17 June 2012

MARY KAY ANDREW’S TYBEE ISLAND

 

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The new Southern Living issue named its six perfect “little beach towns” – and Tybee Island, Georgia was one of them.  Tybee Island is a barrier island so close to Savannah, it was once renamed Savannah Beach - which didn’t last long.  Today, renamed Tybee Island, it is home to tall condos and large beach front houses – but it is also home to decades-old tiny cottages – many of which are painted in bright, sunny colors.  Whenever I think of Tybee Island, I think of the author Mary Kay Andrews who writes her best-selling novels from her own charming beach cottage there.  Each summer, Mary Kay comes out with a new best seller, and this year is no different.  Mary Kay’s latest novel, Spring Fever, was just released a few days ago. 

 

 

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Summary:

Annajane Hudgens truly believes she is over her ex-husband, Mason Bayless.  They’ve been divorced for four years, she’s engaged to a new, terrific guy, and she’s ready to leave the small town where she and Mason had so much history.  She is so over Mason that she has absolutely no problem attending his wedding to the beautiful, intelligent, delightful Celia.  But when fate intervenes and the wedding is called to a halt as the bride is literally walking down the aisle, Annajane begins to realize that maybe she’s been given a second chance.  Maybe everything happens for a reason.  And maybe, just maybe, she wants Mason back.”

Oooh,  sounds like another great one from Mary Kay!   I’m saving my copy to read at the beach next month. 

 

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Mary Kay's name is synonymous with Tybee Island.  Though Mary Kay lives in Atlanta, her family’s summer house is on Tybee where she is a very beloved and popular presence.  Mary Kay’s editor was gracious enough to share HUGE, glorious photos of her summer house with us, which is a real treat because mostly pictures of  rentals are notoriously always so small.  These luscious photos were taken by Tybee resident Belinda Hall

 

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The Breeze Inn is named about the motel in Mary Kay’s novel “Savannah Breeze.”  Like many of the cottages on Tybee Island, its color scheme is bright and cheerful.  (There is nary a house that I could find with the “Houston Look” on Tybee!!)  The Breeze Inn is so cute with its white picket fence, turquoise paint and hot pink door.  Notice the metal seam roof awnings. 

 

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An outside staircase leads up to the second floor.  The Breeze Inn is also a rental – so if you like the looks of it, you can stay there.

The house, built in the 1940s,  has been fully restored.  It has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, and sleeps 7-8 people.  The casual décor takes  you back to a kindler, gentler time.  Mary Kay installed a screen door – to recreate the sounds of summers gone by.  The floors are recycled heart pine and the walls and ceiling are painted wood.  The house is filled with vintage finds – Mary Kay is a lover of antiquing.  The beach is only two blocks away and there’s an outside shower to rinse off the sand before you reenter the house.  The kitchen is stocked for gourmet meals and the beds are made with 100 percent luxury cotton.  Sign me up!

 

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The downstairs sitting room has a white slipcovered sofa and blue and white striped vintage wicker chairs.  Notice the wood plank walls and ceiling. 

 

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Along one wall is a floor to ceiling bookcase – filled with books and board games.  Vintage turquoise lamps flank the sofa. 

 

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These green striped slipcovered chairs sit next to a long window seat.  So cute!

 

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Looking back towards the dining room – the kitchen is to the left of the table.  Two school house style lights hang over the table.

 

 

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In front of the sofa is this green painted chest that holds the flatscreen.  Notice the Hitchcock style chair.

 

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Next to the front door is this vintage chest – covered with fishing maps!  Love the lamps that pick up all the turquoise colors in the room.

 

 

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The table sits at one end of the long living room.

 

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Flanking the table are these two slipcovered chairs with a matching set of 1950s styled flamingo prints above them. 

 

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The kitchen has all the mod-cons but retains its old fashioned look.  Notice that fabulous sink!!!   Vintage ad signs hang on the green painted wall.

 

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Close up of the sink – was the faucet made out of a milkshake dispenser???

 

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A close look at the collection of vintage ad signs, all apropos for a summer beach house.

 

 

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Off the kitchen is a large screened porch that overlooks the back yard – it’s furnished in vintage wicker with a metal sofa, all done in pinks and green.

 

 

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A rattan sofa is upholstered in pink and green stripes. 

 

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And here is the cutest thing ever -  a pink refrigerator on the screened porch that holds extra drinks. 

 

 

 

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At the stairhall, a turquoise painted day bed provides an extra space to sleep.

 

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More old signs in the stair hall.  Notice the curtain fabric- just barely seen to the left.

 

 

 

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Darling turquoise hat stand matches the day bed.

