Posted April 13th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, LR Interior Design

Bittersweet:  causing pleasure tinged with sadness or pain…

Driving back to The Farm from the airport last night…home to my wonderful husband of exactly 23 years, I thought about the one word to describe my week in New Orleans.  Bittersweet.

My sweet friends Hattie and Bruce hosted me in their beautiful contemporary home in River Ridge. Hattie called me several years ago to help her make some design decisions after they had looked at our home to buy. She has a very edited, really minimalistic, style so we hit it off immediately.

My days were filled with very long hours consulting with new and old clients…primarily editing.  As Spring approaches, we are all ready to “lighten up” in every way. So I peeled away years of accumulation revealing this lightness and the beauty of simplicity. The beauty of a well-edited interior began to define each room in these homes.

With my new clients, as always, this question was asked more than several times.

“BUT WHAT ARE WE GOING TO PUT THERE?” And my response, as always…”NOTHING.”

Learning to live with less, with some empty space, takes time, but everyone comes to enjoy it. As I created piles of “expendables”, I could see my clients wondering why they had cluttered their home needlessly…

Often, clutter just happens. Years of accumulation and we find ourselves completely overwhelmed.  The bittersweet is that it takes someone who will honestly tell you the truth. Someone who will ask you the hard questions which force you to make the decision to

give away

throw away

and put away.

Although I left laundry rooms and garages full of those piles, my clients were thrilled! With furniture moved around, art rehung and accessories carefully placed, a beautifully well-edited design took shape. Hard work-fun work. A bit bittersweet.

If you have been a part of our on-line community for a while, you might remember my pictorial blog, TONE ON TONE, about the home in New Orleans I completed last fall.  click HERE

16 months of working with this generous, caring couple who lived in a modest home for 30 years. They met at age 12, later married and raised 4 children. Their new home was their dream home…a new and wonderful season of life they were looking forward to sharing.

MY HEART IS BROKEN. Janace has been diagnosed with a fatal and rare {1 in 1 million} degenerative brain disease. Mayo Clinic can’t even figure out how she would have contracted it. She is dying. Her husband called me only a month ago for prayer, and as I sat and held his hand on Monday, Hospice was setting up a hospital bed in their beautiful bedroom. My heart is broken. His words still stinging my ears…”Leah, I can’t remember life without her.”

Any day now she will behold Jesus’ face and I will always remember the long days we spent together carefully editing and making selections for this new season she was so excited about.

Although I know and believe God’s Word, I am grieving for my friend. My comfort comes in knowing when we are absent from our earthly bodies, we are present with our Lord. My comfort comes from knowing that sorrow lasts for a night, but joy eventually comes in the morning. My comfort comes from the ever-present comforter, the Holy Spirit, who grips my heart in love as I pray for this family I came to know and love.

BITTERSWEET…I take a giant step back, to widen my view and take in the overall picture, whether in a room or in a life. Editing out the clutter and expendables, making room for what is truly important. That is the interior wisdom that God alone gives to create beauty, simplicity and order in our homes and hearts.

Please pray for my friends.

Life is full of BITTERSWEET moments and God alone gets us through them, tenderly teaching us and He edits our lives.





EXIT interior workman!!!

Posted December 3rd, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Interior Design

Happy Saturday friends!!  Yes! You read the title correctly…the last interior worker bee {except for me!} has exited.  So this little bee has been busily organizing and decorating.  It was such fun to open box after box of “stuff” we have carefully collected over the years.  We bought a couple of new furniture pieces, but all the “decoration” {add a little French accent please} is just our {good} old stuff.  Please take note that I used the word “carefully” collected stuff.  The quickest way to blow a good design is “clutter”!

By the way…if you are new to our on-line community, please go back about and look through July-now to see the before status.

The simple, heavy texture, creamy linen drapery panels will be installed downstairs Monday…but I just could not wait to show you!  I know I have said it so often, but I just love all the windows/views from our home. The living room has 3 sided light!

The fabulous painting Melissa Key gifted to me sets the tone beautifully as you enter the foyer.


You can stand in the sun room and look all the way through the house to the living room.

The organic design totem I built in pottery class found a perfect spot.

Mixing textures is key to interesting design.

