The Good, The Bad, Would We Do It Again?

February 29, 2016

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Back in August 2014, I reviewed some of the items in our home that I get asked about the most and I meant to make it a yearly thing and somehow it is already 2016. However, I do think this is an important series I intend to check back in on from time to time and not just in a passing Instagram comment (which is where I get most of these questions). While we always do a lot of research before bringing something into our home, I want to get in the habit of reviewing these pieces for all of you after the honeymoon phase has worn off. Here’s what we’re asked about the most in the past year:

West Elm’s Graham Glider

The Good: We’ve had this glider for 2 years now! Faye is almost 2! How is this possible?! Man, I can’t say enough good things about this glider. The high back and wingback sides make it perfect for resting my head all of those late nights with Faye-Faye. Faye wasn’t much of a spitter like Greta was, so it stayed relatively clean, but for the occasional rogue spit up, it did clean up effortlessly with just warm water and a rag.

West Elm's Graham Glider | Chris Loves Julia

West Elm's Graham Glider | Chris Loves Julia

(For reference, I’m 6’0″)

The Bad: There have been a few reports of other people having squeaking issues, but we haven’t experienced that.

Would We Do It Again: Absolutely yes. I can and do confidently recommend this glider to anyone. It’s fantastic and comfortable and stylish. Next time I would probably choose a linen fabric for looks.

See more of Faye’s nursery here.

Crate and Barrel’s Lounge Sofa

The Good: We actually included this one in our last review post from 2014 but we just keep getting questions about it so I thought I’d include it here again. The Lounge Sofa is one of our favorite purchases ever. Of all time! We have now had it for 4 years and recently had it professionally cleaned for the first time and it looks good as new. It’s deep so it’s ideal for tall people (that’s us!) or lounging. I love the straight arms and large, bench cushions which are trending right now.

The Bad: After the professional cleaning, the velvet-y fabric felt kind of stiff. It has since softened, but I probably should have just stuck with my usual warm water and a rag. Looking at photos from when we first got it to now, I can see the cushions aren’t as tight as they once were, but even still I like the relaxed look now.

Crate and Barrel's Lounge Sofa | Chris Loves Julia

Would We Do It Again: Yes! We considered getting a Lounge Sectional for our downstairs but the dimensions weren’t quite right. Crate & Barrel has now rolled out the new and improved Lounge II (I’m not sure what the difference is) and the Lounge II Petite which is a little less deep. Sounds like a great solution for a lot of people!

Blu Dot 91″ Branch Dining Table

The Good: This table is indestructible. The light wood color and groves are great at disguising any would be dents or scratches. It’s solid wood and I mean, SOLID! The girls play on it all day and it has held up perfectly. It’s also narrower, which makes sense in tight spaces, or in our case where we wanted a little more breathing room between the living area and kitchen.

Dining Room | Chris Loves Julia

The Bad: The same grooves that are great for not making this table show any scratches have also made this table not really play-doh friendly. Ha! Meaning, things can get stuck in those natural cracks. The girls now do Play-doh on the island where the surface is more smooth.

Dining Room | Chris Loves Julia

Would We Do It Again: Yes! I think this is a table we will have for many many years because it looks so great and is so family friendly. Seems like other reviewers would agree. We really wanted a table we didn’t have to baby and this is it.

Beige Shell Dining Chairs

The Good: These chairs are a parent’s dream! They wipe up so easily and there’s no cracks for food to get stuck in or dusting crevices. I’m glad we went with the beige color, too. I think they feel a little more sophisticated. And we were skeptical, but these are extremely comfortable to sit in–even for long periods of time!

Dining Room | Chris Loves Julia

The Bad: They are light weight. Greta loves to sit on the very edge of her chair and rock (we’re working on it) and the chair has tipped several times. Thankfully, no one has gotten hurt! Also, since we attached the legs ourselves, we are constantly tightening bolts which is expected, but could also be considered a “bad”.

Would We Do It Again: Yup! Right now, with little ones, I love the ease of these chairs. The chair is comfortable for adults and makes so much sense for easy clean-up with kids.

Black Windsor Dining Chairs

The Good: We got these chairs to serve as accent chairs on either end of the dining room table. I love the taller back height and modern lines.

Dining Room | Chris Loves Julia

The Bad: The seats have already scratched, I’m guessing from buttons on the seat of pants? I’ve touched it up with paint easily enough but it’s still kind of a bummer. Also, they need regular dusting–all those crevices!

