Thank you all so very much for adding your questions to our Q & A post. I loved reading your questions, and I have listed my answers below. 🙂
There were several similar questions, so I bundled them together in one big answer.
Question: How do you decide what materials and/or colors to use in your home? Do you just try to picture it in your head, or do you sketch it out?
Answer: This is such a great question! I know how hard it can be to decide on a color scheme, or a flow of items throughout your home. I think my best answer, would be to follow your gut and to use colors, furniture, etc. that you love. No matter what anyone else says, your home is yours. Fill it with what you love, and if you are looking for a consistent “theme”, or similar colors throughout, find a few examples of things you absolutely love. Be that from nature, a picture in a magazine or online, or just from something you already own.
In some cases, I will actually sketch out a drawing, mind you it’s a very rough sketch because I have zero artistic ability, but it helps to lay it out on paper. Most times though, I have a vision in my head, a feeling of how I want it to be, and I work on creating that as closely as I can. Sometimes I walk in to a room and I can automatically see what it needs, and other times it takes me a long time to figure it out. In those cases, I try not to rush myself… it will come naturally.
Question: Do you make everything for your online shop yourself or do you have others who help you?
Answer: Several of the items we make are handmade, including our pillows, wood products, and some home decor. We’re passionate about making and creating items that speak to us, and that are functional, but not all of our items are made by us. We do have someone who sews all of our pillows. She’s a great friend of mine, and we are so blessed to have her!
Question: Who helped you create your e-commerce site? I love it and your blog!
Answer: Our site and shop website were created by the very talented Sara at Moonsteam Design. Not only does she totally get, and rule, all that techy stuff, but she knows my style. Whenever I take a design idea to her, she exceeds my expectations!
Question: Is creating a blog hard to do?
Answer: My first thought, is YES! Creating a blog, and maintaining it is a truck load of work. Not only is it actually creating the projects, but it’s photographing them, editing them, writing the post, etc. Once you start doing sponsored posts with companies, which is exciting, it adds another level to your work.
I try sooo hard to run and manage this blog in an orderly fashion, but it seems I’m always letting something slip through the cracks. I have a bunch of e-mails that need responses, back end blog things to do, and fresh content to create. While a blog is a lot of fun, and I am so lucky to have it as my full-time job, it can also be overwhelming. Since my office is in the house, I always find it hard to “leave” work. And, the house is a mess a lot from constantly doing projects.
Question: Could you share your floor plan and square footage. I love the layout of what we can see!
Answer: Sure! We built our house in 2012. We picked a floor plan we liked, and made some changes. Below is the end result, but we did make a few changes to the floor plan as we were building it. See the dining room walls (we removed the side that opens to the kitchen). Not listed is also our basement, which is in the hallway behind the kitchen. The total square footage of our home is 3,000, which includes the basement (not shown on this floor plan). Sorry that the left side is cut off a smidge, that is the end of our house.
Question: I love your kitchen shelf. Can you tell me where you got it?
Answer: I love our kitchen shelf too! It’s actually an old shelf from Home Interiors. They’ve since gone out of business, but when I received the shelf from my aunt, who was a consultant at the time. When I received the shelf, it was damaged. The back part of the shelf was split in half, and the row of hooks that hung horizontally from it were falling off. I decided to give it a makeover, and chose to remove the horizontal wood piece (with the hooks), and to rework the metal corbels. I also sanded it down and stained it in Provincial by Minwax. Of course, all of this was pre-blogging, so I don’t have any pictures of the process…
Question: As a resident of Canada, I am wondering if you ship to our beautiful Provinces?
Answer: Yes! We do ship to Canada and are currently in the process of making our shipping process more streamlined, so it can be cheaper.
Question: When designing a room, what do you start with? Furniture, paint color, etc.
Answer: This is such a great question, and something I have tweaked since I first started the journey of decorating our home. After quite a bit of trial and error, I find that I generally design a room based on the feeling I want to convey. I’ll generally start with several descriptive words on how I want the room to feel. It may include something like: fresh, cozy, happy, bright, neutral, modern, etc. From there, I start to put it all together, pulling in pieces as they fit my description. With that, I also use favorite colors, decor pieces, etc.
