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The Weekender

A cheery, playful sleeping loft | Michigan lake house | via Yellow Brick Home

plaid sheets | shearling floor pillows | sconces | bookcase | framed art

During our visit to Tree House last week, we armed ourselves with so. many. samples of Kate Golding wallpaper, and we took to Stories to share our decision making process with you. Wow. You guys! Never have we ever received so much feedback from our Stories, and you gave us so much to think about. If you’re catching up, our plan is to accent the window wall in our sleeping loft with a subtle wallpaper. Although we’re not big on accent walls in general, we feel like this secret nook, tucked above our living room and with a view of the green, grassy yard, deserves a little something special and unexpected.

We were initially torn between Canadian Shield (trees) and Garter Snakes, but the biggest concern with the snakes was your overwhelming fear factor! We get it; makes sense. So, snakes are out – yet we found ourselves unable to commit to the trees. While beautiful – and obviously, it is our Tree house – it felt like too much contrast. We’re on the hunt, we think, for something that’s more tone-on-tone but still playful and with a subtle nod to our Michigan location. Easy, right?

And so, back to the drawing board! We’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of wallpapers, and we have a dozen more samples headed our way soon. During our search, we’ve considered everything from a wall mural (which was ultimately nixed, due to the window eliminating so much) to a soft plaid to grasscloth to a nature theme.

It’s still unknown where we’ll end up, but many of you pointed us towards new-to-us designers, including Kate Zaremba and this Etsy shop full of the most stunning murals. Other contenders: bunnies, windowpane, larkspur and miyuki. Fingers crossed that there’s a paper sample on the way that’ll win our hearts!

A Happy Discovery

Scott mentioned earlier this week that we found an old photo of our Tree House online. It’s an exterior view, and I stumbled across it accidentally when I logged into our account to pay the water bill! The photo was filed under a link for ‘additional information,’ and I’d never thought to click on it until a few months ago. Here’s the image, dated from 1992:

Here’s how Tree House looked when we signed those closing papers – not to say that she looks necessarily any better (ha!), but we’ve had so much fun playing What’s Different?

Tree House as she stands today is missing a tree in the front yard (and now the back yard, too), and there’s a significant amount of ivy and weeds that we’ve been shamefully turning a blind eye towards. The Tree House of yore had a screened in porch where our master bedroom currently sits, and there was no deck, no gutters and no window in the sleeping loft! But we were really, really excited to see what appears to be original clapboard. Currently, the house is covered in brown vinyl siding, but we’re looking forward to the day that we can investigate what lies beneath the surface and if it can be salvaged. It gives us so much hope for her future facelift.

What else do you notice?

Other Stuff

• We should totally save this house, right?!

• An old friend of ours directed this thoughtful documentary centered around teens and gun culture. It’s worth the watch, with the only downside being that we wished it was longer! We’d love to see the teens profiled in the film having a (moderated) discussion with one another. We want more.

• In other What We Watched news, Abducted In Plain Sight hit Netflix a few weeks ago, and we spent the entire 90 minutes with our jaws fully dropped. Actually, it probably took us two hours to finish it, because we kept pausing it to look at each other and say scream, this can’t possibly be real. Have you seen it? We’ve talked about it every day since, and we’re convinced that this true crime documentary is the very definition of ‘stranger than fiction.’ Our minds are still blown.

• A good – nay, great – wine glass is hard to find, don’t you think? Not long ago, a popular Chicago brewery opened their first full-service tap room in our neighborhood, and we can’t stop popping in for happy hour and fresh baked bread. But the best part is the glasses they serve their beer in! I found an etching on the stem, looked it up and found them. They’re the sweetest short-stemmed glasses with a thin (but not too thin) rim, perfect for wine of any variety, a sparkling cocktail or, of course, beer! I picked up our own set of 4.

• I’ll drop this here in case you need a Friday morning pick-me-up.

• Such a strong, beautiful reminder from Julia, in the midst of heartache:

Don’t wait. I say it often, but it bears repeating now, don’t wait to make memories. Don’t wait until the walls are painted or the holes are patched or the shiny new appliances arrive to make happy memories in your home. It’s the reason we do what we do, and it’s what we have left now. And I’m so grateful.

How Can We Be Better?

