Thursday, December 22, 2016

welcome to my little Christmas tour...

Hello friends,
I want to take a moment to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your gracious visits to this little blog of mine. Lately I've been so affected by the beautiful comments left on my recent posts. It's hard to express how much it means to write a post like my last one and then to read such soulful responses afterwards.
I feel like we really have a special community of women who stop by and share their wisdom here, and I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to have you in my world. I do know how busy your life is and I truly appreciate the time it takes for you to read my posts. And then--to take time to share your own views and personal experiences. Well, it's something I never take for granted. 

So today I thought I'd post a few Christmas pictures of my house and we can pretend that you're here sipping a glass of wine and walking around with me. 

It's been quite awhile since I've done any kind of tour, especially in this house. 

So here it is, nothing fancy. 
Just an update on some of our progress. 

If you're new here,
you might not know we bought this 1960s house as a fixer upper, in a cute neighborhood that's walking distance to the beach. 

And we've been slowly transforming this 2365 square foot house into a home that feels like us. 

 One of the first projects we completed--it took over a year--was this fireplace wall with the rustic wood shelves.

This is our living room.
We were watching Bing Crosby in White Christmas-- when I snapped this picture with my phone.  I literally watch this movie a few times each year because I love that 'sisters' scene with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. 
Do you know which one I'm talking about?

My dad made those miniature barn doors that cover the TV and a year later he helped me transform an old wood remnant I'd had for years into a mantel. 

Then after he headed back to Sacramento, I added all the molding to the fireplace using my new miter saw. 

One thing I haven't told you--because I hate to toot my own horn--but I've posted a few of my DIY projects on HomeTalk and you'll never believe this--I still privately question it--but I've gotten over 42 thousand views on this fireplace makeover--and 473 thousand views on my Cottage bedroom makeover. 

Which makes me love the DIY community even more, because we're all a bunch of creative nerds in search of inspiration ya know?

On my spare time I've been adding planks to the walls in the house. 

I'm so grateful to have a mantel for our stocking now...

And on the opposite side of the fireplace wall my Dad added bookshelves around the entry which has been a great use of space. 
I don't usually show this side of the room because we still haven't re-done our staircase
 (which is actually not even code because of its wide iron posts)

When you head down the hallway you walk right into 
our kitchen.
It's the one room that we will be totally re-doing someday so I've only done some cosmetic things to it.

The one bathroom that's downstairs...
 in gray with lots of white subway tiles and dark grout in the shower. 
Love it.

This is actually a second "master bedroom" next to this bathroom.

Here's a peek at it now: our recently transformed 
The room that I painstakingly covered in vertical planks. Individually. 
Yes, that means one at a time.
Is there medication for this type of DIY behavior?
I'll show this entire room when our furniture gets here.

But I am pretty proud of these matching bookcases that I made in here.
 They came out pretty good for a novice like me.

Now, moving upstairs:
Our master bedroom...
I kept the Christmas touches subtle in here. I love this Pottery Barn pillow in reindeer toile.

When in doubt tuck in some green berries with your flowers.

BTW--this is the DIY monogramed headboard I made, another surprisingly popular HomeTalk project. 
I still love it because it's so comfortable to read in bed now.

Our guest bedroom has deliciously dark walls.

At Christmas my vintage Charles Dickens books are proudly displayed...
and oh, and my biggest, most exciting discovery this year...

I finally found it!!!
 After walking into every used bookstore and quietly checking the aisles 

(think John Cusack in the movie Serendipity)

I found a vintage copy of the first Nancy Drew book I ever read..ah, so many tender memories of my girlhood.

(so now you know what a nerd like me gets excited about)

I'm a big believer in surrounding ourselves with objects that tell a story about us. You agree?

Sorry to bombard you with all these pictures, I do hope you can upload this post--I'm never sure how that works. 
But I certainly thank you for stopping by.
And now, I'm off to gallantly Christmas shop 
on December 22!

I'll be signing off for a time.
wishing you a peaceful Christmas filled with love,


Simply LKJ said...

Leslie, your home is gorgeous! So much love has been poured into it, and it shows. Love all your Christmas touches.
Merry Christmas friend.

AntiqueChase said...

Leslie your home never disappoints. I'm not surprised your project has so many views... I have never been to that site.. and maybe that's a good thing? Time wise? LOL
Happy Holidays!!

Vannessa@Luxuria said...

OMG Leslie!!! I knew I was in for something spectacular. I LOVE your fireplace so much and your bedroom looks so pretty. You mention 2 films I just watched last weekend- White Christmas and Serendipity so for once I am on the same page as everyone else ;-)
You really have a talent for DIY/interiors Leslie and I am not surprised you have such a following on the relevant DIY platforms.
Wishing you a wonderful relaxing holiday lovely lady with time to enjoy the haven you have created xxx

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Thank you for this tour of your lovely home! You certainly are an inspiration with all of your DIY projects.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a great 2017 ~ FlowerLady

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Leslie, I have been in awe of your talents since I found your blog. Your prose, photos, zest for life, and incredible talent make me wish that we live in at least the same state! I would love to sit with you one day and share a glass of wine or champagne and hear all about your work, life, yoga and of course your use of the miter saw! I have taken on many challenges at home alone while my husband is out of town but I have yet to tackle a miter saw. I am hopping to tile the bathroom while he is out of tow this year.

