I’ve been prepping and designing my living room for quite some time, so I’m thrilled that it’s finally complete and that I get to share it with you today! One of my favorite parts about our home is the that we have a spot in our living room for a piano.

Leanne Barlow's Living Room



In full transparency, when I say that I’ve waited a long time for this kind of a room, I mean… a looong time. I’ve wanted a beautiful living room with a white couch and a piano since we first got married twelve years ago. I was thrilled when we moved into our new home that had the absolute perfect living room, but this room sat completely empty for an entire year. Now while I wish that I could have just snapped my finger and decorated this room in an instant… I wanted very specific and special pieces in this room, and I was willing to wait and save to decorate it the way I wanted to. In the meantime, this room served as the space where I cut and designed almost all of my Monthly Dresses. It was full of yards of fabric and mannequins (and soccer balls and nerf guns). I love that we get to enjoy this room as a family now (playing the piano, family scripture study, naps, and visiting with friends), but I’m also grateful for the soccer games and sewing pins that filled this room before we could actually fill it with furniture.


Leanne Barlow's Living Room


<this room sits right off the entry and I love that its the first room I see when I walk in the house>


Leanne Barlow's Living Room


Leanne Barlow's Living Room

Leanne Barlow's Living Room


I love our couch so much. I wrote about my experience designing it here. While some might think I’m crazy for getting a white couch with three boys, I’m really happy that I did. The fabric is durable and can be spot treated. I’ve wanted a white couch for so long and I feel like if I wait for the perfect moment to get an amazing couch..I’ll be left waiting a lifetime. I love that we can enjoy it now and it makes me happy every day when I see it. The boys know they can’t have shoes, toys, or food in this room and I just make sure they follow the rules. They are good about it!


Leanne Barlow's Living Room


I love an eclectic blend of furniture in a room. I love to juxtapose a modern piece with something traditional or glam.  I paired the clean lines our coffee table and our velvet side chairs with classic touches from the rug and gold vintage mirror.

Leanne Barlow's Living Room

Leanne Barlow's Living Room


Our piano was the very first purchase I made for this room. I’ve so missed being able to sit at a piano to play and sing! I also love hearing the boys practice their piano here.


Leanne Barlow's Living Room



I’m so happy I went with this leather recliner chair for this corder of the room. It’s just the right scale for this space. I wanted to be able to recline, but didn’t want to have to place an ottoman in front of it. I searched high and low for a really beautiful chic recliner and I found this one at Pottery Barn. It’s so comfy!


Leanne Barlow's Living Room


Leanne Barlow's Living Room

Leanne Barlow's Living Room

Leanne Barlow's Living Room

Leanne Barlow's Living Room

Leanne Barlow's Living Room


I’ve linked to all the room sources below. If I left anything out just comment below and I’ll add it!




COUCHES ℅ Interior Define





LEATHER RECLINER   (in Vintage Caramel)


BLUE CHINOISERIE VASE (on sale for 40% off!)







PILLOWS & THROW BLANKET: HOMEGOODS (similar blankets here, here, here, similar throw here)

SIDE TABLE: HOMEGOODS (similar here)






At the beginning of December, we sat down as a family and made a list of all of the fun Christmas activities we wanted to do throughout the month leading up to Christmas. I’ve done this with the boys for the past 3 years and it really helps us feel like we soak up the joy of the season without the month passing us by before we even get to really enjoy it. 
I try to get most of my shopping and decorating done in November so that we have time to do small simple activities with the kids. One of my favorite activities is cuddling up in some comfy clothes and reading christmas books to the boys while listening to Christmas music. Our house was built in 1913, and our fireplace doesn’t work anymore (boo!) and our house gets pretty dang cold. I grabbed a warm sweater for Cash and some soft sweatpants for Bradley from Gap Factory to wear around the house. I couldn’t believe how inexpensive it was, so I added a sweater and lounge pants to my cart for myself. (my pants are only $16!) I haven’t shopped at Gap Factory online before and I was blown away by the prices. I love that I could get a little something for all of us to keep cosy while we do our fun Christmas activities. You have to browse through their site and see these prices!
Here are a few of the other activities on our list that we have done this year.  My suggestion is to keep the activity simple but build up the excitement for your kids. Even something as simple as reading books by the tree can become a fun memory for them. 
  • Make gingerbread houses
  • Drive around to see Christmas lights
  • Read Christmas books
  • Listen to Christmas music (every night!)
  • Drink hot cocoa
  • Write letter to Santa
  • Ready the nativity story from the bible
  • Ice skating
  • Christmas countdown chains
  • Tree lighting at The Americana 
  • Donate old toys to the thrift store
  • Visit Santa
  • Make teacher gifts
  • Bake/frost sugar cookies 
in collaboration with Gap Factory


