You asked, we answered. Without further ado, the scoop on all things us:
What’s the deal with this site? Welcome to our weird little world. This is a personal/home-related blog where we’ve chronicled our lives as we fixed up 3 homes and had 2 kids (we’ve been blogging since 2007). Here you’ll find nearly 3,000 free projects & makeovers in our archives, along with new posts each week… and lots of exclamation points!!!
Why did you guys start this blog? It was actually John’s idea to start a blog to track the progress of our kitchen remodel for our friends and family (never thinking a single person outside of the family would tune in – let alone that millions of people would stop by and it would become a full time job that supported our family). You can read more of our story here.
I want a blog! How do I make one? In a nutshell, we would download the WordPress software for free at WordPress.org and buy a domain name at BlueHost, along with using BlueHost for their awesomely affordable hosting services. We started out with them, and they’re really helpful & cost effective (it was a sad day when we outgrew them and had to switch to LiquidWeb, who we also love, but is significantly more expensive). You shouldn’t have an issue with outgrowing BlueHost until you hit around 500,000 hits a month, so use them as long as you can! We also use the Fun WordPress Genesis theme (that’s sort of like a “kit” that includes the layout and design elements to make your site look pretty).
Do you have any advice for growing my blog, gaining readers, and making money blogging? We’d say that it was a combination of hard work and a series of lucky breaks. Here’s a ton of info about starting a blog, growing traffic, and earning money blogging.
Wait, you guys wrote three books? I know, we’re just as surprised as you are. After a few years of being approached by various agents and publishers we found the right fit and scored a two book deal. Our first book, kokokara, came out in the fall of 2012 and a second book, Lovable Livable Home, came out at the end of 2015 – both of which stunned us by making the NY Times Best-Seller List. Then our fun little coloring book called Color At Home hit shelves in 2016.
What’s this I hear about product design? Back in 2009 we sold homemade art prints and shipped each one out by hand, so the fact that there are companies that manufacture our product designs and stores like Target and Home Depot that sell them is nothing short of amazing to us! You can browse all of our current products here.
What paint color is in your kitchen/bedroom/living room etc? Here’s a page full of paint color info for ya.
Where did you get your sofa/table/yellow rug? Here’s a room by room source list of nearly every item that we own.
Where did you get that portrait of your first house from? This question comes up a ton. Here’s that post.
Do you have a list of tools every DIYer should own? You can find the closest thing to that right here.
What if I have a question about painting furniture, refinishing something, or painting my cabinets? Here’s a post all about how to paint almost any piece of furniture, here’s one about refinishing something, and here’s one about how to give your cabinets a new look with a coat of paint (please read the comments for even more info). You can also check out our Projects page for more tutorials.
What kind of camera do you guys use? Nearly every photo on the blog over the last four years was taken with our Nikon D3200 DSLR, which we talk more about right here.
Do you have a post about your favorite places to thrift/shop/eat/hang out/see in Richmond, VA? Here you go.
What are your favorite places to shop for rugs/pillows/lamps/sofas/dining tables, etc? Here’s a page full of some of our favorite home-related finds.
What’s up with those photos of your kids with their age & with fabric backdrops? With our daughter, we photoshopped the onesie to make it look personalized, and we used clearance fabric from places like JoAnn and Hancock for the background. Here’s a link to all of her pics, a post about how we do the photoshop work, and an update about the project. As for our son, here’s how we tweaked the project for him along with a year’s worth of photos.
How do you make mood boards? We make them in Adobe Photoshop (after bringing a bunch of our favorite items into Photoshop, we size ’em, cut them out, and add some numbers to create a handy dandy guide that correlates to our explanations). If you don’t have access to Photoshop, we’ve heard great things about OlioBoard, Polyvore and MyDeco so you might want to check those out.
Where did you guys meet? We met in NYC when we both worked at the same advertising agency and filmed a baby commercial together. What can we say, babies brought us together… and now we have two. We secretly dated until we moved to Virginia and got engaged. To this day our old coworkers still talk about how we “blew their minds” by revealing our relationship, and we laugh about all the times we almost got busted strolling through Central Park hand-in-hand.
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