Love Letter Through the Years

April 23, 2022

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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For the last 2-1/2 years we’ve been sharing sneak peaks, deep thoughts, personal stories, and honest truths every Thursday night through email. We call it our Love Letter and it’s exclusive, although anyone can sign up to receive it! I’ve been sifting through the archives and I almost can’t believe some of the memories and milestones that have been living on, beyond the blog and beyond social media. So I’m giving them another life here on the blog, starting with a confession way back in 2019… Come reminisce with me through the years.

If we knew then what we know now…

Nov 20th, 2019

“So, would we have done it this way again? Would we have moved from our (finished) home into this under-construction home if we knew how hard and loud and messy and long it would be? Of course we had NO IDEA the extent when we started, so it’s not a realistic question, but if we had known, we both decided — no. We’d likely wait to sell our house until this big portion of the reno was over and stay put and wait to move into our new home when these first big renovations were complete.”

Change of plans — this isn’t working

May 13th, 2020

 “We had big plans (and hired some help) to start our master bathroom on April 1— and then the world shut down. This pandemic pause has reminded us, again, how to be adaptable. Change will come. Sometimes, we have to pivot. Sometimes, we have to pause. But, hopefully, what comes out of the unexpected is better than what we were planning.”

Our neighbors said our siding was illegal

September 30th, 2020

“Our neighborhood covenants state that the exterior of the homes need to be made up of a masonry product. (Stucco counts, if you’ve been following along.) We panicked. Our neighbor informed us that we would need signatures from five families to get a variance. Of course, we asked him if he’d be our first signature, and he declined because (wait for it) he’s the president of the neighborhood or something. (whoops!)”

When did we really decide that we’re moving?

March 4th, 2021

“This morning, we made the emotional announcement that we are moving. It was a surprise to you, and honestly — it was a surprise to us, too. As you know, we’ve planned a full project calendar for the year and even started searching for a flip house. However, I’ve been pretty private about escalating health problems, and after years of doctors telling me that I would benefit from a more temperate climate — we decided we couldn’t put it off any longer.”

I’m letting go…

April 29th, 2021

“But as the showings got closer, and as prospective buyers walked through the house, I felt myself starting to detach. Instead of worrying about the finishes or the future photos, I started dreaming up the next life this home would have. I hoped that there would be kids moving in, who would enjoy the playroom and the yard. I hoped that whoever moved in would love to cook as much as Chris does — and that that person would help the kitchen to find its full culinary potential! I thought of all of the inspiration that this home brought me, and started hoping that the new owners *DID* want to make big changes. I want them to make it their own, like we did.”

Renovating can hurt relationships

December 02, 2021

“We have been living through a renovation for months (and years before we moved into this house?) It’s been difficult. Any time anything goes wrong, it feels derailing. We went away for Thanksgiving — to a little cabin in Asheville, so Chris could cook, and the whole family could enjoy some downtime away from the drop cloths and dust and power tools and contractors.”

We’re moving… again!

January 27, 2022

“Relax, it’s not what you think it is.

Our business is unique in that the magic happens literally in-house! So, it made sense for our team of 8 to also be in-house. We had plans to work out of the large open room above the guest house upon buying this house. Our town had different plans for us…”

Why am I crying?

March 17th, 2022

“The best part about doing this for as long as we have is that so much of our lives are archived on a blog… Literally thousands of blog posts have been written since I started it in 2009 and it’s such a treasure to look back on. Like this blog post called, “Founded 2005… Married 2008… Established 2009.” Chris and I were about to move into our very first apartment, just a few months after getting married, and although there’s no pictures, I described it all in detail. Reading through it, I get a wave of nostalgia and awe for how far we’ve come. I was so in love with our quaint apartment and the sentiment is the same even though my taste has evolved. Home is a feeling, no matter where you start. Start where you are, and love where you are.”

To those who have been here from the beginning, cheers! We’ve been through good times and bad times together and we’re not even close to being finished. If you’re not getting our emails, it’s never too late to sign up, and I just know the best is yet to come.

Love Letter has always been a project from the heart, and also something we’d love to teach you how to do! So we’re doing exactly that in our email newsletter course through Good Influence(r) and you can join today! If you’re a creator or business owner (or really anybody for that matter), this is for you!

Enroll today!

What do you think?

  1. Dianne says:

    Such great history. Your marriage has been through many tests with the multitude of remodels you have completed!
    I hope your health has improved since moving to a more temperate climate.

  2. Danna says:

    Did you ever hear any negative comments about the dark house color? Our neighbor across the street (which was also the house I grew up in) re-sided hers a dark gray. She said she wasn’t going to tell me what color she chose, so right away I said, “Is it black?” I was so excited that maybe she was going to be so bold! When she saw my excitement she was happy. It would have been awesome to go that dark, but it looks 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. 

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Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations