Blog Talk


A tour of our new blog design / 7th House on the Left

Sooo…. notice anything different?! If you’re reading along in Google Reader, make sure you click on over to check it out! For the past few months, Greg and I’ve spent hours and hours working on the new and improved 7th House on the Left. As we mentioned in this post, our original plan was to unleash the new look a little over two months ago. Then we realized we could make things even better by not just updating the look, but beefing up the content pages – like the projects page and house tour. So we waited a little longer to click “Activate” and spent more time tweaking and adding a few finishing touches. Now, finally, here we are!

Blog Design Timeline / 7th House on the Left

For me and Greg, designing a blog is a 50/50 job. I design all of the graphics while Greg does all of the coding. We work  together when it comes to stuff like working out the layouts, writing the content, configuring ads, etc. I have to admit, in my head, he totally does at least 75% of the work. I really have no idea how he does it – which makes me insanely grateful that I get to take advantage of his coding awesomeness. From start to finish, this entire process took us about eight months. Designing a blog like this wouldn’t ordinarily take nearly that long. But seeing as how we worked on this during our “free time” (which is a pretty rare occurrence for us) and had Christmas, New Years, a two-week vacation to LA and I was sick for a week… eight months isn’t too shabby.

When we started on this venture back in August, the first order of business was a new and updated look. We wanted something a little more modern, simple and, all in all, more “us”. Since the blog is about our house, it seems logical it should look like it “goes with” our house. Recently our style has been evolving into more of a “modern rustic” vibe (which we’re totally loving and can’t wait to carry throughout the house in the future). Keeping that in mind, we put together a modern, warm, yet colorful color scheme paired with a rustic chalkboard background and modern fonts and graphics. All mixed together, we concocted a blog design we feel reflects our personalities and design aesthetic.

DIY Chalkboard Projects / 7th House on the Left

The first big difference you probably noticed was the new chalkboard background. We ditched the old bland linen background (which a few of you mentioned was hard on the eyes) and traded it in for something with more contrast and “oomph”. As you could probably tell from this post, this post, and this post, we have a thing for chalkboards around here. That, paired with the idea of adding more visual contrast, meant a chalkboard background was the perfect new “signature texture” for us. We even adorned our Facebook and Twitter pages with new chalkboard backgrounds.

Once we finally pegged down the look of the new design, it was time to amp up the functionality. This is where I hand the post over to Greg…

We really wanted to make everything more sleek and all around better to navigate and easier to find what you’re looking for. Before, our functionality was totally wimpy – kind of like Steve Rogers before he was Captain America. We have a lot of big and small changes – some so small you guys probably won’t even notice. But here’s a quick rundown of the new and improved functional additions. Oh… and there just so happens to be seven of them… we totally didn’t plan it that way!

7th House on the Left Blog Tour

ONE // Over the past year, we’ve gotten a bunch of emails asking for an email subscription feature. Well, we’re pleased to finally be able to say that we now have one! It uses Feedburner, a service we know and love. All you have to do is just enter your email address and whenever a new post goes up, you’ll get an email letting you know. You can find this feature in the sidebar under the Pinterest window.

7th House on the Left

TWO // We finally have a brand new tour page, complete with updated photos (there are even more of those coming soon!), and a fun, interactive floor plan to show you around the house.

7th House on the Left Blog Tour

THREE // According to our last reader survey, His & Her Favorite Things ranks as your number one favorite regular feature (with Dead Ringer Deals being a very close second). That being the case, we added an interactive widget on the sidebar that will take you to all of the His & Her posts as well as introduce you to some of our His & Her favorites right up front.

7th House on the Left Blog Tour

FOUR // We have a brand new projects page! Organizing this one was a big job in and of itself – and truth be told, we can probably beef it up even more. One thing is for sure: this page is a lot more functional than it used to be. Now, instead of just seeing a short list of our most popular posts, we have a full catalog of categorized projects from way back when to the present.

7th House on the Left Blog Tour

FIVE // We compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions and put them on a designated page that is easy for everyone to find. If you’re looking for our paint colors, information about floor stain or just curious as to how Ash and I met, this is where to go.

7th House on the Left Blog Design

SIX // Near the main notebook tabs at the top, we now have a special tab that’s a direct link to Brown & Barkley. Hopefully this will help everyone stay up to date with new products as well as bring in more traffic to the store.

7th House on the Left Blog Tour

SEVEN // In an effort to make everything more streamline and simple, we designed a new and easy way to share posts on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and other outlets. You can easily “Like”, Tweet, Pin, or email any of our posts from this little guy. If you hit the Share menu, there are tons of other options. Oh, and we also designed a more simple comment entry form, as well. Yay for simple.

Well, that about wraps up our tour of the new 7th House. We hope you guys like the new look as much as we do. We really love the new look, personally, and it’s so nice to have it actually finished and published. Definitely feel free to let us know if something looks wonky on your computer (just let me know what browser/version you’re using). We did our best to make sure it looks decent on any modern browser, but sometimes a certain combination slips through unnoticed. Now that all of this blog design business is out of the bag, I’m going to get back to hanging the new foyer light fixture!

