Our new backyard {progress!}

decorating, found here & there, inspiration By June 17, 2019 6 Comments

We have been working on getting out backyard up to speed so we can enjoy it with friends this summer. For those of you catching up on Leonard news, we moved into a new home about three months ago. It has been a crazy season for us! We launched my new book, Brave Love, moved into a new house, Matthias got really sick and missed three weeks of school and then David caught the same bug and ended up being airlifted to UCLA where we spent a week getting him stable. I feel like I’m still trying to get back into my rhythm! It’s been hard with lots of sweet moments and I’m ready for things to mellow out a bit.

So anyway, we have been working on our backyard–and it’s starting to come together. I wanted to show you progress pics. It’s not perfect {is anything perfect?!}, it’s not finished, but it’s ready to be enjoyed. Below are some BEFORE pics of the backyard when we bought the house.

BEFORE

These pics above are from the listing. This is how it looked when we bought the house. There was a huge BBQ, a built in heater that didn’t work, a hot tub that didn’t work and a lot of tile. It’s kind of a strange backyard. There is one small area where we put two couches and a fire pit. There’s a raised area where there’s a hot tub and seating and there’s a long walkway in between the two spots. It’s a small backyard and we wanted to maximize the space.

Louis would like you to know he approves of the new seating near the hot tub. He’s so funny. These black chairs are from Target and they’re super comfortable. Find them here. The black and white pillows are from Target, too. Find them here.

It’s starting to look cozy!

My philosophy for outdoor living is to make it as comfortable as possible–that way we’ll actually use it! I like to decorate just as I would indoors with seating, side tables, plants, baskets, even art or decor hung to make it feel home-y. The problem is everything gets more wear outside. For furniture I either buy pieces made specifically for outdoor or I thrift wood and wicker so I’m not devastated when they fall apart after a year or two. I also try to keep the furniture wiped down so it’s ready when we are. If we decide to eat dinner outdoors it’s easy! Everything is clean and ready to go.

I found this weathered bench a local thrift/vintage shop and fell in love with the texture. I like to mix clean and rustic, wood and white. That wicker egg-shaped chair in the background was a $15 thrifted store find. I had it David’s bedroom but he never used it so I put it outside.

These teak candlesticks were $6 each at a local thrift store. I freaked out when I found them. They are super cool. Now I just need candles to go on top! ūüėā

Okay, we are super excited about this 14 foot outdoor bar our friends from Emily Ryan Homes built for us. Guess what? They found old planks from the Pismo Beach pier {the pier needed some TLC and these planks were replaced} and cleaned them up to create the rustic bar. The black barstools are from Target. Find them here. I loooove the way the whole thing came together. It’s a perfect spot for teenagers {and adults!} to hang out. Also it puts the strange walkway to work. Instead of feeling awkward it feels purposeful!

I can’t wait to have pizza parties and BBQs in this space!

These teak couches are low and super comfortable. I found them at Joss and Main. Find them here. The fire pit is from Amazon and not hooked up yet. We still need to get a propane tank. We’ve already BBQd at least 20 times in our new backyard. I love it! Now it’s time for s’mores–don’t you think?

Do you use your backyard in the summertime? What are your favorite things to do out there? I need your help! I want to make this space as amazing as possible. What are we missing in our backyard?

PS friends, there’s a big summer sale happening in my shop right now. Don’t miss it! Click here to shop.

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DIY portrait makeover

decorating, DIY By April 29, 2019 3 Comments

I am loving the trend of hanging vintage painted portraits in your home. I think it adds warmth and personality. And I love to make up a bag story for the person captured–who were they? What were they passionate about? 

I stopped by a local thrift store the other day and found this watercolor portrait of a sailor. I liked the painting–it caught my eye, but the frame looked modern and didn’t match our decor. The painting was only $15 so I decided it was worth trying to do a DIY project and switch out the frame. 

He looks kind and wise, don’t you think? Like he’s lived a good life and has stories to tell. 

At the same thrift store I found this framed floral art {above} for $5. It’s not my style but I like the frame. Perhaps this could be a new home for our watercolor sailor?

I pulled dismantled the frame and took off the mat {the painting was taped to the mat} and I loved the painting even more once it was outside the frame with rough edges. 

I took the floral art out of the gold frame and laid it over the sailor. Yep, it would fit just fine.

I laid the glass from the gold frame over the sailor and drew around the perimeter with a pencil. Then cut the painting to size. I cleaned the glass well and reassembled the watercolor sailor in his new gold frame. 

