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

Our Sentimental Bedroom Photo Wall


Our master bedroom has moved leaps and bounds over the last few days in terms of not looking like a big empty room with a bed in it. And by leaps and bounds, I mean frames and curtains. And more frames. Plus a few more frames after that.   Before we started putting a bunch of holes in our walls, this is what the room looked like (and what it has pretty much looked like since we painted it nine months ago). It was in desperate need of curtains at the very least, but we’re not done with those yet, so just ignore those and let’s talk about the frames.   We had long talked

Lighting Up The Night


There’s something illuminating going on in our sunroom. And I’m not talking about the fireflies Clara is constantly trying to catch and befriend (she told me the other day that she wants one to live in her room FOREVER). Befriend? Imprison? Potato, potahto. Yep, our sunroom – er, veranda if you’re nasty fancy – is finally sporting some lighting, courtesy of the new fixtures that we added to the posts in the four corners of the room. Our original plan last summer had been to install light kits on the two fans in the room, but we never found fan lights we liked… and then we slowly warmed up to the idea of sconces around

Fab Freebie: Art Meets Science


It’s not every day that you get an email from the country’s largest science museum, which is why my nerd-dar went off the charts after the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago reached out to offer up $350 towards some museum-worthy art. They’ve launched a photography shop offering dozens of museum images as fine art prints and wrapped canvases. The images cover everything from historic pictures and illustrations (some of my faves being old trade catalogs, like the “Types of Screws” chart below) to photos of museum exhibits and artifacts, like their iconic baby chicks, colorful architectural prints, or old timey bicycles. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second

Adding DIYed Pull Out Basket Drawers In The Kitchen


Remember how we had a trash compactor in our kitchen? Remember how we removed it waaaaay back in March? Well, we have officially filled the void with some slide out baskets. Only took us three months. Not that the hole it left wasn’t super attractive and crazy functional. I mean, if incorporating a “great Clara hiding spot” into our kitchen was the goal (and I put that in quotes because Clara’s hiding spots are frequently preceded by “I’m going to go hide in the [insert one of four usual locations here]”). So yeah, it’s time this hole worked a little harder. We debated a few options – like putting a trash or recycling bin there

A Patio Coffee Table Hack (And A Sofa)


Guess what arrived?! I’ll give you two hints: this and the photo below. Admittedly, both are very strong hints. Maybe I need to work on being more mysterious. Despite Sherry’s promises to throw a ticker tape parade when our new outdoor sofa showed up, its arrival was unceremonious. Sherry was on a conference call. A big truck pulled up. I handed off the baby to Sherry and ran outside. A big box came out of said truck. Yada yada. Clara was out with Grammy, but when she arrived home she declared it “perfect!” and said “I love it!” and that was that, as you can see in the video below. What you can also see in

Fab Freebie: Ultra Handy


How does a fancy new tool and $500 sound? That’s what Dremel is dishing out this week with their new Dremel Ultra-Saw, a 3-in-1 tool that’s like their Saw-Max (which I own) except it’s cranked up a few powerful notches. In addition to making flush and plunge cuts in all sorts of materials (wood, metal, plastic… even tile and stone!) it can also do surface prep like grinding off old thinset or stripping paint off metal and concrete. And Dremel is throwing in a $500 Visa gift card so you can take it for a spin (literally) on whatever project you dream up. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a

I’m The Fjalkinge Of The World!


Our office has made perhaps its most significant functional improvement since we started talking about it back in March. We have six spacious shelves and six extra long drawers thanks to two tall systems that flank the desk. They’re balanced looking and full of function (our previously bare wall was sorely lacking). In short: we love them. And the soft close drawers are the icing on the office cake. It’s not finished (still want window treatments, a rug, art, a ceiling fixture, etc), but it’s inching a lot closer than it was a week ago. As weird as it sounds, I think it was having Teddy that snapped us out of our furniture placement rut

One Year In


This week marked our 1 year anniversary of moving into this house. So to celebrate that milestone (while we work on an office update to share on Monday) we thought we’d drop some infographics up in hizzere. YE-AH, BOY! As an homage to this stat-tastic “before” post, we picked out some fun facts and figures from the last 12 months-ish (and we dropped a preview of our in-progress office project in there for good measure). For a more all-inclusive rundown of the progress we’ve made over the last year, complete with before & after photos and links to each project, you can check out our (freshly updated!) House Tour page. Or if you’re in the mood

Fab Freebie: His Publisher


We’ve been buying photobooks from MyPublisher for a couple of years now, and when they offered up a $500 gift card for one of you, we said heck yeah. In addition to our annual family yearbooks, I recently bought some Mother’s Day gifts from them for Sherry and our moms. So if you’re so inclined to whip something up for another parental holiday (hint, hint – Father’s Day is June 15) there’s still time. And today is the start of our favorite promotion (free extra pages) which has saved us upwards of $80 on past orders. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop

Making Five Dollar Nursery Wall Decals


If Teddy ever forgets what letter his name starts with, he now has a whole wall to remind him. That’s right, it’s always “T” time in there. Har-har. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, Sherry and I settled on a plan for a subtle accent pattern on the wall between the built-ins. Our original plan was to paint the Ts, like Sherry did for Clara’s raindrops. But after some of you suggested things like vinyl decals in the comments, we decided to give that a whirl instead. Vinyl has become a pretty mainstream option these days, especially for kids’ rooms. It’s removable and affordable, so we see the appeal. This tube – which is

