Table of Contents:
- Jodie’s Story Behind the Pretty Pictures
- Real Life: How We Began Creating Pretty Pictures
- Real Life: Behind the Pretty Pictures
- DIY Creates Pretty Pictures for IG and My Home
- No-Sew Drop Cloth Curtains
- Industrial Pipe Shelves
- Chalk Painting
- Creating Pretty Pictures: Turning a Negative into a Positive
- A Special Community Created around Pretty Pictures
Behind the curtain: The Design Twins Reveal The truth behind the IG’s Pretty Pictures
We teach how DIY projects and creativity will transform your home and your life. Learn how to create pretty pictures in your home to bring you joy and satisfaction.
Hello friends and welcome to our blog! We are The Design Twins, Jodie and Julie. We are DIY enthusiasts and lovers of all things décor. How did we get in the business of creating pretty pictures? Well, we both began our journeys on Instagram. You may already follow us there. If not, you can find us @julie.thedesigntwins and @jodie.thedesigntwins where we serve up fun, friendship and daily inspiration.
Jodie’s Story Behind the Pretty Pictures
Julie and I both like to be as real as we can on Instagram. Even though we share our homes and decorating in order to inspire people we don’t ever want that to be all we are. We want to be real and transparent as well. So a while back I shared the story behind the pretty pictures. I shared it in depth on our blog. Read more about my personal IG story, which reveals my struggle with depression. While dealing with our family’s financial crisis, I fell into a very isolated place. Through the urging of my sister I started my Instagram account. I eventually found hope and joy in the home décor niche on Instagram.
Real Life: How We Began Creating Pretty Pictures
It’s confession time. Julie and I were not formally trained in either design or photography. Up until two years ago neither of us had worked professionally or taken courses in either field. The truth is, Julie and I have worked very hard to create pretty pictures. Trust us when we say they weren’t always pretty.
We have spent a great deal of time and energy honing our photography skills over the past couple years. Most of it has been through trial and error. It’s amazing what you can learn when you struggle long enough at something. If you keep plugging away and don’t give up, wonderful things can happen.
I still use my camera phone a lot. Julie and I bought DSLR cameras, but we haven’t quite mastered manual mode. We have gotten pretty good at using different photo editing apps to improve our pictures. Our story is one of trial and error, persistence and passion.
We’ve also spent a lot of focused effort on our decorating skills. Julie is now a paid decorator, developing her skills as she works with clients, but this is fairly new to her as well. We have learned and improved our photography skills and our decorating skills from persistent practice. We’ve enjoyed the process, so we really do consider it a labor of love. When you love what you do, it doesn’t seem so much like work.
Real Life: Behind the Pretty Pictures
First of all, here are some things you probably didn’t know.
This is my “money shot” couch. This couch is featured in some of my best IG posts. It’s 16 years old, has lived through two babies and three dogs, and has the stains to prove it.
The green “grass” pictured in my backyard is actually weeds, because we didn’t have a budget to landscape our backyard. Every year after the winter rains, weeds grow and turn it mostly green for about a month. Taking this picture and creating a pseudo “al fresco” dining look sparked joy within me.
All the curtains in my home are made with drop cloths I purchased from the hardware store and hemmed with a glue gun. This is a true story.
DIY Creates Pretty Pictures for IG and My Home
Because I was forced to get creative, I actually found some unexpected rewards. I have found such great fulfillment, compared to when I was shopping my way through life. Do-it-yourself projects have empowered me and given me a new sense of pride and self-confidence. It sounds cliché, but I have a newfound can-do attitude. DIY has brought me intrinsic joy that I never expected.
Whether you are driven by budget constraints like me, or embrace the challenge and joys of creating something yourself, you’re going to love my collection of DIY projects.
No-Sew Drop Cloth Curtains
One of my earliest projects was creating Drop Cloth Curtains. I lived in my house for seven years without properly dressing a single window. We had shutters, but zero finished curtains. I longed to have custom-made gorgeous drapes adorn my windows but tried not to think about it. Once the thought of custom-made curtains faded away, I began dreaming of store-bought, but even those seemed out of reach. I don’t sew and don’t own a sewing machine, so anything hand-made seemed impossible. Finally, I decided to try these no-sew drop cloth curtains on one window and see what they looked like. The rest is history. I did each window for under $50, hardware and all.
The final product amazed me. They enhanced my pretty pictures and looked gorgeous in person. They look elegant and suit my home perfectly. My husband loves them so much that this project alone sold him on my ideas. After this he started to say, “Ok, Honey!” instead of looking at me suspiciously every time I had a “crazy” idea. Finally, my ideas no longer seemed crazy.
Industrial Pipe Shelves
The story of my industrial pipe shelves is a long one, if you include all the months I spent dreaming and plotting to make it happen. My obsession with these shelves began about a year before as photos caught my eye on Instagram and Pinterest. I started researching how-to posts and regularly showing pictures to my husband. Typically, he would briefly glance at the pretty pictures in a that’s-nice-honey-but-I’m-not-really-interested kind of way.
I knew I would need his help, and I became more and more convinced that this project was worth campaigning for. He was very busy building his business, but I knew it would be worth it. I told you this was a long story. Eventually, I found a tutorial and read the how-to steps aloud. I won him over.
Convincing my husband and getting him on-board was definitely the hardest part. Once we started mapping out our plan, writing down measurements and making our shopping list things went smoothly. Well, besides my hubby taking eight trips to the hardware story. You know how it goes.
Chalk painting is the budget decorator’s best friend. One of the first things I did when I started focusing on home decor a couple years ago was buy chalk paint. Sure, I was nervous at first. I watched too many how-to videos to count. I researched the topic over and over, and the basics eventually started to sink in. In the end, you just need to go for it. Remember what I said about failing. You come out stronger and smarter than you were before.
