You guys know Lesli, right? She’s a friend of ours who lives in out in the country (Greenwood, Virginia) and happens to be an amazing painter (you might remember our giveaway with her). She has an awesome blog and a sweet old house – complete with extra high ceilings that we covet and 100+ year old details that make “old farmhouse” the dream for so many people (us included). So we can’t wait to show you around. Let’s get to snooping…
Almost every item in Lesli’s home has been loved back to life. Like the old bench that sits in her entryway, which she got secondhand for $50 and painted a fresh new color. All of the mixed and matched art above it has such a fun and casual vibe – almost like it’s a beach house. The best thing about this house out in the country (with gorgeous views of the mountains) is that nothing feels too precious. Clara had a blast (and I didn’t have to have fifteen heart attacks worrying that she’d break something since the house was so kid friendly and fun). Oh and see that suitcase that Clara’s standing on? It can be seen in this Burger birthday video (Lesli’s daughter actually gave it to Clara to take home – how sweet is that?).
To the left of that entryway are two large rooms with awesome envy-inducing high ceilings. The room in the front is a living area, and the one in the back was once a formal dining room but Lesli realized that her family got more use out of making that another sitting area with a big couch for reading (you know, so Lesli can curl up and read in one space while the kids watch TV in the next room). So she moved the dining room to the other side of the house and made this side into one big casual chill-out area.
I think some of the most noteworthy choices that Lesli made in the room had to do with color. Look at those bold patterned curtains! That awesome kid-art with bright pink mats! Even the colorful Uglydoll on the couch is inspired! Too many exclamation points? Sorry, this room just gets me excited. And the coolest thing is that Lesli actually designed the fabric for those curtains herself (it’s a horse painting that she did, which she uploaded to Spoonflower and duplicated a bunch of times to create an abstract ikat-ish effect). I got woozy when she told me that. Seriously, it was horse-print-induced hysteria.
Here’s that room behind the one we shared above (which used to be the formal dining room until she moved that to the other side of the house). I love that Lesli made things work for her family instead of being locked into using the same layout that the previous owners did. And see that round coffee table? It was actually a kitchen table from Lesli’s old house, but she cut the stand down to make it coffee-table height. Isn’t that a smart use-whatcha-got trick?
Check out that big mirror over the mantel. It’s original to the 100+ year old house. Gorgeous, right? Lesli was so humble about everything but I was totally standing there drooling. The cool thing about this house is that it’s a great example of how you can fill an awesome old farmhouse with inexpensive items and reinvent old thrift store pieces. And nothing feels like you’re going to break it or ruin it… it’s approachable and comfortable.
Here’s a secondhand cabinet that she rescued with some fresh paint. I love the pops of yellow and the wooden fish on the wall with the name of her city painted on it. And see that bolt of fabric leaning casually in the corner? I love it there. The whole house is so refreshingly unfussy and easy.
Here’s her upstairs bathroom complete with a few more pops of color in the art and the textiles. It’s cool to see how Lesli mixes old (the ornate antique mirror) with new (the geometric bath mat – which is actually a TJ Maxx find) along with a whole lotta fresh white.
Lesli’s master bedroom was having some drywall work done in a few areas, but we were able to sneak this shot of the corner of the room complete with a fun graphic chair, a non-working fireplace that she filled with books, and a window cornice that she actually made out of fabric and foam core (seriously! she took one down and showed me and it looked so legit – I never would have guessed it was foam core under there and not wood). And as for a little more info on that chair, she got it cheaply because it was a floor model and then recovered it with $9.99 Dwell Studio fabric from U-Fab (she found a great upholstery guy out there who only charged $100 to recover the chair!).
Now on to my favorite room in the house! You may have seen her daughter Phoebe’s room since it actually won in a recent Washington Post kids room contest, but even if you have, it’s totally worth a second look. Everything from that awesome colorful chandelier (from Urban Outfitters!) to the bold blue wall with the fun pink border and some more patterned fabric cornices (plus that great geometric rug that she got on clearance from PB Teen for $150!) was completely fun and charming.
Without a doubt my favorite thing in the room were the beds. Can you believe that Lesli got them at a thrift store for super cheap and then painted and upholstered the back herself? It looked complicated (how do you curve the fabric like that?) but the curved panel actually just pops out so she added some batting and some fabric, pulled it taut and stapled it in the back, and then just screwed the panel back on. Easy peasy. The fabric is Premier Suzani Slub in Corn. Don’t they look like a million bucks?
The room that her sons share was just as sweet with fun orange accents (the over-sized ceiling shade and the curtains that she made with this fabric were awesome)…
… but my favorite things in that room were these crazy.awesome.lamps. They were just cheap glass lamps that she got from Target, but they were fillable – so she decided to fill one of them with a bunch of tiny toys that her son had collected when he was younger but no longer plays with. And the other one got filled with old cars that used to be enjoyed all the time. I thought it was such a cool way to keep something sentimental around that your child might not actively play with anymore. Imagine the possibilities: legos, polly pockets, colored pencils, rubber erasers, the list goes on! Now I can expand my shadowbox obsession to fillable lamps…
So there you have Lesli’s awesome house. Thanks so much to her and the family for so graciously inviting us over to crash! We had the best time, and couldn’t wait to share all of her creativity with you guys. I mean, from those spoonflower curtains that Lesli designed herself to the lamps full of kid paraphernalia, we definitely left feeling super inspired! Now let’s play the what’s-your-favorite-part game. I gotta stick with those genius thrift store beds that she completely redid for Phoebe’s room. Amazing.
Psst- Don’t wanna stop snooping around? You can check out dozens of House Crashing adventures right here.
