Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Highlights of the Castine House and Garden Tour!

It's July and that means summer in Maine! Summer in Maine means lobsters, blueberries, sailing as well as house and garden tours.

I'm thrilled to say that the 2016 Castine House & Garden Tour, sponsored by the Castine Historical Society, was a huge hit with record attendance! From the 18 featured properties including historic homes, cabins, cottages, gardens plus the lighthouse to the perfect Maine summer day, the event was fun, festive and flawless.

A big thank you to the local volunteers who greeted every visitor with a friendly smile. The docents, shuttle drivers, and many others all deserve credit for their enthusiastic teamwork in making this event such a success. There would not have been a tour without Ruth and Lynne, the Co-Chairs, who started organizing, coordinating and managing every detail beginning last summer. And, thanks to those who generously shared their homes and gardens.

Thanks of course to the many visitors who kept coming all day! I'm especially grateful to my blog, Instagram and Pinterest friends for attending - appreciate your support! Though we're social media pals, it was awesome to finally meet in person :)

Without further delay, I'll share a quick highlight of what I was able to see. Because I volunteered as a docent, I didn't get a chance to catch and photograph every property. Click on photo to enlarge.
The beautiful tour poster designed by the talented Meredithe and her team at Meri Meri.
A few photos of our home on tour day.

Look, no more power lines! Our town recently buried all the power lines on Main Street. The sidewalks, granite curbs, lamp posts and asphalt are all new. Everything was finished just in time for the big event.
Inside, a few of my myrtle topiaries in the dining room were ready to greet visitors.
A stunning summer arrangement of wild grass, garlic scapes and dogwood branches created by Nancy for our antique iron urn. I asked her to go BIG and gutsy, but keep it informal.  Everyone, Tom and I included, couldn't stop admiring it. Merci, Nancy!!

Nancy (who lives in Castine) along with her team of volunteers arranged many of the stylish floral pieces for the tour.
The tour started at 10:00 AM but people started lining up early - there was such a buzz around town!
This historic home's edited palette of white, gray and black mixed with brown antiques and a pop of gold looked so striking.
ABOVE and BELOW: This cool, contemporary style beach house originally designed by acclaimed architect Neil Middleton in the 1980s was recently renovated. It is situated among fields of wildflowers with a panoramic view of the sea. Check out that industrial dolly as a coffee table. I want it!
ABOVE: A timeless cape with clean lines, simple color scheme and classic furnishings. Several little rooms were gutted to create this large, airy living space 
There was such a diverse collection of homes and gardens featured. Each had its own unique point of view. Here we have a 1930s log cabin that oozed charm, character and personality with custom built furnishings, Maine finds plus vintage items including the collection of fabulous lobster dishes. Don't you love that massive stone fireplace? Talk about showstopper!
Many houses in Castine are white inside and out, including ours, so it was exciting to see color used beautifully here. Also, the homeowners created these artistic arrangements with fresh flowers from their own gardens.
Speaking of gardens, this one perched high on the cliff overlooking the Penobscot Bay simply took my breath away. It was designed by Maine landscape architect Bruce Riddell. Native blueberries and lush ferns along with favorite perennials and specimen trees are tucked amongst bold granite resulting in a tapestry of plantings and stonework.
From Nashville to New York, thanks to my social media friends that came to the tour - such fun meeting everyone :) Hugs to Linda and her lovely family, Catherine and her gorgeous children, Elizabeth, Billie, Wayne and Glenda. I apologize if I missed anyone. Nearly 700 people came through our home!
Lastly, Tom and I are grateful to the 11 docents, including Ellie, Sylvia and Jane (visiting from England), who volunteered at our place. You all are the best!
PS - For more photos, check out my INSTAGRAM.


  1. A great event Loi!Your home looks gorgeously beautiful! The most beautiful home in Maine by far.Enjoy summertime whatever you do.

  2. Perhaps Castine will be our vacation location next summer. You have put the town on the map for me! I wish I could have been one of the 700 to tour your home this summer. Everything looks spectacular--loved the poster, the cliff garden, and of course, your tasteful home.

  3. i'm captivated by the beauty of these historic homes. there is just no re-creating so many of the intangible elements in them...i think because there is so much practicality and sensibility in older properties. they are not showing off or shouting. they do exactly what you hope a beautiful home will do--provide a whispery backdrop. i honor your restraint and exquisite editing skills--i am always soaking up as many as i can as an enthusiastic student of design! thanks for graciously taking us along for the tour. wishing you and Tom peace this summer in your adventures and business. xox

  4. stunning, crisp and fresh......i think you live in a fairy tale loi, thank you for sharing!
    5th and state
    (do not know who sentimental notes is)

  5. Your home and the others on the tour look so beautiful. Definitely want to plan a vacation to Maine and escape the 100 degree heat in Houston! Thanks for taking your followers along on the tour. Love your IG too!

  6. Dear Loi
    Thank you for Sharing this lovely Tour !!!
    Each home had it's own unique personality.
    I only wish MC and I could have been there.
    L Patty

  7. Hi Loi, The sky, the gardens and your home--so incredibly gorgeous--slices of Heaven. xoxox Mary

  8. WOWOWOWOOWOWOW! Hello, Loi!

    I love a home and garden tour. We have many of them here in the Twin Cities and they are always exciting. Early in the season, our neighbors across the street (whose newly renovated kitchen resembles yours) had their sweet cottage on display.

    YOUR HOME. OH DEAR....what a dream. Everything is so authentic and that's what makes the difference. No imitations. Everything is real. Your choices are superb and the additional homes are exquisite. Enjoy a good old-fashioned summer in Maine where blueberries are the fruit of the summer and relaxing walks along the water fuel the spirit. Hugs to you dearest Loi! Anita

  9. Loi,
    I'm so happy to hear the home tour was such a great success and the day appears it couldn't have been more beautiful. I love your and Tom's house but it was fun to see snippets of the others. Such a beautiful community!
    Thanks for sharing with those of us that live on the other side of the country.

