If you are thinking about updating your home yourself, or are simply a DIY junkie, you’ll want to dive deep into the very helpful and very inspirational blog Chris Loves Julia – that is, if you don’t already have them bookmarked! Chris and Julia Marcum are not just business partners but a couple in real life with two daughters and their Saint Pyrenees named Charly. Chris does the construction side (attributing his skills to his childhood building projects with his father) and Julia is the creative brain for the blog, designing and styling the spaces they work on.

They have a blog, a podcast, and lots of inspirational videos, but they’re coming to AmericasMart this July to curate their favorite products and trends for Shop the Show. Before we started to stalk them at the market and on Instagram (with the hashtag #ShoptheShowATL), we wanted to ask them a few questions.

Your blog has been so inspirational to readers who are interested in taking on DIY and renovation projects in their own homes. In the beginning, did you ever feel the kind of intimidation that so many of us feel when tackling a big project?

We have never been afraid, or immune to googling or YouTubing how to do a Project. It’s actually so empowering! If we want to do something, even in the beginning, even when our budget was so much smaller, we’d say, “What’s the worst that could happen?” We still have no problem googling solutions to DIY projects we come across or searching out inspiration and putting our own twist on it. We’ve definitely gained confidence over the years, but that’s only come from trying, and sometimes failing, but eventually getting there.

Going through a renovation in your home is one of the most stressful things that can happen to a family, how do you get through the issues that come with fixing up your home?

Over the years we have learned what works and what doesn’t for us. Since we have lived in our home, while renovating it for the past 5 years and we love to:

  1. Make a concrete plan of how we’re going to get the project done.
  2. Make sure we have all the supplies and materials on hand before we start any demo.
  3. Make a finish line goal.
  4. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. If we check off what we wanted to get done that day—there’s no shame in watching our favorite show that night. In the end, we feel so lucky to be able to renovate our home and if we start feeling frustrated or stressed, we try to remember that.

If someone wants to fix up their home but is new to DIY, which room would you suggest that they look to first?

If you have never even painted before, start with a bedroom. It will likely not take more than painting a few walls, hanging curtains and maybe hanging your first gallery wall, playing with pillows and feeling out a color scheme. But if you’re ready to try some more beginner DIY projects, start with a small powder room. Painting a cabinet, small tiling projects and even updating a faucet are all simple projects that won’t feel too overwhelming in a smaller space.

Are there any design rules that you live by to make a space look cohesive and well designed?

Every room needs a bit of black. It grounds the space and adds contrast.

What is one of the biggest lessons you learned about taking on a DIY or renovation project?

I have learned that the love we put into a home, we get that back. I love our home like a family member. By renovating, at helping our home meet its potential, we feel love from it. It keeps our family safe and warm. So many memories have been created inside our home, but also while working on it. It has stretched us and helped us grow and as much as we have learned about tiling and electrical work and the do’s and don’t’s of plumbing (okay, just hire it out!), the biggest lesson is it’s always worth it.

Where do you get inspiration for the interior design work that you do? 

I love taking in nature. We live just an hour south of Yellowstone and just bought an A-frame cabin on the Idaho/Wyoming border in the Palisades. It has made me appreciate all the beauty that naturally occurs and I love to recreate pockets of that in every room—whether that be through warm woods, art, textiles or color schemes.

You’re one of the selected influencers for AmericasMart’s “Shop the Show” – what will you be keeping an eye out for?

I’m always on the lookout for good design that works for family life, too. Wood or metal décor. Warm leathers. Things that only get better with age.

What do you think makes AmericasMart and Atlanta unique for those looking for design inspiration?

There’s so much inspiration concentrated in one location. And in real life! Pinterest and Instagram and blogs are great for honing in on your style, but actually seeing spaces and feeling textures and pieces in real life is a complete experience unlike any other.

You can see Chris and Julia’s picks at AmericasMart from July 11th to the 15th.