Holiday parties are so much fun to attend, and to throw.
This year I decided to get some of my girlfriends together and have a little
Secret Santa party. We usually hang out together at the park while we run
around after our kiddos, so it was nice to have a quiet night together after
all our kids went to sleep.
My favorite part about the party was that everyone gave such
thoughtful gifts to the girl they were assigned to bring a gift for! We all
have various interests, styles, and personalities so it was so fun to see what
each girl was gifted.
I put together a few quick tips on how to throw a successful
Secret Santa party. I kept this one really simple, with a few pretty décor
items from World Market that helped add elegance and style to the décor.
Keep the number intimate and even-
Its fun when you have a change to chat with each person at a
small gathering. I think around 6-8 people makes for a fun intimate party. And
the number needs to be even so that everyone that brings a gift gets a gift.
Set a price point-
Make sure everyone is aware and comfortable with the price
point you set for the Secret Santa gifts. Sending out a group text is helpful
and asking for input just to feel out to make sure everyone is ok with the
amount being spent on a present. Our price point was $25 for each girl. Also
make sure everyone knows whether they are getting a nice gift or a funny gift.
Both make for a great party, but its important to make sure everyone is on the
same page with the kind of gift to bring. Same thing goes for dress. I asked
the girls if they would rather come in festive jammies or nicer holiday
outfits. It’s important to get input from people attending to make sure
everyone will be happy and comfortable.
Ask for help-

Since the party is for close friends, no one will mind if
you ask for help! I asked each girl to bring an appetizer. I know the girls in
our group love a good appetizer, where candy and desserts might not get eaten
as much. So try and tailor the food to what you know your friends will want to
everything is currently 10% off at World Market online till Wednesday!


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in collaboration with World Market


Girlfriends, Mommas, sisters, your hairdresser, your brother’s new girlfriend….these are the people I love to shop for. I’ll take any excuse I can get to get something pretty and wrap it up to make it even prettier. I love the idea of thinking about the specific woman I am shopping for and really honing in on her personal style. My mom’s style is minimal and dainty. My sister-in-law is girly and chic. My girlfriends and I are doing a secret santa this year, and the friend I picked has the most impeccable classic and timeless style.
Nordstrom is my one-stop-shop for all these women and their various styles. I love that I can go to one place and find the perfect dainty earrings for my mom, on-trend floppy hat for my sister-in-law, and classic clutch for my girlfriend. I don’t have to worry if I get the wrong size or color, because with Nordstrom’s fast and free shipping and returns and exchanges, I can relax and knowing that they will be sure to get the gift that us just right for them without any hassle.
I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite gifts and grouped them by style, so hopefully it gives you a good direction when finding the perfect gift for the women on your list. All of my picks are $100 or less (most of them less than $50!).
Shop my picks by clicking on the item or the text links below

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in collaboration with Nordstrom

Christmas in a jar

I feel slightly silly even calling this one a tutorial because it is so easy.  I love changing out my apothecary jars as the seasons change.  I filled these babies like this for Christmas a few years ago and decided to do it again this year and use up the rest of the supplies I had on hand.  
Just pick up a few clear glass jars…. 
I picked up mine from Home Goods ages ago.
artificial snow…..
I like the extra fine because it looks more realistic.
some green moss….
I believe I got this bag at Michaels.
and some form of red balls or cranberries.  
I grabbed a handful of the fake cranberry bunches in the floral section of Michaels and just cut off each cranberry. Tai Pan also carries these small red balls if you like that effect better.
Now layer like so…
It’s pretty messy, so plan on vacuuming once you are done.  And the moss is quite shtinky.  But it’s a quick easy touch that I tend to keep up through all of January (partially because I don’t feel like it’s too Christmasy, partially because I’m lazy).  These would also be really cute on a smaller scale grouped together in mason jars. 

