Posted September 27th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

psst…all things are possible with God!

image via Velvet and Linen

Release the aroma

Posted September 23rd, 2011 by Leah and filed in Word of Encouragement

Sitting in this tiny 2-room cottage, I close my eyes to pray.  My first thought- can you truly fit 10 pounds of potatoes into a 5 pound bag? My eyes pop open and smile…well, yes!  We are so crammed in here with “stuff” everywhere. Everywhere an assault on my eye!

I’m not complaining as much as laughing with the Holy Spirit…look at me sitting here with all this “stuff!”  Color and clutter…so I close my eyes to pray.

The Holy Spirit prompts me to open them and look again at the red plastic container on my dresser next to my jewelry box. Although the sealed lid maintains the freshness of the contents within…it is not until the lid is removed that the fragrance is released. It’s is not until the contents within is mixed with fresh water that a steamy cup of delicious coffee is made…to share.

What does that analogy mean to your life?

Maybe that which could be out of the cabinet, open and shared, is hidden away out of fear…false humility?

Maybe it’s just too painful to remove the lid and try again?

Maybe you believe if you continue to share there will not be enough left for you…doubting God’s continued faithfulness?

Maybe, in this season, you’ve lost the one you want most to share it with…so you allow sadness to prevail instead of hopeful expectation?


Open the lid and breathe deeply the nutty fragrance of life. Ask the Holy Spirit to use this simple exercise to reveal something you need to hear. Listen. The God of everything who upholds your very life wants to reveal a deliciously fresh idea. Listen. He loves you with an infinite everlasting love and is waiting to reveal His plans to fulfill the desires of your heart and make your plans succeed. Listen.


adding an extra scoop just so I can share it with you…love you and praying for you today.   xo   leah

But I trust in you, O Lord;

I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in your hand.

Oh, how abundant is your goodness,

which you have stored up for those who fear you…

Psalm 31:14-15,19 









the “Coop” at The Farm

Posted September 18th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, Leah Richardson

Remember this precious little building?  The previous owners used it to milk their Nubian goats.  As any good 21st-Century designer would do, I “repurposed” it to fit our needs.  It currently houses “the girls.”

Jim and I have worked hard to “upcycle and repurpose” as many materials on the property as we can.  The posts and beams are the ones surrounding the tennis court in the picture above. Bud carefully removed the old and wonderfully wormy cypress boards, setting them aside until I could get back from NOLA so we could reinstall them on the partially new plywood structure {in just the right place no less}.  Redoing this little building took much longer than anticipated since Jim’s “security specs” were up to Ft. Knox standards!!  I will admit we have many creatures that roam around during the day…no telling what comes out at night! Anyway, “the girls” are safe.

Bud installed doors we removed from the house and I painted them Liquid Jade by Valspar in Semi-gloss.

The girls are growing up and they are very happy in their new home.  But something was missing…

meet “Angel”

Sweet Susanne

Cleo {short for Cleopatra}

The Coop needed some landscaping.  Saturday, I visited “A place in the Son” and purchased some plants, placed them and

and planted them in 90 degree heat!  Whew, now that turned out to be a project!!

But “the girls” seem to really like it.

As crazy and boring as it sounds, Jim and I quite enjoy watching “the girls” peck around and take dirt baths {Rudy patrolled}.

I realize I said I would probably never work with brick again…well, time does heal.  I have gathered more brick from the yard and will try my hand at making a little brick entrance/walk way to the doors.  Surely setting them in dirt is easier than mortar!

This week Bud will take down this structure that houses the water pump. My plan “repurposes” the rest of the doors that we removed in the house to form the walls for the new pump house, which will also serve to store “the girl’s hen-stuff.” A neighbor kindly offered us 2 old windows from his garage. Bud said he was up for the challenge to make “dutch doors”…so we shall see.

The garden is growing…cucumbers in 1st place so far.

The brick in the Dining Room got its first coat of paint. {By the way…I tried flat paint but it’s too chalky looking. Next coat will be a satin finish to give it a little shine.}

The walls are complete upstairs.  The doors get painted a light taupe color this week…Ice Formations #973 by Ben Moore.

One bath tiled and grouted.  Instead of removing the little metal window, a plantation shutter will serve two purposes…privacy and disguise.

Meanwhile…we have installed a heavy plastic on the front porch to house all our stuff.  I’ll be happy as a little chick when I can move into my freshly painted {and landscaped} house.

If you plan to start any Fall projects in preparation of the holidays, I encourage you to seriously consider using recycled and upcycled materials, repurposing them to meet your personal needs.

After all, God is in the business of continually repurposing and upcycling our lives too isn’t he…

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there

but water the earth making it bring forth and sprout,

giving seed for the sower and bread to the eater,

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;

it shall not return to me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,

and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11

Count on this wonderful promise of God this week…believe he can take anything in your life and repurpose it for your good and His glory…believe him!