 

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Love the mix of three different beds with different linens – that fill this “bunk” room.  Love the painted wood walls and ceiling found throughout the house. 

 

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The second bedroom has the pink flamingo 50s vibe.  Pretty quilt.

 

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The bathroom – more beadboard.

 

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The master bedroom in blues and white.

 

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The office where Mary Kay writes her novels – her assorted book covers are framed above the desk.

 

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And the master bathroom, painted blue with a wood stained ceiling.

 

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The Breeze Inn is available for rent through Mermaid Cottages, which a stable of available cute houses on the island.  HERE.  Or you can contact this house directly through their web site HERE.  The Breeze Inn is pet friendly, which is highly unusual for summer rental properties.  There are TWO dog parks on Tybee Island – one for large dogs and one for small dogs.   HERE.

 

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Overlooking the houses on Tybee Island.

 

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Mary Kay isn’t the only celebrity on the island.  You can also rent Paula Deen’s beach house HERE. 

 

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Paula’s beach house has been completely remodeled and it’s only 4 blocks from the beach. 

 

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Here décor is more traditional than Mary Kay’s. 

 

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And when Paula Deen isn’t there – she’s there in spirit with this life sized cutout.  Isn’t that hysterical!?!

 

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Tybee Island with its lush green southern landscape.

 

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Many of the original cottages are still standing – and many are painted in bright, bold colors, such as this one.

 

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Even newer houses are built to look like original cottages. 

 

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Many of the brightly painted vintage cottages are found behind charming white picket fences.

 

While Mary Kay might be the most famous person on the island, another resident has done more to leave her mark on Tybee Island than most anybody.  Interior designer Jane Coslick has designed over 30 houses on Tybee Island!!   Her aesthetic is bright, bold colors, and many of the beach houses for rent have either been designed by Jane or were influenced by her.

 

 

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You probably are familiar with this popular book, Cottages, which features Jane Coslick’s house on its cover.

 

 

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This famous cottage has been featured in different books and magazines – it was completely renovated by Jane Coslick.  On her blog she has the before and after pictures – you wouldn’t recognize this house from before!

 

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Yep, this is what it looked like before Jane redid it – painting it lilac with a zebra door.

 

 

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Inside Bohemian Cottage, the colors are more tame – aquas and greens and blues. 

 

 

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Overlooking the kitchen bar.

 

 

 

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The tiled kitchen with a turquoise cabinet made from vintage shutters.

 

 

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The breakfast room with a couch for a settee.  Love the crystal chandelier.

 

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A peek into the black and white striped master bedroom.

 

 

 

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Outside Jane designed this sleeping porch with a vintage wicker day bed.

 

 

 

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In the back yard of Bohemian Cottage is a smaller guest house. 

 

 

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Inside the second cottage is a charming bedroom complete with a crystal chandelier – great for teenagers with late hours.

To read about all Jane Coslick’s renovations and interior design work, go HERE. To rent this cottage, go HERE.

 

 

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This 1920s beach house is 99 steps from the beach – its called Old Love Cottage and is another one of Jane’s renovations.  It’s tiny with a big one room open space and another bedroom in a smaller, separate cottage. There’s an outdoor shower for cleaning off right from the beach.

 

 

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The path to the beach from Old Love Cottage.  So romantic.

 

 

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The main cottage is a one room living space – with a loft type bedroom. 

 

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Jane slipcovered these chairs in her beloved bright colors. 

 

 

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Look how cute the kitchen area is!

 

 

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Outside, this tiny cottage houses the second bedroom.

 

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Inside with two wood beds. 

 

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New owners have redecorated the guest house with one queen bed. To rent Old Love Cottage, go HERE.

 

Beside Jane Coslick, another designer is becoming famous on Tybee Island.  Layla Palmer along with her husband Kevin who write The Lettered Cottage have renovated several cottages on the island.

 

THE ENLISTED MEN’S MESS HALL:

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Built in 1929s, the Enlisted Men’s Mess Hall was one of three mess halls for the fort.  Today, the cottage is a duplex.  Another star of Tybee Island, John Mellencamp lives right near the cottage.

 

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Layla and Kevin came and redid the cottage on a tight budget.

 

 

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They used furniture that was found in the cottage like this original Hoosier’s cabinet.

 

 

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Shutters become the headboard in the master bedroom.

 

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The guest bedroom got a wicker headboard and a nightstand made of vintage luggage.

 

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To rent the Enlisted Men’s Mess Hall, go HERE.  To read all about Layla and Kevin’s remodeling of this duplex, go HERE.