You are my inspiration! I absolutely love to see your blog post pop up. I am sure that we are kindred spirits. I have said it many times, if you ever come to VA or I travel with my husband to CA we have to meet!

Toot your horn my friend, you are incredibly talented and I think it is fabulous that you accomplish all of these beautiful things on your own and with your dad. What a wonderful thing to share.

Have a Merry Christmas! I hope that in 2017 we can meet!

xo Elizabeth

p.s: I love your beautiful home!

Patricia said...

Your home is SO lovely!

Merry Christmas from Miami, Florida!

Ana Maria

Stacey said...

Leslie, everything looks amazing at your house! I love the way it's all so personalized through your DIYs. And yes!! Surrounding yourself with things that mean something to you is so important.

Merry Christmas!

Marilyn said...

I also am not surprised at the number of views. You are immensely creative and a very talented DIY'er. Love your home and all the touches you have added.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and thank you for writing a very interesting and enjoyable blog.

Marilyn (in Dallas)

Lori said...

Merry Christmas Leslie ~ your home is beautiful! I would love nothing better than to curl up in one of those chairs with a glass of vino and talk into the wee hours with you. Sorry I have not been around to comment lately and with all the hustle and bustle of the season I have fallen behind in my blog reading as well. I cannot wait to read your last post. xoxo

sandi s said...

I love your pictures of your home! It's beautiful. Merry Christmas. Hugs,

michele said...

oh my word, this is so beautiful and i can't believe how similar our tastes and cottages are! that is nuts! i don't know where to begin. the way you have decked those sliding TV doors is so charming i could die. i might need them in my life somewhere just so i can put wreaths on them at christmas since they are reminiscent of stable doors, and there's a prince of peace reference there for me. the bookshelves and all these planks that have been touched by your hands. how gratifying. you are amazing. i am simply the girl handing the tools to her partner at this fixer upper...and sometimes i mess up on that. (we planked the master bedroom wall last night!!! i did a stellar job handing him the level!!!). there are so many personal touches which are the most meaningful. i'm ready to move in. but maybe i'll just meet you for dinner sometime first. love to you, blessings to you, peace to you this holiday. i am so grateful for your friendship across the miles, and i can't wait to see what 2017 holds. xox

Sarah said...

Leslie, it is all beautiful, and I'm in awe that you have done this yourself. The time and skill required to create this transformation is no small thing. Kudos to you! I love seeing the different Christmas touches. You have great style. I need to find one of those toile pillows for our master. ;-)
Merry Christmas, my friend. I look forward to more of your thoughtful and thought provoking posts in 2017.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Your home is so lovely, Leslie! It really does tell a is full of your wonderful creativity and personality! How fun it would be to share that wine and visit with you, Leslie! Wishing you and yours the merriest of Christmases! xo

mdickson said...

Beautiful Leslie! I would love to come see it in person during Christmas time! Love you!

Karen said...

Merry Christmas. I love every single detail you've shown. Your home is so inviting and charming and more so because you've transformed it with love. I love that it's been a family effort and your dad has help along the way.
Enjoy the new year, it's always such a pleasure to visit you.

JoanMarie said...

Absolutely Beautiful Leslie! Your decorating is so very pretty and the projects you have undertaken are amazing. Your home speaks of gorgeous charm and I am in awe of your creativity!! Looking so forward to staying in touch and seeing of the beauty you create - you are INCREDIBLE Lady!

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Leslie... your cottage looks positively stunning. Love all your Christmas touches. Have a happy new year!!

La Contessa said...

THAT was lovely BUT HOW DO YOU And MANY OTHER BLOGGERS have time to BLOG the week of CHRISTMAS!?
I am just coming out of my EXHAUSTION PERIOD!SLEPT 11 hours last night and 10 the night before.............
CATCHING up now.....until a birthday falls on MONDAY.......NOT MINE but gotta figure out the food soon!

YOU would roll your eyes in MY HOUSE............

YOU ARE A TALENTED LADY and it would seem you were raised UP NORTH???I did not realize that until TODAY!
I can meet YOU on the FIVE one day when you are driving NORTH!!!!!!!!!!

I loved NANCY DREW TOO......................I was once told they were written very poorly by an ENGLISH major type person!I thought to myself I LOVED TRA LA!
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU And those GORGEOUS BOYS..........send me a PHOTO OF YOU!I want to see who they take after....XX

Calypso In The Country said...

Your home is always lovely but I especially love the way you decorate this time of year. The pops of color and the little touches like the red boots are just so perfect. I am still in awe over those barn doors for the TV. Just brilliant and so beautiful! Best wishes to you for a happy and healthy new year!

Art and Sand said...

I'll begin at the end - The Secret of the Old Clock was my favorite.

I am amazed at what you have done to turn an ugly duckling into a homey swan. And I'm even more impressed that you (and your day) have done so much of it yourself. I'm not surprised that so many people have looked at your makeovers.

My January is filling up. How does the last week of January look for either me coming down your way or you coming my way? Of course, we could meet half way too.

cindy hattersley design said...

Congrats on the Hometalk attention...soooo deserving!! Your Christmas tour was my favorite this year I love it because it is filled with meaninful decor, not just a bunch of homegoods crap!

Nadine said...

Love your blog! Question for you, where do you keep all the cords/boxes that attach to your tv?

Jessica White said...

Beautiful! How high is your mantel from the floor?

Jenni said...

You're very talented and I love your house! How do I find the DIY instructions for the sliding doors with the tv?

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