Leela Cyd

Santa Barbara, CA

As a photographer, Leela is looking for the in-between moments, the details and the emotion of places, people or things. She spent over a decade as a stylist so her work is carefully constructed, layered with personality, but always has a feeling of freedom and joy. Growing up around a table of creatives — her father a photographer, mother a writer — Leela is a synthesis of her family. Her abilities are broad — from interiors/architecture, to product, food and lifestyle. When she’s not making pictures or in the studio she’s playing with her two young children dreaming up their next adventure. Leela has also authored and photographed 4 of her own books, "Food with Friends," "Tasting Hygge," "Cooking Up Trouble," and "Styling for Instagram."
This “Narrow, Empty Shell” Turned into the Loveliest Tiny Home of All Time
Marijn Kruikemeier and Liya Yang had a big task ahead of them when they bought this 517-square-foot flat in Amsterdam’s Jordaan area in 2020: The original floor plan of the space was lacking in rooms and walls! It was one big open space, long and narrow. They had the “complete freedom to come up with a new layout,” but that was the challenge, too. The idea was to add in specific rooms but not block any precious daylight.
Jun 14, 2024
See Why a Charming Cottage Made Its Sagittarius Renter Want to Stay Put
After living around the globe, Rose Adele is ready to stay put for a while in this delightful home.
Mar 13, 2024
This Awesome Grandma Has Cooked in Her “Forever Kitchen” for 55 Years
It's got an oval island, cabinets wallpapered with old calendars, and a jar full of glass!
Mar 20, 2024
This Cute 450-Square-Foot Studio Apartment Feels Like a Cozy Boho Cottage
See inside Katy Mae Turner's small Los Angeles studio apartment that she's made feel warm through colors like pink, orange, yellow, and cream, along with natural wood tones and warm lighting.
Feb 19, 2024
The Only Thing Cooler Than This LA Loft’s Glass Blocks Is the Decor
Tour this rental on LA’s Westside that’s filled with DIY projects, cool vintage decor, and stunning retro architecture.
Dec 4, 2023
The Couple Behind "A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour" Have a Pretty Cool LA Home
Margaret and Corey Bienert are the married couple behind the wildly popular social accounts “A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour” and authors of the brand-new book “Hotel Kitsch.”
Oct 27, 2023
A DIY Gut Reno of a "Severe" Fixer Upper Saved It from Tear-Down
The only thing that’s more stunning than the gorgeous mid-century modern details are the “killer” 180-degree hilltop views.
Oct 23, 2023
Steph & Phil’s Reimagined Victorian
Name: Phil and Steph Dickinson Location: NorthWest — Portland, Oregon Size: 3,500 square feet Years lived in: 3 — owned Phil, Steph and their children Stan and Mary lived in this daring modern Victorian home that they designed themselves with imagination and style to spare. Their quirky British sensibilities and strong DIY ethic are visible in each and every room.
Mar 11, 2020
Jonya & Brad’s Modern A–Frame
Name: Jonya and Bradley Streeper (and son Julian Grey)Location: Beaverton — Portland, ORSize: 2,400 square feetYears lived in: 3 — owned Jonya, Brad and their two–year–old son Julian live in one of the most thoughtfully decorated, wonderfully airy homes I’ve had the pleasure of photographing. An open floor plan and tall ceilings allow for a steady stream of unbelievable natural light to flood the entire space.
Dec 19, 2019
Holly and Ryan’s Vintage Minimal
Name: Holly, Ryan and their son AugustLocation: Portland, OregonSize: 1200 sq ftYears lived in: 5 Holly is one of Portland’s most celebrated fashion designers. After photographing the sweet shop she co-owns, I had a hunch that the qualities I found in her clothing line—romance, inspiration from past eras and subtle palette—would be echoed in her home. I hunched right! Join me for a tour of a mellow, beautiful home. Holly and Ryan have a great touch in their home.
Dec 19, 2019
Penelope and Nathan’s Full–Hearted Eclectic
Name: Penelope, Nathan and Bell MillerLocation: Portland, OregonYears lived in: 2 Penelope and Nathan turned a broken down house in North East Portland into a handmade palace full of personality and joy — the perfect spot to raise their 20 month old daughter, Bell, and even have leftover room for guests and grandparents. When Penelope needed a bit of peace and contemplation, they built an outdoor lounge room completely from reclaimed, tossed–aside materials.
Dec 19, 2019
Laura’s Mid–Century Melrose Place
Name: Laura LeonLocation: Kerns neighborhood — Portland, OregonSize: 1,010 square feetYears lived in: 2 1/2 years — rented Laura’s a color and materials consultant, trend forecaster and photographer. Another notch to her freelancing belt she should think of including? Interior designer! With her eye for quality vintage, simple colors and personal details, this woman is an artist with her home.
Dec 19, 2019
Nina’s Styled Studio
Name: Nina Bakos Location: South East — Portland, Oregon Size: Approximately 500 square feet Years lived in: 2 — rented Nina’s job is to make objects fit into a space just right as a product merchandiser for Nike, so it’s no surprise her studio is arranged with love, care and impeccable taste. Her biggest design inspiration? The aesthetic of her Finnish mother and Slovac father. Great style runs in the family.
