Twenty Eleven Resolutions


Every year we publicly proclaim a few of our resolutions in the hope that it’ll light a fire under our arse (arses?) and help us “get there.” So without further ado (except for this gratuitous Clara picture) here they are… Resolution #1. To be more bold with our decorating & renovating choices. We want to embrace color and contrast and just have fun without worrying that we’ll mess up. Mistakes are always when we learn the most about a project or our style, so we’re going to welcome them with open arms. And we hope to do our best to resist always going with the “safest” decisions in favor of taking a few chances and

Duvet On The Way


When we saw the amazing after Christmas sales at West Elm we had to spring for a new king sized duvet buddy for Ed the bed (get acquainted with Ed here and here). Even though Ed’s a queen sized bed, we wanted a king duvet cover because we thought it would drape a bit more over the sides (our old full/queen sized duvet cover was looking a little tight). Plus it’ll hopefully result in fewer sleep fights about who has more of the covers. So here’s what we got: We love that it’s bright, bold, geometric, and full of energy. It just looks nice to wake up to. Plus it has a lot of the

How To Frost A Glass Side Door (And Avoid Bubbles)


It’s no secret that the real improvement we need to make to our new laundry area is in the upgrading to energy efficient appliances arena along with adding some nice built-in storage to maximize that tiny room. But as we save up and plan for those upgrades, we took a few hours after Clara’s bedtime a few days ago to tackle some smaller items on our laundry list. Pun intended. First we went to work on the glass side door. You know, the one that gave everyone a straight shot from our carport, through the laundry area and into our kitchen (here I am being creepy and demonstrating the problem, which you can read more

Listy McListerson


Wahoooooooo! A list post! I loooooooooove lists! Oh haaaaaappy day. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, this post will continue without the excessive exclamation points & extraneous vowels. Lots of people have been asking what we’ll tackle next, what order we’ll be doing things in, etc. And our answer is usually: it’ll honestly just depend on our mood and what supplies we have on hand. When it comes to big projects we like to save our pennies and plan things to death, but for small things (which we always recommend doing first so you can live with the house for a while before making any dramatic changes that you might regret) we

Day Fifteen


Yesterday marked two weeks of being in our new house, so we thought it warranted an updated glimpse into each room’s progress… or lack thereof. On one hand we feel very accomplished for having already tackled things like painting Clara’s room, buying and assembling a new bed, removing a bunch of bi-fold doors, raising our shower curtain, and unpacking everything – especially considering we were tied up with family stuff for a few days over Christmas. On the other hand, we’re still feeling pretty unsettled. Most of the important stuff has found a place in our new abode (not that it will necessarily stay there for the long haul), but the house is still riddled

Boxed In


We’ve dealt with box-y rooms, but this takes that term to a whole new level: What you’re looking at is what we lovingly called our “Box Graveyard,” aka the guest bedroom filled to the brim with all of our now-empty moving boxes and packing supplies. As disastrous as it looks, we have to admit that after trying to be so orderly about packing, it was somewhat cathartic to just toss the empty boxes into one big über-disorderly pile. Call it tapping into our wild side if you will. But of course we can only pretend to enjoy a mess for so long. So almost as soon as the last box was tossed there, I found

Learn From Our Mistake: Test For Radon When Buying A House!


Thank goodness we learned something from buying our first house and decided to pay a few hundred dollars for radon testing this time around. As part of our new home’s inspection, we paid a local radon company to conduct a multi-day test to ensure that dangerous levels of radon aren’t present (for any locals who are wondering who we used, we went with Radon Ease, because they don’t remediate, they only test- so there’s nothing in it for them to find radon). Sure enough the readings came back above a 4… which means there were dangerous levels of radon present in the home – enough to call for professional remediation as the solution. But instead

Mister Ed The Bed (Assembling Our Edland Bed From Ikea)


Last you saw our new bed Ed – aka, the Edland four-poster bed from Ikea – he looked like this (read more about how we chose him here). He has since been assembled – and even slept on for one night. And thanks to the Skorva steel support beam (also from Ikea, which is mentioned as a must-have along with the bed in the “good to know” section) Ed can, in fact, hold the weight of 30 dead people (aka: our incredibly heavy mattress) plus the weight of two DIY enthusiasts, their beefy chihuahua named Hamburger, and their baby girl (when she’s in there for a morning snack). Constructing the bed was a remarkably easy

Fab Freebie: A Simplified New Year


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – scroll down for special discount and to see who won!*** If the words “simplify,” “organize,” “declutter” or “make more time for [blank]” will be showing up on your resolution list this year, boy do we have the giveaway for you. Simplify 101 provides all sorts of fun interactive tips and online workshops to help you achieve those goals, and this week a trio of you will win TWO free workshops. Our three winners can choose from any of the following workshops being held early next year: “Quick + Simple Clutter Control,” “How To Achieve Your Goals And Create A Life You Love,” “Organizing 101” and “It’s About

Done. Over it. Finito.


After over two weeks of doing it, sleeping on the floor is officially getting old. So we bought a bed frame. Oh happy day! We had big plans for possibly building one (using one of Ana White’s amazing tutorials). And we debated just getting a cheapo-metal frame and laying slats of wood across it so we could rest our mattress on that (so we could DIY another upholstered headboard down the road). But in the end the four poster bed that caught our eye back when we whipped up this future bedroom mood board won out (click here for more mood board details). One of the issues is that our organic mattress (which you can

Easy Craft Project: Doodle On Your Mugs


This is a weird DIY thing I tossed together three Monday nights ago in front of the TV in our old house. The first reason I’m calling it weird is because we no longer live there, so it’s funny that this post somehow got buried and now it’s getting published with our old walls and shelves in the background. And it’s pretty darn close to Christmas, but I figured it might be a fun little last minute gift idea for someone. Better late than never, right? Hence the idea of hitting publish on it (as opposed to delete). The second reason I’m calling it weird is that I totally didn’t use the right materials to

Hanging Our Shower Curtain Higher (Ah, Much Better)


By the time we unpacked our shower curtain last week, it had been 48 hours since either of us had showered. And those two days were filled with lifting heavy objects, if you catch our whiff drift. So hanging the shower curtain was a welcome step in our moving process. What was not so welcome? This result: You know we love hanging an extra long shower curtain all the way to the ceiling to add height to the room (the 95″ waffle curtain is from and the 86″ fabric liner is from Bed Bath & Beyond by the way). But the trick doesn’t work so well when the tension rod you inherit is too

Buh-Bye Bi-Folds: Removing Them For An Open Look


Our new place sure has its share of bi-fold doors. Like this pair sectioning off the future dining room and the main hallway (see a floor plan here to get your bearings): And this nearby set that closes off the hallway that leads to most of the bedrooms (we removed one door to get the daybed through on moving day): Then in our bedroom we’ve got another big set closing off the bathroom sink area… …and a single bi-fold door right next to it closing off the walk-in closet. That doesn’t even include all of the bi-folds that close off the other three bedroom closets. So basically… yeah, there’s a lot of ’em. And unfortunately

Breaking Out John’s Painting Belt


It was like old times. For those who don’t get the painting belt reference in this post’s title, check this out for further explanation. Anyway, as we mentioned yesterday, we painted Clara’s nursery. And instead of cloning the exact space that she enjoyed in our old house, we took the move as an opportunity to switch up the wall color. We figure since we’re working with the same furniture and even the same light fixture and curtains (since I was too sentimental to leave them behind) we thought a new wall color would make things feel a little fresher- like the room is subtly evolving over time as opposed to being totally reinvented (since many

Fab Freebie: Skil-ly Weather


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – scroll down to see who won!*** I won’t lie. When the folks at Skil wanted to offer up one of their tools this holiday season, we had trouble picking out the perfect prize for you guys. Then they offered to give away a four-tool-tastic combo pack so we didn’t have to make that call. Nice, right? So this week’s winner will be scoring all four tools pictured above, which are officially dubbed the 18V Lithium Ion Cordless 4-Tool Combo Pack. Which means the drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, and flashlight all work off of the same rechargeable battery. So here’s how you can snag this last minute

It’s Up! Again.


