A Flash Sale for Charity Recap + a Big Thank You!

A Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick Home

All photos in this post were taken by the talented Daniel Peter.

First, a heartfelt thank you.

After many sleepless nights, we, along with Nicole and Kyla, hosted our very first Flash Sale for Charity this past Saturday! But seriously, Scott and I were so giddy about the day, that we barely slept the night before – or the night before that and before that one, too. I might’ve fallen asleep around 4 AM that Friday evening, but as soon as my alarm went off, I leaped out of bed, ready to get the day started! It was the very best time, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone you see above. From our checkout volunteers (thank you Holly, Elissa and Meghan!), to the heavy lifters (thank you Josh, Tim and Pete!) to the location host (thank you, Renee!) to our photographer (thank you, Daniel!) to my right hand girl (Elissa, you are the bees knees!) to our reader donors (thank you, Toby and Angelica!) to our very amazing, generous co-hosts (thank you, Nicole, Kyla and Eleanor!) – wait, what was I saying? Thank you.

And a very warm thank you! to each and every one of our Chicago friends who came out, waited in line and sneaked their pups into their big purses so that we could kiss and cuddle all the wet noses. Together, we raised almost $4,000 in less than 4 hours, and every last dollar went straight into the hands of CRISP Chicago, Jackson Chance Foundation and Housing Forward!

A Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick Home

Our Sponsors

It’s been almost a week since Flash Sale Day, and we’re still pinching ourselves over the generous sponsors. Sam from Grounds & Hounds came out to serve fresh brewed coffee and keep us all caffeinated, and we received stock donations to sell from local Chicago vintage shops Strangelovely, The Savoy Flea and Humboldt House.

A Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick Home

We owe a large part of our monetary success to the raffle sales, which was such a fun addition! We had twelve awesome prize packages, ranging from shopping sprees to overflowing home decor baskets to custom furniture and a boutique hotel stay. Many of you walked in and went straight to the raffle table and purchased 5 or 10(!) tickets without a blink of the eye. We’re so grateful to you for supporting the sale in this way, and for our raffle sponsors who didn’t hold back:

Schoolhouse • Rejuvenation • Article • Unison • Sydney Hale Co. • Framebridge • Hygge & West • Josh Young Design House • BISSELL • St. Jane Chicago Hotel • MegMade

A Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick Home

The Music

And the music! Our neighbor and friend, Josh (same as Pergola Josh, ha!) – an insanely talented DJ whose tracks have gotten Scott and I thought many DIY sessions – volunteered to handle the live music during the sale. He kept us dancing and happy, and now we’re wondering why all flash sales don’t have live music? (That should definitely be a thing.) Josh, you’re the best, and we were so lucky to have you!

A Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick Home

The adoptable pup

Can we talk about sweet Marx for a moment? CRISP Chicago brought along adoptable Marx to the sale, and this 10 month puppy stole the hearts of everyone he met. I’m almost positive his coat is made of silk, and his ears are softer than any stuffy of Lucy’s. We thought for sure he would find his forever home (we had so many inquiries!), and I’m still leaning on the studio owner, Renee, to scoop him up; he love loved her. Marx has inverted eyelashes, and he’s currently awaiting surgery to give him a more comfortable life, free of constant pain (all he’s ever known, and yet he doesn’t show it). Marx is currently in a loving foster home, but if you’re interested in adoption, you can contact One Tail at a Time!

A Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick Home

The Sale!

Items ranged in price from $2 to $300, with most pieces averaging around $10 a pop. We had furniture large and small, headboards, bistro tables, night stands, lamps by the fistful, quirky tchotchkes, barware, tabletop decor, vintage artwork, wall hangings, sconces, baskets and textiles – among so much more. The first hour was an absolute whirlwind. Throughout the planning stages, it’s been hard to predict how large of a crowd we could expect. Although I did my best to share as much as possible (without becoming a nuisance), my hope was that a few dozen people would show up? Ha! Haha. You guys beat my expectations ten-fold (love ya!), and seeing you come through those doors with the biggest smiles made us smile. Also, not only are y’all adorable, but so are your babies and puppies.

A Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick Home

Thank you for taking a moment to introduce yourselves to us and tell us about who you are! We loved talking with you. We loved learning about you. We loved hearing where you lived, what you’re DIY-ing and what you’re hoping to or are renovating. Meeting you has put a permanent spring in our step.

A Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick Home

The end of the sale snuck up on us, but no one showed their exhaustion more than Marx! (It was all that lovin’, no doubt.) The room emptied out of almost all of the large items, and mostly small bits and bobs remained. As it slowed down, we did some shopping ourselves, and we purchased two small chairs for Lucy that are perfect for her future activity table. (Now, if only we had a table! Maybe we’ll DIY?)

A Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick Home

At 1 PM sharp, we drew names from the raffle, with the help of Nicole’s daughter, the lovely Eleanor. (Her tiny hands were the only ones that would fit through the jars!) We had one double winner, which, amazing. Scott called all the winners to let them know, while we packed up the remaining items into boxes for local donation.

A Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick HomeA Flash Sale for Charity to benefit Chicago organizations: CRISP, Jackson Chance and Housing Forward // via Yellow Brick Home

We had a wonderful time! Thank you again for all of your support as our small idea turned into one much larger than we could have dreamed. Let’s do it again sometime?

The Rooftop Pergola Reveal!

A rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick Home

This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.

When we last talked about Project Pergola, we left you with a rooftop deck that went from bare to pow! As a refresher, we’ve been working with our friends Josh and Liz to give their upper deck a transformative makeover that would provide them with shade, comfort and an intimate gathering hub for their loved ones. Perhaps our motivation was ever-so-slightly selfish, as we can see their rooftop from our own back patio (ha!), but seriously, their former setup was never to their tastes – or if we’re all being honest, it was mostly an afterthought. We wanted to help them change that, and we knew that adding a cedar pergola kit from Lowe’s would not only be a fantastic starting point, but it would lay the groundwork for every element we layered in thereafter.

Continue reading “The Rooftop Pergola Reveal!”

Custom Drapery + Shades = Handsome Efficiency

Custom drapery panels in a neutral living room // via Yellow Brick Home with Bali Blinds

This post is in partnership with Bali Blinds.

Hanging curtains high and wide is a design trick loved by many to make a space feel larger, and we’re no exception! Curtains can make all the difference – whether they’re adding a subtle texture (us) or a big, punchy pattern (we’re too scared, ha!) – they have the ability to inject instant coziness. Whether your home is minimal or you’re a lover of All the Things, curtains can add an extra layer of warmth – literally and figuratively! – while making your ceilings appear taller, your rooms larger. They’re like a magic trick that never fails to amaze us every single time.

Recently, we’d been second guessing our inoffensive white curtain panels in our living room; you can see those here. The large window at the front of our house has always been one of our favorite features, and years ago, we highlighted it with floor to ceiling panels. To give the illusion of thickness, we picked up four panels, two to flank each side. And while we absolutely love that idea in theory, in everyday life, the hassle of pulling them all closed (for a movie-marathon-day-in) was a rare occasion. I had also ‘fake’ pinch-pleated the top, so when closed, the fabric pulled funny and they looked… not so good? So-so? They were best left alone as an accent to the room, rather than a functional design element.

Fast forward to that day when we hung grommet topped curtains to our Tree House. Game. Changer! The ease of pulling them open and closed was one thing, but no longer having a need for clips felt very casual and fuss-free. Grommets help to keep the curtain pleat nice and neat (be still my heart), and just as you can choose the finish of a curtain clip, there are also options to a grommet finish! Until then, I never considered the grommet top, and now? Give me all the grommets!

Custom drapery panels in a neutral living room // via Yellow Brick Home with Bali Blinds

Why Choose Custom Drapery?

For extra wide windows, it was an easy decisions to go the custom route with our longtime partner, Bali Blinds. The reason for this is two – nay, tri – fold. Let’s break it down:

1| Custom drapery would allow us to have two panels that would completely cover the almost-10′-wide window when closed while adding height, texture and sound deadening (and major style points).

2| Our living room windows currently have Bali solar shades that are integrated into our home automation system, and we couldn’t love them more. The solar shades already help to block harmful UV rays, but by adding appropriately sized curtain panels, we’d have a form-meets-function ability to trap heat and keep our home energy efficient. This would have been really handy during our recent polar vortex, where Chicago had a wind chill of -40!

3| We were on the hunt for something that would mimic the Bali curtains in our home studio, and we liked the idea of a complementary style for a cohesive whole-home feel.

