A Little Holiday Excitement


Heads up: this post might be a bit of a smorgasbord. I think it’s because life has been feeling kinda smorgasbordy lately (in a good way) and sometimes it’s hard to organize life into tidy, tightly-themed blog posts when it’s really all over the place behind the scenes… I say it’s “in a good way” because we feel like we’re really starting to gain momentum around a goal that we mentioned in this post of taking on more “off-campus” projects. In other words, projects that aren’t centered solely around improving our own spaces and, in more than one case, are for a good cause. The Homearama Showhouse that we’re doing for Habitat For Humanity, being

Fab Freebie: It’s A Little Bit Bunny


Virginia-raised Bunny Williams has made quite a name for herself in the interior designer world thanks to years of designing some pretty amazing rooms (which you can see in magazines, her books, and even on her Facebook page). So when she offered an upscale mirror from her line of furniture and decor items at Bunny Williams Home to one of you guys, we said “done deal.” So this week someone’s gonna win one of these three statement mirrors: the textured Ruffled Mirror, the sleek Garbo Mirror, or the curvacious My Pretty Mirror – which range from $900 to over $1600 in value! Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to

Call It Vanity, Call It Shelf-ishness


It has been nearly a month since we talked about stenciling the floor in our sink nook (we’re all over the place lately – Clara’s room, outdoor tiling, installing our stair runner, landscaping adventures, starting in on the kitchen, etc) but that doesn’t mean we were done in there. We had a few more bullets to check off: sealing those stenciled floors loading in the closet after the floors dried (hopefully with more function/storage instead of the stuff we thoughtlessly shoved in there when we moved) updating the vanity with more function as well as a fresh finish (up close it was in pretty rough shape, and we thought we could gain more function from

Lookin’ At Lights


Our exterior light situation is a little ho-hum, as evidenced by this tiny fixture outside the back door on our garage (don’t mind the grimy green brick that’s screaming out for some scrubbing). And yes, I realize the door itself is looking a little rough. It originally sported a rusty, loudly-banging storm door (not just a medium bang, this was SCARE-YOUR-NEIGHBORS LOUD) that we removed. So we’re getting ready to repair some of the trim and prime/paint it white to match the door in the sunroom veranda that we already updated. But let’s turn our attention back to the light. It was too small and very weather-worn, so we decided it was time to make

Landscaping In Fast Motion


Update: Things are really picking up with the Habitat For Humanity showhouse (ahh! the foundation is being laid and framing starts next week!) so there will be some Wednesdays without an afternoon post. Thanks for understanding! Fall is the best. It’s my favorite (well, that and smiling). I love it because the weather rocks my socks and most years we’re treated to several weeks of beautiful fall colors. Yet somehow we always find ourselves rushing to accomplish something each autumn. One year it was trying to sell our first house before the leaves fell (along with our curb appeal). Last year it was cramming things in before setting off on our book tour. And this

Fab Freebie: Bling Bling!


Happy Veteran’s Day guys! First we want to say thank you to the men and women currently serving our country and to those who have bravely done so in the past (like my dad, my grandfather, and Sherry’s grandfather). We’re so grateful. And now, onto the giveaway… Who doesn’t need a little more gold in their life? This week someone’s getting $350 to spend at Hattan Home, which is well stocked with decor, accessories, and jewelry that can inject a little (or a lot) of sparkle into your home. But even if you’re not looking to live the lavish lifestyle of owning your very own golden piggy bank (Sherry’s dream of all dreams) there are

Stairs & Stripes (Installing A Stair Runner)


Last week we promised you the final update on our stair runner project, and here it is! And now for the nitty gritty of how we got here. Hint: we finished installing it less than 20 hours ago. Nothing like a nail biter… Wednesday, November 6th – LATE AFTERNOON: Time to paint those risers. We saved this step to the very end of the project, just to see make sure we didn’t rush into it and live to regret it. But once everything else was painted and the runner was here, we laid it out with the unpainted risers and were finally 100% sure we’d prefer them painted (like this inspiration image) so we finally

Reader Redesign: What’s Black, White & Purple All Over?


