It’s that day of the week again! I’m handing my teacher torch over today to a couple of real experts who have been loving on their Boston Queen Anne Victorian for over three years and creating meaningful routines along the way to make it feel like home faster. Their historic home is a mecca of DIY passion projects, full of so much heart, and meaningful moments. Renovation Husbands are here!
Over the last year we have spent more time at home than ever. We transitioned from a life of daily commutes to a life of working from home. Despite the fact that we are now venturing more and more out into the world, many of the changes we made are here to stay (good luck getting us back into an office.) We very quickly learned that our morning commutes and office life were important parts of our daily routine. They indicated a start and end to our work day and gave us a physical and mental separation from home life. Once these routines were stripped away we found that hours, and days, began to string together with no definitive start or end. It became hard to know when your work day began, and when your work day ended.
In order to solve this we began to rely on new routines that helped ground us in our day.
This one is easy! To help break up our screen time we make it a point to take lunch together. Setting boundaries at work in order to do this can be surprisingly hard but the precedent is now set. What we find particularly helpful is our daily post-lunch “tour of the grounds” – 10 minutes to feed the pond fish and walk around the yard commenting on a plant here or there. It makes our very small city property feel fancy and forces us to take a moment outside.
Hands down, the Parlor. For us, this room represents a reprieve from our screen driven world. It’s become our “analog” room. There is no tv, the lighting is soft, and a record player sits on the shelf. It’s a moment to turn off everything digital and sit with yourself. We use the room to read, listen to records, or talk about our goals.
Create a space that’s just for you. This sounds like an easy idea but in actuality it takes some intention, especially for those with kids or roommates (or spouses). An entire room might not be an option but create a moment for yourself in your favorite corner, a bench, a stoop. We find that having your spot can be a great way to collect your thoughts and refresh so you can take on whatever life throws at you.
DIY! At the top of the “things we are proud of” list are projects that we have completed together (David is more proud of our shower project than he is of his Masters degree.) There is nothing quite like taking on a challenge, problem solving, and completing a project you have never done before. At the end of any project we take a moment and reflect on what we have created for our home. Create a space that you love.
Lighting! From the fixture, to the bulb, to the temperature, the lighting of a room sets the tone. Stephen is a total lighting snob and obsesses over making the lighting correct for any given space. Do you want the room to be energizing? Crank up the brightness and go with a “cooler” temperature. We go this direction for kitchens and baths. Want a softer, more ambient space? Go warmer, and dim it down. We do this for our bedrooms and spaces like the parlor. All that said, we never go over 3500 Kelvins (color temperature scale) blue light is our worst nightmare.
Stephen and David St. Russell, are a husband-husband DIY team with a passion for a good project. In 2017, after fixing up a couple homes together, they happened upon a completely gutted 1893 Boston Queen Anne Victorian and it was love at first sight.
For the last 3+ years they have been transforming their home room-by-room and sharing the process on Instagram.
Give them a follow at @renovationhusbands
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.
When you’re gearing up to try something new, whether it be jumping off a cliff into a cool lake, expecting your first child, or buying a new home, you need a cheerleader in your corner. You know, a hype girl saying you got this! It’s going to be great! You can do it! I’m here […]
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