Feature Friday: Mary Kay Andrews Christmas House 2013

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and being around Mary Kay Andrews (aka Kathy) a few times now and she is just a delightful lady, down to earth and so friendly to talk to.  Mary Kay is her pen name that she uses for her fiction books and her real name is Kathy.  She has been in Atlanta forever now, writing for the Marietta Daily Journal in her earlier years, as well as the Atlanta Journal and Constitution and then her fiction writing career took off and she hasn’t looked back.  I’m happy to read and feature her books on my blog, she’s a Southern chick lit author and has thousands of fans worldwide.  I am the lucky lady who got to see her Christmas home this year and photograph it all to share with y’all!  I asked her if her home had ever been photographed and she said no, so I’m happy to have the Mary Kay home tour scoop.

You’re going to enjoy this 1925 Craftsman Bungalow style home in historic Avondale Estates (near Decatur) here in Atlanta.  A little sidenote about Atlanta and neighborhoods.  There’s a little acronym around here called ITP and OTP. Any guesses what that means?  You see, those who live inside the I-285 perimeter call themselves ITP’s, because they live inside that circle of an interstate which goes around and around Atlanta.  Inside the perimeter is very desirable real estate.  It’s usually older historic neighborhoods and homes and they are beautiful and desirable.  I love them too.    I, however, am a longtime ‘burbs girl. I’ve never lived inside the perimeter, always outside and I’m quite happy to be outside.  I’m not a true city girl, although I do appreciate the older neighborhoods down closer to downtown Atlanta, I will more than likely never live in one of those neighborhoods. But, I love to visit and see how folks live in those historic homes.  Maybe I’ll be invited into some others along the way, you never know.

This bungalow is a beautiful home and Mary Kay has it all decorated just the way you would expect.  She’s a longtime junker, which is another reason why I love her so much.  She loves a bargain and shops the same way many of us do.  Yardsales and estate sales and finding deals at antiques stores and thriftstores.  She’s a girl after my own heart, a collector of vintage things and things with meaning that have been loved on.  These things fill her home and it’s definitely a homey, cozy place with an English feel of slipcovered furniture, collections of meaning, and pretty things.

In other words, you are going to LOVE THIS ONE!

Before we get to that, I’ve chosen the winner of the Christmas Bliss book and the winner has been emailed.  Just so you know, I always add a link when the giveaways close in a post once it has ended and Rafflecopter adds the winner’s name to the widget in the giveaway post, in case you wonder who won a giveaway.  You can always go back to the original giveaway post and look at the Rafflecopter widget. I always post names too on older giveaways before I started using Rafflecopter.  Rafflecopter just makes it easy to keep up with winners!

MKA house exterior

I found her beautiful street in Avondale Estates and pulled up to this.  Gorgeous, isn’t it?

front porch

When Mary Kay came to the door, the first thing I said was, “of course, your house would be turquoise!” I wasn’t surprised since I’ve seen pics of her beach cottage in Tybee Island. She loves color and the inside is colorful as well.

urn with tree

Natural greens outside are so welcoming.

porch sofa

Greens are everywhere, along with magnolia leaves, a staple in the South at Christmas.

front door

The front door was wrapped in real garland with pine cones and berries, pheasant feathers and magnolia.  Truly Southern!

greens and pinecones

Beautiful displays.

front door wreath

I adore this natural wreath with the simple green and burlap ribbon.

Kathy and Tom

I took a quick photo of Tom and Kathy, before Tom left and I am so sorry I didn’t get it focused correctly.  They are a super nice couple and have been married for 37 years, Kathy told me.  Two children and also grand children fill this house for visits.

inside front door
Coming in the front door is the fireplace with 2 vintage chairs flanking it.  It also has built-ins on either side with a beautiful mantel, perfect for Christmas decorating.


I love her layered and collected rugs over the seagrass rug.  She has some beautiful antique pieces from long time collecting. Notice all the beautiful millwork in this historic home.