You are a worthy woman!

Posted September 16th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Word of Encouragement

And now, my daughter, do not fear.  

I will do for you all that you ask, for my fellow townsmen know

that you are a worthy woman.

 And now it is true that I am a redeemer.  

Ruth 3:11

A “Worthy” woman…virtuous woman.  In the beautiful love story of Ruth and Boaz, this noun, worthy, in the masculine, interestingly, describes both Ruth and Boaz.  “Cahyil,” in Hebrew, is a strong masculine noun which connotes character, wealth…a position of strength with the basic idea of strength and influence.

Digging a bit deeper, I found it comes from a more primitive root meaning to twist or whirl or dance…to writhe in pain, bend.

Pain…rest…tarry…stay…wait carefully…be wounded…hope…grieve…tremble…trust…travail… many meanings, BUT

most of which derive from 2 basic ideas:  To whirl in motion –  To writhe in pain.

This tells me to keep moving, keep creating, keep speaking truth, keep working, keep going in the name of Jesus!  Don’t stop.  Don’t give up now! Even if my blessings, my miracle comes through raindrops, tears or painful experiences.

Other Scriptures in the Bible use this word to describe labor pain or giving birth, while implying God’s creating work... all Mary went through, but the beauty in the end was the promise in the cradle, our promise.

This weekend please remember

You are strong with the strength of a man- the God/Man Jesus. So be strong in the Lord and His mighty power. You are a woman of influence, look around you.  People listen to you, watch your actions.  God has positioned you and all of Heaven is waiting for you to reject the lies and believe you are a daughter of the King, a worthy woman…a virtuous woman. There is room at the well and it gushes living water to refresh your soul.  There is room in the Kingdom for you. Yes, you may be dancing on this day and writhing in pain tomorrow, but God is with you.  It is true…He is your redeemer…a worthy redeemer infinite in power and love.

I will do all that you ask.  I see, I hear those prayers and cries in the night. I see, hear your heart’s sorrow over what you see and hear happening in this world. Stay close to me, for in me, you are a woman of worth, strength and influence. I command legions of angels, an army, the host of Heaven, all go before you and hem you in.  I am a protective wall of fire around you and the wellspring of glory and majesty within. Do not fear. Abide in that secret place under the shadow of my wings. My banner over you is raised high for all to see its word- LOVE! Love. I love you with an everlasting love, please rest in those words.

You are a woman, my daughter of worth. Take time to look up, spread your arms, dance and twirl! But remember that writhing is often necessary. Out of those groans and waiting and pain comes the joy of the morning.  It is true…I am the redeemer. 

Have a wonder-filled weekend!  I am putting on my boots to go paint the “coop” doors and plant some flowers {tease}…pictures of progress on “The Farm” on Monday.

I bless you!

xo   leah



Posted September 14th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

via just a girl on

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

You are safe…

Posted September 8th, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries, Word of Encouragement

In Sarah Young’s devotional, Jesus Calling, I read these words…

In closeness to me, you are safe.

I stopped


prayed and

pondered the word


My mind reeled with the fullness of this promise- I am safe.

In closeness to me {Jesus}, you are safe.

Too many children don’t grow up in safe homes…too many spouses don’t live in safe homes…and too many seniors don’t live in safe places.

I am smaller than most middle schoolers, and I continually pray for the Lord to keep me safe from bodily harm.

In closeness to me {Jesus}, you are safe.

But when our home, or even our work place, is a hostile environment, not only is our physical wellbeing threatened, but our thoughts, dreams and desires are not safe either. It’s not safe emotionally, intellectually… so we disguise, hide and mask in the hope of being safe.

In closeness to me {Jesus}, you are safe.

What does it mean to you to know that you are safe?

You are a hiding place for me

You preserve me from trouble.

You surround me with shouts of deliverance.

Psalm 32:7

Terrorist attacks, Congressional craziness, financial markets resembling roller coasters, weather gone wild, sex trafficking of our precious children…the world unraveling on a global, national and personal level moment by moment yet God desires us to know…

In closeness to me {Jesus}, you are safe.

I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord who made Heaven and Earth.

Psalm 121: 1-2
Nothing comes as a surprise to our Creator God, for he is our help.  HELP: to aid, protect, succour and surround…to keep us safe.