I couldn’t afford to buy new furniture, but I could afford a bucket of paint. I transformed my master bedroom by painting new life into my old nightstands and dresser. Read more about the chalk-painting tips I learned along the way.
Creating Pretty Pictures: Turning a Negative into a Positive
There is nothing more satisfying than struggling through adversity and making it through to the other side. I love sharing my triumphs and challenges with you all. If openly sharing my struggles can help just one person, then it’s worth it. I know God’s purpose for our lives is manifesting every day, as He connects me to so many amazing hearts and souls on social media and beyond.
A Special Community Created around Pretty Pictures
The message Julie and I want to convey is: You are not alone. We all have to start somewhere. One of the perks of Instagram is the training ground it provides. Don’t worry if your pictures aren’t perfect. Perfection is overrated. Focus on daily growth and enjoy the process.
We are on this journey to lift each other up during challenging times and to help celebrate each other’s victories as well. And when we open up and share with one another this seemingly big world becomes a small family. We hope our blog and Instagram becomes a place where you feel welcome, a place where our lives become knit together like a well-loved blanket.
Welcome to our world. We’re so glad you’re here.
Jodie & Julie
The Design Twins
Love this so much. I’m just starting out and you two are so inspiring…and have great style!
Aw Carla! Thank you so much! What a sweetheart you are. Welcome to our lovely community. We have lots of advice on our blog…about 10 various posts related to Instagram in all its facets, photography for all your purposes, and of course style, decorating, and DIY projects to get creative and make your mark! We wish you so much success in your endeavors. Hope you’ll sign up (if you haven’t already) and visit us often. With gratitude, Julie & Jodie
Thank you both SO much for inspiring us with your story. I’m learning so much from your blog posts. And thanks for including CANADA in your March Madness giveaways! You guys are the sweetest! ????
Yay Lori, We are very, very glad you made it to our blog and we are 100% happy we decided we needed to include Canada. Heck, our ancestors are from Canada!! (little known fact 🙂 We hope you win one of our gifts, but more importantly, we hope you take away much more. We hope you are inspired, lifted up, motivated, and excited about all kinds of things from joining us here on a regular basis. We want you to get your daily dose of The Design Twins, and then be ready to conquer the world…or at least a new vignette haha! With love & friendship, Julie & Jodie
Great article! Thanks for March Madness! ❤
Tina, thank you for coming to our blog. Even though you may have been motivated by our giveaway we hope you will come back long after the giveaway is over for inspiration and motivation and a little FUN in your day! We are just getting started and hope that here you will find some extra joy and certainly friendship along the road…with gratitude, Julie & Jodie
When i started an instagram account you start wishing you could buy all new things. I also am on a restricted income and make a lot of my own things. It is really nice of you to share your story. You can make a house a home with creativity. Thanks for sharing and God Bless❤
Dina, WE LOVE THIS! You are exactly right! A home is what you make it! Creativity is a powerful and amazing tool and can take you to where you want to go. We are so glad you found us, and that we can inspire you along your journey. We hope you we come back and visit us often. Blessings to you! With gratitude, Jodie & Julie
Thank you! Your blog posts are inspiring and you are both so encouraging. I really appreciate the time you spend explaining the not-so-obvious and the sometimes obvious photography and decorating tips. “Baby steps”.
Have a beautiful weekend.
Hi Pamela, We are overjoyed to hear that our blog posts inspire and help you!! That is certainly our goal, and we couldn’t be happier. Sometimes it’s helpful that we are not PROS and we are not huge EXPERTS! We are just learning bit by bit. When information is helpful for us it must be helpful for you! HaHa! Plus we just love to teach. Blogging turns out to be the perfect thing for us! Thanks again. With gratitude, Julie & Jodie
I’m new to IG & have loved catching up on your story of how you got to this IG place. The home decor ideas & inspiration is wonderful & so,so much fun but its exciting to watch how God is using all this for a much bigger story. Thank you for your authenticity and courage.
Oh My Gosh Cindy! Thank you SO SO much! What a gorgeous, generous reply. We love hearing this. It makes it worthwhile. And yes, God is the big picture, and the true purpose, and guiding us every step of the way. Thank you again and welcome to IG and our blog. We hope you will come back often. With gratitude, Julie & Jodie
May I make a confession? When I first started following you on IG I thought “Well sure! They can AFFORD to have all that! Look at them – they’re perfect….that home, all those accessories, those clothes, their hair ; )” This post, and the other one where you share about your financial struggles, was a real eye opener to me about judging and making assumptions. Your transparency is so beautiful and makes me love you even more. Your humility gives glory to God. Who knew that decor posts on Instagram could be a platform for Christ? Love, love, love! Thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing your struggles as well as your beautifully creative decor. May God continue to bless you both immensely.
Wow Denice, I just read your amazing reply to Jodie, our mom and our dad. We are all so touched. We know why we are here, and it has a lot more to do with spreading love and inspiration for a Christ-led life and giving unconditionally to others than it does home decor. But home decor is fun and can bring day to day joy too. We are so grateful for your support and especially for sharing this “confession”. Life’s lessons are everywhere and I just love how we reminded you not to judge. May God bless you too, Julie & Jodie
I’d like a one-hour design consultation if I win the Giveaway!❤
You Go Girl! That’s what I’m talking about! Wishing you lots of luck with the giveaway. Blessings, Julie
I love your transparency and I can’t wait to try those gorgeous curtains!!!!
I recovered my grandmas dining chairs in bleached dropcloths (they were originally mauve velvet?).
Again…..love your hearts!!!
