Leisure Home

Dining Room Decor…Trading in the Fancy for the Simple Life!

There was a time when we had a “fancy” dining room…with a glass china cabinet, ornate wooden table, and place settings…gone are those days!

When we moved into this house, I wanted our dining room to be simple, comfortable, and most importantly…great for every day use just like the other rooms in our house, somewhere we could eat and gather without all the frills.

But there was a problem…our table completely cut off the flow of traffic from the kitchen and the foyer…or what I commonly call…our boys’ racetrack. They are constantly playing tag, crashing their cars, roller skating, and riding their scooters all through the house (and yes…for those that know me and my obsession with order, that may surprise you)!

However, in this house, I wanted to create a home that we play in…not just live in! And one of the biggest parts of creating a space is not just the decor you choose…but the layout and design of the room. Does it cut off the flow of traffic? Does it allow for enough seating? Does it make sense spatially?

So I looked at the room, and instead of going vertical or horizontal…I angled it. I turned the lighting fixture on the ceiling to shift the space and voila it opened the flow of the entire bottom floor of our house.

When my builder came into our house, he stopped at the entry and said, “That’s interesting, I have never seen anyone do that before.” I explained to him that it was messing with my flow and he chuckled at me, and said, “Well, it works.”

That one adjustment not only opened the room, but made it look double the size! Tricks of the trade…or maybe trial and error…but it just made sense!

What little decor and design life hacks have you come across while designing your space?

Not Just a Place to Shower…Bath Decor!

 I have been asked a few times what decor items I used to decorate our bathroom. For many, the bathroom is an after thought,  considered only after the main living areas of a home are decorated.

It can also pose a challenge simply because of its use. With the heat and steam from daily showers, the sticky residue from hair sprays, and the fine particles from make-up that seem to get everywhere…any wall art, decor, and accents need to easily be able to withstand a change in temperature and be made of material that can be easily cleaned.

To this point…I chose to use decor items made from glass, metal, glossed wood, and cloth. All of the products I chose in “the line of beauty product fire” can easily be washed or rinsed clean…like the old glass apothecary bottles I found at an antique shop, the glass candy jar I store my cotton  pads in, or the metal and glass lantern perched above our tub.

Additionally, just like in our foyer…I knew I needed some kind of seating. I was so excited when I found this chair thrown in the discount section of an overstocked product store. It was just the right size, it was comfy, and I knew that it would become the go-to place for my husband and boys to sit while I finished getting ready.

I mean, aren’t us Mommas always the last one running around trying to get ourselves ready, and don’t we always have an audience anytime we try to do ANYTHING in the bathroom?!

No matter your style, bathrooms can be a happy addition to your home’s decor, and if executed properly, it can even be your personal oasis…the place that you surround yourself with happy sights, scents, a hot bath, and a good book!

What are your must-have bathroom decor items?!

You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression…Foyer Decor!

The foyer is the first impression guests see of your home, and as the old saying goes…you only get one chance to make a first impression, right?

So when we moved into this home, I wanted to make sure that our foyer balanced these two elements…coziness without clutter. I also wanted to make sure that I had some kind of seating. Believe it or not, the blue chair in this photo gets used just as much, if not more, as the other furniture in our home. 

Like many of our other rooms, I like to mix media and textures…so I adorned our entry table with a variety of antique books, a glass lamp, wooden crates, a wicker basket, and a wool blanket. This combination of items makes the entry table look welcoming, without being overwhelming. 

Instead of using a large area rug, I went with a slender runner rug, or “mud-catcher” as I call it, because I wanted the wooden floors to be showcased in the foyer, as well as, make the space seem larger.

A place for everything and everything in its place! What are your favorite foyer must-haves?!


Welcome to Our Home…Front Door Decor!

I used to spend a lot of money on wreaths or a lot of time making a wreath myself! BUT…in a last minute hurry to get something for the front door, because we were hosting a party, I quickly grabbed a piece of straight garland (on discount)! This has been my go-to now when it comes to our front door decor!

Whatever season it is…I get some garland and simply swoop it into a circle, fasten it with a twist tie, and voila! You have yourself a quick and easy wreath…that has volume and movement!

Lately, I have really been into the earthy garland…like dried leaves, springs of twisted wood, and even cotton! I love the kind of messy unruly look you get by using garland!

