Most Frequently Asked Questions

Keeping up with my blog is pretty tough for me.  I love writing it & meeting so many great people and friends through it, but I simply can't keep up with it.  This morning (and many mornings really) I woke up in the wee hours thinking of all of the emails with questions I needed to get back to and how I'd never have enough time to write back to everyone.  (Or how I'd lost emails back hundreds of pages on my email list and wouldn't be able to find them again in all of the junk mail.  I get at least 100+ emails a day between work, life, mailing lists and PR lists--- ahhhhhhh!!! --- so when I'm not able to write back immediately, I often lose emails for a good long time or forever. )

{My life}

I remember when I first started blogging and I'd emailed bloggers and didn't hear back and my feelings were hurt.. so I really struggle with this.  But a year or two ago (Maybe 3?? When my second son was born possibly??) I made a decision that I had to get over it.  At one point, I realized my blog was booming and readership was crazy high, I was staying up late into the night answering questions in emails, and I was putting 12-20 hours a week into blogging on top of working... and my family never saw me.  I thought about it for a week or so and one day I just sort of decided to let go.   It was like a big exhale and it was freeing.  I realized that I put as much as I can into a blog but I can only do so much and be so much.  The guilt's still there of course, but much less.

SO.... This leaves me with a great big list of questions that I haven't answered in a while (and have been feeling terrible about) so I thought I'd post some of the most frequently asked questions I receive.  It's not all of them but it's a start.  I'll definitely try to do more of these in the future!!

Here we go:

Q:Hi, I love grisaille!! Did the fabric tapestry work? How and where did you get it done? I would love to use that method in my living room. Thank you! I love your blog. 

A: Yes!  It worked really well.   You can read all about the process here

Q: Name of the Durer print?
A:  Sorry, I don't know it or where to find it again!! :(

Q: How did you feel about the Sheffield Interior Design Program? I have been looking into online programs and really don't have any advice on which ones are better than others! your blog is really inspiring me now more than ever to pursue interior design and it has been something i have been thinking about for YEARS! 

A: I thought the Sheffield program was great. The style & materials are pretty out of date so don't expect to learn much about style, but the basic design principles, history, design process, etc. are all very educational.  I definitely recommend it.

Q: Hi! I have a question about your open shelves. They are absolutely stunning and I am thinking about doing something similar in my own home. Are they 12 inches deep? I'm debating between 12" and 10" boards. Also, where did you find your lovely black shelf brackets? Did they come black or did you spray them? Thanks! 

A: Thanks so much!! :)  The shelves were 12" deep and I found the brackets at Home Depot.  (The really inexpensive standard black metal brackets they carry there.)

Q: Hi Lauren, I know it has been forever since you reupholstered that craigslist sofa in green velvet but I was wondering if you remembered the name of the fabric you purchased at Calico Corners? I love this color so much. How has it held up?

A:  The fabric was called "Faber" in Artichoke by Calico Corners though I'm pretty sure the actual velvet supplier for Calico has switched since I purchased the fabric almost four years ago.  I loooove this velvet but made a big mistake when I didn't have my sofa treated with a stain protectant.  My second son had acid reflux and spit up like CRAZY when he was a baby and sadly, much of it landed on the sofa...  Although we washed the sofa thoroughly after the spit ups on it and were able to get all of the smell and liquid off...  after a few years of sitting in the sun and aging, the milk/acid has done a lot of damage.  It basically bleached out the areas where it landed.  I'm thankful that I never flipped the cushions during the spit-up phase so there's not much on the "clean" side but it's still pretty jacked up.  (And I'm aware of how gross this sounds!!! Don't judge!! ;) ;)  To be honest, with the milk/ acid, I'm not sure a stain treatment would have completely protected it either, because that acid is no joke.  In areas where things like red wine were spilled, it cleaned up just fine with no evidence of anything.  

Q: Lauren- are you still loving your Smeg? After seeing this post I looked into them and I am planning on ordering the 48" for our remodel. If you have a chance let me know. Thanks! 