Tanya, Thank you again. That project sounds very cool! You just gave me the idea to recover the chairs in my dining room. I’m getting a new dining table (as you may or may not know) and I’m trying to decide if I will keep my chairs, but drop cloth neutral might be a perfect choice for the farmhouse look…Thank you for that!!! Look at what happens when we share! Love it! XO ~ Julie & Jodie
Thank you ladies for this incredible giveaway! It was hard decision for me because both of these consultations are priceless. But I would choose the Instagram strategy if I won.
Difficulties are part of life, but a true personality like you is really appreciable for everyone. A true motivator to all women in this world, keep moving and spreading joyful happier moments with us for whole life, our blessings always with you. Great blog, very informative, love to read it.
Steven, Wow! What a wonderful comment to read! Truly, your kind and generous praise touched both of our hearts. Thank you for the kind appraisal and for the beautiful blessing you bestowed. We, as humans, are in this world together for a purpose. To help each other, to lift one another up, to care for each other, to inspire one another…not the opposite. If Jodie and I can make this world just a little better our purpose will be fulfilled. One fun project, one kind word, one outstretched arm…that is what we are doing and thank you for supporting that. With gratitude and love, Julie & Jodie
I loved reading this!! I can’t wait to use some of your ideas…drop cloth curtains and chalk paint! I can’t afford to do all the things I would like to in my home so I have to make the best of it. For one, I have to hand paint some of the gorgeous paintings I see on instagram that I can’t afford to pay for…they aren’t as clean and perfect as the ones I see on there but they work! I love following y’all on instagram and will definitely be a blog frequenter! ❤️
Hi Stephanie, Welcome!! Jodie and I are just thrilled that you made it to our blog and are enjoying some of the ideas we showcase…you know it’s only just beginning, so we truly hope you will stay, become our sweet friends, and accompany us on this journey called LIFE! We are absolutely committed to our readers and we will continue to present all kinds of budget-friendly ideas, projects, and decorating options. With gratitude and friendship, Julie & Jodie
Love your blog! I would choose the instagram strategy session because it’s quite clear you ladies have it down! Thanks for the beauty.
Hi Theresa, You are so cute! Well, we certainly are glad you made it to our blog…welcome. We hope you will come back often for lots of fun, inspiration, and friendship too. We truly feel connected to all of you, and want our blog, even more than IG, to be a community of love and support. With gratitude from us both, Julie & Jodie
Wow I love how inspired I feel after reading each blog! I love how you write and your personality and decorating flows through and we see the Amazing women you are! Thank you for sharing and inspiring.
I love the pillows…where did they come from?
Good Morning, Bethaney! Welcome to our blog. Jodes and I are thrilled that you are here. We hope you signed up and that we can welcome you back here often and grow together in friendship and inspiration. We are happy to report that many of the pillows pictured here and elsewhere in our homes can be found in our shop on the blog. Just click over to SHOP from the home page (far right side) and click on the pillow you like. Some pillows lead to other similar pillows where you will have more choices, so browse around. There are lots of awesome ones at great prices too. Have a blessed day, Julie
You both inspire me with not only your style but your attitude and positivity! I would love to receive the one hour consultation, We recently downsized and I love our little house but it has decorating challenges lol
Hi Debbie! Welcome to our blog Sweetie! It’s so great to have you here. Firstly, thank you for your kind words. It makes our hearts sing to know you are inspired by what we do, just sharing authentically and honestly…which is what we do even more here on the blog. We hope you will come back often and visit us, and always say hello. We love, love, love feeling connected to our readers. Fingers crossed for the giveaway. Whenever we do something like this we have a hard time because we want everyone to win! EEK! Many blessings to you, Julie & Jodie
Your homes are absolutely beautiful!! I always look forward to what is going to be posted next on your stories!! I would love to win the one hour design consultation! Thanks for keeping us all inspired!!
Aw Rachel! What kindness! Thank you for that, Sweetie. It really means a lot. We have a lot of fun sharing stories with you all. Well, we sure are glad you made it to the blog. We hope you will visit us here often and tell us what you think…it really does make it all worth while when we hear from you sweet friends. Many blessings (and good luck)…also, you can enter additional times for more chances…just so you know. XO Julie
I would love to enter your giveaway for the design consultation. I am a very very new mommy, home blogger, home OWNER (in California… which means I am definitely working full time), new home designer, new DIYer and very new instagram large-following wannabe! You would think that I would want to win this for your expertise on my instagram and/or blog, but the truth is, I would rather have a design consultation. I truly believe that this WHOLE THING is about inspiration… and where are we, really, without that? I can’t have a successful blog or social media following without having the right foundation to inspire others. You have both inspired SO MANY people with your huge following. I would love to accomplish that one day!
On a selfish note, I am the mom of a toddler boy with a baby girl due in April and a brand new fixer upper. I can use all the help I can get!!!
Thank you for your time and attention, and thank you, again, for the amazing blog with all its inspiration!
Wow, Sweet Kim! You are in “the throws” of life! Full on! You are asking a lot of yourself to wear all those important hats at once! Amazing! I can hear your passion though, all the way from over here! My advice from hearing your story is to share the realness of where you are. Share your journey. Young people relate to not having it all together, not having everything done. It’s more exciting and inspiring to watch it unfold…to watch the progress. More and more people connect with realness and the opposite of perfection. We are so glad you are here. We hope you will come back often and be inspired. We hope more than anything you witness us being true and authentic and that is all you need to be too. Wishing you all great things, Kim! With love, Julie & Jodie
Love this so much! I am a DIY girl and always have been. It can be so discouraging at times when you look at the “squares” and think… Oh I can’t afford that! Thank you for being so down to earth and showing everyone out there that decor can be budget friendly too!
