Today I am pleased to share with you Sunday Morning Coffee. This is a place to share, learn, explain, dream, and have fun.
Thanks for joining me for Sunday morning coffee. Today I am sharing my weekly thoughts about entertaining, decor, crafts, recipes, and our home in Ventura, Ca.
A Little Bit About Me
Our Beach House in Ventura, Ca
I am excited to share our beach house today for Sunday Morning Coffee. We are getting ready to start a big remodeling project. It’s our second project on our beach house, seven years after the first one.
We are remodeling our beach house in Ventura, California. The project involves adding two bedrooms and two bathrooms, expanding the home out the front, adding a third-floor deck, and opening up the kitchen, dining, and family room.
We bought our beach house eight years ago. It’s in the small town of Ventura, Ca. which is located about an hour and fifteen minutes from our home and a half-hour south of Santa Barbara. I commonly refer to Ventura as “my 1960’s throwback beach town”. It’s charming, unassuming, not crowded, and is an amazing beach town.
Ventura is also a big agricultural area so there are farm stands everywhere (which I love). It’s located an hour from the Santa Ynez Valley wine region and the town of Los Olivos, where some of the best pinot noir wines are grown.
Our house is located in an area that is referred to as “The Lanes”, which look more like alleys than streets, and dead-end at the beach. We are a few houses from the water and can hear the waves from every room. The view is amazing and we are ready to start this remodeling project to capitalize on the view and increase the size of our home to meet our family’s needs.
I wanted to share a few photos of our beach house.
Our home has a lot of my original artwork. I painted this abstract triptych for the stairs.
How long have we had our beach house? Seven years and we have used it more than we ever imagined.
This past summer, we spent all of our time at the beach or at our 100 year old home. We actually spent more time at the beach than at home!
I have always dreamed about having a beach house. We use to vacation a few weeks every summer in Newport Beach and rented various homes when the boys we younger. But I never thought we would have a home in Newport as the houses are really expensive and very close together.
I started looking up in the Ventura area and three weeks later we were in escrow for a beach house. It’s a long story and I am sure it wouldn’t be the same if my husband told it, but in a nutshell, it went from Dave saying “I didn’t know we needed a beach house” to “put an offer in”.
The First Remodel
The day we closed escrow we, I mean I, began a remodel. I wanted the house to be light and airy with a beach house feel. My color palette was white, tan and aqua.
The remodel consisted of: gutting and complete remodel of the kitchen and two bathrooms, replacing windows, adding hardwood floors, replacing doors and all moldings, replacing fireplace and building a mantle, replacing the staircase ballisters and handrail, adding shiplap to the upstairs ceiling, replacing the front door, redoing the ceilings in the downstairs family room, and more.
I chose a beachy farmhouse look for the remodel and painted a lot of abstract paintings for our home myself.
I planned the remodel, did the design, and oversaw the entire project. I found a good contractor and the project, from start to finish, took twelve weeks. I think that was kind of a miracle.
Before and After Photos
The best way to show you what I did is to share before and after photos. But I have to tell you a story first.
When we bought the home, it had puce colored walls, a LOT of oak furniture and it wasn’t at all my style but I saw the potential. Matt and Michael were able to see the house while we were in escrow and they didn’t say much.
Twelve weeks later they saw the home after the remodel. After I gave them a tour, they turned to me, with tears in their eyes, and said “I can’t believe you did this for our family.”
That was the moment when I knew we had done the right thing. And can I say that the beach house had been the best kid magnet ever! You know me, I will do anything to get those boys to come home.
I am going to start with the before and after photo of the downstairs family room. I can’t even begin to explain what the previous owners were thinking when they put in that ceiling treatment.
Here are some pretty amazing before and after photos.
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The Second Remodel
We have had so much fun at our beach house. Do any of these dinner photos look familiar?
We love our beach house as it is, but we need more bedrooms, bathrooms and a larger kitchen.
So we have a big remodel planned. I cannot wait to share everything and take you along with me as we tackle the remodel.
Around Our Home
In the Family Room
Our family room got a facelift this week after I designed my own fabric online at Joann and made pillows and napkins for our Family Room.
Our family room is just off of the kitchen and back patio and it is where I work every single day.
Aren’t these custom fabrics I designed online fun?
Here is a better overview of our family room.
If you look closely at the big dark coffee table you might see the puppy chewed legs and the soccer and baseball cleat marks.
I have been forbidden to change this table by my sons. So if you are wondering why it looks like this, that is the reason why.
The other table in the back of the room is our casual dining table. I had the table made twenty years ago (from old wood) when we remodeled our home. We have most of our dinners here and I love this table in our family room.
If yo u are interested in designing your own fabric, head here.
A Tip for Your Home
Faux Flowers for Your Home
I love having flowers in our home. As much as I love fresh flowers, they are harder to find these days, and sadly they just don’t last very long.
Am I the only person that really dislikes the task of getting rid of dead flowers in a vase? Please let me know that I am not the only one.
