The Mighty Ducts: Running New Laundry Vents


Yes, this is a post about how to run dryer duct work and reroute HVAC vents. Why would I make a horribly punny reference to a 22-year-old Disney hockey movie if it weren’t? But first, some background. By the time Monday’s post was going up, David the framer was here putting the finishing touches on our new laundry room by adding that fourth and final wall (the one that will have the door that leads to the hallway). He also added the wall that will eventually house the frosted door to the current storage / future TV room. I took the picture from this side to get around that lovely plastic sheet, which helps us

Fab Freebie: Getting Schooled


If the recently arrived “Back to School” season is cramping your summer-lovin’ style, maybe $500 to Target will boost your mood? It’s courtesy of, who rounds up tons of coupons (including online, mobile, and printable versions) for thousands of shops and products. So you’re covered whether you’re sending someone off to school, or just doing some everyday shopping at Target (there’s some pretty great home stuff there these days). 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 available to residents of the United States (but we’ve got an international one coming next week!). Click to View

Adding (& Hemming!) Breezy Bedroom Curtains


This isn’t as exciting as our big laundry room reno (nothing is!) but let’s talk about curtains for a second. Remember when our bedroom was all naked and afraid? (Sidenote: if you’re not watching that show, you should be). We added frames and hung curtains at the same time, but it took us way longer to actually finish said curtains. We knew we wanted nice white linen-like ones for our dark-walled bedroom, and had heard a lot of good things about the Lenda curtains from Ikea around blogland (they’re their nicer/thicker white curtains with a convincing linen-looking weave, as opposed to the cheaper/thinner/breezier ones we’ve tried in previous houses). After seeing – and feeling –

Demoing & Reframing The Laundry Room


Let’s talk about knocking out a few walls and framing a few new ones, shall we? For two weeks we had virtually no progress in our laundry area, except for rethinking our approach and considering contractor bids. So by comparison, things happened so swiftly over the last few days that it nearly put our heads on spin cycle. What started out looking like this… …is now looking a bit more like this. Yowza. Let’s rewind to early last week, when it clicked that maybe we could do more ourselves and sub-contract certain jobs out instead of relying entirely on one contractor and his team. As you may recall from this post, Option 4 is our

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More…


After much deliberation, our laundry area is finally seeing some action. Well hello there, washer…. shall we take this to the bedroom? No literally, we took it to the bedroom. JEALOUS? Seriously though – it has been a busy week around here (mostly with unrelated book stuff) but we’ve managed to get some dust flying upstairs too. Long story short, thanks to a lot of thought (and a lot of encouraging comments from you guys) we’ve decided to do more ourselves, while managing some pro sub-contractors directly. Our second contractor estimate (after the initial $5,000 one) came in at $3,300, which was a more digestible number, but he had an impending vacation – and actually

Fab Freebie: Su Casa

Casa-Dot-Com-Giveaway has just about everything for your home – from furnishings and lighting to cookware and tools. And this week’s winner will score a $500 gift card to grab whatever calls their name the loudest. also has cool features like curated Styleboards that you can browse (or create yourself), plus they’ve got free two-day shipping on orders over $49. 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 available to residents of the United States (but we’ve got a few international ones lined up for you guys soon). You can also get 20% off one full

Painting Our Garage Doors A Richer, Deeper Color


Favorite project ever! Okay, not really at all. (I just couldn’t help trying to match Sherry’s enthusiasm from yesterday’s post), but this is a nice simple way to update basic garage doors so they look a little more stately. Back when we had our house’s exterior patched & painted right after moving in, we opted not to get the garage doors painted since we knew it was a task that we could easily tackle ourselves. Well, 12 months later and it’s finally done. These two doors were sporting the same cream color that the old trim was before it went white, which wasn’t a very good look since it was nixed everywhere else. So we

Wallflowers (aka: How To Cover A Wall With Fabric)


Favorite project ever! Ok, I probably say that to myself every month or two, but this one might reign supreme for a while. Especially in the small/easy division (our sunroom reno and Teddy’s built-ins might have given it competition if it fell into the heavy-duty upgrade category, but there’s no way it belongs there because it was so simple). Ladies & gentlemen (gentleman?), I give you… Clara’s closet: I’ve been obsessed with the idea of covering the back wall of Clara’s closet with something fun for a while, especially since images like this inspired me to add some playful to make it feel more like a little hideaway within her room. Right after we moved

Celebrating Seven


Every year we like to celebrate our “I Do”s by doing stuff, like recreating our wedding menu, taking a day trip near our engagement spot, cooking up one of our favorite honeymoon meals or even taking a big ol’ trip to Hawaii. This year was no different as we continued some of our anniversary traditions (like our annual picture, which a bunch of you asked about) and we threw in a couple of new celebrations too, like showing our wedding video to Clara for the first time. It was kind of comical because we realized we had no other way to watch it than on the miniscule screen of John’s old camcorder, so we were

Fab Freebie: So Flexible


Here’s your chance to win a new paint sprayer plus $200 toward your next paint project. The Wagner FLEXiO 890‘s base provides the power and also acts as storage for everything, making it quieter and lighter than a traditional airless sprayer. At the other end of the 11.5ft hose is the handle, which includes controls for both the strength and size of the spray. And you can use the quick-change nozzle to swap in the fine finishing attachment for more flexibility. 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 available to residents of the United States,

We Have A Laundry Room Plan!


