Have you listened to the Chris Loves Julia podcast yet?

When Julia told me they were about to launch a podcast, my immediate thought was yes! Give me all the podcasts! As my go-to girlfriend for all things home (and my texting confidante when torn with design indecision), I told her we’d be the first to subscribe. So when she followed up by asking if Scott and I wouldn’t mind joining in on a low key conversation about our own renovations – and how in the world we handle the snowball effect! – I was all yes, yes! Then we immediately began practicing our least screechy on-air voice.

The first 3 episodes kicked off this week, and I listened to them as I edited photos and painted pets. Hosted by their friend Preston, the podcast feels as if you’re actually sitting in the room with old friends, chatting about your own paint dilemmas and why is it so hard to choose a white paint? The trio feels effortless and upbeat, because they are friends, but they have a way of bringing you into the conversation, too. Personally, I love that Chris and Julia give us a fun peek behind the blogging curtain, but I have just one request – bring on Charly!

You can catch all the episodes on iTunes or Stitcher, and we catch up with them in the third episode! (Bonus points for anyone who picks up on Jack’s cameo.) New episodes air every Monday, so go ahead and get hooked.

  • VerbalGoldBlog - May 16, 2016 - 11:27 AM

    I can’t wait to check out the podcast! Sounds fantasticReplyCancel

  • Carol - May 17, 2016 - 9:41 AM

    Love it! Hope you are guests again – it’s fun to have some of my favorite bloggers collaborate!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 17, 2016 - 9:48 AM

      Thank you! We love hanging with those guys. :DReplyCancel



The Lowe’s spring makeover wrapped up not that long ago, and today, we’re excited to share the entire story with you! From start to finish, the experience was exciting, exhausting, challenging and celebratory all at once, but isn’t that always the case when something is worth it? We landed late on a Friday evening at the Orange County airport, began our Saturday before the sun was up and called it a wrap with just enough time to watch it set on Sunday evening. We might have slept for a couple of hours in-between.

Our goal was to create a welcoming, relaxing and enjoyable family room for a newly-multi-generational household. Akiyo and her family – husband Brandon, son Bruce and teeny pup Katsu – recently moved in with her dad, back into the home she grew up in. This room is truly the backdrop to their lives; it’s where they sing songs, practice their dance moves and snuggle to a Netflix marathon. It’s where 5-year-old Bruce crafts and colors, and it’s where the family gathers after long work days and equally long commutes. After a quick tour (and coffee and doughnuts!), we wasted no time divvying up the paint cans and brushes, ripping open bags of potting soil, photo framing, spray painting, wood staining and furniture assembling. We had an impressive crew of Lowe’s volunteers, and Akiyo’s friends and sisters popped over to help, too!

lowes-makeover-02 Lowes Spring Makeover reveal, a multi-generational household in Mission Viejo | Yellow Brick Home Lowes Spring Makeover reveal, a multi-generational household in Mission Viejo | Yellow Brick Home


  • Stacy - May 10, 2016 - 6:28 AM

    Fantastic! You guys did a great job with Lowe’s. I’m sure the family will be thrilled for a long time.ReplyCancel

  • B&C @ DIY Playbook - May 10, 2016 - 7:39 AM

    This space is absolutely G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!! As always, you guys totally knocked this out of the park! xo, Bridget & CaseyReplyCancel

  • Carrie - May 10, 2016 - 7:57 AM

    GOR-geous!!!! Love how this space turned out. I’m still bug-eyed thinking about how quickly it came together, too!! WELL DONE!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 9:06 AM

      I’m still bug-eyed thinking about the exact same thing, haha. Worth it.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Matthews - May 10, 2016 - 8:13 AM

    So heartwarming! This came out beautifully and I love everything in the room, especially those planters and the couch. And permaheart eyes for the Timber Wall!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 9:05 AM

      The planters at Lowe’s are great right now! Love all the clean lined options they have right now, too.ReplyCancel

  • Bernadette - May 10, 2016 - 8:29 AM

    Wow!!! You two knocked it out of the park with this one. It’s gorgeous and completely functional as the family wanted/needed. Love everything about this room.ReplyCancel

  • Treana B - May 10, 2016 - 8:41 AM

    Where oh where, are those gorgeous blue/gray chairs from!?ReplyCancel

  • Carol - May 10, 2016 - 8:49 AM

    LOVE IT! You guys are amazing!!ReplyCancel

  • Teri - May 10, 2016 - 8:52 AM

    I am in love with this room! SO good!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - May 10, 2016 - 9:15 AM

    Wow! This is an awesome fransformation!!!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - May 10, 2016 - 9:16 AM

