Blog Talk Odds + Ends


yellow blue bedding

Last week marked our one year anniversary here at 7th House on the Left. Technically, one year for the blog and our 10 month anniversary living in the house. We know it sounds totally cliche, but time REALLY does fly! It seems like it was just last week when we posted the very first post. And it seems like yesterday when we started moving furniture in the house. Yes indeed, cliche or not, time flys when you’re having fun.

Over the past year, many questions have come through our inbox. We don’t have a bajillion FAQ’s to warrant having a dedicated FAQ page and our house isn’t anywhere near “done” enough to have a bona-fide “source list” to answer the “where did you get that?” questions. With that being said, we decided to gather up some of our most frequently asked questions and answer them in a post…

Where did you get the “Rare Prints” sign in your living room?
Pottery Barn. Unfortunately, they don’t carry it anymore, which is a complete shame because we get 4+ emails a week from people asking where they can get one! It’s one of our favorite pieces in the house and we are SO glad we snatched one up when we did. A fellow blogger, Susie Harris, actually saw our sign here on the blog and decided to DIY it! Read how she did it here!

Who designed your blog?
The blog was designed by yours truly. Basically, I do all of the graphic design stuff and Greg does the programming, coding, and makes it happen. We make a good team : )

Do you design websites and/or blogs for other people/companies?
We used to, but due to our busy schedules, we’ve hung up our web design hats. I have a graphic design background (more accurately, an advertising background) and occasionally take on clients to stay fresh and “in the zone”. As for designing for the web, there just aren’t enough hours in the day… or brain power.

Has anyone ever told Greg he looks like Seth Rogen?
It’s funny that a few of you have actually asked this because there aren’t that many photos of us on the blog yet (I know, I know. We’re working on it!). No exaggeration, promise… he hears it 6 days out of the week. Quite a few have even asked if he was Seth Rogen. Which is weird because what would Seth be doing in the middle of Virginia? Anywhere we go… Chick-Fil-A, Target, Cracker Barrel, Wallgreens, Starbucks we hear, “Has anybody told you that you look just like that guy from [insert Seth Rogen movie here]?”

When do you publish new posts?
This isn’t really a FAQ, but it’s a new-ish thing around here so we though we’d throw it in. We post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We post the occasional giveaway on Tuesdays and even sprinkle an Etsy Thursday in here and there. We also may pop in for a random update from time to time, depending on the project at hand. But all in all, we keep to the MWF schedule to keep our brains organized and so you know when a new post is up waiting to be read. Yay for schedules! I feel better when things are more organized, don’t you? Also, when a new post is up, we let you guys know via Twitter and Facebook.

How do you design your His + Her favorite things boards?
I use a mixture of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. If the product photos need to be edited (the background taken out or cropped) I do that in Photoshop. When it comes to laying it all out, I head over to Illustrator and put all of the pieces together. You could also easily do the layout in Photoshop though. As for Greg, he normally just gives me his list of favorites and I put his board together for him, since he’s usually busy with his daily “nine-to-five”. Of course, I always make sure to show him his board when I’m done to get his “seal of approval”.

Where did you get the bedding in the guest room?
The white sheets are 100% bamboo sheets that we picked up from Tuesday Morning for a steal. (They’re SUPER soft and comfy, by the way!) The gray quilt is from Target (the Thomas O’Brien collection), and so are the yellow and white quilt (the Dwell Studio collection), the gray Euro pillows, and yellow flower pillow. Who doesn’t love Target? The blue pillows are from the long lost, yet very loved, Nate Berkus collection at Linens ‘N Things.

Did you ever find a second Jonathan Adler-esque lamp?
They’re talking about this lamp I picked up at HomeGoods way back when. Sadly, no. Since it doesn’t have a mate, the lamp is in my office (you can see it here) and I think that’s where it’s going to stay. I really like it in there, so it kind of seems meant-to-be. However, one reader emailed us from Ohio saying they saw it at their Home Goods and even offered to go back and get it for us and ship it! Seriously, how did we get such awesome readers this early on?