He’s hanging out in our guest room with a plant, some books, a basket and thrifted vase. I love the way this project turned out. It would be so fun to hang more portraits on this wall. I’ll have to keep a look out as I browse thrift stores!

Thrifting and decorating friends, what are you on the hunt for these days? Would you hang a vintage portrait in your home?

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David’s room refresh!

david, decorating By September 13, 2018 7 Comments

Hello friends! Thank you for your encouragement about David’s room refresh. I love taking a space and making it feel fresh and new. In my world things tend to go from clean to messy and then back again. It’s a cycle I have a hard time breaking. But refreshing a space tends to motivate me to keep it tidier for a while.¬†

Below is¬†David’s room before it was David’s room–it was our spare room and the boys shared. Wasn’t it bright and cheery? All of this bedding was from Target–down to the ottomans at the end of the bed I found on clearance for $15 each! But when the boys got old enough to need more space and privacy we were happy to give it up and create a new space.¬†

And below is his room before the refresh–not too different. I changed the bedding and rearranged the room a bit. I took this pic on a morning where before I came in to get him, he had thrown toys and bedding all over the place. Such a rascal!

That adorable globe is from the Magnolia collection at Target. It spins and David has fun with it. I love how bright his room is–lots of windows.¬†
One of the hardest parts about decorating David’s room is making it feel like a teenager’s room {he’s 16 years old!} but also filling it with toys he loves. He would happily play with a pink elephant keyboard but that’s not really age appropriate–so I try to find keyboards that are more age appropriate.

The teepee is a cozy spot for reading books or a nap. Truthfully, he doesn’t it use it much but every once in a while I’ll find him crashed out in there.¬†

This red piano is one of his favorite things. I found it on Amazon. And he loves to pluck the ukulele as well. 

David is such a happy kiddo–so he really doesn’t need a reminder to not complain. This reminder is really for us–this is David’s happy place–so if you come into his room you better have a good attitude.¬†

I mixed and matched a bunch of bedding from the kids department at Target. I wish I had gotten a queen comforter instead of a twin. I still might go back. That way his comforter would go all the way to the carpet instead of just over the sides of the bed. 

The teepee is from Etsy and it’s quite big. I bought a papasan cushion from World Market that fit perfectly inside. Then I covered the fusion with a quiet and soft rug. Those white plush rugs are from Target and they’re washable–which is perfect!
Looking into the mirror gives you an overall perspective of the room. It’s happy place filled with things David loves!That blue truck was Steve’s when he was a little boy and he called it ‘Wonderfox’ which is awesome.

Bedding–Here’s the exact comforter but I like this one.
Jersey X Sham
Rugs
Teepee
Papasan Cusion
Globe
Red Piano
London Bus

What’s your favorite space in your house?

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DIY painted baskets

decorating, DIY By January 25, 2017 4 Comments

I’ve been working really hard trying to build my basket wall {and by working really hard I mean going to thrift shops every now and then}. It’s EASY to find basic baskets at thrift stores but it’s hard to find super cool colorful baskets. I’ve splurged on a couple new african baskets because they are just so lovely.

I found a couple basic baskets at the thrift store the other day and I decided to paint them to add some more color and texture to the wall.
This is the wall after I did some painting and rearranging.

Supplies: painter’s tape, acrylic paint, small paint brushes, thrifted baskets.

Here are the two baskets I found at the thrift store. They both had a bit of staining and were about $1 each.

For the star shape I began by taping off a four-point star. I did it by sight and followed the lines of how the basket is woven. It’s not perfect but I didn’t mind.

Once the star was dry, I pulled up the tape and free-handed a gold outline.

Then I painted the sunburst in the middle free hand. You can use a stencil if you prefer {I’m just lazy!} Or you can sketch out the sunburst {or other design} with a pencil.

For the diamond, I taped the shape, again following the lines of how the basket is woven.

Then with a small brush I painted a blue line around the edge. It was easy to free hand.

I love the simplicity and the pop of color with the diamond.

The star shape is more subtle. I love a sunburst–for me it symbolizes hope. Read more about it here.

And there you have it! Painted baskets mixed with other thrifted baskets and some beautiful african baskets. Love.

What do you think? Would you try painting some baskets?

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hello chrissie’s home {texture + light}

decorating, hello monday By November 7, 2016 2 Comments

When we were down at UCLA a couple weeks ago for David’s check-up we got to see my sister’s new home. Chrissie has an eye for texture and light. The way she mixes pattern and color inspires me. I snapped a few pics around her beautiful space to share with you.

