drought friendly yard makeover in los angeles with atg stores

I actually can’t believe I’m writing this post right now.. 1) because I am so excited to show you what we’ve been working on, and 2) because we have been working on it for so long that I can’t believe it is finally d o n e !

Are you ready for this ride? I give you… our Unity Yard Makeover story.

But first, the before:

We’ve lived in our house for over 3 years now. We love it. We’re only renting, but we’ve really made every inch of it our own. Well, every inch except the outdoor inch. It has always been in a state of half overgrown / half dead, and to be honest, as renters, we wasn’t really sure how to do anything with it.

That was, until we got home from Burning Man last year and discovered our landlord had decided to ‘drought proof’ the yard.. i.e. remove all of the grass.

I’m a total hippie and I love being earth-friendly. I do, really. But I’m also a Midwestern girl, and I love spaces to feel alive. I think I actually lost sleep for one entire night because I had visions of my yard feeling like a kitty litter box. It was exactly the spark that we needed to dream up something new… Jayden was especially inspiring in his confidence that we could make it our own little wonderland. And I think we did just that!

My nearest-dearest Jess of Taylor + Taylor supported me with endless answers to my endless questions and gave so much styling advice all through her weeks of bedrest with her twins. What a goddess. She also helped me style this shoot via FaceTime, haha! How’s that for a good friend?! Then, after I bought two trees that I thought were going to look like birds of paradise trees but were actually banana trees and realized I knew nothing, Danae of Folia Collective metaphorically held my hand with answering my millions of plant questions, and Annette at my neighborhood store, Potted, led me to the perfect pots and hanging plant holders for the space. This was clearly a team effort! Not to mention, almost everything you see in our space is from the website ATG Stores. Not only is their stuff diverse, affordable and super chic, their team is pure bliss to work with. Ah! Now I’m so excited for you to see all the details!

The after [from the same perspective as the previous photo]: Color, texture, and a whole lot of life!

Before: the side of the yard is fenced in by a cinder block fence that was covered by a dying bamboo covering and a general sense of blah.

After: the Jayden-painted cinder block is now magically charcoal with a diagonal succulent wall built in front of it, and our dining table + chairs on this rug that we spend every sunny afternoon lunch break sitting at. Literally the best corner of the yard!

Before: that overgrown component I was talking about…

After: renter-friendly potted plants in all shapes, sizes and textures. Heck yes, California! 

Before: how things looked when we got home from the Burn, and that oh-my-gosh-kitty-litter reality I was talking about…

After: so much magic, I hardly notice the few blades of grass are gone! That outdoor sofa is literally the comfiest thing you could ever sit on. It is softer than my couch inside my living room, and I’m not even lying.

The pillows are here, here, here and here.

The side tables are these concrete ones and this wire one.

The rugs are this pink one, this yellow one, and this black and white one. How good are they all layered together?!

Before: when the drought-proofing was complete, the yard was cute, but still had a lot of haphazard gatherings with folding chairs surrounded by half-dead plants.

After: literally the most relaxing place to spend an evening with friends … and a few bottles of wine!

And all of the glorious details…

The peacock chair is one that used to be peach colored and in our house, but after a quick can of spray paint, I love it so much more outside. Do you think I’ll ever get tired of ’70s style?!

Seriously, how good does that wall look?! I’m obsessed with Jayden. He is such a details guy!

We love our table so much that we often talk about bringing it inside and using it as our main dining table.. haha!

Annette (from Potted) made that box using tiles! How rad is that?! The tutorial is in her gardening book coming out soon…

Mr. Zebra, a birthday present from my amazing mum-in-law.. I think she may have found it at Anthro?

Jayden got me my little nudie pot for Christmas by Knotwork LA.

Bye Felicia door mat by Shop Josie B on Etsy.

And now, for a glimpse at how great the space looks at night!

Yup, I still love it just as much.

Now all we have to do is wait for LA’s wettest season of the decade to cool it so we can go out there again… 😉 xo!

All of the Magic:

Featured on: A Beautiful Mess

Design + Styling Support: Taylor + Taylor

Plant Coaching: Folia Collective

Pots, Hanging Plant Holders + Landscaping Ideas: Potted Store

Photos: Jayden of Woodnote Photography

From ATG: 

February 27, 2017 - 11:11 pm

Mumsthewordsy So FAB! Glad Mr Zebra made an appearance…❤️❤️

two girls, one kit: the tippi sweater from j crew

I’m all kinds of excited about this week’s Two Girls, One Kit! This series continues to stretch me and get me to plan my outfits ahead of time, rather than throwing on whatever I left on the floor last night… Ahhh, who feels me with that one?!

