Casual Friday

Casual Saturday : What’s In a (House) Name, Willow, An Inspiring interior paint combination, Weekend Sales and more!

June 15, 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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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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Does your house have a name? We have our own name for our home (that involves our address) but when we were trying to decide on a hashtag (#cljhouse represents our last home) we turned to all different sources. This article was a great starting point. “Once reserved for grand estates and castles, house naming is a much more casual affair these days thanks to social media. House names can be like Twitter names or vanity license plates: Another place to define your identity and communicate your personality and humor.” You can (and should!) name your house whether you live in an apartment, townhouse, manor–whatever! The article even goes on to say, “one in 14 said they would be prepared to pay more for a home just because it had a name. Even those that were not prepared to pay more said their opinion of the property would improve, with 40 per cent saying they would be more interested in viewing a property with a name.” 

If you’re not sure where to start, this house name generator was a fun activity! We also studied different architectures and interiors as well and settled on how we wanted our home to feel. In the end, we’re going to be leaning into the tudor/cottage style on the interior with a modern twist, of course, (see all of our fun ideas here!) and we settled on the hashtag #cljcottage since it fit the charm of the property so well. Cottages generally feature asymmetrical architecture, steeply-pitched roof, natural materials like stone or brick for texture. A prominent roofline and dormers, shutters, arched doorways, stone paths and are usually on acreage. (Our home sits on 3.5 acres).

Hashtag and architecture aside, in the end, you get to name your house anything you want! Would love to hear if your family has a history with any homes with a name! (we don’t but we’re gonna start it!)

Other fun things this week:

• We got the girls this blow up pool (it even comes with a filtration pump!) and they have been having the best time in it all day every day. We’d love to put in an actual small in ground pool in the future, but for now we’re just gathering inspiration. I LOVE the look of these more natural looking pools (via here and here).

Our new office desks came yesterday and they were a cinch to put together and so beautiful and functional! We didn’t put our home office on our projects we’re going to tackle in the next 6 months, but we definitely are!

• Willow has been struggling since we moved. We thought that she would love the wide open spaces but she’s timid to even come outside on her own. The previous owners did have a dog of their own and I’m wondering if that is the underlying cause to her hesitation. She seems to be warming up to everything else slowly, but we’re all ears if you have any other suggestions!

• I got this big round woven bag (I got khaki!) from Amazon for a steal and I can’t wait to use it for our upcoming trip to the beach. They sell tassels to embellish it with, but I always love the look of a tying on a fun silk scarf.

This paint combination from I Spy DIY is so refreshing and inspiring our upcoming interior paint job! (After all of you encouraged us to hire painters for the interior of our home here, we are waiting on a bid now!)

Weekend Sales

American Eagle: Buy one get one 50% off all tops

Abercrombie: Up to 50% off plus $20 off every $100 with code 14967

Anthropologie: 20% off all home

Madewell: 20% off for insiders (it’s free to join!)

West Elm: 20% off sofas + up to 70% off clearance

Rejuvenation: 20% off lighting & fans

Pottery Barn: 20% off furniture & 25% off everything else with code FRIENDS

Wayfair: Deck Refresh Sale – up to 60% off

Allmodern: Up to 65% off outdoor clearance & dining

Old Navy: Keep it Summer Sale- Up to 50% off everything

J.Crew: Extra 30% off sale styles with code GETAWAY

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What do you think?

  1. Sarah says:

    I love house names! They definitely make home feel more special. We stretched to buy a fixer-upper with a our dream of a nice big yard and (seasonal) Potomac River views, about a mile from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. When the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway was initially built, the road signs that lined the “highway” were a very specific decorative style with George Washington’s silhouette on it. A lot of the individually built houses along the highway posted similar signs in their yards, naming their house. The previous owners of our house had a lot of pride in in, and posted a sign at the base of our yard to name the house “Rivervue”. It feels slightly pretentious but we love that the house came with its own name proudly on display. Although I might have to reconsider after playing with the house name generator…”Humid House” really has a ring to it… :)

  2. Carolyn says:

    Oh my I love the idea of house names!!!! I can’t wait to see what you do with your home! I love following you guys. Your home and style is so different than mine and I find it fun to watch what you do. I have an old farmhouse with wonky floors and light painted everything. I love my home but I think how you decorate is so beautiful as well and it’s fun to see something more dramatic than what I live with. What you do is so beautiful and I can’t believe the difference all the photoshop makeovers make! Our dogs struggled with the carpet free stairs for a while in the new home but eventually got used to their clicking nails. They had each other so I think they adjusted a bit easier than normal.

