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 🙂


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*Photos by Helen Norman