Project Spotlight

Big Changes Ahead for the Chris Loves Julia Living Room Makeover!

It’s finally time for a Chris Loves Julia Room Giveaway Update!

Not going to lie, our plans for the makeover have been a bit of a merry-go-round since we won the giveaway this past winter. Allow me to break a few things down for you about where our plans have been, where they are now, and where they’re headed!

Plan A:

The original plan was for their team to come with their team to Lancaster this past summer for a few days to revamp the room. I would get a mood board from Julia about the plans, then we’d order the goods and share the plan with all of you. In late July, they would arrive en masse early in the week, spend the better part of two days redoing to room, then take some pic and head on the last day.

Plan B:

Over the course of the next few months, however, some health issues popped up in Julia’s family, and a mood board was nowhere in sight. As we got closer to the scheduled date, I started to wonder if everyone might be better served if we pushed back the project to the fall. After all, we’ve been living with the room as-is for a couple years already, so what’s a couple more months, especially when there were way more important things going on that really demanded their family’s time and attention.

I reached out to see if they were interested in giving the project some additional time, and everyone was on board with making some adjustments. After some email back and forth about some options, we decided to keep with the plan of having their team come to Lancaster, but we’d push back the date to mid September.

Plan C:

The rest of the summer was a blur—as summer with a bunch of kids tends to be—and before we knew it, we were once again just a few weeks away from our makeover date, and I was concerned that we’d be limited on furniture choices due to time constraints.

This time, we went back to our options again to see what made the most sense at this point.

Option 1, which would be having Chris, Julia, & company come to make over the room during the span of a few days, meant that Jim and I wouldn’t really have to do much besides approve the mood board, and their team would take care of the rest. Easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy.

Option 2 came about as an alternative because it was pretty clear from this here blog that Jim and I also enjoy getting to do some of this fun house stuff ourselves. Instead of a visit from the Chris Loves Julia team, this would be a “virtual” option, wherein Julia would send us a mood board, along with a budget to order the furniture and tackle the project ourselves.

Both options were pretty damn great, so Jim and I took some time to discuss our hopes for the room, the limitations we might have with each option, and ultimately, what we actually wanted to take on.

I personally knew I would love to be involved in a more hands-on way, since it’s really, really important to me that the room functions well for our family. On the other hand, getting the chance to meet Chris and Julia and see them in action is just an absolute dream.

There were, of course, a ton of pros and cons for each, so in the end, we worked out a hybrid situation that I’m super excited (and also scared?) about…

Option 3, a.k.a. the Hybrid Plan, involves Chris and Julia coming to Lancaster to scope out the room for themselves, so Julia can really get a sense of the space and the unique issues it presents. We’ll also get to talk – in person! – about our ideas and thoughts for the room design and furniture. She might hold a baby as well, who knows?

After that, we’ll get a customized mood board from Julia, plus a budget to order furniture and get this project going. The downside to the hybrid option is that our budget will be smaller to offset the cost of their trip to Lancaster, but we felt that it was worth the difference to have them get to visit the space in person and kick start the makeover with a bang. 

Now that we’ve gotten you up to speed, stay tuned for more details soon, because we really need to go clean our house… Chris and Julia are coming to Lancaster this week!




  • A.M.

    Wow, I can’t believe CLJ the millionaire brand is making you pay to offset the cost of their trip! I empathize that Julia is having health issues in her family. But the way they’ve handled this makeover is a little disappointing.

  • GG

    So, in the original plan of them flying out to you, did that mean the original budget would also have been reduced due to their traveling to you, or is that a new change? Seems like that shouldn’t change the budget if it was originally included in the prize. Honestly, it felt like they were hoping their followers would forget about the whole thing, and only started addressing it again after they started getting questions about it. Glad to hear it was being worked on behind the scenes. Hope it all works out well for you!

  • Karen shaw

    Why in the world is their airfare coming out of the room makeover budget? The giveaway as advertised included a visit from their “team.” Seems like a bait and switch, particularly with the long delay in moving forward with this project whole they’ve taken many vacations.

  • Grace

    It seems like with every adjustment made, you (but only you) had to compromise more and more. What were the original terms of the contest? Stay firm in getting what you actually won here, and remember that all the work you did to get the votes to win this contest was advertising for CLJ, and the makeover itself is content for CLJ. They are a business (a multi-million dollar business), and they made a business decision to create this contest. It’s not your burden to make sure the terms of your win are now do-able on their end.

    • A

      ^ SO well said

  • Kendra

    So excited to see what you do and to follow along!

  • Jean

    What an amazing opportunity! Being clueless about design, I’d be over the moon to be handed a full room makeover, but it’s great you get to collaborate since you know more what you’re doing. Looking forward to following along with the process! 🙂

  • Kathryn

    That’s disappointing. I’m sorry it took this long to get a virtual mood board. I’m sure you’ll do a great job designing it and installing it yourself instead!

  • KJ

    I completely agree with all of the other comments. Perhaps if CLJ reads enough of this type of “helpful criticism” of the Giveaway Room Re-Do they will reconsider and make good on what was originally promoted in the contest. The comment about the contest and re-do ultimately being content to further promote multi-million dollar CLJ is spot on. As a reader it appears that CLJ is being a bit tight with the purse strings and backpedaling here……

    Devoted CLJ followers: please add your comments supporting contest winner Charlotte House Revival with Jack and Jim and request that CLJ awards all that was promised!

  • TC

    I have no skin in this game, and can certainly understand the above comments. However, as a business person, I feel it’s important to note that any project costs (and scope) always include ALL expenses, including travel. My guess is: CLJ always had travel in the original budget, and had planned renovation costs accordingly. Granted, if not using that part of the expenses, the overall budget should be adjusted, but I feel it’s important to understand there is always a business side to all decisions, and it’s easy to sit on the other side and criticize, but unless you walk a mile in their shoes…

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