At home with…Leslie Burns

Leslie’s favorite room in her home is the kitchen, which she renovated on her own. “It is a perfect blend
of old and new, sustainable and reused products,” she said. “I chose the Corian countertop as it contains 30 percent recycled material, and designed the color scheme of the kitchen around that product. I peeled the asbestos tiles off of the floor to reveal the heartwood pine sleeping many layers below, and after thoroughly sanding it, sealed it with Monocoat—a German product made from flaxseed oil. I set the brick wall free
of its many skins of paint and wallpaper, exposing its ruddy texture. I painted the rest of the kitchen walls in low-VOC paint, restored the old baseboard and reused some of the beadboard in a new laundry alcove
and freestanding cabinet. Photo: Amanda Maglione Leslie’s favorite room in her home is the kitchen, which she renovated on her own. “It is a perfect blend of old and new, sustainable and reused products,” she said. “I chose the Corian countertop as it contains 30 percent recycled material, and designed the color scheme of the kitchen around that product. I peeled the asbestos tiles off of the floor to reveal the heartwood pine sleeping many layers below, and after thoroughly sanding it, sealed it with Monocoat—a German product made from flaxseed oil. I set the brick wall free of its many skins of paint and wallpaper, exposing its ruddy texture. I painted the rest of the kitchen walls in low-VOC paint, restored the old baseboard and reused some of the beadboard in a new laundry alcove and freestanding cabinet. Photo: Amanda Maglione

Two of interior designer Leslie Burns’ passions put a personal stamp on her work: fine art and travel. Having visited more than 20 different countries and worked as a fine artist, Leslie’s designs often focus on bringing more color and texture to a room. We asked her to tell us what she’s been up to lately.

What are you currently reading?

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of De-cluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

It suggests some very unique methods for de-cluttering—some of which I have shared with my clients. Renovating a home is the perfect time to unload accumulated junk. The reason to unload something is if it does not spark joy when you see it or touch it.

I am also a big fan of picture books, so I am perusing Houses for All Regions, which was put together by the Custom Residential Architects Network.

What are you listening to?

I am listening to alt-j (because it has a raw alternative quality mixed with something that sounds like madrigals), Boozoo Bajou (ambient chill first heard in a smashing nightclub in Buenos Aires) and anything funky (like The Pimps of Joytime or The Meters).

What are you watching on TV?

I don’t watch much TV, but if I do, I love “Project Runway.”

What are you eating/drinking lately?

I’m on a roll with titles that contain “life changing” here, as I have been making and eating a lot of “The Life Changing Loaf of Bread” from the blog called “My New Roots” by Sarah Britton. This recipe is made almost entirely of whole grains, nuts and seeds, is high in protein, gluten free and is incredibly delicious when toasted with some butter.

What are you working on?

I work on a lot of aging in place bathrooms because I am a true believer in accessibility, be it for the homeowner, the guests of the homeowner or an aging parent who may come to live with the homeowner. Barrier-free showers and linear drains, integrated grab bars that do not read as institutional and lovely, lovely tiles. I am crazy for beautiful tiles and gorgeous stone. As a sustainable designer, I seek every opportunity to use quality, long-lasting finishes and well-made fixtures in a timeless style. I would love to design a Hammam spa, in case someone out there is looking for that service!

Want to know more? Call (650) 863-0418 or visit leslieburnsdesign.com to get in touch.

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