Casual Friday

Casual Friday + Blogs are Dead

May 18, 2018

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. 




We're Chris + Julia

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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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I had a realization this week when I was out to dinner with some girlfriends–Blogs are dead. I don’t think necessarily in the way that a few people said they would die a few years ago, but  Wednesday night, one of my best friends looked me in the eye and said, “I never read blogs anymore.” “Really!?” I responded with a hint of desperation in my voice. Of course she knows I’m a blogger and she keeps up with us but explained that she can’t remember the last time she browsed all her favorite blogs through any sort of feed (or remember when they used to all be bookmarked at the top of your browser?!). Me, and a few others prodded, “but wait, you never swipe up when _____ shares her favorite _____?” Or when so and so links those articles? “Oh yeah, I read those.” “Those are blogs!” “Wait, I thought those were just websites!?”

I have noticed there’s been a mass exodus of rebranding happening. Blogs of yesteryear are dropping the name “blog” altogether for the more mature/obscure “website” or even “online magazine.” (I kind of like that one!) Chris and I have even started saying when people ask us what we do for a living, “We run a home renovation website” because “we’re bloggers” always elicits the most pitiful look. Haha. Posts are now referred to as articles. Bloggers are authors, writers, contributors, CEOs–why not!

Our readership is up 300% from last year (thank you!) so I know blogs aren’t “dead”, but maybe we’re just painting them white and calling them vertical shiplap instead of paneling? What do you think?

Other fun things this week

• We shared some surprisingly polarizing progress on our bathroom on Instagram last night, right here! Keep in mind the photo was snapped in progress, with my iPhone, at night, with a bare bulb in the toilet closet, but even with all those conditions–I’m still team wallpaper allllll the way. (But we don’t ever expect everyone to love what we love.)

• West Elm and pottery barn kids partnered on the cutest modern baby and kids collection. This metallic muslin swaddle set has to be the chicest baby gift you could ever gift!

• I discovered Emily Cosnotti (@thesweetbeast) this week through the guest participants of the one room challenge. I adore her guest room makeover and then fell quickly for the rest of what she posts on her instagram. Really beautiful photos and a fresh style. And then I discovered she’s from Pittsburgh–my home town! One to follow, for sure.

• I ordered 2 sets of these beautiful, modern outdoor lounge chairs (4 chairs total) for an upcoming 48 backyard makeover we’re doing for a family and the deal is too good not to share! The chairs are normally $249 for 2 –already a steal. But they were on sale for $212, plus an additional 10% off with the code DEAL and here another 5% off with my REDCard! 4 outdoor lounge chairs for $385–shipped! I’m not sure how much longer the sale is going, so snag them while you can!

The best collection of $20-$25 sunglasses I’ve ever seen! I’m naturally drawn to these, but want to try these in silver, too!

• We hired a new intern this week! Her name is Maren and my favorite thing about her so far is she contacted us! She sent me a message on Instagram saying that she was a local university student and would love to talk to me about shadowing or mentoring opportunities. I have kind of been drowning lately and told her I’d love to hear more about what she was studying. She contacted me two more times (my DMs are sometimes slammed!) and once we finally scheduled an interview, she was a perfect fit. Chris and I do a couple guest lectures at the university a few times a semester (we’re actually doing one today! I’ll try to share on my stories) and love the opportunity to share whatever knowledge we have with someone who is really interested in the content creation field–did you know that’s what the class is called? Colleges now have digital content creation classes!  It was such a lesson to me in going after what you want, persistence and all the gems that are in my direct message folder.

My favorite striped tee (so thick and it has a pocket!) is on sale for under $30. You’ll grab for it all summer.

• We’re currently planning a meet up in Austin at the end of June! Eeee! We took a poll on Instagram stories of two major cities and Austin won–so pencil us in. We’re coming. We’re bringing refreshments and we’re gonna be ready to chat the night away…and then also hit up all the best restaurants.

We have a special Saturday post scheduled for tomorrow! So happy Friday and see you in the morning!



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What do you think?

  1. What’s up colleagues, its enormous article about culturerand entirely explained, keep it up
    all the time.

  2. Much obliged to you for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Kaleigh Karlenzig says:

    HA! I LOVE “maybe we’re just painting them white and calling them vertical shiplap instead of paneling”. Things are always evolving so why wouldn’t blogging!!! Same S&*t, different pile as my grandpa would say…. I will always be a loyal reader!