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  • Reply
    March 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Love the new design!!

  • Reply
    DIY Playbook
    March 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    The make-over looks fabulous!! It has totally been worth the wait =) I am L.O.V.I.N.G the new color scheme. #trendsetter

  • Reply
    Ashley {GirlyObsessions}
    March 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    It looks great guys!! I know it’s a lot of hard work to design and code a site, and even harder to REDESIGN it! I love the new and improved look. It feels fresh, but still feels like YOU, which is more important!!

  • Reply
    John @ Our Home from Scratch
    March 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Really like the new look. Love your style. Man, can Seth Rogan (Greg) code, or can Seth Rogan code. 😉

    I need to do this myself very, very soon. We’re still rocking our basic 2011 wordpress theme. Stinks. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    March 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    As a marketer who manages a website, I can truely appericate how awesome and how much work this must have taken. CONGRATS! Looks Fantastic and the user experience is top notch!

  • Reply
    March 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I adore the new look! I am probably going to have to set this as my homepage now because it just looks so pretty sitting on the screen at my desk.

  • Reply
    Judy @ Cleaning Junkie
    March 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Looks amazing! Love the new theme! Makes me feel like I have come to your website to get started on a project 🙂 And the cursive font really gives it a personal touch. Great job to both of you! I can only imagine how much work this was.

    – Judy

  • Reply
    Michelle Collazo
    March 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I found your blog in the last month and have been checking daily for more posts…love the updates, and since it didn’t occur to me before, I have subscribed today! I have perused many of the other blogs on your blogroll, but truthfully, just keep coming back to this one because it’s so organized, love your taste, you both write really well, photos are beautiful…just a great package! My husband and I moved into our first home last May (after renting for the first 11 years of our marriage), and we have really been enjoying this first year of “settling in”. Finally a house that is OURS!! We have so much appreciation for it, and your blog and all the various projects provide a ton of inspiration! Thanks!!

    • Reply
      March 12, 2013 at 7:05 pm

      You are so sweet! Thank you! And a big congrats on your new home! : )

  • Reply
    Erin @The Drumgoole Family
    March 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Hard work indeed! Your pride in your blog shows and I agree that it’s a much better reflection of your style. Congrats on finally hitting the publish button!

  • Reply
    March 12, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Amazing work guys!! Looks fabulous – I’m clicking around like a kid in a candy store 🙂

  • Reply
    Dennis Bullock
    March 12, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    It looks amazing guys! Congrats all your hard work is shown!

  • Reply
    March 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    My favorite blog design out of all the ones I’m subscribed to (and believe me, it’s a lot)! If you guys aren’t coders/designers for your day jobs, you totally should be! Super impressed!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Congratulations! Very nice design 🙂

  • Reply
    Alexa @ travelmiamor
    March 13, 2013 at 7:50 am

    what kind of chalk did you use on your chalk board? I have been looking for some.

    • Reply
      March 13, 2013 at 9:38 am

      We just use the plain white Crayola chalk. It writes a lot smoother if you dip it in water first. It’s a lot less messy as well!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Love the new design… WOW

  • Reply
    March 13, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Oh I ADORE this new look! I love the colors, the layout, everything about it. Congrats you guys! It’s awesomesauce!

  • Reply
    Christina @ Homemade Ocean
    March 13, 2013 at 11:06 am


    I especially love the sharpie down at the bottom!

    Way to go guys 🙂

  • Reply
    March 13, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    The redesign looks great! I’ve been looking forward to the unveiling for a while now, I’m sure you were too 🙂

  • Reply
    March 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Love the re-design, especially the chalkboard background! I’m a fairly new reader, so I’m loving catching up on some old posts. Just a FYI, your Pinterest button doesn’t open in a new window, not sure if you would prefer that or not.

    • Reply
      March 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Ooh, thanks for the heads up!

  • Reply
    Ammy Belle
    March 13, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Brilliant job guys! So well organized … wanna come help me with my own organization?? 🙂

  • Reply
    March 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    LOVE the new house tour page. So neat and tidy! Love the way the room photos “drop!”

  • Reply
    March 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Love the new look! The contrast and the colors are lovely. But did the font get smaller? Maybe my eyes are just getting older. Either way, it looks great!

    • Reply
      March 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks! Nope, the font is the same, we justified it though – so that may make it look smaller.

  • Reply
    Stacey @ Likes to Smile
    March 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Looks ah-mazing!! Congratulations on the big reveal!

  • Reply
    Erin @ The Great Indoors
    March 14, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Very nice! I love that y’all did this by yourselves- it extends the notion of DIY past your house. 🙂


  • Reply
    ashley @
    March 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I love the new design!! So jealous of Greg’s coding skills! It looks amazing you guys!

  • Reply
    March 16, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Niceeeeeee 🙂

    I love how when you click on a room in the house it brings it down below.

    Question for you guys, have you ever used for rugs? I’ve heard about them.. maybe you guys could do a post about rugs?

    • Reply
      March 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Thanks! We haven’t checked them out but thanks for the link! : )

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