Casual Friday : Our new table, painting progress and Celebrating progress, sex talks and more!

July 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. 




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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We no longer have a folding table in our breakfast nook and I can’t wipe the smile off my face! This cerused oak round table was the first furniture purchase we made for our home and it’s a beautiful one. For some areas, we’re doing phase one furniture, but this table is here for the long haul. It has totally changed the feel of the space and has us so excited for the rest of the changes that are coming. Fresh paint (also currently underway!) dark windows. I ordered chairs but they are on backorder right now–this week so many many things clicked and it definitely has me excited for the coming months to share more progress with all of you.

On that note, one thing I’ve been especially aware of lately is when I or others post progress photos and get bombarded with recommendations or questions on other things we should change. “Are you keeping that wall color?” “I’m surprised you didn’t change ______” You know the kind I mean? While I understand (most of the time), the questions come from a good place, these types of assumptions and questions bum me out because I think it prevents others from sharing progress photos. And more importantly, it prevents everyone from celebrating progress! I’d love to see more real-life renovating shared. More authenticity. More swatches of paint on the wall and less fear about whether others will accept it. But I don’t think that can happen until we stop treating progress like failure to get to an after. Progress is a step in the right direction and worthy of its own support I say. Let’s hear it for progress–any amount!

Other fun things this week

• We have been looking for a painter for weeks and then earlier this week, I posted it one more time on our city’s facebook page and got a message right away from a lady named Dorie. She has been painting for 20 years and had a job postponed for 2 weeks and could start on our job the next day! It felt miraculous, honestly. Although we have so many things changing and construction–nothing is going to make us feel more at home then a fresh coat of paint. We are going with white walls and contrast trim in the main areas and although it’s gonna take through next week, each brush stroke has me excited. I’m sharing daily progress on Instagram! We’re going a little warmer on the trim, but I fell down a beautifully deep rabbit hole of contrast trim and I haven’t seen one I don’t love. I tinted ours to 75% at the last minute! No regrets!

I’ve got my eye on this green stonewashed quilt in the Nordstrom Anniversary sale and these UGG blankets make the best gift during the holidays! 

• Here’s the eyelash serum I’ve been using lately. I’ve tried so many and each one either didn’t work, irritated my eyes or after time made my lashes thinner, even if they were still long. This one has left my lashes long and thick!

• We’ve been reading this book–It’s Not The StorkA Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends–with our 5 and 9 year old to start and open conversations about anatomy, boundaries, safety and sex and it has been an amazing resource and has definitely done it’s job normalizing talking about sex with our girls. Both girls have enjoyed the book and the education that comes with it on their own levels. Definitely a must have and suitable for ages 4+!

• We put this rug in our master this week and although it may end up in another room (literally our entire room is changing now due to a new direction in every sense–details coming soon)–it’s so gorgeous! Really recommend it for the price.

These cut out booties. Droooooool.

• I shared a Chris Cooks on Instagram this week and our cheese grater stole the show.

People tell you who they are–listen.

• I have heard such good things about this blow dryer–worth it??

Have a happy happy weekend!!

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What do you think?

  1. Sarah Sanford says:

    i LOVE the contrasting trim paint. As someone who always purchases houses that need TLC – I appreciate progress photos. It gets hard to live in a space that isnt quite finished especially when you see all these final curated pictures online. Your progress pictures are such a breath of fresh air – thank you for the continued inspiration!

  2. Laura S says:

    Would you be able to share the sources for the chairs at the new breakfast nook table? I can’t seem to find them anywhere on the site, and I’m going for this style in our dining room. I specifically love that rounded back one. :) Thanks!

  3. Rosie B says:

    I love It’s Not the Stork! Such an informative book and I am so glad that you mentioned it. I learned about it from attending a workshop by Amy Lang of Birds+Bees+Kids. So many amazing resources for parents. Check her out at

  4. Rebecca Lang says:

    The “have you considered…?” comments bum me out as a reader and I’m always so impressed to see your positive responses to those comments and your willingness to engage so open-heartedly! I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts on the potential impact those comments could have on people’s willingness to share their progress stories. Online spaces can be awesome places to share and learn but they can also be easy places to be a little less careful about our judgments- thanks for being so frank about the kinds of spaces you are trying to create (online and in your home). I started reading your blog because of the beautiful spaces you create, I keep reading it because of your kind, conscientious attitude. Thank you!

