Country Living...Island Dreaming

December 29, 2016

My Favorites of 2016

Each year I like to share a list of my favorite posts.  Although, these posts weren't necessarily the most popular posts of the year, they are a handful of ones I liked for one reason or another.  (You can find the most popular recap here - 10 Most Popular Posts of 2016).

Here are some of my favorites for the year...
(click the title below each photo to see the full post)

My Favorite Tablesetting of 2016
Summer Inspired Kitchen Table Setting - One of My Favorites of 2016
Although, I designed several table settings this year, this casual, coastal one was my favorite.  Plus, there is just something about blue and white!

My Favorite Vignette of 2016
Blue and White with Sunflowers Vignette - One of My Favorites of 2016
Like I said, there is just something about blue and white...Throw in some sunflowers and you end up with a cheerful and welcoming display.  I loved having this vignette in my foyer for a period of time but since I make seasonal changes to this table, nothing lasts long here.  I can definitely see a variation of this popping up again this spring, though!

My Favorite Tip Post of 2016
Kitchen Measurements - One of My Favorites of 2016
Since I receive so many questions about various measurements in my kitchen, I decided to do a whole post on measurements.  I always love when bloggers provide this information because sometimes it's hard to judge distances from a photo.  I hope I was able to help some people!

My Favorite Before and After of 2016
Before and After Plantation Shutters - One of My Favorites of 2016
Adding plantation shutters made such a huge difference in this room.  It was one of those, "Why didn't I do this years ago" kind of feeling when we had them installed.  I also had fun looking back at what the room looked like with carpet and the old fireplace.  The room is still a work in progress so plan to see more updates in 2017!

My Favorite Inexpensive Purchase of 2016
Counter Stools Purchase - One of My Favorites of 2016
Okay, so I don't think I ever obsessed more about a purchase!  It took me over a year to decide on these and ironically I spent way less than I thought I would...that's a first!  From all my options, I think these worked best with the style of my kitchen and our family's lifestyle too!

My Favorite Travel Post of 2016
LA Trip - One of My Favorites of 2016
I know I listed both LA posts for this one but the whole trip was such a wonderful family experience that I couldn't choose my favorite part!  We also traveled to VermontBoston and the Jersey Shore with the kids this it really was hard to choose a favorite!

And since it's always fun to take a look back, here are some links to my favorite posts from previous years!

My Favorites of 2015
My 10 Favorite Posts of 2014
My 10 Favorites of 2013
Some of My Favorites for 2012
My 10 Favorite Posts of 2011

I want to thank you for taking the time to stop by.  I have met some of the nicest people through this blog; both in person and through comments and emails.  I feel so thankful to be part of such a wonderful community.  You have all added so much to this blogging experience and I appreciate your friendship and support!

Wishing you all a 
Happy and Healthy New Year!

For more inspiration in the new year, please follow along...

December 27, 2016

10 Most Popular Posts of 2016

I always find it interesting to determine my most popular posts of the year.  Ironically, not all of my top ten for 2016, were actually published in 2016!  And on top of that, a few of the most popular this year also made last year's most popular list.  Apparently, I must have been writing about more interesting things in the past or something...Maybe next year I will revise my list to include only the most popular posts actually published in 2017...

Well, whatever the reason for their popularity, the following were my top 10 most popular posts of 2016:
(Please click the link below the photos to read the full posts)

Shopping Success and Inspiration

Foyer Before and After

Kitchen Renovation Progress

Plaid Table Settings for Fall and Winter Holidays

Christmas House Tour and 10 Most Popular Posts of the Year

Door Dilemma
Sisal Substitute for Stairs and 10 Most Popular Posts of the Year
White Kitchen Reveal and 10 Most Popular Posts of the Year
Kitchen Befores and Afters and Ten Most Popular Posts of the Year
Henry Danger Inspired Halloween Costume and 10 Most Popular Posts of the Year
#1 - The Henry Danger Inspired Halloween Costume

If you would like to see my most popular posts from the past couple of years, click on the links below:

Be sure to stop by later this week when I reveal the list of my favorite posts for the year!  Oh the suspense...