Thanks for all of the laundry room ideas last week, guys. We spent a lot of time mulling over every last suggestion, and even got some quotes for a few things (like moving the hookups, the doorway, and possibly bumping out a wall). One common alternate suggestion (we’ll call it “Option 3”) was to take our original Option 1 and rotate the laundry appliances 90° so that it’s out of sight. Then we could put access to the storage room on the back wall so there wouldn’t be any more of that walk-through-one-room-to-get-to-another-one issue. It was an interesting idea for sure. We hadn’t considered it before because, well, it would require moving all of the

Updating An Old Dining Room Chandelier


Continuing the recent trend in our house – Clara is the latest family member to get a ceiling fixture in her room. And methinks Sia might break out in song about it (“from the chan-de-li-eeeer!”). If it looks familiar, it’s because you’ve seen it before in our dining room. Well, a previous incarnation of it at least. We’ve always been intrigued by this chandelier, which was here when we moved in.  The finish wasn’t totally our style, but the swirls and flat arms (it almost looks like an intricate paper chandelier) always made us think it could be a good candidate for Clara’s room. The main problem was that it was too big. Even without

Anniversary Art


As of Monday, John and I have been married for seven years. Or a hand and two fingers, as Clara likes to joke (“what’s seven?… A HAND AND TWO FINGERS!” *maniacal laughter*). As you can imagine, when you get married on 7/7/07, your seventh anniversary feels like a special one. The golden birthday of anniversaries, if you will. We went to Hawaii for our fifth anniversary, and have always thought we’d end up going somewhere awesome for our seventh (Australia is the ultimate dream – maybe for our tenth – but for lucky seven we were thinking about somewhere in the Caribbean). But as this summer approached we realized the last thing we wanted to

Fab Freebie: Light Saber


‘Tis grilling season. And Saber Grills will be sending one of their high-end grills someone’s way, along with $100 to help kick-off their next cook-out. The winner can choose between two stainless steel grills: a full-size Saber model ($999) or its built-in cousin ($1,199). They’re created by outdoor cooking experts (hence their collection of recipes), so they’re designed to get the most flavor out of your food with things like infrared heating for quick and efficient cooking. Plus they boast cool features like commercial grade stainless steel and halogen lights on the hood for nighttime grilling. Neighbors are about to be jealous. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second

Converting A Lamp Into A Pendant Light


After over a year of living without one, another bedroom has been upgraded to have a ceiling light fixture – and this time it’s Teddy’s room. Woo to the hoo guys. It’s the best thing ever. I know that sounds like an overstatement, but you don’t know how convenient ceiling light fixtures are until you buy a house without any in all of the rooms upstairs except for the bathrooms. When I saw this stick light on Joss & Main I thought it was fun and beachy-yet-geometric. And call me crazy, but I immediately looked at it and saw a ceiling pendant. To make sure I wasn’t being weird, I ran the idea of converting

Our Laundry “Room” Redo Is Officially On


There’s nothing like having a newborn to make you appreciate having a nice spot to do laundry. Ours functions just fine, but I’d say it still falls a bit short of “nice” in the looks department. So we’ve decided it’s major overhaul time. Things have made minor progress since the beginning. Blue trim was painted. Old blue bi-fold doors came off. Flooring was replaced. Hallway walls were painted. And, oh yeah, we unexpectedly had to buy new appliances. I actually bothered to spray those bi-folds white back when we painted the trim and doors upstairs and they’ve been living in the storage room ever since. Once every few months Sherry and I talk about re-hanging

Book Two


We’ve been mentioning our second book off-and-on for several months now, usually followed by promises to give you some details soon, so we’re finally fulfilling that promise. How did you get a second book deal? Our original deal with our publisher, Artisan Books, was for two books, so we’ve known since signing on with them in 2011 that we’d be doing a follow-up to our first book, which came out in November of 2012 (more on that whole experience here). When will this one come out? Right now we’re working towards a fall of 2015 release – although that depends on lots of factors (many beyond our control) so it’s not set in stone yet.

Fab Freebie: Earn Your Stripes


Well, more like win your stripes, since Dash & Albert is offering up a $500 gift card to one lucky winner. We’ve been fans of their stylish and logic-defying ability to combine softness and beauty with indoor & outdoor durability, having used them in our own home (remember this patriotically-titled post about our stair runner?) as well as in our showhouse. They’ve got lots of classic patterns and on-trend colors that reach beyond rugs to items like pillows, ottomans, poufs, and even bags. 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 available to residents of the United

Adding Overhead Lighting & Extra Outlets


Yes, that’s an electric slide reference. And I’d bet money that it’s cracking my mom up while my brother is rolling his eyes and vowing never to read this blog again. Let’s talk about electrical updates, like hanging a new capiz chandelier in the bedroom, and putting our heads together to gain a few bonus outlets and cut down on drywall holes while running electrical wiring. After last week’s post about our four new outdoor sconces, we mentioned we had some other wiring work done inside at the same time, so here’s the rundown on everything we added, where it went, and how much it all cost. We’ll start with the prettiest result so far