#113: What You Don’t See In Photos Of Our Living Room

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#113: What You Don’t See In Photos Of Our Living Room

Our week of living Furniture Free is over and it went… wellllll… differently than we expected. So today we’re talking about what we liked, what we didn’t, what we screwed up, and what lasting impacts it may have on how we use our home. We also confess an annoying side effect of a feature in our home that’s pretty, but less than ideal. Plus, Sherry takes her love of all things woo-woo to another level and John breaks down an issue he has with a certain smart home technology.

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneIn Radio, and Spotify – or listen to it below! Then use this page to check out any links, notes, or photos we referenced. Note: If you’re reading in a feed reader, you may have to click through to the post to see the player.

What’s New

  • Yup, that’s me rocking my bootleg standing desk (thanks random box!) as part of the Furniture Free Living experiment we talked about in last week’s episode.
  • I’m still undecided about if I’ll embrace the standing desk thing long term, but if I did I’d probably upgrade to this all-white, convertible standing desk.
  • I also asked Sherry if she’d like an under-desk walking treadmill, but it wouldn’t fit under her current desk and she said she prefers to walk around outside and work on her phone (she has ordered things we need for the duplex, returned emails, and even taken work calls while walking around the neighborhood).
  • We mentioned watching a few YouTube videos to better understand the Furniture Free movement, and this house tour by Katy Bowman is probably the most comprehensive. She was the one featured in the Good Housekeeping article we linked to last week and a lot of you have suggested her as a good resource for Furniture Free / Natural Movement enthusiasts.

  • Also for reference, this is the bonus room we talked about introducing some more active elements into. For instance, we have an area behind the couches that would fit a treadmill just fine if we relocated a few baskets full of dress up clothes.

  • Also, be sure to tell us on social media if you’re joining us for Aquatober or Walktober!


  • Thanks to your suggestions (interventions?) I’m happily loyalty card free on my keychain now. I’m relying entirely on entering my phone number, using Apple Wallet, or scanning things that I’ve loaded into the Key Ring app. I’m also trying an app called Pass2u to import some of my loyalty cards in cases where the retailer’s app doesn’t appear to support it.
  • And I want to add – since people are more invested in this mission than I expected – that the solo key that’s not wrangled in my leather key organizer above is over on that ring by our car fob because it’s for the beach house – so when we get there I can easily detach the whole leather thing and walk around with only my car key and that one key.
  • I’ve also ordered this “slim wallet” to see if it’ll help me pare down my wallet too. Thanks for the suggestion, Chris!

Can We Just Talk About Smart Locks?

  • The door shown above is the main place we’ve considered adding a smart lock since it’s the door we use most often (it leads into the garage). We love how the existing lockset coordinates so nicely with the rest of the polished nickel hardware throughout the kitchen, which is why we picked it out. And you can below that it’s even visible from waaaay back in our living room.

  • Now, imagine that door had one of these big, black chunks of smart lock technology slapped on it? Not to mention that we haven’t found one in polished nickel (they’re mostly satin nickel – occasionally polished chrome). Here are the links to the ones below: 1 / 2 / 3

  • They also all come in black or bronze, which helps the black plastic cover blend in – and they look best on a dark door that further hides that big black box. Meanwhile our door (and our whole kitchen, for that matter) is so light that we fear it would really stand out.

  • But here is the August brand smart lock that I’ve been researching. It does require that you purchase a hub with it that plugs in somewhere else (that’s how it gets away with being less of a giant box on the door) and you can buy a keypad too if you don’t want to rely on peope having their phone with them. And the “silver” color probably isn’t a perfect match to polished nickel, but again – at least it’s not very big. Well, it still kind of looks like a Nest thermostat stuck to the door, so I wouldn’t call it tiny…

  • And lastly, these are the Kwikset locksets we have on our front and back doors which have the SmartKey system where you can rekey your own locks so you don’t have to hire a locksmith to get all of your locks to match. We’ve had them for five years and would highly recommend them.

Front Porch With Fake Plant Evergreens

Listener Question

  • This is the covered porch area that Ang was asking about (ignore the deck – this photo is from before we tore it off). Those windows behind the outdoor sofa lead into our living room.
  • You’re probably used to seeing our kitchen and living room look something like this…

  • But last week I snapped this photo (without a long exposure to help brighten up dark shots) and it really demonstrates how much darker this side of our house can feel in the afternoon when the sun is on the front/western side of our house. Just note how bright the dining room is there on the right side! There’s not a light on in there, it’s just the sun shining in. And you can see how the kitchen isn’t super bright, but the living room is even darker thanks to that overhang.

  • The funny thing is that splash of light that you see hitting the fireplace is sunlight bouncing off of the bright white doors to our shed (see, aren’t sheds the best!?). But long story short, the lighting can get very weird in our house around this hour.
  • You can also see in this photo how that covered porch really does become a dark spot in the afternoon since it blocks so much sun. Again, we like having the porch, but it definitely impacts how the inside of the house feels sometimes.

We’re Digging

  • That’s us playing the kids’ favorite new game: Tenzi (and yes, we’re using coasters to stack our dice)

  • Our favorite variation is some combination of Tenzi Tower (where you have to stack your dice as your go) and Stealzi (where you can swipe your opponents dice).
  • We also bought this “77 Ways to Play Tenzi” that suggests dozens of other variations. They also sell a Party Pack version with 6 sets of dice.

If you’re looking for something we’ve dug in a past episode, but don’t remember which show notes to click into, here’s a master list of everything we’ve been digging from all of our past episodes. You can also see all the books we’ve recommended on our Book Club page.

And lastly, a big thank you to Revel Woods for sponsoring this episode. Visit RevelWoods.com/YHL to find the right hardwood floor for your home, and don’t forget to enter the code YHL10 at checkout to get $10 off your first sample box!


Thanks for listening, guys!

*This post contains affiliate links*

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