Sunday, August 23, 2015

Our Summer + Guest Bedroom in Castine, Maine

Hello, and welcome back ~

Hope you've had a relaxing and fun summer. Didn't this season fly by? There is still plenty of good weather ahead, so let's not bid summer farewell just yet.

I plan on enjoying a few garden walks in DC - Dumbarton Oaks and Hillwood are two favorites. In addition, I've got a ton of catching up to do in our garden. Ridiculous how fast weeds can take over when one is away!

Tom and I were fortunate to spend much of July and August in Castine, Maine. Loved every minute of our time there.....well, almost. We did watch a rare microburst hurl a giant horse chestnut tree from across the street into our backyard, bringing down a section of the power lines. Scary! The tree crushed many of the ferns but, miraculously, missed the house, car and other trees all by inches. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
After the tree cleanup, we readied the house for my family. Three sisters, two brothers-in-law, and two nieces visited and stayed with us. None of them had been to Castine or Maine before, so it was exciting to show them around town as well as the surrounding areas. Here are highlights:
We woke up before the peak of dawn to catch the sunrise over the town dock in Castine. Looks like someone was up even earlier than us - do you see the person rowing out to the harbor (above)?
Stunning, is it not?
BELOW: Another day, another stunning sunrise! This one over at the swimming pool across from Wadsworth Cove. The pool is actually a shallow swimming pond that is tidally fed, and the water is slightly warmer than in the ocean.
My nieces, Monica and Tiffany (cousins), stopping for a photo moment during our walk around Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park. They both just graduated from college - so proud of them! Love you girls!!
With crystal-clear water, framed views of the Bubbles (two mountains), and graveled paths meandering through lush woodlands, this leisurely 3.5 mile hike is highly enjoyable. We didn't make it around the full loop, as it was time to have lunch at the Jordan Pond House Restaurant. The restaurant is famous for their mouthwatering popovers - a light, hollow roll made from egg batter.
On top of the world at Cadillac Mountain! 
Not far from Acadia is the enchanting Thuya Garden with its lovely English-style borders interspersed with plantings of native Maine floras. 
No visit to Downeast Maine is complete without a cruise around the Penobscot Bay to watch the locals go out to sea, check their lobster traps, etc.
 Over at Buck's Harbor in Brooksville, we all wanted to downsize to this teeny-tiny house complete with solar panels on the roof :)
The rocky coastline of Maine is dotted with many historic lighthouses, and seeing them from the sea is exhilarating - just don't get too close to those rocks!

Top left: Spring Point Ledge, South Portland
Top right: Curtis Island, Camden
Bottom left: Grindel Point, Islesboro
Bottom right: Pumpkin Island

 After sightseeing each day, we'd come home to rest for a couple of hours before my sisters would cook up a storm in the kitchen. I, sadly, didn't inherit the family cooking skills, so while they made dinner, I spiffed up the house. 

Here is one of the guest bedrooms finished just in time for my nieces. With five bedrooms, our house is rather big, and rarely are all five used at once. I kept that in mind while furnishing this room located on the third floor. Everything found was budget friendly.
Let's start with the Ikea finds. Twin beds were chosen for flexibility. Selected these Duken beds for their simple, clean lines and low headboards - great for the lower ceiling up there. Plus, the white-painted steel frames and mesh panels are easy to wipe clean. Having less than 30 inches between the beds, I picked the 18" Hemnes nightstand with drawer and shelf. The mattresses and boxsprings also came from Ikea. As did the summery bedding with blue-and-white ticking.
Next up are the accessories from HomeGoods. Remember nothing pricey or precious! Scored these mirrors with rope handles accented with brass anchors - purrrrrfect for seaside Castine! So is the seascape painting. To ground the light palette, I chose a wooden lamp to go between the beds, and a glass lamp with jute webbing for texture (shown below). 
As mentioned, this is located on the third floor (which was once the attic prior to being enlarged during the Victorian period). There are two pitched walls with charming dormer windows flooding the room with light. To keep it cool and private, Tom installed vinyl (gasp!) roller shades for practicality.
It's always a good idea to have a desk or table for guests to work on their laptops, etc. This corner called for something round, so I went with the Odyssey table from CB2. It brings a modern touch to our 211-year old home. Casbah outdoor wicker chair came from Pier 1.
Doesn't this lamp remind you of the old glass fishing floats?
One last accessory: a fun outdoor pillow from Crate and Barrel's clearance bin. 
The girls told us their room was very comfortable. And they were relieved that we had Wi-Fi  :)
 After dinner each night, we'd head over to the Backshore Beach at Wadsworth Cove to catch the spectacular sunsets, which occasionally included a bit of horsing around. That's Monica trying to drop her aunt My (My is my sister) into the frigid water. Monica didn't succeed, how unfortunate! 
 Until next time!
Cheers,
Loi

