I remember when I had the idea to paint Polly’s room purple. I really wanted to do it, but I was nervous about it. The last time I painted a room purple, it was our living room and ten years ago and I still had queasy feelings about purple all these years later. But I couldn’t shake the urge to go plum. It would be different this time! But no matter the pep talk I was giving to myself, I needed someone else to give me permission. Chris reminded me, “it’s just paint,” and of course he was right. And he was also right that that is exactly what I needed to hear. The worst that could happen is we paint it, I change my mind, and we re-paint. Within ten minutes, I selected a paint color, and within 2 hours the room was purple. It was exhilarating, and re-kindled my confidence, my love for purple, AND for our home. The lesson in this?
Welcome to week 3 of #CLJSummerSchool, where we push the limits, try something new, and work on putting the “you” in your home. Let’s do this.
You know on that show, the Bachelor (stay with me, I promise it will come around ha!), every season they take the one person on a bungee-jumping, sky-diving, repelling type date. It’s always the same thing. The contestants are so nervous and scared to make the jump, but mid-panic attack, they decide to trust the process and trust the lead, and they go for it. They make the jump, and dive into the unknown, and before their feet even touch ground, they feel more in-love with the lead AND are more confident in their relationship. Not because they are suddenly NOT AFRAID of jumping, but because they tried an uncomfortable thing!
The same thing can be applied to your relationship with your home! Trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone can be such a bonding experience, and can spark a new-found love and appreciation for yourself and your home than you had before.
Let’s be real though. Sometimes you try something new and it’s a flop. In 2012 I painted the living room in our first home purple (effing cringe bro), and even though we painted over it eventually, I needed to get it out of my system so that I could find out what I don’t like. Knowing what you don’t like is an essential part to figuring out what you DO like, and there’s no shame in re-routing and changing course, once you know better.
I never worry about action, but only inaction.
Making design decisions for your home can sometimes feel scary and intimidating, especially when there’s a lot of money on the line. Or only a little bit of money dedicated to the task. The human in us wants to get it exactly right the first time, and sometimes that can lead to decision paralysis. You can spend all the time in the world researching, weighing all the options, trying to get the clarity you need to move forward, but more often than not, the clarity doesn’t come until you kick into action. I remember one day I was in need of a creative outlet and I almost painted the music room a navy blue. I knew it would have looked beautiful, but I just felt in my gut that it wouldn’t have satisfied the itch. I can’t explain it. I wanted to do something that felt out of my comfort zone so that I would free myself creatively. Paint is such an easy way to do that. The moment I started rolling that moody red on the walls, everything clicked and I felt more inspired than ever. Paint is such an easy way to do that–to go against the grain for less than $50 and some time. Sold.
Our sense of design and taste are often influenced by those we surround ourselves with. This can for sure include who we follow on Instagram, and what we’re pinning on Instagram and in no way is this a bad thing! It’s incredible actually, but sometimes I wonder if we’re sometimes afraid to paint the room purple because we haven’t seen it done before. Deep down, we have our own unique style, and I think the more we push ourselves out of the boundaries of comfort, the closer and closer we get to what truly represents us. What would happen if we ignored the trends, the “in-style” patterns, and safe colors we’ve seen done before? Something magical I would hope. Listen to what you love and have always loved, pay attention to how your family interacts with your home, and carve out spaces uniquely qualified to make your home custom to you.
Music is so special to our family, and it made sense for us to have a gathering space to display and use the family heirloom piano, or grab a guitar from the wall, sit in one of the swivel bouclé chairs and play some chords. This room was inspired by our family’s unique passions, and was in the heart of the home. Without anybody’s permission I pushed my creative boundaries, and it’s one of my most-missed spaces.
Another way to put “you in your home” is by getting out of your comfort zone and actually doing the work! Hang the painting yourself. Change the light fixture. Figure out how to finally lay that tile. Physically inserting ourselves into our homes through DIY connects us and is my favorite way to give back to the home that protects our family day in and day out.
Trying something new can be so empowering, and more-often-than-not, can roll into other spaces in your home. The more risks you take, the more “you” you’ll start to see in your home. Not just in the paint colors, and patterns, and textures, but in the memories and the lessons learned. Every time I walk around our home to check-in on the progress, I don’t just see a beautiful grand-entry or a huge kitchen where Chris is going to whip up meal and after. I see future glimpses of our girls making an entrance in their prom attire. When I look at the Juliet balcony that I once disliked, I now see future plays and poetry readings being performed. It’s these unique moments that are already the most “us” about our home. And who knows, maybe we’ll paint a room a shade of purple that we don’t like, and we’ll probably paint over it, but it’s in the time spent, and the memories made that make it unique and lovable and ours.
This week, we are going to fall more in love with our homes by getting out of our comfort zone. By finally making a decision, by doing the project once and for all, by making sure our home reflects what we truly love and our passions–separate from anyone else’s opinion. It’s going to be a big week, so start thinking about what this means for you!
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
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.
Last week, Chris and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to London for work. We were invited by Williams Sonoma and William Morris and Co to preview their newest collaboration and the inspiration behind it. It was my first time in London and although it was a quick trip, they brought us all over […]
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