    I could live here forever so happily. You guys did an amazing job. Those curtains look so, so expensive. And that rug! What a happy, happy place to live.ReplyCancel

  • Steph M. - May 10, 2016 - 9:17 AM

    Love everything!! Where are the side chairs from?ReplyCancel

    • Steph M. - May 10, 2016 - 9:19 AM

      Oh. Maybe I should read comments before asking..haha!!! Just saw!! My friend has that same chair. So excited to see they have a darker color!!ReplyCancel

  • E B - May 10, 2016 - 9:50 AM

    This is my favorite Lowes Spring Makeover reveal ever (including past years)!! The before and afters are stunning! You guys did such a great job.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Heart Tree Home - May 10, 2016 - 9:52 AM

    I so wish this rug was more affordable! You guys did an amazing job!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - May 10, 2016 - 10:13 AM

    Gorgeous! I’d love to pick up the whole room and plop it in my living room! Since that isn’t possible, where is that gorgeous coffee table from?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 10:17 AM

      We often wish the same thing – wouldn’t that be so much easier?! The coffee table is from Target!ReplyCancel

      • Amanda - May 10, 2016 - 10:22 AM

        Wow Target? You guys are such pro’s at scoping out treasures from all over! I was sad to see the black lamps linked are already sold out from Lowes!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 10:35 AM

          Oh, no, what a bummer! We loved those so much, we were thinking of getting them for ourselves, too. And yes – that coffee table! It’s VERY affordable, and we found it hidden in the wrong spot behind other boxes in the final seconds of the makeover. It was meant to be.ReplyCancel

  • Anna Kristina - May 10, 2016 - 10:23 AM

    This is an amazing makeover!! I’ve been eagerly looking forward to this reveal, and your timing is impeccable. We had submitted an application for our kitchen, and writing it made us realize we didn’t want to relegate the space to the bottom of our (lengthy) project list – we just finished painting the ceiling/walls/trim this weekend. I’m tired and sore and we still have a long ways to go, but this post was just what I needed to remember it’s worth it! Thanks for the double inspiration – to start our own spring makeover project AND to finish it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 10:36 AM

      You got this! It can always feel so overwhelming, but try to enjoy the ride and remember to take your time. It will always be so worth it, especially knowing you did it yourself. :DReplyCancel

  • Ann - May 10, 2016 - 10:42 AM

    Fabulous! And your heart must have skipped a beat when you saw the penguins.
    What a rewarding weekend it was.ReplyCancel

  • Emily - May 10, 2016 - 10:52 AM

    So gorgeous! That looks like the perfect place to spend time in. Comfortable, yet so good looking. And could their family be any cuter?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 10:56 AM

      Right?! Bruce was the best little helper.ReplyCancel

  • Missy G. - May 10, 2016 - 12:48 PM

    The whole run looks so good, but I am mega crushing on that rug!ReplyCancel

  • Jess - May 10, 2016 - 1:23 PM

    This is so motivating! I am looking to install some new shelves soon – what type of wood did you use for the 2x10s? I always end up spending so much on wood and I wonder if pine is just a solid best bet (at least some of the shelves will hold books/records, so kind of heavy stuff). Any thoughts appreciated!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 1:37 PM

      We used just regular pine 2x10s! The thickness of a 2×10 (1.5″) would be super sturdy for records and books. Sometimes the wood isn’t always the prettiest, so be sure to dig through the pile and find a piece that isn’t warped or too knotty!ReplyCancel

  • Julie - May 10, 2016 - 3:08 PM

    Love, love, LOVE! Such a great transformation. I am sure they will be enjoying their new room for many days and nights to come! Happy to see that you painted the stone fireplace — I just did the same thing to a similar on in my den because I couldn’t take looking at the 70s (?) stone anymore. Happy to know I wasn’t alone in my choice. I was surprised how much paint the stone sucked up.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 3:23 PM

      Before we started painting, we held a group meeting and I confirmed that EVERYONE was on board with the painting. It can be such a polarizing topic! It seems that a fireplace like that was pretty commonplace where they’re from, even if to us, we rarely see that. As it turned out, all was on board, and we’re happy that we pushed through on it!ReplyCancel

      • Jillian - May 11, 2016 - 9:59 PM

        Wow, gorgeous room! I never thought about painting our stone fireplace but now I want to! The white looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Brynne @ The Gathered Home - May 10, 2016 - 3:10 PM

    Wonderful job, you guys!!! Oh my word, what a transformation! And they look absolutely thrilled – so much joy radiating from those photos!ReplyCancel

  • Ginger Shank - May 10, 2016 - 3:16 PM

    Beautiful! The rug is lovely. Would you please comment on its softness?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 3:24 PM