Kandy, Nothing could make us happier. That last thing we want to do is make people think that what we do is unattainable. We have no degrees in interior decor, no formal training, just a love, a passion, and a work ethic. We “play” hard haha! Nor are we professional photographers, but we just keep at it. We keep trying to improve, and with dedication anyone can improve. The same goes with spending. Even my clients in real life, I always try to spend as little as possible. We are not frivolous. We try to repurpose, reuse, DIY, etc. to make money go as far as possible. Well darling, it looks like you’ve come to the right place. Wishing you luck on the drawing. And we hope to see you back here on the blog regularly! With love & gratitude ~ Julie & Jodie
I enjoy your blog and look forward to seeing your daily Instagram stories. Love getting design inspiration from you both. I struggle with the in between season decorating phases. Seems I have plenty of items to work with, just never quite sure how to display, so therefore I’d love to be entered into your giveaway! Thank you!
Hi Holly, Yay! You made it to our blog! It’s wonderful to have you here! Jodie and I are pouring our hearts into our posts and it makes it all worthwhile when we can inspire people. Without comments we can only guess if people like what we are writing! Decorating in the off seasons leaves more up to us. The clear definitions are missing, so you have to rely on your own ideas and inspiration. What I like about these times is it allows more creativity and freedom. You just need a little more confidence. The in-between months are time for you to explore what YOU love, what you are drawn to and just have fun! The more you trust yourself, the more you practice, the better you will get and the more fun you will have. Remember, there are no real right or wrongs. This is your house…a place to express yourself. I would say, less worry more fun. And of course getting lots of inspiration from others helps you recognize what you love. Then it’s a matter of recreating your version. Wishing you lots of success and joy along the way, Julie & Jodie
Thank you! You gals are the sweetest!
Aw, Holly! Bless you for saying so! Feeling like I just made a friend…nothing better than that! God bless you Sweet One, Julie
Wow, this is so interesting! I didn’t know my iPhone had all those features. I will have to give it a go now that I have all these helpful tips. I am quite the spaz with my camera and phone. I don’t really know what I’m doing. lol. I’m just thankful when one out of five (or more!) turn out! It’ll be nice once I keep learning and experimenting with more practice. Should start saving some time. Thanks ladies!
Oh my, I just commented on this post about your iPhone one I read last night… Just the same the comment is so true: I have lots to learn! And for this blog post I found it super inspiring for me to read: ” It’s amazing what you can learn when you struggle long enough at something….if you just keep plugging away and don’t give up sometimes wonderful things happen.”
That’s beautiful and encouraging to my dreaming heart. Just keep plugging away and don’t give up. I love that!
I appreciate your honesty and your stories of projects throughout the years. YEARS…. hmmm, yes, I am still just a infant at this. wink.
Tarah, The most important thing is to not give up, and just to keep at it. Keep challenging yourself, practicing all your skills, learning, researching, arming yourself with knowledge and as Jodie says “plugging away”. We talked with a veteran blogger, very, very successful woman, and she said exactly this. Just keep at it. My advice is “enjoy the journey”…this is our life’s work. Be proud and humble both and stay the course. Blessings, Julie & Jodie
Tarah, We learned the same way as you are, practice, practice, practice. We still probably take 20-30 shots to get one that we end up using. But great photographers take as many or more. It’s the nature of photography. And the keener your eye the more you will notice and you’ll get pickier and pickier like Jodie and I have become. I think it takes longer as you get better…sorry to break the bad news! haha. Blessings to you, Julie & Jodie
This was a great read! I only recently started decorating my house due to severe budget restrictions for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, we have soooo much to be grateful for, but it just wasn’t a priority fod a long time. Now that we have a little extra money for me to be able to start doing this, see all the inspiring instagram photos and wish I had the eye or a way to put what is in my head or what I see, in practice. Having had (and still have) huge budget restrictions, I also suffer from analysis paralysis ☺ I feel I need to be 100% sure of what I want before I buy it as I can’t afford to get it wrong! I would therefor LOVE to win some time with you to help me at least get started. Thank you so much for the opportunity!
Elizma, We are thrilled to have you here on our blog! Thank you for sharing so much with us. There’s nothing that makes us happier than connecting personally with our readers and followers. Your story sounds very similar to Jodie’s. Jodie’s answer, as you read, was to employ her creativity instead of her credit card, and it has resulted in so much growth and satisfaction…a blessing in disguise in the end. Win or no, we hope our blog can continue to inspire you to slowly but surely create a home you are proud of. Your friends, Julie & Jodie
I love the real-ness you guys bring! And all the tips and encouragement. I would love, love an Instagram strategy session with you two! It would be so beneficial for my new little business.
Aw Sarah, You are such a sweetie! We love being connected to you on IG. Thank you so much for the kind words and for visiting us here on our blog. We truly hope you will learn things and be inspired. We have so much to share, but it’s no fun without you! Hope you’ll make it a regular date…like friends meeting for coffee…wink wink:) Wishing you great success, darling! your friends, Julie & Jodie
Hi! I am so glad that I found you both on IG. Reading your posts makes my days a little bit brighter.
It’s nice to read about others who really enjoy what they do. Blessings to you both.
Dear Liz, What a wonderful treat to find your message this morning! I love the way you put it in your note: We love what we do! We really do. It makes us so happy to hear that it shows. One of our goals is to spread joy. Joy is a choice…most people don’t realize this, or they don’t truly believe it. We are here to teach and to inspire, so we very much hope that you will join us on the journey. Come back often and share with us and together we can achieve great things. Many blessings to you dear friend. With gratitude, Julie & Jodie
Thank you for being so inspiring! Love the idea of the drop cloth curtains. march madness ????
Hi Lauren, Welcome to our blog, Sweet Friend. Those drop cloth curtains were a real turning point for Jodie. They meant so much more than decor. They empowered her! They changed her outlook on her life…from one of no possibilities to one FULL of possibilities. From there you can see her trajectory. Attitude is everything. A can-do spirit really can change ones life. We hope to share that spirit with everyone. With love and blessings, Julie & Jodie
That’s so great <3
Thank you Lauren!
