Rabbit Hole

Isn’t it fantastic how easy it is to stumble upon a blog you never even knew about–simply by following links from blog to blog? It really is like a rabbit hole of great pictures and wonderful content.

Well, earlier this week Blair posted about the February Comment Love Challenge over at Desirous of Everything. I am so excited to participate! The jist of it is to comment on posts instead of just reading/skimming and moving on. SO SIMPLE! Those who comment at least 42 times by Valentine’s Day are entered for a prize. Comments jut make my day and I know that this is true for all bloggers. Knowing that people have read what you’ve worked so hard on gives a little rush and builds momentum to head forward on more posts and projects. Additionally, insightful and meaningful comments are a major traffic-driver for your own site. It truly is a win-win.

One frustration, though: and perhaps this has happened to you and can tell me why this occurs. When I try to comment on a bigger blog, like Design*Sponge for example, my comment is eaten and never sees the light of day. I can only assume they are getting sent to the spam filter. Whaaaaa?! I try to at least write real, complete sentences, not something banal like “Cute!” …yet the short comments often make it up while mine end up in a black hole somewhere.

Comment Love Challenge

Anyway, I’m SO happy to say that I have commented on various blogs 6 times in the last two days and I hope that my words have brought a smile to another blogger’s face. Hopefully I can comment repeatedly on several blogs and develop some blog buddies ;)

PS: Due to some great responses yesterday, I’m giving Bloglovin a shot. Although this morning I instinctively went to Google Reader. Whoops! I’m “claiming” this blog too, so please Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

PPS: Evidence of comments as traffic-drivers: one time I posted a link to my coffeetable refurbishment post in a comment on Young House Love and I got 365 views in one day! WHAT THE WHAT! Unfortunately, none of them left a comment. Wop wop. However, that was this blog’s busiest day ever! Yay!


The Big Three [I Admire]

When this blog grows up, it wants to be like these blogs.

Now, on my Google reader, I follow a TON of blogs. What turns me off is when people only post about things you could buy if you wanted to. Do you know what I’m talking about? “Look, here are some lovely clothes and decorative objects grouped by color. They are all out of your price range.” While I’m impressed by the fact that the author found these cool design-y objects I could not come up with if I tried (where do you find this stuff??), that ain’t me. Among the blogs I follow, a few do have moments like that, but those posts do not stick with me. I glance at them, scroll past, and look for something more down-to-earth, chatty, and engaging. Like… the ones I’m going to point out today.

My blog heroes: I’m talking about heavyweights in the interior design blogging world. I know there are bigger ones, magazine-style blogs with various contributors and more content, and other blogs with a widespread reader base that I subscribe to, but none of those speak to and inspire me as consistently as these three do. These are the blogs that I cross my fingers and hope a new post is up when I check my Google reader every morning. The ones I can spend hours browsing in my pajamas on the couch instead of going to bed. Wow, I sound like I’m writing a love letter. And maybe I am.

Below, click on the picture of each site to be taken to it.

Enough blathering. Let’s get to ’em.

What I love about 7th House of the Left:

  • What a great site design! They seem like a fun and interesting couple.
  • This house is so classy and the writers seem so fun. You can tell a lot of the house is “in progress” and it makes me eager to see how things turn out. Each room’s color palette is top-notch and I can’t wait to see her incorporating more “pops” of color here and there (which she mentions frequently that they’re working on).  They are currently working on their kitchen (YHL is too–see below) and I find it very interesting what they are choosing that is similar and different from other kitchen rennos I’m seeing online.
  • I really like their “his and hers” posts–glimpses into what other people are totally into at the moment is interesting to me.
  • They post the least frequently out of the three blogs listed here, but that’s okay because of the posts’ quality.
  • They have a top-notch house tour page and their “projects” page allows you to see their floor plan and click room by room to see related posts. LOVE!


What I love about Brooklyn Limestone:

  • There are fewer home construction posts on this blog since the renovation she started 5 years ago is finished. She does talk about furniture and accessories, which are interesting to me, but also writes about a wide variety of topics like holidays, travel, and organization.
  • The photography is excellent, from up-close shots–she does a ton of holiday-centric paper items, especially halloween, and takes detail shots of everything) to far away, and wide angle shots. (I have to assume she has a wide angle lens to get narrow rooms into one photo).
  • She travels a lot… and shares photos with us, which as I said before, are often just breathtaking.
  • Her free printables are so much fun! I used the tags she made this year at Christmas and I look to these to get some inspiration for my own paper documents (cards, fun things at work, etc).
  • Collaboration with other bloggers–I found this blog around a year ago (I think) from her junk drawer overhaul series… YHL (below) were included and I followed their link on over and have been a fan ever since!
  • Her worldly sofa table. I am pretty sure this is what sold me on the blog for good. It is just perfect.