68 comments:

  1. Hello Loi, Your house looks very welcoming and comfortable. I'm glad you are enjoying the fruits of all your work in order to provide such hospitality. Your nieces look like they are lots of fun to be with.By the way, my favorite photo is the one looking out the window to another section of roof--I always love views like that, where different parts of a rambling house are slowly revealed.
    --Jim

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    1. Thanks, Jim! That is a view down to the roofs of the screened porch and barn. And, yes, my nieces are quite fun!!

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  2. WOW! your photos are amazing- such a beautiful place, and so glad the tree missed the house! so glad you've had a great summer with your family and friends! and the guest room looks perfect- tranquil and affordable (a great combo, if you ask me!).

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  3. Your nieces are so pret. Good for them to visit you there in Maine. It's such a beautiful place. The sunset is so romantic. Your guest bedroom is so elegant and looks so comfortable. Good thing the tree missed your house and your car.

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  4. Hello Loi, so glad the tree missed you and your home! Your guest room is so calm, comfortable and welcoming. I love Jordan Pond, haven't been in years. What wonderful memories you gave your family! Your photography is gorgeous.

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  5. That is a dreamy guest room. It looks like you had a wonderful visit with family and the perfect backdrop to enjoy each other.

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  6. Such a feel good post Loi! I love that you demonstrated why it is so nice to have a holiday home - it is for sharing special times with your loved ones as you did. People also interact differently in a home setting away from the usual surroundings. People relax in a special way which is different to staying at a hotel. You also have created a lovely welcoming guest bedroom even on a budget which most of us are so that was a pleasure to see what you did. Hope you enjoy the remainder of summer! x

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    1. You're so right! Everyone, including Tom and I, had so much fun. It was lovely having my family at our home - lots of laughter ;-)

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  7. I love your home in Maine! It's an absolute beauty. It was nice to see some sweet, family photos. It must be wonderful to be a guest in such a warm, hospitable home. Your family is lucky!

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    1. Thank you, Isabella! Tom and I were delighted they drove 14 hours to visit us. We all had a great time!

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  8. Dearest Loi, happy to find you here today sharing more of your gorgeous house and beautiful Castine and Maine vistas - sunrise, sunset, water trips, gardens, lighthouses and boats, all so fabulous. Know having your delightful family there was great and made Summer away from the city even more special this year. Congrats. to the pretty graduates - I wish them well in their chosen careers.

    Only you can make IKEA furniture and Homegoods finds look so comfy, spiffy and clean! Such a restful guest room - love everything, especially the mirrors, lamps, and that fabulous painting! The falling tree was scary I know - went through Hurricane Fran here and the ones that fell decided our roof, and my car, was where they'd land - so much damage. Happy to know you escaped damage and only had to deal with just a big clean up!

    Enjoy the remaining Summer days - I always loved visiting Dumbarton Oaks when I lived in DC, it was within walking distance of my apartment which was great. Hope to catch up with you next time we're back, meanwhile readying for France in a few weeks time so that will keep me busy and hopefully allow time in cooler temps., just so hot here still, I'm definitely ready for Autumn.

    Hugs from us both - Bob just read your post and loved the Maine photos too.
    Mary x

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    1. Thank you, my friend! I miss you, and will catch up soon. Hugs to you and Bob!

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  9. Loi...I need to visit Maine one day...it looks gorgeous! You did a great job on the guest rooms...love the IKEA beds. It looks like your family had a wonderful time!

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  10. Your home is beautiful but I would have expected nothing less from you. I am so glad no one was hurt when the tree fell. I am also glad you said there is still time left to this summer. Almost every blog is decorating with Fall things. Talk about rushing the season!!! We live not too far from an IKEA and I have to go and look to see if they still have those blue ticking spreads. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks so much! Summer is my favorite season, so I'm going to savor every last day. Cheers :)

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  11. Lovely, lovely indeed! Ikea is just unbelievable sometimes and you certainly know how to make the most of it. Your images of the Maine coast all look so dreamy and serene and peaceful… I have so many memories of many summers in Maine and, unfortunately, they are not the best memories. So it's particularly wonderful to see these, and happy people and places! Thank you.