We are so glad you are here! We appreciate your feedback so much!
With love and gratitude,
Jodie & Julie
I saw on IG the March Madness typically I don’t read blogs but had a few minutes and thought I’ll check it out. I’m dumbfounded, I read this and am amazed I assumed so many things from the pics. Mostly design experience, perfect lives, perfect people etc. The curtains probably got to me the most. I’ve been in my house for 2 years and still no curtains, I dream of the customized but now maybe I will try the drop cloth along with the chalk paint for my BR furniture which is 30 plus years old (not antique just old).
Blessings to you, I’m starting to feel a little bit of hope.
Dear Ingrid, Welcome to our blog, Sweet Friend. You were meant to come here…we were meant to give you hope! Hope is a beautiful thing and it is intrinsic to happiness. Jodie’s curtains were a huge turning point in her life…they provided that “ah-ha” moment when she realized the she had a lot more ability to take control of her situation that she had thought. It provided her with empowerment and a “can-do” spirit. We hope this is just the beginning of new days ahead for you. Attitude is literally everything! We are so very happy to be joining you on this journey called life. We have so much more to share, so much more to inspire you so we hope you will stay with us. With love, Julie & Jodie
Jodie, I really enjoyed reading this blog edition. Julie messaged me and told me I might understand it, and she was right.
I’ve always been a crafter, and loved home decor projects. I’ve been accused of moving my furniture around weekly, and they were right. I always had lots of church friends who asked me to host church parties at my home. I love entertaining people. Then about 11 years ago my husband left, and we went through 2 years of legal work to get the divorce. During that time I became very withdrawn and depressed. It got so bad that I wouldn’t answer the door, or phone. I wouldn’t go out of the house. Sometimes I’d go without milk and essentials for days to avoid the grocery store. My life began turning around when my son in NC called me one day, and I saw his name on the caller ID and didn’t even want to talk to him. You have to understand I’m very close to my 2 grown sons. At that point I knew I had to seek help. I was connected with a doctor, who gave me some medication, and referred me to a therapist. It was a long journey, but by God’s grace I have come almost full circle.
During that difficult my wonderful Christian best friend died suddenly. We had moved to a new town and I had no friends here at that time. I sought a good church, only to be disappointed when there became inside problems. During this long process I never lost my faith or hope. I felt lost to the world, but not to Christ. I’m still trying to find my enthusiasm for my home decorating and organizing, and crafting new things… slowly I’m finding some progress through Instagram.
A few months ago I decided I wanted a blanket ladder very much, but knew I couldn’t afford one, so I jumped into making one for myself. I love it, even if it’s not perfect. LOL I’m the only one who knows it isn’t angled exactly the way I wanted it.
Your’s and Julie’s Instagram stories are so sweet and inspiring. I can see your good hearts in everything you do and say, and I know God is using you. God bless your efforts! I’m going to follow your blog more closely now that I’ve found it. I’m excited to see what we both learn from life lessons. 🙂
Sherry, It is with joy and gratitude that I read your letter. There are NO accidents in this world…we were meant to be placed in each other’s paths by our Father, and I know you would wholeheartedly agree. We speak the same language with God at the center of our hearts and lives. God never left you in your despair. What an incredible story, and yet we each have incredible stories. Thank you for sharing yours. You are not alone. God works through the people in our lives, even sometimes strangers. Every bit of our struggles is meant to help us become the people He has destined us to become. Sometimes tough lessons are His way. We are blessed to have you join us on this journey…we will all be growing…together. With love, Julie & Jodie
Love you two! Thankyou for all the inspiration:)
Aw Shelly, You are so sweet! We love you too. We are blessed to have you join us here on our blog. Instagram has been a great start for us, but really, we have so much more to give than just pretty photos, and that’s why our hearts are in this blog. We hope you will visit us often, make us part of your day, you know, The Design Twins and coffee 🙂 so that we can travel this journey together. In true friendship, Julie & Jodie
I have really enjoyed following both of you! Such sweet, fun, encouraging gals. From one twin to another, keep doing what you’re doing. You’re modeling not only home decor and Instagram tips, but the value of family and sisters!
Aww! Thank you Diane! What a touching thing to say. We really do take these comments to heart and especially when someone takes the time to compose something as sweet as this! Thank you for your kindness and for taking the time to give us feedback! We appreciate it more than you know!
With love and gratitude,
Jodie & Julie
Thank you so much for your stories! Adversity does bring a wave of change if you are willing to open the door! I hope I can start this journey – I have a passion for it! You have given me a hope that we can start something even in our later years!
I’m so glad I found you all on IG. I love to decorate you all are so inspiring! Looking forward to the blog!
March Madness ????
Shea, Yay! Welcome to our blog, dear friend! It’s so excited to have you join us. We have so much planned for our blog and we hope you will really be inspired each time you visit. During the month of March, with the added motivation of a new giveaway each day, we hope you will take the opportunity to read, learn, and become motivated by all our ideas. By the end of the month we expect to be great friends! With gratitude (and a lot of excitement) Jodie & Julie
Love this whole post! Thanks for being so open and honest. Great photography tips, too! It’s so sweet that y’all are doing a March Madness giveaway, too. So kind!!
This was one of my favorite blog posts. It was Inspiring and truthful! The weeds are beautiful when they are green! And honestly who notices the weeds with all that beauty around you!
Thank you again for March Madness. 🙂
Wow! I really appreciate your transparency about financial struggles and your determination. You two really are beautiful ladies and you’re so encouraging and inspiring. I just love watching your videos and seeing all your beautiful pictures on instagram. You both are very talented. Thank you for sharing and God Bless!!!
