Guest My Nest: Dutton-Waller Cottage- Tybee Island, Georgia

This Summer, we whistled n’ worked on a little ol’ place called “The Mess Hall” on Tybee Island, Georgia.

Initially, we thought we were going to stay there while we worked, but since the place had been freshly painted right before we arrived, we ended up staying next door at “Screened Inn” instead. However, about a week into the gig a vacationer made a reservation there, so we had to skidaddle to another place, pronto!

Fortunately our friend, Diane, (at Mermaid Cottages) had an opening at a house she owns called “Dutton-Waller”, so we stayed there for the remainder of our trip.

It was big, and beachy, and made for a wonderful home away from home for the few days we got to crash there.

It sits at the southernmost tip of Tybee Island, so we were able to see the sky turn from blue to bruise a couple of ย times while we were there. ย I’ll never forget those gradating shades of rose, rust and lavender, smeared across the dusky sky. Truly one of the prettiest sights I’ve ever seen!

As usual, we captured lots of moments on video, and of course we had to take some of some our favorite parts of “the D-Dub” too.
(Get it? D-Dub? Dub as in “W” for “Waller”? Hi. My name is Layla Palmer and I’m up way past my bedtime right now.)

(Click HERE to watch it on YouTube!)

They say only where children gather is there any real chance for fun, so we’d love to bring our little one(s) back there for a visit sometime and see what they think of that swing in the front yard.

One thing is for sure- their Mommy and Daddy totally loved it!

As for the rest of the place, as you could see in the video,
that outdoor sleeping porch was made for dreaming on…

and that kitchen was certainly made for dreaming in…

(Kitchen design by the ever-sunny and oh-so-talented, Jane Coslick!)

…as were the bathrooms, living room, and outdoor shower…

We had a ball shooting the pics in this post, and we hope you enjoyed scrolling through them today too!

Big thanks to Diane at Mermaid Cottages for allowing us to seize the opportunity to Guest your Nest! You rock, and so does your house!

PS- For more info about Dutton-Waller, click HERE!


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  1. says

    Beautiful. Love the screen door and the kitchen tile (though, great for a vacation place, I would hate to try to keep all that white grout clean in an every-day home!). Love Kevin on the basket bike. Love the both of you in the swing.

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. says

    That room with the two wing backs could likely bring back wood panelling!
    I knew what D-Dub meant, I have a friend nicknamed D-Dub.

    Very beautiful! I especially like that the cottage is not void of color. So many white themed homes have just no color at all which is boring to me! I love th subtle touches of color throughout.

  3. says

    That swing is the best! I love the chandelier in the bedroom with the white lights and that kitchen!! What a great sink for cleaning the day’s catch! Great video-So much fun!~Alyssa of Boston Bee

  4. gina says

    Wow, what a beautiful place! I’ve never been to Tybee before….may have to plan a get-away soon!

  5. says

    Looks like the perfect place to take a vacation. I love all the decorating choices. Thanks for sharing!

  6. says


    What a magical place! The sleeping porch is especially enchanting. Spending my life on the shore, I know the best lullaby is the sound of the sea. Thank you for sharing.

    Your Friend,

  7. says

    always nice when two places/people I follow collide! I heart both Lettered Cottage and Mermaid Cottage! so nice to be together… thanks! xo

  8. says

    Lovely! I loved the video and the place you are staying in is what my dreams are made of!
    Loved it all.
    Hugs, cindy

  9. says

    What a lovely, lovely place. I could get real comfortable there. I want to point out a boo boo they made in hanging those white curtains in the paneled room. I point this out every time I see it because I want “everyone” to finally learn how to hang curtains/drapes the proper way. Curtains/drapes should not be hung all the way to the ceiling like these are unless the ceiling is very close to the top window casing. When you have a space this large between the top of the window and the ceiling, the rod should be centered between the ceiling and the top of the window casing so it looks balanced. If you notice, the curtains are short from the floor. So if they hung them properly they would reach the floor, where they belong. OK, that’s my rant. Thanks Layla for sharing these rooms. I really enjoyed them.

  10. says

    Wow, so fantastic. I choked on my coffee looking at that sleeping porch. I really loved seeing the warm wood tones mixed into the place as well. It’s not expected anymore when everything is white washed and since I’m currently living with a lot of wood I cannot change, I’m learning to embrace it and weave in whites around it-these photos were encouraging and beautiful. Thank you!

  11. says

    Coming back to add that I made a baby bedding set out of the Rachel Ashwell material that the pillows are made out of in the video scene where you are tapping the chandelier! ๐Ÿ˜‰ How cool is that!

  12. says


    What a beautiful place—I haven’t seen one cabin that you’ve shown us that I didn’t love. Are there many full time residents on Tybee?

    Have a wonderful Holiday season and I’m holding good thoughts for your and Kevin on the pending adoption.


  13. says

    So pretty! Makes me want to go to the beach, but that’s not saying much since I’ve wanted to go to the beach for about five years now! : )

    You and your hubs are so cute!

