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Nell Hill’s Day Trip: Mary Carol Garrity’s Atchison, KS Home

You know how when you live somewhere, you hardly ever do the things that are right in your back yard? Well earlier this month I did something that I’ve been wanting to do forever: tour Mary Carol Garrity’s home.


Mary Carol Garrity is the owner of the home decor store, Nell Hill’s. (I mentioned Nell Hill’s when I showed you the wicker chargers I bought there and used in this table setting.) The original Nell Hill’s store is in Atchison, KS, Mary Carol’s hometown. She has a second store in Kansas City.

She is also the author of a number of decorating books, and she writes a syndicated column on decorating.

In short, she’s a decorating, entrepreneurial dynamo who seems to never sleep.

But the flagship store in Atchison is what started it all, and people come from all over to shop there. It’s always busy, and never more so than on the day every fall when, not only is the store full of new fall merchandise, but Mary Carol also opens up her home, all decked out for autumn, for anyone who is interested in touring it.

And boy are people interested.

This is the bus that picked people up at Nell Hill’s and deposited them at Mary Carol’s house, just a short distance away.

Every 20 minutes.

All day long.


I wonder what her neighbors think? Are they amused? Irritated? I’m sure they’re used to it by now.

The reason people make the trek to this small Kansas river town, about an hour north of Kansas City, is obvious from your first glimpse of Mary Carol’s historic home.


It’s stunning.



This little side porch is just to the left of the front porch.


And speaking of the front porch, Mary Carol greets visitors there herself.


As I was taking this picture of the decorated porch, I caught her just as she was coming out the door to greet the next busload of tour-goers.


She apologized for ruining my shot. As if! Can you imagine? She’s incredibly gracious.

My pictures will in no way do this beautiful home justice, but I want to share with you what I captured.

Here’s the view from just inside the front door.


And just off the foyer, is a warm and very masculine den. I love how this cabinet is just packed with books going in all directions.


The grasscloth wallpaper is beautiful. Such a cozy space.


Across the foyer from the den is the living room.



I absolutely love this piece of art above the mantel.


And the greek key pillows.


I’ve been taking notice of bar carts lately so it was fun to see this one.


The living room leads into the dining room. It was nearly impossible to see the light fixture through all the branches and pinecones. It was stunning.


Even though this picture is fuzzy, I wanted to show you the basket full of wine bottles under the server. The Nell Hill’s style is full of a thousand little touches just like this one.


As amazing as all this is, my favorite parts of the house are the kitchen, patio, and back porch.

I’ll be back tomorrow with those pictures, but for now, here’s a little peek.


P.S. Part two of the tour here and Mary Carol’s new lake house.


  1. Wow, I’m so glad to see this. I don’t live near her stores so I can’t visit them. This is the 2nd time I got to see a tour from a blogger and I appreciate it! These designers know how to take things up a step and beyond! I’m amazed that she greets the guests like that. She really is classy! I love the home and all the details- Thank you for sharing! Lucky you!

    1. You’re very welcome, Liz. Thanks for the comment. I do realize I’m lucky to live by Nell Hill’s, which is why I finally made the trek to Atchison for the tour.

  2. Thanks so much for the tour! My parents are actually from Atchison and when we had a family reunion a few years ago there I got to go to her store and it was so fabulous! I am so glad to take her home tour through your photos, thanks! One question, are the wine bottles full or empty? I didn’t quite get that!

    1. Jenna, I’m actually not sure on the wine bottles. I’ll have to check that out if I go back.

  3. I’m here in Canada and was so impressed with this tour!! We have some gorgeous old homes, maybe they should take notice and open their doors.
    Thanks for the amazing tour of this gorgeous home.

    1. You’re welcome, Linda. 🙂

  4. I believe the wine bottles are empties that she uses to decorate with. I missed her tour last year, but saw it the year before and her shops are wonderful! If you are in the area, it is worth going to Atchison and Kansas City to see those shops. She really has an eye for detail and vignettes. Her home gave me a lot of inspiration and always does. The sales people at her Atchinson store are fabulous, as well! Friendly and helpful!

    1. Totally agree, Ana. The stores are different, but both are wonderful in their own way. They’re definitely worth visiting just for the ideas.

  5. Back….I “think” Mary Carol told me she just sold her “family home” and DOWNSIZED (oh, that hurts…) and moved into a…cottage. Now…cottage can mean a “lot of things” but it must be a doozie!! THANKS FOR ALL THE PHOTOS!! franki

    1. Franki, that could certainly be the case because I heard that her Christmas home tour last year was going to be her last. She has written in her books and columns about a lake cottage and her store employees also told me that she has a condo near her Briarcliff store in KC.

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