Fab Freebie: The Art of Home


You guys know we’re suckers for a good house portrait, so we’re happy to be serving one up this week thanks to watercolor wizard Michelle Schneider of The Art of Michelle. She creates all sorts of good stuff, but we’re drawn the most to her charming renderings of people’s homes and gardens. It’s always fun to see the different twists that artists put on painting their most structural of subjects. You might find someone’s pet popping up in the yard of some of Michelle’s work – or some sheet music adding some texture to a tree or a roof. This week she’s giving one of you a custom 11 x 14″ house portrait, which is

We Couldn’t Take It Any Longer


I realize four months isn’t an eternity, but it was about 3.9 months longer than we wanted to spend with the last vestiges of the old carpet upstairs. Especially since it was in our master bathroom. Ah, carpeted bathrooms. We didn’t remove it – or the portion that extended into our closet – back when we removed the rest of the upstairs carpet because we knew we didn’t want hardwood floors in the bathroom. So, in the absence of a new flooring decision, we just left the old stuff. The old, wrinkly, creamy stuff that blended right in with the creamy walls and creamy trim. But yesterday morning (yup, about 24 hours ago!) we decided

Blogiversary 6: You Guys Are Hilarious


As our sixth blogiversary winds down (and we stow the t-shirt launchers and airhorns until next year) we wanted to thank you guys for the good times. Hashtag thanks for the memories (please tell me you’ve seen this). Last year’s blogiversary concluded with a geeky graphic round-up of some of the most interesting stats from our annual reader poll, and this year nearly 30,000 of you guys took the poll at the end of Wednesday’s post, which was a pretty big contrast to our first blogiversary poll where I copied and pasted all 199 comment responses into a spreadsheet by hand). It was interesting to see what has changed since last year’s infographicized recap (and what

Blogiversary 6: Rugs Under The Rug


We’ve shared a few behind the scenes posts about how we take on side gigs, like this one about how our lighting collection came together, and this one and this one about our experiences with writing a book. So we thought it would be interesting to share a side gig that didn’t work out, despite putting lots of behind-the-scenes hours into it. You know we like to share the good, the bad, and the ugly – so why hide something that ended up being a big ol’ bust when we can tell you guys about it? Without naming names, a very nice company that makes wool/cotton rugs approached us and said “Let’s do a Young

Blogiversary 6: Did Somebody Say Oprah?!


The funny part about talking about our Oprah-related experience during blogiversary week is that we talked about almost appearing on Oprah’s show during our very first blogiversary week (spoiler: we got bumped last minute by Ty Pennington and some twins in need of a makeover). So it seems, now five years later, that things have come full circle. Was that an O pun I just made? Yes. Yes it was. First of all, the exciting news. For anyone who wasn’t able to watch or stream the short film when it aired on Sunday, the kind folks at OWN have generously provided a clip for us to share here. So here it goes. The nice thing

Blogiversary 6: You Asked, We Answered

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Get ready to cringe! It’s time for our annual (and always amazingly awkward) Q&A video. Just like in past blogiversary weeks, we invited you guys to ask us some personal (i.e. non-decorating) questions over on our Facebook page last week. And after over 150 questions came rolling in, we sat down and answered as many as we could while Clara napped one afternoon – and then culled it down into this 20 minute video. Among all of our mind-blowing, no-holds-barred revelations (note the sensationalism) you’ll learn: If we’d ever let readers vote on the decorating choices we make What blog post we regret writing Our thoughts on snarky message boards If we ever think about

Blogiversary 6: How We Make Money Blogging


Consider the next part of this post as an update to this one from two years ago where we first broke out a few pie-charts to generally illustrate how we spend our time and how we make money as bloggers (because even our parents get confused about that sometimes). Things have changed over the last couple of years – not dramatically – but enough that we felt it was time for an update. So let’s kick this charty goodness off. Behold, a very simplified / approximated breakdown (all the pie charts in this post are very general guesses, btw)… First, we should point out that this is not a complete representation of our waking hours

Fab Freebie: Who Loves A Trip?


