And then our house rebelled…

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In what can only be described as a one-two punch of home-ownership havoc, our washer officially died right on the heels of the big plumbing debacle that we detailed for you guys yesterday. Yup, remember when we mentioned that we hoped it would be a simple and inexpensive fix here? Well, the appliance gods must have been softly giggling as we typed that. The repair guy took one look at the corroded interior of our old machine (rusted bolts, a broken belt, etc) and said “I could attempt to band-aid this for $200, but I don’t think it would run for very long – honestly, I wouldn’t put another dollar into this machine.” And that

Leak Lessons: Volume 2

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Lemme tell you, our master bathroom’s wallpaper wasn’t its only problem-to-be-remedied recently. So brace yourself while we weave a little plumbing tale that spanned over the last few weeks (in fact it just wrapped up a few days ago). You know how we solemnly swear to share the good, the bad, and the ugly? Well, this one can be filed under “the bad” and “the ugly” with a side of “the gross.” So for everyone’s sake, we’ll leave out the graphic pictures. During the process of buying this house we noticed a very small, dried out water stain on the ceiling in the living room, right below where the master bathroom was. We and the

Organizing Our Cluttered Craft Closet

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So it turns out I’m Monica Geller. I get questions like those pretty regularly: Q: “I was hoping you could tell us how you organize your crafty supplies…mine seem to be spread all over the house!” – Chris Q: “Can you give us a peak at how/where you store your craft stuff? Is it obvious that I’m kind of hoping you have a secret Monica Geller closet?” – Katie And my answers are usually all strained and sputtery like this: “Our craft closet is a GIANT mess (and it’s in the guest room so they can peek in there and scream). Everything is piled into a few baskets, and there are even some paper grocery

Suckers For Succas

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The other day I was working away in the office and Sherry breezed in and stole some paper from the printer. I didn’t think much of it… until a few minutes later when I walked into the kitchen to find this. Well, this and Sherry grinning at me and batting her eyelashes. I soon learned that these large succulent photographs that she’d been eying for some time from West Elm had gone on sale (boo, but it looks like they’re back to full price now). It’s more than we typically spend on art, but they’re very large (almost 30″ wide and tall) and the price included the big glass frame – so Sherry took the

Fab Freebie: Add To Your Collection

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“At last, I have all of the furniture, accessories, and items for my home that I’ll ever need” said no one ever. Okay, maybe just said Sherry never. But if you’re like her, then we’re sure you’d find some worthy way to spend the $500 that Home Decorators Collection is giving away this week. Whether you shop in one of their stores, online, or by catalog, they cover just about every nook of your home – from furniture and bedding to lighting and rugs – they even have stuff like bathroom vanities. And they like to run deals too (today lots of stuff is 10% off with free shipping). Please use the Rafflecopter widget below

Goin’ To The Chapel…

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… and we’re gonna have a bay-yay-yay-by. Ok, so that’s not how the song goes, but it is the paint color that we chose for the walls of the nursery (which is pretty sweet considering the name of the paint that we used in Clara’s nursery in our last house was Proposal). Honestly, color names don’t sway us. We’re pragmatic pick-our-favorite-swatch-not-our-favorite-name folks. But it’s always nice when they’re not something ominous. You know, like Sleepless Nights or Zombie Spawn. Back when we shared our plans for the room with this makeshift mood board of sorts, a few commenters asked if we were going to paint the walls that bold green tone. We explained that we

5 Power Tools That Changed How We DIY

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You guys love to ask tool questions, and the truth is that it still catches me off guard that I’m The Guy People Ask About Tools. Growing up I remember taking trips to Hechinger (anyone remember those?) thinking “who would ever willingly go to a home improvement store?!?” And when my dad gifted me a set of screwdrivers in high school I wondered what the heck I’d use them for. But here I am today – 32 and the proud owner of more tools than I can count (and still fewer than I’d like) – including some of those same screwdrivers from my dad so many years ago. Home ownership is what flipped the switch

Making A Tabletop Terrarium

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As a bunch of you saw on Facebook and Instagram, we went on a giant lumber run, which means there’s a whole lotta building that’s about to commence in the nursery. But first we have to paint the walls and ceiling, so we hope to knock that out today and tomorrow (and have an update for you guys on Monday). Three cheers for finally saying goodbye to those door-overspray marks on the wall! And while we get our paint on, I thought I’d share a nice and easy “anyone-can-do-it” project (involving living things, ahh!). Most importantly: there’s a tiny deer living in a tiny glass house in our house. And the good news is that

How You Like Me Now?