Use what you love…it does not need to be expensive.  The twig in the bookcase is from our yard in Destin after Hurricane Ivan blew through.  It has meaning to me…I love the color…and the organic feel…so I use it in my design.

The building pottery season of my life was such fun!  I hope to have the opportunity to continue here in DeLand one day.

Each girl comes from a different place and time in my life.  The nude sitting was a 40th birthday gift from my sweet friend Janet Porterfield, while we were working in Paris. Remember…naked we came into this world and naked we shall leave, so hold loosely to all the beautiful things of this world.


The back staircase has turned out to be one of my favorite venues!

The prints are from original works of an artist in Israel.  I bought them on Etsy for $18 each and put them in beautiful frames my mom gave me.

Looking out of my bathroom window at the Camphor tree.

Remember the blog about these abstract shells I found in New Orleans…I love to juxtapose light against dark for it clearly defines the lines and form of objects.  Again, a mix of textures {note to self: buy candles}.

The Butler’s Pantry…crystal juxtaposed against slick, modern white subway tile.

I took these photos when workers were finishing up…therefore remnants of rags, ladders, etc…

A cabinet designed to look like a furniture piece lends importance to the kitchen.

Since I did not add any recessed can lighting in the home, my light source comes from lamps, sconces and some pendant lighting.

When the budget allows, I want a tiny bistro table between the chairs, which will be an intimate place to have a cup of coffee or sandwich.

A big mirror hides my amateur brick work!

I created a little seating area beside the fireplace.  If I need overflow seating, I can bring in a small table and the Ghost chairs.

Haha…Mike and Calvin are the only ones left and they are busily finishing the exterior painting. We all are feeling a bit sideways these days!

The sunroom is where we hang out in the evenings.  Eventually, I plan to take the shutters that we did not put back on some of the windows on the side of the house to make a fence around the AC units.

The storefront metal windows we added take the farmhouse to a modern edge and give us great views!

the Roo is still hanging in there with me!

The girls are growing up and we hope they will start laying eggs in January.

We plan to have a table at the local farmer’s market once things settle down for Jim’s garden “tastes” wonderful.

The rock finish on the house has painted beautifully in Ben Moore Cloud White.  It looks like a rough stucco finish.


The shutters going back up in some locations will be Cloud White too, in semi-gloss.

I have been collecting old wicker for the porches…mom and I found this awesome sofa at a thrift shop for $75.00!!

A lot of white paint and some Sunbrella fabric….

Outside it still looks like Fred Sanford lives here!  So let’s go see the upstairs.

I love the sound of a screen door slamming!  The lower half will be paneled out to make them all more sturdy.  Paint your doors, interior side and exterior side, one color if possible. It just looks more unified.  {This one not painted yet}

Guest room is ready for my family coming to visit for Christmas.  We had a very tall fabric covered headboard, so I had the upholsterer cut it down since all the beds in this home are floated away from the walls due to all the windows.  It was an easy fix…delivered Monday.

Master Bedroom coming along…I always complete our space last.

The key-hole back plates were taken from the original door hardware and used here.

Sooo happy with the half shutters, which allow for the wonderful sky views.

These past 5 months have been quite a journey. Our renovation took longer than I thought and a bit more funds, but we could not be more pleased.  It feels like home, which means Jim and I are in that kitchen cooking nightly…and loving it!  My heart overflows with thanksgiving.

NOW…I can be about my Heavenly Father’s business.  I would like to have a Bible study for some college girls at Stetson University here this Winter.  Please keep that in your prayers.  Also, I will be available to take on a design job, please keep that in your prayers.  Jim and I are intently listening to the Holy Spirit for the “Spiritual Design” for our lives in 2012.  How about you?  Are you listening too?

I will be in N. Florida speaking next week at the Christmas luncheon for the Niceville United Methodist. Church. If you are in the area and would like to come, please make a reservation by calling Margo at 850-423-0996 or 850-502-6255.  I am very excited to see many women whom I studied God’s Word with in Community Bible Study in Destin, for many many years.

In all our doings this Christmas season…let’s us not forget to be still, listen to the Spirit, then get up and be about our Heavenly Father’s business.  Putting Jesus at the top of our Christmas list!