It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. How about some hellos?
hello-chrissies-home-08Hello plants and window light. Kind of a magical combination.

hello-chrissies-home-01 Hello mid century lamp she snagged at a garage sale for almost nothing. Love.

hello-chrissies-home-02 Hello walls filled with paintings and photos.

hello-chrissies-home-03 Hello flowers, fresh and persevered in paintings.

hello-chrissies-home-04 Hello vintage tapestry and corded lights hanging from found branches. Kind of genius.

hello-chrissies-home-05 Hello tray of sculptures.

hello-chrissies-home-06 Hello keeping a journal with me at all times lately. I have so many ideas to write down.

hello-chrissies-home-07Hello large table. A perfect gathering place for heart connection.

Hello having dinner with new friends this week.

Hello gazing at my newly cleaned out closet. It’s a thing of beauty.

Hello lots of meetings this week. Some weeks are meeting heavy–and this is one of those weeks.

Hello wanting to fill myself with rest and beauty and connection instead of material things. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately.

Hello sniffle going through our home. I think Beasley got it too. Can dogs get colds? He’s had a runny nose the last couple days.

Hello daylight savings. Or should I say good-bye daylight savings? We gained an hour and I’ll take it!

Hello to you. This week holds good things, I can feel it.

What are you saying hello to this week?

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hello entryway refresh

decorating, DIY, hello monday By September 5, 2016 1 Comment

Hello friends! It’s wonderful to begin the week with a holiday. We are taking it slow and enjoying the long weekend.

I’ve been working on refreshing the house a bit–moving things around, cleaning out the clutter and adding a few plants. It feels so good! Our entryway¬†seems to collect things–the jogging stroller, boxes, backpacks and all kinds of things. But right now¬†it’s clean and open. I hope we can keep it that way–but who am I kidding?! It will continue to cycle through messy and clean. It’s a never-ending process.

How about some hellos for a Monday?

hello entryway refresh-01

Hello painted legs. I originally painted them aqua but I didn’t like it at all. This looks much better.

hello entryway refresh-03

Hello air plants and natural light.

hello entryway refresh-04 hello entryway refresh-05

Hello sweet pups who are such good models. And I’m pretty sure Beasley is smiling. They crack me up!

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Hello holiday. It’s so nice to have an extra day.

Hello favorite new kid’s book. David and I have been reading this one together a lot lately.

Hello writing. I’ve been spending some time writing over the last few weeks. It’s so hard but also therapeutic.

Hello new-to-me Jane Austen story. This movie was so good.

Hello adjusting to middle school, not just Matthias but me as well. Its’s a big transition.

Hello cleaning out my car. And vacuuming!

Hello wanting to try this recipe. I think I’ll use my new instant pot though. Fingers crossed its a good one.

Hello inspired by this amazing woman. I’ve been searching her on Pinterest and she doesn’t disappoint!

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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hello industrial cart {side table}

decorating, hello monday By July 25, 2016 2 Comments

Last week while thrifting with a friend, I stumbled on this awesome aqua industrial cart {right side of couch}. We already had one in our family room {left side of couch} and I loved the height and size. So I grabbed it, brought it home, scrubbed it quite a bit and placed it next to the couch. I love it. It adds a bit of color to break up the brown. Someone instagram suggested bringing in a rug with some aqua to add more color and I think that’s a great idea. Now I’ll start hunting for the perfect rug!

It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. How about some hellos?
industrial cart side table lisa leonard-03

Hello family room. This space is constantly going from tidy to disaster and then back to tidy again. I guess that’s the cycle of a home that’s actually lived in!

industrial cart side table3

Hello warm summer days. We’re having a bit of a heat wave–how about you?

industrial cart side table lisa leonard-07

Hello sending Matthias off to summer camp for a WEEK. My heart can hardly stand it.

Hello pups already missing Matthias. Who will cuddle them all week while he’s away? We’re all going to have to chip in!

Hello walking and walking. I crave it. I love it.

Hello listening to this book on Audible. It’s¬†equal parts tragedy and humor. I love a good autobiography. I love to hear other’s stories. It fascinates and inspires me.

Hello being falling for mexican tiles. How amazing is this fireplace?

Hello celebrating 17 years of marriage this week. Insane!

Hello looking forward to some down time this week.

