Five Moving Tips To Make Things Easier


This weekend we helped John’s sister and brother-in-law move into their fabulous new home (that they just happened to design themselves) and along with some obligatory back pain we took away some pretty fail-safe moving advice. And now that we’re in the know, we figured we’d share the wealth. After a picture of their breathtaking new kitchen of course: Moving Tip #1: Clean top to bottom. When you’re cleaning something in your new home (like the kitchen cabinets before you load in all your dishes, or a closet before you add the linens), it only makes sense to start from the top. This way any spare dirt or dust that doesn’t stick to your rag

DIYing A Slate Path That Leads To Our Front Door


It’s been so long that I betcha forgot about our front walkway project, didn’t you? You can get a full refresher here, but the gist is that we ripped up our shoddy old path and used leftover slate to piece together a bigger and better walkway to our front door. It was a weekend full of work and we left off with the simple task of digging all the slate into the ground. Here’s a pic to jog your memory (before the big dig): That simple task of digging in 48 pieces of stone turned into a four-day back-breaking adventure, all in hopes of engineering a wobble-free perfectly-graded welcoming walkway to our house. Which is

Laura’s Design Dilemma


When Laura contacted us for some living room first aid, we wasted no time doling out some decorating CPR. Here’s her letter: I’ve been reading your blog for a month or so and love what you’ve done with your house! I am hoping you can help me with my living room. We recently painted (the color is Restoration Hardware “latte” which we had color-matched at Sherwin Williams) and got new window treatments (from Pottery Barn Outlet- love them). As much as I would like to replace the burgundy sofa and chair with something light and slip covered, we can’t afford to right now. So my dilemma is trying to work with them even though they’re

A Little Anniversary Love


Dear house, We remember moving in exactly two years ago like it was yesterday. And boy were we head over heels for you from the start. God knows why when we look back at the first exterior picture that we took… But you had us at hello. Even when you greeted us with that crazy shelf divider in the living room complete with a stained glass square and a faux stone linoleum landing. And who wouldn’t have been charmed by that dated dining room wallpaper and the ancient kitchen cabinetry that shouted “Paul Bunyan wuz here”? Sure the master bedroom was kinda nondescript, but we were positively over the moon about our first pale blue-gray

IKEA Tells It Like It Is


Newsflash: Home is the most important place in the world. At least, that’s what IKEA is telling me. Apparently IKEA just completed a “landmark study” where they surveyed Americans to find out what our homes mean to us. The study is peppered with some interesting facts – like that the #1 bedroom activity for Americans is watching TV (not you-know-what) but has also revealed that 92% of Americans (including us) believe that home is the most important place in the world. You can still add your two cents to the survey here. And to make some profit off the study, IKEA has adapted it into a coffee table book and documentary both named “America at

Maria’s Design Dilemma


This week the room-to-be-wrangled is all about modifying existing pieces with carefully selected items and accessories. Here’s Maria’s story: I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, and I’ve liked the advice you have given others. So here’s my own design dilemma: my living room needs to be updated. I like the PB/West Elm style, and I like earth tones with silver accents including mirrors. In the picture, the things that I would like to keep are: the painting, the sofa, the loveseat and a rug which I’ve already purchased. I like the wall color but would like some coordinating tables (brown or black?) in the front and side of the sofa, and lamps. I also have this

What Do I Put On My Coffee Table?


Always one to spice it up around the house, I wasted no time giving our living room’s $30-thrift-store-find-of-a-coffee-table a lighter look for the warmer weather. Here’s the old bookish, low-profile version: And here’s the new lighter, more reflective version: I like exposing more of the glass tabletop for a simpler (and easier to dust) silhouette. And two stacks of books on the bottom shelf really balance the oversized vase that might otherwise look too big for the table. For a finishing touch, the sculptural white shell ball and antler candlestick add some interesting lines without overwhelming. And I even got to have some fun with a knife to pull the whole thing together… When I

Gimme S’more: Adding A Firepit


This is the most amazingly easy way to add a little fun to your yard (no matter how small) and spruce up your space in mere minutes. Two chairs + a metal firepit = the best seats in the house. Check out our new set-up. And you don’t even need to have grass. You can set ’em down on pavers, concrete, a deck, a patio, or even a clearing in the woods. So carve out a corner and surround a firepit with as many chairs as you’d like. Firepits have never been more affordable- take home this basic version for $69.99 or adopt this copper beauty on sale for $119. Then it’s time for a

Rachel’s Design Dilemma


It’s time to solve another kitchen conundrum, this time in a 100-year-old farmhouse. Here’s Rachel’s letter: I have been a lurker on your website for a while. I love seeing what you have done with your home and I love your decorating style! My husband and I bought a two story, 100-year-old farmhouse that needed lots of work-especially in our dated kitchen. We’ve already replaced all of the appliances and the countertop. We’ve also purchased a creamy neutral colored linoleum for the floor, but we haven’t installed it yet. We need to do something with the backsplash and yes, the cupboards are just that frilly-looking. We’d love to modernize this kitchen to match the rest

Capiz, please.