  5. shannon says:

    Curious about the eyelash serum! Did you notice any issues with irritation (especially since you had PRK surgery)? I had LASIK this past spring and am interested in trying it, but wondered if you noticed any increased dryness or irritation with it. Thanks!

  6. Michelle says:

    I’m enjoying watching your progress so much! It can be disheartening to see renovations on social media, where everything seems to go so quickly and smoothly. The majority of us, who are not influencers or bloggers, do have to take our time and make changes as we can afford them, or when we can squeeze in the time. I’m appreciating watching the process unfold, and am already inspired!

  7. RC says:

    That’s a well written and illustrated book, very helpful. Read it with my kids too. Highly recommend for opening the conversation about sex and bodies with kids. There’s one by the same author for puberty.

  8. Sarah says:

    PREACH about sharing the progress! It’s so inspiring to me because sit normalizes the entire process – whether you’re a regular schmo like me or a “celebrity” like you guys, we’re all right in the thick of it together! I think it’s incredibly unifying. Practically our whole instagram for our house is progress only because of the nature of our house. Every step I take away from wildlife printed paneling and holes in the wall (even if it means mismatched beadboard) is worth celebrating in my book!

  9. Jessica C says:

    I’m beginning to understand your vision! Thanks for taking us along for the ride :)

  10. Kristy says:

    Rug question! Would you recommend one of these printed rugs to lay over carpet, or are they too thin? We have carpet in our living room, and I’d like to do a rug but wonder if one like this would be too thin and possibly be lumpy, especially once you put furniture on it. What do you think?

    • Julia says:

      It would be fine! I think the trouble with layering over carpet is the thickness of the carpet and the heaviness of the furniture in top

  11. Luisa says:

    I love your paint selections! Tbh I wasn’t getting it when you showed it on instagram but I can definitely see it now! It will turn out awesome! I am so excited because I finally will be able to use all your tips and inspiration for our new home!

  12. Yaz says:

    My half painted house will hate me… but I think I’m going to switch styles and go with the beige-thing on trim instead of the walls.

    What a stunning combination.

  13. jana says:

    one of the main reason why i love you so much is because you have always shown the progress! it really bothers me when designers feel like they can only show the ugly before and beautiful after! there are so many of us that are also taking on projects ourselves and the progress people like you share are what keep us going, keep us inspired, and let us know that we can do it!

  14. Lauren says:

    I’ll admit, I’ve definitely asked one of those “are you going to eventually….” questions but it’s just because I’m SOO excited to see what you guys have dreamed up for this home! I do so appreciate how you guys take your readers a long on the journey from start to finish with tips and tricks and hacks along the way. I’ve learned so much from you guys over the years and am really trying to adopt your theory of “don’t wait” and enjoying the process. Sometimes I get caught in my own head that things have to look a certain way so I am thankful for your authenticity every day!

  15. Anastasia says:

    LOVE this table!!! You’ve got such an amazing eye. Any chance you have a lower cost version to recommend??? The silhouette of the table is perfection but also completely out of our price range.
    Thanks :)

    • Alison Carter says:

      I would also love to know if you have a cheaper version of the table to recommend. It is stunning as is all of your renovations/decorating.

  16. Abby says:

    Progress photos are the best, and you guys sharing “Phase 1” has helped so much as we go into our house purchase! It’s so nice to be able to think about changing things in phases–and it also means I have a ‘secret list’ of things that aren’t Phase 1 that my husband isn’t getting overwhelmed by :)

    Paint is also in our Phase 1 because the previous owners went BOLD. There is a tiny bathroom done in burnt orange that one of my genius friends named “The Bathwomb”. It is intense…

    A thought I had seeing the chandelier above your gorgeous new table: could you change out the tapered bulbs for round ones? It would be a fast change to make it a touch more modern!


  17. JWH says:

    Totally agree and thanks for positing and opening dialog regarding comments – it does hold people back from commenting and sharing own projects.

    I’m super excited about the paint – I have been struggling with paint colors for our house and am finding your posting so helpful and looking forward to learning more from your paint journey. Love contrast.

    High five to you all!

  18. Liz says:

    Glad you found a painter since a fresh coat of paint will continue to make it yours. And I like the progress pics and info. I sometimes make comments, but I figure you’ll take it or leave it – it is your place. I check in on another blog and she posts progress photos and is very open when she figures out that something was a mistake and she changes her mind about the progress.

    I ordered a couple of those squishy rugs you mentioned about a month ago (a Kickstarter project) . Just got an email that they were 1000% subscribed and will be shipping soon. Yea! And thanks for the information about a new product.