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  12. Loi, your summer days sound like sheer delight ~ beautiful scenery, great food, family, friends, and cool weather. My neighbors who have a summer home in Belfast are home for a week, but plan to return to enjoy September and October as well, or at least until the weather forces them to close up. Their home isn't winterized!
    Love the attic guest room. I agree with Mary, only you could pull together a fabulous look with finds from Ikea and Home Goods. The rope mirrors are a nice touch and I really like the bedding. Great job!
    Enjoy the DC garden tours. I'm hopping to get back to our garden soon. It needs some fall color where I've had to pull out the faded summer annuals. Just too hot in recent weeks.

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    1. Belfast is such a cool town....great shops, too! Maine is lovely in Sept and Oct; not as crowded either. Thank you, Sarah.

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  13. I love this post! There is nowhere better than Maine in July and August. And sometimes June and September :). How fun to have the whole house filled. I have your yellow rain jacket. I love it except the damn velcro that seems to catch on everything I pass when it's not zipped. I just love seeing the Maine scenery. Now please tell me you've been buying lobsters every day you're there.

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    1. Oh, yes! We ate lobsters every day!! Sometimes twice a day. Let's wear our yellow rain jackets together and be twins ;-)

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  14. A. I want that tiny floating home! B. Love your sister and the girls! C. Where are the dogs? D. Those gardens are uh-mazing E. Adorable guest room. F. I want to be you when I grow up! xoxo, K

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    1. G. Luvvvvvvv you, Kathleen :)
      PS - Doggies are good. Thanks for asking!

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  15. Loi,
    What fun. It's nice that you have room to enjoy overnight stays from family. It looks like you all had so much fun. The guest room is wonderful, simple and clean. I love your subtle coastal touches to the room.
    The season has flown by but we are just now heating up...it's been a mild summer so I'm okay if Mother Nature turns up the heat, but only for awhile.
    xo,
    Karen

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  16. Lovely as always! The scenery is so picturesque and your guest room is perfectly appointed. Everything you touch seems to have a quiet elegance to it. The ticking duvet covers are right up my alley!! Love them!! Every element married beautifully together for the perfect seaside guest room!! So fun to seen your Castine home, it is wonderful!! Oh! and LOVE both lamps!!

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  17. I feel as if I've been on vacation in Maine!
    What a beautiful, restful home.
    Thank you for always inspiring us to live beautifully.

    xo

    Brooke

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  18. Dear Loi, What lucky house guests; the room is dreamy and Maine is stunning! Love these photos of your beautiful family; looks like you had a lot of fun. Hope you and Tom have a great fall in DC. xo, Phyllis

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  19. Beautiful post! Your family is very lucky to have you!

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  20. Oh, what lucky guests to be staying at one of Castine's most charming homes! Loi, it's all so magically serene and marine! Coastal never looked so great, as it does in your Castine retreat! Love the lighthouse pics, (I'm currently featuring one in my latest post about summer, too!).

    Thanks for sharing some of your special summer moments and design flair with us!

    Hugs,
    Poppy

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  21. Oh they must have truly enjoyed the "Paradise of the North".... I have very fond memories of Acadia National Park and eating at the Jordan Pond restaurant...fell in love so much with the popovers that I bought their mix and popover pan!...Truly exquisite sunrises!...the guest room is so serene and you found the perfect things to fill it...from the fabulous ticking duvets to those amazing mirrors. I am sure your family enjoyed every minute of their stay making the most wonderful memories to treasure forever....Glad that the tree did not do damage to your house!...Enjoy your walks in DC...I am here and loving the lower humidity!

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  22. great photos + glad you are entertaining! + your nieces look like sooo much fun xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  23. Loi I hope that my message came through....,.thank you so much for the great seaside images with your nieces.
    What a wonderful guest room!! I can see you've had a delightful summer!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Artist Alex Katz

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  24. My looks so familiar...is she, too, from the DC/NoVA area? What a picture perfect get-away!!! franki

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    1. Yes, My lives in the area. She's loves Tysons so maybe you've seen her there??

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  25. HELLO LOI! I am late; school has BEGUN! I am going to meetings and an open house all week then next week the kids come, but I can't believe how my summer flew by.

