Five Favorite Finds: A Visit with Lesa Taylor of the Blog, Life Taylor’d

This weekend began with a Saturday morning chat over hot, fresh beignets and chicken popovers with my very creative friend and fellow blogger Lesa Taylor.   Imagine the setting:  Lesa and her husband live in rural Leavenworth, Kansas, and the drive there takes you past cornfields and old, picturesque barns.  They do have neighbors, but when sitting in Lesa’s kitchen and gazing out the window, you forget the nearness of people;  only rolling green hills and a pond are in view.   It’s a lovely scene, but what’s inside Lesa’s home quickly draws your eyes away from the window to what I can only describe as an indoor panoramic visual buffet.   Lesa’s talent for displaying found objects is evident everywhere.   There are beautiful vignettes on every wall, every surface, and each one seems to tell a story that you want to sit down and read.   You can’t leave her home without feeling inspired (and a bit more courageous!) to try your own hand at crafting home decor.  It only makes sense that Lesa would share her talents with the world through her blog, Life Taylor’d.  

Lesa and I had so much fun visiting about antiques, family treasures, food, and blogging that I thought I would post some of the highlights of our talk here on Circa 19xx.  In particular, I asked Lesa if she could tell us about her five favorite finds.   Read on for the big reveal…

Lesa Taylor in her country kitchen. She loves to cook (lucky me!). Yes, those are beignets, which I have never been known to resist.
Brunch! Tasty…and pretty.
Here’s an example of Lesa’s penchant for display. I could never come up with this arrangement. It’s both functional and artistic.

I met Lesa a few years ago when we worked together at the same company.  Our office was modern, white, and nearly featureless, but Lesa’s console served as a platform for colorful and elaborate seasonal displays.   While the displays varied throughout the year, there were always stylistic touches that hinted at her fondness for rustic design.  “I tend to like the kinds of things no one else wants,” she explained during our visit this weekend.  “When shopping flea markets, some people are attracted to beautiful displays.  Not me; I’m more interested in the box of junk in the corner.  I like to think about all of the creative things I can do with those old, discarded pieces.”

Her most treasured finds come from a variety of places.  Some are family heirlooms with long tails spanning generations; others are snapped up after long, arduous Internet searches and shopping excursions.  One of her favorites was found curbside as it awaited pickup with the other trash!    I asked her what she looks for when making acquisitions.   “Sometimes I have a crystal clear vision in my head of the kind of display I want to create, and then I specifically seek the items I see in my mind’s eye.”  One of her dreams is to transform an old barn into a home.  If she and her husband ever purchase a barn, she’s ready.  “I know exactly what I’d do and how I’d decorate,” she said.  “It’s so clear in my mind that I even know where I would put the light switches!”

Lesa’s Five Favorite Finds

Favorite Find #1: Windmill. This windmill display is the first thing you see when you walk in Lesa’s house, and it’s a stunner. This display had already taken shape in her mind long before she had found the windmill. She saw a picture of this windmill on a Facebook page for a sale the next day and made sure she got there before it opened. She got a discount for being the first customer of the day. Total cost: $35.
Favorite Find #2: Hutch. This piece of furniture holds a lot of sentimental value for Lesa. It belonged to her husband’s grandmother. Lesa’s mother-in-law was considering giving it to Goodwill, but Lesa was happy to take it off her hands. “I love this piece because it was always in my husband’s grandmother’s dining room with beautiful displays of dishes,” Lesa recalls.
Favorite Find #3: Old books. These books once lived in the personal library of Lesa’s grandmother. “She was an avid reader. Near her kitchen she had a little nook that was lined with bookcases. These two books were part of her collection.” They are inscribed with her grandmother’s signature–Juanita Kelley.
Favorite Find #4: Chair. Lesa’s brother-in-law found this chair discarded on the side of the road. “The upholstery was old, worn, and ragged tapestry fabric,” she explained. “So I recovered it for an updated look.”  Notice the tree mural in the background; Lesa painted that herself.
Favorite Find #5: Quilt. This quilt, which dates back to the 1930s or 1940s, was made my Lesa’s great grandmother.
Bonus Find: OK, so this is my favorite find in Lesa’s collection! This beautiful mirror belonged to Lesa’s great grandmother. At one time it had hung over an old buffet, which is now lost.

Lesa launched the Life Taylor’d blog earlier this year.  “My signature statement is to ‘keep creating,’ because that’s what I want to help people do.  My blog is about all things home and creating:  Creating memories, crafts, food.”  She features recent projects she has completed and provides how-to instructions so readers can try them in their own homes.   If you’re looking for a little creative inspiration, Life Taylor’d is the place to go.

Lesa’s front porch. I snapped this photo as I left to head for my car. One last parting pic as a reminder of our fun morning together.

What a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning!  Special thanks to Lesa Taylor for sharing part of her collection with me for my blog!

Until next time…

Jennifer Passariello




  1. Thank you for taking time to spend a lovely morning with me, it was delightful! Your kind words and complimentary comments are much appreciated, I thoroughly enjoyed our visit and anxiously await our next get together!

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