We knew it’d be pretty tough to top last blogiversary’s prize of $2,500 worth of swag, but this year we somehow wrangled an adventure and luxury filled Virginia vacation worth an estimated $3,000 for you guys! Virginia is for Lovers, the fine folks who promote tourism in our home state, just started a new series featuring real Virginians… and they actually asked to profile us for it! We had so much fun during our day trip to Virginia’s Eastern Shore – complete with beach time, antiquing, fresh seafood, and even paddling in kayaks to a vineyard. And now, for one lucky winner and a guest from anywhere in the world, they’re recreating that trip with

Blogiversary 6: A Day In The Life Of A Blogger


Holy cats, have we really been blogging for six years?! It feels like Blogiversary 5 just happened, and that it was mere months ago that it was 2007 and we were posting tiny pictures and writing a few sentences each night about whatever was going on under our roof. All of the years of this adventure have been exciting, but the last 12 months in particular have brought things we never could’ve expected when we started this site: a book that somehow landed on the best-seller list, a lighting collection that we designed right here in Richmond with a local company, a short film on Oprah (what?!), and probably the most exciting thing of all

What Our First & Second Houses Taught Us


Q: Now that you’re in your third house, I’m sure there are things you’ve learned about budgeting, decorating, house hunting, etc. having been through the process a few times now. Would you ever consider writing a post about what your first and second house taught you? -Alison A: Sure we’d consider it. In fact, here it is! Like anything in life, you hope your previous experiences will help make you smarter about your next one. And I think having our first home influenced the selection and design of our second and now the same thing is happening again – plus we now have the extra benefit of comparing the first two. We talked in this

Laying Showhouse Plans


Remember we mentioned the show house that we’d be working on to benefit Habitat For Humanity over the next ten months? Well, we’ve been itching to give you guys an update but we haven’t broken ground quite yet. It’s not that we’re behind schedule (the goal is to be under-roof by Christmas) but it turns out there’s a whole lot of prep before a house is even built. So as people who have never built a house or been part of that process before, it has been really interesting to see what goes into it. Over the last few months we’ve been having lots of planning meetings and have even made some site visits to

House Crashing: Four A Good Cause


Some of the same folks behind Richmond’s Homearama (who are working with us on our Habitat For Humanity Showhouse – which we’re planning to update you guys on ASAP) invited us to similar-but-new show called the Massey Street of Dreams. Like Homearama, it features custom built homes that are decked out inside by designers & decorators who collaborate with each builder and their team. But this show’s the brainchild of cancer survivor George Emerson, so it’s got a charitable slant in that all proceeds benefit our local VCU Massey Cancer Center. So just like we had fun sharing these eight homes with you guys, we’re psyched to share the four pretty places that make up

Stairs: A Novelty To Ranch Owners Everywhere


At least that’s how I feel about them. I know some people hate stairs, but after seeing about a million gorgeous staircases on Pinterest and a whole bunch of awesome DIY stair upgrades, I was all “I waaaant stairs.” A la that girl in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory who sings about wanting a bean feast (?!). And then, as luck would have it, after seven years of owning one-level houses we fell in love with a house that has stairs. Half of me feared I’d live to regret the change, and half of me couldn’t wait to go on a blind spree, pinning ten million staircases per minute. I was like Ariel singing about

One Opportunity Missed, One Opportunity Seized


And now for some “never thought we’d type that in our entire lives” news before we dive into today’s post. Remember when we Instagrammed this (well, I guess technically we Regrammed it) back in May? It was from our day of shooting a little segment with the OWN crew (as in Oprah’s crew). #ahhhhhh #more screaming Well, that “short film” is airing this Sunday! It’ll be on towards the end of their Super Soul Sunday season premiere (info here) and we’re practically ready to faint at the possibility of Oprah saying our names out loud. Seriously, somebody get me a fan, a ruffled dress, and a chaise lounge so I can dramatically swoon. But now

Fab Freebie: Way Finding


Decorating can be daunting sometimes – especially in the face of beautiful inspiration rooms on Pinterest and in glossy magazines that make you wonder “where do I start?” But Wayfair has a pretty cool way to help move those designer daydreams a bit closer to reality. Their new Inspiration Gallery not only lets you search and browse rooms you like, but it also instantly delivers a source list stocked with similar items in the Wayfair catalog. Like that lamp pictured? Here’s a similar one you can buy. Inspired by that pretty headboard? Check out this lookalike that’s on sale. And since this gallery could make shopping dangerously easy, they’re giving one lucky winner a $350

Planking Our Former Sunroom’s Ceiling


When we decided we wanted to do a wood planked ceiling in our sunroom, I think I kind of just envision walking into Home Depot, strolling down the beadboard ceiling aisle, and loading up our cart. Piece of cake. Easy as pie. Insert third dessert related idiom here. Well, turns out there are lots of options for achieving the beadboard look. Historically, beadboard was made up of individual tongue-and-groove planks – kinda like a hardwood floor. Except between each board is a little ridge or indentation, aka the “bead.” Just look at this assortment of choices… There are also lots of panel options. You know, those full 4ft x 8ft sheets of the beadboard pattern?