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Blogging is sort of a funny hamster wheel because we’ll do, buy, install, or build something, blog about it, and then we’ll move onto blogging about other projects, purchases, and updates. So it means we’re not always great at keeping you posted on those older things that we’ve already talked about since we’re so busy sharing new stuff. Which explains why we get update requests for things in our archives all the time. So here’s a big ol’ collection of them for you guys, which marks the second one in this series (here’s our first one from a few years back, so you can check out if we covered other topics you’ve wondered about there). Our

Built-In(security)

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We have a nursery update for you guys in the form of two new purchases that we brought home, assembled, and will now attempt to customize. After this planning post we pictured ourselves diving right into constructing our two custom built-ins to flank the crib, but then we realized that before we could actually start on those, we needed to make some decisions about what we wanted them to look like (base cabinets with doors and a bookcase top? lower cabinets with drawers instead? dressers that we could top with shelves and molding? tall armoire-ish things for each side of that wall?). So after a lot of inspiration-room browsing and comparing measurements/product choices on a

Fab Freebie: Finger Lookin’ Good

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This week’s giveaway is not only available worldwide, but it actually comes from the other side of the globe! Two sisters from Singapore founded Fictive Fingers, where they combine original illustrations, traditional art techniques, and simple construction methods to produce small edition fabric goods. From bold pillows to simple sling bags, they used water-based and eco-friendly inks to print their designs on a variety of items (many of which you can shop for by supporting their Pozible Project). So this week, someone’s gonna score a $250 gift card to get their fingers on these beauties. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop

Adding Color And Trim To A Bathroom Ceiling

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Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, guys. We’re back with a fully finished bathroom paint & trim project (we mentioned our plan here last week, and you saw a sneak half-done peek of it in the house tour video on Friday). So here’s what it’s looking like now: Which is a pretty stark contrast to what we started with. You might remember that we removed the glass shower doors pretty early on, but then we didn’t touch the room again until recently waging war on the wallpaper. It’s a tough room to photograph due to all the doorways and nooks – especially when trying to get the ceiling and the floor in one shot. So forgive

House Tour: Winter 2014

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Something about filming the video tour of our showhouse progress made us realize that we were overdue for one of our own house (that and the fact that so many of you have been asking for one). And considering the last one we made was the “before” of this house, overdue is actually an understatement. So please forgive our delay and enjoy this little jaunt around our very much in-progress pad: In the video you might notice a few things… There are several “disaster zones” in the house (the dining room, the guest room, and the unfinished storage room) which are basically a catch-all dumping ground for things that we haven’t figured out a place

Putting The House In Showhouse

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The past couple of months have seen quite the flurry of activity in the Homearama showhouse department, which you might remember as the house that we’re helping to design and decorate (along with an amazing team of builders, architects, and other pros) to benefit Habitat For Humanity. You can read some background on it here and check out a floor planning post about it here, but the exciting news is that in a matter of weeks the lot has gone from a patch of dirt to an almost fully constructed home. It has been amazing to witness, so here’s two months of progress boiled down into six pictures: A couple of weeks ago we even

Wire Chair Love

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Maybe we should change the name of our site to WCL, because guess who found four awesome vintage wire chairs for the kitchen for $15 a pop? This girl (*points to self with thumbs, notices there’s peanut butter on one thumb, and licks it off while beaming at pretty new chairs*) Allow me to paint you a picture of chair-finding glory. We’re walking into our favorite local thrift store (Love of Jesus on Midlothian for any thrift-lovin’ locals). We pop in there a few times a month just to see what’s up, and 9 times out of 10 we leave empty handed, so it’s not like we’re always finding amazing things, but on this occasion

Bathroom Plans & How To Strip Wallpaper (What Worked Best)

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Strike up the band! Fire the cannons! Attempt to twerk! Okay maybe not that last one, but whatever the appropriate celebratory action is, bust it out because our once very wallpapered house is officially wallpaper-less! And since we thought one last wallpaper removal post might be boring on its own, we saved that info and bulked it up with some other bathroom progress for you guys – namely… how we puttied, prepped, and primed the damaged walls how we primed & painted all of the cream trim and old wood quarter-round what paint plans we’ve landed on for this freshly de-wallpapered space (hint: we’re going to try to balance out the bold floor tiles with

Fab Freebie: Interior Domination

Domino-Giveaway

By now you probably know that domino is back – and they have a whole integrated web shopping experience that makes it easy (this husband may contend a little too easy…) to bring the looks that you see on the pages of their magazine into your own house. So this week they’re giving someone $200 to spend at domino.com plus a one year’s subscription to the quarterly magazine.   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 giveaway is open to residents of the United States (but we have a worldwide prize all queued up for next week).