    HOWEVER, you have captured the most GORGEOUS moments Loi, here in this post. First of all, THANK GOD no one was hurt when that tree came down. Out here in Minneapolis, we've seen our share of uprooted trees due to wild storms, and we are just thankful that no one gets hurt. The way you capture the sun in your photos....wow...I have still so many photography techniques to learn in order to get that sort of shot, but you deliver such a calm and beautiful summer.

    Then there are you nieces. Glorious smiles, happy girls, and then to be with YOU and Tom? Sweetness. Your guest room, oh dear, you really know what you're doing. Our love for gray and that hint of aqua in the beach art is so calming and I'd be happy as can be in a room like that.

    Wishing you and Tom a wonderful late summer, wherever you are. Much love, Anita

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  26. Where to begin...only you could make homegoods and IKEA look high style. Those mirrors are amazing, as are the beds and bedcovers. Next year we are making a trip to Maine...it has been way too long!

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    1. Oh, I hope we can see each other in Maine. Keep me posted on your trip.

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  27. The photos are just gorgeous and I would love to visit Maine again. I have only been once to Bar Harbour years ago. I love the simplicity of the guest room and don't you just love Ikea prices. You made the room look upscale with your choices.

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  28. Thank you Loi for sharing your beautiful family and your vacation pics. You are such a good writer and your i always enjoy your blog. Teresa

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    1. Thanks so much for reading, Teresa. And for leaving a note. Cheers

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  29. I've loved this post Loi and what a lucky family experiencing all that beauty! I'm always in awe of those who rise before the sun, but then see the reward for not being lazy!! The bedroom is charming, pretty and cool - perfect for the attic and as it turns out, for the girls. I smiled at the wifi happiness! By all accounts, the weather is still amazing over there despite the summer breaks being over! Thank you! Jenny

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  30. Hi Loi, I was just going to write you when I thought I would check again and hooray, here you are! For some reason, I don't get your posts. I think they go to spam because G-mail... well, is terrible, But never mind that. How charming is all of this! Your nieces are adorable. Oh, how I wish I had an Uncle Loi. Love the bedroom. It's perfect and proof that you CAN have high-style on a budget. The scenery is beyond exquisite. xoxo

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  31. Hi Loi. What a lovely guest room!! When can I come stay for a long weekend? I love how you have it decorated -- great nautical-themed items without being corny. I enjoyed your photos of the area and of those magnificent sunrises and sunsets too. So glad you have had a nice summer.
    Claudia

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    1. There are five bedrooms so please come and bring the doggies!

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  32. How lovely your new home looks, thanks for sharing your clever finds with us - I like the floor covering in the girls room - what is that? Your family are beautiful and it looks like you all had a lovely time. Enjoy the warm days as summer fades. Here is Edinburgh we are enjoying a lovely warm spell as autumn beckons; the leaves are starting to turn beautiful shades of russet and deep plum - lets hope the summer days go on for a little yet. Thank you again. sheena

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    1. Greetings, Sheena! Thanks for asking. That is sisal rug. Was a remnant so I grabbed it. Have a wonderful autumn.

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  33. Hi Loi. Linda sua família. Como é bom receber a família tudo é só felicidade. Que horror! Ainda bem que a árvore caiu e não pegou a casa e e nem o carro. E o melhor é que ninguém se feriu. Tem dado muito temporal por ai? O verão traz essas tempestade. Aqui nunca tivemos temporal com ventos fortes. Agora com essa loucura que tá o planeta, temos tido muitas tempestades com ventos. Te desejo um ótimo fim de verão. Aqui este ano não tivemos inverno. Linda as flores, nunca consigo ter flores aqui em nosso jardim por causa do terra muito seca.
    Bjos tenha uma ótima semana.

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  34. Thank you for a little virtual vacation this afternoon, Loi! I love every image of the beautiful Maine scenery and your lovely family enjoying it all. Love the lighthouses. So happy the tree fell into its proper place! Guest room is perfect. Love the painted floors and perfect carpets along with all the furnishings. You and Tom have created a lovely life in Downeast Maine!

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    1. Thank you, Cindy! I hope you make another trip to Castine.

