A Peek at my New Kitchen & A Morning Walk Around the House

Happy Thursday, everyone. Can someone please tell me where the week has gone? I feel like time is just flying by. I just wanted to pop on the blog this morning to share a few photos from my week that made me feel happy. I’ve been working hard around the house to get the garden going for summer, Kyle and I have been setting up bedrooms, organizing spaces, and getting fixtures hung. I will be doing a room reveal as we go, but I thought I’d post some sneak peeks of the kitchen (even though we are going to be making changes in a few months.) There is no purpose to this post, other than to share photos. Flowers always have a way of brightening up my day, and I’m hoping mine can do the same for you!

Every single morning, I grab my cup of coffee and do a walk around the house. I love how flowers look as soon as the sun starts to peak its rays onto them. I’ll start deadheading or flipping the flowers that need it. It’s become my favorite part of the morning. A few mornings ago, we had a pretty crazy storm. We live on the river, and sometimes the fog overshadows our entire neighborhood. It was breathtaking, especially with the sun rising above it. The back of our house looked like someone turned the fog machine on. I can’t wait to get the furniture back there so I can sit and enjoy those views!
The sun rises in the backyard and sets in the front. This is why I decided to plant all of my hydrangea bushes back there. They get so much shade, which is great since the rest of my house has full sun. My goal is to have them grow wide and tall enough to see from the kitchen.

And here is a sneak peek of our kitchen! I posted more photos on the Cottage Story Instagram, where I’m documenting our modern cottage (what I like to call it.) It’s come along way in the past few days. We got new cabinet pulls, new light fixtures, our new fridge, and in a few months, we will be adding floating shelves and swapping out the backsplash for something with a bit more character. 
Hydrangeas from the backyard 😊

We also had our two Arhaus couches delivered, and I love how they look in our living room! We spent so much time trying to shop for couches, and every single time we kept coming back to them. We finally decided to splurge a little and get them. They are the most comfortable things ever! I purchased the new living room rug, which should be here in a few days, but still looking for barstools. I know the right ones will jump out at me soon. I’ve seen a lot that I have loved, but I also refuse to pay $500 for a single barstool! Since when did they get so pricey? Lol, I have a feeling Homegoods is going to have the perfect set eventually.

Oh, and our creamy guest bedroom is coming along! Since it’s on the main floor, we are going to be sharing that one soon! We wanted to finish it first, especially for guests coming over. 
I know I have ten rose bushes in my yard. Why? They make me happy! I get so excited when a new one blooms.
I mean…
My dinner plate dahlias are started to open.
I have over twelve dwarf dahlias planted around my borders. I love how colorful they are! 

The sunrises will never get old. We are finally getting our backyard fence this weekend for the dogs! I had a few people ask if I was worried about ruing the view, but the cool this is that there is a HUGE drop off at the end of the yard. It’s about a 75-foot drop, so we won’t even see our fence. You can kind of see a bit of the fence in the corner of this photo, and that’s about all you’ll see when we bring it across. I will also be planting rhododendron, azaleas, and gardenia bushes along the edges.
The brightness of this house just makes me feel more productive and happier. That may sound crazy, but the old house was very cozy and dark, and it kind of made me less motivated. I think it’s true that natural daylight does have a significant effect on the body and energy levels.

Kyle hung my flower baskets yesterday, and I’m so happy with how they turned out! I bought the baskets on Amazon and filled them with petunias. It’s incredible what painting the door black, adding the fan, and light above the door added to the front porch. I have a rocking chair set from Wayfair arriving in a few weeks (boo for back order), and I can’t wait to have that up. I wanted a porch swing, but I think I’m going to put one in the back!

As for the brick around the house, I still want to whitewash it or paint it completely white. Although the red is starting to grow on me. But, I do keep leaning towards it being all white.
We got lucky with literally the sweetest neighbors. They brought us over some homemade rolls, and I think the dogs thought they were for them! 😊
Yesterday, I planted my four gardenia trees by the side windows and my new dahlias along the back porch. Right above them is where I want my porch swing to go 😊 I’ve been having so much fun with the exterior of the house. I know in a month it’s going to get so hot that being outside will be unbearable, so that’s when you’ll see me paying more attention to the interior 😊 Anyways, I know this post was so random, but thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the photos. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to around your house this week!

Questions for you!

  1. If you could grow any vegetables or fruit, what would they be?
  2. What kind of plants should I put in the metal pots by my door? I’m thinking of something green!
  3. What have you been doing around the house this week?

Let me know if you like these spontaneous blogs and I can pop on during the week!


