Today, I have a really fun post for you! The lovely Claire Brody asked a bunch of us blogger gals to participate in a Valentine’s Day-themed post called “So I Married a Blogger”. Our significant others were tasked with answering the following questions about what it’s like to be married to a blogger, and were told to answer honestly.
For those of you who don’t know, Nick and I have been married for 6 and half years. We met in college at a basketball game. I was on a date with someone else at the time, but *spoiler alert* that didn’t work out. We called each other “Boy” and “Girl” when we were dating, and it’s stuck around almost 10 years later. I so rarely say “Nick”- it’s always “Boy”. People look at me strangely in public.
First, a little about Nick: he works in Annual Giving at a major university in the DC area, he’s super tall, and he’s a silver fox (see photos). He endearingly awkward, he plays the piano beautifully, and he’s the smartest, quickest, and most rational person that I know. He’s incredibly supportive and is a great sounding board for my constant stream of ideas. He’s also incredibly thoughtful- when I read his answers, I teared up a little bit- and these are his true answers (with no pressure from me!)
So, here we go- on to Nick’s responses!
- How involved are you with Shannon’s blog?
I’m really only involved as either a sounding board for new content ideas, or when an extra pair of hands in needed. It also helps that I’m tall, so sometimes I’m the de facto camera person when a particular shot is needed from a higher perspective.
- How often do you read the blog? Are you an avid reader or do you see enough at home?
I’m both a follower, and an avid reader. Obviously, I know when new content is posted on the blog, and I typically browse the blog to check out the new content.
- How much time does Shannon spend on her blog? What are her hours like?
If you include all of the time spent strategizing, planning, and creating new content the amount of time spent on the blog quickly adds up. When you add the time it takes to post, and work on the site I would say quite a bit of time goes into the blog. (Shannon side note- he’s being modest…A LOT of work goes into the blog. Like 67,328 hours a week.)
- Are you the cheap manual labor or is there hired help for that? In other words, does Shannon use you for your handy work?
The handyman duties really fall on both of us. From the early days of the blog, when we lived in our home in Charlotte, we both spent considerable time working on projects. From laying new floors, to painting, to remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms, we did nearly all of the work seen on the blog. Now that we’re in a much smaller apartment in DC, there hasn’t been the need for as many “projects”, but we both are still the folks behind the scenes doing the work. We both worked on the shelves we installed in the Living Room, and we both worked on the headboard in the bedroom. The only projects that more or less “fall” on me are lighting replacement. So if you see a new lighting fixture, I was likely the person behind that. (Shannon side note- what he won’t tell you is that we almost didn’t make it through the weekend we built our headboard. It was a tense 48 hours…ha!)
- Describe Shannon’s style.
Shannon’s style doesn’t neatly fit into one category. I don’t think it’s fair to classify her work as “traditional”, or “modern”. I think she has a great eye for incorporating unique, and “high-style” pieces in a room that is typically bright, comfortable, and both classic and fresh at the same time. Whether individual pieces are from one era or another, or whether she’s working on a space that is small or large, new or old, I think she blends great things in a way that makes a space feel more comfortable, functional, and beautiful. (Shannon side note- *swoon*)
^Nick at Versailles. This was for children.
- Describe your style.
I like to think of my style as the less-is-more variety. That isn’t just limited to the number of things a person keeps in their home, but also to the style of those things. For example, I’m not a fan of overly-designed items. I don’t go for over-stuffed furniture. I prefer clean lines, and simple forms. The same is true for décor. I prefer simple shapes to things that are more elaborate or highly embellished.
- How often does your home change?
Sometimes it feel as though our home is trapped in a constant state of change. But overall, it’s been more stable since we moved to DC. I also think I’m probably exaggerating. Things don’t really change that often. But if I’m honest, it’s still too often for me
- How many different sofas have you had since marrying Shannon?
The answer to this question will probably make my answer to the last question seem like an underestimate. I think we’ve had 6 sofas, including the one we have now. But I think that deserves a bit of context. When Shannon started the blog, we were really just starting our married lives together. Our furnishings were more a reflection of our budget than our style. We started to trade up as we were able. Often we would purchase a piece (usually from Craigslist) then a year later sell it on again and replace it with something we liked more. Only in the last couple years have we finally reached the point where we’re buying items more on whether they are exactly what we are looking for (and intend to keep for a longer period of time) than compromising what we want based on other factors. (Shannon side note- you guys should have seen the first few sofas. One was plaid. Swear.)
- How often do you offer decorating advice? Does she consider your opinion?