Love you all and so appreciate your encouragement through this renovation!


New Renovation pictures…getting close

Posted November 17th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, LR Interior Design

So…I am driving up to South Georgia to share a Christmas message in Bainbridge, Georgia.  I would really appreciate your prayers. Gabriel said to Mary…NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD.  Every time I open my mouth before an audience, I appreciate that promise.

As you scroll through the pictures, notice that I don’t have any counter tops, which must come before the faucets.  Hopefully theses items will be completed Monday and Tuesday before family arrives on Wednesday.  I call that cutting it close!!  Thank goodness Jim’s family is so easy and comfortable!  We won’t be unpacked or pulled together, but being together to give thanks for all our many blessings is truly all we want.

Have a wonderful weekend!

love you,



Tile walls will completed once counter tops are installed.


Door bell dates back to the Civil War!  You pull a lever on the outside and it goes “ring…ring”!

Simple and creative closet design.

The sitting area in the Master Bedroom will be my quiet time/writing area.

the key plates came off of the doors…repurposed.

Mirrors behind the sconces.

Half shutters allow for more light and beautiful view of the gardens and grove.

Guest room

Mirrors on the back of bedroom doors increase the room size.

Nothing is square or level…and I LOVE IT!   Reminds me of…me!

Day One

Posted October 31st, 2011 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, LR Interior Design


This week I thought I would post pictures with little commentary…’cause I am already exhausted!  But good exhausted!

Using lots of antique brass fixtures and touches throughout

30 x 18 fireclay Farm Sink

The beautiful foyer chandelier that came with the house…moved to the dining room

My sweet friend Kim gave me this companion chandelier to the dining room one, which I hung in the upstairs foyer

Back staircase

Guest bathroom cabinets

Pulled away to take a deep breath

and check in with the girls

Big plate of fresh spinach, arugula and basil



Renovation Update

Posted October 30th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, LR Interior Design

Wood rot repairs have started on the exterior to prep for painting.  I love the idea of a white farmhouse…such a surprise I know!  All will be painted Cloud White by Ben Moore, except the porch floors will be a dark taupe {still stewing over the exact color}.  We trimmed the bushes {such a beautiful view of the lake} and removed the screen on the porch. We will try the open porch, and hopefully the bugs won’t force us to screen it again.


We removed all the shutters on the house except the ones on the porches. Less shutters will give the exterior a more “Modern Farmhouse” appeal, and I hope to use the ones we removed to create a fence around the air conditioner units.



It took about 6 tries until we developed the right stain color.  The beautiful old growth heart pine floors have a very orange undertone, so we worked to find a color with more blue undertones to neutralize the orange.  Blue and orange are complimentary colors, when complimentary colors are mixed, you get a nice neutral color.  After drying, the one I thought might work turned out too yellow.

But we finally made a custom stain color that looked like the pale washed French oak driftwoody color I wanted.

Can you see the black patch in the top right corner?  Well…that is what the entire kitchen floor looked like. After 4 days, the glued-down tar paper revealed a beautiful pine floor.

I don’t think this floor is as old as the rest of the house because the face size is smaller and the color is more of a golden yellow.

But look how beautiful they look with just the first coat.


Watching the floors dry requires patience…it felt like watching the garden bloom!  And as you can see, our flowers are blooming beautifully.

Our spinach is huge and really peppery.

Jim should have some peppers soon. The small {very small} trees are pomegranate trees developed by the University of Florida.

Thank you Lord for all your many blessing.

These swings were gifted to us by the exterior painter. My right hand is stuck in pressure washing mode, but no longer black and moldy, the swings look great hanging under the camphor tree.

Bud hung Jim’s hammock for his birthday under the huge Holly Berry tree canopy.  Once the chain link fence is replaced, this will be a special spot.

Today, cabinet installation starts…I AM SO EXCITED!!  And the electricians start hanging light fixtures…I AM SO EXCITED!!

Tuesday the plumbers start installing fixtures…I AM SO EXCITED!!

Yes, I AM SO EXCITED!!  This week our home will start taking shape so stay tuned because I want you to be a part of it all!