The mantel all festooned with pretty Christmas décor.

side window

These small windows above the builtins have pull back curtains and poinsettias inside silver cups.

candles and greens on mantel

She said these taper candles were an estate sale find and they are LED. I love them, they were so pretty and flickery.


I love how she tucked silver and gold balls into the magnolia leaves, creating an instant Christmas mantel with simple silver candlesticks.

blue ornaments

A pretty silver bowl gets piled with aqua blue ornaments, a favorite trick of mine too.


Loved this I had to take more than one pic. That bowl is awesome, isn’t it?

foyer to dining room

From the foyer this is looking towards the very English Ralph Lauren feel dining room with red walls and navy blue accents.

white sofa

Another look at the foyer area with the living room seating nearby.  Kathy was waiting for these 2 white sofas to come in so that I could come and photograph it all. They are beautiful slipcovered sofas.

living room

The living room has a corner entertainment center, floral drapes and all those beautiful oil paintings grouped together.  I love this room.

lr gallery wall

A happy mix of pretty colors.

coffee table

I’m sure this coffee table has a story, it’s nice and large and oh so vintage.

lr vintage chairs

She did tell me she’s had this pair of chairs for a long time, found at a steal and recovered several times with slip covers.  Love the blue and white and the shape of these pretty chairs.

vignette in lr

The corner round table has a beautiful nativity for Christmas.

lr table

More estate sale finds in this gorgeous chest and mirror, Kathy has scored some major pieces.

christmas on table

Adorned with some lustrous silver pieces and a small tree in a silver urn, this is a beautiful side table for the Holidays.

living room (2)

This looks to be a very cozy room to hang out in.

dining to living

Looking towards the sunroom, you can see their beautiful large real tree in there.


It’s a cozy space, just right for a sofa and chair.  The tree is stunning with all her collected vintage ornaments.

sunroom table

Side table.

sunroom tree

Beautiful tree dripping with vintage goodies.

sunroom builtins

She had built-ins added in here too to help corral her book collection. I imagine an author would be a book collector.

live tree
The tree was so lovely to look at.  I spotted some similar ornaments that I have too.

vintage ornaments

There’s nothing prettier than these old Shiny Brites.

built in sunroom

Built-ins on either side, just shallow enough to fit and holds a lot of things.

vignette on bookshelf

I love how she added some ornaments on the shelves to Christmas it up a little.

secretary filled with  Christmas

Back in the living room, the secretary in there holds an adorable collection of snowmen.  So cute!

Christmas collection

You can imagine that her grandkids love all of this vintage goodness, stored in the bottom of the entertainment center.

plant and tree

That tree is magnificent.

dining room

Back to the dining room, she has red walls and lots of pretty Blue Willow dishes.  Mary Kay shares all about this table setting and having a pretend dinner party over on this blog post, My Make Believe Christmas dinner party, so don’t miss that read!

red dining room

It definitely has a Ralph Lauren vibe.

window seat

A cozy window seat flanks one side of the dining room with huge windows looking out.


Pretty pillows in red and navy.

wall sconce

Cute Christmas display on a sconce.


The hutch is all decked out in fresh magnolia and her collection of vintage bottlebrush trees.  Love these too!

hutch vignette

These little trees are the cutest!

dr centerpiece

The center of the table is gorgeous with fresh greens, antlers, pinecones and a glass container of apples.  So pretty and I am not sure my pics do it justice.

Christmas greens on table

It truly was stunning to see.

table setting

Place setting with napkins she has scored along the way too.

to kitchen

She mentioned the light fixtures in here were a fun find along the way at some sale and she got them both hung up over her table, just the way she envisioned it.  They are beautiful too!

kitchen 1

Now let’s go into the kitchen. It’s nice and spacious and I think Kathy told me they have lived here 8 years and the kitchen was completed before they bought the house, but they added a few things in here.

kitchen 2

It’s a nice and modern updated space, but still has vintage charm.

kitchen 3

She did mention that they had that huge stained wood built-in cabinet built after they moved in and it looks like an antique. So pretty with lots of storage, I’m sure. Looks like it fits right in here.

kitchen sink

The kitchen window treatments are so charming.