  3. Lucy says:

    We have an Airbnb and we named our home Blue Azalea for the dark blue paint color and the nearly 20 azalea bushes the previous owners planted!

  4. Susan says:

    I saved that same picture, love the paint colors too!

  5. Jennifer Rosen says:

    Dear Julia!
    I read some of the comments, and they make me sad. I really can’t understand envy, really. I feel just happy for you and your new home, I love to read your blog and I am looking forward to your wonderful projects and renovations.
    My house is small compared to yours, but every time I read your articles I feel inspired and uplifted and ready to tackle projects in my own little house and make it my little home. Thank you for that!

  6. Saskia Anstruther says:

    Try to look up natural pools, they are quite common in Europe and need very little maintanance. Could imagine something like that on your beautiful yard.
    Greetings from Europe

  7. Arisa says:

    Willow needs time, just time. Let her find out about her new home in her own speed. Nothing even smells like home to her, that’s the most important thing. She will be fine in a couple of weeks. It was the same with our Coco when we moved, she just needed to find out everything about her space on her own.
    Arisa and Coco (Little Munsterlander)

  8. Raquel says:

    Try not to worry about Willow too much. Dogs sometimes need more time to adjust than we do. Dogs like routine more than humans, and such a big change in routine can be hard. My parents recently moved houses, and their rescue pup has been more timid, less loving, and less joyful since the move. They were worried he was regressing to how he was when they first adopted him. But it’s been about six months now and he seems to be getting back to being his normal, goofy self. Just took time!

  9. Dawn says:

    My husband’s grandparents owned a house in England called White Eaves. It was an official part of the mailing address.

    We haven’t named ours, but I am tempted by that name generator!

  10. Julie Montoya says:

    We always name our houses. We live in a beach community yet we have a canyon behind us where we watch hawks fly so this house is “Hawks Landing”, a play on Knotts Landing (if anyone is old enough to remember that show). My adult son just texted the family asking what time dinner was at “the nest”, referring to Hawks Landing. Ha

  11. Alison says:

    I didn’t say anything wrong on Instagram, only Wow blogging must make good money and congrats on the new house. Why did you block me? What did I,say wrong, please tell me?

    • Julia says:

      I don’t know what your Instagram handle is but I blocked a few people that DM me passive agressively from fake accounts with no photos or followers. Could this be you??

    • Alexandra says:

      Dear Alison, if it seems so easy to blog and make good money, why don’t you start a blog of your own today? Or do you eventually mind the huge amount of work and time and passion that ist necessary to be that successful?

  12. Luisa says:

    I was already so excited to see and read about all the changes you made to your previous home and now this one! I am so excited and I pay particular attention as how you guys work as a team which is so good to see. So much inspiration for our future home!

  13. Lisa says:

    Our house has two names. The first name is At Wits End and the second name is Toppinish Ridge. The first name is more fitting for the state of mind of the residents who live here!:-)

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Julia,
    We moved about 6 years ago now so my pup had spent the first 6 years of his life living in one place. He was really strange about even coming into the new house. He was fine outside but trying to get him in was a bit crazy. He would run away from me, run back to the garage and try to get in the car. I would have to open the car door, let him jump in and then carry him into the house. This went on for the the first couple of months we lived here. I spoke to the vet about it and they just said it was an adjustment period. After a while, he got comfortable and now that he has so much space to roam and is able to have outdoor time, he loves it. Willow might be having a harder transition as well because she was rehomed once already. My vet suggested giving him a treat every time he came inside on his own to make it a positive thing for him. Maybe you could bring a treat with you outside and when Willow shows some confidence, reward her. It takes some time for them to transition. Can’t wait to see what you do with the cottage!

  15. Bree says:

    I have always been a fan of naming homes and made my parents name theirs. They have NorthHaven which includes part of their last name. I bought a fun tray that happened to say Fairhaven so our current house was so named. My sister adopted Cohaven for hers (also included part of her last name) and named their Airbnb Haven House! I even found a 12 year old word file yesterday with a whole list of possible house names.