INTERIOR INSPIRATION by Bates Corkern Studio

Posted October 24th, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Interior Design, Word of Encouragement

This Birmingham design firm’s work catches my eye and draws me in to explore the details.  Such simplicity, yet I recognize, as a designer, much thought and careful selection along with careful editing has taken place to create and design these rooms.

Drawn to the light…


Love this idea!  A handsome and functional leather upholstered buffet with nailhead trim floating above the floor.

I wonder if this is a light source or a GIGANTIC television lurks behind!

Great use of space and I am certain a television is behind the doors above the fireplace.  Built-in seating- fantastic!

Beautiful use of drapery to soften the space and continue the lines…even if there are no windows behind them. The lamp shades look like a mesh- love them!

Interior walls of painted brick add such texture and character to a home, new or old.  My eye moves right past the modern open staircase to the exterior. What a wonderful mix!

The arched openings throughout this home lend an elegance to all white spaces.  Another drapery wall creating warmth and texture. The round mirror mimics the round windows in the home. The design principle of repetition harkens harmony.

A beautiful still water feature.  Oh how I could sit for hours, dangle my feet…lean back in the grass…and enjoy the carefully designed details.  {while coveting, I mean admiring, the copper gutters…smile}

What one simple, good idea could you incorporate into your home?  Maybe it’s just the idea of keeping things simple. Or paying attention to details. This time of year as we begin seasonal decorating, remember to make it more about the reasons we celebrate than the celebrations and decorations themselves.

Here’s an idea– If you have accumulated lots and lots of Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations over the years, take time to go through them and set aside ones you can part with.  Wrap them in tissue paper with a little ribbon and take them to your local Habitat for Humanity, Shelter or Recovery House. Maybe you know someone whose life will be a bit sparse this season…Let your adoration for this season of love decorate another’s life and home.  

Let generosity be the common thread that weaves your heart and home together. We have been mightily blessed to be a blessing.


Have a wonderful week!

xo   leah

P.S.   The kitchen floor took 4 DAYS to get the glued-down tar paper sanded off!  But with that hurdle behind us, staining started today- Yeah! If the finish coats dry as expected, cabinet installation and electrical trim out will start on Friday. So much for my “fast-tracking” this restoration! {humility abounds} I just hope we will be in by Thanksgiving. If not, I understand turkey on the grill is good too!

Majorly Full Week!!

Posted September 29th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, LR Interior Design

Remember the old pump house above?  Well, let’s just say the pile of extra doors and wood has greatly diminished with the completion of the new pump house. The 18″ deep trench will house electrical for the existing freezer and refrigerator. It will be handy having refrigeration for the eggs so close to the coop.

Landscaping should hide these pipes…maybe wild petunias.  The large vertical boards forming the corners were storage shelving in the kitchen area of the house.

So far I have painted the pump house, but I plan to roll a driftwood-colored wash over the white and paint the doors like the Coop.  Since I love the shutter color, I am now conflicted about the color I used on the “Coop” doors.  Will study that tomorrow…

I pulled out my trusty Sharpy and wrote Scriptures and prayers on the walls in the house where cabinets will be installed.  Now Scriptures are sealed in my heart and home!

DeLand Metalcrafters came by for me to see the scale of the staircase design.  The circle is 12″ in diameter, which is 1/3 of the total width.  After seeing it, I decided to increase the size to 16″.  BUT…I just love the way it opens the staircase and pushes the modern edge.  I have plans for the checkerboard piece removed.

The mirror installer just could not get the intersections of the squares to line up due to the unevenness of the wall.  So I had to rethink this design too.  Tomorrow, another large mirror, with less cuts, will be installed.

The rough sanding of the floors was completed today, and Peter and I will work on a custom “Driftwood” color stain. Covering the orange tone of Heart Pine may require bleaching first, but I hope not. Often times design ideas require a bit of trial and error. My clients are happy to know I experiment in my own home first!

I do, however, love the look of the pale taupe doors.  The new brushed nickle door hardware by Emteck looks great too.

New back door in the kitchen, which looks very similar to the old one, provides natural light into the kitchen.

I sanded and refinished the “Vintage” dining chairs in a dark walnut stain by Cabot, then sealed them in a Semi-gloss finish.  Love the shine, which pushes the modern edge.

