One Little Two Little Three Little Updates

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Even though we blog about house stuff every day it’s surprisingly easy to forget to fill you guys in on the little changes that we make… until someone sees a picture and says “wait, you didn’t tell us you did _____!” And sometimes it’s the little things that make you smile when you walk into the same room you’ve been walking into every day for the last 700+ days anyway, if you know what I mean. So since this blog is as much about over-sharing the small stuff as the big stuff, here are three oops-we-forgot-to-show-you updates. You guys have asked where my little ceramic houses that John got me for Christmas landed, and I’m

Reader Redesign: Killer Kitchen

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Jaw dropping is not a term I like to just throw around, but I think this makeover earned it. Emily’s got lots of info about her makeover, so I’ll just let her dive right in and show it off to you guys. Here’s her letter: We bought this house as a foreclosure a little over two years ago. We got such a great deal on the house that it hasn’t been as difficult to save our money for the updates it needs. The house was built in 1987 and the interior had not been touched since, except for adding a layer or two of wallpaper over the original wallpaper.  Floral explosion all up in the

A Fun Pink Polka Dot Rug For The Playroom

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You’ve heard of rolling out the red carpet, but what about the pink one? It’s Clara’s favorite color, and a nice warm tone (after filling most of the house with cool blues, greens, and grays, it’s nice to bring in some warm tones to balance things out). Plus the way the playful dots in the rug mix with the bold colors in Clara’s big girl bedding = almost more fun than my brain can handle. In person it’s even more happy! Seriously. Come over right now. As for the price? Pretty darn hard to beat. We’ve had our eyes peeled for a while for something that would work with the blanket and general color scheme

Adding Function & Fun To Our Basement Pegboard

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So I finally finished decking out the other half of my Instagram-arted basement pegboard. Yup, I added a little makeshift shelf that I primed and painted, got a non-electrical music device (how’s that for mysterious?), and even hung something kitchen-related as art. Actually a lot of you guys have been asking what we did with the cutting board that we picked up a couple of months ago as part of The Shops At Target collection, so… I give you… America The Pegboard-iful. I just thought it made for some cool (and sawdust-proof) art, since I’m into maps and all. It worked out nicely that the blue-painted edge of it coincidentally goes with my navy pegboard.

Fab Freebie: A Literal Fab Freebie

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***This giveaway is now closed – see who won below!*** You guys hit the 10,000 entry cap to giveaway within 24 hours, so you must love some Fab as much as I do (or perhaps you just like $500). Either way, we’ve crowned a random winner and it is… Whitney (who says “Most of my apartment is muted gray, yellow, and blue, but my kitchen has bright red baking dishes on display.”) Congrats Whitney! I’m a recent addict to Fab (I own more t-shirts from there than I probably should admit). So imagine my reaction when I got an email from them offering to do a – wait for it – $500 Fab gift card

Adding A Secondhand Dresser & A Moose Lamp

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A dove and a moose walk into a bar. Just kidding, not a bar. That’s not kid-room appropriate. How about a dove and a moose walk onto a playground? Anyway, I’ll just cut to the chase. We finally found a dresser for Clara’s big girl room, complete with dovetailed joints! Hence the mention of a dove (ah, they don’t make ’em like they used to). We wanted one for the playroom/ big girl room for Clara once she moves in there (so that eventual-second-child can use Clara’s original dresser since it works so well as a changing table in the nursery). And that way we’re not undoing one room to redo another room, which always

Our (Completely Unofficial) Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge

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Psst- We’re bouncing around the West Coast this weekend with a talk and signing in Portland on Saturday at Rejuvenation at noon (for more info call 503-238-1900). Then on Sunday we’ll be in Palo Alto at 11am at the West Elm on 180 University Avenue (RSVP here). Parking isn’t enforced on Sundays so you can park anywhere, or you can purchase a visitors pass at Palo Alto Civic Center and park in any of their lots all day. There are two irrefutable facts about me. 1) I tend to fall in love with rappers and 2) I’m a fool for a good thrift shop. So when those two passions collided in the form of this

Two Fun Ways To Use Instagram Photos

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What’s better than one fast and easy project with family photos? How about thirty. Just kidding. How about two. Cool? Let’s do this. First up, we have Photo Project Numero Uno. We’ve had fun with the little Sherri Conley cards-turned-art that we hung above our sofa in eight Ikea frames two years ago. First with bright paper behind them and then with some textured fabric as the backdrop around a year later… … but lately we’ve been jonesing for something a little more personal. It all started when Sherry and I were talking about how Instagram seems to capture “real life” better than formal camera pics from a big event. Why? I think because we

