5 Questions From My Inbox

One of my absolute favorite things about being a blogger is getting to chat with all of you fabulous people. Really, it’s your daily comments on my posts and sweet messages in my inbox that encourage me to keep going. Sure I love blogging about our fixer upper, my DIY projects, and everything else I ramble about, but it’s really the connections that I’ve made with so many of you that I love the most. Every week I get so many fun emails from you guys about all kinds of things–questions about decor, tips for styling a tricky living room, personal questions, suggestions on area rugs, paint colors, etc etc. I always enjoy getting these kind of emails and I try really hard to get back to each and every one of you, although I’m sorry to say that sometimes I can’t get to them all. There just aren’t enough hours in the day! (Try again if you emailed and never heard back from me, I’ll see it eventually!) Well today I thought it would be fun to pull five questions from my inbox and share my answers with all of you. All of these questions are things I get asked frequently, so maybe I’ll touch on something you’ve been wondering about too. Grab your coffee and let’s have a little chit-chat!

1. “What is the wooden piece above your TV. Where is it from and how can I find one?”

This is actually one of the most common questions I get–everyone wants to know where I found that piece! Well it was actually a very lucky find because it came off an old antique headboard that my parents found at an auction. They bought the whole bed frame, which was in pretty rough shape, and I actually had to do a little finegaling to put it back together because it was broken in a few spots. It was definitely a rare find! I’d say your best chance to find something like that would probably be Craigslist. I’d start by searching “architectural salvage” and see what comes up. Also try searching “vintage headboard” or something like “antique bed frame”. You can also find some really cool architectural piece on Etsy. I love the wooden arches in this shop. And FYI, here are a few other common terms I use when I search for items on Craigslist: primitive, industrial, rustic, farmhouse, vintage, cottage.

Farmhouse style living room decor

Farmhouse style painting dining room table

2. “I just found your blog and read about your dining table redo. It looks great. I’m wondering how the finish has held up. I have a dining table I’d like to refinish so I’m wondering how the polycrylic finish has worked out.”

I’m happy to say this table has held up like a champ. This was actually the first time I ever covered chalk paint with a clear polycrylic finish and it worked really well. (Check out this post to see exactly what I did.) I always thought you had to use wax to seal chalk painted furniture, but that’s definitely not the case. Polycrylic actually works much better than wax if you’re planning to use the piece regularly–and especially if it’s going to be around water or other liquids. I painted this table in June of 2016 and it’s still in amazing shape despite the fact that my kids have been very hard on it. The poly has held up through it all–even nail polish! And I’m happy to say it hasn’t yellowed either, which I know can sometimes happen when polycrylic is used over white paint. So far so good!

Farmhouse style painted dining room table

3. “I just read your post on transitioning to farmhouse style and I loved it. I’d like to get more of neutral look in our home, but I can’t afford to buy new furniture right now. Any tips on what I can do with my big brown couch?

If you’re on a tight budget (like most of us are!) but you want to transition to more of a neutral farmhouse feel, I’d suggest starting small. If you can’t afford to replace big ticket items like furniture, then shift your focus to the accessories in your home. And by that I mean things like accent pieces, throw pillows, lamps, wall decor, paint color, etc. Accessories really do set the tone for your entire style and they are very budget-friendly in comparison to big items like sofas. I actually wrote a whole post about decorating on a budget and why accessories are so important. You can check it out here if you’re interested. My suggestion would be to soften up that dark couch with lot of gorgeous throw pillows and cozy neutral blankets. Maybe give the walls a fresh coat of paint (you can see some great neutral paint color suggestions in this post) and be sure to remove any clutter or decor that doesn’t fit with the look/vibe you want to create. Start small, then move on to the big items when you can. You’d be surprised at the different it will make!

4. “I love your style and I’m wondering if you ever offer design services like e-design? I’d like your help in our living room and dining room.”

I’ve had this question several times in the past few months and unfortunately e-design is just not something I can do right now. I’d seriously LOVE to, but right now I barely have enough hours in the day to keep up with my blog and family. Life is just crazy in this current season, but that doesn’t mean that e-design won’t ever happen here at LVN. Never say never, right?! If you’ve been around for a while you might remember that I actually started a little series back in January called Farmhouse Rehab. In those posts I helped some of my readers re-do rooms in their home–maybe a living room that needed freshening up or a dining room that needed a full makeover. I haven’t done one of those posts in a long while now and the primary reason is because it just takes a ton of time. I would easily spend 10+ hours working on those Farmhouse Rehab posts. And I know e-design would be the same way–a huge commitment of time, which I don’t have a lot of these days. But maybe someday!

5 Questions from my Inbox

5. “I have been thinking about starting my own blog for a few months, but I’m feeling really overwhelmed. How did you get started and do you have any tips?”

Every week I get so many questions from women that want to start their own blog. And I love it! Blogging has become a true passion of mine and it’s crazy to think that I’ve been blogging now for almost two years. It was actually Black Friday 2015 when I purchased the hosting tools that I’d need to start LVN. Gosh, that seems like a lifetime ago in so many ways. And if I’m being really honest, I never would have imagined that I’d still be blogging two years later! I had no earthly idea what I was doing and I really didn’t know what to expect. But I immediately fell in love with it and I haven’t looked back since. My advice to anyone just starting out would be to just go for it. Really, if you are passionate about something enough to want to blog about it, then go for it. And ask yourself this question: if I start a blog, what is the worst that can happen? Once you realize that the worst case scenario isn’t all that bad, then a lot of the fear goes away. My second piece of advice is to not worry about all the unknowns. You’ll figure it out as you go–at least that’s what I did. I did the research, put in the time, and figured things out as I went. Heck, I still do that! It’s a learning process and you have to be willing to put in a lot of long hours. But it’s completely worth it! I’ve written a ton of posts on starting and growing a blog, but you can read more about my blogging story here and my step-by-step guide to starting blog is here.

Well that’s a wrap on this one. I hope you enjoyed it! And feel free to email me if you have questions and want to chat (sarah@sarahjoyblog.com). I’ll do my best to get back to you! And if you don’t hear from me, just email me again. I’ll get to it eventually! Thanks so much for stopping in today. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support. You all are such a blessing to me! xo

Here’s a few other posts you might enjoy:

Farmhouse Style Shopping Guide

A Day in The Life As a Blogger & Mama to 3

Shop LVN Style

Welcome!! I’m Sarah-- mama to three kiddos + wife to my high school sweetheart. I'm usually over-caffeinated, browsing Amazon + running on lots of grace. Grab a snack + get comfy!

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  1. 11.8.17
    michele said:

    I love your blog…look forward to it each day. I love braided rugs !..what do you think ? no matter what else I try I find myself attracted to them.

  2. 11.8.17
    Sandra Barker said:

    I just want to say that I love your blog. Every morning I can’t wait to sit down with my coffee to see what new and exciting idea you have for us that day. Please keep up the good work.

  3. 11.8.17
    Kimberly said:

    Very informative! So happy your blog has given you such joy & success! Kim xx

  4. 1.9.22
    Nora Handy said:

    Love your blog, lots of really great ideas