The Amazing : Just about everyone knows J.Crew. How can you not?! They’re America’s favorite, the tried and true prep-goes-rogue that always nails it when it comes to color-blocking and timeless, classic style.

The Common Piece : the Tippi sweater with embroidered lips. This soft, fitted ‘basic’ is a little bit extra spesh thanks to the embroidery. It is a piece that both the minimalists (Anne) + the maximalists (me) can fall for, so you know it’ll please just about everyone!

I paired my Tippi with a few pins (y’know.. flair), a dyed bandana from my friend Jeran of Oleander and Palm, and a whole stack of delicious ‘Crew.

The lookout high-rise jean in white is daring, yet current. The suede lace-up pointed-toe flats in fuchsia bloom are comfy and can be dressed up or down, a layered western chambray shirt in vintage indigo reminds me of high school in the very best way, and that divine signet bag in sunset petal dove has all of my favorite shades in one place. What’s not to love?!

I do so love finding a good pink wall!

Well, would you look at that. Definitely some crossover this week! The bold shoes, the denim … you’d almost think our style is rubbing off on each other. 😉

Anne’s spin : Anne went for a bold look this time … absolutely my favorite that she’s done so far! (Maybe because her palette is literally my bedroom?) 

The J.Crew wide-leg jumpsuit in shirting stripe she paired with her own signet bag in stunning soft blossom and a vintage denim jacket with those crimson shoes? C’mon. Even I would wear this look. Haha! That’s sayin’ somethin’.

(You can hit Anne’s post to read more about her styling direction.)

See you next Tuesday! xo

Photos by Jayden Lee for Echo and Earl

February 28, 2017 - 3:30 pm

Caroline hi, lisa! they are from sseko designs 🙂 they are my fave and you can find them here.

February 22, 2017 - 5:39 pm

lisa thomson Please tell about your bracelets! Love this post 🙂

February 28, 2017 - 4:21 pm

two girls, one kit: the multi-stripe wrap dress from tribe alive – los angeles wedding photographers […] socks and those winning white shoes elevate the cotton dress and make it a bit spesh, while last week’s J.Crew purse honors the pastel thang I started and carries it through. Let’s not forget that […]

’70s pink and rust bedroom makeover featured on domino

Jayden + I have a bit of a thing with loving change and trying new things early and often.. I tend to think my ENTJ‘ness might have something to do with my love for updating and improving things that are OK and wanting to make them even better.

Our bedroom was already pretty rad, but then we got a brand new mattress from Helix, and suddenly, the whole room needed to be new, too!

I enlisted the expertise of my other half, Anne Sage, who saw my Pinterest board for the bedroom inspo and deemed it the 70s Brutalist Glam Bedroom. I liked that.


(The makeover was featured on Domino last week, so you can check out an interview with Anne there!)

I was obsessed with a bathroom that I found online that had a dark ceiling color. Thankfully, Jayden loves color just as much as I do, and was totally on board with the idea — going so far as doing the painting job himself. He really is amaaaazing at detail!

The photo is one I took in Melbourne a few years back, and we got it printed and framed with Framebridge in their Cairo burl wood frame. I’m obsessed!

The drapes are a bit o’ magic from Rebecca Atwood‘s fabric by the yard offerings, and I sewed ’em myself. The sexy photos are ’70s levels of delish by the amazing Stephanie Vovas.

That chair was a Craiglist find [free!] and we got it recovered in the most delicious burnt orange. If you give me blush and rust in the same corner of a room, it will always be my fave!

Mad-crazy about this basket from BoConcept. Their selection of pillows and other home accessories blows me away! Plus, they have a BoConcept LA store, so we even got to go in and see things in-person instead of ordering online.

And how about that koala bedding made by Jayden himself? We were searching for quirky, playful and fun and just couldn’t find the perfect match, and so Jayden created this custom piece. I think he’s so insanely talented that I’m about to stop being a photographer just so I can become his publicist. First? To get him a bedding collab! My gosh. Pink koalas are always a good idea.

So what do you think? Is it too much? Not enough? Just right?

We’ve loved having friends walk into the new room and say, “This feels so intimate!” and “How did you manage to create this feeling in a tiny bedroom?”

We adore the way the room looks and feels, and hope it inspires you to take risks with your own spaces. What’s the worst that could happen? You change it again in another 2 years? 😉 xo

Bedroom design: Anne Sage x Caroline Lee

Featured on Domino

Mattress from Helix

Paint from Lowe’s: walls in Sherwin Williams Romance, ceiling in Olympic Sweet Spiceberry

Marble side tables and table lamps from Target

Large framed piece over the bed by Caroline, framed by Framebridge, available here

Blush linen sheets from Parachute Home

Koala bedspread: custom piece by Jayden Lee

Rug: Coco Carpets

Velvet chair: snagged for free on Craigslist, recovered

Pillows, Vase and Magazine Holder: BoConcept

Drapes: Marbled Stripe Fabric in Blush by Rebecca Atwood, drapes sewn by Caroline

Three Postcard Prints by Stephanie Vovas

  • styling by Anne Sage and photos by Jayden Lee.

light lab updates with blinds.com

You’ve heard me talk about Light Lab before, and to be fair, one of the best things about Light Lab is the, uh, light.

