Ten Flights Later…


Happy Friday! Quick updates first: If you’re trying to order our book (to read, for Christmas gifts, to use to kill bugs, etc), and you’re getting a “sold out” or a “1-2 month wait” message through Amazon, B&N, or anywhere else online, there are thousands of books making their way to warehouses in trucks right now, so in a few days they’ll be entered into the system and should all be available for immediate shipping then (so check back in a few days and they should definitely arrive before Christmas!). #godspeedlittlebooksintrucks Tomorrow we’ll be in DC doing some Living Social events at 918 F Street. These are pre-ticketed events, so if you’ve snagged a spot

Five Random Bits


Since it’s Thursday afternoon and we’ve been known to veer off into random territory (like this, this, this, and this), I thought I’d toss another one on the barbie, er, blog. Below are things you probably never knew about me and John. Is it proof of our over-sharing tendencies? Yes. Evidence that we’re more than a little weird? Absolutely. But we just had so much fun with a Ten-Things-You-Didn’t-Know-About-Us post waaay back in 2009… … that we thought it was high time we broke out this post three years later. So without further ado, some random bits: 1. I’ve always wanted to name a band. Not be in one or marry a rockstar. Just name

Uncharted Territory…


Just like we did in our first house, we find ourselves bouncing around from project to project and from room to room (we’ve tackled the living room, guest room, nursery, master bedroom, kitchen, dining room, office, laundry room, patio, deck, etc). But there are still a few completely untouched spaces after two whole years of living here (other than slowly filling them with clutter in some cases)! Up until about a month ago they were: the sunroom the playroom the hall bathroom the guest bathroom the basement the carport (which we want to convert to a more curb-appealing structure) the front porch (we want to frame out the columns, remove the scalloped trim, etc) Those

House Crashing: A Happy Casual Farm House


You guys know Lesli, right? She’s a friend of ours who lives in out in the country (Greenwood, Virginia) and happens to be an amazing painter (you might remember our giveaway with her). She has an awesome blog and a sweet old house – complete with extra high ceilings that we covet and 100+ year old details that make “old farmhouse” the dream for so many people (us included). So we can’t wait to show you around. Let’s get to snooping… Almost every item in Lesli’s home has been loved back to life. Like the old bench that sits in her entryway, which she got secondhand for $50 and painted a fresh new color. All

What We Look For & Look Past While House Hunting


Q: I have a house-hunting question for you. What do you look for? What do you look past? Help! My main complaint of all the older homes that we’re looking at in our price range is that they all feel dated, but that seems to be what you guys look for. How do you know which dated houses are worth buying and which ones are lost causes? I keep worrying we’ll end up in a money pit! – Aviva (not the one from Housewives of NY). A: First of all, I’m glad you clarified that you’re not NYC Aviva. Haha. And second of all, we actually get this question a lot. So when it comes

Making Easy Instagram Photo Frames With Jewel Cases


“Who has two thumbs, an Instagram addiction, and just bought a bunch of jewel cases?” I think we all know the answer. THIS GUY had a little art project up his sleeves. Ever since jumping on the Insta-wagon back in April, I’ve been itching to get some of our photos printed. We just never had a place for them and were always a little wary of the quality through various printers. But a few weeks ago when I spotted a Facebook coupon for five free Instagram prints using Picplum, I ordered away (nothing to lose, right?) and I was pretty impressed with my handful of free 5×5″ prints… so, like the sucker they hoped I’d

Fab Freebie: A Cultivated Kitchen


***This giveaway is now closed – see who won below!*** Sorry for the hit-and-miss quiz taking y’all. Apparently you guys enjoy a good quiz as much as we do! Anyways, the lucky (random) winner this week is… Kate Bateman (who was able to get a quiz result and said her “Traditional” diagnosis was almost spot on). Congrats! I bet most of you guys spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen over the last few days, and if it had you yearning to make some changes in there, you’ve stumbled onto the right giveaway. The folks behind some of our favorite stores (West Elm, Williams-Sonoma, and Pottery Barn) have a sister site chock full

How To Make A Fifteen Minute Fabric Window Shade


Let’s call this Project Pink & Orange For Da Bean. It’s about time Clara got a nickname a la $herdog, so Da Bean it is. Kinda like Da Band, but with less P Diddy. Anyway, remember when John mused about who would win the bathroom race (he wanted to frame out the mirror and I was on the window shade train) here? Well, chugga chugga, baby. Momma won. We got the fabric at an outlet called Mary Jo’s a while back (here’s an affiliate link to it on amazon for folks in other areas). We threw Clara a wormy birthday party with her two favorite colors – pink & orange – so when it came to picking out the

