Mary Engelbreit

First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the love on our last post! We’re in the process of organizing each and every bit of information that everyone submitted, and it’s absolutely awesome to know that so many folks are up for a DIY design adventure with us! We’ll keep you posted on any exciting developments, and again, thank you for being a part of this journey with us!

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post!

If you read our e-zine the other day, you probably saw the pretty photos Mary Engelbreit shared with us last Summer.

Today, we thought we’d show off a few more of the pics she sent us, and some that appeared in her magazine (Home Companion), back in 2008.

But before we show you the additional photos of her current home, we thought we’d share a couple of photos of one of her previous homes.

Here’s a photo of the living room in the house Mary called home in 1994. Mary said, “It was much bigger and more formal than our current home. At one point, a friend of my sons was living there for a week and we didn’t even know it!”

Here’s another corner in that same house…

By 1998, they found themselves wanting to scale back and move into a something more manageable. They bought a smaller house on a cul-de-sac, so their daughter could play and ride her bike safely.

Then in 2008, Mary’s family moved into this home, which we featured in our e-zine

Mary told me all the plantings have grown up now, and the front beds look much more lush.

We already showed you this precious pic of Mary’s master bedroom…

(Mary’s cat, “Skinny”)

…but here’s a shot of the other side of the room…

(source: Home Companion – Aug/Sept 2008)

I love the way the antique dresser pops against the crisp white board and batten wainscoting! And the antique brass tones of some of Mary’s collectibles really play nicely with the warm yellow and orange tones she decorated with…

Here’s a shot of her living and dining room…

(source: Home Companion-  Aug/Sept 2008)

It would be literally impossible for me to not smile in there!

Here’s shot of her fireplace…

(source: Home Companion 2008)

I love that paper parasol on the hearth. What a great idea to conceal a little bit of the firebox!

Here’s a peek into Mary’s kitchen…

(source: Home Companion 2008)

Among lots of other things, I am absolutely cuckoo for cocoa puffs over those metal picnic baskets on the right side of that picture!

And speaking of vintage things- check out this pillow Mary made for their den…

Mary said, “It was a muff, believe it or not. I found it in an antique store. I just unfolded it and turned it into a pillow. It’s one of my favorite things because I have a soft spot for anything with a picture of a house on it.”

Here’s another pillow she made from a vintage dresser scarf…

Which brings me the question I’ve been meaning to ask you…

What tickles your fancy when it comes to vintage or flea market finds?

I’ve been on a vintage map & globe kick lately, and I’d love to hear about the types of treasures that make your heart sing!

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  1. says

    I’m a huge fan of Marys. I own a lot of her decorating books. I still miss her magazine and look through my old issues all the time. I have some vintage linens that I intend to use for pillows. Thanks for this great post Layla.I loved it.

  2. says

    Love the orange in Mary’s house! I’ve been wanting to paint our whole livingroom white and only pop in some orange accessoiries. Maybe this will finally convince my boyfriend! I’d love to see more all white interiors with colored accents if you know some.
    I’m a sucker for vintage, blue, matching cups and saucers and wicker baskets that fit my cats, even though they only sleep in cardboard boxes :)

  3. says

    I love Mary and I really miss Home Companion. My youngest daughters nursery was decorated in “Mary Engelbreit” style 16 years ago. I always love seeing pictures of her homes. Love the orange!

  4. Sara says

    I have loved Mary Engelbreit for years! So funny you mentioned the stacked picnic baskets, since when I was taking in every detail of that photo my eyes found those and it was an “ah-ha” moment for me! So, metal picnic baskets are going to be what sets my treasure-hunting heart to sing now! I’ve been on the hunt for fun clocks, and that will continue too!

  5. seashoreknits says

    I get very happy when I find brown and white transferware of anything.
    Also, antique linens are impossible to resist – petticoats, aprons, handkerchiefs, napkins, towels, runners, blouses – pretty much anything.
    Oh – and dishes. I have a hard time not buying dishes, antique or not.
    Oh – and baskets. Why is it so darn hard NOT to buy a charming basket???

  6. says

    Thanks for the inside scoop on Mary’s home. Lovely, and neat to see so much of herself invested there. As far as flea market finds, I’ve been collecting old strainers (the kind with long handles) for a while now. And I’m such a sucker for old books. My daughter and I have been collecting a few to repurpose… but it’s so hard to actually cut a book!

