Mary Kay Andrews’ Breeze Inn on Tybee Island

by hookedonhouses on June 30, 2010

Mary Kay Andrews-Breeze InnWhen this month’s Better Homes & Gardens arrived in my mailbox, I was excited to find photos of novelist Mary Kay Andrews’ charming “Breeze Inn” inside. When she and her husband Tom bought the Tybee Island cottage, it was painted “egg-yolk yellow with circus-blue trim.” They wanted it to resemble the Florida beach houses of the ’40s, so they repainted it a mint green with a hot-pink door.

Mary Kay Andrews-bright entrance

I always thought I’d be a novelist myself. I studied English with a concentration in writing in college and had to write a novel for one of my classes. I taught creative writing workshops for years and sold some of my short stories, but the novel-thing never really worked out for me. I had no problem writing them, but then I was too shy to actually let anyone read them. Crazy, right?

But for some reason I don’t have any problem writing blog posts and having you guys read them every day. Apparently I was intended to be a blogger instead…

Mary Kay Andrews-writing deskI always thought it would be cool to frame my book covers. You know, after I actually published a few novels. So when I saw that she had framed hers, I immediately pinned the photo to my “dream board.”

Another fantasy of mine is having a screened porch, so this goes on the board,too:

Mary Kay Andrews-screened porch

After discovering one of her books at the library last summer (Deep Dish), I Googled Mary Kay Andrews to see what other books she had written. Imagine my surprise when I found her blog and saw that she has Hooked on Houses on her blogroll! (Blogging certainly does lend itself to some surreal moments…)

The Fixer Upper-book cover

She just sent me a copy of her newest novel, called The Fixer Upper. It’s about a woman who loses her job and takes on the task of restoring “Birdsong” for her father–a run-down, Pepto-Bismal-pink Victorian mansion in a small town that needs more work than she imagined. I’m reading it right now and really enjoying it.

Mary Kay AndrewsTo celebrate the release of The Fixer Upper in paperback, Mary Kay Andrews is hosting a Little Pink Tools giveaway for the woman who wants to fix up her house in style. You can read more about her novels on her blog. And you can see the rest of the photos of her Breeze Inn at BHG.

Any other Mary Kay Andrews fans out there? I recommended more Good Summer Reading for House Lovers here.

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Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality June 30, 2010 at 8:48 am

Hey, Julia! I got to meet Mary Kay & she’s a doll. She sent me the book too & I’m reading it right now also. Very clever and I was drooling over her beach cottage too in BHG. So pretty!
.-= Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality´s last blog ..Cute Roman Shades Giveaway =-.

Christi at A Southern Life June 30, 2010 at 8:50 am

Hey Julia,

I have been a MKA fan for some time and have read all of her books to date. How fun is her house? Love the colors and light. Thanks for posting this.

Christi @ A Southern Life
.-= Christi at A Southern Life´s last blog ..img-6437 =-.

Janell Beals June 30, 2010 at 8:57 am

LOVE LOVE LOVE the colorful book covers all framed and hung above a desk. Loved this photo before reading more and learning the art wall is made up of covers of her books, makes it even better…
.-= Janell Beals´s last blog ..Watch As I Jump Around The House From Room To Room =-.

Fifi Flowers June 30, 2010 at 9:03 am

Fabulous … Adorable cottage… I did a painting of it for Mary Kay Andrews… You can see it in My Painting Gallery… category: Tybee… Come take a peek!
.-= Fifi Flowers´s last blog ..Paris Umbrellas =-.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints June 30, 2010 at 9:25 am

Love her colorful cottage. SO ME! That sunroom was just too cute. Love the SEA on the wall.

I can’t believe I’m a blogger. I started out so scared and not knowing what to say and somehow everyday the words just come. It amazes me:) A few people have suggested I write a book…which to me sounds hilarious. I think blogging is just what I was made to do. Although it would be nice to get a paycheck!
.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..Pierced =-.

Erin T. June 30, 2010 at 9:29 am

I loved this house! It was my favorite thing about this issue of BHG. :-)

Bridget June 30, 2010 at 9:35 am

I love Mary Kay Andrews books to much so that when “Fixer Upper” was released in hardback I just could not wait. Better than chocolate! Actually all her books are. Her house is lovely! I too love the framed book covers. I’ve never seen that before and find it quite clever. I also wanted to mention that I sure do enjoy your blog.

karin June 30, 2010 at 9:36 am

You are a wonderful blogger – certainly one of my favorites – but it’s never too late to try the novel thing again, you know?

hookedonhouses June 30, 2010 at 10:03 am

Karin and Linda–
I keep thinking that will be my next career after my kids are grown. Would love to have a beach house like this to write in, too! -Julia :-)

linda@LimeintheCoconut June 30, 2010 at 9:41 am

Oh Huney…you have a novel in you. I just KNOW you do. When the time is right it’ll come. This blog stuff is all prep!

