Apply for a Spring Makeover with Lowe’s and CLJ!

If you follow me on Instagram, over the last few days you’ve seen a bunch of our friends and family members, in sad spaces with signs saying #CLJtotheRescue.

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And now we can finally spill the beans that we are, indeed, coming to somebody’s rescue and it could be yours! We’ve partnered with Lowe’s to makeover a space in somebody’s home–interior or exterior–and it can be anywhere in the country! There’s an application link at the end of this post and it will only be live now through Wednesday, February 10th at 11:59pm ET. The submission window is so short because Chris and I want to look over every application and select someone this week! Once an applicant is selected, we’ll work with you on a plan to make your dreams come to life over the next few weeks and then fly to your neck of the woods or desert or beach or country and make some magic happen! So, if there’s a spot in your home that needs a makeover, don’t hesitate!

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WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR EXACTLY? YOU MUST:

• Be looking to fix up a space within your residence. This can be an exterior or interior space. We’re no strangers to a good before and after but we want to stretch ourselves here.
• Have a makeover project that’s able to be completed within 24 hours. Chris and I (and a crew of Lowe’s volunteers!) will only be in your area for 2 days. So although we may not have time to completely gut a kitchen, or move plumbing, or replace your roof, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised what we can get done.
• Be the owner of your home. Sorry, renters!
• Be outgoing, energetic, and fun with a unique story to tell. It doesn’t have to be a tear-jerker. It could be a hilarious, sad, deserving, heart-warming, disastrous or hopeful story. We just want to hear why you want this makeover!
• Be comfortable being on camera and/or interviewed by media.
• Be in need of expert design help from Chris Loves Julia.
• Be able to make quick decisions in order to keep tight timelines. We’ll all work on this one. Ha!
• Be available for a 2 day period to complete the makeover (between February 9 -May 1, 2016). We’re shooting to get this done in April sometime, but we’re flexible on dates.
• Allow photos of your home to be shared online. We’re bringing the big camera!
• Be 21 years of age or older to apply. 
• Complete the online application form and agree to the Terms. 
• To apply visit: lowesspringmakeover2016.castingcrane.com (or click on the black box below)
• We will only contact eligible participants.

 

If this sounds like you, your house, or someone you know (nominations welcome!) apply by clicking the black box below!

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This post and project is sponsored by Lowe’s. Can’t wait to come see one of you!

A Family-Friendly Guide to Decorating

When it comes to decorating, I often hear the term “baby-proofing” synonymous with putting everything away until the child is old enough to not break things. While I fully support locking cabinets full of cleaning supplies or plugging sockets for especially curious children, I don’t believe your home has to change drastically when you welcome a baby.

We have two very different girls (one rambunctious, one extremely shy) and both would be attracted to a large, shiny vase on a coffee table. Over the past 6 years, I have learned that there are two ways to go about decor and kids. First and foremost, I think breakable decor is a great opportunity to teach children about boundaries and that some things we just don’t touch–just like you wouldn’t touch a hot stove! We have seen the value in this over and over as we have visited our friends and family members homes that have beautiful breakables dotting their home–even if you choose to put away all the precious objects in your house, you can’t expect everyone else to follow suit when you come to visit.

The second lesson I’ve learned is that I prefer to decorate our home in a “family-friendly” way. Our main focus is making our home comfortable. A lot of times people equate “family-friendly” with “what kids would want” but parents are part of the family, too. Making a space truly “family friendly” means there’s something for everyone, and everyone can be there at the same time, enjoying themselves, happy in their surroundings. That means no rooms are off limits to our girls, but Chris and I also take great pride in our spaces looking nice too. So how do we achieve that balance of never stressing that something is going to get broken or stained while still keeping the living room instagram ready? (Har-har)?

We have consciously chosen decorative accents that are functional, beautiful and kid-resistant so we can all live peacefully and happily under our roof. Here’s a few favorite pieces that fit into our family-friendly decorating model (I’ve tried to keep everything budget friendly, too!):

1. PILLOWS AND THROWS | I love focusing on textures in a space because they are so family friendly! A pillow or throw isn’t going to break, so I pull a lot of personality into a room with textiles that are just as beautiful to look at as they are cozy to lounge with.

A Family-Friendly Guide to Decorating

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2. BASKETS | Having baskets in every room to throw toys in, or shoes to be put away is a total life saver when I’m doing a quick clean sweep of the house or when company pops in. Often times, I’ll throw toys in a basket and toss a throw over it (ultimate family-friendly decorating!) so the train tracks aren’t in plain view in the living room all day but the girls still have easy access to their toys when they’re ready to play. We also tend to line open shelving with baskets (in the reading room and bathroom and Greta’s bookcase and Faye’s room!) because it’s the perfect, visually pleasing way to corral just about everything from toilet paper to diapers and magazines. And! Indestructible.

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3. POUFS + COFFEE TABLES | When it comes to actually choosing furniture, we’ve learned to choose pieces that are indestructible (like metal) or pieces that may look better with a little patina (woods with a lot of texture–our dining room table is a great example of this–or metal, again!). I love round coffee tables in homes with children (we have number 10 in our living room!) because there’s a lot less stress that someone is going to poke an eye out on the nightly run-all-the-energy-out-before-bed routine. If you want to skip the coffee table altogether, poufs provide a great grounding element to the room, can double as extra seating, or triple as a place to prop your feet up! Poufs are all over our home for all of those reasons.