Next…buy some foam, fabric and a staple gun to reupholster the seats.

Jim and I enjoyed fresh spinach and arugula salads all week.  Our cucumber {leaves for now} are growing like crazy.

On a sad note, we lost the majestic water oak in the Orchard.  Jim walked out to the orchard one morning and found that one of the huge limbs had fallen and split the main trunk in two.  We didn’t have an option, but removing it was definitely NOT in my budget!

We removed the old wire fence that needed a lot of repair and plan to live without one for a while to see how we like it.  Jim and I both like the idea of planting a line of trees for privacy, with a driveway opening a bit further down from the original one.

The girls are growing up

and they love the camera!

And, I was honored to speak to the Interior Design department of Daytona State College.  They are an absolutely precious group!  One of the quotes on their studio wall by the late “gran-dame” of design, Elsie de Wolfe, made me laugh.

“I believe in plenty of optimism and white paint.”     Gosh I wish I had said that!!!

Here are the 4 “B” points I encouraged them to consider…for design, and life.

1.  Bigger picture: There is always a bigger plan and picture, so dream with faith and expand your thinking.

2.  Be generous:  Offer your time, talent, share your resources and watch the boomerang effect become reality.

3.  Be in good company:  Surround yourself with positive, successful, creative people.  No one is successful in a vacuum.

4.  Be excellent:  Go beyond good…be excellent at all you do.  Set yourself apart by going beyond standard expectations.

 Do you incorporate these into your everyday life?  What Scripture comes to mind as you think on these?  {Jeremiah 29:11, Galatians 6:7, Proverbs 11:25, Galatians 5:9, Genesis 1:31}

Yes, it has been a majorly full week!  Good week, encouraging week, productive week…maybe I’ll rest on Saturday…but probably not.  (:

love you and enjoy your weekend sweet friends!

xo  leah








Tone-on-Tone in Metairie, Louisiana

Posted September 11th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, LR Interior Design

Last week I did a whirlwind {36 hours in 4 days} finish to a home I have been working on for 14 months. Here are some pictures from April, during construction…

This man is a true craftsman with a trowel.  The steps {treads, risers and nosing} are limestone. He finished the skirt board in stucco to match the limestone. The tool he handcrafted created a nice detail to the edge. Truly a craftsman!

Entrance foyer looking into the living room…

After considering the couples’ lifestyle {4 children and 9 grandchildren…at this point} we decided to turn the room slated for formal dining into a beautiful study for the husband, who frequently works at home. If paneled walls blow your budget, then apply molding to sheetrock walls and paint it all one yummy color. You will see the beautiful end result.

The wife and I worked for hours with various iron pieces on her living room floor until we created a design we loved.  I sketched it out and the iron fabricator did a beautiful job bringing our design to fruition.  We duplicated the process for the staircase design.

The coffered ceiling adds strength to this large living room and brings your eye down, which creates a more human scale. The key to designing a coffered ceiling is stacking various size moldings, creating nice depth.

The back loggia overlooks a teeny tiny New Orleans’ style courtyard with pool.

I designed the built-ins flanking the stone fireplace in the living room to showcase my clients pottery. She is very talented! The built-in on the left houses a television that, at the push of a button, rises out of the base cabinet.

The exterior sports casement windows in a beautiful mushroom color, with copper gutters.  The body color, coins and trim all in one color- white!

Large Bevelo lanterns and flagstone create an impressive entrance. Always opt for larger when it comes to exterior light fixtures.

NOW…these are the images from last week. All the trees have not been planted and I am not “complete-complete”…but enough to show you.

Foyer mirror reflects the prize staircase, a major focal point in the home.  Antique mirror and bench with new sconces from Circa Lighting by Susanne Kasler.

Custom designed light fixture- we worked with Julie Neil.

Chair and fabric by Hickory Chair-

Beautiful staircase detail- custom finish.

Walking in the front door…your eye is drawn through the house to the courtyard. Tone-on-Tone cocoons you in pale taupe walls {Ben Moore HC-81}, French limestone floors, neutral fabrics and strong architectural details.

Remember the study…the walls look paneled don’t they.

The plantation shutters are also painted the same color as the walls and trim.