I hope you had a wonderful year and thank you so much for stopping by my blog!
For more inspiration in the new year, please follow along...
Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2016 - Calypso in the Country Blog

Joining these fabulous parties:

December 13, 2016

Christmas Table with Red and Black

Recently, I took you on a Christmas tour of my home where I used mostly red, black, and green in each room.  Even though I had my table set with those colors on the tour, I realized I had even more red and black accessories.  Why not pull them out and set the table again?!!...

Christmas Table with Red and Black
I used the same cranberry-filled hurricane again since cranberries work so well this time of year.

Black and White Toile Tablecloth
And my black and white toile tablecloth made a great background for all the red and green.

Red, Black and White Christmas Table
Yes, the sun finally came out this morning, although it didn't warm things up much.  It's been quite chilly these past few days.  I guess we can't complain after the mild fall we have had...and it is December after all!

Red and Black Houndstooth Napkin Rings
I used some of my houndstooth ribbon (the same as my foyer Christmas tree) to make "napkin rings" and then I just stuffed some fresh greens in the top.  I like the way the houndstooth gives a bit of a masculine feel to offset the more feminine black and white toile.

Red Ornament on Red, Black and White Christmas Table
 Red can't go wrong with a classic!

Red, Black and White Christmas Place Setting
My white Italian Countryside plates go with everything.  Even though I love patterned plates, I get the most use out of plain white ones.

Toile Table Setting for Christmas
And I love the way the red napkin stands out on the white plate.

Toile and Houndstooth for Christmas

Fresh Greens on Christmas Table
Although, I love the idea of going neutral at Christmas, I just love color and always end up with red!

Hurricane and Cranberries on Holiday Table
 And I love using fresh greens with all the red!

Red Ornament on Holiday Table

Centerpiece on Red, Black and White Christmas Table

Christmas Table in White Kitchen

Christmas Table and Golden Retriever
Thanks for stopping by today!  As you can see, Rosie was very interested in what I was doing and came over to investigate!

Be sure to stop by my Christmas House Tour to see where else I decorated with red and black this year!

What colors are you decorating with this holiday season?
Joining these lovely parties:
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
My Life Abundant - Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop
DIY by Design - Fall into Fall Party
A Savory Feast - Wednesday Showcase
Cozy Little House - Home for Christmas Party
The Essence of Home - Share Your Style
Between Naps on the Porch - Tablescape Thursday
Craftberry Bush - Inspiration Gallery
Rattlebridge Farm - Foodie Friday and Everything Else
French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday
Two Chicks and a Mom - Funtastic Friday
Pieced Pastimes - Saturday Sparks
Sweet Pea - Best of the Weekend
The SITS Girls - Saturday Sharefest
The Everyday Home - Share it One More Time
DIY Showoff - That DIY Party
Ducks in a Row - Fabulous Decorating Party
Marilyn's Treats - Over the Moon Party
Stonegable - The Scoop
Dwellings - Amaze Me Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Inspire Me Monday
A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday
Creatively Living - Monday Funday
Coastal Charm - Show and Share
Homestories A to Z - Tutorials and Tips
A Delightsome Life - Home and Garden Thursday
Olives n Okra - Christmas in July Party


December 8, 2016

Christmas House Tour

Welcome to my Christmas House Tour!  I am thrilled to join a group of fabulous bloggers for The Pink Door Holiday Home Tour hosted by Annie from All Things Big and Small.  I had the pleasure of meeting Annie this summer at the Haven Conference and I was honored when she asked me to be a part of her holiday home tour!

Let's get started by entering through my front door!
Christmas Foyer and Holiday House Tour
This is our second year of having a tree in the foyer.  This one is obviously artificial but my husband insists we buy a real tree for our living room.  We usually wait until about 2 weeks before Christmas to put that one up.  In the meantime, it's nice to be greeted by a tree when we open the front door.  (Not that we ever actually use the front door, but it's a nice thought!)