      It’s soft! It’s also really thick. We laid a rug pad underneath, but it has a nice weight and feels great on bare toes.ReplyCancel

  • Angee - May 10, 2016 - 4:00 PM

    What a beautiful room! So inspired. I do have a question. Where did you get that doggie door? It looks like it’s built in to the sliding glass door.ReplyCancel

  • Staci - May 10, 2016 - 4:03 PM

    You guys never cease to amaze and inspire. I love this so much! The rug, especially. You really captured the easy, breezy SoCal style for this family. I love the family pictures. You can really see the joy that’s there.ReplyCancel

  • Wilma - May 10, 2016 - 5:10 PM

    I love this makeover. What I especially love is the attention to detail (doggy door for katsu, touching up screw heads with paint, cable management, etc.). It’s always a bit disheartening to hear about persons who go on an hgtv show for a makeover and then come to find out after that the work was poorly done (such as allegations against love it or list it that have recently come out). this seems to have been done properly (and it looks fabulous!!!)

    a couple of quick questions: why did you choose not to hide the cable directly under the black sconces? and also, did you consider painting/staining the white mantle, or painting the tile hearth?

    I really, really love this makeover.

    ps–sorry for the poor capitalization–typing too quick, and it’s a bad habit :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 5:20 PM

      All great questions, and I love YOUR attention to detail!

      We went back and forth on the cable directly beneath the sconces for a good 10 minutes. It’s not actually cable – it’s an oil rubbed bronze rod that covers the cable, and it’s pretty nice looking. At first, I was adamant about taking off the ORB rod and covering it up with a cable cover (painted the wall color), but once the boys held it up, we all started to like the contrast it gave! So, it stayed.

      We did consider painting the tile hearth, but after the new tile floors were installed, it practically blended right in, which we ended up liking!

      We also considered taking off the mantle completely and adding something else, but sadly, that was one thing that got nixed due to time constraints.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - May 10, 2016 - 7:10 PM

    The snake plants with the stained wood shelves are so YOU GUYS. It reminds me of back in the day when you guys first put together your studio workroom, and that pairing is always going to make me think of you guys. Haha is that strange? Anyways, really loved this makeover and it’s given me PLENTY of ideas for how we’re going to be putting our house together in the future.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 11, 2016 - 8:58 AM

      Aw, that’s awesome! You just can’t go wrong with a snake plant. We very recently moved that snake plant out of the studio because it wouldn’t STOP growing, and that room is very, very small! We re-potted it into something larger and tucked it into a corner in our bedroom.ReplyCancel

      • Kathy - May 12, 2016 - 6:06 PM

        Yes, I saw! I was totally loving the way it was juuuust brushing that huge mirror.ReplyCancel

  • Alicia - May 11, 2016 - 1:47 AM

    So incredibly beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Shelby - May 11, 2016 - 9:42 AM

    WOWWW!!! I’ve been waiting to see the reveal…and it’s 1000x better than I even anticipated. I can’t believe you all did this is 24 hours!! I’m amazed. It’s perfect, and I’m sure the family LOVES it. I know I would. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 11, 2016 - 10:56 AM

      We sort of can’t either! It really was a true 24 working hours with a little sleep mixed in. :)ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - May 11, 2016 - 8:17 PM

    Well done everyone! And I am so glad to see the fireplace painted out of the picture, as it were. That is such an improvement.ReplyCancel

  • Moira - May 11, 2016 - 10:39 PM

    This is GORGEOUS!!! Where is the black frame with the map in from? I have the same map (or very similar), and I am having a hard time framing it, since I’ll want to take it in and out to scratch out the countries!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 12, 2016 - 9:41 AM

      We had a tough time framing that! I believe the frame came from Target, but we picked up a piece of black art paper to put behind the map, which helped to fill in the gaps that would have shown on the sides.ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - May 12, 2016 - 5:37 AM

    So so good! You outdid yourself. I always get a little jealous when I see a couple working together so well. My husband and I just simply don’t. We could never tackle this together. Love everything that you did and it looks like it was a for a truly special family.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 12, 2016 - 9:40 AM

      To be fair, we don’t ALWAYS agree on everything though! But I do consider myself lucky that he’s so willing to dive right in, usually coming up with clever solutions I didn’t think of!ReplyCancel

  • Daniel @ Manhattan Nest - May 12, 2016 - 10:10 AM

    Jesus Lord to thee I pray, send Film Crew guy from photo #3 to my makeover too. Amen.