The stone mosaic over the cooktop was one of our first selections and it set the tone not only for the kitchen, but the rest of the home too. Installing antique brass sconces add warmth, interest and beautiful accent lighting.

The small glass tiles shimmer in the sunlight.  I love the shallow end where the grandchildren can play.

Although the dining area is a part of the kitchen, installing the same drapery as the living room sets it apart evoking a relaxed elegance.  The 10 foot long antique farm table gives the room an acquired look and accommodates everyone.

I finished Friday at 5:30 and they hosted their first dinner party at 7:00!

The success of tone-on-tone style- mixing antique and new, traditional and modern, smooth and textured.

This piece of pottery she hand built is amazingly beautiful.  French blue is our main accent color.

Just love the reflection of a mirror, which doubles the space while reflecting the light.

When you paint the walls and trim one color, the trim is actually more noticeable…in a beautifully subtle way.

There are wonderful vistas everywhere. I plan to order a small drink table {thinking lucite} between the animal print fabric occasional chairs. It will be functional and a clear material will not stop the eye.

The large seagrass rug we have on order will add great texture and pull the living room together nicely. Have I mentioned just how much I love the reflective quality of the mirrors, which bounce light all around the room!

The banquet area was designed for the couple to eat casual meals together or play cards…I understand the granddaughters have taken it over for playing Polly Pockets!!  (:

Before I left, the wife and I prayed through every room of the home.  We opened the front and back door and asked the Holy Spirit to remove any spirit contrary to the Holy Spirit and fill this home with the ways, will and character of God…LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, GENTLENESS, FAITHFULNESS AND SELF CONTROL. {Galatians 5:22} It was such a wonderful way for me to leave and my clients to begin a new season in a new home with a new song of thanksgiving in their hearts.

Have you ever prayed through your home? I encourage you to anoint your entrances, open the doors and invite the Holy Spirit to dwell within in fullness and joy.

Now that’s setting the “Tone” of the home!

May the Lord bless your home and heart immeasurably this week!

xo  leah

Renovation update

Posted August 28th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, LR Interior Design

Things are looking “white” around E. New York Ave. these days!  The plaster work will be complete on Tuesday and the painters started their sanding and prep work the end of last week. After studying the staircase, I decided to remove the grid of squares which closed in the staircase and gave it a bit too “Craftsman-style” architecture for my style.

Look how much more open the staircase looks.

DeLand Metal Craft Co. is fabricating this design in a French Steel finish for the opening.

We enjoyed some close friends from North Florida stopping by Sunday morning.  Jim and I were delighted to show them our progress and the guest room that we hope they will frequent.

The guest bath door is now installed and it is one of the few doors we needed to purchase.  It can be awkward for two doors to open against each other, but due to light switch placement and the floor plan of the bathroom, this could not be installed as an in-swing door. To help make it less awkward, I had it installed with an 180-degree hinge so it will swing flat against the wall.

I removed the over-mantle on the fireplace so I could install cut mirrors above which will create a wonderful reflective quality in the Living Room.  The pattern will be 12 x 12 squares {an ode to the gird I removed in the staircase} with 5 x 12 pieces surrounding. Can’t wait to show you!  A cut mirror pattern over the fireplace {or somewhere in the living area} is part of my signature style.

Tomorrow morning I will write one of my favorite Scriptures on the wall before they adhere the mirror squares…

Be still and know that I am God.  

Psalm 46:10

And, I will then be still and decide how to address the red brick surround!!

Saturday after a design consultation in College Park, I stopped in an “antique/vintage” shop and found some “good stuff”. Unsure where this light fixture will go, but for $185.00 it had to come home with me.

On the left side of the fireplace in the Dining Room, we created a small bench with simple framing and sheetrock. I plan to put loose raffia cushions on it and hang artwork above.  Since the bench is standard dining chair seat height, I can use it with a bistro table for overflow seating when needed.

The kitchen hood was installed

and the back staircase in the Kitchen is taking shape.

It was a challenge to hide the large plumbing waste line, but I am pleased with this column effect and the minor amount we dropped the ceiling.  I would like to find a column capital, maybe gilded Corinthian style, to place at the top of the column.  It would be an unexpected touch in the kitchen.

