Casual Friday

December 16, 2016  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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Bedroom Corner magic

It’s hard to believe there’s essentially one work week left of the busiest, most surprising year of our lives. Although I’ve been blogging for nearly 8 years, it has changed so much every year and there have been many times where I have found myself at sort of a crossroads–unsure of which direction I should go. I’m not sure I always made the right choice or said the right thing but I’m proud of where it all has lead us. I’m anxious for 2017. We already have some major projects lined up, both in our home and, possibly, in yours too–and those are always our favorite projects.

We have a full post recapping all the projects and before and afters 2016 brought later next week, but for now, I’m trying to keep my head in the game and focus on finishing the projects still at hand, like the guest room. This week, I got into quite the tizzy about curtains. I let them get the better of me. Maybe you saw my frustration on instagram stories trying to find curtains longer than 84.” We live in a rural area of the country, but small town or not, we’ve given ourselves a budget for the guest room (like most Americans) and I’m determined to stick to it. Yet, I will never understand why every single curtain in our local target is 84″ long or shorter. There wasn’t one longer. I also checked Walmart. Same story. And furthermore! Why are there curtains by Nate Berkus online only available in an 84″ length? He knows that’s not an acceptable length for most homes. We have standard 8′ ceilings in our home and 84″ curtains are high-water or hung right at the window molding–not flattering. I’m confused why this is a thing. I’m confused who is buying all these 84″ curtains and I’m on a personal mission, starting right now!, to change it. (New Year’s Resolution?) I don’t think 84″ curtains shouldn’t exist, I just think that they big box stores should provide 95″-96″ curtains as the standard, readily available option, so they can be hung high and wide, and save the 84″ length as the online alternate. I think it would lead to better sales in stores, and better looking houses on the home front. Who’s with me?!

Other fun things this week:

• After, literally, years of wearing the same shoes, I got a couple new pairs this week as a belated birthday gift. These black loafers (on sale for $48!) and these warm Sorel boots Chris surprised me with. There’s no better feeling than when they know you so well, huh!

U-Shaped Sectional love

• Since adding the custom sectional from Interior Define to our family room, many many of you have contacted them wanting the same exact same thing–we’re so happy to hear that! And while you’ve always been able to work with them over email on something like it for your home, Interior Define officially launched a U-shaped Ainsley sectional this week on their site available with just a click, in a multitude of colors.

• What to get a baby? I want to give these little crocheted unicorn booties to every baby girl I know!

• This Arc Upholstered headboard is beyond!

• I’ve wanted a canopy bed for so long, and Jenny went and reignited that want. Drool.

• I love following this artist!

• Instagram had so many really good updates this week! And, in a sense, they are doing a really good job at becoming a one-stop-social-shop. They’ve added a live feature Instagram stories, very similar to Periscope or Facebook live. My favorite new feature is you can now save images by clicking on the banner to the right under any image and it will automatically show up in your favorites folder. Such a time-saver for me, as I tend to screenshot a lot of my favorite Instagrams and then have to sort through all my photos to find them again.instagram-update

Lastly, now you can like comments by clicking the heart next to the comment made. It’s a great way for the poster to say thanks and a great way for followers to agree with a commenter.


….and thus continues Instagram’s complete social media takeover, amiright?!


Have the best weekend! My sister and brother in law get in tonight and I can barely contain my excitement!


What do you think?

  1. Elizabeth from Central PA says:

    Love your blog, just discovered it from YHL. As for the 84″ curtains, I didn’t see it mentioned but in our house, but we have baseboard heat (as many in older homes on East Coast might have). With normal ceiling height, I needed 84″ to do high and wide but avoid fire hazard of curtain covering baseboards during winter. It is impossible to find nice image on Pinterest of this set-up but I had to go with function over design. Recently, I had two windows to cover in one room so I bought one panel set in 84″ and one panel set in 96″. Luckily, one panel was available in-store at Target and then I waited for the 96″ to be shipped online. Both are set at the same height where your eye goes, but the bottoms have different lengths. With a table in front of curtain, it works (enough). Hope that helps at all with explanation too.

