Casual Friday, and other fun things like Asbestos

April 12, 2019

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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Earlier this week, in preparation for laying new floors at the Fullmer Kitchen project, we got a test kit for asbestos. While the creamy white vinyl floor with checks and florals we uncovered during demo was clearly from the late 80s/early 90s, there was another layer of flooring we discovered under the cabinets. Our plan was to rip that up the 90s vinyl and the subfloor it was on to level out the floors with the living room and lay new ones. However, in one area, we saw another, much older vinyl floor beneath that subfloor under the cabinets. To be safe, we picked up a $14 asbestos test at the hardware store and where the oldest flooring was curling up in one corner, Chris broke a piece off (wearing gloves and a mask!) and deposited it in the kit and sent it off to the lab. We also sent a piece of the cream vinyl flooring on top just to be safe. We expedited the test because we’re on a time crunch and didn’t want to disturb the floors until we heard back.

Yesterday we got the results–

15% Chrysotile in the cellulose backing of the beige pebble tile (that’s the old OLD floor we saw under the cabinets)–that’s asbestos! Needless to say, all of our throats immediately felt itchy. We have resorted to plan B–not tear up the subfloor in the kitchen to even out the floors, but build up the living room floor the level them and float a floor on top, instead of nailing down to be on the safe side.

Asbestos only causes a health risk if it’s disturbed but we are SO happy we did the test (this at-home kit comes with a pre-paid envelope and you get the results in 5 business days) . If you’re concerned you might have a tile floor with asbestos, keep in mind, it’s most likely in the backing. And! It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Other actual fun things this week:

• One real cozy way to fill an odd nook in your house.

Our dining room chandelier disappeared from everywhere for years. And now it’s suddenly available right here in a very limited quantity–RUN IF YOU’VE BEEN EYEING IT!

• Every couple weeks, my friends and I get together after all of our kids are in bed. This week, we made spring rolls and did face masks and listened to Fiona Apple until 11:30pm–which might as well have been 3 am. These orange slice eye masks were so refreshing and cute! (This is still my favorite masque! I do it twice a week!)

My current favorite $69 sunglasses are back in stock! (Meghan Markle has them too. ;))

• This week, I had a few especially exhausting days where I felt the weight of more than my world on me. But my girls’ worlds, too. So in case you needed this, like I did:

• My favorite, lightweight, goes-with-everything, short-sleeved (but hit at the elbow), easy breezy button up is an extra 50% off right now with code SALEUPGRADE. I have it in black, but I’m eyeing that blush color.


• I know there are interior architects, interior designers, interior decorators. This week, for the first time!, I saw someone labeled as an “Interior coach.” And I’m like…wait, is that me?! I like the phrase, the idea, it feels fitting. You can do this! and You SHOULD do this. Because while I always have a specific idea of what I would do in a space, I love working with the homeowner to help them feel confident in what they want out of the space even more. I like to push them out of their comfort zone, but not so far that they don’t recognize their safe zone anymore, because a home should be safe. And should be comfortable. But, I mean, there’s always room for improvement in people and in homes. And while I don’t feel like we’re (Chris and Julia) the designer who will do it for you–I feel like I could be the someone to help YOU get there. To figure out how and I feel like the whole purpose of this blog and all of these renovations has been to help and inspire other people that they could make their homes a little better and a little happier and a little more loved. Trying on the Interiors Coach hat for a little bit. What do you think?

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What do you think?

  1. keely says:

    Can you do a how to on how to create the floating floor?

  2. Jamie says:

    Do you still offer virtual design services? I love your style and I need someone to help me take the guesswork out of it all. I’d love to know how much you charge.

  3. Sara says:

    Gosh yes, interior coach is the perfect label for you, HELP ME!! :)

  4. Deni says:

    Asbestos is really not a big deal you just have to remove it with certain precautions like wetting, wearing a disposable suit, closing off area and putting in construction bags you label. We researched it to death!

    • Maureen says:

      I would genuinely caution you saying that asbestos is “not a big deal”, it is a hazard, that causes cancer and is, in fact, incredibly dangerous if inhaled. Speaking from personal experience with a family member that died due to their exposure to it I would really ask that you consider the seriousness of asbestos.

  5. Alena says:

    I think you’d be a great interiors coach! Your kind and thoughtful way you come across would be so wonderful and easy to work with. I have a couple designers in the family and they are sooooooo forceful about their ideas but I think you’d be just the right amount of bringing out something special while also staying true to the homeowner. Go for it!!

  6. Vale says:

    Love “interiors coach”! You should put it in your Insta bio after “homebody”.

  7. Megan says:

    Love it put me in coach!

  8. Mary S. says:

    Your totally an Interior Coach! I have been following you for years and I have learned from watching you that it is okay to paint a room and then repaint it instead of living with it if you don’t love it. I love how you keep tweaking your family room, it seems like it is always done and then you make a change and it is even better. I just made a $6,000 patio mistake last fall and while I can’t just repaint it, I am looking for ways and inspiration of how to live with it from my favorite Interior Coaches like you!