That said, the major light sources are three deliciously large skylights in the space, and as a photo studio, sometimes the light is a little bit too light and can create harsh hot-spots. Mmmm, not great.

Anne, Jayden + I went on a wild rampage trying to find a solution.. which was often Jayden climbing on the roof and covering the skylights with tarps during shoots. Super classy. So. It was time to find a permanent answer to our dilemma.

As I went on a Google run to try and find some possibilities, I came across blinds.com, and they seemed to have everything. “Surely they would be able to create something to handle our skylights that are 12′ off the ground!” I hoped.

I whipped up a quick email to inquire with their team, and couldn’t have prepared myself for the overwhelming response.

First of all, ‘they’ replied within hours. And by ‘they’, I mean Abigail. And by Abigail, I mean an insanely lovely gal who mentioned she followed me on Insta and already knew about Light Lab, too. Umm, I was half dead by this point. Then she suggested that we collaborate, and blinds.com create custom shades for us in exchange for some before / after photos and some honest reviews of our experience. Again.. totally blew my mind. I couldn’t handle it.

Abigail sent me onto her design team, AKA Danielle, who was also so amazingly helpful and kind that we couldn’t cope with ourselves. Danielle asked what paint color our ceilings were so that she could match the blinds to our paint shade. Uh. Are you getting how these people are literally unicorns?! I wasn’t really sure how ‘personalized’ an experience could be with something as vague as ‘blinds.com’… but my goodness. I now have two colleague / gal friends who I can’t stop singing praises about!

The Skylight Shades arrived in about a week after ordering them. Danielle worked with us to decide that the DiamondCell Blackout Cellular Skylight Shades were the answer to our problems, and you know what? They are.

They’re installed now, and oh-so easy to open and close, even with the 12′ ceilings. We have a handy little hook on a pole and can have them open / closed in seconds. Even light? We love you!

Blinds.com? We love you more.

Fun fact: you can snag 20% off your order at blinds.com with the code LIGHTLAB until March 10, 2017. Go, go, go! xo

two girls, one kit: the fold jacket from ayr

Anne + I are big on intentions. We love setting them, and we love checking in on what they were (or were not) as a project evolves.

Now that we’re two months in (!) with Two Girls, One Kit, we took a sec to gush over our growing excitement with this series, and also to really spell out our why. Our biggest why? To connect clothes with a feeling. How do I want to feel today? What feeling do these clothes create in me? And so, today is all about feeling confident and sexy.

The Amazing : AYR.. AYR stands for All Year Round and is all about independence.. both for them, and for us! AYR is high quality, low maintenance and for the gal who doesn’t like to be labeled. (Hello! That is all so me!)

The Common Piece : The Fold Jacket in Pale Camel. This loose and delicious coat might be the nicest thing I own. A flawless choice for both the minimalist (Anne) + maximalist (me).

My take : the Form jeans in Igloo + the Clean Shirt in Ice Wash

The Canadian Tuxedo (or, all denim everything) is a look I just can’t be mad at. It is relaxed yet intentional, (there’s that word again) stylish but approachable.

This ensemb makes me feel like I could walk into a business meeting and totally nail it.. or, waltz into a romantic dinner to sip expensive champagne and not feel out of place.

Sunnies are Ray-Ban Aviators, necklaces are from Azil Boutique.

Velvet sandals are Madewell.

My favorite part about this look is how bold it is, without being too overbearing. It demands attention.. but you can’t quite tell why.

Side note: the thick belt on this jacket is to die for!

Bando x Bing Bang rings.. part of my daily staples!

And now, for the jacket a whole different way…

Anne’s take : Le Square sweater in Latte + The Skinny jeans in Jet Black

Last week, Anne + I attended a fashion workshop at Light Lab put on by Catherine of the Life Styled called Fashion Feng Shui where she taught all about the different elements and how they related to fashion.

Catherine’s concept made so much sense to me, and also helped me better understand my ‘wood‘iness and Anne’s ‘water‘y ways. I’m loving the series so much! Be sure to follow along as Catherine unveils the other elements on her blog. It is a great tool to use as I dress myself each day.

Head to Anne’s blog to read more about how her ensemb makes her feel, and head to ayr.com to snag your own effortless, low-maintenance magic! You won’t be sorry. xo

Photos by Jayden Lee for Echo and Earl