Dec 19, 2019
Nancy & David’s Restored Ranch
Name: David Florimbi and Nancy SimonLocation: Santa BarbaraYears lived in: 6 Nancy and David moved into a single story ranch style home in the hills of Santa Barbara, California six years ago. They preserved the bones, but opened up many of the rooms and gave the whole thing a coat of fresh white paint. The open floor plan, combined with large windows and a vibrant color palette, give this home an air of exotic getaway.
Dec 19, 2019
Kirsten & Kyle’s Restored Bungalow
Name: Kirsten and Kyle NiemanLocation: NE Portland, Oregon Years lived in: almost 4Kristen is a home decor maven with an eye for upcycling and reclaiming cast away items from Craigslist, garage sales and friends. Her home is relaxed and beautiful with a predominate palette of grayish tones, whites, neutrals and pops of yellow. Join us for tea and a tour of this 1925 Portland, Oregon bungalow.Kristen’s interest in decor and styling is apparent in every room of her home.
Dec 19, 2019
Julie’s Unbelievable Airstream Trailer, Shed and Art Studio
Name: Julie Montgomery and son, Henry Location: Carpinteria, California Size: 400 square feet Years lived in: 3 Julie and her young son, Henry, were offered the chance to live at the base of a tropical fruit farm in Southern California, about a mile from the Pacific ocean. Included in the deal was a small studio within the packing facility to create her large–scale abstract paintings. Too good to be true, right? The only catch?
Dec 19, 2019
Joan & Jim’s Lovely, Artful Home
Name: Joan and Jim TannerLocation: Santa Barbara, CaliforniaSize: ampleYears lived in: 45 Joan and Jim live in one of the most artful, layered homes I’ve ever come across. It is at once cozy, enchanting, exuberant, chic and family-centered. Their space is truly a reflection of what full, vibrant lives Joan and Jim have led as an artist and a doctor. Join me in the hills of Santa Barbara for a unique glimpse into a remarkable home.
Dec 19, 2019
Jessica & Jered’s Solar-Heated, Stylish Home
Name: Jered and Jessica Bogli Location: NE Portland, OregonSize: 3600 sq ft Years lived in: 3ish Jessica and Jered’s abode is as environmentally conscious as it is luxurious. With its roof-top solar-collectors that provide heat 10 months of the year, the overflowing edible garden and the outside/inside use of lovely porch space, this home embodies high-end green style. Jessica and Jered came upon their extraordinary space a few years ago after Jessica repeatedly jogged by building project.
Dec 19, 2019
Krystal’s San Francisco Studio
Name: Krystal Bick Location: Hayes Valley — San Francisco, California Size: 400 square feet Years lived in: 3 — rented Krystal Bick’s style blog showcases all of her designer duds and playful outfits. Her studio with attached kitchen and rather large closet reflects her fashion sense perfectly — eclectic, feminine, clean and glamorous. Krystal’s space is small but efficient.
Dec 19, 2019
Joan’s Artist Abode
Name: Joan Hiller Location: North East, Portland, Oregon Size: 432 square feet Years lived in: 1 year; rented Joan is a music publicist, painter and all–around creative, energetic lady. Her apartment functions as her office and her painting studio; she shares the space with her companion of almost thirty years, her turtle Sheldon. Spending time in Joan’s apartment was like watching her consciousness explode into a living space.
Jul 1, 2019
Greg & Grey’s Skylit Studio Loft
Name: Greg Hennes & Grey Helvey Location: South East — Portland, OregonSize: approximately 1600 square feetYears lived in: 6 months — rented Greg and Grey moved into their studio loft in January of this year. The vibe they’ve created is one of serene calm, mixed with innovation and creativity. The space is astounding, full of open air and light — it’s the ideal showcase for their Antler & Co. handmade goods.
Sep 26, 2011
Samantha & Lindsey’s Bright Beach Cottage
Name: Samantha, Lindsay and UshaLocation: Downtown — Santa Barbara, CaliforniaSize: 1,500 square feetYears lived in: 2 Samantha, Lindsey and their housemate, Usha, have made a sunshine–drenched home of their own with a few coats of paint, some great DIYs and a whole lot of art work made by family members. Their laid back style is both accessible and inspiring.
Aug 9, 2011
Penny, Petra & Sydney’s Gorgeous, Artful Home
Name: Penny, Petra and Sydney CortrightLocation: The Mesa — Santa Barbara, CaliforniaSize: 2,600 square feet (including a 600 square foot attached studio rental)Years lived in: 20 — owned Never have I turned a corner to face a staircase that literally reads, painted on the stairs, “And I’ll Buy You a Stairway to Heaven.” This detail leads to many more creative twists and turns, as I toured this unique home on the top of a hill in Santa Barbara.
Jul 18, 2011
Heidi & David’s Downtown Portland Loft
Name: Heidi and DavidLocation: Downtown — Portland, OregonSize: 900 sq ft Years lived in: 6 months — rented When Heidi and David relocated to Portland, Oregon from Brooklyn a few months ago, they hoped to find a place in an urban neighborhood, close to the farmer’s market and city life. They found just that in an open live/work loft they share with their cat, Gypsy.
Jul 5, 2011