  10. Loi your house looked stunning. I hope you will post more pics!! That magnificent garden of the last home is a stunner!!

  11. Loi, what a wonderful report of this fantastic event. So happy that the day was perfect and the crowds were abundant. Excellent!
    I know the team worked many long hours planning in preparation for the day and then long hours the day of the tour. Thank you for sharing photos of your exquisite home and those of the other homes and gardens. How I wish I could have been there for the day. Maine is a magical place! Enjoy your lazy summer days!

  12. Beautiful homes and gardens, Loi, and yours looked outstanding, especially that fantastic arrangement! Thank you for the tour. How wonderful that the utility lines are buried! Ours are too, but neighbors on the block behind us still have exposed lines which connect to poles in the shared alleyway. I do everything I can to avoid them in landscape photographs in the back of our garden landscape. It really makes a huge difference not having them visible, and especially in an historic area such as yours. That would be an event worth planning a vacation around. Enjoy your summer, now that the tour has everything looking so fine. :)
    Rita C at Panoply

  13. Thanks for the beautiful images of your home. I keep trying to replay your rooms in my head, and your pics will help. ( Would you someday post a picture of your great room facing away from the actual kitchen? Such a beautiful room, but then they all were.) On the tour we especially loved - your home, the home with the beautiful antiques in town, and Bruce Riddell's fantastic garden. And it was so fun to actually meet you. You're as nice as I knew you would be. And Ellie is a hoot!

  14. I absolutely love that first floral arrangement! I'm so sad I missed the tour! Hope now that it's over you and Tom can relax! At least a little bit... I'm sure there's not much of that with the dueling remodels!

  15. Hello Loi,
    Your home looks spectacular. I am sure you all deserved a good rest following the tour of homes. That is a lot of people to welcome and no doubt the work and planning leading up to the event was immense. Take a bow.
    Helen xx

  16. My personal VERY FAVORITE THING TO DO..."Home T-Ours!!! franki

  17. Hi Loi, I wish I can visit your town and join this House and Garden Tour. The houses are fabulous and we get a glimpse of their lifestyle and decor. Of course, it will be great to meet you too.

  18. Hello Loi, So much time and love has gone into all these houses. Kudos to you, Tom, and the other owners for allowing the public in for a glimpse at the beautiful results.

  19. thanks for the lovely photos, Loi. Especially for those of us who live far away and couldn't make the tour. Your home looks amazing.

    I recognize Catherine from her blog! My how her children have grown!

    All the best to you, Donna

  20. Oh how so very, very beautiful!...I so wanted to go to your tour, but family commitments were at hand at the time. I am sure you wowed all the visitors to your home!....Amazing rooms and gardens. Spectacular floral arrangements...There is nothing like Maine in the summer. I so hope to make it back there soon!...

  21. Hi Loi,

    Absolutely exquisite! I can almost smell the sea breezes! Glad it was such a success! Your home is so gorgeous. I love the elegant simplicity and those flowers! xoxox ~ Laurel

  22. Loi, the tour of homes and gardens looks like it was spectacular! How wonderful to be a part of such a special event, not only as a participant but as a docent as well. And the icing on the cake, meeting so many wonderful blog friends!

    I hope one of the many people that came to visit will soon be the proud new owner of your house!

    Have a fabulous weekend!

  23. This looks idyllic Loi and it's the American dolce vita! I would absolutely love to come and visit one day as it seems to hold everything I love with old homes, great weather and lobster. Social media does have its downsides but at times like this, it is a lovely tool to bring people together that would otherwise never have met. Have lovely weekend x

  24. Loi, it looks like so much fun! The homes(yours included of course), are stunning!

  25. LOI! Hello there! What a lovely moment to see you had left a comment on my blog post! I thought of you when I had that settee reupholstered...TONE ON TONE gray!

    What a wonderful summer. Enjoy all the sunshine, tastes and sensations of MAINE! Big love to ya, Anita

  26. Loi the judges give you straight 10's
    Your home my favorite by far... I do like the wooded 1930 log home, I wonder if one dares to paint it?

    What a special even your where included in, such an honor and you take first place beauty inside and out.


  27. Loi,
    It was a wonderful tour, and a beautiful day as well! I have an update for you on the house...Can you drop me a line?
    Catherine Burke

  28. Just gorgeous! The buried power lines are so much better... we have lines going right across our view of the Golden Gate bridge :(
    Nancy's floral arrangement is much talent in Castine!

  29. Hi Loi,
    The highlight of our trip was meeting you and Tom. Such a special day, beautiful homes, gardens, and your gorgeous ding room!!!! I hope you will let me show you around Nashville one of these days!

  30. This looks fantastic - may have to schedule a vacation in Maine around this tour. Although six hours...that would hardly be enough time for me!

  31. loved the town and beautiful homes you are right dear without power lines surroundings glow more neatly

  32. Thanks for "instagraming" the latest pic of your Castine home. It was the one view I could not imagine well and was so glad to see its reality. Soo perfect. And I did not win PowerBall this time so cannot purchase your oh-so-lovely home, but I'll keep trying.

  33. Hello, just found your blog via IG. Have to say how much I like your house and what a wonderful job you have done restoring it. The garden looks superb and the deco is very appealing. Love your color palette. You and Tom must enjoy living in it, I know I would.
    Best wishes Lillian.

  34. OMG, if I were there I would be first in line in a heart beat! So beautiful! And inspiration can be had by anyone for sure! Congrats to all!

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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