Last fall we featured a redesign that Nancy did for her son Owen. Well, she’s back with another awesome room makeover… but this time it was for another family with a great story. Here’s her letter: Hi John and Sherry! A while back, I entered the contest Creating with the Stars hosted by East Coast Creative, and I was teamed up with Kari from U-Create. I had the wonderful opportunity to makeover a space for a couple who have been trying for over ten years to get pregnant. Accepting this may never become a reality, they are in a foster to adopt program and are adopting three siblings. KK is the youngest out of the three

Removing Old Stair Carpet (And 600 Staples)


We’ve never been more all over the place than we have been lately (Clara’s room, the master bath, the kitchen, the sunroom veranda) and we can’t believe it has been around a month and a half since we last mentioned our staircase. Several of you have been eager to hear about the new runner that we ordered, and we’ve been eager to tell you all about it (it was back-ordered and arrived a little behind schedule, but it’s finally here). But the last vestiges of the old carpet in this house were standing in our new runner’s way… When we finally removed the carpet from our master bath, the stairs became the sole remaining carpet

Fab Freebie: Lovely Lulu


Lulu & Georgia is an online decor boutique that recently marked their first anniversary – and to celebrate, someone’s getting $500 to spend on their stylish assortment of rugs, pillows, and other home decor. The site’s name is a feminine spin on the founder’s grandfathers (Lou and George) and that angle continues to products they carry, which cover the gamut from fresh and girly to rustic and industrial (there’s enough ceramic and gold to keep Sherry happy for a very long time – especially in their gifts section). Oh and they’re giving everyone 20% off now through November 7th with the code YOUNGHOUSELOVE20. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a

Removing Some Kitchen Cabinets & Rehanging One


Well, that can of worms is officially open. We’ve started making some changes in the kitchen. I realize this isn’t totally new news, since we removed the wallpaper in there a few weeks ago, but towards the end of last week we used that little jolt of momentum to start down the path of some more serious changes. We still want to live in this house for a nice long time (and save up some money) before we take on our full kitchen reno – we’re still changing our minds daily about what configurations and countertop materials we’d like for the long haul – but this is officially the beginning of a series of what

Reader Redesign: Gone Mod


Ruthy’s kitchen makeover immediately got our attention, since it’s a style of house (and therefore kitchen) that we don’t often come across here in Richmond. So we were totally digging the dose of Pacific Northwest that she and her husband Andy sent us (via Tacoma, WA) along with a stylish shot of mid-century modernness. We love sharing kitchen diversity whenever we can, so we thought it was really interesting to see their choice of dark cabinetry without any upper cabinets at all. Here’s her story: Hi John and Sherry! I wanted to send over some info about our newly remodeled kitchen. We absolutely loved the open floor plan of this mid century modern home… …

Tiling, Cleaning, And Grouting An Outdoor Area


Remember when we tiled our sunroom floor earlier this month? Oh yeah, we barely do either. It has been such a drawn out process thanks to various battles with cold and rain that I can’t believe it’s taken this long to finally get to this: a (mostly) finished floor! Don’t mind that light looking grout (it’s actually charcoal gray – but we’ll get to that in a minute). We’re really happy with how it turned out – especially compared to the stained cement floor that we started with (you can read more about why we opted to tile rather than just paint or stain the existing cement floor, and how we picked our tile here).

Fab Freebie: Coming To Amara-ca


Our friends across the pond may already be familiar with Amara, a luxury home goods site based in the UK – but they’ve recently launched a US version of their site, so today they’re giving away a $500 gift card to anyone in the world! In their virtual catalog you’ll find a ton of pretty things bearing a bunch of familiar designer names: Missoni, Orla Kiely, Ralph Lauren and Jonathan Adler just to name a few. And in addition to home items (from furniture and bedding to decorative accessories and servingware), they’ve also got some clothing, body care, and other good stuff mixed in there too. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it

Those Times We Made Bad Painting Decisions


Once again it’s one of those weeks where we’ll all over the place. After stenciling the floor in the master bath and closet, eking out some seasonal craftiness, and hanging extra thick crown in Clara’s room we’re now in the midst of sealing the stenciled floors, completing the canopy wall in Clara’s room, ripping up the old carpeting on our stairs, and not-so-patiently waiting to grout the sunroom tile floor as soon as things dry up out there (Mother Nature is playing a cruel joke on us with all of this rain). And in the middle of it all, we got this question that I thought would be interesting to think about. So here we

Reader Redesign: Strike Three, You’re Extinct


This time last year we had just wrapped up our first book tour stop in Cincinnati, where we learned how much fun it was to put faces to some of the names that we knew from comments and the blogosphere at large. And now, we’re actually able to put a room makeover to one of those faces & names, so check out Sarah’s redesign of her son Carson’s room, both of whom we crossed paths with back in Ohio last October. Hi John & Sherry! I don’t know if you remember me, but we met at your first book signing here in Cincinnati, and my boys were the ones who scribbled all over your signing