House Crashing: Cozy & Full Of Character

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Who’s in the mood for some snooping? When Lori and her husband Greg (and their sweet son Owen) invited us over to crash their charming Richmond home, we jumped at the chance. Isn’t that little tin roof over the door awesome? I also love that the front steps are tiered on three sides instead of being closed in on the ends. Bet someone could DIY that… Lori and Greg are actually veterans of the House Crashing experience. They had us over their first home back in 2010 (when both Lori and I were both prego). We loved that house so much that we couldn’t wait to see where they lived now… … especially since in

Cutting Down A Table To Make A Kids Table

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The walls of Clara’s big girl room are dry and the few items of furniture that we have (mainly just a daybed, an old side table, and two small wooden thrift store chairs that I don’t think we’ve even shown you yet) are back in the room. So here’s how it’s looking now: Totally done and magazine ready, right? Just kidding. But it’s a huge improvement from this so we’re psyched. The new wall color is awesome. Pardon these not great pics of it (Monday’s pics did it more justice). In person it’s subtle and warm and cozy but not too yellow-y or peach. And since it’s not too bold or compete-y, it’ll allow us

How Much Money Do You Make When You Write A Book?

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Let’s take a second to chat about how the book bid-ness works, at least for us. Sometimes we get hilarious and adorable comments like this: “Holy cow, your book was a New York Times bestseller! Congrats! You must be rich!!” … … and it makes us realize that other than fleetingly mentioning how the whole book deal thing works in this blogiversary video (around 17:10 near the end), we haven’t really talked about it at all. So since folks have been requesting more behind the scenes details on the subject (even from as early as September of last year when we did the Q&A video below) this post is well overdue. Let’s dive in and

Fab Freebie: World Play

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***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** And the lucky / randomly selected / soon to be quite worldly person is… Briana (who says “London, Ontario is special to me. That’s where I first lived on my own, went to University, met my husband, and I just loved that city. Plus, it has the best spaghetti restaurant ever, Spageddy Eddy’s!”). Congrats! And for everyone else, scroll down to the contest entry details for a sweet little discount the Wallpapered folks added for everyone. One look at Pinterest and I don’t feel quite so alone in my fascination with maps. So to everyone else out there who digs a little cartography

The Slow Journey From Junk Room To Playroom

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About a month ago we were walking around the park and Clara pointed to a dogwood tree and said “wow, that’s a big big tree in a big big world.” John and I cracked up. So now when I think of Clara’s playroom/big girl room, I also think of the big big tree and the big big world of ours. Hilarious. Anyway, back to the room that we have affectionately (and ironically) called the playroom. Remember that it looked like this when we moved in? And then it got all cluttered up with junk and looked like this? And then we organized it with the help of my mom and it looked like this? And

On The Road Again

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Man, it feels like it’s been a month since we had a book tour update for ya. Oh, that’s because it has. We were on hiatus while bookstores and retailers focused on the holiday rush (instead of hosting authors) so last week’s adventures in Texas and Florida were our first stops since finishing up in DC and Richmond in early December. And as much fun as stops in northern cities like Boston, Chicago, Toronto and Minneapolis were – we were excited to enjoy some warm weather in the southern half of the country. #longpostwarning But then Austin had to go and look like this… Texas was apparently in a month-long drought until we (and our

Adding Storage In The Sunroom

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We’re trying to redo the sunroom on a budget using as much that we already have as we can (since we have other projects like Clara’s big girl room, a guest bathroom, and a porch & carport overhaul that we’re saving our pennies for). But there’s a delicate balance between function and saving money. Sometimes you can use 100% of what you already have and achieve 70% function in a room, or you can spend a little money along with using 90% of the things you already have and end up with 100% function. So as you might guess, we’re going for 100% function on a small budget. So far all we’ve bought is one

Reader Redesign: A Niced-Up Nook

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We always love a big kitchen renovation when it comes to Reader Redesigns, but sometimes making over just the corner is enough to get us inspired bigtime. Just check out what Deme and her family did to the breakfast nook of their dated kitchen. Here’s her email: Hi Young House Lovers! Your blogs is one of the highlights of my day and I wanted to share our  breakfast nook with you. After removing a thick lacquered chair rail and scrapping layers of fruit patterned and 70’s wallpaper, we ended up with some pretty fugly untextured walls. We started with a dark dungeon of a corner and ended up with something bright, fresh and uber functional