Love her house, and looking forward to reading her book! Tybee sounds like a writer’s paradise!
.-= linda@LimeintheCoconut´s last blog ..Donuts anyone =-.

Debbie June 30, 2010 at 9:44 am

Thanks so much for posting – I just read that book “fixer upper” this weekend – I couldn’t put it down and was so sad it was over.

I ordered all of her books for my summer reading list – thanks for posting her home photos – will go and check out the rest of them.

Love your blog.

hip hip gin gin June 30, 2010 at 9:52 am

This place is adorable! I am a little in love with that turquoise entry way shelf, and that little framed bathing suit.
.-= hip hip gin gin´s last blog ..Succulent Love =-.

Karena June 30, 2010 at 11:16 am

How fun and I am so excited to read her book!! Color, color. color!!

Art by Karena
.-= Karena´s last blog ..Pillow Mint Giveaway -amp Town Art Show 2010 =-.

Vintage Remixed June 30, 2010 at 11:26 am

Hey Julia,

This is a great post and the book “The Fixer Upper” was wonderful. I had the honor to go through her cottage with Jane Coslick a couple of months ago and it’s truly a magical place. I blogged about it here if you would like a behind the scenes peek. ;-)

hookedonhouses June 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm

How fun! I’m a big fan of Jane Coslick’s work, too. Thanks for the link! -Julia

Nancy@marcusdesign June 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Julia, you are an amazing blogger, but I think you can still be an amazing novelist too!! I love how you checked out MKA’s blog and found yourself on her blogroll, that is so neat! I love her home and all of the wonderful colorful details. Such a lovely post :)
.-= Nancy@marcusdesign´s last blog ..have you heard domino archives available online =-.

Cheryl Elsbree Interior Design June 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I really enjoyed your post about MKA. I am new to your blog and love it. Thanks for sharing!
.-= Cheryl Elsbree Interior Design´s last blog ..Interior Musings 1 =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now June 30, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Mary Kay Andrews is probably my favorite “chick lit” author. She is funny, she has interesting characters (that’s a major plus!), and her style really shows in her stories. My favorite book of hers is Hissy Fit, but Savannah Blues is also excellent. The Fixer Upper was good too! I always rush out to buy her books whenever they come out. I’d give up my favorite Coach bag to have just an inkling of her creativity and style! :)

I do think you were meant to be a blogger…clearly you’re doing a good job!! :)
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Easy- Kid-Friendly Treat for the 4th- =-.

Arlene @At Home with the Grimms June 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Love Mary Kay Andrews but love her best as Kathy Hogan Trochek. She writes some great mysteries involving a cleaning service in Atlanta. My hubby is from Savannah so I plan to look for her beach house the next time we are at Tybee. And Julia, should you ever write a book, I will buy it. Another one of my blog friends, Marybeth Whalen just had a book published, The Mailbox. So there is hope that we bloggers may one day become authors!! Keep up the good work, love your blog.

Becky K June 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I’ll have to look for her books. I’ve not read any yet….don’t hate me!
As an avid reader, though, I am always grateful for book suggestions.

The Tybee Island home is so lovely. One could definitely be inspired there!

Becky K.
.-= Becky K´s last blog ..Lilies and Hydrangea =-.

Phillips Phamily Mama June 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm

That Mary Kay is a busy woman! I don’t know when she finds time to write; she’s everywhere, while I’d be back on the porch at the beach cottage napping away!

Karen June 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I listened to this book on CD awhile back – and I just LOVED, LOVED it!! I’ve read it twice – it’s THAT good:) I am SO hoping she will make this a series – it NEEDS to be a series!! Thank you for bringing this wonderful book to everyone’s attention:)

Cindy June 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Julia, you are the BEST blogger. I think we all have a novel in us, but not all of us are gifted with the skills to get them out. You have those skills so never give up. MKA is new to me so thank you for today’s post because her books sound very fun and enjoyable. I’ll also be checking out her K.H. Trochek books (thanks Arlene, but isn’t it amazing she has so much going on in her mind that she needs another pen name!)

Kim June 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I love the colorful warm colors of Mary’s Inn. They make the house inviting. I have never read any of her books, but I just might have to, they sound so good.

mary kay andrews June 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Linda–thanks so much for blogging about our home and my books on hooked on houses–you’re on my short-list of must-read blogs. As for writing a novel? I’d never done it before I did it–was a newspaper reporter for 14 years and then decided I wanted to stay at home with my kids. Follow your heart and just do it–wait, was that what the wizard of oz told Dorothy?