The idea of custom drapery doesn’t have to be intimidating, and Bali Blinds makes it easy enough with free sample swatches so that you can see and feel the fabrics in your own home, against your own wall colors and furnishings. We even called their customer service to ask for samples of their liner fabrics, so we could test our winning fabric against a standard cotton liner versus, say, a blackout or thermal liner! We documented our process in this fun video (you can also view it on YouTube here):

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”FNEfTgvC” upload-date=”2019-04-08T10:00:00.000Z” name=”Bali Blinds Custom Drapery” description=””]

Getting Started

The video illustrates this, but to break it down, we gather up a measuring tape, pencil and paper. Then we measure from the top of our rod to the floor in 3 places –  left, center and right. We solidify fabric and liner choices, too.

Custom drapery panels in a neutral living room // via Yellow Brick Home with Bali Blinds

The Ordering Process

When we’re ready to place our order, we give the customer service representative those measurements and tell them where we’d like our curtains to hit (some may like their panels to skim the floor or even puddle, but we prefer a teeny float for #pethairproblems). They take our measurements into account with our desired length and run with it! Then we tell them our preferred hanging option (such as grommets, pinch pleats, etc), our  fabric and liner choices, and any embellishments. Bali’s customer service can answer any of your questions, like, We want our curtains to float a half inch off the floor, can you do that? (Yup.) Or, This is the width of our window, but you will add extra width to the curtains so they look nice and full when closed… right? (Yes!)

Custom drapery panels in a neutral living room // via Yellow Brick Home with Bali Blinds

The Winning Combination

Our custom drapery winning fabric was Tazewell Sidewall, a warm putty grey with a linen-like look. It reminded us of a grey version of Coletti Blizzard, our favorite cream colored fabric that we’ve used throughout Tree House. So, so beautiful! We already have and love this brass rod, so we opted for satin gold grommets to match and added a 1.5″ brush fringe in Rock Gray as a special touch. Out of sight but just as important is the thermal liner we chose. It’s our secret bonus boost for energy efficiency during especially cold or hot days!

Custom drapery panels in a neutral living room // via Yellow Brick Home with Bali Blinds

Layering Curtains for Energy Efficiency

Custom drapery has already come in handy for us on a handful of occasions, and we find the investment is worth it for a special case, such as extra wide or tall windows, casement windows or even doorways, for example! (We’ve hit all three of those.) But what makes a curtain so much more than an accessory is when you they serve a purpose, too.  Layering them with our solar panels make for a healthier, more energy efficient home, and going custom gives you the flexibility to put the finishing touch on a room.

Custom drapery panels in a neutral living room // via Yellow Brick Home with Bali Blinds

Custom drapery panels in a neutral living room // via Yellow Brick Home with Bali Blinds

We say it every time we open a Bali box, but their quality is top notch and their customer service is one to beat. Would you or have you considered going custom in your home?

This post is sponsored by Bali Blinds, a brand we’ve used for years and continue to love. Our living room and studio windows are outfitted in Skylar White solars, and they’re layered with custom drapery panels in Tazewell Sidewalk with a 1.5″ Rock Gray brush fringe. Fabric samples are always free, and Bali Blinds can be purchased at any of these retailers or you can call their customer service directly. (PS: Did you know that Bali Blinds has a selection of custom Roman Shades available at West Elm? Check those out here!)

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The Weekender

St. Jane Hotel Chicago // Flash Sale for Charity sponsor via Yellow Brick Home

via The St. Jane Chicago Hotel

The Flash Sale for Charity Is This Weekend!

This entire week has been absolute madness but in the very best possible way. Our plates are very full – I say this with extreme gratitude – and there is so much we want to talk with you about soon(!), but today, I want to focus on our Flash Sale for Charity we’re hosting with Nicole and Kyla! Last weekend, we began sorting and digging through our personal donations – everything from marble bistro tables to a credenza to lighting to art to textiles to the strangest giraffe sculpture you ever did see – and the last several days have been spent laying out our to-do lists, ordering tables and balloons and posters and triple checking our raffle loot for the tenth time. Reader donations and overflow stock from local shops Strangelovely, Savoy Flea and Humboldt House have started to arrive, and we’ll continue to share sneak peeks with you on our Stories today as we set up! If you’re in, near, or planning to swing through the Chicago area, we hope to see you tomorrow at our pop up! Here’s an FAQ on parking, money and what to expect, but this is the when and where:

Saturday | April 6th • 9 AM – 1 PM • 159 N. Racine | 3W

Oh, and that raffle? You guys. It’s so good. Raffle tickets can be purchased for $5/ea or $20/5, and you’ll have the option to throw as many tickets as you’d like into the pot. Prizes have been donated by the generous sponsors you see below, and they include shopping sprees, home decor packages and a stay in the boutique St. Jane Hotel.

