Here’s The Thing…


So, funny story about the house below. We bought it and we’re moving in. We know this news probably evokes a whole range of reactions. Excitement for new makeovers. Sadness for leaving our current house. Curiosity about all of the logistics. Confusion. Anger. The inexplicable urge to do The Carlton. Starting this story requires rewinding seven years, back to our first house hunting experience in Richmond in the spring of 2006. We had just moved from New York City and Richmond real estate felt very spacious and very cheap by comparison. It made dreamers out of us. We checked out a bunch of neighborhoods, and fell for an awesome old area with nice big wooded

Fab Freebie: Party Time


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** The randomly selected party girl (or guy) this week is… Mackenzie (who said “In 2 weeks I am attending a welcome home party for the return of two very close friends who just got done completing service in The Dominican Republic through The Peace Corp!”). Congrats! Clara’s turning three in two short weeks, which means our minds are shifting into birthday party mode. And to get the celebration started early, we’re dishing out $500 worth of festive party supplies to one lucky winner. First we have $250 to SmashCake And Co, where you can stock up on everything from pretty paper straws to

Building A Garage Or Carport Pergola


Parking our car got a little more scenic this weekend with the completion of our carport pergola. Or, cargola (pergolaport?) if you will. Last week we talked about dressing up our carport with the help of some pergola plans from Workbench Magazine. The plans took a lot of the guesswork out of it, but there was still plenty of actual work. All-in-all it took about 4.5 days of work (the half day was spent picking up the materials, which we talked about here) but I’m gonna boil it down to one simple post. So here we go. What you need to know is that there were four main parts to this building project: 1) the

Reader Redesign: Woods & Wellies


This nursery that Dave and Carrie created for their daughter had us smiling from the second we saw the first picture. Not only is it bold and playful, it also has some sweet personal touches and a lot of handmade/DIYed goodness going on. Here’s their letter: Hey S & J, We recently welcomed our first child into the world, Everly Harper. Before we even knew Ever (that’s what we will lovingly call her), we knew we didn’t want a typical nursery for her – and we definitely didn’t want anything close to what the room looked like when we bought the place. My wife was inspired by a woodland themed nursery that we found through

Cheap & Charming: Our $50 Bathroom Makeover


The guest bath = so much cuter. That sweet little space reminds me that even small seemingly “stuck” spaces can shine with a few easy upgrades, like fresh paint, a new window treatment, some art, and a few mixed and matched accessories. Sometimes it’s fun to embrace an old feature like vintage yellow tile (complete with a floor that looks like a scrabble board) instead of hammer-drilling it out of there. So stick a fork in this baby… for around $50, she’s a whole lot easier on the eyes. The room has this casual Anthropologie-ish vibe now, which isn’t usually something I’m very good at pulling off – so all the credit goes to the

Talk The Talk


We’ve gone and done it. Nope, we didn’t create a hybrid ceramic animal robot. And we didn’t build Burger a dog-sized palace in the backyard. Instead… we’re introducing Young House Love Forums! The idea for a forum section (or “message board” or “community” or whatever you want to call it) has been floating around for a while. Several of you have suggested/requested it and we even put it into our 2013 resolutions back in January (see #2). So consider this to be one resolution that we’ve officially kept. You’ll notice that the site says “Beta” on it, which basically means this is a test. Kind of a trial period to see whether or not people

Planning And Prepping A Carport Pergola


What carport? This carport. You know, the one that almost kept us from considering this house because we were so anti-carport? My how we’ve changed our tune after spending a few years with it… Sherry actually mentioned the new tune we’re signing back in this Listy McListerson post: “we originally wanted to convert this into a garage, but now we’re leaning towards adding a trellis arch so it’s all lush and pretty like a carport with a pergola instead of being closed in and dark like a garage (we’d lose some light from two windows into the laundry room and office if we closed it in).” The lost windows were a big game changer, since

It’s Gettin Hot In Hur, So Add Some Bamboo Blinds


I am, getting so hot, I’m gonna put some blinds uuup. Picture me singing that while installing each of these four blinds. On repeat. While John rolled his eyes. Actually it was less about heat and more about that ever-elusive p word: privacy. Just during the day (we don’t use the sunroom at night) but it’s hard to make a room with an entire wall of windows feel private and cozy. So we reasoned that bamboo blinds + the fence that we added outside for our patio (which you can see through the windows here thanks to this photography trick from Kate) just might do the trick. We opted to go with the same bamboo