holiday letter wreath

Pinterest is full of the most adorable Christmas crafts.  I, of course, have way too many projects pinned than I have time to complete, so this year I just picked one and went with it.
I love the look of this simply holly berry letter for the front door.  It’s simple and pretty.  So one night I threw on The Buble’s Christmas special and got to work.
I think the burlap garland is what makes it so cute, but Michaels was fresh out of it every time I checked.  So this ribbon will have to work for now.

mirror, mirror….

I have been on the hunt for a huge mirror to hang on a big wall we have in our living room.  I about died and went to heaven when I saw the price on this sucker….
$29.99?  Are you kidding me??  Leave it to Home Goods.  I can’t get enough of that store.  For all you Utah folks, there is one up in Salt Lake that is superb.  Check it out.
I have since given this beauty multiple coats of glossy white paint and I love the outcome.  I still have a while to go before I will have everything looking the way I have it pictured in my head, but it’s a start.
I should have a brand spanking new tutorial for you this week.  Are you excited?  I’m sure you can’t contain your emotion.   
I’ve been  glued to my sewing machine for the past while.  In the last 2 weeks I have pumped out curtains for my sewing room/office/I feel obligated to say office but its mostly a sewing room, 4 skinny ties for my little man, a few pillows, a handful of hair flowers, and the most hideously amazing cheerleading costume for a friend (bet you can’t wait to see that one).
The month of April is going to be a little crazytown for me, so I apologize in advance if my next few posts don’t knock your socks off.  I recently received a large order for some custom skirts, so I will be sewing up a storm with those.  In addition, we will be moving to Washington DC for 6 weeks this summer for my husband’s externship, so I am frantically scouring Craigslist for housing.  
Good news is that we will also be spending 2 months in LA for another externship, so I might just set up house on the streets of the fabric district. 


I made this sign a few years back.  I love pulling out cute colorful springy decorations this time of year!
I just bought the cardboard letters at Joanns, painted them blue, and mod-podged  paper to the front of the letters.  Super simple. 
Happy Spring!

Anthropologie Ruffle Shower Curtain Tutorial

A while back I fell head over heals for this shower curtain from Anthropologie:
So I made it.
Want to make one too?  Click through below for the tutorial…

Let me just start by saying that this tutorial is not for the faint of heart.  I have never once given up in the middle of a sewing project, but if I didn’t have a ruffle foot, I probably would have thrown in the towel on this one.  The actual skills needed to make this aren’t very advanced, it just takes a looong time and is very tedious. 
If you decide to tackle it, just know that you have been forewarned.
Alright, here we go!

  •  You will need lightweight cotton fabric in the various shades that you want for the ruffles.  I had 6 different color shades.  I purchased all of my fabric at the LA Fabric district so I was able to get them in 60″ bolts.  It was also nice because all of the colors were grouped together so it was easy to see what the transition would look like from white to a dark mustard color.  All of the fabric measurements below are based on a 60″ fabric bolt.
– For your main shower curtain piece you will need  about 4 1/2 yards.  This will give you enough for the entire back of the curtain (what all the ruffles will be sewn to), as well as 2 rows of ruffles.
–   For the rest of the ruffles, it just depends on how many ruffles you want to make out of that particular color.  I found that about 1 1/2 yards of 60″ fabric was enough to make 2 rows of ruffles.  You will need 10 ruffles total.
note:  I prewashed and dried all of my fabric before I made this.  That way I can throw it in the wash when it gets dirty and not have to worry about it shrinking.

  • Thread to match each color of your ruffles
  • Some light-weight interfacing.  You don’t need very much of it, about 1/4 of a yard would be enough.

  • A ruffle foot, if you have one.  Like I mentioned earlier, this was my saving grace.  Manually creating each ruffle will take a lot more time, so just be aware of this.