  2. Merry says:

    Julia, I checked in with you months ago about how your sectional has held up and you said it was good. One last checking in! Is it still holding up in the shape of the back cushions, the feel in the seat cushions, the fabric being easily cleanable, and if you still enjoy the feel when you are lounging? Also, does the overhang of the seat cushions on the frame ever visually bother you? Would you change anything about your sectional? Thank you so much if you get the time to reply! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  3. Lauren says:

    Ummmm YES on the curtains. This drives me absolutely insane. It forces me to online buy online, and usually pay way way more than I want to spend, or go curtain-less, which I prefer to high-waters! So, WITH YOU!

  4. Em says:

    I was *really* surprised to hear your complaints about curtain length. All you need to do is pick a fabric and have drapes made in any length you want. This is why designers (and even just regular people) do custom drapes. It’s not as expensive as you might think, especially with custom shops opening on Etsy. That way, when you design a room, you’re dictating the design and don’t have to settle for or design around what’s available at retailers – your creativity is driving the design and not product availability. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with using ready-made curtains at all, but there’s no need to be restricted by retail selection. All you need to do is pick a fabric and have drapes made in any length you want. Hope that helps gives you some ideas!

    • Julia says:

      We’ve done that a lot in the past, I was just venting my surprise and frustration that there ISN’T ready made options out there. That should be a thing.

  5. Sarah-Nadine says:

    Haha. I guess I don’t see the 84″ curtains as a problem. Where does everyone hang their curtains that you need them so long? I guess our ceilings are not high enough and I personally don’t see the point hanging them right under the ceiling. Nevertheless. Love your blog.

  6. Alex K says:

    Secret source for normal curtains: H&M home. A lot of people don’t even realize they have a home section, and a lot of it is goooooooooooood. A set (as in 2!) of washed linen panels (and 98 glorious inches long) for $50?!?!

    There are more treasures to be discovered too (I love their vases, simple, pretty, cheap) but thought I would start you here.

  7. Kathy Apy says:

    Hi – I recently started following your blog because I do design work for IKEA. Obviously I love your style because of what you do with IKEA. I love the large photos you have of your daughters in your family room and recently had photos of my son done with the intention of copying your look. Can you tell me how you big those pictures are and if you did anything special in getting them made. Thanks!

  8. Dana Z says:

    Instagram takeover of social media. You called it out in the podcast when they added stories! Love the way the guest room came together, the bed is definitely my favorite.

  9. Carla says:

    I have found some great options for longer length curtains at JCPenney.

  10. Kim B. says:

    Thanks for walking us through the Insta changes. I’m not sure I would have noticed all the changes otherwise!!! And I *do* love that now we can “love” others’ comments on posts — I often wanted to do this.

    Also I’m on a mission right now to draw people’s attention to an illustrator whose work I think is adorable — she is doing the MOST whimsical advent calendar of costumed children, it is a treat every day to see what she comes up with. So I’m so happy to have the SAVE function too, because I’ve been screen shotting everyone of her creations. Angie Rozelaar, Angie Rozelaar is her name and she should have way more followers than she does!!

    And re the curtains — we’ve lived in our house (well, apartment) for 5.5 years and the only curtains we have are the ones in the kitchen that I made. We live in a Paris apartment building built in the 1930s and have somewhat tall ceilings — but also COVED ceilings and the tops of the French doors go right into the coving. I have NEVER been able to figure out what to do about the curtain rod situation — it’s like it would have to go at an angle or down from the ceiling or something. First-world problems, I know, my French doors in my Parisian apartment, hahaha.

    : )

    So glad your sister and her family are coming — that’s the downside of living overseas. Family is too far away!! Enjoy each other as I know you will. And they’ll be especially cozy in that guest room!

  11. Sharyl Olson says:

    Target on line has long drapes, and they are thick cotton sail cloth like pottery barn

  12. Julie says:

    Yes! Couldn’t agree more on the dumb 84 inch curtains. Emily Henderson had a similar rant on this not too long ago. Maybe she’ll get Target working on it! (Also, I’ve loved all of your 2016 projects. Here’s to a 2017 that’s just as beautiful and productive.)

  13. Allison says:

    YES to the curtain rant! Curtains were nearly the first thing I bought in our house (because the previous owner didn’t believe in curtains?), and unfortunately I didn’t know about “high and wide” back then. I’ll gladly sign the petition for standard curtain length to be increased by 10-12″ inches. :)

  14. Lauren B says:

    UGH short curtains!! All curtains in our house are from IKEA because it’s the only place where I can find them at the price and length I need. And we have short ceilings too! I even tried to order longer lengths on Target’s website, but nearly every option was out of stock or they didn’t make them at all. Why is IKEA the only place that’s figured this out? I just wish they were closer/didn’t have $15 shipping.