Schoolhouse • Rejuvenation • Article • Unison • Sydney Hale Co. • Framebridge • Hygge & West • Josh Young Design House • BISSELL • St. Jane Chicago Hotel • Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. • Strangelovely • The Savoy Flea • Humboldt House

Doors will open at 9 AM sharp, and we have a feeling that the good stuff will move fast. Every last dollar raised will go directly to CRISP Chicago, Jackson Chance Foundation and Housing Forward. There will be freshly brewed coffee from Grounds & Hounds, an adoptable pup looking for his fur-ever home and a live DJ (seriously), and one thing is for sure: We can guarantee you a great time for an even greater cause.

What Else?

Remember when we said we’re never not looking at houses? Last month, we put an offer in on a house in our neighborhood on our street – and didn’t get it. We did our best to not get our hopes up (we were already redesigning the layout and reimagining the kitchen!), but we told ourselves that something better, something more us would be right around the corner. To clarify, we’re staying put, but our city is full of century old homes that need the old character nurtured back in. We want to do just that, and our intention is to hold onto those homes, too. (We like being landlords!) Although that home didn’t work out, we stayed the patch, and we hope that our next big adventure is coming – soon.

Lucy’s hair has reached that stage where it’s not long enough to cut, but without some maintenance, it’s absolutely wild! We just ordered these sweet bows that hold onto the finest baby hairs, and we’re obsessed. We chose latte, moss green, rust, burgundy and dusty rose. (So many great options!)

The most handsome of all the dog bowls.

I caved to these mom jeans and I’m in love. (Scott’s not so sure, ha!) They run big! I went down 2 whole sizes for a perfect, yet still kind of slouchy fit.

My BFF turned me onto this eye cream, and desperate for dry skin relief, I jumped. My makeup applies easier and my fine, winter crows feet look a little less… crow-y? More plump? I’m here for it.

Dark green bedroom with silhouette art and large wooden credenza // via Yellow Brick Home

The silhouette in our vintage bath refresh had us thinking that we need to do the same for Lucy! And then I found this past bedroom makeover we did with our friend Meg (above), and I’m like, yes. These are so affordable and darling – and she’ll do your pets, too!

I couldn’t be more excited to see this kitchen – and that cabinet line! – come to life.

Calling all Serial lovers! Have you finished watching this 4 part documentary series? Let’s talk about it.

And why is it that right when the weather starts to warm up, so does the good binge-watching? Right now, we’re loving The Act and, of course, Queer Eye. (Team Antoni foreverrr.)

Bay window problems? We got you.

Have a happy weekend, and we would be so lucky to meet you tomorrow!

Our Hidden Lighting Solution for the Sleeping Loft

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

check sheets | sconce | vintage rug (similar) | wool rug | bookcase | art | night light

The pitched beadboard ceiling is one of the most charming aspects of our sleeping loft, and we’ve said this before (and I’ll say it again!), but this little loft was the most endearing surprise when we first laid eyes on our Tree House. Painting it a bright white was just the facelift the space needed to keep it feeling bright and cozy (taller, even!), but still, the slope of the ceiling created some challenges in the overhead lighting department.

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

When the ceiling was finished (we think in the mid-90s) , the gap left between the beadboard and the interior of the roof structure is only about 3.5″, which makes for tricky wiring and junction box placement – hence the two exposed, shadeless fixtures and the wonky CFL bulb that we inherited when we purchased the home. We discussed everything from a strand of hidden LED light hidden in that center channel, to flush mount fixtures recessed into the center beam. Kim was on the hunt for adorable lighting for months (we both loved these), and we even sketched up plans to add a flat surface to the center of the pitch to allow for a flat mounting surface. Any scenario we came up with, however, detracted from the charm we first fell in love with, and it felt as if we were doing nothing but spinning our wheels. In the end, nothing felt right – or even feasible – for that matter!

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

But. After we had the slim can lights installed in our studio space at home, we had a lightbulb (dad pun intended) moment! Why not install recessed canless lights in the loft? After all, we’d be adding interest with wallpaper, so why detract from that? Recessed lighting seemed like the perfect, nearly-invisible solution, so we picked up a pair of dimmable, 4″ canless LED lights in our favorite 2700k temperature.