A big goal of ours this year has been to make our blog a well oiled machine. For far too long, it has felt too sluggish for our liking, and for several months, we’ve been working behind the scenes on faster load times without sacrificing quality (it’s definitely a fine line). And at the start of this week, we made the switch to a new dedicated hosting environment, which has drastically improved our site’s speed. We hope you’ve noticed this, too, although we are still working on a few kinks on the backend – such as getting our feed to catch up, for starters.

If you’ve noticed a glitch here and there, these big changes are the reason, and we’re so appreciative of every one of you who have shared screenshots of dead ends to help us problem solve. Thank you for bearing with us! In addition, I’ve been test driving a more updated blog on the back end, although I still have a bit of time to put in before it’s ready to go live.

We want Yellow Brick Home to be an inviting, happy place for you to stay, and we think this comes with a better mobile view (and a larger font!) and easier navigation overall, including source pages, room makeovers and renovations from start to finish. With the changes we’ve already made and the changes to come, we still want to know: How can we be better? How can we streamline the way you view our virtual home?

As always, thank you for reading, and happy weekend!

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  • Emily2.22.19 - 6:52 AM

    HI, first time commenter, love the blog. Thoughts on the wallpaper – what about a cloudy pattern? as it’s in ‘the loft’ might work well. I really liked Julia Marcums choice for her nursery. Very sophisticated but also subtle and has a childs play feel about it.
    EmxxReplyCancel

    • Kim2.22.19 - 9:38 AM

      We looked at a few cloud papers! That’s definitely an option. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.22.19 - 7:53 PM

      Hopefully it’s showing now?! There’s been some issues this morning that we’re working on. We appreciate you bearing with us!

      Those wallpapers are all so pretty! You guys are making this hard! 😂ReplyCancel

  • Melissa2.22.19 - 11:27 AM

    Can you share the name of the tap room? I’m a big beer fan and live in Logan Square.ReplyCancel

    • Scott2.22.19 - 11:38 AM

      Middle Brow Bungalow! It’s near Armitage and California in the old DODD Camera building. So. Good.ReplyCancel

  • Zoe2.22.19 - 11:40 AM

    It would be great if in addition to the “shop this house” area you had a section where we could find all the blog posts and DIYs associated with each home! I was recently looking for the skinny behind the sofa shelf post you did and wasn’t able to find it via the search function. I always want to go down the rabbit hole with the before and afters and that would make it even easier!ReplyCancel

    • Scott2.22.19 - 1:15 PM

      Thanks Zoe! We’re absolutely focused on improving the search function as a part of the revamp!ReplyCancel

  • Heather2.22.19 - 12:38 PM

    I really miss being able to view in Feedly. Your site is full of videos that automatically play (the latest video appears in the middle- and had nothing to do with the post – then it moves over to the sidebar as you scroll down), ads both on the sides and in the middle of the content (many are videos that are playing at the same time as the other videos making it really hard to focus on content), and so much scrolling just to read a post. I get that you need traffic but the experience is making me not want to read and only follow along on Instagram.ReplyCancel

    • Emily2.22.19 - 1:57 PM

      Same here. For other blogs that do this, they have it about halfway through a post, so I know if I want to read it (and they are mostly food blogs that don’t have many ads, so if i want a recipe i click over). I don’t want your videos autoplaying and there are a half dozen pop ups so I tend to avoid reading your posts, whereas I would end up clicking over half the time from feedly before for a link. I love your content, I love your voice, but this feels inauthentic to me.ReplyCancel

      • Kim2.22.19 - 7:51 PM

        Hi Emily! There shouldn’t be any pop ups on our blog, but there is one banner ad at the bottom that you can always ‘X’ out of. If you’re seeing pop ups, could you please screenshot and email them to us? We’d need to block them ASAP! We’re sad to hear that you feel we’re being inauthentic. The ads are a way to support our projects, a direct result of support from our readers. We strive to be as transparent as possible.ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.22.19 - 2:24 PM

      Thanks for the feedback! We were giving the in-content video player a try, so we’re not sure if that’s going to stay once we can get the new redesign up and running. We sincerely appreciate your support when you click over, it allows us to keep creating content at the rate that we do.ReplyCancel

    • Sarah2.22.19 - 2:54 PM

      I kinda agree with this. I understand 100% about your traffic and ads, but can the latest video thing at least be removed? Maybe a page added to navigation instead would make them easy to access still…ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer2.23.19 - 9:48 AM

      I don’t mind clicking over to read, and usually do to read the comments, but I agree that the video player is obnoxious. Autoplay videos are terrible in every possible way regardless of source and I suspect it’s the player that forces the jump back to the top of the page when it’s done loading content after I’ve already scrolled down to read the text of the post.

