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Casual Friday : A Kitchen hardware lesson, Greta is 10, My Travel Outfit, The Weird Thing I want for our House & More

February 14, 2020  —  Written by Julia 

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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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This kitchen from Neal Beckstedt stopped me in my tracks this week. The warm peachy cabinets mixed with two different countertops (!!!) and the black and brass touches all made me weak in my knees. And then I started looking at the cabinet hardware–so striking!

You know what it’s not, but kind of looks like? These:

Which shocked me because the truth is I have never liked these hardware pulls that are basically a rod coming out (sometimes 2 depending on the length) and a perpendicular rod extending over the edge. They always felt very basic to me in a spot where you could show more character. But after looking at the photo above, installed horizontally could change my entire feelings about them! There’s got to be a life lesson in there.

Other fun things this week:

• Yesterday, our oldest daughter, Greta, turned 10! She was due on Valentine’s day and my water broke (in a Chili’s restaurant!) on February 12th and she was born early on the 13th. Life with her has been so fun. I learn so much from her and she really pulls me out of my shell every day. She has always had so much to say and so many opinions. She is a social butterfly and, unlike me, LOVES going out. She likes to do things. She loves horses and animals. She cries every time we’re watching a documentary or commercial or cartoon and an animal is hurt.

(Greta with some cousins after her birthday party)

It’s wild to think we have a 10 year old, but it’s more wild to think Greta is only 10. At the beginning of this blog, it was mostly about her and our simple life in a basement apartment. She’s been here since the start and even though I’m her mom, I feel like I’ve grown up right along with her. (We got her this Instax camera that comes with some film and she’s so excited about it!)

• A February calendar.

Gwen got a red house phone this week. A landline. And at first I was like, huh? But now I can’t stop thinking about my phone number growing up (655-9628, the 412 area code didn’t come until I was a teen!) and how I already wish so badly that my girls had a phone (that wasn’t my personal cell) to use to call their friends and cousins and grandparents.  I kind of love the idea…and the nostalgia. I want a home phone. A landline. And I never thought I would say that.

• I got these Freshwater Pearl Chain stud earrings and I feel so classic and edgy wearing them.

• Studio McGee wrote a wonderful post this week about what we love about our homes. It may sound funny, but sometimes a relationship with a home can be like a relationship with a partner or friend. It takes time to build, grow, and create, it’s everchanging, ebbing, and flowing, and most importantly, it’s not perfect! The thing I love about my home? Even amidst our huge renovation and dust, I love that there’s no other place I’d rather be.

• This Terrazzo lidded storage container looks 3x more expensive and would be so pretty in a bathroom, imo.

• I’ve been looking for an easy to wear black sweatsuit that doesn’t look like the one I wore in 4th grade (ie. bulky and stiff). To lounge in, yes, but also to travel in. We have some business trips coming up and I think the easiest travel outfit is a cozy sweat suit with a nice, long coat (really amps up the look) and tennis shoes. Put on sunglasses and you’ll feel like a celebrity. I just ordered this one (for $42 total!) and I think it’s the one!

• All the window film came off of our windows yesterday–been waiting for this day for months! And I can’t believe the difference. It’s so bright and clear and I immediately ordered these E-cloth microfiber window cleaning cloths. (has almost 2000 5 star reviews!)

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What do you think?

  1. Rachel Vaduva says:

    I know I’m a little late on this post, but those handles are to die for! Anyone have a link to them, including the longer ones?

  2. Abby says:

    Wow! Drooling over the PINK refinished kitchen cabinets and brass hardware! Love!

  3. PJ says:

    Highly recommend those E-cloths. I have different ones for different tasks and they work great with just water. The glass one and the dusting mitten are my favorite!

  4. Rachael says:

    We got a landline so our boys have access to a phone in case of an emergency. I envisioned them frantically trying to find/ get onto mine or my husband’s cells, and it made me realize the importance of having an easy to use phone that always lives in one place. We have them practice calling people from our emergency contact list periodically and it just generally gives me some peace of mind. But after seeing Gwen’s red phone, I definitely need to get something more stylish!

