Hello? Is This Thing On?

Our living room!

Well, last week marked a year since we took our big blog break. We didn’t really know what to expect would happen after stepping away from the blog last fall, and we certainly didn’t expect all of the love, support, and interest you guys have continued to show us over the last year. So before anything else, let us just say thank you and bow down and do the “not worthy” hand motions. Truly, you guys are the best. There have been so many questions about what we’ve been doing these days, and we’ve been mulling over the best way to share one big what-the-heck-we’ve-been-up-to update. Sherry suggested a Real Housewives-style freeze frame with update text next to

Fab Freebie: It’s Curtains For You


Update: We hoped to have a Thursday post for you guys but this week didn’t go as planned. So sorry! Update #2: We’d love your thoughts on this thread that popped up on this post. What are your opinions about smaller posts when we can’t write something juicy? Skip them and just own that we can’t post that day with a little update like this one, or would you rather see something small instead of nothing (like a quick organizing update, a Reader Redesign, a dilemma we’re debating, etc)? Thanks for the feedback! Curtains can make the room. And pillows, well, you can never have too many (at least according to my pillow obsessed wife).

That’s My Jamb (aka: How To Hang A Door)


Hope you guys had an awesome Labor Day. We split time between family and house projects which is pretty much our sweet spot. This week is going to be especially hairy thanks to having book stuff nearly every day, but we did manage to eke out a few things to share and hope to be back to normal next week (might not be as on top of comments until then either). But back to my jamb. Or should I say my jambs? They don’t have casings yet, the leftover doorknobs will be upgraded to these backplated-versions, and one door still needs to be painted like whoa – but boy does it feel good to have

Chasing Waterfalls (Our Homemade Laundry Room Counter)


That’s right. You can call me T-Boz. Let’s talk about our new shelf in the laundry room, which is sporting a sweet arm band waterfall edge and some light natural stain. It was a simple DIY project involving some wood and some stain/sealer for a butcher block like effect. We deviated from our usual mocha stain choice because we were inspired by a few rooms we’ve seen with light cabinets and tile mixed with with natural wood to add some texture and warmth. Here’s a wider shot for you. Ignore the missing filler/crown/toe kick/baseboard/hardware situation. We’re also chasing that stuff (you know, along with the waterfalls). But first we have to talk about installing our

Fab Freebie: Wave Fair-well To Summer


I have mixed feelings about the back to school season, but at least it brings some good sales with it. In fact Wayfair is giving away a $500 gift card to one of you guys – so you can take advantage of their Back to School sale, stock-up on items for next summer season, or grab just about any other decor, furniture, tools, and accessories under the sun. Oh sun… how I will miss thee… 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, Canada, UK, Australia & Germany. Click To

Installing A Herringbone Tile Backsplash – It’s Like A Cable Knit Sweater On The Wall


That was my description after we installed the marble backsplash tile on the back wall of the laundry room. And under-cabinet sweaters are something I can get behind. It seems like just last week we were installing laundry room floor tile (oh yeah, because we were), but this time around we got to break out the tile we bought a while back for the wall behind our washer and dryer. Suddenly the room feels a lot more upgraded than the blank box that we started with, and it only took 13 sheets of tile to do it. Try to ignore the unfinished shelf /counter since it’s half done (still needs to be stained/sealed/installed, so we’ll

How To Hang Ikea Cabinets


This post was shaping up to be a weird one (well, weirder than our baseline weird). We were simultaneously trying to hang Ikea cabinets in our laundry room and re-hook up the washer & dryer, but as of yesterday morning we were sort of stuck half-way through both projects and this was the best progress shot we thought we’d have for you today: But thanks to some last minute pieces falling into place over the last 24 hours, we have working appliances that have been completely re-installed (picture Sherry dancing for no less than twenty minutes with an elated baby in her arms laughing at her) and doors on our all of our cabinets (more

Survey Says…?


