Hey friends! I haven’t done a frequently asked questions post since 2012! Honestly, I can’t even believe I’ve been blogging that long…..but anyhow, I thought it was high time I put a little faq post together. There are lots of new faces….er, readers around here – welcome!, so I hope this q and a sesh is helpful! As always you can email me anytime….I always respond, sometimes a little delayed, but I always answer! So please feel free to reach out anytime with questions, feedback….whatever…..I LOVE to hear from you all!
1. How has your Benchwright table from Pottery Barn held up over the years?
Without a doubt this is the number one most asked reader question over the last few years! And I get it. Everything looks pretty when it’s new, but when you’re investing in a piece of furniture that is going to be a workhorse for your family you want to know that it’s going to look good over the long haul.
As many of you know, we bought this table years ago, back when we were living in our Kentucky home…..the house that inspired me to start this blog. This table has served our family well, and I’m just as crazy about it today as I was when we first bought it. I wouldn’t characterize my personal design aesthetic as farmhouse, but I do tend to gravitate toward casual elegance. I like that this table isn’t too precious, so I never have to worry about scratches or spills. It cleans up well, but it’s made to look worn. So it takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’, you know?
It no longer comes in this lighter wood color, but the darker stain is just as lovely. And it now comes in a really pretty seadrift finish that would be perfect in a coastal setting. My only regret is that I didn’t opt for the extending version. It would be really nice to have the option of extending this table for large dinner parties……but I guess you live and learn. It’s always good to keep your size options open if you can!
2. Are you still happy with your Speed Queen washing machine and dryer?
You guys! I never in a million years would have guessed that a post about our new washing machine and dryer would garner so much feedback!
In some regard it’s kind of sad because it seems we’ve all struggled with washing machine woes…..#firstworldproblems. But to answer the question, a resounding YES! I’m thrilled with our Speed Queen set. I’ve recommended this brand to all my personal friends and family members. I’m a believer. No purchase regrets at all.
3. Where did you find your brown leather sofa?
It’s the Maxwell Leather Three Seat Sofa from Restoration Hardware. We bought it years and years ago, back when we lived in Pittsburgh. It’s held up so great over the years to kids and dogs! We’ve had this sofa for just about 10 years now and have zero plans to ever get rid of it. It’s super comfy and the distressed leather is perfect for a family…..again with the casual elegance. I just like to have a house that looks nice, but that is made for living. So nothing in my home is too precious or overly formal.
4. What do you use to get all those cool fonts on your instagram stories?
5. What color green is the exterior of your home?
The green color of our house is part of the Sherwin Williams Charleston Historic collection. It’s called Salt Marsh. The front door is Sherwin Williams Rachel Pink. Painting the door pink was one of my very first projects here at this house, and it’s still one of my most favorite changes.
Also, just fyi, I’ve taken all of the Halloween decorations down, but I’ve yet to do anything for Christmas just yet. I still have pumpkins on my front porch.
I do plan to write up a full blog post on the paint colors we’ve used throughout the house as a reference for you all.
6. Where did you get the ladder in your powder room?
I bought it at a local home shop called Celadon, and then I cut the bottom two rungs with a hand saw so that it would fit in this spot over the commode. I love leaning ladders in home decor, and shared an easy to accomplish diy version last year on the blog. It’s an inexpensive project that you could easily get done in a just an hour or two. For a full recap of the powder bathroom makeover click here.
7. What non-toxic nail polishes do you recommend?
Since so many of you know that I’m the self-proclaimed Chief of the Safer Beauty Tribe, I get questions about beauty products all the time. As you know Beautycounter does not offer a nail polish….maybe they will in the future. Right now the non-toxic polishes I’m really loving are by Mineral Fusion, which is 100% Vegan, Toluene Free, Camphor Free, DBP Free, Formaldehyde Free and Cruelty Free. I also love Zoya, which is big 10 free. (These little sets would make great stocking stuffers.)
If you’re local to the Charleston area and enjoy getting a manicure and pedicure but aren’t crazy about all the toxic chemicals found in most nail salons, you should check out Mylk Bar. It’s the only non-toxic eco-friendly nail salon in the area, and it’s awesome!
8. It’s been a while since you’ve posted any new recipes. Are you going to continue to share them from time to time?
It has been a good long while since I’ve shared a recipe here on the blog. Since I’m gluten and mostly dairy free I felt that maybe the recipes weren’t broad enough so many of you just weren’t interested. I do share more food related ideas and everyday meals over in my instagram stories…..so you can always check in over there. And if there is something that is just too good not to share I will of course post about it here!
9. What was the name of the curling iron you mentioned in your instagram stories?
It’s called The Beachwaver. It’s awesome! It has a rotating clip that winds the hair around the barrel for you. It’s super easy to use, albeit time consuming if you have a lot of hair. But what I like most about it is that my hair seems to hold its curl much better when I use it.
10. Has anyone ever told you that you look a lot like Joanna Gaines?
Ha! I actually get this all the time. In fact, a lot of people say Brad and I look like Chip and Joanna. And y’all I’m not even kidding I’ve been in Target twice since the new Hearth and Hand line came out and every time people stare at me. 🙂 If we hadn’t decided to do an 80’s themed Halloween party this year we totally would have gone as Chip and Joanna!
I hope this little FAQ was helpful! As previously mentioned, I love to hear from you all, so please feel free to message me – Carmel@ourfifthhouse.com.
And now, if you wouldn’t mind answering 2 questions for me:
- What kind of content do you most enjoy seeing on the blog? Room makeovers? Design Dilemmas? DIY? Decorating? Let me know!
- What’s on your Christmas wish list?