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  35. Dear Loi....Fabulous glimpses of your Paradise and family. Thank you so much for sharing.
    xo
    Patty

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  36. Hi Loi,
    One word: Gorgeous! I enjoyed so much in your wonderful travel photos! Details of the guest rooms are beautiful, I'm sure the girls enjoyed in your guest room and your wonderful company.
    Best,
    Vesna

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  37. Hello Loi. I am thrilled that you bought a 2nd home in Maine, and enjoy seeing your progress on it as I read your blog regularly! I also live and own a small business in Maine, and love being here as it is so beautiful. The guest bedroom that you show here is lovely, but I am disappointed that you didn't source anything locally! Or at least it sounds as if you didn't. We are small businesses here, and as you also own a 'small business', I would think that you would understand that we need to have our folks shop locally and actually depend on it. We can't compete with the Ikeas or Homegoods, but deserve to be able to stay in business year round. So, in the future, please keep that in mind. People move here because they love our way of life, but we can't sustain it unless people support us.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading the blog! Great question. Our home is full of art, crafts and antiques sourced locally in Castine as well as Belfast, Blue Hill, Searsport, etc. To see some of them, visit my Instagram site where I share the products and shops.

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  38. Loi,
    I enjoyed this heartwarming share, family is everything and it was sweet to see a slice of your family get together. The sunsets, the photos you captured show a peaceful and serene most lovely area of our country. Maine is truly captivating and a state to visit and appreciate its natural charm. The gardens at Hillwood I adore. Thankfully Loi the tree crashing down didn't cause bodily harm. Enjoy our Indian Summer that will gracefully ease into Autumn,
    xo,
    Vera

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  39. Your images are gorgeous and I love seeing your guest room - so charming! Know your nieces had the best time and were so comfy in their new room!

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  40. Oh these photos, they just ooze out peace and GORGEOUSNESS! Loi, what a treat it is just to KNOW you. That sunrise, sunset, you got the sun perfectly! And again, this guest room is a place anyone would find the most relaxing vacation. Maine has been a great memory maker for you and Tom!

    THANK YOU my dear friend for coming to visit my post. And how I love Instagram. I have been absent for a few days now since school has started.....the kids start Monday but we teachers have to prepare, and tonight I had Open House. I am exhausted! I hope to get some photos in for the weekend, and I truly appreciate your friendship and following.

    Well my friend, another lovely season awaits our creativity. Take it all in, LOVE it all out (not sure who said that!)

    CHEERS!

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  41. Good and beautiful days spent in your beautiful home with family. You can so see the joy they are feeling being entertained by you and the sweet beautiful nights rest they get to lay their heads at nights end.
    Love That you havé such a perfect design style for each of your homes.

    Photos are breathtaking, I could so pick up and move here, hello new neighbor!

    I have been painting French art and sea cottage designs here in my new post, looking forward to fall and all the beauty you will be inspiring.

    Lots of family fun and joy to your days.

    Xx
    Dore

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  42. I love it! Love the bedding!!! and the tulip table. and your cousins and just darling - they look like they had a ball.

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  43. the scenery comes alive in your photos loi, you are the best advert for the state of mind in maine.......i am suddenly longing. LOVE the 3rd floor room, lucky neices!
    debra

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  44. Lovely blog post, Loi! I always love to read and view your home and family life! Such a perfect home in Maine. I love that you furnished it with some pieces from Ikea! My Swedish friend got me to fall in love with that store. Keep publishing your awesome posts!

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  45. oh loi, i so love this post which gives us a lovely view of your summer life--so full of beauty and nature and hospitality. love the scenic shots, the water, and how you decked out that guestroom. thanks for sharing the sources--that always helps. wish you could address this jungle over here at the cottage. swedish pancakes await you for whenever the spirit moves you...peace, bro.

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  46. Wow ! Absolute perfection every time on Tone on Tone! Just beautiful, thanks for sharing-

    Dean

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  47. Sigh. Everything is perfect! I am now craving popover from the Jordan Pond House - I'll smuggle one up to your guest room when I stay over - hope you don't mind finding crumbs in the bed!

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  48. You did an incredibly beautiful job on your guest room! It's so fresh and perfect.
    This really should be in a magazine feature. You're very talented.

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  49. What a restful bedroom! Do you mind sharing the paint colors you chose for this lovely retreat? Love your pictures of Maine. Thank you for sharing your adventures!

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  50. What a wonderful time you all had! I can see it in your niece's eyes! I can't believe you do budget Loi, the guest room, looks so put-together and so welcoming-ly beautiful!!! All your photos of your summer home land is just spectacular!

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Many thanks for your visit! If you have a question, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Loi