We can’t wait to share this house crashing adventure because you’ve actually seen how Lesley & Jeff live…. but that was over 4.5 years ago (before they had two sweet little boys and moved into a new home for their growing family). It’s actually a mid-century split level house in a charming woodsy neighborhood right here in Richmond, and of course Lesley and Jeff have completely made it their own.
But first, just to refresh your memory, here’s their first house – which we crashed all the way back in 2008!
But back to their new place. You guys might remember that Lesley is a master of making ugly things into assets. For example, she didn’t like the dated iron columns full of swirls and zig-zags on her new front porch… so they trained some vines to grow around them and cover them. So charming right? No more swirly iron posts. And it was a lot more cost effective than demoing them out and redoing the porch (although they’re open to tackling that down the line).
One of our favorite things about Lesley’s stye is how she mixes things. And not just anything, meaningful things. See the red chandelier in the mirror of her entryway? That was actually something she spray painted red years ago for her wedding. She and Jeff danced under that in their reception tent and now it graces their hallway. And lots of their furniture is secondhand (hooray for worn and loved pieces made from solid wood!).
Here’s another corner of their entryway, complete with a pillow with a meaningful number and upholstery fabric that she chose to give the old seen-better-days chair a fresh look.
The family room was one of my favorites in the house. Why? Because it’s paneling, people! But they decided to embrace it. It wasn’t that flimsy faux paneling, it was thick solid wood and Lesley called it “embracing her inner Golden Girl.” How hilarious is she? So instead of drywalling over it or even painting it, she and Jeff added a few other retro touches (like that awesome old laundry sign that Lesley got from a local cleaners that was going out of business – she just asked for it and they gave it to her). Lesley is a master at effortlessly mixing and matching textiles (check out the layered patterns of those pillows, the rug, and those ottomans) to create a cozy and welcoming vibe. It was definitely one of those rooms that draws you in where everyone ends up. And see that pair of wing chairs? Lesley got them for $50 each on craigslist and didn’t even have to recover them (they had been covered with protective plastic for decades since they were bought!).
How awesome is this framed secondhand art that Lesley scored on sale for $50? Oh and the throw over the sofa is from her friend’s etsy store.
You know what John went wild for, right? This map. Lesley got it on ebay. I think the bright teal color looks awesome against the paneling with that chic gold lamp layered in.
Here’s the kitchen, complete with dark stone floors (the tile is just simple durable tile store stuff, but Lesley upped the ante by laying it in a herringbone pattern), dark painted beadboard for the backsplash that they DIYed themselves for under $40, creamy white cabinets, and dark hardware that ties into the dark floors and counters.
They also have a wall where they measure the kiddos and have bright silhouettes of each of them. You know we’re suckers for those personalized details.
Lesley also made the curtain from happy and bright fabric with some fringe on the bottom. And check out that crane to the left of the curtain that Lesley rests her dishtowel on. Yup, I was certifiably crazy about it. And the aqua foo dogs.
There’s an awesome sunroom off the back of the house that Lesley and Jeff converted into a playroom. They added functional toy baskets, a big train table, some rich color on the brick (Woodcliff Lake by Benjamin Moore) and the door (Goldsmith by Benjamin Moore) along with some beautiful and architectural plantation shutters. As you might guess, Clara made a beeline for that room and basically never left.
Upstairs in the bedroom is more patterned fabric, and touches of wood. And how great are those framed blueprints (from West Elm a while back)? I love how Lesley hung them in a fun offset way.
This is the guest room, complete with dusty grey blue walls, orange patterned bedding (from Pottery Barn), and a giant thrift store sailfish over the bed. And how awesome are those sculptural side tables (from PB Teen) and the textured white table lamps (from HomeGoods). It’s awesome how Lesley tempers her bold colors and accents with crisp white or rich wood to keep rooms from being too chaotic – even with a big ol’ fish on the wall.
One of our favorite things about Lesley is her work-with-whatcha-got spirit. She actually embraced her pink tiled bathroom to the point that it feels totally like her. Isn’t the ornate thrift store mirror, the bright green rug from Target, and the blue-gray wall color (Metro Gray by Benjamin Moore) mixed with the ruffled curtain (from Anthropologie, but found on craigslist) so sophisticated and fun? I love how it doesn’t look too “serious” or “over designed” – it’s just easy and everything goes without being matchy-matchy. So I was so excited to share this picture for anyone else out there with a pink bathroom.
Her sons love sharing a room, and we loved how their beds were the same color/style (found on the cheap thanks to craigslist) but that the bedding was slightly different along with what was hanging over each bed (they were both secondhand finds – the flag was found locally and the old bus scroll was from ebay). We think it’s really cool to personalize each corner so things aren’t cloned but still tie together really well.
And this is Lesley’s office down in the basement. I loved everything from the black storage boxes and table lamps (those are HomeGoods lights for 30 bucks a pop) to the casual stacks of books going in all directions. Even with the blanket draped over the chair and the flowers in the vase, it definitely didn’t feel crazy-styled thanks to those random ribbons on the shelves and all of those colorful stacks of books just shoved in there. There’s something very easy-yet-chic about Lesley’s house. Like she’s not trying too hard but it still looks awesome, cozy, and personal.
So we’re sending out a huge thanks to Lesley, Jeff, and her two sweet boys for having us over so we could share all the photos with you guys! Hope you got some inspiration from things like the pink tiled bathroom and that paneled family room! Let’s play the whats-your-favorite-part game. Mine is the smart vine trick they pulled on the porch to hide those columns and the boys’ room with those matching but not too-matchy craigslist beds. And of course John loves the framed blueprints and that awesome teal map. No surprises there.
Psst- Don’t wanna stop snooping around? You can check out dozens of House Crashing adventures right here.