 

 

 

THE SCREENED INN:

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The other half of Enlisted Men’s Mess Hall is called The Screened Inn.  Layla painted stripes along with a border in the living room.  She also repainted old wicker chairs to spruce them up.

 

 

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The kitchen is darling with red and white striped curtains instead of cabinet doors along with galvanized tin pendant lights over the table. 

 

 

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Across from the kitchen is this darling red, white and blue kids rooms. 

 

 

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The neatest thing ever – in the master bedroom Layla applied a favorite book quote about the beach on the wall.    To rent The Screened Inn, go HERE.  To read Layla’s EZine about this redecorating project, go HERE.

Like Jane Coslick, Layla and The Lettered Cottage are making an impact on the cottages on Tybee Islands.  So many of the rentals say – “featured on The Lettered Cottage,” or “remodeled by Layla Palmer.” I adore Layla and love seeing all her successes.  

 

 

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There are so many cute cottages on the islands.  I spent days looking at one after another.  I really love all the small old ones, like this cute house called  Mermaid Manor.  Of course, it is also behind a white picket fence.  It’s been featured in three national décor magazines!

 

 

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It is filled with beachy charm, white slips and lots of shells.  To rent this beach house:  go HERE.

 

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But, if you prefer to rent a new house – there’s Serenity by the Sea.  It was built from a Coastal Living magazine plan.

 

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The living area is all seagrass, slipcovers and wicker – love it.

 

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Fully equipped kitchen with all new appliances.

 

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There are plenty of bedrooms, including the green and white master.

 

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Even the bathroom is decorated in beachy turquoise.  To rent Serenity by the Sea, go HERE.

 

 

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I hope you have enjoyed this look at the colorful interiors found on Tybee Island.  A special thank you to Mary Kay Andrews for the tour of The Breeze Inn.  To read Southern Living’s Six Perfect Little Beach Towns, go HERE.

 

 

To order Mary Kay’s newest book, just click on the title to the right of the picture:

The latest – “Spring Fever”

 
 
 
Last summer’s hit – “Summer Rental:”
 
 
 
 
And to order Cottages, which features Jane Coslick’s beach house on Tybee Island:
 

49 comments:

  1. What beautiful images! I would be ready to move in myself.

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  2. What great cottages! hmmm....I wonder if that Paula Deen cut-out smells like butter? :) Love her!

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  3. Three cheers each for Tybee, to Mary Kay, and to Mermaid Cottages. The Mermaid Cottages blog is the total package for beach-lovers, beach-house lovers, and Tybee lovers. Who isn't?

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  4. We usually stay just a few islands down, on Amelia. Tybee is a wonderfully eccentric place; you've captured its spirit well, Joni.
    It's no wonder that Mary Kay's books are summer ones. I can't imagine writing a dark winter book in that colourful house, can you?

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  5. I must go there...and certainly "escape" with that book. Reminds me of Key West. Thank you , Joni.

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  6. Thanks for this nice collection of summerhouses!
    Inspirational!

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  7. Ahhh...we have great plans to go there this summer! LOVE the cottages, and all the work that Jane has done in restoring them! I've got Mary Kay's book in my hot little hand as I type!!

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  8. I love Tybee and one of the nice things about is that it hasn't "developed"as much as it has maintained and protected the look and feel of the island. The last time we were there our family went out on a private nature tour and it was impressive to see how much the islanders respect and appreciate all that they have. There is a motel on the main drag called The Royal Palm and I can assure you that nothing has changed at that place for 40 years!

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  9. Looks like a great place to spend a few relaxing days. These beach houses really have the cottage style down pat. Mary Kay's book sounds like a good summer read I'll have to order a copy. As for Paula Dean I'm afraid she would have to spend some time in the closet....;)

    Enjoy your day!
    XX
    Debra~

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    1. Not only in a closet, but may I suggest off TV entirely. What a joke this woman is and why Food Network has invested so much time and money in this hick is beyond me.

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  10. After seeing that Southern Living article I was looking at these very cottages to stay for spring break ~ so many cute ones I couldn't decide, but I better get a move on now that you've featured them here, they'll be gone licketty split!
    :)Heidi

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  11. So many great ideas that are fun and fresh for beach house and cottage decor!! Loved the fun colors mixed in! Thanks for posting!! Leslie

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  12. I hope this kind of Americana never disappears. So reminds me of growing up when all the kids & adults would be at my grandmother's beach house. We didn't notice anything, we just remember the wonderful times. I am so happy to read this post, and these photos are wonderful. Gotta get that book on my K Fire....