    You guys, this looks GREAT! I’m so proud of you!! That family must be thrilled to death. Job. Well. Done!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 12, 2016 - 11:52 AM

      Thank you, Daniel! We can’t wait to see how yours turns out. Can. Not. Wait.ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - May 16, 2016 - 2:24 PM

    It’s so gorgeous!!!

    And that rug! ReplyCancel

  • Marcia - May 17, 2016 - 9:58 AM

    Truly a beautiful room. That herringbone wall is to die for. I personally would not have painted the stone, but I don’t live with it everyday! Loved all the beautiful details.ReplyCancel



We’re slowly chugging along on finishing up the bedroom, while also planning for laundry cabinets and drawing up ideas for the backyard this summer(!). Today, I wanted to share a super simple IKEA hack – with the term hack being used lightly – for a perfectly sized, slim floating vanity using the EKBY ALEX.

Stepping back quickly to our PAX wardrobes, our entire goal was to eliminate the need for a dresser (or two), as we wanted to keep the walls free of any heavy furniture. Instead, I knew I wanted to have a small landing spot for a vanity to hold my equally small stash of makeup and jewelry, and we both agreed it’d be nice if it was long enough to display a few favorite items, too. After debating between countless skinny consoles or DIY, we ultimately landed on the inexpensive EKBY ALEX – with just a few modifications, of course!


The EKBY is meant to be installed using a minimum of two brackets (like this), although three is recommended. We both loved the simple shape and the slim depth, but against our dark walls, we weren’t loving the idea of adding brackets – even if we did go with black. Endless Googling showed variations with legs, wrapped in wood or wallpapered, and although we toyed with the idea of using hunky industrial L-brackets and painting them the same color as the wall, we were determined to keep it looking light. Could we make it float?

Eventually, I turned up this BESTA hack using heavy duty corner braces. If it seems obvious, it’s because it is! Unlike L brackets, corner braces can be completely hidden from the inside and attach on three sides. I bought two packs of these 3″ heavy duty braces, and we were golden. Tip: Always drill a pilot hole before screwing anything into IKEA furniture (or anything, really)! To prevent us from accidentally going through the other side, we flag our drill bit with a piece of blue tape, which tells us when to ‘stop.’ 

floating-vanity-02 floating-vanity-03

We discarded the back of the unit (which was a thin piece of cardboard, more or less), which allowed us to attach the braces to the wall. In order to gain access, we had to stop short of installing the bottom piece and sliding in the drawers. We were able to hit a stud on one of the braces, and for the other two (we installed three total), we used toggle bolts. This was surely overkill as nothing in this vanity is more than a few ounces on its own, but it’s also nice to know that this thing is strong. Float, float!


With the unit on the wall and the bottom in place, we went to slide in the drawers and hit one small obstacle: IKEA includes thick plastic bolts to attach the sides of the drawer to the back, but the slightly rounded head hits the edge of the corner brace! We removed the bolts and (carefully!) used wood screws instead.


As it turns out, it will float! The vanity is installed along the wall that leads into the bedroom, right next to the laundry room door. The 12″ depth makes it a non-issue, allowing for easy flow between both rooms and back out into the studio. floating-vanity-10 floating-vanity-07 floating-vanity-09

Inside the drawers, I used a flatware organizer for makeup and small bowls for containing my fancy (ha!) jewelry:

floating-vanity-11 floating-vanity-12

The drawers don’t pull out all the way due to built-in stops (the photos above show the extent of their range if you’re curious), which I thought might be a problem in the beginning but having used the floating vanity for several weeks now, it’s a non issue. The notched out pull is decently sized, so I push my trays to the back of the drawer when they’re not in use, and you can barely (like, baaarely) see them with the drawers closed, which makes me happy.

floating-vanity-13 floating-vanity-14

We also picked up the IKORNNES mirror after seeing how cute it is in Anna’s bedroom, which is such an IKEA gem! We wanted a small-ish mirror that would sit on top since we’ll be hanging art above the vanity. Speaking of which, we’re waiting on a few photo prints, frames and one more sconce to arrive, and soon enough, we’ll be calling this room done!