  • Katie

    Ooh sorry! I meant to include this in my previous comment, but it looks like your getting an aluminum fence? We purchased one from Lowe’s & it’s total gorgeous & we love it, but it bends pretty easily. Our 60 pound husky is able to squeeze her way through the vertical bars when she’s feeling determined. We purchased some garden netting & black zip tips to attach in long panels across it to prevent her from getting out. It blends right in & you can’t see it from the road at all & you have to be really looking for it to see it right in front of it. Just an FYI if you ever run into issues which hopefully you won’t!!!

    Reply to Katie
  • Katie

    Your new home is so gorgeous! I’m hoping for more details on your sofa! We are sofa shopping right now & having such a time let me tell you! I looked it up on arhaus & it looks like the Remington, but there’s a million colors & seat depths (WUT lol).

    We made waist-high cedar planters this year to plant our vegetable & herbs in. We also have a raspberry bush & a blueberry bush in pots. I’m practically begging my husband for a lemon tree now haha.

    I think small boxwoods would look super cute in those pots by your door. You might have to trim them from time to time to maintain their size though!

    Reply to Katie
  • Linda

    I love your new beautiful home! It is so sweet to see how much the pups love their new yard!!
    The kitchen is gorgeous! What type of refrigerator did you get and do you like it?
    I’m in the market for one.

    Reply to Linda
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, we got the “Food Showcase 22.4-cu ft 4-Door Counter-depth French Door Refrigerator with Ice Maker and Door within Door (Fingerprint-Resistant Stainless Steel) ENERGY STAR” AND LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessie

    I have been so envious of your flowers garden and I have been learning a few things from you as well.
    I currently am working on my vegetable garden myself there is something so satisfying about going in your back yard and picking your own food .
    I would love to plant more flowers around my house soon as well it just makes it look more welcoming .
    Are you going to do a vegetable garden as well ? I know Becca is working on one too.

    Reply to Jessie
  • Nana

    Beautiful home!

    Reply to Nana
  • Katie

    Your house is so beautiful!! I love how the floors ended up looking with all the white counters and the natural light. And OMG all of your flowers! Seriously plant goals haha I am so impressed. We’re going to be buying a house in the next 3 months and def will be using some of your pics as inspiration. I think you should do a gardening post with any tips/tricks you’ve been learning. I don’t know a thing about gardening but want to get into it once we buy a house.

    Reply to Katie
  • Hillary May

    1. Vegetable; Purple green beans because the grow in abundance and are easy to spot when you pick them. For fruit; I wish i could grow bananas because i use them ALL the time… and even when you have too many and they are over ripe you can freeze them for smoothies or baking.
    2. “Hen and Chick” They are so cute in a pot and easy to transplant and grow.
    3. Helping my friend organize an clean his house.

    Reply to Hillary May
  • Erica

    I absolutely love your new house. Congratulations! It’s beautiful!! I really love the red brick on the exterior also, I find it gives the house so much character. Seeing all of your flowers makes me so happy. I want to know how you got into gardening and how you’ve learned so much about it? I bought a new house this year and this will be the first summer in it, I want to have a nice flower garden out front but I don’t even know where to start! Looking for any tips or resources 🙂 I love your blog! xoxo

    Reply to Erica
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Erica!

      Thank you so much 😊 Honestly, my parents have always been super into gardening! I grew up with them teaching me, and whenever I have questions, I call them or I go in deep watching youtube tutorials! Books also have helped me!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mikaela

    Ahhhh dahlias are one of my favorites. The flowers look great girl! I’m also loving that kitchen. Can I move in too? I would plant a ton of herbs because I always find myself back at the store buying more. Tomatoes are also a must. They grow so well out here in California. I love how bright it is. Enjoy it!

    Reply to Mikaela
  • Shelby

    I LOVE random posts like these! Have a great weekend Taralynn <3

    Reply to Shelby
  • Nathaly Bernard

    Your house is incredible! I am in love with all the morning photos and how bright it is! Thank you for sharing your blessing with us

    Reply to Nathaly Bernard
  • Holly

    Your house is so beautiful! I am enjoying seeing these posts. I LOVE all of the natural light that the windows allow in–it truly is a mood-lifter! Your landscaping is just so pretty, all of the colors look so great with the white house. I think you should plant some Coleus in the pot by your door! It’s one of my favorite plants to grow. It can thrive in the sun and shade!