I’d say I have a fair amount of input. Though Shannon is the interior decorator and blogger, we both live in our home. She is much more passionate about the aesthetics, but neither of us makes design or décor decisions unilaterally. That being said, I also defer to her (better) judgement more often than not. It would be highly unfair of me to pretend that our home is as beautiful as it is because of my design tastes, that’s all her.
- What’s your favorite room in the house? Why?
I love the living room. We have so few rooms now (being in a 1 bedroom) so it isn’t too difficult to choose, but the living room is my favorite. It’s comfortable, and it has great light. I enjoy all aspects of the room. Because of the size and the placement of the doors, we had to get a little creative with furniture placement, but I think the space lives very well now. I like the bookshelves we installed. Shannon has also carved out a little entry area that works well at catching mail, keys, and shoes when we come in. It was a bit of a design challenge, but it’s now a great space that both looks good, and is comfortable to be in.
- What does it really look like behind the camera?
For the most part, our home looks like it does in photos. The only real exception would be how perfectly clean, and styled everything is on camera. We have a small place, and with two cats and a dog, our apartment isn’t always as perfectly spotless as it appears. But there is one other benefit to our downsizing, it’s much easier to keep clean. (Shannon side note- it’s a mess right now. A. Big. Mess.)
- What is a project that you hate but have never voiced (or maybe you have)?
I don’t think there is a project that I “hate”. If I answer honestly, I have liked pretty much all of the projects/design choices that have been made. If Shannon and I ever disagree on a project, or design choice, it’s usually because she has an idea and I’m not wild about changing anything in the first place. However, pretty much without fail, when the project is complete I’ve come around to thinking it was the best choice. A good example of this is the pink ceiling.
^The boy really likes an ice cream cone, if you can’t tell.
- Do you know of Shannon’s blogger friends? If so, who’s your favorite?
I don’t really know any of Shannon’s blogger friends too well. I know some of her fellow decorators, and they’re all really great (Shannon side note- Kerra, Mariella, Teri, HOLLA!) In the blogging community though, so many of the connections Shannon has made are living all around the country. There does seem to be a really great network of bloggers though, and I see Shannon interacting with them regularly (online).
- What’s your favorite aspect of Shannon being a blogger? Least favorite?
I think it’s amazing that there are readers out there that are following along with the various projects that have been featured on Shannon’s blog. I think the community, and the free-exchange of ideas that blogging fosters is an excellent resource and tool for people to improve their lives, and in the case of Shannon’s blog, their living space. That being said, the bloggers behind the websites deserve a lot of credit. The work that goes into the content they’re sharing is really impressive.
- What are your household chores?
I’d say that Shannon and I have a good handle on simply doing what needs to be done. It’s not like I do this thing, and she does that; I don’t “take out the garbage on Wednesday, and it’s her turn Thursday”. That being said, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I’d say I’m the cook in our home. (Shannon side note- he is 100% the cook, since I have 3 jobs right now. And his food is bomb.)
- What’s something about Shannon that her readers might not know (but she would be okay with you sharing)?
I think there are a couple of sides of Shannon that readers may only get a glimpse of, unless they also see her Instagram, or twitter. First, she really is obsessed with cats. I’m pretty sure everyone has seen our dog, Max. He almost demands to have his photo taken, so he’s been featured on the blog pretty regularly. But our cats are a little less happy to appear in pictures. And Shannon is borderline (Shannon side note- not “borderline”. Fully into cat-lady territory) obsessive cat-lady. The other thing that probably isn’t as well known, she is a huge football (Carolina Panthers) fan. And not just because a Panther is a cat. Being from Charlotte, we’ve both been Panthers fans for a long time, so this season was really great. She is really into politics and current events, which she tends to keep off the blog. She’s also crazy fast at crossword puzzles and can swear like the best of them.
- What does Shannon REALLY want for Valentine’s Day, and what are you getting her?
I think that we both prioritize travel, and visiting other parts of the world (even if those places are just a few miles from home), above material things. We’ve often chosen to give ourselves the gift of a trip, in lieu of a thing, for holidays and special occasions. The experiences we can share while traveling are the most valuable things to both of us. This year we’re going to enjoy a concert in Baltimore the week after Valentine’s Day, and are going away for quick getaway for the weekend after that.
To “Boy”- thank you for putting up with me and making this crazy career seem like it’s normal. Also, thanks for being tall and not afraid of electrical wires…that’s really come in handy 😉
How was fun was post? Make sure you visit all of the other gal’s posts as well- the answers are sure to be entertaining, and will certainly shine a light on this crazy blogging life! And thank you to Claire for hosting!