Move Along Little Doggie, Er Dresser


After a few “settling in” months we’re going through that phase I like to affectionately call the What We Really Need (And Don’t) Phase. Essentially, like most folks before a move, we tend to do our best to craigslist or donate or yard sale the things we know we no longer need or use (so we don’t waste time/energy moving it only to store it and never use it again in the new house). But we do end up moving all of the stuff that we loved and used in our last house, even if we’re unsure where it’ll go in the new house. Then after a few months of actually being in the space

A Concrete Floor: Paint It Or Tile It?


Last you saw our sunroom, it looked like this: Well, now it’s looking a little something like this: Forgive the poor iPhone pic, but it’s the only one I snapped (just to text to my parents, actually) before Richmond turned into rain city yesterday. But you get the point, we’ve made some good progress lofting the ceiling (with the help of a professional framer who came out this week to make sure our roof wouldn’t collapse). But we’ll get into the story of the ceiling next week once the electrician has come and turned the (now loose) wires into junction boxes for two fans. Today we’re talking about a floor plan. As in, a plan

Love What You Love


Happy hump-day afternoon, y’all! I made you guys a little something. I realized that while many of our posts are tutorials or projects or planning or shopping related (how we built this, what fill-in-the-blank we found on craigslist, how we painted that, etc) only around 2% of them have touched on the heart of the whole DIY thing: just doing you and having the faith/courage/conviction/confidence to go for it when it comes to creating a home that you love. So if you’re feeling stuck or second guessing yourself (goodness knows we do that!) these simple words from people far wiser than ourselves might be all that you need to pull the cord and go for

House Crashing: Perky & Personal


When Julia invited us to crash her house, which she describes as a typical cookie cutter Pennsylvania house on the outside (she’s not allowed to change much, even the color of the front door), we fell in love the moment she virtually let us inside. Here’s Julia now. She lives here with her husband Jarrid, her 10 year old son, her six year old daughter, and her three kitties. Their house definitely feels like a nice mix of quirky and fun with elegant and classic choices. Soft neutral walls with white molding are mixed with a cardboard deer head and a pretty crystal chandelier. You can see her living room peeking out down the hallway

Hanging A Moravian Star Light In The Foyer


Dude, things just got real in the foyer. We found this light at the local lighting outlet here in Richmond called The Decorating Outlet for $135 (down from $455 at Shades of Light, just because it had been returned). I had always pictured something big and architectural in there – most likely in an oil-rubbed bronze finish because there are a bunch of ORB doorknobs going on in the foyer and I thought it would look nice. Thankfully John was game too since the guy’s down with geometry and shapes and stuff. Boom. The foyer is now my favorite room ever in the history of rooms. I want to sleep in there and eat in

Fab Freebie: Can I Quote You On That?


This week WallQuotes is hooking up TWO of you with a little wall makeover. In addition to $150 towards anything on their site, you’ll also get $50 to your favorite paint store. So while you’re adding some new color to your space, you can also add some personality with WallQuotes’ easy-to-apply vinyl decals. They’ve got pre-designed quotes for a range of rooms and occasions, plus you can design your own. We also love their graphic skylines, monograms, and wrought-iron inspired headboards. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop up below this paragraph). This giveaways is available worldwide! And for anyone who misses

Tearing Down An Old Ceiling (So We Can Vault It)


Oh what a feeling… dancing on the ceiling. Which is much easier when your ceiling is on the floor. But let’s rewind to a time when our sunroom ceiling was more ceiling-like. We’ve mentioned we wanted to try vaulting the ceiling in here to make it feel even more open (here’s a link to some of our inspiration). We’ve never vaulted a ceiling before but we figured this was a pretty low-risk spot to finally give it a go. We realized from the start that we might need to hire a pro for part of the job since structural ramifications like “the roof could cave in” is one of those failing answers to our “what’s

Friday Flowers


Happy Friday, y’all! What is it about sunroom ceiling demo that gets me all hyper and clammy? Yes, that’s continuing today (we’re still opening things up and waiting on some expert advice) but I promise we’ll have an official update for you guys on Monday! And now, just for good measure, more exclamation points!!!! In the meantime, I figured after a big week of sunroom demo, whitewashing, sunroom rebuilding, and more sunroom demo, it was high time for a budget blooms post. We used to do these every month, and then I fell off last year. And then I got back on the wagon and fell off again later last year. But I’m baaaaaaack! Not

Framing Out And Caulking Exterior Doorways


As exciting as it was to remove the sliding glass doors from our sunroom, it left a very unexciting task (by comparison) next on our list. Removing all of the metal door frames left lots of exposed raw wood along the edges of each opening. Not only did it look unpolished, but it was recipe for rot (that recipe being rain water + raw wood = rot). So we jumped on this to-do right away. When we got our house painted, this room had a lot of rot repair on the outside so we’re hyper-vigilant to the issue right now. So instead of filling those areas with wood, I splurged on PVC (i.e. plastic) since

Reader Redesign: Mini Kitchen Masterpiece


Clara has had her play kitchen for over a year and a half and she still plays with it nearly everyday, which is practically a toy miracle considering how quickly other items are dismissed. So play kitchens have a special place in our hearts. And this one is extra special because, well, Casey and Phil had a ton of fun making their own – and brought lots of new ideas to the table. They don’t have a blog, but they outlined their process here for you guys: Much like you guys, my husband Phil and I decided to build our daughter Zoey a play kitchen for Christmas. I sketched it out to mimic our kitchen

Skip It (Some Semi-Easy Ways To Save Money)


First of all, who remembers this? Better yet, who owned one? Now that we got that out of the way, it’s been way too long since our last Save It post (like this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one to name a few), so the other night I was thinking about a few things that we just don’t buy, and how going without those things probably adds up to saving a decent amount of cash-money. And it doesn’t feel particularly martyr-ish of us – it’s normal and easy after years of living this way. So it feels less like “going without” and more like “streamlining and simplifying.” We’ve mentioned

How To Whitewash A Brick Wall Or Fireplace


Yup, it happened. Whitewash in the hizzy! After reading a bunch of whitewashing tutorials (like this one and this one) I decided to just dive right in. We’re not too crazy about the raw look of orangey-brown brick indoors, so we’ve straight up painted it in our last two houses (we LOVE the look of painted brick)… but after seeing a few whitewashed brick walls over on Pinterest we decided to give that a spin this time. We figured if we didn’t like it we could always just paint over it. We’ve even talked about adding white stacked stone or something else to the brick fireplace wall down the line, so it felt like one

Fab Freebie: Raise Your Glass


Who’d like $1,000 worth of new tile? Any takers? Hope so, because is gonna make it happen for one of you this week. They’ve got a huge selection of tiles in a huge range of styles, including stone and metal ones too. And if you’re wary of buying tile online, they got you covered. You can sample five products for just $5 and once you’ve made your selection, everything ships free and fast. Plus there’s a no questions asked return policy that’s good for a full year. So is that a new backsplash in your future that I smell? Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load,

Open ‘Er Up! (Converting A Sunroom Into A Veranda)


Sherry and I were excited when we first laid eyes on our house’s sunroom. We were actually grateful for the barely budge-able glass sliders and the damp carpet because the sellers positioned this house as a real fixer upper, and we knew the raw state of this room was one of the things that put it within our price range. When it came to brainstorming what we thought we could do with it, I had deja vu for our first sunroom, which we made over with some floor & ceiling paint, sheer curtains and some cozy furniture. My mind used that to fill in the blanks as to what this new sunroom could become. And

A Lovely Destin-ation


For those who requested more info about our recent family vacation, here it goes (and you can check out all of our past road trip and vacation posts here). We decided to take our week-long summer vacation in Destin, Florida this year. Since my family wasn’t doing a beach week like usual, and we were already going to be in Atlanta for the Haven conference, it felt like a no brainer to accept the Bowers’ invite to join them for week on the Florida panhandle. Katie Bower’s husband Jeremy did the hard work of finding a house to rent for the week (finger snaps for him, everybody). Since their extended family rents frequently in the

Thrift Store Tag Poppin’


As many of you guys know if you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, Katie B and I did some thrift store trolling while we were in Destin last week. Which is pretty much a tradition at this point (check out our past adventures here and here). We didn’t have our video camera on hand, but we snapped a junkload of photos for you guys. So without further ado, here are my finds – and you can see Katie’s over on her blog if you’d like. I’ll lead with my favorites: these amazing woven twin-sized headboards. They were $29 each and I am COMPLETELY regretful that I left without them. Picture them painted white –