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  13. Bravo! Love this post - so creative and colorful. The Savannah area is so beautiful, like stepping into another world. It's our favorite place to visit.

    Sincerely,
    Debra F.
    from NC

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  14. When should I pack? I want to go. HOw lovely. I have been to Savannah. I love it and to Paula Dean's restaurant. Amazing! Love it Joni, makes you want to jump right into your pictures.
    Lisa

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    1. If Paula's restaurant is "amazing", then you have never been anywhere, honey. Fried, fried and more fried is not high cuisine and standing in line for some grease filled slop to be thrown on your plate while she and her grifter sons laugh all the way to the bank is not so cool either. I suppose dreams do come true, but study all of your old, old, Southern Living magazines, and you will find Paula Deen peaking out of every receipe. There is absolutely nothing new and fresh coming from Paula's Kitchen - just more of a put on southern accent, fawning over her family, more bread dough caking onto her diamonds and last but not least, more pure red neck if that's your taste. I'll take Ina any day.

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  15. This put me right in a beach mood! Mary Kay's nostalgic decor reminds me so much of the beach cottages I stayed at as a young(!) child in the 50's and early 60's on the Carolina coast. Of course hers is much zippier with those clear bright colors. But the sword fish, turquoise lamps, and pelican prints took me right back.

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    1. Or is that a sailfish? I always got them mixed up.

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  16. Fascinating. You think Paula Deen's interior is more traditional than Mary Kay's.

    Mary Kay's is the classic inherited old-money, but-running-out-w-this-generation look. Seen from Lake Burton to Tybee in Georgia.

    Loved it the moment I saw it, 30 years ago, moving from Texas to Georgia.

    More, I adored the matriarchs creating those interiors. Few still alive of that era.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  17. Such a detailed post, full of photographs. Thank you for the effort. A lot of the charm results from "making something out of not much" approach - the antidote to the McMansion phenomenon and a decorating focus that really can suit a challenged economy. Readers can really benefit from all these ideas.

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  18. Joni,
    Thank you for your lovely post! My family visited Tybee Island last fall and stayed in a charming rental from Mermaid Cottages. While shopping in a gift shop/antique store - I realized that the woman restocking her booth was none other that Mary Kay herself! She was so charming and willing to sign a couple of books that I bought. She chatted with my 10 year old daughter about writing, too! I couldn't resist buying a vintage plaid picnic tin from her booth. Be sure to check out the shop - Seaside Sisters! The darling cottages all over the island and the close proximity to the lure of Savannah make it a must see island!
    Thanks!
    Jamie

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  19. Wow, Joni, thanks so much for your post about our favorite place, Tybee Island, and our favorite beach house, The Breeze Inn. I hope lots of your readers will decide to visit Tybee and, as the Mermaid Cottage motto says, "discover the magic of slowing down." In the meantime, I'll be signing SPRING FEVER in Houston THIS FRIDAY! Would love to see new friends Friday at Murder by the Book in Houston, at 6:30 p.m. Happy summer!
    Mary Kay Andrews

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  20. Joni,
    Thanks so much for this awesome beach cottage post! I loved all the summer colors and decor. We will be heading to Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula for a week in July, so this really got me in the mood for THE BEACH!

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  21. So much fun to see these beach houses. We just saw a special on television about Georgia's barrier islands and their beaches & wildlife and Tybee was one of them. Only they didn't show any homes, so your timing is excellent.

    After living in the islands for ten years, I've sort of gotten used to the bright Haitian colors and the look has grown on me. In the past I preferred New England coast colors for beach houses, but the bright colored cottages look perfect for Tybee. I think small cottages just seem right for relaxed island life and don't care much for McMansions at the beach.

    Also I can't wait to get my hands on some of Mary Kay's books too.
    Sam

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  22. Another great post, Joni. Thank you!

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  23. Great pics and post as usual. Such vivid colors and fun-looking rooms.

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  24. So enjoyable this post! Tybee is our favorite beach retreat, but it is changing. Celebrities have put it on the map, which runs up property values. To their credit the locals have restricted the construction of wall to wall high-rise buildings such as we now have on Alabama's little bit of coastline. My husband is retiring (this week), and we are have been looking for a beach place for a while. Tybee used to be incredibly affordable, but that has changed as well. Years ago, when I lived in Savannah for a while, Tybee was thought of as a very working class place, not at all where the fashionable set vacationed. No more! Sandra Bullock also has a house there. A few months ago we enjoyed a stay at Blue Moon cottage, one of the Tybee Cottages (not connected with Mermaid). I would recommend that one, too.

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  25. It's fun to see how beach decorating is done on the other coast. Both East and West coasts have their own flavor.