Christmas in window

And I bet this deer head is vintage too.

plant on island

A plant on the island adds some beautiful green to the room.

table to kitchen

Isn’t this all so pretty?  I can hear you all oohing and ahhing with me over Mary Kay’s house.


Moving into the hall bath, I love the vintage tile on the floor. It’s small gray and white checks and I love it.  She left the blue tiles that were here and worked with them and I think it’s gorgeous.

shower curtain

A charcoal and white toile fabric looks just right in here.

bath vanity

The black and white wallpaper gives such an English feel too and that mirror is perfect hanging over the skirted vanity.

bath wall

Gold sconces, an orchid in a trophy cup and a cute Santa towel, adds just the right touch in this bathroom.

I hope you enjoyed seeing Mary Kay Andrews home all decorated for Christmas as much as I did! What a treat it was to go in and get to take in all in and then photograph it to share with all of my readers.  Thank you, Kathy, for inviting me over to see your wonderful home. What a treat it was for me too!

I’m  sharing some gold and silver sparkly ideas for New Years Eve over at Wayfair today, so I’d love it if you check that out!

Top Projects 2013

And don’t forget Monday, I’m doing my Top Projects of 2013 link party to close out this year, so it will be very fun. If you have a post to link up, I hope you’ll stop by and do so.  I got a lot accomplished this year, did you?

- Rhoda


  1. Betsy Gordon says:

    Rhoda, what a treat to see her beautiful home! It’s simply adorable.

    What fantastic pics and so much to peruse over with all her little touches.

    I’d love to know who does her slipcovers, they’re wonderful.

    Thanks for getting us a glimpse of her home!


  2. What a charming home; so cozy and inviting!!!

  3. Rhoda, I have died and gone to Heaven!!! Good grief at all the wonder to take in you. You are so right about us oohing and ahhing over everything….the COLOR (hallelujah at seeing color in rooms!), the gorgeous antiques, the red checks (my favorite!) Will she adopt me??? It is beautiful from start to finish, and we can’t thank you enough for taking us all along to see it. You are the best. Got one question for you…what does she use the book/music stand for as you come in the front door..guest book? display of Christmas music? Just curious. 🙂

  4. What an absolutely gorgeous home…I love the warm colors and the “Ralph Lauren vibe”…and the wonderful antiques and vintage items!…Thanks for presenting her home to us today Rhoda…so loved it!!

  5. I LOVE this tour, Rhoda! Such a huge MKA fan and she’s a delight in person, isn’t she? Okay, have to know — are those tin tiles on her fireplace surround? Every detail is amazing and so cozy and inviting. Thanks for sharing — bet it was a fun day!!
    xo Heidi

  6. Love Mary Kay Andrews. I have all of her books. Her home is so charming. Truly Southern. You did an amazing job. Hugs!

  7. Thank you Rhoda! What a fantastic job she has done – the colors are rich, yet still so inviting. Each room oozes with warmth! The slipcovers are beautifully done. My husband and I spend so much time in Decatur, we have often wondered what it would be like to live there. Maybe one day, we can be neighbors! 😉

  8. It was just so lovely to see a true Southern home filled with all those things that touch Southern hearts: magnolias, red berries, blue and white china, silver, books, old wood, bird pictures, classic lamps and a tree with real ornaments and color.

    Good job, Mary Kay. And thanks Rhoda.

  9. You lucky girl!!! I have read this three time already and love every inch. I just read Blue Christmas yesterday too!! Merry christmas!!

  10. Hi Rhoda! OH, what a wonderful tour! I loved her pretty home. I know you had a wonderful Christmas! Sending blessings and you’re always a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  11. Thank you for this gift that you’ve given us Rhoda! What a visual treat and yes, indeed, I am oohing and ahhing over every tiny detail. The next book that Kathy should do is one of her home!!! Now I’m going back and looking at every photo again.