Red and Black Christmas Decor - Holiday House Tour
This year I decorated the foyer tree in red, black and white.  I used the same ribbon to make some bows for the stairs.

Christmas Home Tour - Calypso in the Country blog
I thought my black rain boots made a nice accessory...

Red and Black Christmas Decoration - Holiday House Tour
Why not put them to good use when it's not raining!

Red and Black Pillow for Christmas
I just happened to have a Pottery Barn pillow from last year that worked well with this year's colors.
Foyer Decorated for Christmas
As you can see, I haven't done much in my living room.  Once we bring home the real tree, I will decorate more in there.

In the meantime, please join me in the back of the house...
Christmas House Tour
We enter the kitchen through this doorway every morning so it was the perfect place to hang our Santa advent calendar.  My mother in law gave me this years ago.  My kids still love updating the date each morning.

Welcome to my Christmas kitchen!
Christmas Kitchen - white kitchen with red and green
Last year, I went very subtle on the Christmas decor in here.  We had just remodeled our kitchen at that point and I was still enjoying the newness of the space.  This year I added a few more decorative items.

Christmas Vignette with tiered tray and pine cones
I always like having something on the middle of the island.  This tiered tray adds some height but doesn't take up too much space.  We are constantly using the island so it can't be too cluttered.

White Kitchen decorated with red and green for Christmas

White Kitchen decorated with red, green and black for Christmas
As you can see, I coordinated the table with the same red and black colors I used in the foyer.

White Kitchen with farm sink in front of windows - decorated for Christmas
I also added a few red pieces over near the sink.  I love the way the red looks with all the white.

Red and Green Christmas Vignette
More red and green are carried over to the corner vignette.

Christmas topiaries in white kitchen
And here is a closer look at the topiaries by the window.  I almost covered the red pot in burlap to give it a more natural look but ended up leaving the red for more color.  Who am I kidding?  Actually, I didn't get a chance to buy the burlap...that's why I never covered them!

White Kitchen Decorated for Christmas
Here is the view from the family room.

White Stove Hood with Santa
Recently, I picked up this Santa on sale at Michael's Craft Store.  I thought he was appropriate for our family of skiers!

Glass Stacked Cabinets with mini wreaths
Last year, I thought about adding wreaths to the cabinets but never did, so this year it was one of the first things I accomplished in here!  The wreaths are from Ballard Designs a few years ago but I think they still carry them.  They are about 9 inches.

Chandelier with fresh greens for Christmas
Just like last year, I added fresh greens to the chandelier.  And just like last year, my hands got full of sap.  I think I finally got it off my hands...

Black and Red Christmas Table
As I mentioned, I continued the red and black onto my table setting.

Christmas Place Setting Ideas

Red and White Gingham Ribbon around silverware for Christmas
This is the same gingham ribbon I used to hang the wreaths and make bows throughout the kitchen.

Christmas Table with Cranberries
I always love adding cranberries in my glass hurricanes.  It's cheap, easy and they usually last through the holidays.  Just my kind of "craft"!

Chalkboard Christmas Plates
The bread and salad plates are from Homegoods.  I have so many small plates that I switch out for holidays.  Luckily, my white plates go with everything!

Open Concept Kitchen Family Room at Christmas
From the table, you can see into my family room.  I still have to do some more decorating in there but I usually keep it pretty simple.

Christmas Kitchen and Family Room
So far, a wreath and stockings are about as far as I have gotten.  (If you look very closely, you can see my favorite accessory, though - Rosie my golden retriever is on her chair!)

Stone Fireplace at Christmas
And that concludes our tour!  Thanks for stopping by!  Once we buy our Christmas tree, I will give you a tour of the living room.  At that point, I will also take you on a tour of the dining room, which is currently the dumping ground for all the gifts and things I haven't put away yet...

If you want to see what my house looked like in previous years, please feel free to click on any of the links below.

Thanks again to Annie from All Things Big and Small for organizing this Home Tour!  Be sure to stop by the other beautiful blogs listed below for more holiday inspiration!

How is your decorating coming along?

Also joining these parties:

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