Lets get started:

Step 1:
Cut your fabric for each piece of the curtain.
Main body of the curtain 
– 1 large piece that measures 70 1/2″ L x 72 1/2″ W  (I had to piece my fabric together to get my fabric this large)
– You will also need fabric for the top of your shower curtain that measures 72 1/2″ L x 4 1/2″ W
– You will need 10 ruffles total.  9 rows need to measure 9 1/2″ L x 144″ W (this is double the width of the shower curtain to give you a nice full ruffle).  The top row of ruffles needs to measure 7 1/2″ L x 144″ W.  I definitely had to piece fabrics together here.  Some of my ruffles have 3 different pieces, but the seams are barley visible once everything is ruffled.
(note:  You can group your ruffle colors any way you would like.  You can space them out evenly and have 2 ruffles of each color.  I didn’t want my colors so evenly spaced out, so I did 2 white, 1 cream, 1 light yellow, 2 med yellow, 3 dark yellow, and 1 mustard color.)

It really helped to label each piece once everything was cut.  I labeled the main shower curtain body pieces as well as each ruffle in order.

Step 2:
Surge / zigzag stitch around every edge of every piece of fabric.  I’m talking main curtain, each ruffle, everything. You can take or leave this step, and it is super tedious, but you won’t have to worry about your fabric ever fraying.  Plus it looks nice and professional.  You will be glad you did when you are finished.  After putting that much work into a project, you want to make sure it will last you a long time.

My serger scraps really piled up by the time I was done. 

Now you will have a nice LARGE pile of perfectly prepped fabric.

Step 3:
Fold down and press the edges of your ruffles, and sides of your main shower curtain body 1/4″ (don’t worry about the top thin piece to the main body).  Sew 1/4″ away from edge.
no, I’m serious. (told you guys this was tedious.  Make sure you have some good tunes to keep you from slitting your wrists.  I suggest Adele and Florence and the Machine)
note:  You don’t have to fold under and sew the top of any of your ruffles.  These won’t be seen.  Just the sides and the bottom. 

Step 4:
Time to get your ruffle on.  Ruffle your 1st row of ruffles and sew it to the very top of your large main shower curtain body (make sure it is the 7″ ruffle and not the 9″ ruffle). You can use your ruffle foot or stitch a long basting stitch and pull the end thread to create your ruffle manually.  Make sure it is the same width as your main curtain (72″).

This is easier said then done.  By the end of your 6th ruffle you will be a master at man-handling 144 inches of fabric.

Step 5:
Mark with tailors chalk or a highlighter where each row of ruffles will be placed.  Your main curtain length is 70″ long, you have 10 ruffles, so you will want 7″ of each ruffle showing.  Having the 1st row of ruffles helps give you an idea of  where to start.  Mark where your 2nd row of ruffles will be sewn 2″ underneath your 1st row (those 2″ will be hidden).  Then, measure 7″ down from that mark for the 3rd row, 7″ more for the 4th row etc.

(I used a yellow highlighter, so it’s a little hard to see)

Step 6:
Ruffle the remaining 9 strips of fabric till you are ready to gouge your eyeballs out.  Make sure each row is 72″ wide after being ruffled.

Remember to keep each row of ruffles labeled so you know in what order to place them.

Step 7:
Pin your ruffles to your main curtain along the lines that you have previously marked, and sew in place.  I started by pinning about 2 rows at a time, sewing them, then pinning on 2 more rows.  The more pins you use, the less chance your ruffles will shift as you are moving your fabric around.

note:  The more ruffles that are attached, the heavier the fabric gets and the harder it is to control.  So go slowly.  I was constantly checking and double checking that I didn’t have extra fabric bunched up under my needle as I sewed.

Step 8:
Cut a strip of interfacing that is 2″ wide and 72″ long (mine was in 2 separate pieces that measured 72 inches)

Step 9:
Iron the top piece of your shower curtain in half width-wise, open it up and place the interfacing  in the middle.  There should be about 1/4″ fabric that is not covered by the interfacing.  Fold back in half and press long enough to make the interfacing bind to the fabric.