  19. Jesseca says:

    I always hesitate when posting a progress shot and I really appreciate that you are. Enjoying the process is half of the fun!

  20. Kristin says:

    All of the books in the It’s not the Stork series are wonderful. We have that one and then the two for older kids. Great way to talk about sex and then changing bodies in an open and age appropriate way.

  21. Arli says:

    Another vote of love for the progress pix! Love to see each piece of the pie, and read about the why and how, etc.
    Happy eating at your new, beautiful table!

  22. Sarah Fox says:

    I am really excited to see how this all comes together! I was so inspired by your previous home, and this feels like a brand new inspiration in the making! Can’t wait to see what you do next- and I love the table by the way. Never would have considered a table without the standard four legs before and now I’m definitely rethinking that. Keep doing what you’re doing and thanks for letting us come along for the ride.

  23. Jen says:

    I have had a round table (slightly larger than this) for 2 years. I would love a post about styling round tables!! I search and can only ever find rectangle table inspo. I would love a whole post dedicated to how to dress a round. All I have done is a decorative vase in the middle and some placemats. But I am not sure if runners or other things would work to change up how it looks for different seasons.

  24. Deena pannu says:

    Julia, I love what you shared about celebrating progress over “perfect”! While I love IG, sometimes I am overwhelmed by the “perfection”. I am cheering over here because you share the journey and are keeping it REAL! ???????????????????????? Question for you: Regarding contrast trim, do you have any thoughts on painting the crown molding the same color as the baseboards?

    • Julia says:

      I’ve seen it done both ways! We don’t have any crown in our main living space (besides the wall, but we’re taking it down because it starts and stops in a weird place)

      • Ashley says:

        Can I add to this question – do you do the ceilings in flat white? Or will you do Alabaster on the ceilings? Thanks, Julia! LOVE seeing the progress!

  25. Megan says:

    ooooh, can’t wait to see the paint job! I love contrast trim!

  26. Margaret says:

    Thanks for the link to the rug in your master! Great timing to help me have confidence in my decision as I am at this moment selecting one for our master and my narrowed down choices are similar to yours in both style and budget! Validation is always helpful although its always a personal decision.

  27. Rachel says:

    Everyone loves a good before and after, but like many others have said, I really enjoy and appreciate seeing the progress pics and learning more about your process. It’s fun, it’s real, it’s motivating. I never understand what motivates some people to make unnecessary dissenting or judgmental comments. Honestly, it comes across as presumptuous and self important to me. The design decisions someone else chooses for their home does not affect anyone but the home owner so if you don’t agree with some of them, no worries, you can do what you like in your own home! I can tell you know this and I love how you gracefully handle it and move ahead sharing anyway. Congrats on your beautiful home and every small success along the way! ???????? Cheers for those who lift instead of tear down!

    • Julie says:

      Oh, well said. I was going to write the same thing but I will just second your comment! Here’s cheers to celebrating progress xx

  28. Lynne says:

    Thank you for your words on progress. For most people, the types of renos shown on blogs is unattainable. But I love how you choose to share yours. While architects and contractors my not be in our future, your recent painting and dining table purchase can be. We’re able to see the dramatic difference painting choices and a piece of furniture could make in our spaces. Please keep doing what you’re doing. I’ve learned so much from you BECAUSE you share the small things. Thanks again.

  29. Jeanna says:

    So could you please explain what tinting a paint color 75% actually does………..I mean are you taking white, and tinting it 75% of another color? Aren’t there lighter examples of the color you are thinking of? Does it change the depth of a color, or?? I’m lost on this whole tinting thing, lol.

    • Julia says:

      I’ll definitely go into more depth when I share a paint post but they basically take the color you want and put it at 75% (or whatever percentage) you wish. It makes it 25% lighter. It’s the same color, just at a lighter value. We are eventually doing our door frames and door trim darker and I wanted the base and window trim a slighter contrast.

      • Ashley says:

        Another question for you: When you do this post, can you address how you do the doors and door trim darker where the base trim meets the door? Thanks!

      • Jeanna says:

        Awesome, looking forward to that post. Thank you!

  30. April says:

    I could write a thesis on my love for round tables. I finally have a dining space that’s appropriate for one, and it’s AMAZING. Introvert’s dream. Easy to get in and out of your seat. Perfect for conversation, drinks, and games. No sharp corners to gouge myself on. I don’t think I can ever go back to the land of squares and rectangles. I love the pedestal base on yours; it makes it even more flexible for seating. And it’s such a great neutral wood tone. Awesome find!