A Moodboard Comes To Life

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Update: So sorry for the slow loading & crashing issues all morning guys! Looks like our server had a case of the Mondays, but after two hours on the phone with tech support we think we have it all worked out. If you’re still having any issues commenting or reading the site, please let us know! Well, it’s late on Sunday night as I sit down to write this post. We just got back from a whirlwind weekend in Northern Virginia, where we did everything from helping John’s sister with a bedroom update to buying some stuff for the nursery. So today we’ll be chronicling ten things that we helped Carrie shop for, hang, and

A Painted Pattern That Only Looks Complicated

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It’s no secret that I love giving various paint treatments a try – like stenciling a pillow, two toning a chair, painting patterns on baskets, or even tracing raindrops right onto the wall – and I’ve been excited to share this one. Some of you eagle-eyes even noticed it in the background of Friday’s post and asked for details. Now that Clara’s thrift store cradle is in heavy rotation (Captain Barnacle is often found being rocked, fed, or changed in there) and Clara has clearly established her love of red, blue, and pink, I used it to test drive a deceptively simple free-handed pattern. It’s probably the most “intricate” pattern I’ve ever freehanded, but it’s

Making Old Discolored Grout Look Like New

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One question, with attitude: How you like me now, grout? That’s right. Picture me giving one of these (*strikes a talk-to-the-hand pose*) to the grout in our foyer and half bathroom. As you might recall, for the past six months that we’ve lived here, it has looked like this. Over the last half of a year, I gave nearly every method under the sun a shot to make that grout look clean. After repeatedly scrubbing the heck out of it, I knew that it was actually very (very, very) clean… it just was so discolored and stained in certain areas, that no amount of blood, sweat, or tears (I even tried a wire brush to

Cottage Crashing: Rustic Rassawek

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Ack, sorry for the late post – technical difficulties. We’re excited to share the cottage that we mentioned on Friday, especially since a bunch of you seemed anxious for us to spill all the beans (and a lot more photos). So here’s the deal: it’s about 45 minutes west of Richmond in Columbia, Virginia, it’s called Rassawek, and it’s a bonafide log cabin from 1910. It was actually moved to this location by the family who owns Rassawek (which is also a vineyard) and there were all sorts of other fun out-buildings nearby (many of which were moved as well) along with the coolest treehouse we’ve ever seen. So let’s get this tour started… John’s

And So The Nursery Begins…

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Yeaaaaaah, baby – it’s nursery time! Pun most definitely intended. The last time we shared a shot of this room (in this post) it was looking like this. Totally newborn ready, right? We started on Clara’s nursery in February and she was born in May, so it felt right to get moving in there now that it’s January (since the barnacle is due in April). We’ve had so many ideas swirling around in our brains for the last month after finding out we were having a boy, that waiting a hot second before running in there and going to town has been nice because the projects and ideas that we truly love have had a

Fab Freebie: In Quotes

Silhouette-Blue-Giveaway

The new year is all about finding the motivation to do / be / live / act / beatbox better, right? So we thought it was the perfect time for Silhouette Blue to give away a $250 gift certificate so you can stock up on stationery, wall art, calendars, notepads, and more (nearly all of which come in custom colors and can even be personalized). You’ll also score one of her charming Quote Jars, which come in 3 colors and are each stocked with 150 quotation notes to lift you up and inspire. Think of it as the fortune cookie that keeps on giving (but you probably shouldn’t bite into it). Please use the Rafflecopter

Using Polyshades To Darken Our Wood Cabinets

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Even though a household-wide cold got our 2014 off to a rocky (well, sneezy) start this week. We still managed to get our lower cabinets stained darker as planned. PS: Anyone remember this song? I had the whole album and kinda loved it. The change isn’t as dramatic as last week’s upper cabinet painting post, but as you can see below – we did achieve our goals of making them a slightly darker and less orange color while reducing (but not eliminating) the wood grain. The process took us about five days total, thanks to one day of prepping, one day of staining, one day of sanding and restaining, a full day of drying, and