  4. Phoebe Koehler says:

    I still have bookmarked blogs at the top of my browser! I have about ten. When I tried deleting them I forgot to read some so back they went.

  5. Vicki says:

    I’m a little slow in reading all my blogs, uh, I mean websites this weekend. I commented on the Instagram photo because I think your design is brilliant and can’t wait to see the finished room! Jeff Bezos had something to say about the naysayers, “If you can’t tolerate critics, don’t do anything new or interesting.” You tolerate them very well, indeed, and that makes me so happy because your designs are always refreshing and interesting!

  6. karen a Sunday says:

    I think blogs are the best way to see a project and how to DIY the best possible way. My husband and I have lived in our 60 year old house for 32 years and only because of blogs and i mean that sincerely did we start modernizing it 8 years ago, my husband put in a pool and I looked at him one day and ask him when are we going to start fixing up our house it looks like crap, now that wasn’t the best way to get the ball rolling it did get it rolling and we went room to room and it is really all because of bloggers who like yourself take your time to help me figure out this mess and for that i owe you bigtime I get to look around here and say my house is beautiful and I love it! We always have some tweaking project in the works but it is 10 times better,So I pray blogs are not dead!! Thank you for the peek inside your gorgeous home! keep on bloggin

  7. Erin says:

    Yes! I def think this!! I was a journalism major and designing a blog is very close to how we created new editorial features and layouts in newsprint!

  8. Luxie says:

    I hope blogs make it through this instant social sharing everything phase. I’ve given up following bloggers on Instagram because of the swipe up craze. Not sure if I can agree with the idea hitting the publish on a website makes you an author but I do enjoy reading them. Cheers.

  9. I recently started a blog, so your post title caught my eye and I thought “no! it can’t be true!” I guess I’ll just have to call it my website ;)
    I still love reading blogs but I realize it’s been harder to keep up with, especially with all the social media channels. I’ve been really loving Instagram which provides opportunities to “microblog”.
    Love reading your Casual Friday posts and catching up on the home progress on Instagram Stories. Thanks!

  10. B;u says:

    The title had me nervous at first! But this really changed how I’ll talk about myself and my blog. I AM a writer and I manage a wellness and healthy living website! :)

  11. Sarah Buentello says:

    “…maybe we’re just painting them white and calling them vertical shiplap instead of paneling?” BEST LINE EVER!

    I’m from Austin and AM SO EXCITED y’all are planning a meet up!!!

  12. I hate the word blog, but I love reading them. It’s like a magazine and I love real content (as opposed to scrolling and just snipets). I am always trying to think of new words, to me blogging sounds so juvenile. Maybe the word itself sounds ugly – BLOG, blah, blah. I don’t think they are dead, there are just so many more mediums that are sprouting up and growing in popularity. Podcasts, Instagram, videos, etc are showcasing the fact that you don’t have to be just a writer to share content.

  13. Brinley says:

    “maybe we’re just painting them white and calling them vertical shiplap instead of paneling” ???????? love that quote and you hit the nail on the head on both accounts. I love your blog, btw (or website or collection of articles or whatever). You guys inspire and that’s why we are all here.

  14. The title made me stop in my tracks. #1, because I have a list of “blogs” (including this one) I run through during my morning coffee and you guys aren’t allowed to go anywhere. #2, I just revamped an estate planning “blawg” (yes, that’s what they call them… attorneys are weird) I did for 8 years, into a blog that tries to remove the stuffy veneer on legal issues like having will and dealing with a probate process – basically death law. Shameless plug:

    Glad to see blogs aren’t dying, but that it’s a website. And I’m not a blawgger or a blogger. I’m an online author.

  15. Angela says:

    I always thought, I’ll never stop reading shelter magazines, or using a laptop or reading blogs, BUT I do find my tastes have changed! I used to check certain blogs every day, but now I don’t unless a topic of interest hits me on Instastories. Instagram is my favorite and stories and pics often satisfy my need for content. I do love your content and found you when you were invited to tour the HGTV dream home. Fabulous taste! Thanks Chris and Julia!