How To Add Extra Beefy Crown Molding


Sherry is officially half-done with Clara’s canopy wall update, so thanks so much to all 900+ of you who commented with votes and additional suggestions! We shared tons of photoshopped images with Clara and she decided we should combine a few ideas, and well, the kid’s a genius and we can’t wait to share the photos. We might just let her decide what we should do in every room. But I, ever the party pooper, was determined to check a certain project off of my list that was over a month old before Sherry got to work on that wall: adding chunky double-wide crown molding in there. So yes, feel free to boo me because

Fab Freebie: Productivity With Pop


If the movie “Office Space” is the epitome of working a desk job, then Poppin aims to be the antidote. Their site injects color, life, and cheer into the otherwise ordinary objects of office life: from staplers and push pins to notebooks and file cabinets (even art and furniture too). So if you’ve ever dreamed of decking out your desk, here’s your chance because they’re giving someone a $500 gift card this week. 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 (although we do have an international giveaway lined

Reader Redesign: So Fresh


Karin is a pet photographer from Minneapolis and apparently when she’s not snapping pretty pictures of pooches, she’s busy creating a pretty darned awesome kitchen. We know you guys like to a see non-white kitchens when those come in, and this one is actually an all wood one. Check out her letter below, which I’ve peppered with some of Karin’s awesome before & afters. Well, and one demo-tastic during shot. Hi Sherry and John! You’ve been an inspiration for my husband and I as we purchased our first home last summer and immediately started tearing it apart. After years of renting, we finally took the plunge and purchased our first home. We wanted something open

Fab Freebie: On Your Mark, Get Set, Sew!


With last week’s fabric-filled giveaway still on our brains, we thought you could use something to turn random swatches of fabric into something awesome this week. Enter the Singer Vivo sewing machine, stage left. It’s conveniently compact, and it’s made with non-sewers in mind – so it’s for any do-it-yourselfers and crafters who are looking to knock out projects (like this embellished dishtowel tutorial) without having to lug out a bulky machine or pore over an instruction manual. And to make your new life as a sewing ninja even easier, they’re also throwing in some scissors and a thread kit for a total prize package of over $300. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to

There’s No “I” In Revere


We didn’t know how many of you guys would be dropping by today with the holiday and all, but we’ve had a sudden burst of indoor activity thanks to rain, rain, and more rain. Last week we hoped that this post could be a full monty tiled and grouted sunroom reveal, but although we got the tile laid (and even had a chance to rub our faces on it between storms) we haven’t been able to grout it yet. Turns out we need to give it at least three rain-free days to dry out before attempting to grout. So yeah, maybe we’ll have it done by next week. Sigh. But because we were trapped inside

Installing Outdoor Fans


Truth: Sherry was oddly into fan hunting and the idea of adding two new fans to keep our freshly-opened sunroom cool (and to create a nice mosquito-warding-off current while we’re out there relaxing), but I was NOT excited about said fans. We actually have quite a bit of practice removing fans (I submit to you Exhibits A, B and C) – and just look at how happy it made me. Generally we’ve had 7.5 to 8′ ceilings in most rooms with them, and being 6′ tall, I’ve always felt like they were low-hanging oversized pinwheels that were one inch shy of giving me a haircut – although we’re suckers for function, so we’ve always kept

Reader Redesign: Space Cadet


Some of our friends with sons lament that it’s hard to find inspiring boy rooms, which is why we’re always excited when a cool one shows up in our inbox. And our excitement for Dacia and Jordan’s nursery creation could almost be described as “out of this world.” Pun intended. Here’s Dacia’s email: Hi John & Sherry! I wanted to share my nursery with you guys. When we found out that our very first wee one was going to be a little dude, I immediately took off with designing the nursery. I had a plan all worked out, and then one night my hubby (who normally couldn’t give two hoots about decorating) sweetly said, “Would

Fab Freebie: Er, Should We Say “U-Fab Freebie”


For years now, one of our favorite places to score awesome fabric on a budget has been a local shop called U-Fab (also run by a young married duo!). Everything from our headboard to our old dining room curtains to the backdrop we used for last week’s pregnancy announcement has hailed from there. And now that they’ve launched an e-shop, we’re excited to do a giveaway with them. And not just any giveaway – a $500 gift card giveaway! So, you can either stock up on fabrics… or take their custom upholstery services for a spin (they do bedding, pillows, window treatments, and even furniture). Plus, they’re all-around nice, fun-loving people. Please use the Rafflecopter