Question: What is the name of the toilet you installed in your master bathroom, and where did you find the best price for it?
Answer: Our toilet is from Lowes. We bought it several years ago, so I apologize for not remembering the exact one we purchased. It’s made by Jacuzzi. I think Lowes and Home Depot have similar pricing structures.
Question: How old are you and Anthony?
Answer: Anthony is 31, and I am 27.
Question: How long have you been married?
Answer: This year in May, Anthony and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary… Time has flown by, and I can honestly say, every year gets a little bit better. I’m not sure how I ever made it without him! He is my best friend.
Question: Are your photos able to be posted in a higher resolution? I often cannot see the details because they are a little blurry.
Answer: Thanks so much for the question! Most of my photo’s are taken to have a slight blur/ bokeh affect. I will open up my camera lens a little more to let in more details.
Question: Did you both inherit your talents and creativity from your parents? They must be very proud!
Answer: Anthony’s parents divorced when he was a little boy, both remarrying a few years later. Both sets of his parents are extremely talented. His dad has wonderful vision, and can build anything you ask. He may not know everything, but he’ll figure it out. His step mom is the same way. Anthony’s mom is extremely kind. She is sincere, orderly and a wonderful mother. Anthony get’s his tidiness from her, making my life pretty easy. His step dad is an amazing carpenter/ builder. He owns his own construction company and constantly works on houses/ buildings. Anthony absolutely learned much of his know- how from both his step dad and dad. His cleanliness side is from his mamma.
As for my parents, my dad will openly admit he has no clue where I got my talent from… (Should we even call it a talent?). My mom on the other hand, will say that I did get some of my characteristics from her. She loved to craft, do ceramics and work on the house when I was a little girl. We planted flowers, vegetable gardens, made crafts and did a lot of imaginary playing. She also shared her desire for homemaking, which is why I thoroughly enjoy cleaning the house and doing laundry. Seriously.
Yes, I would say our parents are proud… and we are beyond blessed to have them! Truly!
Question: How can I get my husband not to think I’m OCD when I say “maybe we should hang it straight instead of crooked”, or “how about we don’t get paint on the new hardware or wood floors”, or “cleaning the kitchen also includes wiping the counters and stove”? In other words I think you’re pretty lucky and blessed with the talented husband you have. Please tell him?
Answer: Well, this is a hard one. Like I mentioned above, Anthony is exceptionally tidy, has OCD and likes everything in a place, or in order. He makes it easy to clean the house, because he doesn’t leave things laying around. Seriously, I’m lucky to have him. I’m shooting from the hip on this one, but perhaps you could lead by example? Maybe show him how it needs to be done? Show him that we always prep the area before we start a project? I’m crossing my fingers for you!
Question: Do you use an eggshell, semi-gloss or satin paint on your whites? We painted our shiplap ceilings in semi gloss and they are much too shiny. I did the rest of my ceilings, planking and doors in satin and love them. Any input on what you choose?
Answer: Paint sheen’s are one of the most misunderstood elements of painting, and I completely understand. You want it to be scrub-able, so naturally semi-gloss is the best option. But what isn’t mentioned, is that semi-gloss reflects light almost as much as an actual light. It produces a shine, or glare, which can be very distracting.
Typically, I will only use semi-gloss on trim. That’s where I notice the most need for cleaning, or repainting. For my walls, I always either use eggshell, or satin. My first choice would be eggshell, because it’s still scrub-able, but there’s minimal sheen. Satin is a step up, and it will have a bit more sheen, making this a good option for walls, or doors. Flat paint is the least scrub-able paint, making it nearly impossible to wash your walls without the paint coming off. I would only suggest flat paint for ceilings, which don’t need scrubbed. Ceilings also shouldn’t repel light. You want the ceiling to be “there”, but not noticeable. Flat paint does the trick.
