a home.

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  25. Everything looks lovely and ready for summer! I love seashells and although we have a nice sandy beach at the lake...no shells here! Thanks for sharing your Memorial Day celebration in Maine. Loved the glimpse into your town events!

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  26. I can't believe that the house is refurbished already and that you are also in a position to entertain too. Everything is looking lovely and very you. It is not always necessary to spend lots of money to get the effect that you want as you have revealed in this post.

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  27. Absolutely perfect coastal style!! Enjoy summer in your lovely Maine getaway!!

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  28. Loi,
    I love the simplicity of your table setting. It's perfect for summer and the galvanized accessories are great. What a afun way to kick off the warm weather season.
    Karen

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  29. Hi Loi - The house is looking fabulous. I had to look twice when I read "Walmart", but as your readers know, you have a talent for turning the ordinary into something special! Thanks for the tip about Down East magazine. I may have to give it a look, even though I only get to Maine about once a year.

    -Deborah

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  30. Hello Loi,
    Castine looks so interesting, and of course your home is going to be fab-u-lous!!
    Hope you have many happy days there.
    Have a lovely week,
    Liz x

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  31. Cantine is such a beautiful and quaint town. I am glad you joined the town celebrations during Memorial Day Weekend. Your shells are so pretty. Enjoy the rest of the Summer.

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  32. HI Loi, it looks like you had a lovely Memorial Weekend and the house looks fabulous! I just got that fan for my clients media room and I have it in my cabana! Love that industrial feel it has! Heres to a wonderful Summer!

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  33. Loi, the house is looking wonderful! Love the little glimpses we are seeing here! And your hurricane is just perfect. Glad to see that your summer is off to a wonderful start. We'll be back in Maine toward the end of May next year. Perhaps we can meet up. Hope you get lots of happy summer days in your new home! Here's to a long, sunny season full of wonderful things!

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  34. There is nothing like New England in the spring! So glad that you are enjoying your new home and the area around it. Your table setting is so pretty - simple but gorgeous - just like I like it!

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  35. Loi, you and Tom are having a blast settling in to your new community and beautiful home! It is already looking magazine ready and how fun to be accessorizing with beachy items. I love the galvanized fan and accents...perfect. You have set a gorgeous table as always and I know your guests are showered with your warm hospitality! Have a great week. xo Nancy

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  36. We were channeling a bit of Maine this weekend with a lobster picnic in the backyard - the weather was perfect, the peonies, iris and lilac in bloom and no mosquitoes! Your beach inspired hurricane is wonderful and we'll have to collect some shells to replicate the look for the house in Easthampton. Hope you week is off to a great start!
    xxoo
    C + C

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  37. Love it all! And especially how incredibly classy and sophisticated you make stuff from Home Depot, [they sell sand? haha!] etc. look! Love the "mismatched" white china. Actually, one of my fave sources for housewares is Anthropologie. I was just in Boston with my son [who played in THREE parades with his trombone!] and his GF and I found ourselves in one of the many stores there.[we always do!] I loaded up on vintage-y looking glasses and stuff. That fan is actually way cool! The colors on the dinner table are too yummy for words! I was wondering. You must fly up [ except for moving day] right? Castine is such a magical, classic New England town. Here's to double springs and long, lazy, luxuriant summers! Can't wait to see more! xoxo ~ Laurel

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  38. It all looks great. The essence of style is not in everything being expensive and designer :) My friend you do it perfectly combining Walmart with Willams-Sanoma. Cheers! Have a great summer..

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  39. Perfection...in every weigh!! franki

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  41. I love every glimpse we get into your Maine house!

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  42. Your Castine home looks so white, spare and summery - everything a house in Maine should be. Enjoy. (By the by, having worked at WS for so long, glad to see your white dishes. They rarely ever chip and food looks great on them as yours did.)

    Happy June,
    b

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  43. Dear Loi

    Your home and the Castine community are in perfect harmony. It is beautiful to see Memorial Day services such as you have described.
    How lovely that you have been entertaining too.
    Wishing you a joyful week

    Helen xx

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  44. It's all so incredibly charming. I love that there seems to be a real sense of community. Having grown up in a small town, I miss that sometimes.

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  45. Loi - so beautiful and inspiring post as always! will have to keep that fan in mind for future projects... love the look!

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  46. I love small town Memorial Day celebrations. There is nothing like the North East, when it comes to patriotic holidays. Of course you home already looks like it might be finished. Love that you are bargain hunting :). Pretty!

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  47. I am so jealous Loi. Lobster, a small town celebration, the beauty that is Maine! What could be better!

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  48. The ceiling fan is fabulous! I agree, not a big fan of these…but they are necessary and this one is perfect. Your house is lovely (of course…) and we all look forward to seeing more. Can't imagine how busy you are with the shop and two houses!!

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  49. Loi, I'll be there for Labor Day. I'll cook! :) gorgeous. Please post more and more Maine!