A:  Yes, I ADORE MY SMEG!!!  I've never cooked on any high-end appliances in my own home so keep in mind that I'm comparing it to the "normal" appliance I've had over the years, but I really love it.  Mostly because I think it's so pretty and love its looks (shallow, I know ;) ;)  but also because we use the rotisserie in it all the time and the gas burners are really powerful.  So far, the only complaint with it I have is more with myself because I can't seem to remember what all the functions on the knobs mean.  (And guests have NO idea.)  But I'm learning and I keep the manual nearby to doublecheck if needed.  I've been recommending it to my kitchen clients since I got mine because it's one of the most affordable good-looking ranges.  

{Seashell paint}

Q: Do you have a "go to" ivory paint?

A.  My most used ivory is Benjamin Moore's "Seashell." (above)  It often freaks my clients out when it's going up because it's very close to white (and white seems to scare people because they don't want "sterile") and I've had to talk multiple clients off the ledge either as it's going up or afterwards before we've brought in the furnishings.  It's pretty close to that "builder white" which everyone seems to hate so much that I don't have a real problem with.  (The problem with the "builder white" is usually more to do with the decorating and that light fixtures rather than the color itself.  People often just dislike it because it was there when they moved in, which of course is often a "sterile"-looking time for any house because all of the furnishings, art, and accessories aren't in place.  People often look for the paint color to do a lot of the heavy-lifting in a design and to really stand out and call attention to itself, and for the most part in a typical home, I'm not that into that.  If the house is architecturally-interesting enough to warrant attention to its walls & bones or if you've consciously decided that the walls need to make a statement, then that's another story.)  

But back to seashell... All of my clients are happy with it in the end because in the houses I use it in it, it becomes that perfect warm "glowing" ivory and acts as a non-color which isn't too warm or cool... BUT in all honesty, I've probably spent at least ten hours of my life calming down various clients about this color or colors close to it over the years.  I'd like to sponsor a public service announcement for ivory paint.  ;)

                                         {Seashell paint... Paint can look very different in different spaces}

My own home is in Benjamin Moore's "Ancient Ivory" which is very close to seashell, but a tad warmer.  (It typically goes yellowy in a lot of houses but not in mine.)  I would also stress to anyone painting cream/ivory/white over another color that you'll probably need more primer/coats than you think.  One of the toughest colors in my experience to paint over has been that sort of silver-sage old Restoration Hardware color.  It just won't die and that green seems to really come through the creams.  Be sure to mention this to your painters because I've found even painters don't expect this to happen.  If the undertone's not right, the perfect glow you're after just won't be there.  

Anyway, I'm off for the day, but I'll try to make a habit out of posting more FAQs.  There are so many more I wasn't able to get to this morning and my apologies to everyone who's asked questions that I haven't answered yet!!  I really appreciate your taking the time to get in touch!!  Have a great weekend :)

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

*Photos by Helen Norman


Emma (Glitter and Gold) said...

loved this post and i think this is a great compromise .... readers still get some info and you get to see your family and not answer 700000 emails! would be great if you did this weekly!!! a Friday read : ) you are inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Lauren this was great! I loved reading through these and it's a great way to get back to all those questions you get.

I've been meaning to write you an email because since I found your blog (back before your move) I just feel like we're design soul sisters and I so appreciate your blog. But knowing how busy you are, I'll leave the note here instead of adding another email to the pile ;)

RE the Durer etching: I did a quick reverse Google search and found it here in case anyone is still looking:

Have a great weekend with your boys!


karen e dutton said...

Hi Lauren,
Your blog is the first home d├ęcor blog that I started following a couple of years ago. I truly love seeing the stunning transformations in your clients' homes.
As an older mom of two (I am 50),
I do not know how you get so much done. Your honesty is inspiring, and your posts are always thoughtful and informative.
Please don't be so hard on yourself... time with your family is most important, and other moms (and dads) that share your values really do understand that it is so hard to constantly juggle it all.
Not trying to be preachy, but thought it might help to hear from an older mom who truly admires the way that you conduct yourself and your business.
Your latest project is just beautiful. Happy Spring!

Single Stone Studios said...

I love reading your posts like this. :) And of course, the before and afters of your jobs. Beautiful work. So fresh.

Sarah Garner said...

So good, Lauren! I too have had to let things go and not let it bother me. Some people don't understand between having kids and owning a business there is no time. That I will choose my girls every single time. Because I'm not willing to compromise on raising them right to do "things" or to make other people happy.
Btw, your rooms are SO inspiring. I love following your blog and your instagram.

pve design said...

