Welcome Home


I’ve been gone for a while. It wasn’t my usual procrastination or getting overly busy. I didn’t feel like blogging about home things because I didn’t really have a home.

Within two weeks of moving into a new rental house in August, our house was broken into. My laptop, where I’d lovingly written every blog post on Red Leaf Style, and where I kept all of my photos, was stolen. Poof. Gone.

For about a month I was in limbo. The place where I was living wasn’t my “home”. At least it wasn’t a place where I felt safe or happy.

I was a little lost.

This experience has reinforced more than ever that I’m a real homebody. I love home. I can’t wait to get home from work and make the space where I live comfy and inviting. I want to fill it with the smell of brewed coffee; I want to bake treats and cook dinner and sit on the floor with my doggie. I want to make a mess and start projects and decorate. Of course, decorate.

I couldn’t do any of those things after our house was broken into. And I didn’t want to.


But there’s a happy ending to this story.

My boyfriend and I found a new rental house that’s perfect for us. And it makes me happy every time I walk through the front door.

The stress of moving twice in less than two months, packing up your life, unpacking it, and packing it up all over again was a bit intense.

But I’m home now. And I can’t wait to share it with you.

My Column in VintageKC Magazine Fall 2014


Although I don’t usually talk about it here on Red Leaf Style, I’m a writer, not just a blogger. I write professionally to earn a living and because I love it.

For fun, I’ve been freelancing for VintageKC magazine, a local Kansas City magazine dedicated to decorating, DIY projects and fashion, all with a vintage focus.

The magazine completely fits my style. It’s vintage for the modern girl (or guy). From glamping to the best paint to distress furniture, the magazine has a lot of great ideas for today’s vintage lover.

I’m writing a regular column called Vintage Memories. Basically, every issue I interview someone interesting and build a story around a vintage photograph we dig up. It’s really fun. And I love how this issue’s column turned out. There’s Miracle Whip sandwiches and 50s dinner parties and a lot of other interesting tidbits from a lady who has lived in her childhood home for more than 60 years.

Since I talk alot about vintage here on Red Leaf Style, I wanted to invite you to check out this issue’s column. You can find it in the digital edition on page 46.

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Related articles:
Published in VintageKC Magazine!
Vintage Love: A Barnyard Wedding
Closet Makeover Reveal

Old Dresser Redo


Taking something sad and outdated and transforming it into something beautiful? That’s my favorite. Especially with furniture.

Take this dresser. I bought this sad number for $15 at a garage sale. It needed a lot of love. The drawers were fragile and starting to fall apart. (Thanks for fixing those, dad!) It was full of scratches and the stain was wearing off. But I loved the pretty scalloped detail at the bottom.

Here’s the before.

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And now the after.


This dresser just shows that it doesn’t take a lot of know-how to make a big transformation. I didn’t do anything crazy. I simply sanded the dresser and the drawers; gave it a couple of coats of Valspar paint in Crisp Linen; and perked it up with new aged bronze knobs.

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I love the classic look of the crisp white and near-black pulls. I’m really happy with it. What do you think?

Related articles:
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5 Favorite Furniture Find–For Free!
Wooden Chair Makeover: After

Decorating Idea: What to Do With Seashells?

Three Seashells

Who can resist gathering seashells any time they’re near an ocean? Just me? Maybe that’s just a thing people who don’t live near an ocean do, but chances are even you coastal dwellers have a few seashells in a drawer somewhere.

Because really, what do you do with them? You could put them in a jar. Or a bowl. Those would be pretty, but how many jars or bowls of seashells can you have? Am I right?

I faced this same conundrum a few weeks ago when I got back from a trip to Cambodia. During the days I spent in a couple of seaside towns in Cambodia, I gathered plenty of seashells. Because when am I going to go back to the Gulf of Thailand? Probably not any time soon. After unpacking and staring at my shell souvenirs, I was at a loss for what to do with them. Then, I came up with a brilliant solution.

Use them to decorate plants!

Decorate with seashells

It may sound weird, but I like to set little objects in my houseplants to give them some flair. Usually I place a few pretty rocks on the topsoil. Maybe a small figurine if I’m feeling crazy. But seashells are even better plant decorators!

Decorate plants with seashells Add flair to houseplants with seashells Seashells decorate houseplantThey just add a little something. It’s subtle. And pretty. And it makes me feel like I’m actually doing something semi-creative with my seashells.

What do you think?

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Why Snake Plants Make the Best Houseplants
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Why Snake Plants Make the Best Houseplants


Calling all black thumbs; I’ve got the houseplant for you. Have you ever heard of snake plants? These fancy-looking plants feature sword-shaped leaves and can get as tall as eight feet! (Mine aren’t taller than a foot or two, though.) Snake plants are closely related to Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, which is the same style plant but with a yellow border around the leaves.

For those of you who aren’t so good at keeping plants alive, you’ll have a good run with snake plants. These houseplants are super hardy and can even grow in poor soil. Here are a few more reasons why I think snake plants make the best houseplants.


Decorating helpers
Houseplants in general just make a room look good. They add life and a bit of green to a space. And snake plants are particularly good looking. Their vertical leaves are really interesting, and they look excellent in groupings.

Fit with any look
Snake plants definitely give off a modern vibe. I can picture these plants decorating a sleek home that’s all black furniture and minimalist. But snake plants also work just as well with my vintage-inspired style. They’re extremely versatile.

Easy to care for
Snake plants are about as easy as it gets when it comes to taking care of them. Keep them in the house near ample natural light, let them dry out between waterings and they’ll be fine. Snake plants also grow well outdoors on a porch. They prefer warmth, so bring them indoors during the winter. When you’re not sure, err to underwatering.

Space savers
Their dramatic vertical leaves don’t just look striking; they also save space. While many houseplants spread their vines or grow bushy, snake plants just grow vertically. You can stick a snake plant just about anywhere. And it’ll grow up—not out.

Improve indoor air
Snake plants are particularly good at filtering air. They can even filter out pollutants like formaldehyde. Keep a few in your bedroom to improve the air quality while you sleep.


Here are a few more of my favorite houseplants.

What houseplants do you like to grow? Let me know in the comments!

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Follow Red Leaf Style author Kirsten Hudson on Twitter @kirsten_hudson, Google+ and Pinterest.