Question: I have oil rubbed bronze door hinges and hardware. Do you think if I painted the inside of some exterior doors in black, or charcoal that the hardware will disappear and look bad? It’s brand new, and from Emtek, so I’m not changing it.
Answer: I completely understand your dilemma, and this is actually something I struggled with when I first started painting doors black. I felt like the oil rubbed bronze hardware would get “lost” in the black paint, making it lack contrast from the hardware. After doing it once, I realized it was much more noticeable than I had imagined. Now, I don’t second guess my decision.
Question: Where can I find the 4 egg baskets you have on top of your kitchen cabinets?
Answer: I absolutely love the baskets on top of my kitchen cabinets. We refer to them as onion baskets, as they were used on my great- grandparents farm years ago when they harvested onions by hand. I found these baskets (with several others) in their barn. My great uncle was kind enough to give me a few. I do see them at antique malls every now and then, so perhaps check there.
Question: How would you display and/or re-purpose vintage embroidered dish towels from my husband’s grandmother?
Answer: I love embroidered dish towels! I actually have several, which I requested from my grandma. I use mine as a towel, but I know yours are probably quite special (and old) to be used as a towel. I think they would be lovely framed and used on the wall, like this. And depending on their artwork, they could easily be used in more than the kitchen, perhaps the laundry room, dining room, or even a bathroom! If you wanted to re purpose them, I think they’d also be great for a table runner, sewn together, or folded as a napkin for special events.
Question: I love the planking in your master bathroom! How do you prevent mold on the wood walls?
Answer: This seems to be a regular question, and one I understand. After going through the work to install the planks, there’s no way you want them to have mold/ moisture issues. In our master bathroom, I actually painted them with semi-gloss paint, which is what I tend to do with all of my plank walls. The planking seems to soak up some of the sheen from the semi-gloss. With that said, our master bathroom has very good ventilation, and we don’t have an issue with moisture. Semi-gloss paint should help with the prevention.
Question: Where do you get the planking material from?
Answer: For the planking material, we purchase it at Home Depot in the lumber section. It’s typically on the same aisle as the plywood. This particle material is 1/4″ thick, and is made of multiple layers. While it’s not the strongest material, it’s the perfect choice for planking. It’s easy to cut into strips, and it’s cheap, which makes it easy to transform a room with little money invested.
Question: I’ve read your post on planking the master bathroom, and using 1/4″ underlay. Do the planks have to be primed? How many coats of paint?
Answer: In my experience, the planks do not need to be primed. We have planked several walls throughout our house, and I haven’t noticed any of the wood showing through. Typically, to do white, a plank wall will take 3-4 coats. A super smooth, slim roller is recommended.
Question: You mentioned doing small updates as you tackle huge projects in your home. Do you plan on changing your basic house color scheme or adding pops of color in some of the rooms?
Answer: This is such a great question! We are working on some bigger projects throughout the house, but that doesn’t mean my resources (money) are used up in those rooms. While a large chunk of it is, I always leave myself a bit of room to move things around. I have felt a slight style change, nothing extreme, but perhaps a cleaner, fresher, simpler style sneaking in. I’ve felt it for a while, and as we work on those projects, I have found myself adjusting paint colors in other rooms of the house. Some of them haven’t ever had a second color, and some of them have. As time goes on, I find my style becoming stronger. I’m closer to “honing” in on it. Subtle changes will include different colors, subtle patterns, and a smidge of color, but things will stay pretty neutral.
Question: I am also married to a farmer and am curious to know how Anthony has time for non-farm related projects, and how you keep your whites white having a farmer in the house. I know my mother-in-law and other farm wife friends have mentioned that projects/updates/reno’s to the home always come last where the farm is concerned. I would say that is fairly true in my home too.
Answer: I completely understand! Living on a farm does seem to be a time suck. All extra time, energy, money, resources, etc., tends to go right back into the farm, leaving other areas (the house, outbuildings, etc.) lacking attention. Growing up, my mom was responsible for all of the household chores, and the minor projects that came her way. I also think it greatly depends on the level of priorities. It’s easy to set aside projects, or items on the to do list because they’re not that important. But as time goes on, that to do list becomes a force to be reckoned with. Those items are a “must do” type of project, which is exactly where my parents were. My dad was never a handy person, unless it came to the farm and farm equipment, so my mom would hire out the things she couldn’t do. They’re remodeling several areas of my childhood home, and I’m so happy to see them finally do it!
