Four Delightful Ideas for Summer Bliss

summer ideas


Start a collection sea adventure books, or any kind of summer
book you can get lost in this summer!
Stack them on your coffee table
or shelf to inspire you to slow down
and enjoy a lazy summer day!

summer hammock


Hang a hammock and promise yourself time to relax
and read at least a few times a week!
Indulge in an occasional afternoon nap!

ideas for summer


Dig out your old postcards and hang them from string.
Even if you aren’t going on vacation
you’ll feel like you’ve been somewhere!

ideas for summer stacations


Hit the garage sales in search of
fun old fashioned games like croquet and horseshoes!
Start after barbecue tournaments and competitions.

What will YOU do this summer
to create some summer bliss?

Photos: {Thanks to Country Living for endless inspiration
for a beautiful life this summer!}

Creating Your Own Tropical Backyard Vacation

Tropical Backyard Vacation sunset magazine

{Sunset Magazine}

I don’t know about you, but we don’t get to go on many tropical vacations! But just because we aren’t jetting off to Bali at a moment’s notice doesn’t mean we can’t slip out the back door to our own private island! You can create your own Bali vacation to enjoy every day this summer.

Isn’t that what life is about anyways? Enjoying every day and not just waiting for those few big moments of expensive bliss? I think savoring the little everyday moments are what life is all about. For MUCH less than a real tropical vacation you can spice up your patio with sights, sounds and smells of your own island getaway.

I love Remodeling Guy’s backyard.

How could you NOT feel like you were on vacation at his Tiki bar (photos of his yard are above and below)?

How can you create your own tropical backyard paradise?

Recycle old wicker and rattan furniture you find at garage sales or in your own garage for that matter (I actually have two rattan chairs in storage right now that would be perfect for this style!). Look for chairs, coffee tables and end tables you can freshen up with some spray paint!

Shop at fun stores like Pier One and Cost Plus. A few tropical accessories will go a long way!

Add some island-inspired pillows to set the color scheme.

Use plants like bamboo, ferns, and other tropical looking foliage or blooms to green up your space.

Bring in some candles, lanterns and tiki torches to light up the ambience.

Grab a couple of cans of bright spray paint to update some accessories you already have.

Add lots of textured items made from bamboo, rattan, wicker, seagrass rugs and things like woven placemats and baskets.

Set up a creative bar area to set up your drinks for entertaining.

Use market umbrellas to provide shade {from that hot tropical sun, of course}.

Set out a couple of brightly colored beach towels.

Slather yourself in pina colada scented sun screen.

Set your ipod or stereo to play some great island tunes, pour yourself a fruity drink (yes, don’t forget the little umbrella) and you’ve got yourself a vacation!


top photo: Sunset magazine

For more from Remodeling Guy’s backyard and Tiki bar, check out his post here!

Decorating with Photos

Please welcome my special guest today, Emily from Chatting at the Sky! I met Emily when we, along with her sister Nester and Sandy from Reluctant Entertainer, all roomed together at Blissdom this year. What a treat to have been able to spend some time with her in real life! She is such a sweetie, I love her heart.

Emily has a beautiful home and yet more importantly, she has a beautiful life to go along with that home! I am so excited that she is here at The Inspired Room!

Welcome Emily!

One of my favorite ways to decorate is with photos. They are simple, unbiased storytellers that capture a moment in time to save forever. One important thing I’ve learned about taking pictures is that the photos don’t have to be perfect in order to communicate love, beauty and belonging.

The challenge for me is to actually take those photos that I love so much from the computer and get them into a frame. Sometimes I have to sift through 100 pictures on the screen to get 5 or 10 worthy of printing. But the end result of having a memory with a frame around it sitting on a shelf in my living room is far worth it.

Most of the photos I print right now are black and white simply because it is easier on the eye. I love a good color photo, but when I have to look at it all day every day, I would rather notice my daughters face than the pink and blue striped shirt she had on that day.

I have several walls like this in my house where I have clustered photos together. For less than $8 each, those frames were just the simple touch I needed to display some of my favorite people.

When I think about what inspires me the most in my house, these framed photos top the list.

Here are some tips to help get you started:

1. Tell yourself you will only choose 5 photos to print. Just 5.
2. Pick ones that are close-ish up on faces to eliminate the background distractions.
3. Upload those photos to your favorite online printing place. I like
4. Convert the photos to black and white right there on the screen.
5. Get them all printed 5×7. Or you can mix it up with 4×6 and 8×10. To keep it simple, just stick with one size.
6. Your photos will arrive at your door in a few days. You don’t even have to leave the house.
7. Go to Hobby Lobby during their half off frames week, if you have a Hobby Lobby. Or even the dollar store sometimes has white frames.
8. Consider taking the glass out of your frames to reduce the glare.
9. Put your photos in the frames and display.

(these tips were shared by Emily in the comments, I just moved them up to the post so you wouldn’t miss them!):

all photos copyright Emily, Chatting at the Sky


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