October Superlatives: Better Late Than Never…


We’re nearly a week away from December, which makes rewinding all the way back to the beginning of October a little strange, but since a few book tour stops threw our productivity for a loop this month, our usual wrap-up of the previous month (in yearbook-style superlatives) is coming to you a bit late (ok, way late) in the middle of Thanksgiving break. As always you can read back through January of 2011 right here in just 21 posts instead of 700. Oh yeah, and we’ve also snuck in a clue about Monday’s giveaway at the bottom. Hope you guys are having a great Thanksgiving weekend with the fam! Most Adventurous: Sherry, for braving our

Chalk It Up To Thankfulness


If you’ve been around the sun with us before (aka: reading more than a year) you probably know of our little November tradition of filling up our homemade “Thanks Jar” with notes about what we’re thankful for… We wanted to keep it up again this year, but being away for so much of the month sort of got the best of us. So this weekend we decided to sneak this tradition in right at the buzzer… while putting a new spin on it thanks to our new chalkboard. The word art at the top of the board was a joint effort. Sherry searched something like “pretty script” on Pinterest and tried her best to imitate

Birfday Bidness


As you guys might know, last Thursday was John’s 31st birthday and West Elm in Houston whipped up this amaaaaaazingly DIY-riffic cake for him. #edibletapemeasure #umyeahtheressawdust Every year we write birthday posts about what we got each other and this year John actually got (well, is getting, since I’m letting him pick it out) a nail gun (more info on that when we get it). So because I don’t have photos of him holding up various presents like we’ve shared in former years like this post from last year) I thought I’d over-share slash cheese it up on a Tuesday afternoon with a little brain dump of seven things I love about John (surprise, honey!).

Bringing Someone Else Into The Bedroom…


… it’s… gasp… a TV. We were originally anti-TV-in-the-bedroom, so we know it’s not for everyone (and it’s downright sinful to some) but we only have one TV in our entire house – in the living room – and this guy was just sitting unused in the playroom (ever since we upsized the living room one since he wasn’t large enough to actually see from the sofa)… so we’ve gone and changed our minds. Haha. There’s actually a real reason behind the decision: more and more we’ve been thinking about how we have issues with work/life balance and it’s hard for us to “shut off.” Which is why we always end up working on the

Fab Freebie: Save Room For Cake


***This giveaway is now closed. See who won below!*** Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Our lucky winner this week is… N Shirley (whose favorite dessert “to both make and eat is Virginia Apple Pudding – even makes the whole house smell good!”) Sounds delicious. Congrats! We’ve had a few questions about why all contests aren’t open to international readers, so here’s that info for you. We actually ask every single vendor who approaches us to do a giveaway if they’ll ship internationally and we remind them that the more folks are included, the more exciting it is for everyone. We LOVE you all and always want to open our giveaways to as many people as possible! It

Adding Cabinet Knobs & A Window-Frosting Video


We wish we had a giant bathroom update to share, but we’re at that phase of the project where some of the bigger things have been checked off (building a shelf, painting the walls) and a few little mid-point upgrades are on the agenda since we’ve been flying around a lot lately (10 flights in 11 days!!). But now that we’re back home, the next bathroom installment will be bigger (either framing out the mirror and making a shade from some amazingly bold fabric that I’m obsessed with) so hopefully this tides you guys over. And since I hate to mention “amazingly bold fabric that I’m obsessed with” without showing it to you… behold: Remember it

NYT, RVA, Chi-town & the T-Dot


Quick note: Tomorrow (Saturday) we’ll be in Dallas at 11am at the West Elm on 5307 East Mockingbird Lane for cookies, cocoa and a book signing (more info here). We’d love to see ya there! We’re back with a little book/life/tour update (#warning it’s long). Admittedly, it’s sooner than we had originally planned (our last one was a week ago), but lots has happened and we’re just brimming with news and pictures so we’ve basically overflowed. Somebody get a mop. Or maybe a tissue. Because we’ve gotta start with some crazy awesome / amazingly humbling news. We just learned that our book has become an instant New York Times bestseller. I can’t believe I just

If Ever There Were A Month To Be Thankful


Sure, we do these public expressions of gratitude to our sponsors every month, but you gotta admit that November’s probably the most perfect time to be thankful for the folks who make our other 30+ posts possible (note: we usually share these monthly posts on a Friday, but we have a pretty crazy update to share tomorrow, so this guy gets to live here on Thursday afternoon instead). So we’ve highlighted things that caught our eye and reminded us of the season (they haven’t been gifted to us – here’s our no-swag policy) along with sharing a few sneak peeks for future posts at the bottom just for fun. Oh and be sure to catch

