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You Tube Channel

I started a little You Tube channel.  I was going to have 50 videos by Christmas.  It is now 5 months later, and I only have three.  Here they are though!  




Custom Rugs for Beth

Hi Christine! 

I love your blog, and I am in dire need of real world mom carpet design advice (not salesman!) for my 1st floor.  I have Ben Moore edgecomb gray paint on my 1st floor, and I need custom size rugs for my living room, dining and fam room bc they are all odd sized rooms.  I want neutral color rugs that all flow together since i am using pillows , wall art , plants etc for color.  I love Masland carpets too - but how do I choose what goes together / flows well?  Should I get 3 rugs all the same? 3 different patterns? How light /dark in color should I go?   What styles are more fam room vs living room appropriate?  In an ideal world, wool or nylon?  Any help would be much appreciated.
Looking forward to your practical yet always stylish advice!


Hi Beth, 

There are a lot of ways to approach this, but I will give you my "if it were me" answer.  I would use different rugs in each room.  You can do this and still keep them incredibly neutral, like you mentioned you were going for.  When I am combining three different rugs, I like them all to look great together, but they don't need to "match."  I like using a variety of textures.  Different 


here's an example: kenya Sisal in Nickel  (comes in custom sizes)


Moor Rug, by Capel- in Stone (comes in custom sizes)


Pebbles by Capel- (available in custom sizes)


I love Masland, but also consider Capel- they have a large selection of area rugs that you can have in custom sizes.


Melissa's Exterior

I need help chosing colors for my home.  I am considering painting the brick front...but no sure how it would look.  Any suggestions you can give are greatly appreciated.
Please see attachment below, which i hope include pictures :0)
Thanks in advance,
Hi Melissa, 
If it were me, I would not paint it.  Why?  (I know, sometimes I tell people to paint it, sometimes I tell them not to).  I use a couple of guidelines.  
1.  Is the brick helping or hurting the architectual balance of the home?  
In your case, it helps.  Your exterior is nicely balanced.
2.  Is the brick a good-looking brick?  
In your case, I'd say your brick looks great.  
So- I wouldn't change your brick, but I would change almost everything else.  ;-)   I would extend the front step area to be larger.  Make your entry more dominant.  Add a more welcoming front door., and improve landscaping leading to the door.    To further improve your curb appeal, I would replace garage doors and increase the "presence" of the small window over the garage. ( I find it to be a little awkwardly small.)  Increase the width with shutters, and the length with a window box.  I would consider shutters on your other windows as well.  If the expense of replacing the garage doors is not in the plans, perhaps you can simply replace the windows and add "carriage house style" hardware to your existing doors.
As far as colors go, you have a black roof, so repeat that in your front door and shutters.  You have white windows.  I'd repeat that in the trim.  As far as your field color goes, I would either lean beige, gray or more white.  From there, it's really more an issue of personal preference.  A couple to consider are SW7641 Collonade Gray, or SW7642 Pavestone.  I will say that there's nothing that I "don't like" about your existing color, but I do appreciate wanting a change, if that's what you're looking for.  I'd get sample quarts and make sure they look nice next to the brick.  
Thanks for writing in!



Black and White Cork Floors

Hi Christine, 

I am having difficulties deciding on how to proceed with my flooring.  I have a fairly small house and am planning on putting cork flooring in the living and dining rooms, which basically run along one side of the house.  I had thought to put a great black and white patterned tile in the front entryway and kitchen, which runs along the other side of the house.  The two flooring types would meet at the doorway between the dining and entry and also at the doorway between the living room and kitchen.  Would this be too busy, since the cork I want to choose is Wicander's Accent and has a lot of pattern to it?  Should I just go with the cork throughout the entire house to make it feel larger and more cohesive?




Hi Molly, 


I would say it depends on the size of your home, and the size of your transitions.  If you have a home that is under 2000 sf, (on a given level) I'd really try to keep it the same flooring.  If your home is larger, I'd be more likely to have multiple floor surfaces.  

I try to keep my floor transitions to the width of a doorway.  If you are referring to changing floors in a doorway, especially if there is actually a door, go ahead and change the surface if you'd like.  I am not a fan of large open floor transitions.  

Also be careful of height differences in materials that can create possible trip hazards.  Tile could be significantly higher than cork if you are on a raised foundation.

When I read your question, my first thought was to trasition a solid natural color cork with black and white cork.  This is a more organic transition, and would work well, even in a smaller home.  You can purchase cork in these colors, or if you are having your floor finished on site, they can be painted before the urethane goes down.  (the floor below is still cork)

You could also do a patterned stencil on your cork floors in certain areas if you like.  You could also transition in your areas you were considering tile to a more subtle two tone cork checkerboard pattern.  Or, you could use your natural cork color checkerboarded with just white or just black.


Good luck Molly- thanks for writing in!

- Christine


Darla's Exterior

Dear Christine,

We live in a double wide home and it is straight across the front with a built on porch. Right now the trim and metal roof is white and the body is a butter yellow. I like the grey/tan color but not sure what is the best color to go with. Would like to add shutters and paint the front door. Do you recommend painting the underpinning the same as the house or leave it white? It is nothing fancy. I like the farm/cottage look. Need help please painter is coming tomorrow to start getting the house ready. Thank you!

- Darla

Hi Darla,

The secret to your place looking better is in the porch.  I would build a wide (as wide as the house) porch, with a balustrade, thicker supports, and your idea of adding shutters is a great idea.  Buy a new door, the nicest you can afford; it makes a big difference.  After that, a little grass and wider finished walkway and you are set.  I'm in California, and everyone's front yard is brown and dead, so your front lawn makes me feel right at home.  Maybe the drought will end soon.  ;-) If you want to elongate your windows, you can add window boxes.  Also- notice how much wider the entrance is in my photo than the original.  It is a richer look to have that width. 

Oh yeah- you asked me about the color, huh?  With that light roof, I'd keep it white.  My photo has a red door, but you really could do any color you wanted on the door- blue, green, turquoise.  Let your door express your personality.  (that advice was for Darla- not you folks out there with the brick houses)   ;-) 


Look at that- with a little photo manipulation, your double wide now looks like a charming estate.