    Maybe spend time with Willow in each room. Get her smell and your smell in there. I bet all the new scents are overwhelming and she’s just going to slowly adapt as your scents settle in too. It probably doesn’t smell like “home” yet

  16. Christ says:

    Suggestion for Willow: does she have a doggie friend who could come visit for a play date? I’ve found that a good PLAY session outside with kids, and especially with another playful dog, can help them feel more comfortable and at-home. Otherwise, it might just take time and lots of positive reinforcement. It IS a big yard! Maybe a little overwhelming! Also for inside, it may have a bit to do with very little of your major furniture being there. :( Also be easy on yourselves, it’s been a crazy month! I am sure she will come around in no time!

  17. Abigail Jacob says:

    I grew up in a farm with an 1842 Georgian Revival farmhouse named Clifton Farm. It’s not the make of the original family, so we’re not sure where the make came from, but every owner before and since has kept the name.

  18. Colleen says:

    Poor Willow! We have taken our Golden Retriever to a couple Airbnb’s and he acclimates pretty well. Maybe it’s his personality? But we also play a LOT of fetch in the yards of each home. Almost immediately. Basically letting him claim the yard as his own. I’m sure in time she will feel more at home there.

  19. Nicole says:

    I always thought “cottage” meant a small, simple home? Your new one seems a bit grander than a cottage.

    • Julia says:

      There are cottages of all sizes!

      • Dawn says:

        Yep! Harry and Meghan of the Royal Family live in a cottage and it is definitely not small and simple. Well perhaps compared to a castle.

        Love the paint color inspiration you posted. Saving that!

      • Nicole says:

        I had no idea! I always think of a small house deep in the woods when I hear “cottage”, like in those old fairytale stories lol!

  20. Lindsey F says:

    Willow might be struggling with the expanse of the new house and the new yard. Aren’t dogs supposed to like crates because it gives them a sense of security in a small space that’s their own?
    Does willow have a crate or a dog house? Is it loud in the new house with the large spaces and echoing since you don’t have much furniture or rugs yet? Giving her her own small cozy space might help. We still have a crate for our dog in our basement even though she has free reign of the house when we’re gone and a bed upstairs, but whenever something stressful is going on, we always find her in her crate. I also wonder whether the larger spaces means she’s more disconnected from the family physically and it’s throwing her off. Hope she adjusts soon!

  21. Kathleen says:

    I live in a fairly unattractive condo building in a semi urban area. I call my little place blue bird cottage and dream of having a cute little Tudor with English style gardens. I’ve been looking for a sign or a pillow I can make with the name. Meanwhile I’ve decorated with traditional English cottage style

  22. Amy says:

    My grandparents built a little cabin on 14 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains and named it Shalomith, which means “place of peace”. It was a place that my family spent many vacations visiting, and it has always been a true retreat for me. Now that my husband and I own it, I use that name and vision to guide the decisions we make for the property. For example, no internet (on top of spotty cell service!), but comfy chairs on a wonderful deck that overlooks a creek. Excited to see how your style and a cottage vision take form in this new home!

  23. We purchased our dream home — a 200 year old colonial and barn — from dear friends this past year. They cared for it so lovingly over 25 years, including developing beautiful gardens we’re determined to maintain. From the start, we found ourselves calling it Wingate House (their name) since we couldn’t look at it and not see their wonderful influence.

  24. Debra says:

    It’s so exciting to own a new place and I’m most excited to see what you do to this one! We have a second home we go to frequently and for a day after we get there, we have to keep reassuring our 2 dogs that when we leave they will come too. When we moved to our current home, we had the same problem. They couldn’t be separated from us because they were afraid they would get left if they couldn’t see us. I asked my vet what he thought and he told my husband to go mark the yard! And…it worked! Keep reassuring Willow this is where the family lives now and you won’t leave her, over and over and over! It took my boys a good 3 weeks to want to go outside to go potty without one of us. It just takes time.

  25. Jackie says:

    Our home, a little 1500 sq ft cape cod, has the grand name “Twin Maples” for the 2 huge mature silver maples on the property (that drop literally one million seeds every June). No one calls it that but me, but it makes me smile.

  26. Julie S says:

    I love the look of white walls and pale neutral trim that I’ve been seeing around for a few years now! Think I first noticed it from Jenny Komenda so you know it was good. I’m using a similar color combo for the wainscoting in our hall bath – I think it grounds the room way better than standard white mouldings.

    Wish your home’s name wasn’t under privacy constraints! I named one of my last places Rabbit Hill because they always seemed to be on the lawn when I got home from work. I tried SO hard to brainstorm a name for our current home because it’s that kind of property, but nothing stuck. It’s just “home” LOL.