  7. Shan says

    I love the pillow made from a vintage table cover… Don’t know how to sew but this might convince me to learn… I have just in the past 6 months started shopping flea markets and estate sales… Pyrex has caught my eye as well as linens.. Don’t know what to do with it all but I love it!!!

  8. says

    Birds, bird cages, bird printed old textiles, vintage textiles in cotton or linen….just some of the things that tickle my flea market fancy!
    As for ME’s home, I always loved when she would show her new moves and how the decor evolved. Including her studio!

  9. says

    I miss her magazine so much. It had the best stuff in it every month. I’ve been on so many different kicks for things to hunt for at flea markets. I’ve done mix and match china, majolica, antique linens, McCoy flower pots and bowls and LuRay dishes. I’ve got plenty of all those things and my current thing to search for is silver trays.

  10. Tonya in England says

    I love vintage Pyrex, globes, old paint by numbers pictures, lots of 1950s ceramics, kilner jars, vintage glasses with patterns on and loads more. Much prefer vintage shopping to retail now!

  11. Cindy Chapman says

    I love green so I always look for green Hull Pottery at any antique place. I also LOVE mosaic plates. Most of mine are antiques of the future, though, and not very old. I also look for linen or cotton cloth napkins. We alsways use them instead of paper. It’s the tree hugger in me. Currently looking for a round pedestal dining table with a solid top (no leaf). Apparently they are hard to come by.

  12. Laura says

    Happy Pre-Mother’s Day, Layla! Praying that next year finds you celebrating, surrounded by your new little ones.

  13. says

    Beautiful pics! Beautiful home! I’m a sucker for anything vintage for the kitchen, especially glass measuring cups and vintage tea towels. Love them and they remind me of my grandma. :)

  14. Trash @the old post road says

    I really miss Home Companion!!!! Thanks for showing us those, Layla!

  15. says

    I love Mary’s style, any photo of her rooms always makes you feel happy! The parasol at the fireplace is a great idea!


  16. Dorothy says

    Cute! I love the orange and the white ironstone in the living room with the organge flowers? Killer!! I have a small but growing collection of whiteware and I love vintage linens and vintage china with blues.

  17. says

    I love Mary’s style…it has something EVERYONE can identify with–and swoon over…..for me it was the vintage picnic baskets…i have a few and one is my family’s from when I was a child…My current item I am hunting –great vintage pulleys with a good aged piece of wood and great hook…Still trying to figure out how to display them once I have collected enough…there is just something about their colors and BOLD look….also–chest of drawers–cant pass up a good one…have several thru my home in different rooms..they add a great look and extra storage — and living on a slab that is something I love!

  18. Julie says

    I love old recipe cards, they seem to tall a story, espically if there are hand written notes on them. I also love old mugs that say, “whistle for your milk” and you can blow thru the handle , I have two of them, one from my Mom and the other my daughter got me from a antique store in Stillwater Minn , when she lived there, AND baskets! Julie in Holland……

  19. Kim Larson says

    Wow, Mary’s home and past homes are fabulous! I just love all of her “Whimsy” touches! I personally look for anything with a fun “patina” on it at flea markets and antique shops. I also always look at the copper boilers! I think they are wonderful to put in front of the fireplace in the summer loaded to the brim with hydrangeas… or on top of a cupboard/hutch to add height and interest! Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

  20. JaneyBrainey says

    I would love to see some more pics of Mary’s beach house in Florida. See if you can wrangle some for us!

    I have been drawn more and more to galvanized “stuff”. I live in the country and try to get to auctions when I can. I went in the garden shed today and realized that I can’t even more in there, because I have so much good junk. Time to purge, for sure!


  21. says

    I subscribed to ME Home Companion, and I grieved over the loss of the magazine. Truly. I posted about how ME inspired me in decorating our home (a few months ago). Thanks for featuring her in this post!

    This might sound odd, but I am interested in old Pyrex and Corning refrigerator boxes, bowls, and containers. Plastic is not a healthy option from fridge to microwave, so I have been looking for vintage Pyrex. I was happy to see an article in this month’s Country Living magazine about collecting Pyrex.

    I have also been looking for vintage picnic jugs. Mr. Art@Home has been making lamps out of them for our lake cabin. They are so much fun…everyone loves them because of the happy colors and labels.

