outdoor living at it's best - a covered screened in porch, perfect for dining and entertaining

Happy Monday! To be honest, most of my home tours have been prepped before I’ve photographed, usually when the girls are at school or resting comfortably in their bedrooms, but that’s a less than accurate picture of our home. Pillows aren’t always perfectly placed, flowers aren’t always in full bloom and most importantly, we live here, it’s not a studio. A few weeks ago, photographer Alea Lovely came to capture our family and graciously offered to take some shots of our home as well {which I didn’t anticipate}, so today you’re going to see our honest summer home and how we utilize it! I hope you enjoy it and consider sticking around to peruse for a while, after all, you have a little time before you visit Brooke’s tour on Nesting with Grace tomorrow morning.

large wood tree swing adds character to your home

As you drive down our tree lined street and approach our home you’ll see a wood swing hanging from the tree. I spent countless hours on my Great Grandmother’s tree swing and as soon as we purchased this home, I knew we had to have one. Chris was going to make it, but so many other projects have taken precedent, so I took to Etsy to have a swing for 3 made. You’ll often find the girls enjoying it, but I’m not the slightest bit ashamed to say that I spend nearly as much time swinging on it. There’s something so freeing about a swing that helps me decompress and feel like a child again.

beautiful covered porch

take a tour of Julie Blanner's home that celebrates everyday life

Our porch and landscaping are coming to fruition. I’ve added a couple soft blue outdoor pillows to compliment our pebble porch along with a dried wreath and copper lanterns. Unfortunately, I’ve been unsuccessful keeping anything alive in the pot you see, which is why it sits empty.

beautiful cream and brass bathroom | modern bathroom

easy art ideas

classic mudroom with traditional home elements like brick floors and cedar shiplap

mudroom or entryway bench and storage

Our decor in the powder room and mudroom is minimal, making them among the easiest to decorate. I’ve added a striped linen pillow on the bench, a few dried thistles and removed winter coats, which makes the space feel so much lighter.

traditional breakfast room / dining area

beautiful breakfast room ideas

We’re hoping our lemons are ready by summer’s end – we have some large ones, but they’re all green. It can take up to 6-9 months for them to be ready to enjoy. If you haven’t noticed yet, I use a lot of plants and flowers to transition our home through the seasons and summer is no exception.


This little table felt really lonely, so I added extra roses unarranged in one of my standard vases I store in our hutch.

traditional dining room furniture and decor

I almost always have fresh flowers in our home – they bring me so much joy. I’m hoping to add topiaries to my mother/grandmother’s buffet, but sadly I killed my myrtles and locating replacements isn’t necessarily easy in the midwest.

update original art with a new picture frame

I reframed Grandma’s original oil painting to make our dining room feel light and fresh. Art is just third to flowers and linens when it comes to decorating for the season. It’s so easy to update your pieces. Had I known you were coming, I might have dusted and made a pretty arrangement for you, but never fret unexpected guests, a little pillow fluffing and kindness is all you need.

interior design blogger Julie Blanner shares her home in progress

traditional dining room with slipcovered chairs and brass chandelier

It was fun to see what Alea captured…I have a similar moment from a few months ago and it’s one of my favorites as well. This pretty fiddle fig has been alive for a year and a half. Did you hear that? A year and a half! And nothing says summer like a sailboat {reproduction found at a local boutique…had to have it after I saw it on Patina Farms/Velvet and Linen!}

interior design blog decorating ideas

piano decorations

beautiful way to store linens, games, candles and more

Swing by my office, which is also in progress for a peek of fresh flowers.

neutral office space with slipcovered chair, velvet curtains and floating desk

classic bathroom ideas

beautiful bathroom with wood mirror, parisian sink and brass faucet

In our half bathroom, I’ve added dried lavender, lavender botanical art and lavender mint hand soap for summer.

neutral bathroom

Little has changed in our living room with the exception of pillow covers and bookcase decor. I swap just a few seasonal pieces to make it simple to transition the shelves with the seasons like dried peonies, pretty “pink” copper, and corals paired with relaxed baskets…have you seen what lies beneath? I’ve also replaced the candles in our fireplace with a fern for a fresh summer take.

summer bookcase decorating / styling ideas

summer bookcase decorating / styling ideas

don't have a living room light but want to make a statement? use a chandelier lamp

summer home decorating ideas

Our living room is tiny, but perfectly functional for our family of five. For early summer, I have fresh cut peonies from our backyard, my favorite scented candle and a light throw.

neutral home with small living room


coffee table or end table decorating ideas

how to make a teepee

Upstairs you’ll find the girls playing in Ani’s room, presumably in her teepee, if Dusty isn’t taking a nap there.


They’re also frequently playing in Adalyn’s room, which is also decorated with botanicals.

children's bedroom play area

girl bedroom decorating ideas

girls bedroom decorating ideas

Isla’s room is filled with subtle colors and white ruffled curtains that lend themselves to summer. Lately, they’ve been doing a lot of bird watching from her window as the baby birds learn to fly in the tree just outside of it.

white nursery | girls bedroom design

Still, our outdoor dining room is one of my favorite summer spaces, with soft sheers blowing in the wind and a view of the lake across the way.   pinterest


garden ideas

After years in the event industry, entertaining blogger Julie has honed her signature style into a lifestyle blog with a captivating collection of recipes, home design, and entertaining advice. She has charmed her readers with a down-to-earth voice and a sophisticated, yet approachable design style. The soft, neutral interior of her home is at once calming and functional, reflecting a love for her family and intimate gatherings. Her approach is warm and simple – entertaining and design that celebrates everyday life.It was so nice to “meet” you. I hope to see you again soon!

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  1. That photo of the girls looking out the window and Dusty beside them… so awesome. Magazine worthy!!!

  2. Simply stunning! That photo of your daughter on the swing has my entire heart. It’s so so special and beautiful as are of course the rest of the photos and home.

  3. everything is beautiful as always, julie! i have been wanting to add a tree swing here, too, but have dragged my feet. may have to turn to etsy, too! love the photos of your sweet girls!

  4. Julie! What a beautiful home and a beautiful family. You’ve designed such gorgeous moments throughout your house. And, since family is the heart of the home, it was wonderful seeing all of those cute little faces. Loving every inch.

    xo Michael