Sunday Morning Coffee Volume 5

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Sunday Morning Coffee
Volume 5

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.

Beach House Living

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

Beach House Master Bedroom

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.

Downstairs Family Room After Photo
Downstairs Family Room Before Photo

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.

Stay tuned!

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?

Pink Custom Fabric Pillows

Here is a better overview of our family room.

Home Decor Ideas with Pink Custom Fabric

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.

Home Decor Ideas with Custom Fabric Pink Pillows

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.

Home Decor Ideas with Custom Fabric

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!

Valentine's Day Decoration Ideas

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

Pink Home Decor Ideas with Custom Fabric

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

No-Waste Dressing

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.

What’s Ahead

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

Pin the Sunday Morning Coffee image below to your decor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

For more real-time updates, follow me on Instagram @My100YearOldHome

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  1. Leslie,
    I so look forward to your Sunday Morning Coffee newsletter. We moved from LA 5 years ago to Dallas so I’m very familiar with lovely Ventura. (The sweet and fabulous KariAnne even came out to our house to help me with decorating ideas!) I can’t wait to see what you accomplish with the remodel. I started trying Laird’s creamer based on your recommendation, Whole Foods carries a liquid version. It’s really good! Can’t wait to see what you inspire us with this week. Happy Sunday!

    1. Oh my gosh Kathy, thank you so much for reaching out to me today! I so very much appreciate that you look forward to my Sunday Morning Coffee. KariAnne helped you decorate, I love it!! Isn’t she the very, very best?! We are anxiously awaiting the start of the remodel, I can’t wait to take you along on the journey! Thank you for your kind comment and for following along!

  2. Dearest Leslie – I enjoy so much reading your posts. Like letting in sunlight when I see them in my mail. I get so much inspiration and I just turned 80 years young. You give so much. I so appreciate you!

    I envy your beach house – it is where family comes together for a good dose of love. How wonderful is that?

    Definitely a NO on dead flowers. My wonderful sweetheart brings me a red rose every week, and when it wilts, it is gone. That rose brings us so much Joy each week. My motto has always been with flowers/plants “you live you stay, you die you are gone.” – JudyCinNC

    1. Judy, thank you so much for reaching out to me! It makes my heart so happy that you enjoy what I share! 💗 What a wonderful sweetheart you have to bring you a sign of his love each week 🌸 I’m with you on your motto, no dead flowers/plants! Thank you for following along!

  3. Good Morning Leslie!

    I love the triptych artwork that you painted for your beach house! Have you already written a post about how to go about creating one? I’d love to learn all about the process! LOVE!

  4. Delightful in every way: your home, your beach house, your craft ideas, links to favorite sites— but most of all the love of family. The joy you share is comforting and inspiring. I appreciate you!

    1. Oh Becky, what a kind thing to say. I appreciate that you feel my intention, with everything I do. Thank you for reaching out to me and for sharing your thoughtful comment.

  5. What memories you brought back to me with your beach house story. In the early 60’s my parents bought a 3 bed 1 bath house on Dover Lane. It sounds like the neighborhood where your house is located. My mother and I “re-did” it and I loved every minute we were there. We lived in the San Fernando valley so it was close enough drive. I cried when we sold it and have redone it my mind over the years. Living in Montana now I miss the Pacific Ocean and beach. Thanks for a trip down memory lane.

    1. Oh my gosh Kathryn, what a small world! We spent so much time there this summer during the LA lockdown. Since you are in Montana, you can live vicariously through our remodel! Thank you for reaching out and sharing your memory! 😍

  6. I’m loving your blogs!!🌸💕🌸. I got the pillow cases to make pillows. I’m going to make heart cookies. I’m going to look, you may have said where you got the cute heart cut out form. I can’t seem to find the one you used. I’m following all your doing and love all the crafts!! Thank you for sharing. Oh I can’t forget I’m making muffins, I even got the cups you used💕💕🌸

    1. Oh my gosh Maureen! I love that you are making all of the crafts and recipes! Here is a link to the cookie cutter I used for the heart pillow I can’t wait to hear how all of yours turn out! Please let me know! 💗🌸💕

  7. Leslie, Thank you for the walk through your first remodel of the beach house. The comparison photos, made it so easy to really see how you made the transformation, and see that less is more. (Am I seeing that correctly?)
    Living in south Mississippi, it is tempting to consider a beach condo on the Florida panhandle, but living with hurricanes as our annual companions worry me.
    Thanks for your constant inspiration.

