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Working as a contributor on Design Happens at HGTV is almost too much of a good thing (keyword – almost). Five days a week, I’m pleasantly besieged by opulent designs from around the world. And while I can’t help but drool over the design porn…

…it paradoxically helps me to me appreciate paired down, effortlessly attainable style all the more. I get extra excited when I see a blog post and think, “I can do that!” Well, I knew I had found a blog I could love immensely when I came across The Newlywed Diaries and the post “Could I do this?”

"I've got curtains on my mind lately. Particularly the lack of them in our bedroom. I love these..."

Birmingham-based Jennifer and Wes started their blog to keep their friends and family updated on their first year of marriage. They had such a good time sharing the details of building a home together that they’ve kept at it for more than three years. Their blog isn’t the musings of newlyweds. Jennifer and Wes are quite the design duo. Wes works as a construction project manager, while Jennifer writes for a shelter site. They’ve filled the blog with the designs and products that inspire them, while also fitting in a few of their own DIY projects. Their latest labor of love is making room for their first child.

I can’t wait to see what they do with the nursery, after enjoying what Jennifer and Wes first did with the room when it was their guest bedroom. (They found the lamp on Craigslist thanks to a friend and fellow blogger.)


The newlyweds’ style is simple and crisp. They appreciate things that are natural, usable and comfortable. And their regular posts, like The Week In Pictures, take readers into their lives and everyday inspirations. Other times, Jennifer and Wes actually reach out to their readers for suggestions on design dilemmas.

"Hmmm. Decisions, decisions. What would you do?"

No over-sized sofa sectionals here!  The rustic-chic vibe of the blog is quintessential Americana — filled with inspirational shelter pics of ivory walls with asymmetrically-arranged paintings of local farmlands, a pair of well-worn boots perched by the door, a collection of ironstone dishes exhibited in open cabinetry. You won’t likely find this look in an East Coast metropolis or the hills of the West Coast. This is the style and design of America’s heartland — and it’s never looked better.

The dynamic couple has a great eye for beautiful, cozy designs full of character and gentility, like this living room featured in their interior designer profile posts, Before and After. Their love for bleached woods, the Belgian-influenced, as well as creams and coffees complimented with unexpected pops of lavender, orange and green comes out in the well-chosen images. I can instantly imagine myself sitting in a chair on one of their style boards…looking out on a torrential storm…knowing everything will be okay. Bloggers like Jennifer and Wes have curated a microcosm of nurturing design on their site, and I’m so happy they did.

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Design Inspiration

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