Where is your go-to vacation destination?
Yes, this is the one random/just for fun question. I don’t think we’ve talked about it much on the blog (except for maybe a little in this post), but Greg and I are total Disney World fans. We’ve been to London, Ireland, Canada, and even Australia. All of them are really awesome destinations, yeah. But when it comes to our number one go-to vacation destination, Disney World has them all beat. It may sound crazy, but it’s true. It might be more of a sentimental connection though. Growing up, my family went to Disney World for vacation every single year – sometimes more than twice a year. No, my family members don’t have their houses decked completely in Mickey Mouse ears… though the jury is still out on my cousin Dana (kidding!). We all just enjoy fun atmosphere and the magic that is Disney. When Greg and I got married, for our honeymoon, we spent two weeks at Disney World. I had the best time showing Greg (who had only been there once when he was 10) around and got to show off my Disney World vacationing skills. Since our honeymoon, we’ve vacationed there twice and still can’t wait to go back again. Ugh, I could write an entirely other blog on this. Don’t hate on the rather stylish Mickey Mouse shades.

What kind of camera do you use?
On the blog, you’ll find a mixture of photos taken with our iPhones, a Sony Powershot, and a Canon 5D Mark II.

cute puppy box

What breed of dog is Bentley?
Bentley is a full breed Promeranian… though sometimes we wonder if he’s part squirrel. Or deer. Or kangaroo. Or cat. Or fox, even. But nope, his papers beg to differ.

What paint color did you use in your living room (guest bedroom, laundry room, etc)?
We get this question so often, we decided to add a paint colors button to the sidebar. Even so, we decided to include it in today’s FAQ round up because it wouldn’t be an honest-to-goodness FAQ roundup without including the MOST frequently asked question of all time. So, for kicks, here we go: The living/dining room, and Greg’s office were painted Martha Stewart’s Cobblestone (#MSL241) in satin. The hallway is the same color, though in flat. My office and our master bedroom were both painted Restoration Hardware’s Slate in subtle velvet finish. The guest bedroom and laundry room were painted Martha Stewart’s Artesian Well (#MSL117) – the guest room in flat and the laundry room in satin. The trim and doors were painted Sherwin-Williams’ Extra White (in semi-gloss). Whew! That’s a lot of paint!

That about covers the frequently (and not so frequently) asked questions we get around here. If you have a question we didn’t cover, ask away in the comment section!

FACEBOOK ONLY GIVEAWAY ALERT! This week, we’re giving one lucky “Facebook-Liker” a set of our favorite interior design books (the ones I talked about in this post!). So click on over, “Like” 7th House on the Left, and find out how to win!

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  • Reply
    September 28, 2011 at 11:12 am

    What’s the situation with your kitchen right this second? Do you have any time frame for getting it done? Looking back, do you regret ripping out the old one so early?
    I’m so excited about your new one and love the blog.

    • Reply
      September 28, 2011 at 11:29 am

      That’s a good question! We’re overdue a kitchen update post…
      The kitchen is currently still “in limbo”. At the moment, we’re looking into option number 4 (custom). I guess with it being our first house, we’re just being super slow to make such a huge decision because we’re wanting to make sure it’s the right one – and we probably agree with everyone else, we need to hurry it up! haha As for a time frame, we’re just taking it one day at a time. Even though we may have a slight glimmer of “maybe we should have…” from time to time, overall we wouldn’t trade the old kitchen even over what we have now for anything (the before photos look a lot better than it did in person!).

      • Reply
        September 28, 2011 at 11:37 am

        The most important thing is that you love it in the end! Sketches looking great so far.

  • Reply
    September 28, 2011 at 11:32 am

    WOW! Greg really does look like Seth Rogen!! Oh I for one think you Mickey sunglasses are adorable! HA! Fun post!

  • Reply
    Sara Bowery
    September 28, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I was also wondering if you design blogs for other people. You two would be really good at it!

    Too bad about the lamp! It looks great in your office though. I like the white against the dark gray walls.

  • Reply
    Kylie S.
    September 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    You’re so cute, Ash. I love your honesty, your transparency, your personality and your style. Not to mention your blog!

    • Reply
      September 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

      Awww, thank you! You made my day : )

  • Reply
    September 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Good post! I was wondering how you decided what kind of paint finish to use in each room. Flat, semi gloss, etc.

    • Reply
      September 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      We decided to do the laundry room, living/dining room in satin because it would be a high-traffic area and satin finish makes a great “wipeable” surface. If we decide to paint the half bath in the laundry room, that will be satin as well. We actually started with satin in the hallway, but we ended up covering it up with flat because it covered the previous owner’s textured paint better (read more about that experience here). We are big fans of flat paint (for bedrooms especially) because it doesn’t have a sheen to it. It’s also easier to “patch” if you are filling in nail holes – though, it shows smudges easier. My office and the master bedroom was painted in the subtle velvet finish because at the time, that was the only finish Restoration Hardware provided – and we love it very much! When it comes to trim finish, it’s best to use semi-gloss or high-gloss because it’s more durable.