  5. Susan C says:

    I had no idea a home phone was weird! We have always had one, well, 7 of them. There’s a handset in the kitchen, LR, master, downstairs laundry, upstairs office, craft room, garage. Otherwise I’d never make it to one in time.

  6. Winnie says:

    When we reno’d our MT house a few years back, I used similar pulls and installed them horizontally- they were an amazing price that I could not ignore. We don’t have the house anymore, but I loved the look till the end.
    We also have a landline. We have hung on to an old wall hanging rotary phone for years. And now that we live in my husbands hometown- we got his old number and use that phone. So fun! The kids get the biggest kick out of teaching their fiends how to use it. ????. Highly suggest.

  7. Jessi Meyer says:

    Oh my word. Now you have me looking on Amazon for the cutest rotary phones. Love this! And now I totally miss having a landline. Seriously considering it for my kids.

  8. Yes to the home phone, for all the reasons listed! We never gave ours up and have the little cordless stations all over our house so you never have to run to a phone. The cell phones get dumped when we lock ourselves in at the end of the day, but IF you have our home number you can call us! Plus, it’s only $20 a month for the service on our cellular plan.

    Cherish those kids because however speedy it seems that Greta’s 10th birthday arrived, it will seem like it took HALF that time for her to get to 20. Voice of experience speaking!

  9. KAM says:

    Curious about the window film removal. We have a large wall of windows similar to yours and the 20 year old film needs to come off. I think it is so fused to the glass at this point it likely will not peel off…any advice for how to remove?

    • Chris Loves Julia says:

      Goo Gone? Honestly, we don’t have experience with film that’s been applied for so long. Please come back and share your experience!

  10. Barb says:

    That ramen soup looked yummy! Can Chris share how he did it?

  11. Sarah says:

    Cannot recommend a landline highly enough! We have a 10-year-old and are not eager to get him his own phone. He uses the landline to call friends, family, and when he’s home alone he can call us. Importantly, the kids can call 911 from the landline if there’s an emergency.

  12. Oksana says:

    We used very similar knobs in our last kitchen and are about to do the same in our project house. (Coincidentally I shared the kitchen design plan today on the blog and this evening saw that you were talking about similar hardware!) They are honestly one of the best knobs I have ever come across. I will say though that mine come with these two sharp prongs on the backside that anchor into the cabinet so there’s no twisting and turning. I’ll be happy to share a link if anyone is interested! I may or may not (definitely am!) reconsidering how exactly to install them now that I’ve seen this photo!

  13. Paula says:

    I’m shocked by how many people hate those pulls. I LOVE THEM haha.

    My husband and I are currently renovating our house but are on the tiniest budget. The very first thing I did was to replace all the existing knobs (cracked 30-year-old white plastic ones *shudder*) in the laundry and linen cupboard with those brass ones. It made such a massive difference and it makes me smile every time I walk past. My husband laughs at me every time I tell him how much I love the pulls but I really do.

    I haven’t had a problem with clothing catching on them yet so fingers crossed it stays that way :)

  14. Kallie says:

    I swear we only get calls from telemarketing and political campaigns on our landline.

  15. Sarah says:

    We got a landline last year when our kids started staying home some a bit when I volunteered in the summer. They called me approximately 68 times in those 2 hours I was away. But seriously, I love having one. It’s $7 a month here and that includes long distance. They memorized their grandparents phone numbers and call them whenever they want. It’s super sweet. Makes me feel safer too, knowing if we don’t have cell service we can still call 911. I tried to call 911 for a minor emergency last year from my cell phone and the call wouldn’t go through.

  16. Pam says:

    In regard to the landline, get an Obi200 (Amazon sells them) and a Google Voice number and you will be set. Also, no phone bill! It’s great and we’ve been using it for about 7-8 years now!

  17. Carly says:

    Great Friday post! I ordered those exact drawer pulls and had to return. I found that they didn’t stay straight after pulling open cabinets and then they were all slightly off kilter! haha it drove me nuts! I had to return and order round ones instead. Just wanted to share my experience!