    Reply to Holly
  • Freshi

    Taralynn, I do love the red brick! It brings character to the already beautiful house! 🙂 But totally understand if you want to change. Your flowers are really gorgeous. I always loved your morning coffee pictures but I think now they will reach another level with this beautiful view! <3

    Reply to Freshi
  • Amanda

    I love all the excitement you have surrounding your new house. It’s SO beautiful and that back yard view looks like a dream. I remember when I moved from my dark apartment to our bright house 2 years ago, it’s a great feeling. Also I’m loving the flower pics and updates. You have definitely inspired me to get out and landscape over the last month or so 🙂

    Reply to Amanda
  • Harriet

    Love this spontaneous blog post!! Your garden is looking even more amazing each time you post photos. The photo of fog around your house is beautiful, we have just hit the foggy time of year here in Nz and I love it. Have you thought of painting your red brick black? I had a client who painted her house all white, and then decided to paint the brick base black and it looks incredible, it makes her bright flowers stand out even more. We grow 80% of our fruit and vegetables (apples, nectarines, cherries, Figs, kale, brussel sprouts etc) it’s my favourite part of the garden. Pansy’s grow great in pots, plus they come in so many colours. This week we finally moved all out furniture back into the house as our renovations are completed, for now.

    Hope you have a fantastic weekend !

    Reply to Harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      We have, but it may be a bit too bold for the neighborhood! I do love the idea of it though.

      Congrats on finishing your renovations! I bet you’re so happy to be home!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Your kitchen is gorgeous! Thanks for the house tour! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Ashton Jury

    I think rosemary would look great in pots near your door and I am loving the red brick! It’s so southern, and I think it’ll look even more gorgeous in the fall/winter with all the warm colors. If you have the space in your backyard you should plant lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, pumpkins, squash and ALL THE HERBS. I know zucchinis and pumpkins are easy plus how cool would it be to carve a pumpkin you grew! I love grilling zucchini, and my grandmas house in france she grew her own lettuce and we’d just walk out and cut some fro a salad at dinner it was perfect! I wish we had more space here in California, but I can’t complain I’m walking distance from the beach, so I’ll stick to my herbs 🙂

    Reply to Ashton Jury
  • Julie

    The house is beautiful and the flowers are gorgeous. I am looking forward to many more pictures of both. I think the brick would look nice with a lime wash. I’m not sure how it works, but I’ve seen it on HGTV and loved it. I have all of my potted plants done, I just need to replace an in ground plant that died. It is below a robin’s nest, and momma robin is not happy with me being so close, so I will have to wait a few weeks until the eggs have hatched and babies have left the nest. Happy almost weekend!

    Reply to Julie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I love the limewash! I always called it whitewash. I didn’t know it had a name, but thanks for letting me know! That is exactly what we want to do!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kelly

    Hey I have a super random question…..where did you get your mug?? It must be a customized one since it says “cottage story” I just LOVE that style of mug and I’d like one for myself!! Thanks!

    Reply to Kelly
  • Julie

    1. sweet potato 🙂 currently I bought some air fryer. It’s good at cooking sweet potato even fishes!
    2. Green is good but i recommened red❤︎
    3. It’s funny story…i watched the gossip girl on Netflix. Xoxo T

    Reply to Julie
  • Brooklyn

    I am in love with your kitchen! It’s gorgeous, I love the black and white so much!
    And what amazing neighbours you have! Such good vibes.


    Reply to Brooklyn
  • Emily

    LOVE LOVE LOVE all the home photos! I began painting my guest bedroom….my house is older so I am currently painting over wallpaper. I have now decided I will never wallpaper anything haha. It is a pain when/if you want to change it!! Are you going to continue the border around your garden?

    Reply to Emily
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much, Emily!!

      Painting over wallpaper!? That’s kind of genius since it’s so hard to remove on the older homes. I bet it looks great! I’m actually taking the border out completely and ordering huge river stones! I don’t love the way it’s been sinking into the ground and the color is driving me nuts. I’m going to use the bricks I bought for the backyard!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rachel

    I love how floating shelves look, but I know I could never keep them clean and organized haha. Your house looks great! I’m super jealous of your kitchen.

    Reply to Rachel
  • Hannah

    Having just finished planting our garden for the summer I told Matt at our future country home I want the roses we had at our wedding to grow 💕 They are the most gorgeous roses ever (in my opinion) – almost a Peony/Rose hybrid look in the most beautiful pink! That “dusty rose” to “light rose” pink. Ugh. Love it! This summer I have quite a few things growing and I LOVE. IT.
    Herbs: Thyme, Oregano, Basil, and Lavender
    Veggies: Tomato and Poblano peppers
    Edible flowers: Nasturtium (and the lavender!)
    Nature friendly flowers: Roses (William Baffin Roses), Calendula, Marigold, Begonia, and Impatiens 💕

    For your metal pots, I think shade-friendly Begonias are absolutely stunning! 🌸

    Reply to Hannah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Hannah!

      I bet your garden is so beautiful!! You absolutely have to plant those roses. SO special! Next year, I’m starting early and getting all the peonies in!

      Ohhh some of the best plants!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Madeline

    If you could grow any vegetables or fruit, what would they be? Vegetables! I use tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini most.