Our Whole House Color Palette

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Q: Hi guys! I was snooping around your blog to try and find a floor plan of your new home with the colors you used for each room (like you did in the post from Feb 24/2010) but I didn’t find one! I would L-O-V-E to see what your new house looks like now, with a visualization of the color scheme per room. Is this possible, or am I asking way too much? HAPPY NEW YEAR by the way! – Danielle A: Oh yeah – we’re way overdue on that! So when Danielle submitted that comment here, we officially bumped it to the top of our to-do list. We did one of them for our

Making Easy Wood Frames For Large Art Or Posters

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This is it. My most favoritest art ever. Yes I know that’s a big statement. A big statement with a non-word, at that. But it’s all deserved because I’ve framed and hung my bike art and I’m in love. Not only with how the final product looks, but how easy and cheap it was to achieve. So forgive me if my enthusiasm is more annoying than usual today. I’m a man with a love of all things bike and all things easy. Wait, that sounds wrong… So here’s that wall before with my retail display cast-offs just pitifully taped to the wall. And here they are all framed up. In frames that only cost us

Fab Freebie: This Is Your Pilot Writing

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***This giveaway  is now closed – see who won below! *** Clearly I’m not the only one who loves a good writing utensil (and Target card) as this giveaway reached our 10,000 entry cap within just 24 hours. Nice work team! So that means we get to crown a winner early. That lucky writer is… Heather F (who “writes notes on the back of envelopes and then loses them. Argh.”) Congrats Heather! This sounds kinda weird, but I’m very particular about my writing tools. So when the folks at Pilot noticed that we tend to write with their products, they wanted to thank us by passing some freebies along. But you know we don’t take

Some Sunroom Art

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From the moment we painted that brick wall in our sunroom, we were itching to get some art hung. And we finally found time to get ‘er done after returning from a six-flights-in-four-days blitz on Friday. It’s weird how much more “lived in” a room feels when you slam some art on the walls. Seriously, I know the feeling of dragging your feet on the hanging of the art, but after nearly seven years of house-fixing-up, it never ceases to amaze us how that little step makes such a difference. In continuing with the general theme of this sunroom design, we’re trying to spend as little money as possible and just use things we’ve already

Our Free Annual Calendar Template Is Finally Here For You

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It was December 30th when it struck me: “Cripes, we don’t have our 2013 calendar ready.” So I spent a couple of hours on New Year’s Eve morning and a couple more the next evening cranking out our fourth homemade calendar – and as always we’re sharing the file so you guys can download it too (and sub in your own pics and quotes to personalize it for yourself) just like we’ve done last year, the year before, and the year before that. I’ll be honest, over the years these calendars have proven more decorative than functional. At this point they may just be considered a tradition. It started back in 2010 and for the past

A Blizzard Of Thanks

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**Psst- We know most Fridays we just post once, but every month on sponsor shout out day we double up. So we’ll be back in a few hours with something we made (and it’s free for anyone who wants it!). It’s time for our once-a-month public “thank you” to our sponsors because, heck, they make the other 30+ posts that we write each month possible. Plus I just wanted to hide a picture of my old bangs in the mix. We haven’t received any of the items shown below (cue link to our no-swag policy) but we fancy them nonetheless. And as a subtle prayer to the snow gods that we see get some sledding

How We Pack Up And Store All Of Our Christmas Decorations

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Q: Can you post about how you store all of your Christmas decorations? Since you rotate the ornaments on your tree each year and have a large tree and a smaller tabletop one as well as exterior decor and mantel stuff I wondered how much space it all takes up. I have an attic like you, which I think is where you store yours, but I don’t really have a system so it feels chaotic. Any tips for getting mine under control? Thanks! – Meghan A: We actually get this question a lot, so you’re not the only one wondering, Meghan! We store it all in a 6 foot by 5 foot area in our

December Superlatives: Projects Plus Parties

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We’re sneaking in one last look at December, in case there was anything y’all missed – and also just to remind ourselves that we didn’t spend the entire month in a Christmas cookie-induced food coma. We’ve noticed that taking a second to appreciate the items that we have checked off the list each month inspires us to get going on even more projects that we have yet to tackle. So it’s a nice breath of you-did-it-now-don’t-stop to keep our DIY momentum a’ flowin. And if you want to see more of last year (or even the year before) we’ve got each month summarized right here (in 24 posts instead of about 840 – not bad,