Laura (youngDCliving) June 30, 2010 at 2:19 pm

This house is so colorful and fun! Exactly what a beach-esque house should be like in my opinion. That sounds like a really interesting book! I haven’t heard of it, but definitely am going to check it out now, thanks!
.-= Laura (youngDCliving)´s last blog ..This -amp- is Bananas- B-A-N-A-N-A-S- =-.

tammyCA June 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm

When I got my BHG in the mail a few weeks ago I was instantly taken with the Tybee Island cottage…just my style. Last night I happened upon “The lettered cottage” blog and saw Layla is decorating some Tybee cottages…so I googled the Mermaid cottages and oh, how I want to visit that island now. :) Right now I am leaning toward decorating more vintage beachy in a bedroom and bath (gotta get those seashells back I gave to my sister that a friend gave to me & I didn’t think I’d want them – hee-hee).
I’ll check out Mary Kay’s book…sounds neat. Right now I am reading “Cottage for sale, must be moved” (recommended on a post on another blog…gotta love our common loves in blogland).
Keep on writing what you love to write, whether it is blogs, books, letters…I think blog writers are pretty brave since they put themselves out there for people to comment! Yipes. Sometimes I feel weird commenting on the crafting/decorating blogs because I don’t have a blog like everybody else who comments, I mean everybody seems to have their own blog…but, frankly I don’t have the time to devote to a blog and really I wouldn’t have anything interesting to show & tell..ha, ha…let’s see, right now I am chipping old cruddy paint (probably lead based) off a gunky- junky-discarded-curbside-little-wood-children’s hutch-that tips over-and wondering why I am wasting my time on this? ‘Course, it does feel kinda like therapy, chipping away to see what’s underneath and how I can turn it into something darling – I just know I can…hmm, I think I had a bit too much coffee before posting here! :)

Lori-Anne June 30, 2010 at 2:55 pm

What a wonderful cottage! It looks like a writer’s residence. I hadn’t heard of Mary Kay Andrews, but will definitely look her up now. How very cool that she is a HoH follower! And as far as your own career as a novelist goes, just remember – it’s not over until it’s over! (that means there might just be a Great American Novel in you yet ;-)
.-= Lori-Anne´s last blog ..Book Exchange Part II- The Last Song =-.

Kathy :) June 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Julia follow your dream………I know it will happen for you and I can say I knew you when….:)

I first heard about Mary Kay via Rhoda and added her to my blog roll, thanks for the tip I am always in the market for a good book………how neat to see her cottage in my BHG, I just may get down to Tybee in the Fall… daugher recently moved to GA she is at a training facility there… we plan on heading down to visit !!! I would love to take a side trip. I saw that Layla was down there too…..

Have a great week and Happy 4th……I have been ill this week so not doing much blogging….

All the best,
Kathy :)

Tricia Rose June 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I need a good read – I’m going forth immediately to find Mary Kay Andrews, thanks for the tip!
.-= Tricia Rose´s last blog ..Lavender Festival =-.

Julie June 30, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I have never heard of Mary Kay Andrews, going to hit the Aussie book stores to find her, if not Amazon it is. Love a good read and anything to do with houses and renovating, double bonus. Julia, I love reading your blog,

Enjoy your summer days, is freezing here is in Aus.


Susan S June 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Oh, the idyllic life! The book sounds darling and a perfect summer read!
Now, to find a quiet corner….

Jenny June 30, 2010 at 8:14 pm

I immediately LOVED her cottage when I saw it in BHG. Thanks for blogging on it.

I also love the bright green slider on the porch!! I could curl up on that with Mary Kay’s book!!
.-= Jenny´s last blog ..Baggo Fun =-.

Jessica at Lavender and Lilies June 30, 2010 at 8:44 pm

do you think she will let me live with her? I’m only a few hours away. Great post!
.-= Jessica at Lavender and Lilies´s last blog ..In Desperate Need Of =-.

LeAnn June 30, 2010 at 9:31 pm

I know, I love this beach cottage. My family and I were actually thinking of going there this summer. I’m afraid I wouldn’t want to leave though.

.-= LeAnn´s last blog ..Girls just wanna have fun =-.

Alicia June 30, 2010 at 10:33 pm

I love your blog…I love your (blog) writing too! Thanks for showing us all these beautiful homes everyday. We are in FL for the summer helping my mother-in-law fix up a great old house. We are loving it. It’s so interesting thinking how and why people built things the way they did but it’s a lot of fun too. House pics to come on my blog soon!
.-= Alicia´s last blog ..What a life- =-.

Bamabelle June 30, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I’m glad you’ve discovered Mary Kay Andrews! Fixer Upper is tied with Hissy Fit as my favorite book she’s written–you should check out Hissy Fit next!