    What kind of plants should I put in the metal pots by my door? I’m thinking of something green! Sweet potato vines are pretty, grow easily and take a lot of room. I like mixing those with colorful flowers.

    What have you been doing around the house this week? Lots of decluttering,.. getting rid of old stuff we’re no longer using to make room for a nursery.

    Reply to Madeline
  • Cassandra Carillo

    I love how cute this is coming along. The entire set up is so beautiful. So inspiring!!
    I’ve been gardening or at least trying to haha. I never had one before this year so fingers crossed my veggies grow! And just cleaning up our yard for flowers around the house. Unfortunately we rent so I don’t want to do anything permanent since we may not be here after this winter (it’s so small lol) but why not enjoy it while we are here!

    Reply to Cassandra Carillo
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much, Cassandra!

      You’re so right about enjoying it while you’re there and get the practice for when you own one day!

      I need to get my veggie garden started!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenny

    Which hanging basket did you get? I’ve been looking for some!

    Reply to Jenny
  • Alexandria Dunnewold


    Love the post today. Flowers and plants make me so happy. It’s too bad i live in Calgary and the season is so short.

    1. I am helping my husbands grandpa with his garden this year. He has a huge lots and I’m going to try growing:
    Bintje Potatoes
    Russian Blue Potatoes
    Spanish Onions
    Onions – Texas (seeds so these may or may not work)
    Carrot – Cosmic Purple
    Butternut squash
    Cucumbers – patio snackers (small bush variety)
    Snap Peas
    Corn – Peaches & Cream

    I also have a lemon and lime tree inside our living room. This is it’s first summer so I hope to get some fruit!

    2. I am not sure on what plant to go with but I defiantly love the green idea! I think the pop of green will be so nice

    3. Cleaning! I can’t seem to stop. We don’t have a dishwasher so we have to do everything by hand. Once I start doing the dishes I end up doing the whole kitchen! I can’t seem to stop once I get started.

    Also side note: I LOVEE the red brick. I do think white would be cute but the red is such a nice pop. But I am defiantly biases as I am always telling my husband that our next place has to have red bricks 🙂

    Reply to Alexandria Dunnewold
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Alexandria!

      So happy you enjoyed today’s post 😊

      WOW! you’re growing an entire produce section. LOVE IT!!!!

      Ohhh I bet the lemon trees smell so good.

      I feel the same about the brick! I’m conflicted lol so I’m taking the time to decide!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Milena

    Hi Taralynn!

    Today I had a really bad day in job and reading your post put me in a better mood. I had a lot of anxiety, so I just wanted to thank you for making my day a little bit better.

    I love the windows in your living room and how bright whole interior is! The apartment we live in right now is also pretty dark and as much as I enjoy living here, I really miss the brightness and can’t wait to have more sun in the future house.

    Your kitchen and of course your flowers look amazing!

    If I could grow any fruits, I think I would go for anything exotic, like mango or pineapple 🙂

    I really enjoyed this spontaneous post so please if you have time, do it more often 😉

    I will enjoy the night walk now as here in Spain we have a timetable to respect and we wre allowed to go out for walk from 6 am to 10 am and from 8 pm to 11 pm. But at least we can finally go out and breathe!

    Have a nice rest of the week <3

    Reply to Milena
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Milena!

      I’m so sorry you had a bad day 😞 Just remember, each day is a new day! Keep your head up, love 💜

      The brightness is definitely a breath of fresh air. On the other hand, you get to light some candles, lamps, get cozy with a blanket and relax! Sometimes a darker place is cozier and more relaxing for long and hard days.

      Oh, pineapple and mango for SURE!!

      I’m so happy you’ve been able to get out and walk. So important!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Abby

    I am absolutely loving going through this experience with you. Thanks for sharing. All the flower pictures make me so happy. Are you getting them from a greenhouse? I want to go buy all the flowers for my home now too! I love anything white/clean/bright. Helps the mood- especially right now!

    Reply to Abby
  • Lauren

    Everything is so beautiful!! I think all of your posts have seriously got motivated to do things around my house! My fiancé just built a raised garden bed for our deck so I will get to finally be able to plant in a week or so, once this cold front goes away. I love growing tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and green beans! If I could I would love to have an orchard full of apples, peaches, cherries, and berry bushes! A big enough yard will be on our must have list for our next house haha. I am definitely going to get some inspiration from all of your flowers! Every year I like to add more flowers to our landscaping and this year I might go a bit overboard haha. Best of luck at your new place!!

    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Lauren!

      Thank you so much!

      That is my next project, a raised garden bed! 😃 I definitely went overboard this year! 😂 ooooops. Ohhhh and you sound just like me, those would be the best fruits to grow!!!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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