  9. Crystal says:

    I love the interior coach idea! That sound like what most people are looking for reading design blogs. I would definitely be a client! I have so many ideas for our mid century style home but have a hard time narrowing it down and making a decision.

  10. Chelsea Jo Calo says:

    That Kiehls Mask is life. I bought the cleanser too and use it on rotation with the midnight cleansing oil. My skin has never been better!

  11. Merri Brownell says:

    Yes! You should be an interior design coach! I need your help!!!

  12. Alika says:

    Yes, an interior coach, someone who could do consultations on space planning, but virtually, for example if I had two back to back bathrooms last remodeled in the 80’s-90’s that I need to redo on a budget I would be happy to pay for a consultation with you to see what could be tweaked in the layout that doesn’t require R.E. plumbing everything. Please put me on your wait list. (Someone I follow, @flippinwendy, does something similar on a limited basis.)

  13. Rachel C says:

    Yes yes yessssss to that Cup of Jo comment—as well as a lot of comments on that post. It’s healthy for our kids to see us as more than parents!

  14. AmandaKB says:

    Thanks so much for linking to the asbestos test. We’re pretty sure we have several things in our house containing asbestos, and it’s been halting our DIY renovation process. We live a rural area where most contractors don’t give it much thought, and there’s no lab where we can just drop off a sample. At least with this kit, I can confirm my suspicions and proceed accordingly.
    Also, I’m a big fan of the word “coach,” and I agree “interior coach” seems like a fitting title for you :)

  15. Nicole says:

    So we lived in a third world country for a couple years and our vinyl tiles most definitely had asbestos and I most definitely got it all over me when our home flooded minorly. However our good friend (a first world-er, haha!) who has done a lot of constuction and engineering said that not very many types of asbestos are bad for you?? Is that for real?? I don’t really know, and was wondering if you guys do?

    • Emily R says:

      I’m not sure what your friend meant, but I work in construction, and that is not correct. All asbestos is dangerous, however your interaction with asbestos is what makes it dangerous. We always talk about friable and non-friable. Asbestos that is in good condition, and not flaking, breaking, or being released into the air is not dangerous (this is non-friable). It becomes dangerous when it becomes airborne and you can breathe it in (friable).

      This is why you leave it to trained professionals if you want to have it removed.

      It’s also important to note I’m not an expert, but I’m required to take yearly training to remain safe. If you have any questions about asbestos, always consult an expert.

  16. Katie says:

    Been there with the asbestos. Reno’d the kitchen last year and we also found it in the old flooring we layers found underneath. So we paid for remediation which turned into testing other things, and turns out our ceiling is double dry walled and the glue between the sheets also contains it! So now have put off hanging the pendant lights until we evaluate further!! Also was such a budget killer! ???? but better to be safe!

  17. Candi says:

    Can I be your first interior coach client?!?! Seriously interested!!

  18. Christa says:

    Yes to you being an interior coach!!! That would be a dream come true to have your input on my house

  19. Jennifer says:

    Didn’t you do some virtual interior design coaching through a company last year? I cannot recall the name of it. Do you still do that at all?

  20. Courtney says:

    I think… “Please please please be my interior coach!!” ????????????????

  21. Kelly says:

    So happy you guys touched on asbestos with this reno. As a designer it is so important to me that a house gets an asbestos test if it was built or renovated in a certain timeframe. You have no idea how many contractors don’t get tests and don’t get remediation before a major reno. It can be so dangerous to your health. More people need to be aware of asbestos and it’s health dangers and the importance of having it removed or dealt with in the proper way.

  22. Meryl says:

    Yes yes yes to Interior Coach. It perfectly suits what you guys do as a description but is also oh so fitting for how you are able to reach out to your audience and inspire them to take action in their own lives. I sure know that your ability to do that has significantly impacted me. You guys are (and I think always will be) my #1 fave bloggers, you do it like no other :)

  23. Sarah says:

    I have an awkward narrow living room that could use some coaching. ????‍♀️ Seriously though, we’re coachable, handy at building stuff, and ready for a change. We even have a cute dog to photobomb all of the pictures. We just need someone to talk us through adding more seating (and maybe some cool builtins) without overwhelming the space…

  24. Sarah says:

    I impulsively bought that Kiehls mask because you recommended it and just finished off the tub! It’s so good! Clay masks usually dry me out this this one is magic. Thanks for sharing your faves with us!!

  25. Meredith says:

    Hooooly moly, how do I get you to by my Interior Coach? Talk about a DREAM! You have inspired my home for years, and after moving into a new fixer-upper, long term home a few months ago, I am constantly thinking “what would Julia do in this space”? Your work is so inspirational, and as always… I can’t wait to see where this goes!

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