Aww! How sweet are you!? Thank you for sharing and for all your support. We wouldn’t be here except for the loving and kind reactions from friends like you! God bless you too!
With love and gratitude,
Jodie & Julie
You both are amazing. I confess, I just started on IG and the one thing that keeps going through my head is “how are these young families affording massive 4000 sq ft houses and constantly buying aaaallll the beautiful, expensive things every week or so!”
When I read your story I felt finally someone that is creating beautiful spaces and lovely pictures with a tight budget. Honestly, I admire your home and gorgeous pictures all the more knowing you didn’t just run out and buy the latest and greatest.
Regarding your non sodded backyard. The Al Fesco pic is terrific!! One thing you could do that is super cheap (since I imagine later when you can afford to, is till all that up and lay sod and landscape) is get one of those pronged forklike garden handtools and just scratch up small patches around the yard and throw in some inexpensive “assorted wildflower” seeds. I can just picture how lovely that would look with scattered colourful flowers popping up here and there.
Anyway, love your blog and admire you both tremendously!! ????????????????????????????
Dear Pam, What a sweetheart! Thank you for your kind words and your lovely reply. We feel blessed today to hear from you. Also, I want to thank you for the lovely idea about sprinkling wildflowers! I just may try that! We hope you will continue to enter our giveaway…31 days, 31 chances to win. In the process we hope you will take away much more than you came for in the form of inspiration, knowledge, motivation, insight, and yes, friendship. We treasure your support and hope you will take our hands and join us as we travel this road together. With gratitude, Julie & Jodie
I forgot to say March Madness in my last comment!!
Thank you, Pam. We got you 🙂 XO~ Julie & Jodie
I love love love watching you and Julie on Instagram. You two are the sweetest women ever. I truly wish there were more women like you. I’m from British Columbia, Canada and instead of women being supportive and encouraging you that You Can Do It, it’s almost that they feel threatened by you. I love decorating and painting and I do a lot of that stuff for friends but I have a hard time telling people what will look good and how to decorate their space. It’s a confidence thing. Reading this post made me look at what I want to do and what I do differently and I thank you. I could go on and on but I won’t. Thank you and god bless you and Julie.
Nadia, Thank you again for your kind, kind words. Also, thank you for sharing. You sound like a very sensitive soul. It’s not that Jodie and I aren’t sensitive, we are, but we have learned that whatever you choose to focus on becomes your reality. There are positive things and positive people everywhere and there are negative things and negative people everywhere. For example, there are a lot of negative things that happen on IG. What I do (and Jodie does) is we choose to give the negative things and the negative people no weight, no power, no influence in our lives. It’s not like we are completely naive…we know these negative things exist. We just choose to let them go. Don’t think about the “unsupportive women”…there may be 20 unsupportive people you encounter…and I supportive woman. Give all your time, focus and attention in your mind to that one supportive woman and you will be on the road to empowerment. You choose your reality, dear one. Wishing you the best, Julie & Jodie
Great blog post! So interesting to read of your backgrounds and how to got into IG. Also, how looks can definitely be deceiving about the pretty pictures! Ready for March Madness to begin and root on my KU Jayhawks!
Thank you for taking the time to read this…it was really fun to write and to share my story with all of you! We want to share pretty pictures of the decor we create, but we also want to be real so others can relate. We want people to know they don’t have to have a ton of money or a degree in home decor to make their homes beautiful!
Thanks for all your support and wishing you good luck! Remember, you can enter every day in March for a NEW chance to win! (Go Warriors!) 😉
With love and blessings,
Jodie & Julie
I am all new to Instagram but was happy to have discovered not one but two of you, I’ll admit I was a little confused at first. I look so forward to your positive attitudes and your blog posts and for sharing all this useful knowledge to us. I’m excited for March madness…Happy March 1st today!
Welcome!! We are so happy that you found us…and now we found you! Instagram has been such a happy, encouraging space for us to develop our ideas and passions and share them with others. And we want to continue to create a space on our blog where we can connect and share even more personally with our followers!
Thank you for joining us on this journey and making it happen with your support!
Best of luck with the giveaway. Remember…every day in March is a new chance to win!
With love and blessings,
Jodie & Julie
Hello there darling design twins. I love all of your posts and videos. You cheer me up and inspire me to add some pretty to my world. I appreciate you sharing your lovely homes and sweet family. Keep making beauty and creating sunshine no matter the season. March madness baby!!
Your comment make me laugh and smile!! Thank you so much for your kind words and your feedback!
Wishing you lots of luck!
With love and blessings,
Jodie & Julie
Love this post! Just started following you and honestly love your style! My poor tired home needs some love and updating. I lack confidence in even starting anything and don’t even know where to start. I’m hoping by following your Instagram and blog will inspire me to make some changes. So happy I found you in time for March Madness!! Thank you!
Really, truly, I started in the same place. I had zero confidence and hadn’t don’t anything to my home since we moved in. It was only through Julie’s encouragement that I posted a picture of my home. And then another. Honestly, they weren’t good, but people were still nice!! And it helped me think…well, maybe I could post more. There are easy things you can try that don’t cost money…like maybe moving furniture around from one room to another just to make it FEEL new. Maybe try painting something. Sometimes just being different will be better and will refresh how you feel about your space and allow you to see how it could look different! Try anything….just changing a pillow or two. And see….You can even buy something small and see how it looks. You can always return it if you don’t like it and try something different! Don’t be afraid to try! We will be here to encourage you!
With love and hope,
Jodie & Julie
Love you ladies
Thank you Cindy!
We are grateful for you and your kindness!
With love and blessings,
Jodie & Julie
Apparently I forgot to mention March Madness in my previous comment, so I’m going to do that now! ???? Thank you Julie and Jodie!