Once the kitchen walls were closed up, I really got excited!  I think I am going to love, love, love our kitchen!

My bathroom floor and tile baseboard received a major scrubbing {all afternoon} and it cleaned up very nicely.

This is a view of the upstairs hall toward the guest room.

After removing the interior door hardware and cleaning it up…I think I may sell it on Ebay. But not all of it. I combined some of the round decorative backplates with some of the new cabinet knobs I purchased and they look wonderful together.  A bit of old and a bit of new…

We moved into the apartment behind the house 8 weeks ago and I am in hopes that in another 8 weeks we will move into the house and start renovation on the apartment. I have high hopes and everyone is working hard toward that end!  Look at my desk!

Besides the small gilded chandelier, I found 6 “vintage” dining chairs to mix with our Mid-century modern Dining room table.  The lines are very sculptural.  An antique is considered over 100 years old, but these are considered vintage since they were crafted around 1960.  I plan to refinish them with a dark walnut stain.

If you have wood furnishings or handrails that have dark stains where the oil from your hands have caused discoloration, you can use denatured alcohol to easily remove it.

Thank you for all your encouraging emails!  They really keep me going…

Day by day…day by day…oh dear Lord, 3 things I pray.  To see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly…day by day!

This week I will remind myself by reminding you…one day at a time.  All will get done…one day at a time.



New Windows!

Posted August 21st, 2011 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, LR Interior Design

Remember these aluminum windows in the studio that were incased in plastic which obstructed the view?

It was a race against our wonderful Florida summer rains this weekend to replace them with

new “storefront” white metal windows.  I just love them!!  They were less expensive than wood, along with the benefit of being maintenance free and pushing the design of our 19th Century Farmhouse to a modern edge.

You can clearly see the difference.

Jim cut back the tall shrubbery to help the workers and clear the way for a wonderful view of Lake Winnemissette.

This is the view back toward the orchard with the side door open.  Our plans are to remove the shutters on the sides and back of the home and make a fence out of them, which will enclose {hide} the air conditioning units.

I will have this door removed and use

the matching French door leading to the studio installed giving me light and a view.  It is an interior grade door, but with the overhang protection it should hold up for a number of years before I will have to replace it with a true exterior grade wood door.

 Some years ago, I worked with a couple remodeling a late 50s ranch which overlooked the the Gulf of Mexico.  The budget was tight, so to achieve the look of a full window wall capturing the view of those emerald green waters, we stacked standard size windows instead of ordering large custom windows.  It created quite an architectural element and turned out to be a great look too. Initially I thought that would be a good application here and worked with the window department at Lowes to stack Peachtree Windows.  Standard size wood interior and clad exterior was almost double the storefront.  When I called Goetz Glass to get an estimate for bathroom mirrors and a shower door, I mentioned my window dilemma.  Don Goetz said he could install the storefront with tempered glass, which significantly reduces noise and heat levels.  I am a fan!  Also, a little of this look will take your kitchen, sunroom addition or enclosed porch in a very interesting design direction.


Thinking on windows...

So it came to pass, at the end of forty days,

that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made.

Genesis 8:6

God gave Noah very specific instructions for the design of the ark, even the window size and placement.  The Bible tells us God personally shut Noah in the Ark. Not a dark windowless ark, but a place designed by God with one window where light and hope could shine. Then God remembered Noah and made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided.

A window was set up high, causing Noah to look up.

When the dove returned with the olive branch, it rested on the windows ledge...Look up Noah…look up!  See, once again, God has remembered you and acted on your behalf to provide for you and every living creature.  Look up!  The Holy Spirit is whispering these words to us today.

Lord Jesus, open the windows of our heart this week and blow a refreshing wind, your precious Holy Spirit, through our lives in a new way. Blow away the stale, stagnant air and replace it with deep abiding breaths of heaven.  Teach us to really breathe…to step back from life and its struggles, and breathe deeply. Create a view that shows us your perspective, a perspective of hope and confidence in the One True Living God…yes Lord, a fresh wind.  Throw open all the windows, for we want to see the reality of you in our everyday lives.



p.s….each time I walk in studio I smile as the Holy Spirit sweetly reminds me what it means to release every stone I desire to cast…yes Lord, no broken windows here!