  18. AP says:

    We still have a landline! We only answer calls from our parents since we have caller ID, but my kids enjoy running to the phone for every ring. Check out Ooma for a cheap VoIP phone.

  19. Allison says:

    Love your blog! Just an addition note: A practical use for the landline phone is for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency at home (especially one involving a parent), the child needs access to dial 911. Since a cell phone is not in a consistent spot and usually have a passcode or fingerprint entry, a child would have no way to call for help.

  20. Lindsey says:

    I was thinking the same thing about a landline the other day! Our kids are still toddlers so we’re so far off.. will landlines even be offered in 10 years? lol! But it had never occurred to me before that without a house phone, all my kids’ phone calls will have to be fielded through my phone! ugh!

    My grandma had a rotary phone and back in the day you could trick it into calling itself so we’d try to prank call her from her own phone line. …… pretty sure she always knew it was us. Just like when my cousins dressed up and knocked on the front door, we all knew they weren’t adult salesmen like they were pretending to be :D hahah. Yes, land lines bring back nostalgia!

  21. Shannon says:

    Love this!!! Would love a post with long coat recommendations :)

  22. Jane says:

    Careful with hardware pulls that can hook on clothing. I have some and constantly being pulled back to the cupboard because they got stuck in my pant/jean pocket.

  23. Monica says:

    So surprised to hear you don’t have a land line!!!! What would your kids do in an emergency without the ability to call 911 or anyone else? I still have a land line and my kids are in college and high school with their own phones. We live just outside of Boston and in 2013 my then 8th grader was at the boston marathon (just past near the finish line ) when the Boston Marathon Bombing happened. I tried to reach him on my cell phone but just go that constant fast busy signal – same thing with the other parents who were trying to call the kids my son was with. I was able to reach him easily on my land line, and kept him on the line for THREE HOURS while the other parents came to my house (they did not have land lines) and we all sat and talked out kids through the chaos until they were able to get to a friends house on Beacon Hill. I would NEVER give up that land line as long as my kids live with me! (Also – it is a useful number to give if you don’t want to give you mobile number to avoid spam calls).

    • Julie says:

      Yes! We got a landline as soon as we had our first baby. If there’s an emergency you need to know exactly where the phone is so you can act fast. Sometimes I forget where my phone is our leave it in another room! Sometimes I have no idea where it is. Way too scary not to have one.

  24. Amanda says:

    Love the cabinet hardware, but I’m positive I would rip a pocket on one of those handles ????

  25. Jenn says:

    I think it IS that knob on the smaller/bottom drawers and doors. LMK if you find the bigger on on top doors! Love it.

  26. Michelle says:

    Memories!! Our kitchen phone growing up was red! It had the longest red coil cord and stretched around the kitchen with us. The red phone went away (it was rotary, after all) but my parents still have the landline and the same phone number. When I called it yesterday they said they almost never answer it anymore because it’s 99% robocalls and nonsense. Such a shame! Remember how exciting it was when the phone rang growing up? Who is it?? Who is it for?? Current technology and personal cells take a bit of the mystery away. :-) Happy Birthday, Greta!

  27. Katy says:

    Can you tell me your new tanning drops? I keep trying to find them on your IG, hahaha. Im hella pale and have a beach trip coming up!

  28. Jessica says:

    I got a retro phone a few years ago and plugged it in. The first call came through and I shot out of my skin with the unexpected noise!!
    I don’t remember the phones being soooo loud.
    Safe to say I unplugged it and it’s now decoration! ????????????

  29. Teresa says:

    I use the e-cloth window cleaning cloths and I LOVE them! Those and the Norwex ones are awesome!

    Also, I think I’m in love with that kitchen, too, haha. So unique and full of character!

  30. Miriam says:

    Yes to the Ecloth! They work so well on windows and mirrors, and just use water – I swear by them!

  31. Bridget says:

    OMG, window film removal is possibly my favorite thing on earth. My husband always lets me do it, which is a sign of his unabiding love. He should have found me a bunch of windows to remove film from for Valentine’s Day.

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