  12. I love everything about this home!! A classic with gorgeous antiques, (in love with the silver urn) color, lots of gorgeous color!! Beautifully decorated for the holidays, and love that she worked with the blue tile in her bathroom and that gorgeous wood cabinet in the kitchen. You are so fortunate to have been able to photograph the home, your presentation was well done. And I want to thank Mary Kay Andrews for opening up her home, I never read any of her books but I’ll certainly look for them now.

    Many blessing for the New Year Rhoda!!

  13. Enjoyed this so much!

  14. Becky in 'Bama says:

    Rhoda, Rhoda, Rhoda… what a fantastic Christmas gift. Now THAT’S a house that makes my heart go pitty-pat (what Southern book features that character?). It lives and breathes and you wouldn’t be afraid to touch things (well, except maybe the antique dishes). Sure there may be a few drafts, and maybe everything’s not 5-star energy efficient, but it is truly a gem! My holiday house viewing is complete.

  15. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful home. Mary Kay Andrews has always been a big fan of mine. I have collected and read all of her books. I truly love her home and wish you could have taken pictures of her bedrooms. Maybe that can be another trip and another picture taking day. Thank you so, so much. Kathy

  16. ~Rhoda~
    Thank you, and THANK YOU, MaryKay for sharing your beautiful home with us ! I love every inch of it!!
    and will be back for a second look, a third ….. 🙂
    Have blessed day,

  17. Thank you for showing us such a charming house. My home is the same vintage and I loved seeing her decorating choices (after my own heart!). I’m also a blue willow collector. Loved loved loved this. Kudos to Mary Kay (Kathy) for great decorating. The house not only looks beautiful, it looks comfortable and welcoming.

  18. Everything is lovely! I adore the dining room and the wall of oil paintings in the living room.

  19. I am breathless, I have sinful envy! Thank you Mary Kay Andrews for sharing this divine home. I would like to shadow you and buy everything you find!

  20. Wow! This was a great treat! Thanks so much for taking us along!

  21. Martha Franks says:

    Being a great MKA fan, I was thrilled to tour this house on a Christmas Home Tour several years ago. It was such a delight to visit the home of someone I admired and loved her writing. I didn’t want to leave. My daughter practically had to drag me out of the house!

  22. B arb Hudson (Yankoski) says:

    Just spent a good fifteen minutes looking at Mary Kay’s beautiful home. WOW – Thanks to both of you for sharing it with us. I thought I decorated every single nook and cranny in my home but Mary Kay topped me by a mile. Such lovely collections, beautifully displayed and her decorations are amazing too. Cheers from the west coast of Canada to both of you and all the best for 2014!! …barby

  23. Oh my goodness, one of the best tours ever!! I love the toile, wallpaper, layered accessories, the painted walls….all of it!! Thank you so much for sharing the home of such a talented writer. 🙂 Lucky you!!

  24. Laura @ the shorehouse says:

    Wow. WOW! I am so excited to get a peek inside her home!! I knew she was a thrifter and collector so getting to see her collections is so cool. And of course the house is turquoise. 🙂 I am in love, LOVE with that bathroom. It’s like the inside of a little jewel box! And I’m on my way down to the basement to grab a rug to layer over my seagrass one. Thanks for the inspiration, MKA!

  25. Such a pretty home. Her style also reminds me of Mary Carol Garrity and Charles Faudree. Love the bathroom. Being from the Raleigh area, which I believe she lived there for awhile, it was nice to see the Cardinal Gibbons yearbook on display. Love all of her vintage collections!

  26. Beautiful! LOVED that kitchen. I especially like that she didn’t panic over the original blue tile in the bathroom but worked around it. Looks great. Thanks for sharing.

  27. I was completely drawn in by her exterior color but once the tour began I was so delighted. It was so refreshing to see so much color. I’ve grown tired of seeing white homes. I think the beauty is that she stays so true to herself and her surroundings. She has made the house “Her Home.” Thanks for allowing us to tour.