***UPDATE: We’re sending out a giant thank you to the 30,000+ respondents to our survey! We’ve selected a random winner of the $500 West Elm gift card using random.org and the lucky person is… Sarah M from Birmingham, AL! Congrats Sarah – check your inbox!*** It’s no secret that I’m a card-carrying infographic geek (in case you’re wondering, the card has a pie chart on it). Here on our blog we’ve captured one year of living in this house, our book tour, and of course your responses to our annual blogiversary survey all infograph-tacularly, so with some sweet talking to my wifey and gentle nudging to our publisher, I’ve convinced them to let me put

Laying Porcelain Tile In The Laundry Room


A newly tiled floor in a new room of the house is almost enough to give me jazz hands (a York peppermint patty is enough to give Sherry jazz hands, so clearly we have different thresholds). We’re completely enamored with this floor – and there’s a budding romance that involves a saw – so let’s cover the laundry room tile installation, from floor prep to grouting & sealing. Before any tile could get installed, the subfloor needed to be prepped with some cement board, which is a preferred surface for tile installation. They come in 3ft x 5ft sheets, so I was able to fit two full pieces plus a few strips in the room.

Fab Freebie: Get The ‘Facts


If you’ve ever strolled through Carytown in Richmond, you’ve hopefully hit up Modern Artifacts – a cool corner shop stocked with handmade goods like art, decor, tableware, and jewelry. They even have a few special sections, like an area that’s just for kids and a gallery space with framed art and photography (many from local makers). And even if you’re not a local, this week they’re dishing up a $250 gift card!   On top of that prize, one of our favorite vendors to Modern Artifacts is throwing in another $100 to spend in their Etsy shop. GaugeNYC makes all sorts of cool typographic accessories in metal – from delicate jewelry to chunky decor accessories

How To Tape, Mud, And Sand Drywall


Over the weekend we wrapped up our how to hang drywall adventures in the laundry room. It was a humbling experience, but we’re feeling nothing short of glorious about how it turned out. In fact Sherry and I spent a few minutes doing this in there on Sunday. Project Completion Euphoria. It’s a real thing. And it can make a grown man twirl. We’re not ready to put “pro drywaller” on the ol’ resume quite yet, but I do think we’ll go into our next drywallstravaganza with a lot more confidence. We devoured YouTube videos and online tutorials for about an hour one morning, and quickly learned that there seem to be just as many

Insulating Walls & Padding Wallets


Drywall mudding and taping in the laundry room is going (I think) well.  We’re two coats in and past our first bout of sanding (we tried wet sanding so I’m excited to share how that went) but I’m still holding my breath a bit to get through the third (and hopefully last) coat and onto primer to be sure it looks as good as we think it does, since it’s that last step that tends to be the real test. So rather than split up our mudding and taping tutorial into two posts, I’m holding off until Monday to cover the process from start to finish (with video). So today we’re talking about money and

Fab Freebie: Mow Money, Mow Problems


Got mower problems? Well, this week you could up your outdoor tool game and win over $1,400 in outdoor equipment from Husqvarna. Someone’s going to get to chose any three of the options below (there’s an all-wheel drive walk mower, a low-noise hedge trimmer, a heavy duty chainsaw, an ergonomic trimmer, and a commercial grade blower). 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 and Canada. Click To View Rafflecopter Widget

How To Hang Drywall


What’s a laundry room without walls, right? Well… I guess what is any room without walls really? Point being – our new 8′ by 7′ laundry room now has them. Or the beginnings of them at least. Yup, the drywall is hung! And we did it ourselves (well, with the help of a robot-like contraption) so we’ll share all of those “how do you hang drywall?” details in a second. As you saw in our last post, I picked up the drywall along with my other big supplies when I rented the $19 Home Depot truck. I got fourteen 4 x 8′ sheets of UltraLight Sheetrock since the whole “ultra light” thing sounded helpful and

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 Coupons.com, 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

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.com 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. Casa.com 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

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

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