  16. Marissa Pellegrini says:

    The blogs are dead idea is interesting. My group of blog daily checkup is definitely lower BUT I think that’s because I am not in an office at a desk 9-5 anymore. I Know when I was in my office routine I would check my email and check my favorite blogs as part of my mental break and routine. Now that I don’t have that schedule I do much more of what your friends so and see instagram stories and swipe up. Maybe it’s just me, but it is all about what my everyday looks like that effects how I absorb content.

  17. Patricia says:

    I spend way more time than I care to admit reading many blogs each day ! I have learned so much for the various blogs I subscribe to (yours included ) I appreciate all the time and energy that is spent producing these blogs – they really are a highlight of my day ! Thank you for your hard work….

  18. Sonya says:

    I still love blogs, but miss the old DIY blogs that fit more into my budget. I feel like everything is swipe up to buy now. Like one of my old favorites put in a $1200 chandelier. Which is pretty but so far out of reach. I get that sponsored posts are how the bills get paid. But I think that’s why I don’t read as much.

    • Michelle says:

      This!!! I loved blogs when they were more of an online journal with the authors honest views on things and reviews. Now everyone is so monetized that I don’t trust what anyone says. It’s too much “buy this!” “Swipe up for that!” It’s just a real turn off and leaves the original readers in the dust wondering what was so relatable about this person in the first place??!! As much as most bloggers profess that they only endorse things that they really and truly love and believe in, I just quite simply don’t buy it (pun intended).

    • Morgan says:

      Sonya – I totally feel you! I think a lot of it is natural – when you are younger you tend to NEED to DIY more to fit your budget. Bloggers are growing up and so is their income so they can afford to buy more. DIY also is less of a trend than it was 5+ years ago due to the improved economy – people can afford to buy more now. But I still really love making things just for the joy of having made something.

      • Michelle says:

        I agree that the economy is on an uptick which is great. And yes, as we age, our incomes tend to grow. That said, your average person doesn’t have tons of stuff being thrown at them for free. It’s sort of ironic, really, that readers’ purchasing things from bloggers enables them to get a lot of their items for free. We are funding the lifestyle, but can’t afford it in its entirety. It’s also led to more of a consumeristic perspective among this generation. More and more (and more) is always better and you “NEED” this, that and the other thing.
        Sorry for rambling!

  19. Sarah says:

    I still read blogs! But my source to knowing when to read has shifted to social media. Back in the day I would go through my line up of fav blogs and visit each site looking for a new post. I don’t do that anymore.. I follow everyone on Instagram and wait for you to alert me of a new post.

    Also, I just became a homeowner within the last 3 years.. and finally have money this year to start making some changes! Yay! I’ve been stalking oooooold blog posts for tips and inspiration now that i can finally implement them!

  20. Courtney says:

    I read blogs every single day! You and Emily Henderson are my “can’t miss” – then I usually catch up on others in chunks. Blogs will never die! Ha!

  21. mary says:

    I love instagram and stories but they’re so fleeting, so I really enjoy the meatier write-ups on your blog (renovation website? ; ) but I do rely on cues on instagram for new posts lol. So I guess they can work hand-in-hand.

    As for the master bath, it’s coming together beautifully – it’s such a lovely juxtaposition of materials/styles. Some people just don’t like florals, but the best ones are super classic and balance out modern elements so well. The one you chose is gorgeous.

  22. Chelsea C. says:

    Your blog will never die! I was just thinking yesterday that your style grabs my attention every time. I see a post on Pinterest and think okay I’m obsessed with this and every time it’s either yours or Joanna Gaines lol. (I find myself to be picky and not 100% in love with any inspo pic EXCEPT YOURS) Keep it up!!

  23. Ashley says:

    I still use my WordPress feed to follow all my favorite blogs and make sure I never miss a post! But I’m always a little behind the times, haha :)

  24. Bailey says:

    Hi! I DM’ed you on Insta but read in this post how crazy your DMs can get, so thought I’d try here instead:)
    Your reading room inspired me to paint a room in my house Pine Grove (love it!!) but I’m struggling with trim color (Clark and Kensington doesn’t seem to have that handy website feature like SW does, suggesting complementary paint colors- ugh). What paint color are your baseboards in the reading room?
    Paint tones baffle me- no matter how many posts I read! And while I do head to more blogs directly from Instagram, i also follow all my favorite bloggers purposefully ON Insta for easier access so no, I don’t think blogging is dead ;)
    Thank you!!