  15. Tess says:

    Your curtain rant is on point. Such a frustrating limitation.

  16. Joanna says:

    I jut wanted to call attention to the word “anxious” in your blog post. “Anxious” by definition means experiencing worry or unease. I believe you meant “eager” if you were signifying @ looking forward to 2017. The two words, anxious and eager, are often used interchangeably, but in fact they are not synonyms. I’m just a real stickler for correct word usage. Happy Friday!

    • Julie says:

      Hmmm. includes “earnestly desirous; eager” as one of the definitions for anxious.

    • Angie RS says:

      English professor here. “Anxious,” like many words, has multiple definitions and uses, such as the third definition in Merriam-Webster: “ardently or earnestly wishing.” English is a fluid, living language that adheres to some standards that we, as communicators, have the freedom to play with. (See, I can end a sentence in a preposition because I chose a more natural, conversational sentence structure.) Language standards are there to help people have a consistent way to communicate. They aren’t there to make everything black-and-white. Leave that to STEM!

  17. Anna says:

    I found the perfect curtains for my daughter’s room at Home Goods, but they were 84 inches. My solution was to remove the stitching at the top and bottom and sew a much smaller hem. That added about six to seven inches. Since I removed the way to hang them, I bought clips and hung them from the rod and got a little extra length. They skim just below the top of our baseboards, and I’m OK with that for now. I am, however, tempted to sew some pom poms on the bottom.

  18. Mara Smith says:

    Same with shower curtains! Most are only 72″ long. My husband is taller than that. I tried ordering thru Amazon and the quality was so disappointing, so I returned it (and lost money). I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and surprisingly they had several options for longer lengths. Maybe try them?

  19. Mary says:

    I have also noticed another change on Instagram, when you click on a bio or link, it doesn’t take you through Safari to get to the website. You stay in Instagram. I don’t care for that.
    If I want to go to someone’s blog, I don’t have the Reader View option now.
    And 84in curtains need to be outlawed. So many of my friends have bought them because that’s all they could find. Makes me sad when I go to their homes.

  20. Joy says:

    I had the same mental breakdown with curtains a few years ago. I spent so much time searching online and in stores. IKEA was my saving grace. Their standard length is 98″and they have even longer ones. I think 118″. And it’s just a bonus they’re so cheap.

  21. Renee says:

    I’ll tell you why 84″ curtains are so abundant…. because everyone is hanging their curtains too low, right!!! Hahahahaha!!!!!! My home has really tall ceilings (I live less than a mile from Little Green Notebook if that gives you a reference) and have just been sewing them myself :-(

  22. Megan says:

    Totally agree on the curtains! This is my biggest pet peeve and you cannot find affordable long ones. I purchased some from Ikea and they are far too thin! And Target/Nate Berkus/Threshold have some of the best curtains, but long enough to work.

  23. Moni says:

    West Elm is having a 30% off sale + free shipping. Maybe you can find some curtains there.

  24. abby says:

    PREACH IT ON THE 84″ CURTAINS AT TARGET SISTER. target has pretty good designers working for them, so for the love of all things good, i do not get why they have not addressed this issue!! HOW many times have i absolutely loved a target curtain but accepted that i could never have it in my house and will have to go pay 4 times the target price for similar ones at west elm or pottery barn. too many times, i tell you. TARGET ARE YOU LISTENING ALL WE WANT IS 96″ CURTAINS THANKS GOODNIGHT.

  25. Caitlin says:

    I recently frankensteined my short Target curtains – cutting the bottom off ones that were hidden behind couch and sewing them to bottom of other ones. You can hardly see seem! I agree it’s so frustrating not being able to purchase longer curtains in store! Also I need instagram’s next new feature to be a ‘take me to furthest spot I’ve been in feed’ – I hate losing my spot!

  26. Nicole says:

    I totally agree with your curtain rant!! We have 9 ft ceilings and it’s so hard to find something, within budget, that we can both agree on. Long story short, I still don’t have curtains. Haha.
    Good luck with your search ?

  27. Allisen says:

    I totally feel your curtain pain. I think you should reach out to Target and/or Nake Berkus! Target seems to be trying to bring higher end home style to the masses at affordable prices, and I would think having the more “designer” (ie longer) curtains would fit into that idea perfectly. Maybe it’s just the way “it’s always been done,” and no one is trying to shake it up.