Warning: what you are about to read will probably make you $59.99 poorer but 59.99% giddier. The gorgeous capiz chandelier that we have in our bedroom generates its fair share of compliments and “where’d you get that?!” remarks. Which is actually no surprise since we discovered it when Domino magazine raved about how fantastic it was (with a fantastic price to match- just $99). But thanks to a recent West Elm sale, our beloved capiz beauty is now available for an almost inconceivable $59.99. Be still my beating heart. And not only does it come in the luminescent white color that we adore, it’s also offered in this gorgeous sand color that they call “mocha.”

Extra! Extra! Read All About It.


Guess whose mugs graced the new Home & Garden section in Richmond’s local paper this morning? I know. We couldn’t believe it either. Last week we were just sitting around minding our business when, totally out of the blue, The Richmond Times-Dispatch contacted us. They wanted our help relaunching their newly expanded Home & Garden section by featuring our DIY table project in their new column appropriately named “I Did It Myself.” Needless to say, we were ecstatic. To read the online version, click here. And if you’re visiting us thanks to the article- howdy! We have lots of exciting before and afters and tons of archived DIY projects and mini-makeovers, so feel free to

Penney Pinchin’


You know how you always click the “clearance” button on websites with big dreams of finding something amazing for a really good price but all that remains is old holiday decor and weird stuff that no one would actually want, even if it was free? Well, I clicked the “clearance” tab in a recent JC Penney email with that exact experience in mind, and was pleasantly surprised. Turns out they had some stuff that’s actually pretty great for a lot less than you’d think. We’re all about mixing high with low (and low with low) so check out the clearance goodies we sleuthed. Like this charming rattan stool on sale for $49 (down from $129):

Making A Slate Path To Our Front Door


The front of our house continues to transform (goodbye scalloped porch, hello red door), and this weekend we worked up the energy to tackle the jacked up front walk. Why? Because this is the jagged and trip-inducing path that we inherited with the house. Talk about an ankle sprain waiting to happen: We like a rustic cottage-y path, but ours was narrow, wobbly and not quite the inviting introduction to our front door that we envisioned. Plus, the previous owner had a thing for ornamental grass and wooden borders that were seriously cramping our style. So this weekend we dug it up to make way for a bigger and better version. Here’s what it looked

Trimming Back Some Overgrown Azaleas


As you last saw a few weeks ago, we removed our shoddy screen door and painted the door behind it a brilliant lipstick red. Then we ripped down the scalloped header with vigor and shared the victorious results. But Project Pimp My Porch is far from complete. We still need to relay the front walkway, because it looks bad (really bad). But while we work up the energy to tear up the jagged slate and create a wider and more level pathway, I took it upon myself to get going on some much needed front landscaping. See, after azaleas look spectacular for three long weeks in April, they’re immediately supposed to be cut back when

Manisha’s Design Dilemma


This decorating doozie is all about accent pieces and accessories that can completely alter the style of a room. Manisha dreams of a lighter and more contemporary family room, and gosh darn it we love to give the people what they want. So we whipped her up a custom mood board to solve her problemo. Here’s her letter: Dear Sherry & John- Your home and design choices are really beautiful and inspiring and your blog is a favorite daily read of mine! Where I need your help is in our family room. I purchased a sofa set that had red, gold, and mustard pillows and thought I’d try for a fun global eclectic look but

No More Things?


When Sherry and I heard that Linens n’ Things filed for bankruptcy last week, we panicked. Is LNT about to disappear a la Sharper Image? Not yet. According to reports they’re just closing about 120 under-performing stores for now. You can check this list to see if your local LNT made the cut. Fortunately, ours dodged the bullet. See, we registered at LNT for our wedding so just about all of our dishes hail from there. If they closed, you know what would happen, right? I’d break a plate or a bowl, we’d be short one place setting, Sherry would shoot me a death-look and then we’d have to replace our entire collection since we’d

Burning Question: It’s A Set Up?


Does a perpetually set dining table look fabulous or forced? Magazines and catalogs often feature fantastic dining rooms with sparkling settings- even with no one around to put them to good use. But in everyday life, does an always-set dining room table look sophisticated and coordinated or just plan strange when no one’s about to chow down?

May Flowers


Last Sunday we dodged sporadic April showers to check out the West Avenue Garden Tour in downtown Richmond. It’s in a neighborhood called The Fan, which is famous for its incredible, historic brownstones and townhomes- and as much as we love gawking at the beautiful houses from the street, we love it even more when they invite us to explore their back gardens. Which is exactly what happens each spring when West Avenue residents open their back gates so the public can view their immaculate gardens (all housed in some very small but super inspiring urban spaces). And its actually those very back gates that made an impressive first impression on us. These people clearly