      Also, please take a look at your posts on mobile vs desktop. The ads on mobile detract from your content because they are far larger and take up more screen real estate than your actual post. They blend more into the background when I read on desktop. Maybe it’s possible to specify the maximum size for ads served to mobile devices?ReplyCancel

  • Mel2.22.19 - 1:14 PM

    I grew up in MI and now live in MN, I miss Lk Mi everyday! Going with a pattern that gives a nod to the best part of your location seems like a good way to go. Here’s one I love.

    https://www.serenaandlily.com/skylake-toile-wallpaper/m11405.html?color=White%2FNavy&utm_source=adlucent&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=adlucent&gclid=Cj0KCQiA2L7jBRCBARIsAPeAsaOlGDHck8SDX-1Rl86nm47rO9eRLGGW9OfoHoxsW62SRUsSByhJzBcaAsSqEALw_wcBReplyCancel

    • Kim2.22.19 - 2:25 PM

      So pretty, thank you! We have so many Serena & Lily samples coming our way, we can’t wait!ReplyCancel

  • Laura2.22.19 - 1:58 PM

    I really love this wallpaper Etsy shop and maybe you might find something too — definitely a lot of nature-y papers! https://www.etsy.com/shop/musewallstudioReplyCancel

  • Kate K.2.22.19 - 2:10 PM

    The link to the Etsy shop with murals is not working; not sure if it’s the link itself or the website that’s not loading.ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.22.19 - 2:23 PM

      It’s working for me now, I wonder if it was a temporary glitch?ReplyCancel

  • Bari2.22.19 - 2:19 PM

    Have you looked at Detroit Wallpaper – they’re a Michigan company which could be perfect for you Michigan treehouse
    http://detroitwallpaper.com/wallpaper/linework/foxtrot.html
    I personally think their foxtrot has some of the elements you liked in the snake print but without the scare of snakesReplyCancel

  • Kristi2.22.19 - 4:34 PM

    Can we start a support group for people that watched that documentary?!?!?! Still in shock.ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.22.19 - 7:47 PM

      Where would we even begin?!? There’s sooooo much to unpack.ReplyCancel

  • Karen T.2.23.19 - 7:21 AM

    My hubby and I watched it last night after reading your recommendation and OMGeee, it was stunning and baffling and horrible. Those parents. No words.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle2.23.19 - 8:32 AM

    I also miss being able to read in Feedly. It’s usually a deal breaker for me, but I’m waiting for your new mobile view before I decide for sure. Right now the font is way too small and takes forever to load. And I do usually click over to read the comments, so you are still getting a click from me 90% of the time if you go back to allowing Feedly.

    When blogs don’t allow Feedly, it gives the impression that they are only in it for the money and don’t care about losing readers if the readers are not clicking over. Maybe that’s not fair because this is your job and you have to be motivated by money to some extent, but it still gives me a bad feeling.

    I also noticed that Chris Loves Julia did the same thing not long after you. I wonder if that’s a coincidence or something you guys talked about, but I know she has bigger things to worry about right now.ReplyCancel

  • Austin Brewer2.25.19 - 11:03 AM

    Watched Abducted in Plain Sight with some girlfriends a few weeks ago (we’re big true-crime fans), and it was by far the most bizarre thing I’ve ever watched. Explaining it to my husband later made me feel like I was making up the most absurd story every, but it was TRUE. At one point, my friend said “Who would’ve thought the ALIENS would NOT be the weirdest part of the story?!” Also, how were all of those children not immediately removed from that home. Mercy.ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.25.19 - 12:09 PM

      Right?! When we try to explain to people what happened (at which point we usually give up and say, YOU JUST HAVE TO WATCH IT), we never even mention the aliens. Because the aliens seem like NO BIG DEAL. It’s all… too much.ReplyCancel

  • Jacqueline R2.28.19 - 10:57 AM

    Check out Cottontail and Christopher on GrowHouseGrow.com. I went to college with Katie, the owner/designer, and she has some other beautiful wallpapers on her own site. You guys are considering her Jardin wallpaper off of Anthropologie. My SIL has a framed swatch of Christopher, which is a tree trunk print with whimsical little doors. I could imagine it would capture your child’s imagination.ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.28.19 - 2:02 PM

      We ordered several samples from Grow House Grow directly! But I don’t see those options for Cottontail or Christopher… bummer!ReplyCancel

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