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

With the existing wiring in place, the cans that we chose were practically plug-and-play. In our case, they actually replaced the junction boxes that were installed a couple of decades ago. The metal panel on the side pops off with a small clip and the round knock outs make for easy wire access. Tip: Just make sure to have the proper connections on-hand, as the kit does not include any parts beyond the light itself. 

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

We followed the detailed instructions closely and the install process was very straightforward, taking only an hour or so start to finish. We absolutely love the way the flush design disappears into the ceiling and allows extra headroom for our taller friends and family members. Can you spot them below?

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick HomeRecessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

Our only hesitation was the placement of the existing junction boxes. Because they were both on the same side of the center beam, we worried that the light would end up feeling very lopsided, but we were careful to choose a flood bulb (as opposed to spotlight), and when paired with the bright white of the ceilings, we were pleasantly surprised with how even the light felt!

Now we have lighting solutions for any time of day or night. The recessed lights provide even overhead lighting, and the sconces are great for evening reading or relaxing. The ceiling light closest to the window is also on a pair of three-way switches, which means that it can be turned on and off using the switch next to the window, or we can use a secondary switch near the base of the loft ladder (on the first floor). We’ll eventually install dimmer switches – that’s next on the list, always! – so we can dial in the perfect amount of ambient lighting.

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

We’re incredibly happy with the finished result and actually can’t believe that it took us this long to make the upgrade! Isn’t that always the case with the small things though? The loft is one step closer to completion, and we’ll be installing the wallpaper next week, fingers crossed.

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

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Let’s Build a Pergola!

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.

Here in Chicago, real estate can come at a pretty significant premium. A typical residential lot is long and narrow, usually measuring in at 25′ wide by 125′ long. This slightly cramped footprint (I mean, it’s all relative, really) leads to some pretty creative ways to maximize outdoor living space, and homeowners often find themselves building up since building out is not an option!

Example: Our neighbors Josh and Liz had a great rooftop deck built on top of their garage when they moved into their home 5 years ago, and since then, we’ve celebrated many birthdays and holidays with them up there! But without shade, it can get really toasty in the midst of a summer heatwave. They had mentioned to us awhile back that they’d love to find a way to add some shade and additional privacy to the space, and that conversation got us thinking – what about a pergola?! As it was, they had a few railing baskets of annuals, and there was a mix-n-match of chairs with a table. Not sure which direction they wanted to take it, things sat like this for a while:

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

Building a pergola from scratch seemed like a tall order, but once we took the time to look around on Lowe’s website, we realized that pergolas don’t have to be outlandishly priced or custom built. Rather, they can be purchased as a kit, ready to be assembled in a day or so!

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home ImprovementA DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

As you can see, there is no shade to speak of, so the space is exposed to direct sunlight for almost the entire day. Enter the pergola kit! (Note: the model currently available is slightly different than the kit we used, but it is the same size and basic shape.) Josh and I got to work unpacking the two large boxes that held all of the pieces and laid everything out neatly to keep the space as organized as possible. There are a lot of pieces, but everything is very well labeled, and each wood section is stamped with a part number that corresponds with the instructions.

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

The kit bolted together almost entirely with long torx head bolts and barrel nuts. It even included a few of the appropriate torx bits so we could utilize multiple drills at the same time, which was a time saver! Our DeWalt XR impact driver made super short work of everything we threw at it. Hot tip! The impact driver kit we used here is currently on sale, so be sure to visit a store or Lowes.com to start checking off your spring to-do lists.

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

As the pieces started coming together, we frequently checked to make sure that everything was at a perfect 90 degree angle using a carpenter’s square.

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

Once the main structure of the pergola was complete and tightened up, Josh used a tall ladder to fasten down the decorative slats that provide additional shade and visual interest.

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

For an element of privacy and a place for vertical climbing greenery to thrive, we picked up a handful of cedar 2″ x 4″ x 8′ lumber and ripped them in half on the table saw to mimic the ‘roof’ slats. We then carefully measured our spacing, fastened the cedar boards to the back of the pergola with deck screws, and stained our modern trellis to match the pergola and existing deck.

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

All in a day’s work!

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

Now that the pergola was assembled and we’d allowed the stain on the cedar slats to dry, we carefully measured for the final placement and secured the plastic footers to the decking with the included lag bolts. We then screwed the legs into the footers with hardware (also included in the kit) to keep it from shifting. While the whole setup feels very intentional and permanent, it could easily be moved in about 5 minutes by removing a few screws and bolts. It’s a very clever design and incredibly sturdy!

