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Which is Better: Tuft & Needle or Leesa (Since we have both!)

We’ve had a king-sized Tuft & Needle mattress in our master bedroom for almost a year now and last fall, we put two XL twin Leesa mattresses in the girls’ bunk room. A few people asked why we didn’t get the same mattress, and the truth is–we were curious to see if we would have liked the Leesa more! Now that it’s been a few months with both, we thought we’d share our own opinions of how they differ and even which one we’d prefer if we could do it all over again. But first, they have a lot of similarities. •BOTH you can order online. •BOTH have thousands of 5 star reviews •BOTH have 100 night risk free return policy •BOTH are a 10″ high-quality foam mattress •BOTH come in a box and expand to full size in about an hour after unboxing With all those similarities, they are absolutely not the…

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5 Tips for Keeping Area Rugs EXACTLY Where You Want Them.

A few months ago, we layered a really gorgeous vintage rug (from here) on top of our FLOR tiles in our entry. While we loved the character it added, and the extra layer of dirt camouflage, we struggled with it constantly bunching and moving around on top of the FLOR carpet squares. Often resulting in a look more like this: I ended up rolling it up for our big Halloween party so it didn’t become a hazard, but I was determined to keep it in place without excessive straightening every afternoon. Whether you’re layering area rugs, or putting an area rug over wall-to-wall carpet, or just laying an area rug over hard flooring, here are the top 5 tips and methods for keeping them exactly where you want them. 1. Rug pad The most obvious is a rug pad. We have them under every area rug in our home to help them last longer…

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How I Gained 50K Instagram Followers Rapidly and Organically

Last July (a year ago next week precisely), we were starting our kitchen renovation and I decided I really wanted to start using my Instagram as an extension of our blog and business, instead of mostly for personal use. As scary as that was to say out loud–I wanted to grow my Instagram following. At the time @chrislovesjulia had around 4k Instagram followers, although I guess they don’t give you the coveted “k” until you hit 10k, so rewind–I had around 4000 followers over there and got, on average, 100 or so likes per photo. I told Chris I wanted to to grow my Instagram following, but I wanted to do it in an organic way. No buying followers, no being a part of those round-robin giveaways where you have to follow 20 bloggers who all pooled money to giveaway a Target gift card (and hopefully gain a lot of followers).  I just wanted to…

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Casual Friday 004

I’ve always been a busy-body, a planner and a bit of a workaholic, and then a couple years ago, Chris pulled me aside and said, “We never do anything spontaneous!” Guilty. I’m the person that doesn’t like surprises or straying from the plan. But at that moment, I looked at the calendar and said, “How about we do something spontaneous every Wednesday!?” We stared at each other for a silent 3 seconds and then burst into laughter when I realized how ridiculous that sounded. I wish I could say I’ve gotten better–I’m still the same ol’ scheduling queen. But this week, sandwiched between our water main breaking, our deck starting (heard it here first!), Chris leaving for back-to-back conferences, and finalizing the details of another huge project across the country (I’ll spill next week, I promise), I decided we needed a BREAK, exclamation point! and I booked a little retreat…

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How Much Did the Kitchen Cost?

It came as a big surprise to us that the number one search on our site is “kitchen cost.” We never planned on breaking down the total kitchen cost in its own post, since we did share costs of projects and purchases as we went and also a complete source list.  But also, there are a lot of factors that come into play that won’t be the same depending on what part of the country or world you live in like gas lines or construction costs. But after enough inquiries, and our budget post last week, we decided to lay it all out on the table. So how much did our kitchen renovation actually cost? In short, about $28,000. For reference, the kitchen is about 13×11. That is not including the walk-in pantry we added or the recessed portion where our new fridge, microwave and cabinets surrounding those are (add another 2′…

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The Good, The Bad, Would We Do It Again?

Back in August 2014, I reviewed some of the items in our home that I get asked about the most and I meant to make it a yearly thing and somehow it is already 2016. However, I do think this is an important series I intend to check back in on from time to time and not just in a passing Instagram comment (which is where I get most of these questions). While we always do a lot of research before bringing something into our home, I want to get in the habit of reviewing these pieces for all of you after the honeymoon phase has worn off. Here’s what we’re asked about the most in the past year: West Elm’s Graham Glider The Good: We’ve had this glider for 2 years now! Faye is almost 2! How is this possible?! Man, I can’t say enough good things about this glider. The high back…

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A Paint Color Match to Ikea Bodbyn Off-White Cabinet!

Update: See the finished laundry room, with the Ikea cabinets in place right here! Oh Ikea, just when we had you all figured out, you go and change everything! The previous AKRUM line of cabinets, bloggers everywhere had pretty much pin-pointed exact color matches which is essential if you plan on adding any trim, like crown molding. This year, Ikea completely updated all of their cabinets, did away with the old AKRUM line and introduced a new set of cabinets called the SEKTION line. (Here’s a great write up about it.) You saw in our last post, we picked up their Bodbyn off-white cabinets for our laundry room and I wasted no time trying to get an exact color match for us and for you, too. There are a few concerns that there are no bright white cabinet options anymore. When we were there, the whitest option I saw had a…

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The Good, The Bad and Would We Do It Again?

I get frequent emails, comments and facebook messages about certain purchases we’ve made, or how things are holding up that we’ve DIY’d. Sometimes these things we bring in our home, we talk about once and then live with forever and you only ever see it again popping up in photos–so, I get it. You want to know if we still like it after the honeymoon phase. Here are some updates about 7 specific items you’ve asked about with photos snapped just yesterday in their natural (aka untouched and unretouched) state. 1. Crate & Barrel Baxter Indigo Rug (10×14) the good: We are so happy we upgraded our jute rug to this spacious, cush one. The color is beautiful and adds a big punch to our great room. There’s lots of room for the girls to play, too. It’s so soft and pretty much all of our guests comment on it and/or bend…

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Ask Julia: A Venture Into Painting Walls

Sometimes we get asked such a great, in depth question that can be helpful to so many others we have decided to answer such questions (with permission, of course) right here. Today’s question comes from a couple that just moved into military housing–their first place they are allowed to paint:   Julia,   I am in need of some help, and since I have been going through your blog posts for about 2 hours, I now know more than ever JUST how experienced you are in painting walls (among other things :)) So, I just moved into military housing, and discovered the wonderful joyous news that I am ALLOWED TO PAINT! I have dreamed (dreamt?) of living in a place with painted walls for oh about 5 years now. The catch: I’ll have to REpaint it all back to white before leaving. But we will be here for at least 2…

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Making Joint Decorating Decisions

The very first piece of furniture Chris and I ever bought together was a large, off-white sectional.  We walked into the store, saw it, sat on it and decided to buy it–it being the floor model because that’s all our still-in-college funds could afford.  The sectional was huge, u-shaped, and our apartment was small.  We still laugh over the fact that we never measured the couch before it was delivered and yet, it miraculously and barely fit in our living room. It filled the entire space but we loved that thing.  We didn’t put much thought into decorating back then, especially our first small apartment.   It wasn’t until we moved into our last house that Chris and I really had to start consciously working together to make decorating decisions and purchases. I was pretty chubby back then, FYI. Chris used to be 100% function.  The furniture only had to…

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