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How We Got Here: The Great Room

I love sharing before and after transformations of an area of our home under the hashtag #cljtransformations on Instagram (The new swipe feature has made the them even more fun), but rarely do here for some reason. This weekend, I pulled out my camera, referred to our before photos so I could match angles, and snapped a photo of this rarely seen angle looking from the kitchen into the living room and through the entry, all the way into the half bath. I took the same photo, standing in the same spot over three years ago, right when we moved in, but it looked vastly different: If you’ve been reading our blog for any amount of time, you know that our before and afters  progress photos don’t happen overnight, but rather, we consider each step a victory. Between these two photos, we: Tore up all the old tile and carpet and…

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How to Repair or Patch a Wall + Our Go-To Tools for the Job

Our stairwell has been through a lot over the years. From gallery walls and then no frames, to a new railing and the elimination of a DIY baby gate that was attached to the wall, the scars and gashes the drywall has seen in this corner of our house have been too many to count! Not to mention, our slight orange peel textured walls definitely throws a curve ball in the mix when it comes to patching. But, recently, we finally got around to patching where the old railing attached to the wall (a deep hole!) and where the baby gate attached (minor) and wanted to take you through our fool-proof method. First, you’re going to need a few tools in your arsenal to get the job done right. After 8 years of doing this, we swear by: 1. Fibatape. If you have huge holes or deep gashes, this self-sticking tape is…

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Bathroom Reno 101: Coming Up with a Design Plan

We’re back with another installation of Bathroom Reno 101, where we’re taking you all on an in-depth journey while we renovate our daughters’ bathroom. Today I wanted to share how we came up with a design plan or “mood board” for the room. This was my first time designing a bathroom and there was a lot to consider, i.e.; mixing metal finishes, how everything will fit together in this tiny room, making sure it functioned for little children to adults (our guests will also be using this bathroom), two sinks or one. Of course, this was all after we had the general layout figured out and the plumbing moved. The first thing I like to do is to find that one thing (or few things in this case) that serve as a jumping point to inspire the rest of the room. In the bathroom’s case, it was this shower head. A handheld shower…

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Before and After: Our Home Office is Finished!

Our home office is done (for now) and we’re excited to share the transformation, some details and a few tips and tricks with you today, along with so many photos! The room has actually been 95% there for quite awhile now, but because we were working on it in the very early stages of my pregnancy, when the nausea hit hard around 7 weeks, the room as a whole became a horrible trigger for me. A few days ago, we were able to reopen the door to the room and I felt so excited to finally finish it and start using the space as we intended. We DIYed the wall paneling ourselves (read more about that here) and painted the walls and trim Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon–a warm, light green with a lot of neutral gray undertones. It was really important to both of us, for this room to actually…

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A Quick and Easy Shower Update (Even a Renter can do!)

You may be aware that we’re deep into a full bathroom renovation in our daughters’ bathroom downstairs. While we’re waiting for the concrete patch to cure so we can move on, I wanted to share a quick Bathroom Reno 101 tip that you can implement in under 10 minutes that only requires 1 tool and will drastically change your shower experience. Our “master” bathroom shower is very sad. But since it will be awhile until we tackle that project, we decided to at least update the showerhead…because it has looked like this. For 3 years! What’s worse, it has started squirting water up to our lowered shower ceiling, where it travels just far enough to lose all warmth and then drip ice cold water back on our heads. Enough was enough. Last week, we spent $22 on a new showerhead. The good news is, you don’t have to wait until your showerhead is dripping (learn…

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Bathroom Reno 101: Vents & Drains

Quick Note About Permitting: Permit laws vary from state to state, and sometimes town to town. Before starting any renovation, always check with your local permitting office to discuss your plans and they can give you guidance on whether or not your plans require a permit, what you need to do to obtain one, and how the inspection process will work. Permits may seem like a pain, but they help protect you and the future owners of your home from well-meaning but potentially damaging and dangerous reconfigurations. We’re big proponents of responsible DIY, and encourage every homeowner to look at their local permitting office as a resource for information, not an obstacle in the way of their progress.  One of the most freeing things, when it comes to renovating your home, is realizing that your home doesn’t have to stay the way it was built – even the things that seem to…

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Bathroom Reno 101: Let’s start at the very beginning

Good news! We have officially broke ground on our next project–the girls’ bathroom downstairs!–and to be honest, I’ve never been more intimidated for the start of a project. We’ve never really done a full bathroom gut job including moving plumbing and reconfiguring a layout. And before we dove in, I knew hardly anything about what it takes to do those things, or did you know that often times you have to buy the back end of a shower faucet (the part in the wall) separately than the part you see? There’s a lot of things we’ve researched and will figure out as we go. So I thought, for this renovation, we could do a more in-depth documentation of what goes into a full bathroom renovation of anyone that’s in our position, doing a full bathroom renovation for the first time. Months ago, the planning began just by starting a Pinterest board dedicated…

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How we finally got our Storage Room Organized!

When we bought our home, one of the things we were most excited about was the storage room. It was lined on either side with shelves and we had never had a room dedicated to storage before. What a great thing to have! Fast forward to moving day and the issue became very obvious. Though the room had lots of shelves, they were only about 10 inches deep and 12 inches high. This puts a pretty tight limit on the things you can store on the shelves, and everything else ends up stacked on the floor in the middle of the room. “Stacked” is a bit generous. More like tossed. But with some planning and basic construction know-how, we’ve turned the above, into this. We’re sharing the full tutorial on how we built the shelves on Homes.com today (right here!) but wanted to give some more back story here, too….

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Over The Weekend

This weekend (really, starting Thursday as soon as they started pouring in) we, somehow, narrowed all 2648 of your bathrooms and kitchens you submitted for our Lowe’s Spring makeover down to hundreds. And then 100. And then 48. And now, 10. And we can’t possibly narrow it down anymore, so we’ve called on our dream team to help us get it down to 3. We wanted to thank everyone that told us their story and sent us their photos. There were 1581 kitchens and 1067 bathrooms coming in from all 50 states and D.C., too, and ALL of them are in need. Some more than others. It was humbling in a lot of ways and heart-breaking, too. We wish we could come visit all of you! We should have an announcement of where we’re headed hopefully by the end of this week or early next week. • In between peeking into your homes,…

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We’re Ba-ack! : APPLY FOR A LOWE’S SPRING MAKEOVER WITH CHRIS LOVES JULIA!

Exciting news! Once again, we’re teaming up with Lowe’s to help one homeowner–anywhere in the country–transform a space in their home this spring. Last year, entries poured in from all 50 states and DC, too, and we ended up on Long Island, New York! It was a great experience, with an awesome before and after and now we’re looking for our next big before and after!  (There’s a link to the entry form at the bottom of the post. Please note: we will only be accepting entries through tomorrow, so don’t delay!) This time, Lowe’s would like us to help a homeowner transform and elevate a kitchen or bathroom in their home!! Keep in mind, we’ll be doing the makeover over a weekend, so while we won’t be able to completely gut your space, there’s a lot of cosmetic refreshes we can tackle in that time. Especially considering our team we’re bringing…

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