      Whew! That could have been a post all on it’s own, haha!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Congratulations on a year! Keep going strong!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    have you dined at Jiko? we discovered it on our Disney honeymoon (just writing about here ) and are dying to go back for our fifth anniversary. Disney ROCKS.

    • Reply
      September 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      Yes! But it’s been a while… I remember their cheese selection being really cool! Our favorite place for dinner is California Grill at the Contemporary. Their sushi is amazing and the view is even better!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Happy HAPPY 1 Year!! Always excited to see you all pop up on my Reader! And I can’t wait to see your continued progress in all of your spaces. I completely understand taking your time. Big decisions need time. The last thing you want is to turn around in another year and wish you would have done things differently!

  • Reply
    Cheri L
    September 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    My Grandma’s would love to pinch those adorable cheeks in your Disney photo! To cute!!!!! Your husband so looks like Seth Rogen. Wow!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Happy Blogaversary, you two!

  • Reply
    Nara Klein
    September 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Your blog is always a bright spot in my day:). Congrats on reaching the one year mark!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I have always loved your paint colors and blog design. If and when you’re ready to take on another client I’d love to talk with you,

  • Reply
    September 29, 2011 at 8:02 am

    It’s funny you mention your Disney post, because that was the reason I got started on your blog. My boyfriend and I were planning a trip to WDW back in February and it was my first time (he worked there years ago, so he’s seen it inside & out!) going so I was obsessed with reading blogs and looking at others pictures of it. And WAHLAH up popped this blog. And I’ve been reading it ever since.

  • Reply
    Sarah M.
    September 29, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I LOVE Disney World, we went on our Honeymoon, too! We are planning a 2 week extravaganza for our 5 year wedding anniversary. You will have to give me some insider tips! =)

    • Reply
      September 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      Good post idea! Maybe we’ll do that after our next trip ; )

  • Reply
    Cyndi V.
    January 8, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog (not even sure how), but I love it! I think you are great at what you do and I have really enjoyed reading about you and your family (Bentley is of course your baby!) and your projects. You are an inspiration to all of us that also have an interior design hobby, although I think your’s is much more than a hobby….you are gifted.
    Good luck with all your future projects.

    • Reply
      January 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      That is so sweet!! Thank you, so much! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Ashley,
    I’m just reading your blog for the first time. I love your simple style and I see you shop at IKEA (LOVE!!!). Keep up the good work. I think I’ll add you to my favorites so I’ll be checking up on you! 😉
    I have a question…how did you create the floor plan with links? Looks great and so user friendly.

    • Reply
      March 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      P.S. I am all over that clear contact paper project. I was always wondering about how transparent it was for windows. Also, I used white contact paper for our nursery’s scalloped “moulding”. I found the idea here.
      I ended up pre-cutting the 70-80 pieces, as well, but it worked like a charm and I love the end result.

      • Reply
        March 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm

        Awesome! I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for the link : )

    • Reply
      March 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks so much 🙂 Greg used HTML image mapping. Here’s a link that will help if you’re up to writing some code: He also said to check out this site:
      Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Love you design esthetic! I did search all over your blog for info on your cabinet hardware. Could you please email me and let me know what it is? I am in the end process of redoing my kitchen and now the hardware is driving me insane. There are way too many choices, but I love yours! Please let me know the lengths of the pulls used.


    • Reply
      May 2, 2012 at 9:48 am

      Thanks, Kara! Originally, our plan was to get oil rubbed bronze hardware from Restoration Hardware (here). But then we found out KraftMaid had a special going on where you could pick out any of their hardware for free. So, we took it! We ended up going with the Aged collection (here). The knobs are 1.5″ and the pulls are about 4.5″.

      Hope that helps!! : )

  • Reply
    May 7, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Ashley!

    First of all, I LOVE your house and all that you’ve done with it so far. Secondly, I was wondering if you had a budget breakdown for your kitchen? I’d like to do something very similar in our house, so it’d be great to see how the costs came together. 🙂


    • Reply
      May 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      Thanks! Not yet, but it’s somewhere in the $25k range. We’re hoping to post a complete budget breakdown in the near future.

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