Julie @ The Family CEO June 30, 2010 at 11:11 pm

I first found Mary Kay Andrews through her book Savannah Blues, which I read while on a trip to Savannah. Like you, I was thrilled to see her Tybee home in BHG.
.-= Julie @ The Family CEO´s last blog ..Hanging a Wall Photo Gallery =-.

Goldenberry July 1, 2010 at 2:19 am

What an amazing post! I can imagine your surprise when you found out that your blog was in Mary Kay Andrews blogroll !! “Le monde est petit” ^^
.-= Goldenberry´s last blog ..Le Cap aux Morues-Cape Cod suite et fin =-.

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish July 1, 2010 at 7:21 am

Love it! Those picture groupings are fantastic!
.-= Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish´s last blog ..Tips for Shopping at Ikea =-.

Lesley @ TheDesignFile July 1, 2010 at 8:52 am

Very sweet house. And how cool that you’ve made a connection with an author you like. So nice.
.-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Design Star- Nina says shes a leader- not a bully =-.

Janet July 1, 2010 at 10:42 am

I just finished reading my first MKA story – Savannah Breeze. I picked up Blue Christmas yesterday at the library and read half of it last night! LOL. I just love her style.
.-= Janet ´s last blog ..Another Give Away =-.

Sue July 2, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Read Savanna Blues next. It’s the story of Weezie who is one of the characters in Savannah Breeze. I liked it even better. I’m currently reading my third one, Hissy Fit. I enjoy how she adds a little mystery to her stories and of course I love all the decorating stuff.


FrenchGardenHouse July 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm

What a dream!! That is beyond adorable. I can’t wait to read her book. xo Lidy

Amber July 1, 2010 at 1:03 pm

LOVE this house! It is so happy, and bright, and colorful, I just want to move right in! :)
.-= Amber´s last blog ..hellokittencake-vintagerosegarden-dreamsmaylinger-via┬ádoll =-.

Kim @ Blue Heron Cottage July 1, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Julia, I also picked up BHG and read the article. I had not read any of her books and first of all I love when authors homes are featured, especially where authors write and I was fascinated. I also loved her wall of where she framed her book covers and loved the idea.:)
I will finally go to Barnes & Noble and get a book of hers, because I meant to and I let life get in the way and now I have a reminder. I’m off to get a Mary Kay Andrews book. Thanks, Julia.
And I have written two novels, Julia, after my kids got older, started two years ago and have always loved writing, so I went for it and surprised myself. The difficult part for me now is sending in query letters and just going for it. The process is intimidating.
.-= Kim @ Blue Heron Cottage´s last blog ..Finding Beauty Friday- =-.

hookedonhouses July 1, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Good luck, Kim! That’s exciting. I know what you mean about the process of selling your work. That’s what I always get hung up with, too. -Julia

Linda@bushel and a pickle July 2, 2010 at 7:17 am

What a happy fun cottage! Love the bright colors and look forward to reading a new author for me! Like so many of us, I had dreams of writing, what exactly in my youthful exuberance I don’t know . Blogging has been wonderful for me as a creative outlet of both writing and photography and homemaking. Not the best out there and not the worst, just me.
.-= Linda@bushel and a pickle´s last blog ..Some Things Never Change =-.

Sue July 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I first stumbled onto Mary Kay Andrews when I ran across her blog one day. I had purchased one of her books several months before, not knowing who she was. When I made the connection, I read the book and enjoyed it. I am on my third now. I like them because they have characters who like to decorate. There are usually thrift shop finds, antiques or something to do with decorating involved. And a little mystery also. Apparently she wrote mysteries under another name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck.

Leigha July 2, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Oh, this place just oozes summer…and blended drinks with tiny umbrellas.
.-= Leigha´s last blog ..Ah- Alessandra =-.

primetimemom July 3, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Downloaded this book on my kindle yesterday and I am loving it! What a fabulous home.

Love Where You Live July 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Love all the colors in this house. It says fun, sunny days at the beach. A friend loaned me her copy of The Fixer Upper. It’s just what you need to while-away a lazy day. Thanks, -susan
.-= Love Where You Live´s last blog ..A Master Bath Redo – Giving a Glam Look to a Generic Space =-.

Jodi from New Jersey May 21, 2011 at 5:56 am

Hi Julia.. Love this post.I must say, blogs may come and go, but I always come back home to Hooked on Houses. Yours is the yardstick by which all others are measured. Keep up the good work! About the novel, maybe let someone take a peek. You know what Wayne Gretsky said?—- ” You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Hmmmm. Thanks for the fun………… Jodi

columbus cpa September 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm

After studying a number of of the weblog posts in your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website checklist and will be checking again soon. Pls check out my website online as properly and let me know what you think.

M May 31, 2012 at 9:51 am

Very attractive and cute. I wonder how many square feet.

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