    Also, props to the lady painter. I love seeing more women get into the trades.

  31. Love the progress photos! And the insight into the thought process, inspiration, and whole “don’t wait” mantra… Also, thanks for the book recommendation – we’ve also got young daughters (ages 4.5 and 6.5) and as some of our friends have babies, questions have started coming up and this is an important conversation to get right. I’ve been on the lookout for a good book to start guiding and expanding the conversation with them, so will definitely check this one out.

    Any chance you could do a larger post with inspiration images and your thought process on the contrast trim? Kind of like the ceiling post from yesterday. I’m pretty sure you shared some in your Instagram stories, but I didn’t take enough screen shots/notes! I think this could actually be a great option for a project we’re working on (, but I’ve only ever had wood trim in every house I’ve lived in, so definitely need to expand my inspiration on this front :-)

  32. Tara says:

    For some reason none of your links work for me… either on website blog or IG? They all go to an Rstyle not found page. Any ideas? I thought it would correct itself… but it’s been this way for over a week now

  33. Lisa says:

    We are moving next month into our and I’m telling myself to share that real life reno (If I remember) and I want to try and enjoy our home befooore everything is the way I want it. I also love that you’re normalizing sex and educating your kids! I highly recommend, Beyond the Birds and the Bees if you haven’t already read it and, It’s perfectly normal, to go through with your kids! Both books were really great!

  34. Hannah B. says:

    Julia!!! Those ankle boots!! My wallet is not happy with you ;) also – I love that you share the progress, thank you for continuing to do it!

  35. Kim says:

    I greatly appreciate the progress and explanations of various projects. I personally will never be able to embark on projects such as yours, but none the less enjoy learning and somewhat get to experience these events through your willingness to share with us. I hope most comments are motivated out of enthusiasm and eagerness to come along on the journey and not through a critical, condeming eye.
    We all face challenges and critical review, but I personally approach these times with a pause and gleaning of anything which I may need to be objective about and ultimately can accept these things with gratitude.
    Excited to see all to come and thank you for your willingness to share. I know it is wrapped up in what you do for a living, but it’s always nice to be affirmed in doing a good job and we (your audience) appreciate you.

  36. Flo says:

    Big YES to your words about progress, thanks for taking us along!

  37. Cynthia says:

    LOVE THE TABLE! Great choice :)

  38. Emily says:

    I love love love the table! Congratulations-it’s absolutely lovely!

    And please don’t stop posting progress photos. I love following along every step of the way. My husband and I are updating our third house and planning this one for the long haul (it has everything we need and is on 12 beautiful wooded country acres-heaven!) and I so appreciate seeing the thought process that goes into every decision. I feel like you and I approach projects the same way.

  39. Ellen says:

    As a follower from your very first home, one of the things I enjoy most about you guys is your journey! Yes, the afters are beautiful, but I really love to watch the progression of your home and the evolution of your design. It’s both honest and original and in this highly edited, “instagram-worthy” world, I appreciate the authenticity of your real-time progress. I’m so excited to watch this unfold! Keep up the great work!

  40. kg says:

    FYI – the cheese grater link just goes to the world market home page.

  41. Jess says:

    I love progress photos! Don’t get me wrong, I also love a good after but personally I enjoy watching the progress. I feel like it also makes those of us transforming our own homes (or at least me personally) feel better about that “in-between” stage.

  42. Kimberly says:

    What a helpful thought on progress! As much as you may get push back, I think it’s why so many are drawn to you and your blog/instagram. At least for me, my favorite part is the progression. It’s rare to find influencers willing to share that part.
    I can’t wait to see what came of the architect meeting, it’s going to be awesome I’m sure!

  43. Mirror says:

    It bums me out every time you talk about people not appreciating the progress of a renovation. This is the only type of blog I read! I find before and afters sooo boring. I enjoy the process, the brainstorming, and the troubleshooting. I want the journey! Please don’t ever change.

  44. Cynthia from Montreal says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the table! Great choice!

  45. Michelle says:

    I love your point of view on PROGRESS! Seriously, that’s the fun part! And each time you have to respond, “oh, we’re changing that and painting this eventually” it’s turning the focus on the negative parts of the space, rather than getting to celebrate the change that just occurred. I love the new table and see the paint progress! We have Alabaster walls with SW Jogging Path trim in a portion of our home and I love the contrast!

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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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