What I love about Young House Love:

  • John and Sherry’s writing style makes their personality very clear. Tons of commenters mention it every day–“I feel like I know you and we are friends!”
  • Frequency of posts: they post twice each weekday (once on Friday) which keeps us all coming back for more on a regular basis.
  • They do a ton of projects, large and small. For example, they are currently redoing their kitchen, but not all posts are kitchen-related, because they simply aren’t going fast enough to give us two updates a day on it (they are moving at light speed considering they are doing it themselves as well as being full-time bloggers). So, interspersed between the big projects are smaller things that anyone can do, whether a homeowner, renter, or other (dorm resident? I don’t know).
  • Step by step details. Man. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen somebody explain, with words and picture (instead of video or in person) how to do something–and make it seem so doable and even easy. They have a knack for walking you through a process and making you (well, me) believe that I can do anything as long as I’m patient (paint: “thin and even”) and thorough.



If this blog wants to grow up and be more like the others (maybe my blog is in middle school and the above are in college?), here are a few things I can learn from their successes and work toward in the future. While it’s not feasible for me to abandon my 40 hour a week job like YHL, I can continue focusing on doing quality projects, getting better at writing step-by-step how-to’s for them, and most importantly taking and using more photos. How pathetic is it that I don’t use a ton of extra photos because it’s such a pain moving them over to the computer from the camera? Lazybones alert. So, here are a few more bullet points just for fun:

  • Take more photos and improve their quality
  • Do more step by step “How to” posts
  • Share budget breakdowns so readers know how cheap/easy something can me
  • Continue to link back to old posts for reference
  • Try to post frequently, make it a habit and gradually increase frequency

Any tips for my little blog as it grows up?
Or, I know, please leave YOUR favorite blog in the comment section! Pretty please!

Cohesive Color Scheme

I have been trying to pin down a color scheme to use throughout all the rooms in my house so they flow together and don’t feel disjointed. Since we painted the living room, dining room, and hallway Westhighland White (color by Sherwin Williams, matched to Valspar) those rooms are airy and light. The kitchen and bathroom are La Fonda Mirage from Valspar’s historic color line, and they too are bright and cheerful. Then we come to the bedroom and guestroom/office, which we did not pick the colors for.

They are two different shades of dark blue-gray. The office is darker than the bedroom by a hair. This brings the “light and airy” train to a dead halt. I’m trying to lighten the mood by using light colors in both of these rooms… the effect is working better in the office than in the bedroom. I know it takes time and energy (and money!) to create the perfect layered look so I need to be patient. But the bedroom is killing me! It reminds me of a bachelor pad… all dark grey and white with dark wood accents. Like Barney Stinson’s apartment on HIMYM.

Image from how-i-met-your-mother.wikia.com

I turn to Pinterest for my design inspiration, more often than not. As I’ve written about before, I love to pull up my pinboards and look at what trends I’ve been drawn to over time, instead of sticking with just one inspiration image/room. Here are two shots of my “Personal Environment” boards–if you want to see anything in particular, just click on them to be taken to my pinboard.

What I noticed is white, white, white, with pops of bright, vibrant color. Got the bright and vibrant thing going in the kitchen and bathroom; can’t wait to accessorize more. Still working on the bright colors in the bedroom, where I am largely at a loss. Remember the pic of Barney’s room? Doesn’t even remotely speak to my pinboards, does it? This brings me to my next tool:

To keep myself on the up and up (and to keep myself focused on things that will “go” in my space instead of being distracted by other pretty, potentially clashy items) I created this handy little color palette for myself to print out and keep in my purse. Except be warned… the “Westhighland White” on your computer screen is a very strange, bad color, and in my “official” one it’ll be replaced with a real paint swatch.

I cannot WAIT to get some of that green and coral into the bedroom. DIYing some detail on the curtains? Maybe! Putting new pillows on the bed to go with our new duvet? Probably! Having my main colors and accent colors on hand will help me when making decisions (scenario: “But it’s on sale 50% off!” “Does it go with everything else?” “No…”). Hopefully they’ll help me get a vision for the bedroom as well. Because I’m about ready to move into the guest room with it’s happy pillows and gold frame (and computer, of course).