Lord, today we run into the safety and shelter of your faithfulness, for we long to be safe. Keep, guard and defend us in every way from the evil of this day.  We look to you alone, for man, money nor government can provide permanent {eternal} solutions.  Keep us safe in the shadow of your presence.  Holy Spirit walk with us through this day ever so close…so close that we say “us”, not “I”.  Make us so sensitive, so keenly aware of the reality {the realness} of your presence that we pray in hope and confidence about the days ahead, not shrinking back into fear, worry and doubt. Let our spoken words of hope shatter the unsafe by spilling light-filled words into the darkness.  Keep us safe according to your Word. Keep our children safe. Keep our seniors safe. Thank you for this promise.

In closeness to me {Jesus}, you are safe.

The Lord will keep you from all evil,

he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep your going out and coming in

from this time forth

and forevermore.

Psalm 121: 7-8



P.S….Lord Jesus, keep the secret prayers of this online community “safe” in you.


Posted September 6th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

via from Lisa Lexo

Happy Labor Day!

Posted September 4th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, Leah Richardson, Word of Encouragement

I hope today finds you enjoying the remnants of Summer!  Jim and I started our garden over the weekend and today I am on a plane headed for NOLA to finish a design job.  Jim planted the veggies, while I planted flowers!

Bud filled his truck with 3 loads of 50/50 garden mix, per Jim.  Now I am not exactly sure what the 50/50 stands for, but from the fragrance {haha} I think 50% of it came from someone’s horse stable!

I must keep reminding myself of the Scripture…don’t despise humble beginnings!  We have a ways to go before the garden looks like the Barefoot Contessa just left, but believe me when I tell you that I have lots of drawings and constantly wear Jim out with all my ideas! Sweet Husband reminds me that we are not full grown when we come out of the womb!

My request before I left was to NOT COME HOME TO THIS!  I sketched out some plans for Jim and Bud to use the leftover doors to construct the walls of our new pump house.  We will store the chicken feed and needs {I have no idea what that means!} in here too.  The chicken coop will get an update too!  I spray painted one of the chandeliers from the house {white} and look forward to hanging it in the coop when I return.  I will be out of town all week…but I KNOW JIM AND BUD WILL ACCOMPLISH MUCH WHILE I AM AWAY {right guys?}!!

“Daddy’s girls” as I affectionately call our new chicks {which I pray are all hens and we don’t wake up to cock-a-doodle-do one morning} have graduated to a little pen.  Rudy stands guard.


This feels like a scene from one of my favorite Dr. Suess books, which I read to Lauren {and Rudy}…“Are you my mother?”

This city girl is adapting quite well to farm life!  By the way, Jim and I have decided on a name, which I will reveal soon!

Walking to my desk, I noticed the back steps are complete. The carpenter pegged the last step so  it can be easily pulled off for the water cut off  is underneath it. It will be a good idea to leave a flashlight inside the step too.

Don’t you just love my work boots mom bought me the last time she was here!  I am a flip flops and pearls kind of girl, but I really like my boots!  {red shoe strings too}

Jim and I are just crazy about this place…it feels like home. As I gaze out over The Farm at our newly planted garden, the Holy Spirit reminds me that there is a season for every purpose under Heaven.  This season came as a wonderful surprise to Jim and to me…and we are so thankful we followed the promptings of God.  For the last 2 months we have uprooted and removed, edited as I like to say, much around here…but now is a time to plant.  What season are you in today? Uprooting…planting…or maybe harvesting?  Don’t grow weary in well doing the Bible tells us...for in DUE SEASON {a divinely appointed personal season scheduled in Heaven just for you} you will reap the harvest you have been praying for if you just WON’T GIVE UP my friend.

Enjoy all God’s blessings!





Peace be with you…

Posted September 3rd, 2011 by Leah and filed in Word of Encouragement

Jesus came and stood among them and said to them,

“Peace be with you.”

John 20:19

PeaceEirene in Greek…probably from a primary verb {per Strong’s} Eiro, which means to join.

To join…literally or figuratively.

Peace…to join.

To join…Jesus.

By implication…prosperity, one, quietness, rest…set at one again.


And Jesus stood among them {among us} and spoke Peace.

Peace, I pray, for you today.  Every kind of good- health, wealth, prosperity of heart, mind, body and spirit.

Peace be with you my friend.

God is the God of all peace…the author and giver of of blessedness.

The Gospel of peace…the gospel of bliss.

The Way of peace…the way of happiness.

All this…Jesus said, “peace be with you.”

Absence of conflict merely scratches the surface, God desires us to enjoy, experience daily Gospel bliss.

When we join Jesus, peace abounds, overflows.

Join: a verb {action verb}  link, connect, unite, take part in, come into company with, support in an activity

Holy Spirit come…stitch our lives together in Jesus’ robe of righteousness for we crave Peace. Shade our lives with this beautiful benefit of joining with you. Impart a surprising calm, serenity and steadfast peace to each friend reading today. Let agitation, discontent, fighting within and without fall away…and give your Peace.

Peace be with you. {especially my NOLA friends}