  28. I love the entire house but if I could just have her kitchen that would be fine. 🙂

  29. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this! What a lovely, charming home they have!!

  30. Thanks so much y’all, for your kind comments about our home. Rhoda did an amazing job with the photography. To answer some of your questions–the paint color in the living room is Farrow & Ball Light Blue #22, but mixed in a Benjamin Moore paint. The fireplace surround is actually ceramic tile, not tin. The slipcovers were done by an Atlanta seamstress who does work for my interior designer friend Clay Snider, who has been helping me work on this old house for nearly 7 years now. The pine coffee table was an antique kitchen table I found at the Scott Antique Market, and which my husband cut down.

    • Michelle Myers says:

      Thank you so much for the details! Your home is stunning! Is there any chance that you know the name of the floral fabric in your living room? I just love the red gingham and tassel detail too! Thank you!

  31. What a lovely house tour, I must admit I love the urn with the baubles too, I have a similar small bowl with cherubs on it. This house is so welcoming and I love the combination of colour and pattern Mary has used. I have some new blue pillows in my sitting room and now wondering about bringing in a little deep red as I have a Persian rug I bring out in the winter which is dark red and I think it would all work wonderfully together so thank you inspiring me.

    I have just got my brand new Nikon camera so excited and hoping to be able to take shots like you and show some tours of New Zealand homes.

    Thank you.


  32. OK I am in love!! I love how the style of the house is so warm, and welcoming!!

  33. Oh my goodness what a beautiful home!!

  34. This home has the character and charm that I have loved my entire life and as an interior designer the attention to every little detail is what stands out to me!!! Her choice of colors is classic, you never go wrong with indigo blue and red. Yes, it definitely has a similar Ralph Lauren feel but more than that it has a classic cottage charm. The Christmas decorations were wonderful and added to the charm and decor of the entire home. I have to say the dining room and kitchen were absolutely my favorite, loved the large bay window and the reds and blues, the open hutch with all the blue willow and the magnificently set table. Just a gorgeous presentation!!!

  35. Rhoda,
    Thanks to you and Mary Kay and her husband for sharing this tour with us. I love her books and her house reflects her writing style. The house has great bones and great color..It looks so cozy, warm and inviting..true Southern Style.

    Did you tell us how you met MKA? Now I’m going back and look at the pictures of her house again and study them for inspiration.

    • HI, Betty, we actually met the first time at an Eddie Ross event here in Atlanta, probably in 2009. Then I have run into her on numerous other occasions since I’ve been back in Atlanta and we have connected over time. She’s a very neat lady!

  36. Oh, how beautiful and fun! I thoroughly enjoyed this post and like many of the girls above, I am going to go back and study the photos again. Lovely job, Rhoda. Beautiful home, Kathy!

  37. I’ve read several of her books, so what a treat to see her home! Thanks!

  38. Rhoda you take wonderful pictures. Their home is cozy and inviting, inside and out. Love it!

    Happy New Year!

  39. Melissa R. Holycross, RN says:

    I am such an MKA fan (reading Christmas Bliss now!) and to see her home is such a treat. I too love the color turquoise! Since I also love “poppin tags”, thrift store hunting, seeing so many wonderful finds stimulates my creative juices. Thanks Kathy Trocheck for allowing us a peek into your warm and inviting abode. We now know why you are so creative in your writing. Such a beautiful environment truly reflects a beautiful artistic soul. A feast for our eyes~ almost as sweet as a love filled Christmas cookie!

  40. WOW!! Beautiful indeed!! I kept scrolling up and down to make sure I didn’t miss anything…love her style!!

  41. What a treat! As one of your other readers have commented, its so nice to see some color! And I love the real decorating that has that been accomplished over time and events. It is indeed very inviting and warm. I tend to be a “more is more” type of decorator, as Mary Kay identifies herself, and she is certainly as creative in her home as she is in her writing! I will enjoy taking this tour a few times! Thank you!