Well done, Dawn, thank you ever so much! We’ve got you covered. Don’t forget to come back every day in March for a new chance to win 🙂 By the end of the month we will be “old friends” 🙂 XO ~ Julie & Jodie
Your pictures are so inspiring. I can see how much fun you have taking them but also how passionate you are about the end result as well.
Thank you for blessing us with the March Madness giveaway!
We are so glad you are here!
Good luck on the giveaway!
With love and blessings,
Jodie & Julie
I agree on the chalk paint! I have revitalized a few pieces that way! March Madness!!
Thanks for visiting our blog! And for sharing your thoughts on chalk painting! It remains one of my favorite budget-friendly home decor projects! I’m always looking for my next piece to paint!
Good luck on the giveaway! We hope you will visit again…..remember, each new day in March is a new chance to win!
With love and gratitude,
Jodie & Julie
I loved this so much. My life is a series of “start-overs”. I’ve been a single mom of 4 trying to get through the week (financially and emotionally), to having my dream home. Then divorce, my mom passing and selling my house to care for my Dad. Starting over again with a wonderful husband and new (small) home, but it’s ours. I sold most of my furniture/belongings when I needed to move in with Dad. So truly starting over now on a tight budget.
Sorry for the long-winded post. But I really loved this post. Thank you for this AND the march Madness giveaway.
This post really hit me hard. Thank you for sharing. It makes your beautiful instagram posts mean even more. Ps march madness!!
Aw Jessica, We are so glad it touched you. See? We all have our stories, and sometimes we just assume things…many people have told us after reading this post they took a lesson in jumping to conclusions about people and their circumstances. I mean, we all do it naturally. But we need to strive to not do it…we need to realize that no one’s life is perfect. We are so happy you made it to our blog. We hope you will continue to enjoy our posts…come back every day during the month of March for another chance to win…and by the end of the month we’ll be besties and will never want to leave hee hee! With love & gratitude, Julie & Jodie
Not only do I love your design ideas but my 5 year old son does too! He saw a picture of a boys bedroom and now wants a room makeover. For our next project during the month of “March Madness” we may now have to redo his bedroom.
Thank you for the ideas and for posting such GORGEOUS rooms!
Kelly, I love that! Wait till I tell my son(s). Now I’m wondering which room and what he liked. We are so excited that you made it to our blog. We sincerely hope you will come back often (now for the giveaway) but also long after it’s done. We have so much inspiration headed your way…stay tuned because we are just getting this party started 🙂 XO ~ Julie & Jodie
Jodie, sometimes backyard weeds make the best backdrop for a photo shoot… your outdoor table looked gorgeous… weeds and all! Posting for March Madness!!!! So excited!
HaHa, Thanks for the encouragement, Betty! Good thing that’s true! I’m going for the “au natural” look (wink wink). God has a purpose for all things, even my backyard weeds! We love having you on our blog…we wish you luck for the giveaway (come back every day you can to enter each day!) but we really hope you’ll continue to visit us here and enjoy our inspiration long past the giveaway is over. With love and friendship, Jodie & Julie
Thank you for sharing your journey. I’m always inspired by both of your pictures and posts ! Thank you for the March Madness giveaway !!
Thank you so much for sharing your home with IG! It’s beautiful and looks so cozy and welcoming. I love seeing all the posts and you give such great inspriration!
Kristie, We are so excited to have you on our blog! It is a joyful day! Thank you for the kind praise. We hope that the inspiration you feel from our IG feeds will be exponential here on our blog. We look forward to growing our friendship as we travel this journey together. With gratitude, Julie & Jodie
I have been watching the two of you and wow I don’t know what to say but inspiring of sharing your design style and your life. Painting of the piano was amazing. Yes that chalk paint is a life saver. Thank you for he great give away – March Madness.
I adore you ladies. Thank you for being so honest and sharing the truth behind the pretty scenes. Even with the not so perfect backyard or the not so new couch I loooooove your style and your home. Thank you for your generosity and allowing us to participate in the the March Madness.
Dear Diana, We are SO excited to welcome you to our blog! I mean, overjoyed comes to mind! We hope you will come back every day during the month of March for 31 chances to win…then it is our hope that by then you will be smitten by our blog, hee hee, and never want to leave! How is that for transparency?? You can trust us to always tell you the truth. The truth is that we want to reach out and grab you hand and take you on this journey with us! With love & friendship, Julie & Jodie
You are both so inspiring, and have made beautiful homes! Thank you for the March madness giveaways!
Thank you Kayan,
We are so happy you came to our blog! Thank you for your support and your kind feedback! It means the world to us!
Good luck on the giveaway!
Remember, every day in March means a new chance to win!!
With love and blessings,
Jodie & Julie
✨✨✨March Madness✨✨✨ wow that was raw and so insightful. I enjoy this ‘getting to know you’ time. Thanx for the opportunity.
Seriously ladies, the more I read on, the more I am amazed! I can relate on so many levels, and for a second there I felt like you peered into my life and described my husband! Haha! ????
What a blessing to have come so far! Keep going!
(March madness ???? )
Thank you for being so real. It is truly appreciated. March Madness!!
I agree with you Jodie that it feels so good to create something with your own hands!! You 2 are blessings and God is using your gifts!! Thanks for including Canada in your march madness giveaways!! ❤
Dear Shauna, We love your sweet support, more than we can say…trust us when we say it means the world. We believe God is directing us and we give Him the glory for any and all success. Our strengths come from Him…so it all really is a gorgeous blessing. We are here for His purposes and we just love how He reveals himself daily. He connects us with beautiful souls, He helps us know which direction to go in, how to make the right decisions, even the words in my posts. To be in His hands is an incredible journey. We hope you will continue to join us as we travel this amazing road. Together we can do anything! With love and gratitude, Julie & Jodie
I always liked your squares and I’m now really loving your blog. You are so real and it makes me want to jump on the IG wagon. My pictures are horrible though. Your post on using your camera phone really helped though. Thanks for the inspi.