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  50. Your Maine abode is just as lovely as your Maryland home, but I'm not the least bit surprised! ;) So glad you two are enjoying your new home away from home! Here's to many wonderful summer weekends there!

    xo Kat

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  51. Maine is beautiful! Enjoy your new place.
    Margaret

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  52. What a gorgeous blog. Now off to paint with new found inspiration. Thank you.

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  53. You have settled in to the house so quickly Loi…..and worked your magic! Love the gorgeous accessories. Wishing you and Tom much happiness over the summer in your new home.

    Sophia x

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  54. The house is looking wonderful Loi, perfect for visiting guests to one of your elegant lunches. Its funny you mentioning unfussy flowers as I prefer a much more organic approach to flower arranging. They basically get plonked into a vase with the minimal of faffing or at the very least fluffed to appear as if effortless.
    I might delve in for a little 'Pinnage' on his post. I just love the textures of the china on that rustic placemat. You are such a clever stick. Hope you're having a wonderful week. Paul :)

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  55. Simply gorgeous and I feel the same way about ceiling fans but you picked a good one! Always love to see your beautiful images. Happy Wednesday!

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  56. So happy you had a marvelous weekend Loi! The pictures from memorial day were poignant and truly heartfelt. I salute all the soldiers too..
    As for your hurricanes? Genius as always, I'm amazed you do go to TARGET and Walmart too! Hahaha! Those are the 2 main stores around my side of the country, so I go there by default! LOL! Seriously, I love TARGET stuff, they have so many arterior stuff look-a-likes. That hurricane is a sure Pottery barn copy. Love your home, can't wait to see more and that fan is ooh-la-la!!!! If your loving galvanized stuff, check out Sam's club, they have the 3 tiered stand, and mason jar drink dispensers for a pittance!

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    1. Hey, Vel - Thanks for your kind words and all the shopping tips - will have to hunt down a Sam's Club now :) xo

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  57. Que lindo arranjo fizestes com a estrela do mar. Amei. Sua casa está linda e o jantar lindo e inspirador. Maine é um lugar lindo.
    Tenha um ótimo dia.
    Anajá

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  58. Loi-
    I believe you have found the perfect home in Maine. Such a lovely Memorial ay, nd I love all of your fun finds. The candle is perfect. You are just so talented.
    Happy Wednesday.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  59. Loi, What a treat this post was. I so would love to get up to Maine one day. How sweet are the small town American rituals? That's one of my favorite things about July 4 here! I love the galvanized metal in your summer home. I may steal this idea. I love it with the shells, and all the white! It's very beach house. I cannot believe you got those lanterns at Target. They look like Williams-Sonoma the way you styled them. Gorgeous! I have to pin this post and I can't wait to hear more about your summer adventures! xx Kim

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  60. Loi,

    I could not agree with you more about the memorial day celebrations in your town, how very special to be remembered in such a way for your service to our country.

    Your summer touches are simple and elegant and I love that they come from local shops, Home Depot, Walmart and more!

    I hope that you have a wonderful week, enjoy the wonderful weather.

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  61. thoroughly enjoyed this glimpse of castaine. what a lovely tradition for the holiday, honoring the naval forces and in such style.....sigh.....
    xo
    debra

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  62. Castaine looks like pure storybook perfection! I would love to visit sometime!! And those hurricanes?! Pure genius!! Everything looks so beautiful.

    XOXO,
    The Glam Pad

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  63. Loi, how I would have loved to have been one of your guest!
    As for your township beauty look and charm is so inviting. I am in love with you ceiling fan choice, galvanized you are talking my language :)
    I love that you opened up the rafters in your sun porch a design style that welcomes ceiling space, and that fan adds just the right kind of rightness to its space.

    Thank you love for taking the time to visit my place, your comments always add great joy to my time spent creating and posting.

    See you soon.
    Xx
    Dore

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  64. Wow am I happy I stumbled upon your blog a few years ago. Every time you have a new posting it feels like I'm unwrapping a gift. It's all so lovely-thank you and a blessed, glorious summer to you.

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  65. Lovely photographs from your home and memorial day!

    Happy weekend!

    Madelief x

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  66. Hi Loi! I have been sooo out of the blog loop lately! What a sweet and gorgeous post. I love the nostalgia in your town. It is is so heartwarming to see that spirit alive. I hope for all the best times and memories gor you guys in that lovely home :-) xx

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  67. WOWZA!!!! What a fabulous house! Such quiet elegance!!

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  68. How lovely it must be to enjoy the fruits of your labor in this most charming home! Me too....easing into summer....savoring each day of this delicious season that seems to go by way too quickly.
    Looks like a touching and wonderful Memorial Day event...thank you for sharing this, dear Loi.
    xoxo

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  69. Summer home in Maine……….how perfect! Love the collection of sea shells on the ironstone platter.

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  70. Nice architects designing and interior designing!

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Many thanks for your visit and comment. If you have a question, let me know and I will respond here. Loi