Ep 57: CLJ Q&A – Privacy In the Bathroom, Office in the Bedroom, & The Top Tools for DIY

February 5, 2018  —  Written by Chris 

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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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. 

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It’s time for another CLJ Q&A! These episodes are shorter (around 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, email us at

Listen to the latest episode on: iTunes, GooglePlayStitcher.

Here are the four questions we answer this week:

1. I have a question about windows in the bathroom: I currently live in a row home in Philadelphia, my bathroom has two windows in it that back up to my neighbors patio and a restaurant patio. I have blinds on the two windows in my bathroom, to keep any peepers from being able to look into my bathroom but I feel like its a waste of perfectly good natural light to keep them closed all the time. My husband thinks we should put sheer curtains up and keep the blinds open to solve the peeping/natural light problem but I can’t say that I’ve ever seen curtains in a bathroom before, what do you think we should do?


The balance of natural light and privacy is a big thing in a lot of bathrooms, so we cover a few ways to frost a window (the most affordable option–check out this film for this method!), different blind options (the easiest option, we’d recommend cellular honeycomb blinds for maximum light/privacy balance), and even high tech electrically-charged glass that frosts with the flip of a switch (arguably, the coolest option–here’s a video of it in action). We also talk about mirrors in front of windows–are you for them? Image via.

2. I have a thorn in my side when it comes to organizing and designing…our “home office space” – that isn’t used as a home office. We don’t even use the desk…it’s a dumping site for papers. It’s in the corner of our bedroom :( We have one filing cabinet that is terribly ugly next to the desk that is already full. My question for y’all is if you’ve posted on this before? Or if you have any go-to pieces for putting “adulting stuff” when you don’t have an office. I need an organized space that looks pretty since it’s in my bedroom and I see it every day! Help!!! Devan 

Combination spaces can be tricky, especially in the bedroom where any horizontal surface tends to be somewhere that you lay things. But the first image (via) in this post sure sells it, right? We talk about some different approaches depending on how you use your spaces. We talk about evaluating the need for dual functionality in a room (is it being used for anything other than a dumping ground?) and how making things smaller can sometimes help in keeping them clean. Also, how we tackle the paper trail in our home!

Here’s a peek at my small work space I refer to.


3. Hello Chris, Julia, and Preston!I am a fairly new listener and have been binging your podcast. I have been so inspired by some of your recent episodes! You have me thinking we really can take on some DIY projects. We recently purchased our first home and have several projects we would like to tackle, but currently are working with very basic tools such as screwdrivers, a drill, etc. What tools do you feel are most useful and are must-haves for someone who is just starting to build their tool arsenal? 

Thanks guys, love the podcast!


Here’s the room that we refer to when we talk about winning the contest that allowed us to buy our first set of tools.

Here’s how it turned out! And below is a round-up of what we consider the essentials.


Most-Asked Question on Instagram

4. Where did you get your upholstered, low-profile box spring mattress?

We shared a picture of our bedroom here, and had a lot of questions about our box spring, because it looks very low-profile. It’s actually the Sleep Number base for our mattress, and not fully low-profile. BUT we actually do have a low-profile, upholstered box spring in our guest room.

We talk about where to get one (here), and the benefits of switching to low-profile. We also share some ways to make a current box-spring look better, if getting a new one isn’t on your priority list right now.

This episode is sponsored by Brooklinen
They sent us their Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle with a Window Pane Sheet and their Bedford Smoke Stripe Duvet cover back in April and we could not be happier. Our listeners get $20 off PLUS Free Shipping with code CLJ at checkout!
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


What do you think?

  1. Kath says:

    Garnet Hill sells a fitted, pretty box spring cover in white or tan matelassé, for beds from twin to king, $58-88. I have one and love it.

  2. Monica says:

    Huncan Dines? You guys… at first I was just thinking it was some brand of frosting I hadn’t heard of before. After all I’m not a frosting aficionado or anything, and Chris knows all the good stuff about cooking! OMG. When I finally realized… I was laughing out loud. You guys are sooooo funny! I love the show! Keep up all the great the real-ness. :)

  3. Lucy says:

    I love the question/answer podcast! Also, that room redo from 2011- totally remember you doing that and loving it! You’ve come a long way! :). I mean that in the very best way- I’ve loved your style at every stage, but really really love it now!

  4. Jennie says:

    I’ve always put a fitted sheet on the box spring to hide its ugly pattern or color. It has worked well with the deeper box springs. If using a low profile box spring, the fitted sheet might not fit tight.

  5. Amy says:

    I love these Q&A sessions, they are giving me some great ideas! I actually popped a fitted sheet over our box spring because the bed skirt concept was collecting cat hair. I just thought I’d throw that in for anyone who doesn’t want to commit to upholstering their box spring. I didn’t look to see if your sponsor sells separate fitted sheets but that’s one way to get everything to coordinate!

  6. Charlotte says:

    For question 1: They make top-down-bottom-up shades & blinds. You can lower the top down & raise the bottom. They are fairly inexpensive. We have the top lowered in our bathroom (we have cellular shades) always lowered and it brings in tons of light! Then we can fully open them if we want.

  7. Devon says:

    If the problem with the window is only the bottom half (ie., the height is such that you have window over your head or the angle of the view is such that people can only see up and therefore not your full body), you could do half shutters. You can slide them open part way so as to let light through during the day, and since they’re half the window, it allows all the light from the upper half without compromising privacy.

  8. Jessica says:

    Scan all your papers and email the to yourself. Best thing I did. A pain to start with but the. You get in the habit as soon as something comes through the letterbox. Also switched to paperless billing where I could. I use the confidentiality bins at my work to get rid of the paper once scanned.

    • Lindsey says:

      We did all of this but there is a free app Adobe Scan and you use your phone to take a picture and it will convert it to a PDF and then automatically upload it to our Google Cloud!

  9. Leslie Peterson says:

    You talk about your box spring but I am in need of a new mattress and am wondering how you like your mattress? We have a cheap mattress from IKEA that’s memory foam – it now has two large depressions in the mattress where we sleep and there’s a big hump we have to “climb” over in order to snuggle. Annoying. Have you noticed any issues like that with your mattress?

  10. Elyse says:

    I so feel the pain of having a desk in the bedroom! My husband works from home and needs a space and the only room we have in our 1 bedroom apt is the corner of our bedroom. Thankfully we were able to keep the clutter to a minimum by getting a printer that also serves as a scanner, to try to eliminate as much paper as possible. But for the paper stuff we do need to keep, we got these really pretty rattan baskets that actually have file hangers in them to hold some hanging files! My husband has one on top of the desk for his work papers, and then we have one on a closet shelf for our personal papers. Here’s a link to something similar!

  11. Monica says:

    When we moved into our house the entire bathroom window was frosted (our neighbors house has windows that face our bathroom). During the spring/summer/fall I would often open the top half of the window and found that I missed being able to see trees and sky when it was closed. Because our windows and the neighbors windows are at the same level, I realized that they could not see into our bathroom via the top window, so I replaced the glass with clear glass and now have the best of both worlds (top clear so I get good light and can swee sky and trees – bottom frosted for privacy)!

  12. Marcia says:

    I honestly thought Chris saying “Huncan Dines” was a riff on “this brand rhymes with . . .” 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. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

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