Lisa Leonard Designs

project {nook redo}

January 31st | decorating

our home was built in 2003, so it’s a newer home–which is good and bad. I love that it’s newer with thick windows and smooth-sliding drawers, but it doesn’t have the character of an older home. Oh how I dream of built-ins and old hardwood floors.  and our home has some nooks built into the wall that are fun, but also tricky since they have a modern feel.  i pulled everything out of the nook and gave it new life for spring I started with an old typeset drawer leaned up for background, then I layered in books, a vintage bird in flight and branches. Here’s a little video of the nook redo.

what year was your home built? does it have any decorating challenges?

35 Responses

  1. Tiffany Day says:

    Hi — oh my gosh does my house have decorating challenges!! It was built in 1920’s – added onto by previous owners – so hodge podge! my husband bought it when he was single for an investment – and one thing led to another to another and well here were are married 14.5 years; 2 kids and NO remodled house! 1 bathroom and 3 bedrooms. Decorating is somewhat challending but storage is more challending – no linen closet – SMALL closets and no pantry in the kitchen. I need Extreem Makeover to come to my rescue!!!

    But I do my best to make lemonade out of our lemon; 2 upsides; huge front yard and back yard; and a beautifully moderized guest house we rent out!!


  2. Paige says:

    We have an old Craftsman, built in 1933. I love it! The original floors were in pretty bad shape so after some time they really had to go, which was kinda sad. We have very old windows, fun to decorate with but drafty, so we have replaced almost all of them at this point, We have some great storage – luckily and a big yard. Going up the curved stair (love) we have a shelf which is cute and fun to decorate too. I just love making our house a home and I love an older home.

  3. Leanne says:

    ours was originally built in the 60’s but then it was moved to this location in the 80’s. we’ve worked hard for the last 4 years to make it look new again…so it fits in with the new subdivision…tricky, but possible!!

  4. Suzanne says:

    Our house is about to turn 100 – built in 1913! It’s even on one of the town’s walking tours as The Church House, since it was built by Mr. Church who ran the funeral home down the street. It’s been added on to several times and of course it’s drafty and crooked and the plumbing is terrible but the hardwood floors and wrap-around porch make up for all that most days. My biggest decorating challenge is furniture in the living room – it has no walls you can push things against so I need a couch that looks like floating in the middle and I’m still looking for one…after three years.

  5. Jeanie says:

    My home is only a few years old (maybe 4 yrs). We bought it from the builders who needed something different when their child arrived. It is very modern. The furniture that the previous owner had was very modern and their style was part of the reason we fell in love with this house. Our biggest challenge is updating our pieces to match the look we fell in love with. We have a lovely new couch which helps. I’m keen to replace the table as well, but my husband figures it’s not broken why replace it. It would make a huge difference. Maybe I need to slowly break it, bit by bit LOL

  6. Meghan Hall says:

    our home was built in 1982 has some original hardwood flours that we love. We painted all the trim that was stained dark white to lighten up the place. Master bedroom has no walk in closet but the kids rooms both do. We love our huge living room. We have remodeled 2 of the 3 bathrooms. We have a sunroom overlooking the golf course which we love! We need new windows but it is a work in progress.

  7. 1974. Not a good year for houses, I think. Our house is small, so I’m constantly trying to make it feel bigger and better suited for our needs, but it is also oddly laid out. We have a huge rock fireplace (huge!) that is such an eyesore and is impossible to hide. It makes the whole layout of the great room completely off. I really wish it would magically disappear, but no such luck so far. For now, I just try to focus on the pretty things I put on the mantel and pretend the hideous obtrusion isn’t there.

  8. I love your little videos. Can’t wait to see some from Blissdom. I think I need that camera for Valentine’s Day!

    Your nook is so cute! I’ve had my eye on those large typeset drawers for a craft display of sorts.

  9. Southern Gal says:

    A ranch style house from the early 80’s. Lots of design challenges, but it’s been home for 20 years so I’ve learned to live with them.

  10. tara says:

    Um, our house was built in the the late 1890’s. I love that it has lots ot character (like the old tin ceilings in the diningroom, kitchen, and bathroom). I do find though that it does have quite a few design challenges like the wood paneled walls. I’m not talking cheap panels but the real solid wood ones like cherry in our livingroom. We even have it in our upstairs bathroom! It’s beautiful, but a bit dark andI can’t bring myself to tear it out or paint it!

  11. Sarah-Anne says:

    our house is over 100 years old and presents its own HUGE decor challenges. right now we’re in the middle of renovating the living room/room off of it. interesting, for sure!
    i love you little nook, though. great job, lisa!

  12. Lisa says:

    2002 and like you while I love that drawers are smooth-sliding and such (though no matter how new the house seems like there is always some issue to deal with!) I also love the character older houses have. Decorating challenges??? Hmmm… not sure about that? Painted everything inside and out last spring though… so much work but love the COLOR on the walls … was OVER the builder white!

  13. Lea Culp says:

    Oh, my goodness, I have a typeset that is over 50 years old. What a lovely idea you had for yours. Your nook has such a warm look to it. You are such a creative lassy. :o) Always love stopping by! Happy, happy week!

  14. Dd says:

    On birds and redecorating – you might enjoy today’s post at Not my blog, but an artist whose work inspires me.