Fab Freebie: Getting ‘Toned


***This giveaway is now closed – see who won below!*** And the lucky winner of some Pantone-tastic paint is… Gretchen (who’s really into “robin’s egg blue with a few pops of tangerine”). Congrats! Y’all have heard of a little thing called Pantone, right? Well the folks who declared Emerald the color of the year have a slew of color experts who have also inspired a line of paint. And our bloggy friend/decorative painter Kristen clued us into MyColor inspired by Pantone – which is a series of project-sized paints for furniture, accessories, walls and beyond. In addition to the cool clear packaging, these quarts of eggshell paint (which are sold online and at Lowe’s) are

Making A Fabric Shade and Frosting A Window


Surprise! We painted the guest bathroom this weekend! The walls, the trim, and even the ceiling. And double surprise: we went with a fresh clean coat of white (Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore). Bet you didn’t see that coming… Why’d we go white? Well the old paint was dingy (see the difference in the pic above?), but we’ve decided to embrace the yellow tile instead of yanking it all out gut-job style or painting or reglazing it. It’s completely original 60’s tile that’s in great shape – and the color is happy and cute so we’ve decided it’s charming. Especially with our fresh white (albeit bare for now) walls – which will allow us to

March Superlatives: Crown, Color & Can Lights


Lights. Camera. March recap time! Last month was a busy one – lots of nail gunning (crown & fireplace), playing with paint (including a new color in the kitchen) and even a couple of geeky tech upgrades. So we’re taking a moment to appreciate all the things that we checked off of our list in March as a motivator to make April just as productive! Oh and you can catch superlative recaps of the last 2+ years here (in 26 handy posts instead of 870!). Plus, we’ve got a little clue about what’s happening next week in the mix… Most Colorful: Monday’s giveaway. Here’s a hint. Scariest: Beginning the process of installing crown molding to

Cutting Back And Removing An Overgrown Vine From A Tree


(Punny alternate post title: Heard It Through The Giant Non-Grape Vine) Ok, so remember the ol’ crazyvine that was putting the squeeze on an oak tree in our backyard that we mentioned last fall? It’s a scene straight outta Jumanji. About half a year ago we cut the base of the vine… … in an attempt to kill it and rescue our oak tree from its death grip. And then it just sat there, a la Rose in Titanic. It never let go. And things took a turn for the ugly when the leaves and branches got all dry and dead. So after 6 months of waiting for it to give up the ghost and

Covering A Box With Kid Art


Update: If you’re reading on a mobile device and are still seeing the glitchy new mobile-version of our site that we tried out for a few hours before discontinuing it, try clearing your device’s cookies to return to the standard desktop view :) Now that Clara’s old enough to hold a tiny paint brush, get down with some Mod Podge, and rock out with a nail gun (just kidding about that last one), I thought doing the occasional project with her would be a good time. And I’m not gonna lie, this project is still fun without a kid (and can definitely be done with adult-made art or even some awesome decorative gift wrap or

A How To Video For Hanging Crown Molding

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Mission: Finish installing crown molding around the rest of the house (with the nursery done, we still had the guest room, the playroom, and the hallway on our list). Status: Complete. And thanks to the magic of the internet, something that took us about two weeks on and off, will appear to have been done in two seconds. Behold. Yep, as I mentioned in this post about hanging crown in Clara’s nursery, it ignited a burning desire to install crown in the other main areas of our house that were oddly missing it (our bedroom had it but the other bedrooms didn’t, one hallway had it but the other one that was connected to it

Ten Tips For Smoother Travel


* We’re sending lots of love to everyone in Boston (our cousins were at the marathon but are thankfully safe). Back in October we hardly would have called ourselves traveling experts. Honestly we only took a flight once every few years (we went to Alaska for our honeymoon in 2007 and didn’t get back on a plane for a family vacation again until 2012 when we went to Hawaii for our five year anniversary). But thanks to our book tour, we’ve been on lots of flights. 29 of them in four months to be exact. So while we still can’t quite claim expert traveler status yet, here are a few things we learned about planes

Fab Freebie: Finnishing Touches


*** This giveaway is now closed – see who won below! *** And our randomly selected winner of $500 to FinnStyle is… Erika (who just finished with all four of her kids having the stomach flu and is praying it never comes back). Congrats on your prize! Nope, that’s not a typo up there, the double-N is for FinnStyle – whose site is full of sleek, bold, and colorful pieces that are commonly associated with Scandinavian designers (everything from home accessories and bedding to dinnerware and clothing). And if you’re like us, what pops out most are the iconic Marimekko pieces that populate much of the site. So if you ever wanted to get your