    ~Ricki Jill

  22. kelly says

    Thank you for more “behind the scenes” photos from your ezine! I was cuckoo for Mary in my former house…drapes, wallpaper,the laundry room with black and white tiled flooring,and my daughter’s nursery. Almost all of it had some form of her red cherries with yellow. And it worked well with Susan Branch recipes framed in the kitchen (are you familiar with her art?) Changed tastes and styles since then but I love all the yellow in her home you showed above. Such a happy house!
    As far as flea market finds…old cameras, wicker, and silver get me everytime.

  23. says

    This is my first visit to you lovely blog, and I’ll be back often. Mary Engelbreit has long been one of my all time favorites. I’ve many of her books and licensed pieces, and have saved every Home Companion magazine that I purchased. I so miss that publication. Mary’s style still makes me smile and feel happy!
    Thanks for sharing this delightful look into her personal homes. I’m thrilled to discover The Lettered Cottage. ~ Sarah

  24. says

    Back to answer your question. I’m an incurable collector. Most recently it has been bee related items and bronzed baby shoes. ;-) ~ Sarah

  25. says


    What a wonderful post. Loved learning more about Mary. Thanks for sharing the additional photos of her homes and treasures.
    I love antique/vintage typewriters, cameras, and suitcases.

    Your Friend,

    PS Keeping you in my prayers that next year you’ll be getting a mother’s day card.

  26. says

    PS I am participating in Kim’s (Twice Remembered Cottage) Cottage Charm Give-Away and offering up a large collection of vintage/antique items. Stop by and enter!

  27. J.Champagne says

    Does anyone know who is the artist of the big basket of flowers painting in her dining room? I remember seeing that on the cover of her magazine and couldn’t find the artist. Looks a little ME-esque but not sure.

  28. says

    I soooooo miss Home Companion. . .It is the only magazine I saved a few issues of because the color. .the art. . the people inspired me. . I could reread that magazine a dozen times. . .I was sooo sad. . still am that it is no longer. . . oh it was so delightful!!! Loved reading this blog post about ME and her home. . thanks for sharing. And if I had the opportunity to eat dinner with her. . oh me. . I do not know if I could talk. WOW

  29. Bethe says

    OMG! I have all of the Home Companion mags in my basement from the first to final. Was so sad to see the era end. But thrilled to catch up with Mary thru you. :) What a day brightener.

  30. Lynn says

    Thanks for these Mother’s Day pics Layla! Mary E is sorta my touchstone! I can spot “vintage” pieces of hers at 30 paces at resale shops when I’m not snatching up castle themed or Irishy looking old oils or prints.
    In pleading with me to uproot our fam from the Chicago burbs to Sarasota, FL (I know, call me crazy but I don’t mind cold!) he made his final pitch with “didn’t you once say that Mary Englebriet has a house there?”
    I buckled.
    I swear I tried to not stalk her former home while we lived there. We returned to the Midwest too but it cheers me to think that I shared almost the same spectacular sunset beach view with such a lovely and talented soul.
    I hope you find a chick in your nest next Mother’s Day!

  31. says

    Vintage hurricane lamps/lanterns – we love them.

    We have three beautiful ones – one from my hubby’s grandma’s 1920’s farm, one from an antique store that dates back to the same time and one my parents found and gave us as a Christmas present.12

  32. Karen R. Hill says

    My mind is racing in a hundred, no a thousand different directions right now. I love everything you do, Layla, and I loved Mary’s home. I want to go Flea market shopping right now!!! But it is 11:10 pm and I know I have to wait. :) I love old things. My husband doesn’t always “get it” with me but I am simply coo-coo over anything old. I can spend hours in a Flea market just browsing and touching old things. It gives me such a picture into the past. I think about who might have owned it, touched it, used it. It can be anything but I especially love Depression glass, pink. And anything from the beach. Love your Blog. Thanks for all the inspiration you have given me.

  33. Debbie says

    Collecting – well, there are so many wonderful accents for life that it is hard to settle on just a few. The current favorite is lanterns, closely followed by smaller picnic baskets (to store different flatware sets and serving pieces – when you come from a larger family you need multiple sets while the dishwasher catches up), baskets in general, candle holders, vintage linens, vintage jewelry – I will have a Christmas tree covered with vintage jewelry one day – pottery and stained glass. No clue how I would use some of these things – they are items that just want to come home with me. Then add Steve’s antique bottles, airplanes, maps and his love of simplicity. Quite an interesting collection!

  34. Kim says

    Oh, how I miss Home Companion. I still have many of the magazines, including the premier issue. I have been a fan of Mary’s since I tore out an article in a magazine where she had painted a high chair for one of her sons…..I remember it had carrots on it!