  15. Barb says:

    Our house was built in 1894. It’s a Victorian with the wood trim of a Craftsman. Since we moved in 8 years ago we’ve painted the whole inside and outside, gutted and re-done both bathrooms, landscaped, had the back deck and front porch re-built, taken out a huge greenhouse window that someone installed in the 1980’s and put it a normal window, put new carpet in two bedrooms and installed plantation shutters in the upstairs windows. We really should have our wood floors re-finished, but we just can’t deal with contractors again for awhile. Maybe in a couple of years… We love our house because it has lots of character, but there’s always something to do. Our challenge is in just trying to keep up.

  16. Anne says:

    My house was built in 1957. Originally I would’ve said the bathroom tile colors were a challenge..maroon&green in one, peachy/pink & gray in the other. ..and solid as a rock……but we pretty much had to rebuild the house after the 2004 hurricanes…so now I have two great bathrooms (and plenty of electrical outlets) and I love my new/old house.

  17. Leah says:

    I love this idea! I too have a newer home (1990) and I get bummed that it doesn’t have the character either. Love this idea. I’m inspired to re-do one of my hallway nooks. Thanks!

  18. Celia says:

    Our house is almost 200 years old. I have come to the conclusion that it was originally built out of utter necessity and by a man with no imagination. The coolest thing about it is that the original portion was built with timbers that shoot straight up through the second story. The coolest thing that my husband did during his remodel (before we met) was to leave a 2×3 foot section of the timbers exposed. That’s the extent of character in our home. Our home is definately design challenged. Sigh….

  19. rhea says:

    our house was built in 2007! we are slowing trying to give it character, besides all the damage of having six kids. no seriously they are good! i was thinking of doing batten board – i think that is what it is called. our mudroom is my favourite. my friend built it for us – it looks like it comes out of a magazine.

  20. I always crave the emotion and texture of old houses, but the conveniences of new. Love your creative idea here.

  21. Rosanne says:

    My home was built in 1993. I live in a cookie cutter home, cookie cutter development. But I love my home inside I think I have given it some character. This past weekend I went on a historic home tour…love love love the older homes, smaller rooms, bigger porches. Now only to convince my hubby we should by one!

  22. Michelle B says:

    I have an old typeset that I have been sitting on not sure what to do wtih. I love this idea! Thank you so much for sharing and for being an inspiration!

  23. Tamara says:

    our home was built in the mid 1950’s. i like to refer to it as a “beach cottage”…this sounds better in my mind then a 720 sq. ft. itty bitty teeny weeny little house…which is what it is. there are some definite decorating challenges…i don’t have a lot of space! i love living here though…i can hear the ocean and it’s cozy.

  24. Kelly H-Y says:

    You are so clever! Our biggest house challenge has been NO storage! It was built in 2000 … we’ve added built-ins downstairs, but that’s it besides the bedroom closets and a teeny tiny linen closet!

  25. beth says:

    I couldn’t help but notice the vase in this picture. Wonder if it is an antique or a “new” purchase. I just bought one this weekend at an antique store & it look so similar to this one. I intend to use it as a pencil/pen holder for my desk that I will be putting in my new photography studio!!! Yay!(I think) I don’t even have the building moved to my property yet & I’m decorating the inside. How sad.

  26. Piper says:

    I’ve never seen a typeset tray that large. You have a lovely eye for all kinds of design, Lisa!

  27. Your nook looks so lovely and spring-like. It looks like the perfect place to build a built-in cabinet…just add shelves and a quirky door with the top angled, and maybe a frame, and you suddenly have some character! 😉

    My house is a duplex built in 2008. It’s biggest challenges are lack of storage, and what I call lack of elbow room. There are no little nooks to be creative with. No extra space whatsoever. Except above the fireplace. That’s a little weird.

  28. ann says:

    ours is a 1964 1600 sq.ft.brick ranch house…with the original pink and lila bathrooms, which i adore! we did remodel the kitchen. it was a long room with a c-shaped kitchen nook with a look-through window into a paneled “den”, so we opened it up by knocking down the wall and making a huge long island in the center (photos on my blog, dec.2009). it is now the hub of our home, and we love it! we also love the original hardwoods through the house. the small closets are our only complaint!

  29. This nook is very cute and cozy. What a great way of making use of the space that you have.

  30. amyks says:

    Our home was built in the 1840’s, but had been renovated in the 1960’s-1970’s, so it had none of the original details, so my husband and I did a major renovation, gutted it down to the brick exterior walls and redid the whole house with a modern west coast vibe(we live in a neighborhood of Boston). It was a major undertaking, we moved in last April, but are still putting the finishing touches on it, and it needs to be decorated. All in good time, though:P

  31. amy says:

    love, love, love your {new} nook! there are so many things i want to do to our home, but we’re currently renting so i hesitate to really do anything. our first home was a mid-30s craftsman in san diego and i do miss the arches and built-ins! my dream home would be an old victorian with updated kitchen and bath fixtures….dream, dream! 😉

  32. Mrsprd says:

    My house was built in 1946. It has great character. I am an artist with an 18 month old so I don’t have much time to do my creative stuff yet. Also our house is made mostly out of brick so it’s a challenge to even choose paint colors and hang things on the walls. I can’t wait to dive into being creative with my home when I get more time :)

  33. Cozy in the home….

    love it, the word “love” on sign.

  34. Tania Corney says:

    Is there any way for me to optin your blog through different ways instead of with RSS? I can’t read it using my readers though I can view it from chrome.

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