Let’s Talk Money With Michelle of 4 Men, 1 Lady


Something we love about the home-slash-DIY blogosphere is that no matter someone’s renovation budget, there almost always seems to be some great story of money saving. Whether it’s salvaging existing materials, shopping for steals, negotiating a deal, or simply doing it yourself, there are some great stories of frugality and ingenuity out there. So in that spirit we thought we’d periodically share some cash-monay saving tips from some of our favorite bloggers. And maybe we’ll sneak in some eye candy along the way. Sound good? First up is Michelle from the blog 4 Men, 1 Lady, who has always wowed us with her jaw-dropping transformations. But I should let Michelle take over so you can

Making A Sweet & Simple Bed Canopy


*Thanks so much for all of the kind words and the love that you guys shared after yesterday’s post. It was so touching to read all of your stories and memories.  A few weeks ago when Clara saw a canopy hanging over her friend’s bed, she was immediately in LOVE. As in, she put in a request for “daddy and mommy to build a canopy with a hammer and some blankets” for her right that second. Not surprisingly, we were in. Just not for the whole hammering blankets thing… We love that it’s something she requested and that it adds more playful personality to her room, Heck, it just might get her excited enough to

Never Forget


Thanks for the encouragement from this morning’s post to choke out my rambling September 11th story guys. As hard as it is to tell, I feel like it’s something I’ll want to look back on – especially when Clara’s older and I’m trying to explain the enormity of that day. It was a terrible day, but such a life-changing one too, and it definitely shaped who I am. And as much as I love having thousands of DIY posts in our archives, sometimes it’s those rare personal posts (like this one or this one or this one) that make me the happiest that I dumped all the jumbled words out of my head and onto

Window Shopping: Keep It Simple, Sweetheart


I’m currently hanging and shooting the canopy that I made for over Clara’s bed (ahh! it just might be cute!) so I’ll be back with those photos and the whole rundown for you tomorrow. I was actually thinking about writing about September 11th today. I lived in NYC at the time, and it was one of the most life-changing days that I’ve ever experienced, but for some reason, even 12 years later, I just can’t put words together about it. So I’m sending out lots of NYC pride and love to everyone affected by such a horrible day and trying to drum up the courage to talk about it (I’m reminding myself how healing it

A Soft Pink Ceiling


We did it! We can put three big ol’ check marks next to “paint the walls” and “paint the closet” and “paint the ceiling” in Clara’s room. It was definitely a bit of a painting marathon, but how sweet is the soft pink up there on the ceiling? It’s Pink Cadillac by Benjamin Moore in their eggshell finish. In some of these photos it’s pretty subtle, but in person it’s soft-but-noticeable – so while it’s not the entire room’s focal point, it’s a fun layered detail in the room. We thought clean white walls would complement the fun ceiling color without fighting too much with all of the color and pattern in things like the

Fab Freebie: Fall For Coupons


Coupons.com covers the gamut – from digital, printable, social, mobile, and loyalty card program discounts for spots like Target, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and lots more. In addition to wanting to help you save some green, right now they’re also celebrating the change of seasons and diving into fall decorating (sometimes all it takes is swapping out a piece or two to transition the mood in your home). So they’re kick-starting that change with a $300 e-gift card to Sears, which you’ll be able to stretch with the dozens of Sears discounts that Coupons.com offers.   Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually

Engineering, Electricity & Geometry, Oh My!


If those three things don’t sound like a great time, then I don’t know what does. Amiright? Anyway, we’ve shared a few peeks at the ceiling progress in our sunroom, but have yet to explain how we got there. Hold on to your hats and break out your graphing calculators! Just kidding about the calculators, because we actually left the engineering part of this job to a professional. The pro we referenced in this post was the builder we’re working with on the show home. He offered to pop by to give us his expert opinion, which boiled down to “those cross beams aren’t supporting the roof, they just created the framing for attaching the

How To Hang A Frame Wall Behind The TV


First things first. Weren’t we talking about how foxes might be the new “it” animal (as in, move over birds and giraffes)? Well, I think this video might be proof that we’re all on to something. Now that that’s out of the way, on to our regularly scheduled program… Sherry and I have always been fans of the idea of hanging art around a TV just to soften the big black rectangle that it creates on the wall. And since we have quite the collection of frames to wade through (128 to be exact) it wasn’t exactly a speedy selection process. But after more noodling than I care to admit, we officially hung this house’s