Gratitude With Gusto


It’s time for our once-a-month pause to shout out how grateful we are to the sponsors who help to make all of our other posts possible. So feel free to check out some summery blue & green things that caught our eye this month (and peruse our usual round-up of discounts at the bottom of the post). The cool color scheme of this Mykonos stencil from Royal Design Studio. WallQuotes‘ $250 “Teachers Rock” sweeps to help enhance a classroom. This green “3D” indoor-outdoor rug from Shades of Light that starts at $69. The Tile Shop‘s mixing of glass tiles in this bathroom spotted on their Pinterest page. This hand-painted-looking pillow from Joss & Main. Samples

How To Stain And Seal A Deck


You know that part in a movie where the dorky girl rips off her glasses and throws on some makeup and suddenly she’s a bombshell? Well, our deck has already tossed its spectacles aside (i.e. we stripped off the old finish) and now it’s time for some lipstick (i.e. stain). We’re not exactly aiming for bombshell status here, but we’d settle for – I dunno – sexy librarian? I think I’m getting lost in my own analogy. The gist is that with our deck boards cleaned, we could finally apply a new protective finish. After some discussion, we decided to use a semi-transparent stain. Both of us prefer that look over something completely solid, but

How To Strip & Clean A Deck For Stain


Yup, we decided to give stripping a go (insert obligatory stripper pun here). It’s just that our 676 square foot deck was looking a little rough… We considered not even attempting to strip the peeling stain off of our deck and instead try a product like Rust-oleum Restore or Behr DeckOver which promised to just cover up the offending finish. While the step-skipping ease and promised durability of those products was tempting, we personally aren’t complete fans of the rough sand-like texture of Rust-oleum Restore (Home Depot had some samples of it around the store and it’s not terrible but it’s not our favorite). The DeckOver stuff looked smoother and actually almost convinced us, but

Fab Freebie: Insta-nt Attraction


Hear ye, hear ye, lovers of organization and instagramization. This week THREE of you are getting a couple of picture perfect prizes (bad pun intended). The first comes from StickyGram, who specializes in turning your Instgrams into charming little magnets. Each winner will be getting five sheets of nine different magnets (for a total of 45) that you can tear off and use however you’d like. They also make great gifts. My sister included a StickyGram sheet in each of the Mother’s Day cards that she sent out this year and they were a huge hit. But if you win 45 Insta-magnets, wouldn’t it be great to have a fun place to stick them? That’s

Lightening Up In The Living Room


We’re back from our week at the beach and excited to dive back into things! We were so lucky to have great weather and even got to squeeze in some window shopping and a thrift store trip, so that stuff’s in the hopper. Other than that we were beach bums and pool bums just soaking up the sun. Allow me to keep it real and mention that there were three kids under the age of four, so there were also meltdowns and even a cookie-tossing incident, but it was a great trip. We really loved Destin! Back to the salmon living room walls that are no more. After rolling back the carpet and covering a

Primed & Ready


Remember when our living room was salmon? Well, not anymore… That’s just the primer coat, so we’ll be back on Monday with the full details of what color we chose, why we picked it, and a whole bunch of prep info, in-process pics, and of course the all-done afters. Today’s the last day of our Florida road trip, so we’re doing our best just to soak up the sun before our 14 hour drive back to Richmond. But I’m not going to lie… remembering that we’re not returning to a pink living room is definitely making us more excited to mosey on home. It always feels crazy to eke out a last minute project before

This One’s For Clara

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John and I have realized that our Florida road trip has somehow given us a little house perspective. As much as we’ve been loving the new house (nearly two months after our move I still find myself going up the stairs and whispering “duuuuude, we have a second floor”) and as much as we’ve been feeling more settled with every wall that we de-wallpaper and paint, leaving our second house was definitely bittersweet. It’s kind of hard to explain, but somehow while traveling it’s more obvious to us that we still remember every nook and cranny of that place, and our new house still feels sort of unfamiliar and mysterious. We don’t quite remember every

Reader Redesign: He’s Got The Whole World…


…in his bedroom. Well, most of it. Here’s Emma’s hilarious letter about the makeover they turned out for their son’s room: We moved in to this three-storey 1876 “brownstone” (sidebar: it is neither made of brownstone nor located in New York City) three years ago – we’re in Ontario, Canada. We’ve been working our way through the house converting what was four separate apartments back into a single home. This bedroom is up on the third floor and it belongs to our 5-yr old son, Angus. The ‘Before’ photos were taken when we first looked at the house and, at the time, this bedroom was the living room of a medical student at the University