Would We Do It Again: Hmm, not sure. The price was great and the occasional touch up isn’t a huge deal. These definitely aren’t heirloom chairs or anything, but they’re good for the look I wanted right now and the extra seating we needed. I got a plastic molded windsor chair in my office that has held up perfectly and I love! I’m officially on the look out for one with a taller seat back or maybe eventually we’ll just replace all the dining chairs with something like that?

West Elm Bed Mod Upholstered Bed

The Good: We’ve had this bed for almost a year now and we’re still all heart eyes over it. The platform style allowed us to ditch our box springs and the fully upholstered frame feels safer for little ones that are always running around. We are also surprised with how handy it is to have that sort-of “step” around the whole bed. Faye uses it to climb up herself, I store my phone on it at night, it’s a convenient place to tie shoes. It’s a beautiful, practical bed, reasonably priced bed.

West Elm Mod Upholstered Bed | Chris Loves Julia

The Bad: It does require vacuuming. Haha. Maybe it’s just that we have a big, hairy dog, but it attracts dust and hair. Nothing a quick vacuum doesn’t fix. We have had a couple spills on the “step” around it that have wiped up with no issue. Another negative is the delivery person (a third party individual) didn’t do a very good job putting the bed together. Shipping included assembly and the legs were on backward and very loose. Chris was able to fix it without issue but it was an unexpected job.

West Elm Mod Upholstered Bed | Chris Loves Julia

Would We Do It Again: Yes! This bed is dreamy and has been a completely pleasant addition to our room.

Stairwell Cube Light

The Good: This light first caught our eye because it felt like an art exhibit doubling as a light. It’s really beautiful and the length is customizable making it easily adaptable for a lot of different ceiling heights and spaces. Here’s a post about it in our stairwell.

Cube Light | Chris Loves Julia

The Bad: There have been a couple things we didn’t anticipate, namely, although there are eight bulbs they are pretty small, dim, expensive and we’ve already had to replace a couple. Also, the wide open design has attracted webs (I can’t even think about it!).

Would We Do It Again: It’s such a unique, beautiful light, but I don’t think we’d use it in our stairwell again. Especially since it’s the main light for the entryway making it a pretty dark walkway at night. We’re currently on the hunt for something that gives off a little more light.

Suit Yourself Flor Entry Rug in Linen

The Good: This is one durable rug! We were really worried such a light color (we went with the Linen) would show dirt right away, but almost a year and a half in and it has exceeded our expectations. We love that we were able to fill up our entry hallway and the pattern and texture is really quietly beautiful.

Suit Yourself Flor Squares | Chris Loves Julia

The Bad: Obviously the part by the door has experienced more wear than the other parts, but it’s not even that bad. I expect we’ll give them a good cleaning (Yellow Brick Home did a great tutorial on cleaning theirs!) sometime this year.

Suit Yourself Flor Squares | Chris Loves Julia

Would We Do It Again: Yes! This is our second go with Flor Squares and they continue to impress. They make so much sense for our family and home.

White Concrete Countertops

The Good: I saved the most asked about thing in our house for last–the white concrete countertops we poured in our kitchen last fall. I planned to write a whole kitchen review a year after the reno was completed, but I’m happy to talk about these counters as much as possible. We love them. Really love them. They add such a cool element to the whole kitchen. The peppering adds a great dimension, they are cool to the touch (like stone), they are thick and hard, we can set hot pans on it with no worry and for the most part we haven’t had any issues.

Ikea Kitchen with White Concrete Countertops | Chris Loves Julia

The Bad: …For the most part. We invested in a really high-quality sealer that was a process to apply and we attribute most of the ease of the countertops to that sealer. There is one rice-sized slit in the sealer by the sink. I don’t know how it happened or we missed it? But it’s there. And every time it gets wet, it gets dark right there. And when it dries, it’s back to normal. There was one scary moment where food from a dirty pan that was set on that spot got in the slit and therefore on the concrete. I was worried it was stained forever. But I poured some bleach on it and it is back to the original color. There was another time where curry got on the countertops (the regular sealed section) and I was sure it was going to be stained. But it wiped off. So besides that little crack in the sealer–it’s all been good.

Ikea Kitchen with White Concrete Countertops | Chris Loves Julia

Would We Do It Again: Actually, yes! Admittedly, we had no idea what to expect when we first decided to include white concrete countertops in our kitchen renovation. It was a cool project that we wanted to try. And to our surprise, we’re in love with them and all of our friends love them, too. Many of which, have since added them in their homes. We are still testing their limits though, so look for another review later this year.