Paint Storage & Pegboards In Our Basement Workshop


Go navy! Please don’t misinterpret that previous sentence as a taking of sides in the long-standing Army / Navy feud. I’m 100% neutral on the rivalry. And if anything, my dad was in Army. But what am I doing stirring up trouble? This post is about the basement (and it’s up early since we’re on a flight)… so let’s dive in where we left off: this hot mess of a shelf. This is where we’ve been storing haphazardly placing paint cans and other paint-can-shaped items. It has been the very antithesis of organization for the nearly 24 months that we’ve lived here. In fact, these are two boxes of items that haven’t even been unpacked

Finally, Now We Can Show You The Playroom…


Quick note: Tonight we’ll be in Minneapolis at the West Elm on 3879 Gallagher Drive for cookies, cocoa, and a book signing at 6pm (we hear this parking lot is small, but there’s a larger lot at a nearby Macy’s as well as a ramp that leads to a parking garage which should hopefully help – as will getting there early, carpooling, or getting dropped off). More info here. We’d love to see ya there! Remember how you guys were asking us to take photos of the holy-cow-that’s-crazy playroom packed with secret book projects, stuff for our yard sale, and future projects so we could share them when the book was finally out? Well, I don’t

Our Top Decorating Tip: The Middle Makes No Sense


So many people ask us how we know we’re going in “the right direction” in the middle of a project. We try to describe our method as one big study in trial and error, with course correcting and tweaking along the way, but we also haven’t talked much about how we try to at least come up with a general plan in the beginning of a project, and then we try to stick to it loosely as we go, since it gives us a “path” to follow. Why? Because (sing it with me): the middle makes no sense. It’s a phrase that John and I toss around a lot as we go and we realized

House Crashing: Lesley & Jeff


We can’t wait to share this house crashing adventure because you’ve actually seen how Lesley & Jeff live…. but that was over 4.5 years ago (before they had two sweet little boys and moved into a new home for their growing family). It’s actually a mid-century split level house in a charming woodsy neighborhood right here in Richmond, and of course Lesley and Jeff have completely made it their own. But first, just to refresh your memory, here’s their first house – which we crashed all the way back in 2008! But back to their new place. You guys might remember that Lesley is a master of making ugly things into assets. For example, she

Fab Freebie: Roll On Some Royalty


*** This giveaway is now closed. See who won below!*** Sorry for the late notice (travel is messing up my winner picking mojo!), but the random winner of this stencil prize is… Jen (who once “made a chevron painting with instructions I found on Pinterest and it turned out great”). Congrats Jen! The love of stencils that first blossomed when we did our office walls only grew stronger when we tackled a couple of stenciling projects for our book (on pages 26 & 282). So in the spirit of sharing the love, this week’s prize comes from the maker of the very stencils that we used in all three cases – Royal Design Studio. We’re

Easy Window Treatment: How To Make A Fake Roman Shade


Alright folks, you know I have a love affair with fabric, so when I realized I had never attempted to make a roman shade (even a fixed one that’s just for looks) I knew I had to get on that. So here’s how I got my fake roman shade on. First of all, is this bare kitchen window begging for some fabric action, or what? It actually leads into the sunroom, so it didn’t need anything functional to draw/close, which is why I opted to go the faux shade route (actually all of the bamboo blinds in our first house remained open since I loved the light flooding in, so if you’re not a shade-drawer,

Weathering New England


Quick note: Tomorrow (Saturday, November 10th) we’ll be in Chicago at the West Elm on 1000 W North Avenue for cookies, cocoa, and a book signing at 1pm (arriving on the early side might help ya get a jump on the line). More info here. We’d love to see ya there! Who’s ready for our once-every-two-weeks recap of our book tour-y adventures (here’s the first one)? Just us? Okay. Here we go anyways! #warningitslong As most of you know, weather has been kinda crazy in the Northeastern part of the country lately. Between Hurricane Sandy two weeks ago and this spontaneous Nor’easter this week, well, things have been a little crazy. And it just so happens

Reader Redesign: The Stain Game


We just flew back from Boston (and boy are our arms tired, har-har) but since we shared our freshly painted bathroom with you guys this morning and we didn’t want to leave you hanging with just one post, we got this Reader Redesign together in the airport for ya (throughout all this travel, we’re doing out best to keep blogging as usual). I know we typically share full room makeovers, but this furniture upgrade had such a creative twist that we had to pass it along. We loved that Beth and Nick rescued this old to-be-trashed buffet with the help of some wood stain applied in an unexpected way. Here’s what Beth had to say