  27. Ashley says:

    My husband’s family is Italian and when my husband was small his grandfather opened an Italian restaurant called Tiberi’s Villa (last name was Tiberi). The restaurant closed a long time ago, but that’s our last name, so our family has taken to calling our home “Tiberi’s Villa” for the past 5 years or so. Just last year my in-laws found an original sign from the restaurant, a marble plaque with the name and a red gondola! We have it on our front porch, and I love the history behind the name!

  28. Jenna says:

    In regards to Willow, I would keep a routine for her as much as possible. I would also keep her on leash when you are outside- even for potty breaks. The leash can help her confidence. As time goes by you and her confidence increases, you can let the leash drag, and then eventually forgo using it. Getting confidence in her routine will really help.

    • Red Ellie says:

      I was going to suggest the same thing. When we moved to our last two houses we put our doodle on leash to go down the street a bit for a walk. When we turned back I said Lets go home. Helped her anxiety.

    • Erin says:

      I’m going to weigh in on the leash suggestion. When we adopted our dog, Olive, a year ago, we were her fifth owners in three years. She adjusted to our backyard (1/2 acre) pretty quickly but would only go out when our other dog was with her. She has since become comfortable on her own. But, we take our dogs running with us on a wooded trail. When there are no other people on the trail (usually), we take the dogs off of their leashes. Olive is very confident while on the leash–she wants to set the pace and explore a bit. As soon as we take the leash off, she practically attaches herself to my or my husband’s leg. She actually becomes a tripping hazard. It’s as if the leash is her lifeline to us. Not quite the same scenario, but similar. The leash might make Willow feel safe and still connected to you in her new space. Good luck. She seems like such a sweet girl.

  29. Patricia says:

    The comments about a bigger size yard to guard are making sense to me. I know my cousin would crate her dog so he’d feel calmer about her leaving the house (he’d have a much smaller “den” to guard. And many years ago I moved my cat from an apt to a house with a yard and she promptly crawled under the bed and only came out to eat and use the litter box. I’ll bet all that open space was an issue for her as well. In time, she adjusted … and my cat loving mother in law laid down next to the bed and sweet talked her into coming out ….

  30. Chelsea says:

    Sorry to hear your pup is having a hard time! We used to live on 2 acres and the space stressed out dog out so much. We even saw a behavioral veterinarian about his behavior, and that Dr said that big spaces can be stressful/anxiety provoking for dogs because all of that space is space they have to watch for predators/harm and protect. Maybe a smaller fenced outdoor area to help her adjust? Hope that’s helpful!

  31. K says:

    Lots of positive reinforcements and high value treats for Willow!! Even if she looks outside give her a treat! Good luck!!

  32. Jennifer says:

    I think Willow will be fine with time. Just like her family, she too is adjusting. Its a much larger space than before.
    Just keep loving her. Include her in outside time with friends/family. And if she seems timid about going out alone, I wouldn’t force it. With treats, hugs & pats on the little noggin, she will eventually make her home there too!

  33. steph says:

    How long did Willow take to settle in when you first got her? Maybe that same amount of time is going to happen now as well.

    I love those natural pools as well but I live in Florida and it seems like a place the snakes and alligators would love as well. It’s hard enough keeping them out of normal looking pools but less those that look like they belong in them!

  34. Jamie Berling says:

    If willow has a dog friend she likes, especially one that is curious or outgoing, they could investigate together! Our three year old male dog is borderline insane and he is over the moon to explore a new space – our five year old female is more cautious and takes her cues from him. Even my sisters pets look to him for “guidance” when unsure… sometimes not the best when we are hoping for more relaxed we’ll behaved pets

  35. April says:

    You’re getting good dog advice already, but I’ll throw in my two cents. We had an anxious dog for a decade. Time and treats work wonders. Just keep hanging outside, bring out her favorite toys (like someone else mentioned), some kibbles or whatnot, and act casual. If you fuss over them, it just feeds into their stress. Dogs love routines, but obviously that’s not in the cards right now! So set the bar low and give incentives for confronting her triggers. She is so sweet! Also, I’m stealing that color palette!

  36. Jennifer says:

    Congratulations on your new home and project! I have just recently started following along, and I am thrilled for your lovely family. Our family is no stranger to anxious shelter dogs, unfortunately. My trainer would recommend a couple hours of walks a day – or as much as you can manage! Tire her out! Also, perhaps try a frozen kong (I like filling it with natural peanut butter and sweet potatoes) that she can work on outside, and start to gain a level of comfort in the open spaces. You might need to reduce her calorie intake the rest of the day – just to spread it out a bit. Best wishes Julia – she will settle in soon.