  14. says

    Hey Layla….love the video and that swing is to die for! :0) If we ever move again, I would love to find a house with a big wrap around porch, so I could have a sleeping porch too…sigh – I’ll just keep on dreaming. :)
    Have a great week my friend!
    Missy :)

  15. geri says

    This is a beautiful summery cottage filled with warmth and cheer.
    It will certainly come alive and sing out with joy with little one(s)
    running around.
    yuppers can’t wait till you come back from visiting HERE will all your 300 baby pics
    and videos and not a one of room styling or decorating. It just happens. hehe
    Loved the video, loved the cottage, love how excited you are about
    the coming year. ( with little Presley or Patti palmer ..hehe) Have a fun week. geri.

    • Kevin & Layla says

      Love you Geri!
      (Hint: both our girl and boy names start with the letter “A”)


  16. says

    Ah, what a beautiful get-away!

  17. says

    Do you want to know why I love this post? I’ll tell you why. :)

    1) I love the Switchfoot song you put on your video… I mean LOVE that song…
    2) I am madly in love with that sort of turquoisey-blue color, and that bench was screaming my name. It was going, “LMM, You know you want me!!”
    3)And the fact that you said you wanted to bring a little one(s) there some day… well melt my HEART!! :)

    Such a darling little place.

  18. says

    What a beautiful cottage. Seriously, the stuff design dreams are made of. I bet it was fun to photograph.

    I was getting your “D-dub”. We call my son’s bottle his “B-dub” (BW = Bottle of Water.) He even calls it that which is a riot.

  19. says

    That is the most cutest perfect beach cottage ever!!! I love the dutch door, the sink the clawfoot tub it is perfect. I have that exact wicker table up in my rafters of my garage just waiting for the perfect house…with a porch. How lucky you got to stay there…

  20. Michiganhome says

    Hi Kevin and Layla! Beautiful pics as always. You may have mentioned this in another post somewhere, but do you mind telling us what kind of camera you use? I would also love to see a post sometime about how the two of you got into photography and what your early experiences were. Thanks so much!

  21. Michiganhome says

    Hi, just had another question. I can’t tell from the pictures… on the sleeping porch, would the curtains get wet? I kept thinking about that as I was enjoying at that lovely wispy white fabric filtering the light so beautifully. Or are the windows protected? Thanks a bunch!

  22. Lori says

    Hey Layla!

    Love your site :) I have also stayed at the Dutton-Waller! It was fabulous and I can’t wait to go back!

  23. Meg says

    How exciting to see this post… our family stayed at the most exquisite Dutton-Waller cottage and it is EXACTLY as Layla describes and more! Every little touch is so thoughtful and yet a very comfortable/casual place to hang out with family and enjoy the sweet beach town that Tybee Island is.

    We have used Mermaid Cottages three times… twice in Tybee and for a recent, awesome trip to Savannah and they are the BEST. Diane and her staff really know how to take care of their guests.

    Love the video, blog and and all the cool things you kids do!

  24. says

    So pretty! It’s been ages since I’ve been to Tybee Island, but now I really want to go back soon! I featured your post on my blog. I hope that’s OK.

  25. missy says

    First, I must say that I think your pictures are better than the ones from Southern Living. I was in Tybee this summer right after you. My husband and I are considering some vacation property on Tybee. When we pulled up to the D-W Cottage I almost DIED when I saw the For Sale sign!!! I ran around the house looking in every window and told my husband that this was our vacation home!!! He then reminded me that we live all the way in Tennessee (in an old home that requires “tender loving care”) and we just wouldn’t be able to buy another historic home that required that kind of care. “But it’s been IN Southern Living!!!!!!”, I cried. Alas….he’s right. While I love this little house with all my heart, it just wouldn’t be the right house for us. Oh, but I still dream of this house. If I win the lottery I’m purchasing that baby first thing. Thanks for sharing your pictures. They sure were nice to look at on this cold Tennessee morning. It’s making me look forward to the first week in Jan. when we will be heading back to Tybee!!!

  26. vicki patton says

    Love your site and this post. Kevin looks like a little boy. He’ll enjoy that when he is older.

  27. says

    I found your website today BY ACCIDENT. I was looking at Tybee Island and somehow came across “TLC.” Just wanted to say that I already LUV IT and LUV your style!!! : )
    Amy Mahaffey
    Florence, SC

  28. says

    I love the simplicity of the Dutton-Waller Cottage! The bright whites cascade through the rooms and makes everything so bright and airy! That definitely would be my first choice for a home away from home!

  29. says

    Love Tybee Island! We stayed at the Beachview Inn while we were there! The cottage you stayed in is beautiful, so much charm. Tybee Island was the inspiration for my interpretation of coastal cottage chic. I recently updated my living room with coastal touches. I’m following along with your adoption story and the makeover of your new home.

  30. Maria from Oz says

    That gorgeous little cottage is so typical of our Queenslanders! I love it! So dreamy and relaxing.