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Happy 4th! Summer House vs. Beach House

By 07/03/2014February 2nd, 201719 Comments

I have a client who lives up on Promontory Hill in Chilliwack. They have one of the best uninterrupted views I’ve ever seen. Looking out their living room windows, you feel like you’ve driven for five hours to a cabin in the woods, to get that kind of stunning view.

So it made sense that when property came up for sale right beside their house, they bought it and built a pool with an adjoining guest house and a large patio for entertaining.

No driving to get to their beach house, it’s right next door! And with small children, this was the perfect solution.

Since it’s technically not at the beach, when we found this sign (above) while on an accessory shopping day last week, we were thrilled. See where we hung it here on my Instagram photos.

I am having it photographed next week so you’ll see it soon! In the meantime, this is what my dream summer house would look like:


The lattice for roses is the best part. And I love the hydrangeas. I adore the white hydrangeas in my backyard. When my good friend Jacqueline arrived to visit yesterday I told her how I had called my garden center in a panic when the temperature hit 34C the other day and they looked like they had wilted!

Luckily they revived when cooler temperatures arrived in the evening. Jacqueline said “They need lots of water, thus the name hydrangeas, haha”.

Beautiful Entry

Such a pretty entry. And a great way to treat posts without railings on the front of your house.

 concrete bowls

Love the juxtaposition of the ‘french salon’ gold mirror with the rustic entry table.


Cottage deck

I contemplated white cushions for my outdoor sectional but even with outdoor fabric I wasn’t sure how white they would stay, but it sure is pretty.

outdoor canopy

The most luxurious of all is this kind of a spot to nap and read in.

Outdoor Shower

Every beach house needs an outdoor shower. I also love the one at the house I stayed at in Kaui this winter.


See the column with the geranium on it? I have been looking for something similar ever since I stayed at this great B&B when I was in Port Alberni working on Aimee’s house this past month. It was so beautifully decorated and they had some beautiful art placed on pedestals and columns and it looked so great (should have taken more photos but I’m already like the paparazzi sometimes ; ).

Here’s a glimpse of how this couple decorated the landing going up the stairs, so creative!

Ceiling Fan

{click on images for sources}

By the way, here’s the perfect ceiling fan for your summer/beach house or anywhere you need a fan. No unnecessary light located on the bottom and if any of you have sourced these, you know nice ones are hard to find without lights. They also come in different colours and choice of alternative blades.

Happy 4th of July to my American readers! Hope you are somewhere warm and around people you love! xo Maria

Related posts:

Details to add when Planning your Beach House

Benjamin Moore Annapolis Green for a Beach House

Dreamy Beach House in Kaui

If you would like help creating a palette for your home, become a client. Online or In-person.

To get your exterior colours right, download my How to Choose Exterior Colours with Confidence webinar and get my go-to list of colours.

Download my eBookHow to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

And, if you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert.

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  • Mary-Illinios says:

    Happy 4th to you!
    Summer house, beach house, lake house, cabin in the woods. I could be happy with any of those.
    Thanks for showing pictures of lovely vacation spots.
    And hopefully the folks on the Carolina coast vacationing, are surviving Hurricane Arthur this weekend.

  • colleen says:

    Some wonderful photos and ideas, but the ‘snakes and ladders’ wall is utterly revolting and would send me straight out to look for other lodging.
    Your taste is consistently brilliant, but you’ve lost me on this one.

    • Maria Killam says:

      HI Colleen,
      Okay I agree that the snakeskin would not be my taste either but I thought it was a very creative way to decorate such a tall wall 🙂 Maria

  • Monique says:

    Hi Maria
    Love the summer house idea to live in permanently. There is a column, much like what you are looking for at Sadie Ann McMurray – the antique store in Mission, just around the corner from you, in Chilliwack. Love following your blog!

  • Kathy says:

    I love a beautiful Shingle style home too, so sculptural and simple but proportionate and detailled, casual with a touch of formality, rambling with great terraces and pergolas to take in the view and the sea air. And of course in the day, a team of servants to take care of your every need while vacationing at the shore.

  • sandyc says:

    Sitting here in “sunny” Arizona where the skies are totally grey after rain all night and more expected for the next few days, I’m with Mary-Illinois – I’ll take anyplace else. It always amazes me how quickly I can get deeply down in the dumps when things cloud up around here. Love Portland, OR where my late husband was from but would never have survived had we settled there after we married. I do feel for anyone experiencing hurricane Arthur. Having lived all my life previously in Houston, Texas which is so close to the Gulf, I know hurricanes and they are never fun.

    Love that foyer, especially with all that greenery. Unfortunately, mine would all have to be faux as kitty Mei Mei loves grass and plants and will even try to sample the faux ones.

    However, if I consult you, Maria, for advice on finishing my vaulted wall behind the couch with my beloved aspens painting, please don’t refer me to that “creative” landing photo.

    Hope this day is special to all of us in some way!

  • Ronnda says:

    The link is not working for information about the ceiling fan…I will check back later to see if it is fixed. Thanks! 😀

  • Angela Taylor says:

    Hmmm, I had that same dream of a beach cottage, but student loans got in the way.
    Can I come and visit you when you get yours Maria:)

  • Kathy says:

    I’m laughing because the dog’s “undertone” in the photo above matches the decor around him! 🙂

    Would love to drop in and rest a while in any of these spots! Thanks for the visual relaxation Maria!

  • Fran says:

    Hi Maria

    Your link to the perfect ceiling fan does not work

  • Carol says:

    I too have been dreaming and drooling over beach houses and lake houses……….like the one in the movie “Tammy” that just came out where they had the “viking burial” for the jet ski……if you’ve seen it. Or your picture of your dream summer house.
    My question is this……….we see all of these pictures of
    these dream houses but I certainly can’t afford one… do we make our house’s “feel” like those kinds of house’s and be satisfied with them when we’ll
    never be able to afford them………….is it possible??
    What do you think??

  • Carol says:

    p.s….do you have “hobby lobby” stores in Canada? They
    might have those columns there……..not sure

  • Monique says:

    I am sorry that my very very first comment on a blog is awaiting moderation all day 🙁

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Monique, my comments are not officially set to be moderated. WordPress grabs random comments or ones with links and moderates them and I have no idea why. Thanks for your comments, they are appreciated! Maria

  • Arlene says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for black print. What a delight to read. We have a 31 year old log cottage my husband built. It is a cozy retreat for our family. Everyone is passionate that most everything stays the same. Thank you for the lovely ideas. I applaud your dreams Maria. May they come true some day. I appreciate the information you share with your readers. With gratitude thanks.

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    I LOVE that summer house too! If that’s the style that calls to you, Maria, you should visit New England…It looks like something from Maine or Nantucket. That’s about as charming an area as you could find. I also love the way your call your sister, “My adorable sister”. Wow. That’s a wonderful too!

  • Sandy says:

    I love reading the comments as much as reading the blog – but today, I think I must be on a different page than everyone else… I can’t find the creative landing photo, can’t find the snakeskin. What am I doing wrong?

    • Kathy says:

      Sandy, it’s a red colored link to click on at the beginning of this sentence:

      Here’s a glimpse of how this couple decorated the landing going up the stairs, so creative!

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