Lately we’ve received a lot of emails, tweets, and facebook messages asking us all kinds of things. So we decided rather than responding to all of your emails individually, we’d just put together an FAQ page to answer all of your lovely questions. Some are serious and some are just plain silly, BUT you asked and we answered! If there is something you want to know that isn’t on this list, just shoot us an email and we’ll add we’ll answer it on here as soon as we can.
How would you describe your style?
Derek: Less is generally more. “just cause you like it,” is not a valid reason to buy something. A line shape, or feature of a building, street or piece of furniture, I feel needs to belong because it has a direct use. I feel that it is better to embrace the nature of structure of anything rather than try to hide it.
Catharine: My personal style and design style go hand in hand. I truly believe in the influence of fashion on interior design, and feel that the space that you live in should reflect your own personal fashion sense. Whatever you wear that makes you feel good about yourself, should also be apparent in your home. I love neutral basics (sofas, tables, jeans, blazers) with bold pops of color in your less expensive pieces that can easily be interchanged with the season (accessories, pillows, shoes, jewelry). I love a mix of modern and traditional or taking traditional items and giving them a modern look.
What are some of your places to shop and favorite designers?
Derek: For clothing Gap, Target, Zara, Urban Outfitters, and everything that isn’t Walmart. For furniture/home decor I prefer to build the things I need in a home. I walk around ikea looking for things I’d like to integrate into my own desk or bed. I’ve built my own bed and Catharine’s coffee table. I plan on building a whole lot more. Other than that I probably shop at the same places The Girl does… if I need to. Honestly, Amazon is man’s best friend.
Catharine: For clothing I love Anthropologie, Jcrew, Madewell, Nordstrom, and Gap I never pay full price for antyhing, unless it’s a good staple piece that I know I’ll get a lot of versatility out of. Like a good pair of denim. I don’t care who you are. You should invest in your denim like you invest in your dress slacks. Think about it, what do you wear the most often? That’s what you should be forking over the moola for. I love Rock & Republic and 7 for all mankind. Their jeans will make anyone’s booty look good. For furniture/home decor my go to stores are West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Z Gallerie, Ikea and Zara Home. I thrift all of my furniture unless I find a crazy deal on something, I really can’t justify spending more than $10 on a chair. For accessories I’m all about Home Goods, Marshalls, flea markets, etc. My favorite designers are Kate Spade, Kelly Wearstler, Jonathan Adler, and of course Nate Berkus.
What is your favorite cookie?
Derek: Seriously? Anything that has chocolate in it.
Catharine: My homemade chocolate chip cookies are to die for, for realz.
Do you guys live together?
Obviously. We’re married! We just snatched up some pretty sweet digs that we can’t wait tackle!
How did you two meet?
It’s a pretty cute story, actually.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Derek: An Architect living a happy life.
Catharine: An Interior Designer and fulltime blogger ..what?
How do you deal with chair rail in a dining room as far as paint choices?
Here is a really detailed post explaining the do’s and don’ts of painting a room with a chair rail.
Should crown moulding be used if you have a chair rail?
Crown moulding is completely optional, and really depends on the look you’re trying to achieve. If you like clean lines and simplicity, then the chair rail will do fine on it’s own. However, if you want to make a space appear more formal, then adding crown molding is definitely the way to go. Make sure it’s the same color as the chair rail, you don’t want it to be too busy and distracting. I’d stick with a crisp white, especially if you have nice bold colors on the wall.
Should accent pillows contrast or blend with the sofa?
Accent pillows should definitely contrast with the sofa. Hence the name “accent”. You’ll want to choose pillows that compliment the sofa, but add a little personality to the space. Here are some of our favorite accent pillows.
Should the dog on the sofa contrast or blend with the colors?
Your pet should definitely contrast with the color of the sofa. You don’t want to accidentally sit on it. Plus, it makes for great photos. Check out a recent photo shoot Derek did with the perfect “dog model” here.
Should you paint a brick fireplace?
We both agree that unless your fireplace is a really obnoxious color or really damaged and discolored, then you should leave it as it is. You can never un-paint a fireplace. However, if it’s taking up the whole wall and your ceilings are really low and it’s creating more of a cave atmosphere, you should definitely consider painting it white or a light neutral to brighten up the space like this. But you should really think about your decision first because there’s no turning back!
How do you manage to find so many good deals at Pier One?
It’s seriously just luck. I always check out the clearance section first because anything there is usually marked down even more at the register. Also, if I see something that I like I practice being patient for a couple weeks until said item gets marked down. I hardly EVER pay full price for anything. Another way that I scored big with all of my Pier1 finds was when I went to a Big Lots a few years ago and found that they were receiving all of Pier1′s overstock and selling it for seriously 80% off. Which is where I got my $750 sofa for $200. What up. My parents and I drove all over North Texas hitting up every single Big lots to score as much loot as we could. We haven’t seen Pier1 stuff there ever since.. Maybe we scared them with our crazy shopping spree.
Catharine, where do you buy your cardigans?
I am such a cardigan junkie. I really have one in any color imaginable and will pick them up as I find them. [it's the same sitch with my scarves] Most of mine are from Jcrew, Gap, Old Navy, and Nordstrom. I only get them when they’re under $20, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to afford my sick addiction.
How long have you been friends with that famous, smart, oh so love-able, crystal-FRESH?
Derek: umm since 2005? something like that, I swear she used to think I was a minion and she didn’t like me.
Catharine: Since Halloween of 2009 when she yelled at us from a moving car. She was covered in yellow paint from head to toe, and I had no idea what she really looked like until the next day. I’ll never forget that yellow spiky hair and those terrifying eyes.
Whose side will crystal-FRESH stand on in case of marriage between the Modern Couple?
Catharine’s side because no one wants to see her in a suit. EDIT did in fact get married, and Fresh definitely stood on Catharine’s side, looking.. fresh [of course].
What will the weather be like today?
How do you tie your belts? So cute!
Here is a quick belt tying tutorial we whipped up.
Catharine, will you wear one of my pieces in your next outfit post?
Of course! It has to be something that I get to choose though, I can’t comfortably sport a pair of neon polkadot skinny jeans and really work it ..or can I? For more information about that go here.
Is there something you’re dying to know? Contact us!