As for how I manage it all, I set my priority projects for the slow season of farming, which is generally the end of November once we get everything harvested, to the end of February. I share my list with Anthony, let him know what things are at the top of my list, and plan out everything I can get done for him to complete the items I really want him to do. I know that if I ask him to do a project anywhere between March to August, that I’ll probably get a hard look. There’s no time for it, so I don’t ask, or add the additional stress. But, that doesn’t stop me from leaving little hints throughout those months. It’s more of a “if you get time, can you help me with…” sort of thing, rather than “can you do this…”. Typically, in the busy months, I take care of everything around the house, be that the yard, the house, the garden, the weeds, etc. Anthony has other areas to cover, so I know I’m on my own with my chores.
For keeping the whites, white…. I must say I am lucky. Anthony is a tidy person by nature, and he likes to keep things looking just as nice as I do. I will do touch up painting if necessary, but I actually love magic erasers for the hard clean up jobs. They’re my secret weapon. 🙂
Question: Where did you get the beautiful white island in your kitchen?
Answer: I love our white island! I found it at Home Depot when we were building the house. You can read more about it here.
Question: My question would be about your black doors, I have garden doors in my dining room and family room and am trying to decide if I should leave them white, or if it would work to paint them black. How or what made you decide to paint them black? And is it only the doors or is the frame also black?
Answer: I love our black doors! I am slowly painting the interior of each exterior door black. For our french doors in the living room, I wanted the contrast. Once we installed the board and batten, and the walls were painted white, it just seemed our french doors were lost in a wall of white. When we built our house, we added them to be a focal point, showing our beautiful view. Once we had white walls, white curtains, white doors, it felt… white. The black paint helped bring attention back to the doors, while seamlessly fitting in with the rest of the house. When I first painted them, it was such a big change, and I was a little bit unsure if I had done the right thing, but now I wouldn’t change them. They bring a richness to the room. I keep the trim white, and just paint the actual door black.
Question: How did you get started blogging, and when did your store come into focus? How has God has brought you to this point?
Answer: I started the blog in 2012 as a way to keep family updated with the building process of our home. I wanted our family to be a part of the process, even if they weren’t living in the same city, which is the case for all of Anthony’s family. Once the house was built, the blog became more of a “decorating/ how to”. Our budget wouldn’t allow us to do all of the custom things we wanted, so we started adding to our open shell. I started having regular readers, and I decided to continue writing/ blogging. I honestly had no idea what it would turn into.
Once we started sharing our DIY projects, I began receiving loads of e-mails from readers. Some wanted advice, others to know where I had found something, and a bunch wanting to buy something we had made for our home. At first, it was a simple, “No, I’m sorry we don’t sell that”, but I slowly started realizing that we had an entirely separate business with that side of the blog. It especially took off once we decided to to the traveling shows. Our fist was the Q & A post in Loveland, and we had sooo many requests for an online shop. We decided to take the plunge, expanding the blog, and learning all the aspects an online shop would require. We launched the online shop last year, and it’s been amazing to see sooo many people loving our items as much as we do. It’s amazing to see my passion for “home” spread throughout this blog.
I can honestly, without a doubt say, that God has been the source behind it all. Every single blessing we have, far beyond this blog, has come from Him. He has shown me the depths of my business, little by little, leading me to where He wants me to go. I listen, branching out even though it scares me beyond belief. I know He has a plan, and if I can follow the path He leads me on, I know I will never fail. If I can help even one person who is struggling, or one person who is looking to add true love to their home, I know I have succeeded, which means, He has succeeded.
I have done more than I have ever thought, and I am excited to see what He has in store next.
I had so much fun answering all of your questions! Thank you so much to everyone who submitted a question! I hope this helped you to get to know me a little bit more! 🙂