The interfacing is to make the fabric more stable since you will be sewing button holes along the top for your shower curtain rings.
Step 10:
Finish off the edges of the top of your shower curtain by folding in half wrong sides together, stitching 1/4″ away from the edge, flipping right-side out and pressing.

Step 11:
Pin the top section of your shower curtain to the main body of the curtain.  Right-sides together, with the bottom/raw edges pointing up (see picture).

Stitch in place 1/4″ away from the edge

It kinda looks like my sewing machine threw up a bunch of ruffles, doesn’t it?

Step 12:
Fold the top of the shower curtain with the right side facing you, and press (make sure the selvage edges in the back point down).

Step 13:
Sew button holes.  Make sure your button hole is large enough to fit your curtain rings through.  I suggest practicing on some scraps before you start so that you know exactly where to mark your fabric.

You will sew 12 button holes total.  The 2 outside holes should be 2″ away from each end, then the rest of the button holes should all be 6″ apart.

Cut open each button hole with your seam ripper.

Now go get a massage, and make your husband take you on a hot date.  You deserve it.

You can finally bask in the glow of your finished product:

I am in love with the end result.  And I only spent $20 on the fabric!

Sewing this curtain was a lot like going through a pregnancy.  Unbearable during some points, but once the process is completed, you tend to forget how painful the process actually was.  I think I might shower in this bathroom from now on.


love is in the air

I can’t believe Valentines Day is right around the corner.  I love this holiday, but sometimes I have a hard time wearing pink and springy colors when I can still see snow out my window.

I threw together these little Valentine’s flags last year and they are a cinch to do.  I just painted some wooden craft poles white, and attached little paper flags out of cute paper.  The balls on top of the flags are just made out of clay that I dipped in glue and sprinkled with glitter.  Finish it off with a tiny bow and you’re all set.

I arranged them in some conversation hearts last year.  But all it made me want to do was pull out the flags and eat the candy hearts.


milk glass

In our new place, we have a lot of space over our kitchen cabinets.  I knew I wanted to do a little accessorizing up there, but I was trying to figure out what I could do without it looking cluttered or busy.  I wanted something light and fresh, that was a little more unexpected.
Thus began my love affair with milk glass
via kohler
I knew I needed to get my hands on some beautiful milk glass vases.  And fast.  That empty space about the cabinets was driving my crazy.
I figured that the cheapest and fastest (did I mention cheapest?) way to get this look was to create my own milk glass.  So I ventured down to trusty D.I. with Bradley and a bottle of hand sanitizer in tow, and picked up every vase I could find with nice lines.
With the exception of the white pitcher which I already had, I grabbed all these beauties for a grand total of $12.
I also picked up a few cans of high gloss white paint
threw on some latex gloves to protect my manicure
set up shop in my garage, and started spraying away
I loved the look of them instantly.  I sprayed on about 4 coats of paint give or take.  The trick is to spray evenly and not too close.  And have the patience to wait for the paint to dry in between coats.  Luckily it only took about 10 min to dry per coat.
When I got them all sufficiently coated and dried, it was time to arrange them.
I added a few pieces that I already had, and you can hardly tell the difference between the real and the fake ones.  It was just the look I was going for.  Clean, great lines, and cohesive. 


gallery wall

Our big move was this weekend, and we made it to our new place in one piece.  I was packing like crazy all last week, so my apologies for the lack of posts.
I am slowly getting through our huge pile of boxes, and am getting more and more excited to decorate our new place.  In a way, I wish I could start fresh with new furniture, decor, etc, but there is no way that is happening.  However, there are a few ideas I have bouncing around in my head that would give me a fresh new look without breaking the bank.
One of which is creating a gallery wall.  It’s a great way to display fabulous art, photographs, and quirky treasures for an eclectic feel.  Here are a few inspirations:
L to the O-V-E this.  Caitlin has impeccable style and really hit the nail on the head with this one.
(check out this tutorial for the Kate Spade inspired ampersand)
source unknown
Especially love the open frame.  My fear of life-size fame animals would steer me clear of the deer head…. but antlers only might be a good option.
last 3 images all via sfgirlbay
via domino