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Home Bloggers We Love: The Leslie Style
Images courtesy of Leslie Biggley
The blogger: Leslie Biggley
Her blog: The Leslie Style
Passion: Home renovation
When did you become passionate about interior design and start your home renovation blog?
I started renovating with the very first home that my husband and I bought six years ago, when we first met. He was already living in the home, but renting. I moved in, we bought the place and I immediately got to work. We wainscoted the entire home and I did that with the shop teacher at the high school I taught at. I’d bring the cut pieces home and our neighbor helped me to shoot them onto the wall…and the rest is history.
What inspires you?
I’m an art teacher during the day, and artwork really inspires me. I love to fill my house with work that I’ve found from new artists, and I follow a ton of artists on Instagram.
Light fixtures, especially chandeliers and sconces are another source of inspiration. I’m obsessed.
What interior design elements are essential to a home?
From a structural standpoint, lots of huge windows with grilles. The glass provides great natural light and the grilles create such a gorgeous middle ground between the interior and exterior of the home. For windows, I gravitate toward dark interior window frames, which we did in our most recent home. Again, the middle ground they create is stunning.
From a décor standpoint, I use a lot of rugs. It’s an easy way to create individual spaces in an open-concept home, and layering them is one of my favorite things to do. My tip is to keep the large rug neutral and then layer on inexpensive runners that can be easily swapped out when you want to try new colors or change with the seasons.
I also LOVE white and I paint all of my walls white. I have been doing this since the first home. I actually started the hashtag #brightwhitewednesday last year with my design friend @oliveandford, and that went viral.
How can homeowners add some simple summer touches to their décor?
Seashells, like conch and starfish, look stunning set on top of a stack of books on a coffee table or on top of a styled floating shelf. Stripes are also gorgeous in the summer.
Describe your design style in three words.
Airy, modern and feminine.
What is your interior design philosophy?
Juxtapose two styles. I always want a tension or push-pull in my designs so they don’t get pigeonholed into one style. For example, one of the bathrooms that I recently designed is modern bohemian. The bohemian keeps the modern from being cold and the modern keeps the bohemian from feeling too trendy. I also have a modern French country bathroom. In this case, the modern keeps the French country from feeling too farmhouse and overdone.
Tell us about a favorite renovation project you recently completed.
Our current home has been featured in The Toronto Star and on Glitter Guide and Style Me Pretty Living, and will be in the upcoming Christmas edition of Better Homes and Gardens. I used all Pella® windows in the house. I live in Canada in a cold climate and I wanted the coveted look of steel windows but that’s just not possible with our weather.
I searched everywhere for dark interiors that didn’t need to be stained. I didn’t want wood windows or the maintenance. That’s when I found Pella® Impervia® fiberglass windows.
The windows are amazing because you can get black and brown interiors that match the exteriors. No other window company offers this. And you don’t have to pay a painter to come and stain the windows. The fiberglass is gorgeous and easy to keep clean. People always ask me what kind of windows we have – such an amazing find!
How can windows and doors impact a space?
Windows give you light, and light is what people love in the spaces that they see on Instagram. They might not know it, but it’s the gorgeous quality of the light that makes spaces spectacular.
Add as many windows as you can to a house – it’s the place to splurge. And always have windows in bathrooms! Put in a dormer if you don’t have one, or add one like we did in our recent modern bohemian project. Natural light gives your bathroom tile an extra sparkle that makes the whole room look clean and fresh.
What’s the best piece of home advice you've ever received?
From the book The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up: “Surround yourself with things you love and discard the rest.” I am currently letting go of everything that doesn’t spark joy, and it’s changing my life. All the old stuff you’re storing in closets and basements and storage units – let it all go. It will change every aspect of your life.
Find tips and inspiration to plan your window or door project by visiting Pella’s Plan Your Project online resource center.
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