  37. Anna says:

    Such beautiful inspiration! As for Willow I don’t even have a dog but I know they are very energetically sensitive creatures. Maybe your property needs a clearing of old stagnant energies? Some people don’t go for that business but it’s still there weather you believe in it or not ????

  38. Oksana says:

    Love the idea of naming homes. Ours is the #StrelkovBungalow, and while I originally came up with it to keep up with our renovation progress on Instagram, it’s sort of stuck even after everything was finished. Now even our friends refer to it as such.

  39. Nichole K says:

    Still so excited for this new chapter for your family! Sorry Willow is having a rough time though. I wonder if you sprinkled some of her (copious) fur around the flower beds where you hang out most if it would help rid the yard of the previous dog’s scent? Deer don’t like the scent of other animals – maybe Willow is experiencing the same thing.

  40. Meredith says:

    I love that paint combo, too! We had something similar in an apartment we rented and I’ve been thinking about recreating it in our house.

    Does Willow have a dog bed in the house somewhere? Sounds like all that space might be overwhelming for her right now, maybe she just needs her own “spot”? Our dog also seems to find comfort from having a t-shirt we wore on her bed or in her crate when she’s stressed out.

  41. Angela Braverman says:

    So fun naming the house. My husband and I just used the name generator for own! As far as Willow, I would just use her leash and take her on frequent walks of the property. She will come around with time ????

  42. Alison says:

    For Willow all the open space might be the stressed for her. When we got our second cat he only knew the shelter (one room). So we closed off as many areas until he got some confidence. Then over the course of a couple weeks opened a new space for him to explore at his own pace. He also enjoys his bed which is in a cat tree, mostly so he can feel cozy and still see everything. Hope Willow gets her confidence back!

  43. Alyssa says:

    For Willow, I would suggest having her toys kind of scattered outside. If she sees her toys and things faniliar to her, she may be more likely to stay out on her own. And if it is truly a scent from a previous dog throwing her off, the scent of her own toys would hopefully offset that.

    I would also recommend giving her a space in the house that’s comfortable and that she knows is hers. If she has a bed, keep it in one place that’s close enough to your family’s activities that she can hang with you guys if she wants, or tuck away and take a nap quietly. I also recommend establishing a place to keep her food and water so it doesn’t have to change. These types of transitions can be hard on pups at first, especially with all your furniture gone (furniture has lots of doggy smells) that would have been familiar to her. She’s probably just needing a little extra attention, but will settle in eventually as you guys get more comfortable. I’m guessing you guys are moving around a lot as you are settling in, and since dogs often want to be part of everything, she probably just doesn’t want to miss what you guys are doing.

    Good luck! The house will be so beautiful.

  44. Sarah Craswell says:

    We moved our Newfie dog across the country a couple years ago and had the same issue. He barely wanted to go in the yard, spooked on every walk and seperation anxiety. While we did temporarily put him on meds, the advice that seemed to work the best was the consistent training. We went back to the basics and added brain games. Basically a behaviorist told us, exhaust his mind so he can’t even think about how anxious he is.
    And it worked!

    • Gretel says:

      That’s exactly what we’re doing now with our Berner. Had to move in with parents while we renovate our house. And, we have added in CBD oil, which has made a world of difference! Good luck.

    • Julie G says:

      Great idea! Brain games are great choices to get dogs ‘out of their head’. I play a game w/my dog that works every time – she loves it! Get a 12 cup muffin tin (old one if you have it and I keep it for just this game), 12 tennis balls, and some kibble. Fill a few of the cups with kibble, avoiding putting a treat side by side – at the most you would have 6 filled. Cover w/the tennis balls, and have her search for the kibble. Once they get the hang of pushing the tennis ball out of the cup (mine was a slow learner, lol), they love it. It gets them to use their nose for searching which is much more fatiguing than just sniffing for sniffing sake. and get an instant reward w/the treat which reinforces the positive behavior. You could also put a 1 or 2 kibbles in a room in 4 or 5 areas (next to a chair leg, on the fireplace hearth, etc – all easy to get to her for her) and have her search the room. Good luck!

  45. Hannah says:

    It may seem like a lot right now, but get another dog! Literally it is the best thing you can do for your pet! Our dog has become so much more joyous and fun loving since we got her a playmate! Observing them interact with each other is one of our most beloved things to do. I’ve seen aspects of her personality that we would have never seen had she remained our one and only.

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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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