Ep 55: CLJ Q&A – Over-Improving Your Home, Choosing Art, Painted Stripes, Two-Story Living Spaces

January 22, 2018

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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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We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

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We’ve added a Q&A episode on our previous “off” weeks, so there’s a new podcast for ya every Monday! These episodes are shorter (we’re shooting for under 30 minutes) and still have all the same fun and banter, but we answer YOUR questions! Although these are specific questions that come from real listeners, they are either questions we get a lot or we think can be applicable to many homes and situations. If you have a question you’d like us to answer, you can send it to

Listen to the latest episode on: iTunes, GooglePlayStitcher.

Here are the four we tackled this week:

1. How to balance over-improving your home for someone else and making it perfect for you.

Hey guys, I’m loving the podcast! My husband and I are renovating our 1960’s traditional-style home, and in making choices lately (everything from finishes to appliances), we have found ourselves focusing on whether we’re “over improving” the place, from both perspectives of the neighborhood and the length of time in which we intend to stay in the home.  For instance, I really want to install a higher end French range in the kitchen, but we wonder whether this is the right home in which to do so, given that we don’t plan on being here more than 5 years and we’re already in the higher price per square foot range of homes in our hood (though we bought one of the smallest homes so our overall value is at the lower end — see, it can get tricky!). And at what point is it okay to say, “I want x and can afford x, and I think it’s worth having for the time we’re here even if we don’t get every cent of our investment back”?  Anyway, I wondered if this is something y’all have ever encountered or debated when making changes to your home. Thanks guys!

Jen largely answers her own question, but we chime in with some examples from our own home. Sometimes the value is enough for you that it’s worth the money, and sometimes you can get the same value for spending less. What we did with our kitchen ranges is a good example.
2. How to choose and display art in your home.

Dear Julia, Chris and Preston,

I would love to hear about how you choose the art that you put up throughout your house!
How you choose the pieces and the framing, how you compose them next to each other considering the colours and the type of art (photography, poster, fine art etc) and all the things I am sure you consider that I cannot even think of!

I have a couple of paintings that I love individually, but I am struggling to choose the right frames, passepartouts and the way to hang them throughout our apartment that makes it look natural and not overloaded.

Thank you for this amazing podcast!

Josefin (from Hamburg, Germany)

We give a lot of tips and talk about the various ways we display art in our home, how Julia makes sure there’s a different kind of display in every visual direction, as well as how to make differing display options feel cohesive and not combative.
3. How to fix lines on a wall from painted stripes

Hi Julia, Chris, and Preston, 

My husband and I just bought the house we’ve been renting for the past two years (our first home purchase!) and now I can FINALLY paint our bedroom and make other changes that I’ve been dreaming about (like building in closets). However, the previous homeowner painted stripes on the walls in our bedroom and while my husband doesn’t mind them I feel like we’re living in a circus tent. I noticed that there are fine lines where the paint is built up from layering the paint to make the stripes. If we simply paint over the stripes will the lines show through the new paint? Do we really have to sand the entirety of every stripe?! Any tips would be very much appreciated!
Thank you! 
Best, Elizabeth
There’s going to be a lot of people dealing with this issue in the coming years, because about ten years ago, painting stripes was all the rage. We talk about a couple of options, but unfortunately none of them are super convenient. But worth it, to get rid of the stripes.
4. How to handle a living space that is two stories high

Hi guys, 

Our house has a two-story living space and I’m a little lost about how to decorate it. The walls feel a little cold with nothing on them, but everything we hang up looks tiny on the tall walls. Should our curtains go from floor to ceiling or just on the bottom section of windows? 
Brandy, Charlotte, NC
This can be a tricky one, but there are things you can do to make two-story living spaces feel less empty, particularly on the walls. We talk about curtains, lighting and millwork trim.
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This episode is sponsored by Daily Harvest
Jules and I have been ordering Daily Harvest smoothies from even before they were a sponsor of the podcast. They’re healthy, so simple, and really tasty. Visit and use promo code CLJ to get 3 free items in your first box.
We’d love it so much if you could leave a rating and review for the podcast, and thank you for continuing to spread the word about our corner of the podcast world! We love hearing from new listeners every week! 
Have questions you’d like us to answer on the podcast? Email
Theme song Headphones by Preston Pugmire




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What do you think?

  1. Julie S says:

    I am with you on the art colors! My mom has worked at a fancy art gallery for 20 years, and I’ve been able to get a few excellent, well framed pieces through her. Recently we moved to a house that has great views and demands an airier, softer palette. One of my favorite pieces simply doesn’t work where I wanted it – it is too bold and brash and yanks the eye away from the expansive view. I put it in the entryway where it works much better, though I still may need to reframe it down the road and found something that doesn’t detract.

    I guess that begs another question – what do you do when your once-loved art isn’t doing it for you anymore, or there just isn’t a place where you’re happy with it in your home? I feel guilty buying disposable poster/print art because of my mom’s influence, but I sure would rather lose a mere $50-100 down the road if I need to say goodbye to a piece.

    • Chris says:

      We know this all too well. We save a lot of things if we feel there maybe a use for it in the future – especially with the cabin. Though we’ll likely end up getting new art for the cabin, with a more “woodsy” vibe. And that being the case, we’ll likely sell a lot of what we have. We’ve sold some pieces in the past and I think that’s really a great thing to do. If someone else can enjoy it in their home, and it frees up space in yours, that might be worth considering. Hope that helps!

  2. Shelley says:

    As the new homeowners of super high 2 story walls we have struggled with what to do and love gallery walls but wanted to do something different. After many discussions with my husband we think we have decided to do a wall of large clocks. So a gallery but on a different scale. What do you think of this idea? Our walls are painted Edgecomb Gray so it is a neutral pallet.

  3. Beatrice Teller says:

    Hi! Been following you two for a while now and you have totally inspired me. Just started the podcast thing and can’t figure out how to submit a question. If you or your new assistant ( great idea btw) could let me know that would be wonderful.

  4. Kelly says:

    You mentioned in this podcast that you don’t expect to stay in your current home for more than 5 additional years. I’m curious what would make you move? You’ve both made such amazing improvements to the home (and still going)! It appears you have enough room (bedrooms, etc) for your family. Would it just be for a new project/additional blog content?

    • Julia says:

      By that point, we would have been here for 10 years. And our parents will likely move. We love where we live and love our house, but would love to explore different areas of the country, too! We’ll see!

  5. Julie says:

    Another thought for Jen… You could always take the range with you when you guys move. Just replace it with a less-expensive version before the listing photos are taken, and keep the nice one for yourselves as long as you’d like!

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