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - May 3, 2016 - 9:06 AM

    I’ve never known a sweeter vanity. This is all turning out so amazing. I’m not surprised, just really inspired.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - May 3, 2016 - 9:20 AM

    I listened to the Marie Kondo audiobook while driving from Cleveland to Pittsburgh with my best friend last November. I tell you this because a) I’ve been reading your blog for many years, and you were clearly living like Marie Kondo long before Marie Kondo’s method became a thing, and b) I saw your Pittsburgh book and was immediately taken back to the city which blew.my.mind. I won’t get into my opinion of the book (except to say that it could have been more, umm, succinct), but I wanted to say that I admire your ability to keep things in your home EDITED. It takes mad skills, which I don’t have!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 3, 2016 - 10:07 AM

      Amy, so funny, thank you, but where do I begin?! First, yes, Pittsburgh is awesome (the entire side of my dad’s family still lives there), and GO PENS. Second, I love how polarizing Marie Kondo’s book can be! We got the most helpful information out of the clothes organization and getting rid of BOXES – like, boxes for our old smart phones, boxes for my billion year old laptop, etc. And third, I’ve never been a fan of clutter, but don’t be fooled – we have an entire room that we lovingly call ‘The Scary Room,’ which has a constant rotation of items we need to sell, frames and miscellany from our last home (still) and boxes for donation. Once a year, our block has a big yard sale where we toss it all out there, and every year the room gets better. One day, it will be completely free of ‘stuff’, and we will weep with happiness.ReplyCancel

      • Rachel - May 3, 2016 - 12:59 PM

        yay pittsburgh! i’ve lived here for 7 years now, and i’m getting to be quite fond of the ol’ girl. i’ve lived in lots of other places, and my husband and i are glad we’ve chosen the ‘burgh. it’s got character.ReplyCancel

        • Kim - May 3, 2016 - 1:10 PM

          Rachel, yeah! We always joke that it feels like we’re in a spaghetti bowl when we head back home – so windy and twisty, especially coming from flat grid-like Chicago! But we love it so much, as long as we don’t take the wrong bridge and get stuck going 10 miles in the opposite direction we intended…ReplyCancel

      • Haley Hepburn - May 12, 2016 - 2:44 PM

        Okay this is SO good to hear! One of the things I’m so impressed by is how your home is so pared down! It’s very aspirational to me. Can you do a post on the scary room? Where even is that in the floor plan?!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - May 12, 2016 - 4:19 PM

          The Scary Room has a long way to go, but we hope to start on it towards the end of this year! I may just have to do a post about it though since we get a lot of questions about all of our “things.” If you look on the floor plan post, it’s labeled “guest room #2” on the second floor: http://www.yellowbrickhome.com/2013/08/02/the-floor-plans/ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Coleman - May 3, 2016 - 9:23 AM

    You guys are magic!ReplyCancel

  • Leah Prevost - May 3, 2016 - 9:40 AM

    What a great idea to float it. I need to do this in my room! Your bedroom is looking mighty fine!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - May 3, 2016 - 9:57 AM

    Hi Kim! Can you source the fan? (Weird, right, but hard to find a good looking one!! And you’ve done it, of course.) Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 3, 2016 - 10:03 AM

      Yes!! It’s the Vornado from Rejuvenation! It comes in a few sizes (and colors), although we have the mid-size one. It is so quiet but really powerful, and I can already tell we’ll be using it a lot this summer.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - May 3, 2016 - 10:18 AM

    Looks great!! Where is the giant standup mirror from? It’s gorgeous!!!ReplyCancel

  • Miranda Bouck - May 3, 2016 - 12:23 PM

    Awkward comment for an awkward photo, but is it possible to get a shot of what it looks like from the bottom after it’s been attached to the wall? I think I can visualize it in my head, but I want to be sure “I’m sure.” I can see myself using this hack and I want it to work! LOLReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 3, 2016 - 12:26 PM

      Hi Miranda! The bottom looks exactly like the top! Once it’s been attached to the wall, we attach the bottom (identical to the top piece) and slide in the drawers. Does that help?ReplyCancel

  • Maria D Miller - May 3, 2016 - 6:22 PM

    Just an FYI – over the years I’ve made a few floating/wall vanities with various products – many being IKEA. The main issue is this – if you at ALL lean on/rest your elbows on said surface, in time, it will pull from the wall – no matter your anchors. Forewarned is forearmed. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Alicia - May 5, 2016 - 2:36 AM

    Ahhh I absolutely LOVE your house. Your design aesthetic is so simple but still visually interesting. Makes me more excited to move back to the States and buy a house. ^^ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Dupuis - May 6, 2016 - 7:36 PM

    What a great idea! I rent in Boston so I can’t have something like this but as soon as I move I’m doing this.ReplyCancel

  • Denise - May 8, 2016 - 8:44 PM

    Love this! And paired with the navy wall elevates further. http://www.decoraid.comReplyCancel

  • Decor Aid - May 8, 2016 - 8:45 PM

    Love this! And pairing with the navy wall elevates further. http://www.decoraid.comReplyCancel

  • Dakwerken - May 10, 2016 - 2:21 AM

    That’s a very good job done by you Kim! Inspired from your works. Even I’ll start doing such DIY stuffs in my home :)ReplyCancel