We actually got our tree back up a few days ago amidst boxes and general chaos (here it is the first time when we set it up in the old house). We figured we’d never be 100% organized and unpacked before the holidays hit, but taking an hour to get into the spirit in our brand new house for our bean’s first Christmas was just what the doctor ordered. We found the perfect spot for our tree in the corner of the living room (right near the sliders that lead out into the sunroom and the doorway that connects to the kitchen). We also hung my beloved Pottery Barn wreath (a gift from John’s mom

Holiday Shopping Post Numero Three


Here’s our last installment of our recent gift sleuthing spree (see part one here and part two here) and this time we paid Urban Outfitters a visit. It’s always full of cute, quirky, and downright hilarious gift ideas that are usually pretty affordable. Here’s what we found: These sparkly pillows were pretty luxe looking (and around $30, as opposed to something similar that we saw at Crate & Barrel for $99). This $22 book of “Other People’s Love Letters” reminded us of those Post Secret books (we love them, and actually own two volumes of ’em- they’re great for leaving in a guest room so visitors can entertain themselves). For the techie in your life,

More Virtual Gift Shopping


We’re back with part two of our virtual gift shopping roundup (see part one here) and this time we headed into Pottery Barn to see what we could find. Here’s what we loved. This charming $12.50 rubber stamp kit is so cute for anyone from a well traveled kid to a crafty adult (who might use them to whip up some custom stationery). In the can’t-get-much-cheaper-than-this category, these $3 vases would be perfect for this DIY reed diffuser project that we tackled last year. These $11 “His” and “Hers” knobs would be cute for any married couple who share a bathroom (which is pretty much all of our friends and relatives since we’re not of

And Now For Some Holiday Window Shopping


As we continue to unpack, we thought we’d share this year’s virtual gift roundup (a la this one from last year). It’s a three-post-in-a-row thing (we couldn’t fit all the pics into one) so stay tuned for two more that’ll pop up today. First we hit up Crate & Barrel. Here’s what we found: These cute wine glasses were on sale for $1.50, and two of them along with a bottle of inexpensive vino could make a nice little gift for someone that doesn’t drain the ol’ bank account: This pretty ceramic serving tray was on sale for $5.95, and could be filled with anything from cookies to candy (I’d do an assortment of fancy

Day One


We’re running about a day behind since we didn’t have internet at home until late yesterday, but here’s how things looked on Tuesday (our first full day in the house) with all of our boxes littering every room. Goodbye clean blank slate. Hello chaos. Oh and it bears mentioning that nothing is necessarily staying where we put it (we just dropped furniture and boxes around the house, and will definitely be living with things a bit before committing to final placement for anything). But let’s rewind a bit for a moment. The last time we moved, we were going from NYC to Richmond in a minivan (well, I guess technically we moved one more time

Monday The 13th


You don’t even know the half of our moving day adventure. We glossed over it because we knew you deserved empty shots of our old place and pics of the new house’s interior – but we couldn’t let this story go untold. So take a moment to pantomime the buckling of your seatbelt and get ready to enjoy the ride. As we mentioned earlier, the day started off with an unexpected surprise: a snowstorm. And even though it wasn’t a Friday, the thirteenth of this month (aka Monday) surely lived up to its less than lucky reputation. Which is so not a good thing when it’s closing/moving day. Sure the snow was pretty, but it

Did We Make A Profit Selling Our First House?


Are you kidding? In this market? Of course not. We managed to sell it for around $5k more than we bought it for back in 2006 (in “the bubble”) and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we spent more than five grand on improvements (we estimate that we spent around $35K on new bathrooms, a new kitchen, new flooring, new windows, a new roof, a new patio, a paved driveway, and upgraded details like crown molding and wider doorways). This is where a “wop-wop” sound effect would come in handy. But we’re sleeping like babies and are downright giddy about the sale of our house and the purchase of our new one.

The New Digs


Greetings again from Panera (there’s no internet at home yet – so we stop in, get hot chocolate, and slap together a post or two for you guys whenever we have a spare moment thanks to their free WiFi). We know you’re anxiously awaiting interior shots of our new house all empty and move in ready from yesterday (can’t believe it’s really ours!). So here they are. I ran around quickly, which resulted in some less than perfect shots (our friends and family were outside in the snow waiting to start bringing things in so I made it snappy and didn’t have a chance to record a video so that’ll have to come later). But