    1. Thank you Pat for reaaching out to me. The before and after pictures are really amazing, so much has changed. I can’t wait for this next remodel to get started. I heaar you about hurricanes. They would worry me too! I am so happy that you enjoy what I share. Thank you for following along!

  8. SO much excitement – I can’t wait to follow along with your remodel! And shop your flower link! I don’t love throwing out the dead flowers either, and some really good faux ones might just be the ticket!

    Thanks so much as always, for everything – your lovely photos, inspiration, and the downtime I get to read your posts are the best!

    1. Oh my gosh Barbara, thank you so much! We are so excited to get started with the remodel! I do love faux flowers, especially during this pandemic. I appreciate your kind comments about the blog. Thank you for following along with me!

  9. Yes, yes, yes, to faux flowers. Certain smells give me migraines so I have to beware of fresh flowers BUT faux last an entire season if I’m too lazy to change them out or just enjoy ‘the look.’ Loved your endearing story of the coffee table. It’s nice to know the boys speak up and their request is honored. (Speaks columns to the love and respect in your family!)

    1. I am with you on being sensitive to smells! I keep thinking I should do something with the coffee table, it is so beat up, but every time I look at those cleat marks, I smile and think back to when they were little and it remains untouched! 😊

  10. Your beach house is so light and airy. Is the white sofa slip covered? Would you share the brand and how do you keep the fabric so white?

    1. Rebecca, the furniture is slipcovered. It is from IKEA – the Ektorp line. I always buy an extra set of slipcovers when I purchase the sofa/sectional and when it needs a wash, I use OxyClean. That way, I always have a fresh and clean cover on the furniture!

  11. Your blog brings such a breath of fresh air to my daily reading. I have loved seeing your dinner parties photos on the beach for a long time now and wondered about your beach house so this remodeling journey will be delightful to follow with you. It’s refreshing you believe in why you own the beach house – keeping family together. That speaks volumes for the relationship you wish to sustain and keeping the coffee table in your home just the way your boys want to remember it.

    1. Oh my gosh Kathy, thank you so much! I cannot begin to tell you how much your kind words mean to me. We love the spending time together at the beach and with the remodel, there will be room for grandbabies in the future! 😍 Have a wonderful week Kathy!

  12. Hi Leslie, I am wondering about the cushioned outdoor couch (chair) pictured on the deck of your Ventura beach house. Do you recall the brand/where you got it? Any info you have would be appreciated. Thanks so much! Good luck with the remodel, can’t wait to follow you along with it. I may need to do a drive by next time I’m in Ventura…Cheers!

    1. Hi Karen – the outdoor sectional on the deck at our Ventura home is from Pottery Barn, part of their outdoor collection (7 years ago!). I can’t wait until the remodel kicks off and to share the process with you! Have a great week!

  13. I am new to your blog and love the work that you have done. I am wondering if you could share which faux flowers are in the basket on your long table. The one by the window that you made, I think, 7 years ago. I would love to duplicate that for my table. I am now living near Laguna Beach, just down the road south from you.
    Good luck with your site, it is lovely.

    1. Shirley, I am so happy that you found my blog and that you reached out to me. The pink faux rananculas in the photo I bought years ago at IKEA. I checked and don’t see the exact ones on their site, but here is a link to similar that I have purchased from Amazon Thank you for your kind words, I hope you continue to follow!

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