  42. What an honor to scoop the Christmas home tour, Rhoda. Kathy’s home is beautiful- thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  43. Kathy’s home is gorgeous and your photography is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing with us!
    I will be keeping an eye out for a silver bowl like that one LOL 🙂



  44. LOVE her house!!! I love that she lives in a a gorgeous, cozy, inviting home and not a macmansion!! Love all her use of fresh greenery and blues and reds!!! Her house just looks like the perfect place for a Christmas gathering. I have seen pics of her beach house also and it is soooooo cute!!!

  45. Thanks, Rhoda and Kathy for sharing this special treat! I’ve been crazy over Kathy’s books for years. I especially love her writing style, creating detailed scenes in my mind. Her home reflects her attention to details. I love her cottage!

  46. Margaret Kelly Duffy says:

    Heriz Rugs, unpainted furniture, black and white kitchens, antiques, barley twist, staffordshire, blue and white, sterling silver,….the list goes on. It is all classic and timeless. Trendy decorating comes and goes, but the sophisticated and trained eye for decorating, always returns to the classics. This home is lovely!

  47. Rhoda…what a treat! Not only is Kathy’s home gorgeous…..but she is my favorite author! Her new book each year is my treat to myself my first day on the beach (gulf coast). the tough part is waiting to read it until we get to the beach! Just finished Christmas Bliss! My family and I also just visited Savannah and Tybee Island and I had hoped to stay in her Tybee home, but wasn’t able to …… no fear…..I took the long way to the beach every time and enjoyed it’s beautiful exterior. I wonder which of these beautiful rooms she writes in…..I know this year’s new book will not disappoint! Thanks for this tour!!!! Andrea in Illinois

  48. What a beautiful tour! Thanks for sharing it with us. I love the red light fixtures in Kathy’s dining room. Her whole home is just so very inviting.

  49. I think this has to be one of my favorite holiday tours! I love that she kept the original tile in the bathroom. It’s the kind of home that makes you want to stay for a while so you can soak it all up.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Happy New Year ~ Rhoda!

  50. What a beautiful home. I loved the home just seeing thd front entrance. Definately a home full of love.

  51. The Quintessential Magpie Blog says:

    Rhoda, I have seen and been entertained in homes from mansions to cottages, but this home really is a home. It is absolutely adorable and demonstrates what such great attention to detail can do. I adore all of her collections, her choice of colors (our St. Augustine getaway is similar in exterior color!), her fabric choices, and just the general warmth here. I love that it has personality and is not some cookie cutter, copycat design. That is one thing I miss seeing in the magazines. So many of the houses these days look just alike. Not so here. You know someone interesting lives here.

    Thank both of you for sharing. It was such a treat! And kudos to her designer for helping to create this imaginative and very charming home! I want to go curl up with a good book in front of that wonderful tree and just gaze at those vintage snowmen and Santas! Swoon!



  52. janice nowak says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your home this holiday season. It’s just beautiful and I personally strive to achieve this look myself each Christmas but apparently fall way short. It’s just lovely. Every nook and cranny. However, I would love to ask what the square footage of this lovely home is and would enjoy perhaps next season a Christmas tour of the rest of the home. It surprised me to see the foyer is behind the dining room, as the picture appears with the porch to be the front of the house. Just another surprise around each corner. Love it!!!! Thanks again Rhoda!!

    • ANITA LEMMEN says:

      I love this house, would also like to tour other rooms, I am getting out all my silver and giving it a polish, would like to get in touch with slip cover seamstress, love the tour.


  53. I am a HUGE Mary Kay Andrews fan 🙂 Thanks for sharing her delightful home with us!

  54. Would love to know what the name of the exterior turquoise color is??
    Thank you!

  55. This post was such a treat to read! I love diving into the details of homes. Is there any way that you could share the name of the color of the house exterior??? I am in planning to paint mine and ADORE this teal!!! 1000 thanks in advance!

    • Hi, Lauren, I don’t know the color. Mary Kay has since sold this house and moved, but you could go over to her Facebook page (Mary Kay Andrews) and ask her there. She is active over there!

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