I hope that helps answer a lot of your questions. Did I miss anything!? Feel free to ask additional questions in the comments. Happy Leap Day!

What do you think?

  1. Alison says:

    Hi Julia,

    I see that you have the graham glider from West Elm. In a recent move, we misplaced the bolts we needed to attach the base. By chance would you be able to help us figure it out so we can use our chair again. West Elm customer service was zero help and we’re desperate!

  2. Alex Davis says:

    Do you mind sharing the where the art is from in the with under the subheading Suit Yourself Flor Entry Rug in Linen… I think it would be great in a nursery! Thanks!

  3. julia says:

    hey there what grey paint did you use in your bedroom? It’s perfect with that upholstered bed.

    • Julia says:

      Thank you! It’s Chelsea Gray by Benjamin Moore

      • Julia Chinn says:

        Thanks! I have my eye on that color too. I read Julianne Moore used the same grey in her living room. Do you mind if I ask you what white paint you used on the molding around grey walls? Thanks!

  4. Marie says:


    I was wondering how big your rug is? I live in a basement and am dying to put something down on that cold floor but I can’t decide what size to get.


  5. MB says:

    I wanted to leave a note to let you know that we purchased the Graham Glider, in large part thanks to your review! We sat in every chair across three “baby store” chains and just couldn’t find anything that met our standards for comfort AND style. I saw the Graham on your blog and we went right away to try it out. Both of us totally fell in love. It arrived last week and we just could not be more pleased with the purchase.

    Anyhow, I just wanted to say “thanks!”. We really love your blog and appreciate your honest reviews.

  6. Leah says:

    Where did you get your floor lamp?

  7. Spencer S. says:

    Super late reply, but if you’re still having trouble with the bulbs in the stairwell cube light, look into getting LED versions of the T10 bulbs. They’ll use less wattage, last longer, and be much brighter. Just make sure to pay attention to the kelvin rating, depending on how warm/cool you want the output to be.

  8. Maura says:

    Hey beautiful house! Where is your bedroom rug from? Thanks!

  9. Bre says:

    Quick question about your concrete countertops (I’ve been reading all of your posts about them). :) After you sealed and have had them for awhile, is the color still mostly a pure white? You have subway tile, which is a brighter white — and your counters seem slightly darker in photos, but not too much. The reason I ask is because your last photo in this post (overhead shot of oranges) makes the countertop look almost like a light grey, but I realize this could be lighting, so I thought I’d ask.

    We’re going to have a similar setup (white concrete and subway tile) so I’m just trying to feel out how similar in tone they are. And if the countertops really do appear white in person.

  10. Melissa says:

    I’m curious – you mentioned if you were to purchase the Graham Glider again, you probably would get it in a linen fabric instead. We are currently expecting our first baby – and have decided to get the Graham Glider (just waiting for it to go on sale and to get an updated coupon code in my email!) Which color/fabric in particular would you choose? We went to the store yesterday and the fabrics look so different in person than online. We really like the linen weave (in natural) – but I’m not sure if it will stand up to spit-up, etc. I also saw another blog post with a positive review of the pebble weave in oatmeal.

    What are your thoughts?

    • Julia says:

      Good question! Hmm, I guess I would order a couple swatches but the linen weave and basket weave sound really beautiful. I actually love the COLOR of ours (the dove gray) but I just don’t love how the microfiber isn’t all one color unless all the fibers are facing the same way–which never happens. Otherwise it cleans up beautifully and is super soft. If I didn’t get it again, I might get a color, color. A deep blue or soft blush.

  11. Beth says:

    I just discovered your blog. It’s wonderful! I was wondering if you could tell me about the black leather bench in your entry?
    Your house is amazing. Thanks for sharing:)

  12. Sara says:

    Julia, I just wanted to say I adore the way your home is coming together. You have a great style, up to date yet not super-trendy, mode but relaxing. Great job!

  13. Evelina says:

    I seriously love posts like this. They are so helpful and I’m going to save it for when I need to buy a nursery rocker!

  14. Alison Melucci says:

    We are going to purchase the Branch table based on your recommendation. I love it!! Just wanted to ask what you use to clean it?