  35. Liah says

    I love how she uses such warm tones – the orange totally works in that house! I am drawn to anything with bunnies. I know that sounds cutesy and perhaps odd, but my mom and dad always read the children’s book “The Runaway Bunny” to me and my sisters growing up, even going as far to call us their “biggest, middlest, and littlest bunnies.” Because of this, bunnies have been a running theme in my life. Our preacher knew how much I cherished that story and evenused it in the sermon of our wedding! Every time I see a bunny at a flea market or craft fair, I just can’t keep myself from buying it – my latest purchase was a little throw pillow shaped like a bunny, and carrot one to complement it :)

  36. Jen Jeschke says

    What a fun house full of color! I’ve been on a globe fascination myself. I picked one up at the What Cheer flea market Friday for $2, then found another at our local goodwill for $4 and one at a garage sale for $5…so in a matter of days I’ve aquired a nice little collection :) I had already found another two weeks ago so I think this is prob enough but they are so beautiful esp the older ones with the teals and greens on them :)

  37. says

    I love finding old picture frames and placing family photos in them! I also smile ear to ear when I find an vintage suitcase or anything that looks rustic and worn. These things just make me smile thinking about them!

  38. says

    Love Mary Engelbreit, what inspriing and beautiful homes she has lived in. I love discovering anything that has a European feel.

  39. Debbie says

    I’m a sucker for vintage linens and buttons!!! You know there’s a story behind each precious piece of fabric with tatting, lace, trim, etc. I’m always thinking……, what can I make out of this? BTW: love Mary’s pillow. Thanks for sharing her photos. ; )

  40. says

    The master’s bedroom is so inspirational. I hope I could redesign my bedroom just like Mary’s. AND I also hope my husband could help me redesign it just like this one.

    I love how the colors mixed and matched – from the walls, beddings, to pillow cases, and the lamp shade…

    Is that an artificial flower on top of the table?

  41. says

    Currently, I passionately hunt for vintage doorknobs and buttons. So much fun and such a thrill when you find a treasure!
    Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas and inspiration!

  42. Melinda says

    I love Mary E. I have saved every issue of her magazine and every season look back through past issues for inspiration. I was devastated when they stopped publishing them…I love vintage game boards, flow blue dishes, really all dishes, old clocks, vintage valentines, and love love love my santa mug collection (although my daughter says i’ve gone a little overboard there!) etc.

  43. Sherri Langford-Farrell says

    I’ve never been a big lover of yellow paint, but the way Mary pulled it off, I’m now thinking golden yellows for our house…that of course, you and Kevin are going to help us with!!!! LOL I do miss Mary’s magazine so much!!! I was a long time subscriber! Thanks for the lovely post.
    Great source for pillows: I can’t afford a lot of things @ Anthropologie, but their kitchen towels are precious for pillows. They have buttons, embroidery, ric rac, pompoms, etc. I’m making my kitchen curtains out of 4 white ones with bakery motifs and clothes hanging on a clothes line!!!!

  44. says

    Mary’s house is so pretty. I love the use of color!

    It’s hard to pinpoint what I love but basically anything vintage. I have a lot of maps and globes and I love dishes and pretty much anything vintage industrial. I just bought the cutest bingo cage with the original wooden balls w/numbers, to switch out on the bookcase. I’ve been meaning to post it on my weekly thrifty find/hunt but haven’t gotten to it – soon!

  45. says

    I love old books, dishes, and my fav is photos of my husband with his dad from years ago. My absolute favorite is a picture I have of my father in law and my husband walking along a lake shore, both with shirts off, pants rolled up, and fishing poles in hand.

  46. says

    I love Mary’s pretty yellow house. Her pillows made from vintage fabrics are awesome. I love to make trays and photo frames out of old papers, but my favorite to collect is vintage tablecloths. Layla, I noticed in your post about your fascination with old maps. Yes they are so much fun! I recently re-did my dining table with a collage of old map scrapbooking paper. I love how it turned out. You can see it here

  47. says

    I have adored Mary for so many years I can’t (or won’t, lol) tell you! I have studied her style and her art in great detail. I have many of her fabrics and details in my home. I love the 50’s nostalgia look of everything she makes. The fifties would have loved to have her! I also love her story of the journey she went on to become an artist. When someone asks me my favorite artist, I answer without hesitation, “Mary Engelbreit!”

  48. says

    Oh my goodness, I was just at a pickers paradise here in B.C. Canada and was blown away at all the things that I saw, you can check out my post about it ( but I will be posting later today about the awesome vintage finds I got at garage sales this weekend! Some of the stuff was even from Funky Junk Interiors Garage Sale!!! What a hoot!

  49. says

    Hi Mary,

    I know I speak for all of your fans when I say how much I truly miss seeing Home Companion in my mailbox. It was a truly inspiring magazine and an absolute joy to cozy up and read through from cover to cover. I also enjoy all of your books and your website as well.

    Have a great summer and for as long as you remain inspired. . . keep up the good work.

    Cyndee Jones
    Tulsa, OK

    P.S. A die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan!!

  50. jessica says

    I love that you featured Mary E. I use to get her magazine all the time and miss it very much.
    I still have the magazine that features her current home. I use to get inspiration from her and
    now I enjoy getting it from the both of you. Keep up the good work.

  51. Danna says

    I love Mary:) I have all of the old magazines and never tire of thumbing through them! Thank you for sharing her beautiful photos! She is one of a kind.

  52. says

    I love Mary Englebright! I so wish she still pulished her magazine because there was something for everyone in that mag!

    How cool that you got to have lunch with her and to show such lovely photos in your e-zine.

    I love to collect paintings of waves, and paintings of trees!

  53. says

    Oh my goodness. Those photos are so “happy.” I have a huge crush on orange & yellow (and turquoise) right now. Seriously makes me want to bring color into my own home considering I shot way down the other end of that spectrum. :) Mary is an amazing designer as are you. Vintage things I’m big on this year? Vintage/antique knit trims & fabric (always), metal wire baskets (of which I have none yet) & mirrors/cool frames. But heck, I’d buy someone’s old false teeth if I loved them enough…so my husband says! xoxo

  54. Angie Meyer says

    OH! How can you not love Mary Engelbreit! In today’s world, we all need to be surrounded by more Happiness and Whimsy! :) As far as collections go, I’m always amazed at the things you collect, as they’re they SAME things I look for! I recently SUPER scored a vintage globe! I’m a teachers’ associate at my son’s school, and our school is in the middle of a remodel. My room has become the drop off for items people are getting rid of, and one of those was a great old globe. I let it sit for a couple weeks, to see if anyone else wanted it…. (teachers get first pick of course), but when no one took it, I walked out of that school feeling awfully giddy! :) Happy day! :)

  55. says

    I miss Mary’s magazine! Thanks for spotlighting her today. I know why you like her. I love all vintage things (just check out my blog for the free things my mother-in-law left me). I collect the old fiestaware and georgian love birds depression glass.

  56. Maria says

    Vintage teacups and saucers tickle my fancy. Mary Engelbreit is my favorite artist. I subscribed to her Home Companion and I miss it so much. I loved the paper dolls in it every month. My grand-daughter, Scarlett, has been a fan since birth. She is 8 now. She says Mary is her favorite artist, too. She did a reading fair project on Mary’s book Queen of Christmas. She won first place in her division at her school and second place in the district. We love Mary!

  57. Sarah W. says

    It sounds silly, but I have a collection of spice jars/tins and most of them came from my family’s old homestead or the homes of beloved family members, belonging to my great aunts, some from great grandmothers, etc. So far they are just huddled in a heap in a corner of my kitchen counter and I’ve been trying to come up with a pretty way to display them. Any ideas??? :) Other than that, antique hunting is incredibly sparse in Alaska and I’m envious of the pictures of flea markets I see on the internet.

    Also miss Home Companion! My absolute favorite thing was the annual artist’s studio tours. I’ve kept all those issues and when life gives me lemons, I take a bubble bath, grab one of those old magazines, and dream of a really great art workshop for myself.

  58. says

    “Martha” has nothing on Mary! Mary is the queen of everything! What a gorgeous home! I am so inspired to do something, I have no idea what, but I really need to channel my inner Mary, my house is in shambles and I would give up the family dog to have some of that Mary look in my home…ok..maybe not the family dog!!

  59. says

    Can you help me?
    Does anyone know the name or the source
    Of the beautiful white paint that Mary Engelbreit uses on the
    woodwork in her home? I just love the comfy, clean sweetness
    of it.


    • Layla says

      Hi Judy!
      I’m not sure what color that is, but I bet if you reach out to Mary (maybe on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) she would be happy to tell you! :-)

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