What front door decor do you love this season?!

Spring Fireplace Decor

Several people have said that I need to start posting more to Leisure Home, so I thought this was the perfect spring kick off post!

As the fireplace is the anchor of the living space, it is essential to make it a statement piece…a work of art if you will! To balance the perfect spring decor fireplace…it’s all about texture and media variation this season! As you can see in this picture, I have used a combination of cloth, metal, and wood…using this combination of earth and fire gives your home a warm and familiar feel! 

And the best part…(drum roll please)…these were all items that I already had in my house! Look around, pull things from one room and move them to another…this will give your space a fresh new look without spending a dime! What are your favorite spring decor items this season?!


Fallin’ for FALL Decor

As summer starts to come to a close, an entirely new busy season is about to begin…FALL! Even thinking about it, makes me want to get out my flannel shirts and pinterestcomfy ripped jeans. Who cares if it is still 90 degrees outside, right?!

Fall is my favorite time of year…I love breathing in the crisp clean chilly air, seeing the vibrant pops of orange, yellow, and red as the leaves on the trees change color, sitting by a cozy fire, and of course, the smell and taste of all things pumpkin!

For all of those ladies and Mommas out there who are about to turn their homes into a fall decor explosion, I have just the thing! Below are the decorating links, designs, and ideas for the most eye-catching areas to showcase all the fall glory in your home!

Front Porch Must Haves

THE FRONT PORCH! Once my summer flowers fade and die, I start mapping out the porch…drawing a mental picture in my head of where the Mums will be placed, where our pumpkins will perch, and where the hay bales will be stacked. Your front porch, the entry to your home, is the most important place for fall decor. More people will see your front porch than any other part of your home, and as we all know, you only get one chance to make a first impression!

And this year…the front porch must haves include all of the traditional elements…Mums, pumpkins, leaves, hay…BUT also an element of nature…whether that is a stack of firewood, a ship-lap painting with a catchy saying on it, or sprigs of branches worked into your front porch display.

Linked below are some of my favorite front porch designs and ideas!


Fall Mantel & Fireplace Decor

After a guest admires your front porch and crosses the threshold into your home, the eyes are normally drawn to the centerpiece of your living space…the FIREPLACE! This is where we can display our favorite and more ornate fall decor items. The fireplace is the perfect area to showcase your style…combining elements of fall with what you like personally…whether that is a banner, a picture, a basket, candles, books, etc. Pairing your favorite items with a fall color palette can turn an ordinary decoration into a fall decoration. So change out those sunflowers in your favorite wooden vase and replace them with some distressed wood and leafy vines!

And the great thing about the fireplace is that the furniture in the room is an extension of this centerpiece, so you can easily throw a couple of fall pillows or blankets on your chairs and couches to create a more balanced and completed look to the room.

Linked below are some of my favorite fall mantle and fireplace decor ideas!


Fall Indoor Decor & Centerpieces

Once you have decorated your porch and fireplace…the next staple in any home is the kitchen, so having the perfect fall centerpiece is key to tying everything together. This is the piece in your house that your guests will admire as you laugh together, share stories, and eat all the yummy cuisine that only seems to visit our bellies during fall!

Lastly, it’s the little “fall nuggets” throughout the rest of the home that people will love! Maybe you incorporate some craft projects your kids have made or pumpkins they have painted, maybe you arrange small pumpkins in your hurricane lantern on the guest bathroom counter…get creative here…and as always, make it personal.

Linked below are some of my favorites fall indoor decor and centerpiece ideas!


Less is More

When decorating a space, the rule I live by is normally “less is more.” If I am questioning whether or not I should use something that doesn’t really have a purpose to the overall balance and design, I will normally table it. It is so much better to use decor items with purpose and personality rather than just cramming a bunch of holiday themed items together. Mixing your normal decor with seasonal decor without interrupting the rest of your home’s “look” is the magic ticket (as if it belonged there all along).

As I ventured down the decor magazine and Pinterest rabbit hole to gather all of my favorite fall decor ideas, I got excited…excited for fall to finally arrive and excited to drag out all of my decorations…but the most excitement came when I thought about all of the memories our family will make during this amazing season of life!

Have a terrific Tuesday Leisurelings, and HAPPY DECORATING!

My Best, and As Always…

xoxo~ Tara Rae