A Full Tour Of Our Showhouse On Video


Here we are, folks. After over a year of planning, second guessing ourselves, more planning, sweating, and filling our car with vases and egg chairs, we’ve reached the end of the Homearama Showhouse tour. So in celebration of completing this whole-house marathon of sorts, we’re kicking off this post with a whole-house video tour. Nothing too high tech. Just me stumbling through the house: Photo-wise, there are few rooms on each floor that we still haven’t shared/sourced for you. So let’s slide through the dining room, powder room, mudroom, guest room, guest bathroom, and the laundry room. We love dark wall colors in a dining space, so for this room we chose Kendall Charcoal, which

Fab Freebie: Artfully Yours


Gallery walls just got easier. This week’s prize (for anyone in the world!) is $500 to Artfully Walls. In addition to offering a wide portfolio of art prints, they’ve got built-in tools for designing your own gallery wall arrangement. So selecting pieces, sizing and arranging them, framing them, and even testing out real paint colors in the background is nice and simple. Or you can browse their suggested walls, which are arrangements that their design professionals have already curated. They even come with recommended paint colors and hanging templates to keep it all frustration-free. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop up below

Updating Outdoor Eyesores – Just A Few Days Too Late


Do you guys ever get those irrational worries about how your house looks right before hosting a party? Leading up to Clara’s birthday on Saturday I was thinking random stuff like “I really should touch up some of the caulk in the sunroom before everyone comes over” like anyone would notice. And Sherry said “the patio table could use a fresh coat of paint” was running through her head when we were using a tablecloth anyway. But one thing that never crossed our minds was: “The back door is in pretty rough shape. Maybe we should do something about it before IT BECOMES THE PLACE WHERE KIDS PLAY WITH BUBBLES FOR HOURS.” Oh well. The

Playing (Show)House… And A Video!


Before the Homearama show concluded this weekend, we slipped through on Friday with Teddy strapped into our baby carrier (Clara was with the grandparents) so we could check out the homes with visitors in them. It was fun to chat with show-goers, see our pantry getting filled up with food donations, and we even spotted a note someone left us on a notepad in the girl’s room of our house. But perhaps the most exciting thing we got to see in person was the People’s Choice Award that our house won! The votes were very close, and all of the other homes were so well done. It’s hard to put into words how much we’ve

Let’s Take It Outside


There are a few outdoor showhouse spaces that we haven’t shown at all in this entire yearlong process. Each of the seven showhouses were encouraged to include some fun outdoor spaces as well as indoor ones, so aside from the stuff you can see from the curb, there’s also a back porch and a back patio complete with a stone fireplace. The cool thing about these outdoor spaces is that they’re the places that we got to put our heads together with the builder and the architect the most – and they ended up being some of our favorites. The craziest thing is that our house won 1st place (i.e. the “Gold Award”) for both

Carving Out Mulch Beds


Let’s talk about planning planting beds, digging them out to crisp up the edges, spreading a truckload of mulch, and other fun curb appeal delights. Yes, with Clara’s birthday party coming up this weekend (more on that another day) we’ve been trying to give our landscaping a little attention. Mother Nature has done her job by cranking the greenery to eleven, so we’ve done some work to further improve the view from our front porch. And from this post title, you can probably guess what I’m talking about. Let’s hot tub time machine our way back to last summer (after all, there is no classier way to time travel) when most of our plant beds

House Crashing: The Whole Show


For the last few weeks you guys have been requesting a House Crashing post with photos of the other six Homearama homes in the show, so we slipped through and snapped a bunch of pictures of each house, just like we did for this Homearama House Crash from 2012 (that’s your warning that this post is extremely image-heavy). Everyone who has attended the show so far seems to have different favorites, which is definitely part of the fun (there’s a “people’s choice” award that everyone who passes through can vote for, and each of the seven boxes have a ton of papers in them). All of the houses in the show sit on a cul-de-sac

Fab Freebie: Cone And Get It


Who wants $500 to Pine Cone Hill for a little bedding refresh? They make everything from duvets and sheets to pillows, poufs, and even placemats – and they come in classic and neutral patterns or punchy colorful prints (like the Parama Diamond pattern we used in the showhouse’s master bedroom). Their site has styles grouped into categories like “Haute Lodge” and “Cape Calm” to help you find the perfect combo, or of course you can go rogue and mix-and-match from different sets. 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 US

How To Make A Giant Cork Board Wall For Kid Art


Clara’s at an age where she beams with pride whenever we display her art. Nearly every painting, drawing, and stickered or glued creation that comes out of her school bag is met with the question “Can we hang this on my bell-etin board?!” (that’s how she says it). So we were excited to hook her up with a giant wall-mounted cork board with a nice framed in look and lots of room for art galore. The “bell-etin board” that she used to be referring to was this smaller fabric-covered cork board that hung in our office for the last eight months or so (it was originally made by Sherry for our old closet) – but

The Heart of The (Show) Home


Happy May and, well, Happy Opening Day of Homearama! Yep, our showhouse is officially open to the public as of today, along with the six others in the show. Deepbreathsdeepbreaths. Since we last showed you the office, butler’s pantry, and master suite (along with the master bathroom & closet) and then took a pause to have a baby, let’s pick back up in the main living spaces of the house: the living room & the kitchen – which you can see from the floor plan below are both pretty big zones on the first floor. The walls in both the living room and the kitchen are Simply White, and then we layered in some colorful

Fab Freebie: Peel The Love


Got a wall that’s looking kinda plain? Well, the people at WallsNeedLove have an answer in the form of $500 to spend on their site (and it’s open to anyone in the world!). They’ve got a whole slew of decal and vinyl designs to romance your space (and everything’s removable if you ever want to change things up). In addition to cool patterns and shapes in their decal design packs, they’ve also got wallpaper, prints, and even an “Easy Stripe” solution where you can customize the size and color for any stripe pattern that you can dream up. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it