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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hello painted built in {hello monday!}

decorating, hello monday By May 23, 2016 9 Comments

We’ve been working on refreshing the family room–beginning with painting this built in shelving unit. It brightens the room and unifies the space. You can see before pics here {from three years ago}. Wow, looking at those pics, I can’t believe how much it’s changed. The before is cozy but the after feels fresh and open.

It’s Monday, how about some hellos?

hello painted built in-01
hello painted built in-02
hello painted built in-03
hello painted built in-04
hello painted built in-05

Hello lots of meetings this week. This week is basically devoted to meetings {with some relaxing and fun mixed in!}

Hello craving coffee. It’s nothing new but lately I just can’t get enough!

Hello feeling thankful for our amazing sitter who helps with the boys. She’s an angel!

Hello looking for a new Netflix series to watch, Any suggestions?

Hello planning summer dinners outside. I’m working on sprucing up our patio. Pics soon!

Hello getting all the ingredients for homemade chocolate chip cookies. Dangerous.

Hello fighting off sniffles–both of the boys have a cold. Bummer.

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week with beauty to waiting to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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diy cacti photo holder

decorating, DIY, pinterest By May 3, 2016 1 Comment

As you know I LOVE succulents. And I love a DIY. So today is a happy day! This project combines the two–awesome. It’s spring–the sun is shining and things are green.¬†We thought it would be fun to¬†bring some of that green inside and give our desks a bit of a color in a creative¬†way!¬†I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was adorable! ¬†So we decided to create something similar.¬†

rockcacti_006

You’ll need: small terra-cotta pots, pebbles, small sized stones, shades of green paint, white paint, paint for the pots {whatever color you like!}, paintbrush, and photos.

rockcacti_001

Using a few items found around the house, we were able to put something together!

We used this awesome Instax printer that prints fun polaroid photos from a smartphone! (Found here) Such a great idea! If you don’t have an Instax printer, get some photos printed at Costco or put a fun postcard in your arrangement.

rockcacti_004

Simply add a little mess, a little paint, a little creativity! Smaller sized stones worked best for these min terra-cotta pots. Different shades of green make these little cacti more lifelike while still being whimsical!

rockcacti_003

rockcacti_002

After letting them dry for a little while, we painted some little details in white paint, they don’t have to be realistic, that’s half the fun! We also found some smaller pebbles to fill the pots with, rather than using dirt, these also help for later when placing the photos!

rockcacti_005

When everything’s all dry, simply assemble your little cacti! Have fun with trying different combinations of your ‘cacti’ and images! The fun thing is you can always add new images, or change the placement!

rockcacti_008

Such a fun and easy little DIY, but I love the splash of color it gives to my desk! This is a great¬†little gift idea as well, especially with Mothers Day around the corner! And wouldn’t these make a perfect place setting when hosting a dinner?

cacti_-01

Get the kids involved with simple little DIY. The whole project (excluding drying time) only took about 20-30mins!

Have fun!

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DIY lamp to terrarium

decorating, DIY By March 9, 2016 15 Comments

I found this old hanging lamp for $2 at a thrift store. I thought about cleaning it up and hanging it–I love the geometric shape. But then the idea of a terrarium came to mind and I got inspired! I’ve seen some beautiful terrariums around town–like these¬†and this one.

DIY lamp to terrarium2We have a Goodwill Outlet in town and where all donations go before the hit the other Goodwill Stores. They open it to the public and if you’re willing to dig through bins, you can find some pretty amazing things for very low prices.

DIY lamp to terrarium lisa leonard-02-2This is how the lamp looked when I carried it out to my car. It was dusty and definitely has a nineties vibe.

DIY lamp to terrarium lisa leonard-01-2I removed all the hardware {I cut through the electrical cord}. It came apart easily. I threw away all the other parts and kept the glass shade.

DIY lamp to terrarium lisa leonard-03After a good bath in hot soapy water, I dried the shade well and then cleaned the glass with glass cleaner.

DIY lamp to terrarium lisa leonard-04I put some rocks on the bottom, then succulent soil and took a few clippings from other succulents I have.

DIY lamp to terrarium lisa leonard-05I also added an aqua stone. I seriously can’t believe how pretty it looks. And it was only $2!

DIY lamp to terrarium lisa leonard-02I gave the terrarium to a dear friend. Now I’m on the hunt to find similar hanging lamps so I can create more. How fun is this? The whole project took about an hour. I think terrariums might be my new obsession.

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