  15. Eliza says:

    SO GLAD to hear that you love your West Elm bed! I have been eyeing it since I saw it on your blog and am going to make the plunge today– woohoo! Not to be a total stalker, but do you love your mattress? We are having THE HARDEST TIME deciding what to go with and I think we just need to take the plunge. Also, any favorite places to get bedding? I feel like the duvets I’ve bought lately pill so quickly!

    • Julia says:

      Yay for the bed! You’ll love it. We don’t loovveee our mattress. We bought it when we first got married and Chris needs something a little firmer for his back. It has a pillow top attached and I don’t love that because we can’t fully rotate it which has made clear “bucket seats.” We’re casually looking for another one, I’ll update you when we find it! As for duvets, we got ours through Crane and Canopy and it has been great! No pilling and it’s so silky soft.

    • Rachel says:

      I’ve been eyeing that bed too and it’s currently on sale! I have all the hearts in my eyes for that bed. I have a Tuft & Needle mattress that’s 10 inches of foam….so I’m hoping and praying that the bed can support it well enough. Do you know how far apart the slats are?

      Good luck on finding a mattress! I feel like it’s such a big decision and such a big investment!

      • Julia says:

        We’ve been looking at Tuft & Needle mattresses! The slats are about 3-4″ apart, I’d say. It seems really supportive.

      • Rachel says:

        Another question about the mod upholstered bed: would you recommend it for someone who has a dust/dust mite allergy? I fear that overtime, it’ll just puff out dust when being gently bumped or hit. But I really love the bed! Decisions, decisions!

        Thanks :)

      • Julia says:

        Hmm. I don’t know enough about dust allergies to give you a safe answer. But I will say, it doesn’t seem to be upholstered in a way that gives off dust when hit. There’s not that much batting in the upholstery. But we do vacuum it occasionally due to dog hair, etc. So I haven’t noticed dust at all.

  16. Katie says:

    How about the faux-tile floors? Pros/cons? Would you do them again? We’re considering them for our bathroom with ship lap on the walls :)

  17. Michael says:

    Hi Julia – Would you recommend your stairwell light fixture for a formal dining room? I was considering that same fixture but am now second guessing it. My dining room table is 10 feet long and I would have two of those fixtures above the table. It doesn’t need to be super bright but I don’t want it to be too dark either.


  18. Jen says:

    You should check out filament LED bulbs for your fixture. The nice part is being that they are LED can put a hire lumen output in, as long as the socket can handle it. It might brighten the stairs.

  19. This is so helpful! For me, especially about the FLOR tiles which we’ve considered for a few spaces. Thank you! The countertop looks amazing… I’m still scared to DIY something like that, though!

  20. Carol says:

    You might try Loctite on your dining room chairs. I used it several years ago on some bar stools that were having the same issue and I haven’t had to tighten the screws up since!

  21. Stephanie says:

    I love these posts! We are finishing our basement and are looking at buying the lounge sofa! What color is your lounge sofa?

  22. Abby says:

    I’m the proud owner of a squeaky West Elm Graham glider. I do love it, though, and would probably still buy it again. I’m tall also at 6’1″, and it’s so comfortable. And I would do the same as you and go with a custom fabric next time. The stock fabric cleans up beautifully, but lacks a bit of personality. Still playing with solutions to fix the squeaks!

    • Julia says:

      Thanks for weighing in, Abby!

    • Lauren O. says:

      Just jumping into the squeaky Graham glider conversation. Our first glider started squeaking soon after arrival, so we called WE and they sent us a new one and picked up the squeaker. When the second one started squeaking a couple months in, I turned the chair over and tightened all of the screws that I could find where the metal attached to the wooden base. Since then (over a year later), no squeaking. Worth a try if you haven’t already!

  23. Alison Melucci says:

    Love your home, I have actually been looking for a molded plastic higher back chair as well. Please post one if you find one you like

  24. Courtney says:

    I live the countertops. We are thinking of putting them in our new house, when we get to that step. It’s still a long way off though (sigh!). Did you do them yourself or hire it out?

  25. Jackie says:

    Sigh… I love your house. So beautiful.

  26. Megan says:

    How about your CB2 sconces in the bedroom, how have those held up and do you still like them?

    • Julia says:

      Good one! Yes! The only downside about those was that the on/off switch was pretty far away from the bedside. But we picked up a tap push switch + cord that it plugs into for about $8 and now we have it right by our bed. We love them!

      • Laura says:

        I have been searching for this bed frame since I found it out of stock on (or at least a very similar one). Where might I ask have you found this one?? Love everything about your home!!

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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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