  25. Lindsay says:

    You’ve quickly gone to the top of my list of favorite blogs/websites! Since I sit at a computer all day, it’s easy for me to stay up to date, but I can see how people that aren’t at a computer would appreciate the link in an insta story or email delivery for ease (people are so lazy these days!). Either way, you guys have the best content and keep it real. Loving the bathroom…what a transformation!!

  26. Liz says:

    I laughed when you mentioned bookmarked sites since I have a couple folders that I check on a daily or weekly basis. I have news/politics, style, quilting. I think many “bloggers” moved to .com sites for stability of site, to create their own look, and for the monetary aspects of controlling who advertises on their site.

    There are plenty of people who like to read more than 140/280 characters or just look at pictures. However, on some of the news & political sites, it is better to just read the articles and avoid the comments. But, here I sit and drink my morning coffee and checking in with my favorite sites. I am enjoying your renovation posts and I wish I had Chris’ talents for renovation!

  27. Sarah says:

    I’ve definitely reduced the number of blogs I follow to a handful (you guys, Smitten Kitchen, Joy the Baker, Cup of Jo)…. the only ones I follow are the ones who provide interesting, thoughtful, helpful content WITHOUT feeling like an in-your-face information/product explosion. You guys are so relatable and your chill personalities keep your content feeling relaxed and happy—- just what I’m looking for while I drink my coffee! Thanks for being awesome!

  28. Kristen says:

    I love following you guys and all of your progress BUT I do most of that following via Instagram. I will read a post if it’s a “swipe up” option, but I don’t read many of the posts and I don’t seek them out. Your Instagram stories are the highlight of my day though! I feel like I don’t have time to read lately but now I want to start reading all your posts again… I kind of forget that bloggers I love still post regularly outside of Instagram lol

  29. Jill says:

    I’m with the group that isn’t into reading blogs much anymore (this one is an exception!). For me, it’s a matter of “does the time I spend reading the blog a good value for my time?” and honestly so many fall into the NO column. Most have left the homespun feeling of “let me share with you my project/what I learned today/where I traveled to/advice” to sleek productions containing inauthentic feeling sponsored posts. When the genuine feel of communicating true emotions is lost in a blog, they loose me as a reader as well.

  30. Deb Thompson says:

    I read at least 6-7 blogs a day.
    They are the highlight of my inbox! I absolutely love reading and connecting with all of them. Keep doing what you’re doing and blog on!

  31. Ann says:

    So excited y’all ar coming to Austin. If you’re bringing the girls it’s amazing for families, think swimming, parks, and lots of restaurants with playgrounds!! Can’t wait!

  32. Jess says:

    I agree with the other commentator who said that blog can mean whatever you want it to mean. But it does seem like those who change the term blog are somehow unsure about themselves. That’s what it is, and who cares what other people think? We don’t need a fancy, pretentious name to be proud of what we do. I say embrace what we do, no matter what it is, and if people have an issue that’s 100% their problem. My dad is a truck driver and he is the smartest man I know. Changing his title to “consumer goods conveyer” wouldn’t change that.

  33. Sandy says:

    Well, I just popped over here via my Google favorites bookmarks, first up every week day, coffee in-hand when I’m up before the kiddos, is Emily Henderson, then you guys, then several more (Remodelista, Studio McGee, Xpresso, etc.)……Now, I’ve been trying to get myself to exercise a few days instead of (religiously!) reading my design blogs, but so far the workouts are a no-go…… :)

  34. paige says:

    I think the shift away from the term “blog” is so interesting but actually pretty appropriate. Most blogs really *aren’t* blogs anymore–they are massive revenue streams with audiences larger than many magazines. Of course, “blog” can mean whatever you want it to mean, but I think the general understanding of a blog doesn’t do justice to what many, like yours, have become.

  35. Jen says:

    Just keep doing what ever you are doing and call it whatever you want. You guys are great!!

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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. 

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It’s been over a year since we started designing our bathroom. We were working with Unique Kitchens and Baths for the cabinetry, and they came up with two different layouts. We selected one, tweaked it a bit and chose a lot of the finishes…annnnnd honestly we could never quite give the final “go ahead.” This […]

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