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4. DECORATIVE TABLETOP ACCENTS | Say you do want to style that coffee table or credenza (and you totally should!) but want to do it in a family-friendly way (me too!). Look for wood, jute or rope accents. Metal over glass vases. Why not some good looking coffee-table games? We have number 5 and 6 and they are so fun for kids and adults while still looking great! Coffee table books are safe, although I’ve learned their protective covers don’t always fare well. Ha!

A Family-Friendly Guide to Decorating

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Are there still breakables in reach of little ones in our home? Yes! Some table lamps and candles come to mind. But a mix of teaching our girls boundaries and choosing pieces like all of these has helped us create a home that is livable and loved by our whole family. What’s your take on family-friendly decorating?

Bringing Wall-To-Wall Carpet Back

We have been ironing out details of our downstairs renovation over the past two weeks. Lowe’s jumped on board to sponsor a lot of the big construction components we have planned and one of their corporate partners, Stainmaster carpet, was eager to work with us, too after hearing about our plans to carpet the whole thing. We are going to rock the wall to wall carpet so good. Before I go any further, we are beyond grateful to these companies that really let us stretch ourselves and still have 100% control over our decisions. The carpet in our downstairs (and on the stairs) has been in bad shape since we moved in. We had it professionally cleaned twice and it just looks tired and stained. I don’t even like thinking about how long it has been in the house (ew). Initially, we thought about doing the same tile downstairs as we have upstairs, at least in part of the space, we even saved some all this time thinking we would! But, then when we started thinking about it and planning the space out, it just didn’t make sense to have the wood tile down there for us. Our heating ducts run through the flooring upstairs (ceiling down) so it creates this automatic heated floor situation that would be sorely missed downstairs. Then we talked about maybe putting a cork floor on just the playroom side to keep cleanup easier. These were all ideas Lowe’s was on board with, but we just couldn’t get 100% excited about. In the end, we just want it to be a comfortable, cozy space and carpeting the whole thing actually excites us and I think if done right, it can look really amazing.

Here are three spaces that inspired our wall-to-wall carpet downstairs:

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While some of these might be a natural source, like sisal, (which isn’t the coziest underfoot) the biggest takeaway for me is the texture. Some sort of low-piled, patterned rug was what I had my sights set on. We went to Lowe’s and checked out all of the options. Chris was thorough in his testing (haha!):

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While the high piles were so nice and soft, we were pleasantly surprised Stainmaster had a lot of great, tight patterned carpets for active families and pets! Bingo! That’s us! That’s us! We checked out four different ones to bring home and look at in place.

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After some time, we narrowed in on the Medford style which is a highly stain resistant rug for active areas, but is still very soft. The small checked pattern reminded me a lot of our inspiration photos. It has a very modern, traditional vibe to it, too, which is right where we like to sit.

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The only issue was choosing a color from a small 1×2 sample card practically had me paralyzed. The area we’ll be carpeting is approximately 1500 sq feet and I really really wanted to make sure we chose the right color. I ran back down to Lowe’s to check out the display board which had much larger samples and Chris came home for a late lunch (btw, he only works a mile away, so it’s quick for him to come home when he wants to–we’ve been getting questions about that lately) so we could try to come to a decision while the sun was still shining.

To start, we each put pieces of post it notes on samples that we like. Any and all. There were a lot of darks and lights and warms and cools at the beginning. Then we started, one at a time, taking turns removing post its until we were left with one that we both liked: Fizz. 

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Perhaps something in the 4th column could pass for a natural fiber wall to wall option, but I’m really glad about the option we land on. I even think it will look sleek going down our stairs!

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We are hopefully having someone come measure for install next week (which means I still have a few days to stew over the color. Just kidding! …not really) and then we’ll start tearing out the old stuff and have everything painted and the recessed lights in before the new carpet is installed. See you on the flip side, Fizz!

 

Proud to be partnering with Lowe’s and Stainmaster on this project–and happy to be taking you along for the ride! Thanks for supporting our sponsors who support us. Inspiration image sources:1, 2, 3

At Home With Chris Loves Julia

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Our Joss & Main sale is live right here! It’s been three years since our last Joss & Main sale and it has been so fun to work with them again over the past few months putting together a curated collection inspired by our home. If you haven’t heard of Joss & Main, they are a members only curated flash sale site, offering 70% off furniture and decor. Last time, I hand selected all 100+ items for the sale myself and this time, I sent over photos and had a great interview with them and they selected the pieces. And I gotta say, they knocked it out of the park! They curated a great collection inspired by our home. Some items are plucked straight from our home and some just look like they could fit right in–all at slashed prices. Here are eight pieces that I’m eyeing…in our own sale. Ha!

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This is just 8 of the 100. I guess it’s natural for me to want everything in the sale, since they are all inspired by our home–But, every. piece?! You can check out the full sale (things are going quickly!) and my interview with them here. It’s live through the next six days.

 

If you aren’t already a member of Joss & Main, you can access the sale by signing up right here