  28. Erin Prohaska says:

    Word! 84″ is not okay…I’ll add a Hallelujah as well for good measure (no pun intended!) :) We live in a 115 year old house and nothing under 96″ works here…need even longer on the main floor. I scratch my head on why the main stream masses have not figured this out yet! Hopefully someone hears your words because it’s time! You go! Start a movement! #firstworldproblems

  29. Katie says:

    About the canopy bed. I don’t know if this is news to you or not: but Restoration Hardware furniture (and other stuff) is now made in China. :( I was SO disappointed in this recent discovery and my allusion of them being a high end, quality American made brand was shattered. A lot of things I buy are Made in China, but I like quality furniture, so I find myself no longer wanting to “invest” in any of their over priced pieces. :/

  30. Callie says:

    100% agree on the curtains! Small (ish) town girl here too & I’ve experienced the same problem many times. Often you can hit the jacket with longer (& affordable) options at Tuesday Morning or TJ Maxx and if you’re lucky enough to have a Home Goods, you can find them there as well.

    PS-Love the casual Friday posts!

  31. Julianna says:

    Duh. On the curtains. So so true. Also the day insta will let you pin straight from its app will be the best day of my life. The save feature is a step in the right direction!

  32. Kristin Glad says:

    Agree on the curtains! I only needed a few more inches, so I bought the 84″, ripped out the hems and re-sewed them at the longest possible length, adding a weight chain to the little tiny pocket to get them to hang correctly. They are just long enough!

  33. Kira says:

    I FEEL YOU ON THE CURTAIN FRONT. I’m lucky to live in a city where I can usually find longer ones but omg WHY are 84″ ones standard?! BAFFLING, I tell you.

    Ok happy Friday!

  34. Your curtain rant is why I love you.

  35. Amanda says:

    Following y’all this year has been such an inspiration for our own home!

    Where are the gorgeous green and blue pillows from the basement couch from? I checked the shop our home but didn’t see them! The color is so rich!

  36. Maegan says:

    Funny…. I have had that same issue this week, except in reverse. I am looking for shorter curtains (we have heater baseboards all along our wall with windows, and unfortunately I can’t let long curtains cover them…. although I def prefer longer curtains… ugh). No options in store for curtains shorter than 84″, and most places /brands that I frequent don’t even make them. #firstworldproblems
    I finally caved with a Overstock purchase, but I would have preferred to see the curtains in person before buying.
    Also, love you guys! You had a great 2016, and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2017!!!

    • Jessica says:

      There is a much easier fix for this than if they are too short. Take them to a dry cleaner and get them hemmed, if you don’t have the interest/ability to do it yourself.

  37. Kim says:

    Try Ikea online. They are cheap, long and you get two panels in a package.

    • Elise says:

      I second that! I love our creamy-white IKEA curtains (so long!) Plus if you order them from Amazon you get free shipping! (Although I’m sure the selection is smaller on Amazon)

  38. Diana says:

    Ugh! I’ve had the same frustration with Target curtains. They have the best prints, yet the worst lengths. I’ll join your campaign to end the production of 84″ curtains!
    Also, I’m having a baby girl in May, so I give you permission to fulfill your urge to gift those adorable booties. ;)

  39. Marie says:

    But there are Nate Berkus curtains in the 95 inch length on the Target website: I have some in my bedroom currently that I bought online!!

  40. Beth says:

    that’s great the interior define added the u-shaped sectional! why did they make the center cushion two pieces instead of one? it is not the same as yours; is there a way to make it one piece?

  41. Elizabeth says:

    I hardly ever comment but I wanted to say that I LOVE everything you’ve done this year and look forward to reading your posts every day! And those 84 inch curtains drive me crazy too! Why are the stocked so heavily??

  42. Amanda says:

    Amen on the curtains! I’ve been going through the same thing, and it’s completely baffling. Even online it’s ridiculous how small the selection is for anything over 84″. I didn’t expect curtains to be such a hang up when I started redoing our bedroom. Hope you find what you’re looking for, and on budget too!

  43. Jessica says:

    I’ve discovered that the one thing Target does have in store is 96″ and 108″ table cloths. You can get the curtain rings with a clip to attach them! The bonus is that they are wider than a standard curtain panel so they look much fuller! Good luck on your search!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

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