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home ImprovementA DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

Once the completed pergola was fastened to the deck surface, we played around with the spacing of planters so that we could start making a greenery wish list. The varying sizes of our resin planters should create interest once filled with color (you can see them below, to the left of the pergola), and that cute faux cement plant stand will act as a handy end table!

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home ImprovementA DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home ImprovementA DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

And see those six squat black planters? They’re self-watering boxes that will keep plants thriving with very little effort! We plan to fill those handsome planters up with a few evergreen varieties to add year-round color to the space and provide even more privacy and shade.

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home ImprovementA DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

The start-to-finish assembly process took the two of us about 5-6 hours, with an extra hour for the trellis. A few of the steps (lifting the pergola into the resin footers, for example) required heavy lifting, so make sure you’ve got a friend or two around! For safety’s sake, this project would be fairly tricky for one person to accomplish alone.

We’ll be sharing the fully finished rooftop patio in a handful of weeks! It’ll be looking more green and ready for a party, and we can’t wait to reveal our final plans. Josh and Liz, we hope we’re invited to the inaugural celebration!

Vlog: A (Personal) Q+A, Part II of II

In case you missed it, here’s part I of this II part Q+A. Thank you for following along!

In this vlog, we’re answering all the questions you’ve asked about our family, pets and life – the personal side of things. We learned that you’re curious about attractive toy storage (we hear you!), money, our age, and our plans for expanding the Vargo trio. And we might, maybe cheat and answer a Chicago related question by checking our phone (guilty), and we’re giving you the scoop on my grandma’s stuffed shells recipe. We’re sharing all those details and more in the second part of our Q+A, so let’s go!

Note: You can also watch this video on YouTube here

Video Notes:

Lucy loves these muffins for an afternoon snack (or a breakfast treat!)
Our sweet CC’s adoption story.
We share our tips for keeping a pet-friendly home here, including how we choose and protect our upholstery.
You can see my grandma’s stuffed shells here (and now I’m suddenly very, very hungry!).
This vlog was filmed with this camera and lens.
And all sources and paint colors for many items in our home can be found right here!

PS: If you enjoy our vlogs, it’d sure make our day if you subscribed to our YouTube channel!

Would You Change the Layout of Your Home?

Moving, removing or adding a wall as a part of your home renovation | via Yellow Brick Home

sconce | pillow | stool | floating vanity | grey rug

Have you or would you change the layout of your home? Moving, removing, or adding walls within a home can seem like a daunting task at first, especially if you’ve never been through the process. Not to mention, smashing up perfectly good drywall or plaster, exposing wiring and plumbing, and making a mess in the process is often best left to the professionals. So while you’ll want to enlist the help of a licensed contractor, the task might not be as intense or as cost-prohibitive as you might think!

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Everything You Need to Know About Our Flash Sale for Charity!

Goodbye, credenza.

I wish it wouldn’t be obnoxious to write this entire post in all CAPS and exclamations! That’s how excited I am. We are. Today, I’m breaking down all of the details on our Flash Sale for Charity!

Continue reading “Everything You Need to Know About Our Flash Sale for Charity!”

3 Small Space Solutions for Real Life (+ Mini Vlogs!)

small space living solutions that will make your life easier | via Yellow Brick Home with Crate & Barrel

This post is sponsored by Crate & Barrel

Small spaces are our jam. We love solving a good tiny room challenge, whether that’s an awkward nook, a funny layout or your run-of-the-mill lack of square footage. Thinking vertically, hunting down furniture that pulls double-duty, and playing with color (or lack thereof!) are a handful of ways we’ve made a small space work. Some of you may remember that this blog was born from our own problem solving in our little condo of yore – all 675 sq ft of it!

Last year, we had a fun opportunity to team up with our longtime partner Crate & Barrel. They asked us to create three different scenarios that would provide ideas and inspiration for teeny, tiny living, and we were there for it. Like, quite literally, we were there; we set up three stages in the Crate studios and filmed mini vlogs for a corner home office, an entryway and an eat-in living room. From this, the Small Space Style series was born! We’re so grateful to be a part of it, and we couldn’t be more excited to share this with you today. Let’s go!

Continue reading “3 Small Space Solutions for Real Life (+ Mini Vlogs!)”