How We Boxed Out Our Old Curvy Porch Columns


And I’m calling this bad boy done. Commence the rejoicing! And to recap why we wanted to box those columns in: the carport has 4 columns that are already chunky and square, so up until this point the house had a split personality with 3 curvy columns in the mix boxed in square columns are more true to a mid-century ranch, so we wanted to get back to that (many other ranches in our neighborhood have ’em already) Back to finishing things up. After getting this far within one afternoon we had high expectations for how quickly the finishing touches would go. I mean, how long could finishing one column, caulking the seams, and painting

Reader Redesign: A Layered Living Room


When Katie sent us pictures of her living room makeover, we couldn’t get over the difference between the before and the after. Here’s her letter: Hi guys! I just wanted to share my living room redesign with you. When we first laid eyes on our house, the living room (well the whole house) was definitely not our style. So among a few other major events since we moved (like having baby boy #3 last summer) it felt great to paint the room, switch out the lighting, and find some great pieces via Craigslist and garage sales. The drapes are from [my son] Isaac’s nursery with some pom pom trim added. I’m also loving my new canvas (from Surface

Made In The Shade(s)


Notice anything different when you peek into the office from the dining room? Hint: check out the window region. We got these guys at Home Depot for $22 each (they’re 35″ bamboo blinds with the name Miranda on them if that helps identify ’em in the store) with the hopes that they would finish off the windows in the office and tie into the thick wooden desktop and the jute rug that we have in there. In our first house we had bamboo blinds in a bunch of rooms and always planned to bring them into this house as well (we mention them a lot in our Listy McListerson posts like this one) – just

Warm & Fuzzy Thanks


It’s time for our usual monthly shower of gratitude to our sponsors (the people who make the other 30+ posts possible). And since it’s finally getting warmer out, rather than stick to a strict color theme this time around, we just picked out items that made us excited to get outside and watch some flowers grow… or something equally springy. And we threw a bunch of special discounts at the bottom of the post – plus a hint about Monday’s giveaway. The happiest map watercolors you’ve ever seen, painted by Audrey + Gem. Figuring out dinner with the help of Couple Supper, which designs meal plans for two. The many color and pattern options in

Removing Scalloped Porch Trim & Fixing The Columns


We’ve been talking about streamlining (buh-bye scallop) and beefing up the porch (namely those columns) ever since we moved in back in 2010. And it’s finally warming up enough for us to tackle an outdoor project after a long winter – seriously, we were still getting snow a few weeks ago. Most of the ranches in our neighborhood either have chunky square columns or a more traditional colonial style. We prefer the former, but inherited the latter. Along with a curved scallop header that isn’t exactly our style either. Our first house had an issue with a scalloped header too, which Sherry tackled back in 2008 (one of her most exhausting projects to date –

Eighteen Tips For Working Smarter, Not Harder


I’ve received a bunch of comment requests for an update on how we’re doing when it comes to finding the ever-elusive work/life balance that we’ve publicly proclaimed that we want to get a handle on this year (we never aspired to work nights, weekends, and even on vacation – and we only have ourselves to blame). So we thought it was a fun subject to tackle while we’re working away on the front porch (can’t wait to share an update for you guys tomorrow!). The scallops are a-tumbling down and the columns are getting boxed in. But back to the whole work/life balance battle. The first step in the not-working-every-second-of-every-day thing for us was definitely

Fab Freebie: Sharing The Love


***This giveaway is now closed – see who won below!*** Over the last few days, the special referral account we set up has grown from $100 to over $300. And we’re about to turn it over to our winner… Crystal Anderson (who says she needs wall art “like no one’s business.”) Congrats! Last spring we curated a sale on Joss & Main, and we were psyched when they invited us back again this year – and agreed to a special perk for you guys (more on that in a sec). Getting the opportunity to reopen a little virtual decor store of sorts over there is always fun, and although we didn’t set the prices ourselves,

A Cheap & Easy Shelf For That Blank Spot Over The TV


Ding dong, the bare spot above the TV is dead. Remember how it used to look like this for a few years? And then we graduated to a bigger tv and kept an eye out for the right media cabinet for another year or so. And then we finally got here with the help of a $59 cabinet that we found at a thrift store… Whew. So glad it’s NNM (nekkid no more). Don’t mind that power strip on the ground, I’ve since shoved it behind the media cabinet to hide it. Dang it feels good to be a gangsta have a shelf there. We actually debated a bunch of options for above the TV