I take delight in know that you have your head on straight and your priorities. Your boys will grow and be off to college before you turn around so take time to enjoy. Blogging may or may not still be here, like leg warmers and baby's breath in one's hair....things fade but not family.
Take all the time. Post when you can and please no guilt.
Anwering questions are good but you may open up pandora's box and continue to get flooded with e-mails. Maybe that's more of what you might not want. That said, great post.

Suzanne said...

Lauren, thank you so much for any time you take to answer questions from readers. I always have questions while admiring your work; particularly sourcing ones but hold myself back :) You are very generous with your time and I appreciate how much I have learned from you. Many thanks!

Becky said...

if it helps with the knobs - this is what we did with our stove and all its crazy symbols - i copied the page with the key and cut it down and laminated it. i hung our inside a pantry door really close to the stove with a couple of always used recipes blown up and just swing the door open for a reference guide - it could go in your drawer as well. shrink it down and make a bookmark reference to stick on the side of the drawer...just an idea that has changed my life this last month after i lost my mind between the three roasting options and not having a clue which one was which!

Susan said...

This was a great post. Thanks for all of the info.

redbrickbuilding said...

I agree that doing a regular post like this seems like a great idea. It's enjoyable/informative to read, and you are able to clear some of your email backlog while getting a blog post written.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Lauren, love this post. Obviously your first priority is life, your kids and husband and all of your readers understand that.

We are just excited to follow along on your design journey. Thanks for the tips.


Luci @Bungalow At Home said...

Great post Lauren, and I agree you should only be answering them in bulk like this or you will never get away from your computer. Hope you feel a little better now that you answered those questions...

We love your posts and if you have to scale a little bit, we understand that too.

Amy Rodriguez said...

Sorry I added to the pile! I think everyone wants a piece of your magic:)


Unknown said...

Love this FAQ post Lauren! I am going to re-do my dining room and although I am a professionally trained interior designer I have a major case of perfectionist paralysis. Your blog is always inspiring! xo Janalin

Lynn said...

I agree - I think this is a great way to answer a bunch of "our" questions without making yourself crazy! Thank you!

Sarah said...

You're so sweet. I love your thoughtfulness, your blog, and boy..... Your last Living Room makeover blew my socks off.

eLIZabeth Floyd said...


Wonderful post, full of helpful information. And I can totally relate about life being crazy, and I am so happy you have decided to make your family your priority.

They need your attention now.

I love your posts, and am happy when you find the time to post.

Have a wonderful weekend, Liz

Unknown said...

way funny, we are just putting a third coat over our SilverSage. No clue it would be that difficult to cover.

Windlost said...

Hehe Lauren. I love this post. I am one of those annoying people who ask you questions, I know it. Hey, when we asked about your deck, we even emailed your husband (gee, that is so bad). It is both flattering and annoying to get too many questions, because yes, you can't write back to everyone and people understand that. We think we are the only one emailing you, you see.

You are a lot like me - you feel guilt about many things, but the sooner you can let it go, the happier you will be. I think you are there. :)

As I mentioned before, I have blinding headaches and I have some bloggers I love to email with, but sometimes I get so many emails too, and I don't even have 1/10th of your audience, and I can't keep up. So I ignore them and hope they don't hate me.

Yes, you could probably write a FAQ every day and we would all be happy.

xo and hugs, Terri

Sonja B. said...

Great post, love the FAQs. And "AMEN!" on the ivory! When we moved in our whole house was painted ivory with anther shade of ivory trim. I painted a lot of it, but now want to paint all of it back. Just can't seem to match the shade. I will check out the Benjamin Moore paints because the way it looks ivory in some light and whiter in others (like your pics) is the way ours is as well.

Linda @ theLENNOXX said...

I can really relate.. it feels horrible not being able to answer all emails =( Great idea collecting all the questions in a FAQ post though!!

xox Linda

Market Decor said...

Hi, I enjoy your blog and check it often. I took the Sheffield course decades ago (literally!)and it was great. Back then, the instructors communicated with students via cassette tape - they would send a cassette and critique my work, they would talk, personally, to me!

Also, I admire your work. You have a style that stands out and has your stamp (I think I could recognize a room of yours) - yet it is so subtle - I can't put my finger on it. There is a organic feel to your work - interesting. Anyway, thanks for sharing!