You asked, we answered. Without further ado, the scoop on all things us:
What’s the deal with this site? This is a personal/home-related blog where we chronicled 7 years of our lives as we fixed up 3 homes and had 2 kids. Here you’ll find nearly 3,000 free projects & posts in our archives plus an occasional house/life update (and lots of exclamation points!!!). Welcome to our weird little world.
Why did you guys start this blog? It was actually John’s idea to start a little blog to track the progress of our kitchen remodel for our friends and family back in 2007 (never thinking a single person outside of the family would tune in – let alone that millions of people would stop by and it would become a full time job that supported our family). You can read more of our story here.
I want a blog! How do I make one? In a nutshell, we would download the WordPress software for free at WordPress.org and buy a domain name at BlueHost, along with using BlueHost for their awesomely affordable hosting services. We started out with them, and they’re really helpful & cost effective (it was a sad day when we outgrew them and had to switch to LiquidWeb, who we also love, but is significantly more expensive). You shouldn’t have an issue with outgrowing BlueHost until you hit around 500,000 hits a month, so use them as long as you can! We also use the Fun WordPress Genesis theme (that’s sort of like a “kit” that includes the layout and design elements to make your site look pretty).
Do you have any advice for growing my blog and gaining readers? We’d say that it was a combination of hard work and a series of lucky breaks. Here’s a page full of blogging FAQs that we’ve answered about everything from how we make money to what a day in the life is like.
Wait, you guys wrote two books? I know, we’re just as surprised as you are. After a few years of being approached by various agents and publishers we found the right fit and scored a two book deal (more on that here). Our first book, Young House Love, came out in the fall of 2012 and a second book, Lovable Livable Home, came out at the end of 2015 – both of which stunned us by making the NY Times Best-Seller List (!!!!!!!).
What’s this I hear about product design? Back in 2009 we sold homemade art prints and shipped each one out by hand, so the fact that there are companies that manufacture our product designs and stores like Target and Home Depot that sell them is nothing short of amazing to us! You can browse all of our current products here.
What paint color is in your kitchen/bedroom/living room etc? Here’s a page full of paint color info for ya.
Where did you get your sofa/table/yellow rug? Here’s a room by room source list for nearly every item that we own.
Where did you get that portrait of your first house from? This question comes up a ton. Here’s that post.
Do you have a list of tools every DIYer should own? You can find the closest thing to that right here.
What if I have a question about painting furniture, refinishing something, or painting my cabinets? Here’s a post all about how to paint almost any piece of furniture, here’s one about refinishing something, and here’s one about how to give your cabinets a new look with a coat of paint (please read the comments for even more info). You can also check out our Projects page for more tutorials.
Do you have a post about your favorite places to thrift/shop/eat/hang out/see in Richmond, VA? Here you go.
What are your favorite places to shop for rugs/pillows/lamps/sofas/dining tables, etc? Here’s a page full of some of our favorite home-related finds.
What’s up with those photos of your kids with their age & with fabric backdrops? With Clara, we photoshopped the onesie to make it look personalized, and we used clearance fabric from places like JoAnn and Hancock for the background. Here’s a link to all of our Clara pics, a post about how we do the photoshop work, and an update about the project. As for Teddy, here’s how we tweaked the project for him along with a year’s worth of photos.
How was cloth diapering? Good, Clara has been potty trained for a while but Teddy’s making good use of them! You can find the original post with all the washing/purchasing/routine-ish details here, and an updated how-it’s-going post here and here.
How did you make your mood boards? We made them in Adobe Photoshop (after bringing a bunch of our favorite items into Photoshop, we size ’em, cut them out, and add some numbers to create a handy dandy guide that correlates to our explanations). If you don’t have access to Photoshop, we’ve heard great things about OlioBoard, Polyvore and MyDeco so you might want to check those out.
Where did you guys meet? We met in NYC when we both worked at the same advertising agency and filmed a baby commercial together. What can we say, babies brought us together… and now we have two. We secretly dated until we moved to Virginia and got engaged. To this day our old coworkers still talk about how we “blew their minds” by revealing our relationship, and we laugh about all the times we almost got busted strolling through Central Park hand-in-hand.
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