Sooo much great information, I Love ❤️ to watch your IG stories all thru the day, specially during “march madness” thanks!
Truly awesome how open you are being about all aspects of your life. Thank you for helping me see my design dreams may someday come true. March Madness
Love you ladies!!
I just love this post, its authenticity, and the heart behind it! I totally relate to the budget restraints of decorating! Last year, we couldn’t afford new bedroom furniture and so we used white chalk paint to creat a whole new look and now I’m loving our bedroom all over again! Thank you again, Design Twins for your inspiration and encouragement! Loving the March Madness ???? Idea! Xoxo, Marla Schaap
I just love this post, its authenticity, and the heart behind it! I totally relate to the budget restraints of decorating and want to thank you, Design Twins, for your inspiration and encouragement! Loving the March Madness ???? Xoxo, Marla Schaap
What a beautiful thing to read. Thank you for sharing. I too am on budget and your post helps a lot. March Madness
Janice, Thank you so much for reading and your kind reply. It means so much to us! Tomorrow we have a budget spring decor post that will be great. You will be able to create a fresh spring look with little to no money. We hope you enjoy. Also, we hope you will continue with us on this journey long after March Madness comes to an end for inspiration & of course friendship. With gratitude, Jodie & Julie
Such great ideas, I love looking at your pictures…..motivates me to freshen up my own spaces! Happy March Madness!
Love looking at your gorgeous ideas! Amazing! (March Madness)
Just found you. What a beautiful, inspirational story! I wish you much success and will be following to watch you. Your photography is awe inspiring.
Peggy, We are so happy you found us! We are thrilled to have you join us on this journey! We hope we will inspire you in many ways and that together we can grow and enjoy life to the fullest. With blessings, Julie & Jodie
Enjoyed this post so much!! Happy March a Madness to both of you!
What a great post I love it you ladies are awesome thanks for sharing…happy March Madness
Loved this! March Madness
I need to make those drop cloth curtains! Beautiful! March Madness
Thank you so much for being real and sharing your story, Jodie. It’s so nice to read something real and down to earth, especially when it’s so easy to compare your own real life (the good, bad, AND ugly) with someone else’s highlight reel on social media. When you shared this post, that’s when I knew you guys were the real deal ☺️ And DIY is definitely the best way to appreciate your work. We are doing a lot of staining, painting, etc. on our new build right now, and it’s so rewarding to see your own work in the finished product!
March Madness! Almost forgot ????
I love coming to your blog for inspiration, so many great ideas in this post. The dropcloth curtains are so great, I’ve wanted to do that for a long time, and seeing your gives me a boost to get started… March Madness ☘️
My husband still give me that look like I have 2 heads when I have an idea… but they always turn out great!! He is finally given in more often than saying I’ve lost my mind!! Love y’all’s story and most of all I love seeing that you are both working together… I am a mom of 15 year identical girls!!
Dear Sarah, Thank you so much for those kind words. We appreciate you. Lucky you to be the mom of twin. It’s selfish of us to prefer to be twins rather than have twins. Being twins is the absolute best thing in the world and we wouldn’t want to give it up for anything. But knowing how much we want every happiness for our children…it would be incredible to be the mom of twins. Know that they have been blessed beyond anything you can ever fully understand…you can take our word for it as moms and as twins. This is your blessing. Thank you again for visiting our blog. We hope you will come back often. You might enjoy one of our early blog posts “What It’s Like to be a Twin” that shares fun stories and highlights of our lives as twins. With love, Julie & Jodie
Love, love, love your Live Simply pillow! That’s been my mantra since becoming a divorced, empty nester who downsized!! Makes for lighter living! God Bless and Happy March Madness!
Thank you for all the great tips! MARCH MADDNESS ????
I love the outdoor seating photo! So dreamy looking even if it’s not real ???? March Madness!
Love your DIY curtains. I love trying my hand at DIY projects. It’s funny how you can get creative when you don’t have the money to buy some of the things you want for your home. Hope to see some more projects like this from you two. March Madness!
Thank you for sharing, love all your inspiration here and on Instagram. March Madness
I love your blog so much, thank for taking the time to let us all in on some wonderful tips! I keep reading your articles at night and keep forgetting to enter for March Madness haha glad I remembered tonight!
Love your blog…..thanks for sharing…March Madness
Hi girls, I think I’ve read all of your posts twice!
MARCH MADDNESS ????
Thank you so much for sharing this Jodie!! I commented on the post on Instagram but I also wanted to comment here. My husband and I have always struggled financially and reading your story inspires and encourages me. I’ve been following you and Julie for a couple of years now and I absolutely love watching what you do. My husband and I have 7 children and I’ve always stayed home with them and homeschooled them and I battle autoimmune disease. We just bought our first home after 23 years of marriage. I’m very excited and at the same time overwhelmed. I don’t have a lot of money to decorate or buy things but reading your posts has encouraged me so much!! I’m working on things a little at a time as I can and I’m praying about doing something from home to make some extra income. Thank you so much for being open and honest. You’ve helped me!! God Bless!! Dawn Goddard
Dawn, Honest and truly you are why we share! It’s so gratifying to hear from you, to hear that our sharing our stories helps you. We are not in this thing called life alone, we are in this together. It’s so important to remember we aren’t alone, and that we each struggle. Through our IG and our blog we hope to come together, bridging gaps, building unity and togetherness. May God bless you on your journey, Jodie & Julie
Very Good Content, Keep up the good work 🙂
We appreciate that so much. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog.
Lots of love,
Jodie & Julie