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  26. Joni,
    It's nice to be an armchair traveler. I remember when Layla and Kevin worked their magic on a couple of the cottages...this was a fun post to see more of the charm that is Tybee Island.
    Karen

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  27. I really enjoyed this post. Mary kay is a favorite. I have her new book and am also saving it for our trip to the beach. I think Jane's cottages are adorable and am having the toughest time narrowing down which cottage we will stay at for our first trip to Tybee next summer........

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  28. Hi Joni, this post is so timely! In July, I am going to spend a week on Hilton Head. Since Savannah is so close, I have decided to extend my trip to visit Tybee Island. Growing up in Southern California with a pool, horses, volleyball court AND refrigeration air conditioning, it not was worth the effort for my parents to schlepp all their kids off to a vaction cottage at the beach.

    Never thought I had a deprived childhood but, maybe...

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  29. thanks for the great PR for our little island..

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  30. What a charming little place! love all the sherbet colours. Not sure I need Paula Dean, even in one dimension, along on a quiet holiday though...

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    1. No one needs Paula Deen with that early morning rooster cackle. What a joke she is.

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  31. These cottages are just adorable Joni... I love the colours... so cute... One day I will get to see some of these beautiful places you feature.... xv

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  32. This might be my favorite post you've ever done!! I have always wanted to go to Tybee, and after seeing your post I am definitely going one day SOON!! The cottages are absolutely adorable. What great colors and patterns in the decorating. It all looks so charming.

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  33. Thanks to Joni for showcasing our beautiful Tybee Island and our favorite Island gals, Mary Kay Andrews, Jane Coslick, and Diane Kaufman of Mermaid Cottages, without them we would not shine near so brightly. Seaside Sisters carries all of the great books you have seen here, PLUS Mary Kay will be signing all of her great beachy reads on Thursday July 5th - come on down for a visit, love to meet y'all!

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  34. As I viewed the pictures, I thought, very cute, very colorful and ALMOST over-the-top, but at least there are no flamingos. Then, last photo, ha ha! - cover of the "Cottages" book - there it was, a flamingo lamp. But, you know, in this context, it works!

    What about that Frozen Margarita Green French coffee table in the Bohemian Cottage? Saw one just like it - ornate apron, pie crust top and all - at a consignment shop in Bakersfield, CA 6 weeks ago. Liked the bones and the ornate carving but it looked too heavy, low and dark. Now all these painted finishes are starting to get to me! I really like how these lighter finishes make the carving on the formerly dark woods pop! I should have bought it. With an upholstered top, it would make a wonderful bench.

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  35. Love the cutout of Paula Deen. These are gorgeous photographs, such beautifully decorated homes. Thank you for sharing & keep up the great work.

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  36. reminds me of how nwest fla looks...home to me,pensacola. been to tybee love this post. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  37. just finished "Spring Fever" an hour ago. Loved it as much as Mary Kay's other novels. Fun post Joni would love to visit Tybee myself one day. And as for Layla
    she has a rare talent for making spaces look fresh and cozy at the same time.

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  38. Thanks a lot for this share! Nice review and beautiful photos.

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  39. LOVE this post especially after just returning from a week at Hilton Head Island…there's nothing like getting away with your family at at place like that or at this wonderful place on Tybee! I'm already dying to go back! It's been a tradition since I was 14! There are a lot of memories there..trust me! Loved all of the photos in this as well!

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  40. The Georgia coast is not known for luxury rentals nor is it known for it's pristine beaches. The exception, of course, is The Cloisters in Sea Island. While "cute", there is not a rental shown here that I would want to stay in given the narrow beaches compared to others found on the eastern seaboard. For the price, cutesy is not in the mix. I want luxury at the beach. The owners can adore "cutesy".

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  41. This was a lot of fun! What I like about a post like this is that whether or not it's EXACTLY what you'd want, it all very affordable and doable. It's fun to see what people can do when they have limited funds and great taste. Thanks!

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  43. I love Tybee Island - we went there twice for family vacations when our kids were growing up. I just wanted to go to Savannah after having been completely enthralled with "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". Many years ago! Anyway, we just sort of found Tybee and the next visit we stayed on Tybee. Back then, it was not developed at all - Paula Deen was just barely beginning to be known (we dined at her first little restaurant) in Savannah. I want to go back - just hope it doesn't become commercialized - I am afraid it might. Also on Tybee is a area know as Officer's Row - these great big old house all lined up - what a dream!

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  44. These cottages are just adorable Joni... I love the colours... so cute... One day I will get to see some of these beautiful places you feature....
    Sandy Garage Doors

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