The other reason why I love faux flowers is that I am very sensitive to scents. It’s just awful! If anyone brings flowers such as lilies, stock, jasmine (and many other strong-smelling flowers), I run out the back door.
In case any of my boys are reading this, and since Valentine’s Day is coming up very soon, I do like roses, hydrangeas, tulips and peonies. They are all “low scented flowers”. Just sayin.
Hopefully that explains why I love faux flowers in our home. If you couple that with the fact that there are some amazing faux flowers for sale these days, it is kind of a slam dunk.
All of the flowers in our dining room, family room, and living room (pictured above) are faux. They are also all very inexpensive. I love how they look and last forever!
Here are some of my favorites!
Reflections on the Week
Wow. Last week was amazing.
I was very busy as I wrote seven more blog posts. Five, yes five, of them were DIY projects. Some of them were so easy that even a non-crafter could/should make them. I promise!
Guess what else is amazing? I am finally working ahead. What does this mean? It means that instead of staying up until zero-dark-thirty every night finishing my blog (for the next day), I am now working about four to five days ahead. Which means more sleep for me!
Here are my blog posts from last week.
I hope you will read my post about the Valentine cork wreath. I named it my “quarantine wreath” as … um … well … we have enjoyed a bit of wine over the last ten months.*
I couldn’t think of a better way to remember all of those intimate and fun family dinners so fondly.
*We did not actually drink 288 bottles of wine. I underestimated how many corks I would need but fortunately I found more from our friends!
My Favorite Things
Many of you know my dear friend Karianna Wood from Thistlewood Farms. I met her at the Haven Conference three years ago and in the past year, we have become very close friends.
Karianne is the most brilliant blogger I know and she just launched her second Mastermind Blogging Group for anyone wanting to learn:
- How to organize your time for maximum ROI
- How to grow your Pinterest
- Creative marketing ideas for your blog
- How to grow your e-mail list and make it profitable
- How to film video snippets to maximize your content
- Simple photography tips with your i-phone
- 10 simple tips to grow your social media and connect with brands
- How to grow your blog into a thriving platform
- How to connect with brands and get noticed
- 7 simple ideas to create campaigns that work (and get rebooked)
Today is the last day to sign up for Karianne’s mastermind group and then it closes for six months.
If you want to learn more you can click here.
If you want to sign up you can click here.
Accounts I Love to Follow
Here are some wonderful Instagram accounts I Love to Follow:
My Favorite Comments on the Blog
Thank you so much for all of your amazing comments on my blog. I get a lot of really wonderful comments and I just had to share these two!
Cathy Potts: Leslie, I absolutely love these pillows and just called my forever friends (we have known each other for 61 years – we are turning 65 this year!) to set a date and try this project!! You have to understand that when we were growing up our mothers were both fabulous with a sewing machine, to say the least. My own mother will be 89 this summer and LOVES volunteering and SEWING! I love a paintbrush but the sewing part has always eluded me. I KNOW we can tackle this precious pillow and I will send you a picture to prove it!!! Thank you for inspiring us in areas that stretch our creativity!!!! Love your site and your home is perfect!!!!
Cathy! Oh my gosh. I am so glad you like the pillows. I cannot wait to see what you and your forever friends create! Leslie
Debra Lynn Sloan: Oh my goodness this is just amazing. The options for the pillow ideas are endless. Now if only I had paid attention in The Home Economics while In was in high school. I do not think they even teach home economics in high school anymore. I have even tried to ask the junior college in the very small town where I live, to offer this as continuing education class. They offer floral deserve, watercolor, etc. Thank you for making your readers aware of this possibility. IT IS TRULY WONDERFUL. I will order the fabric, and ask the lady who tailors garments if she may know a seamstress … When Our Lord was gifting talents to his creations. I was petting and playing with the puppies.
Debra! You are hysterical. I can’t wait to see the fabric you design and I am sure your pillows will be amazing. I also hope you find a sewing class too! Leslie
Things I Love
Pedestal Bowls Under $42
Good Things From Martha
Have a tiny bit of mustard left in the jar? Toss in a few ingredients, and shake a tangy Dijon vinaigrette right in the container.
Click here to see Martha Stewart’s best No-Waste Dressing.
Next week is going to be another busy one. For some reason my mind is on craft project overdrive and I have a lot more ideas to share.
I hope you know this is my dream and I can’t thank you enough for your encouragement, comments and support.
Check out the blog next week for the following topics: Valentine’s cookie recipes, Valentine’s Day cookie gift wrapping, DIY Valentine’s cards, Valentine’s vignettes, Making Baskets Fun, and a wonderful Valentine’s Day dessert.
Catch up on Sunday Morning Coffee
- Volume 4 – The Story of MY 100 Year Old Home
- Volume 3 – I Think I Might Be Martha’s Biggest Fan
- Volume 2 – A Tribute to My Mom
- Volume 1 – How Chip and Joanna Influenced My Life
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