the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Going Boom

The time has come at last, after several months of furious preparation and sleepless nights and waiting, waiting, waiting for the delivery truck to arrive, to show you the newest addition to our home. Sadly, it is not a coop full of chickens. WHICH REMINDS ME. You guys! Kate found out that Vivien? The lovely Vivien? IS ACTUALLY A VICTOR.


(Wah, wahhhh)

I do not know what she’s going to do with him, build him a separate coop to keep him from knocking up the hens? Because that doesn’t solve the problem of the cock-a-doodle-dooing at six in the morning. If my neighbor had that going on I might accidentally lift Coco over the fence and let nature happen.

(By the way, if anyone is looking for a very handsome rooster and promises to keep him safe and warm, shoot me an email. Victor needs a home.)

No, it’s not chickens. It’s not even an animal, although I have given much consideration to what kind of animal I’d like to adopt next: a pig. An indoor pig. He’d wear a bow tie and sleep in our bed.

(Shhh! Jon doesn’t know about my pig idea yet. Maybe I’ll get him one for Christmas!)

It’s our living room. Before you roll your eyes, you have to understand that we’ve been working on this project for months and months, trying to make it just right. Once we finally got everything into place I realized that this is the most incredible room I’ve ever lived in. It is my personality splashed all over a living space, especially the all-caps part.

I plan to follow up with a post that features pictures and a bit more detail. But for now just sit back and enjoy the BOOM:

(If you can’t see the video above, click here to watch it)

Many thanks to the lovely folks at DIGS who made this all possible. They were a dream to work with.

Also, standing ovation, ABChao. STANDING OVATION.

  • NicoleC

    2011/08/18 at 9:02 am

    This is like magic. Bravo. Those throw pillows look Peruvian…very nice.

  • denice

    2011/08/18 at 9:08 am

    The thing I love about this space is the way you’ve used layering to create depth – which, in my opinion, is what gives a room an inviting appeal. Modern spaces can sometimes feel cold and uninviting but that’s certainly not the case here. Great job and I look forward to a more detailed discussion of this project.

  • ThePeanut

    2011/08/18 at 9:15 am

    What an amazing room! Love it!

  • PantsPie2000

    2011/08/18 at 9:19 am

    Holy WOW!

    PS: What did you do with the old dining room chandelier? ‘Cause I love it. And would buy it if you didn’t already sell/give away/throw away.

  • Moomser

    2011/08/18 at 9:19 am

    Very nice, not my style, but pulled together and fresh. Pretty colors too!

  • Jessica Eiden Smedley

    2011/08/18 at 9:20 am

    Looks great.

    I have a question about the lamps on the sofa table – where is the electrical outlet? I’ve wanted to put lamps like that behind my sofa (in the middle of the room), but then the cords would be all over the floor to the outlet on the wall.

    Did you have an outlet installed in the floor?

  • Laura Mauk

    2011/08/18 at 9:21 am

    Jealous. Insanely jealous. That’s all I have to say. Except that I also want to say, I love how you fearlessly layered pattern. And I would turn tricks for that pair of brown leather and chrome armchairs as well as that sofa, all of which look sophisticated and comfortable at the same time–not an easy thing to achieve.

  • dooce

    2011/08/18 at 9:23 am

    @Jessica Eiden we hired an electrician to put an outlet in the floor underneath the console. This room sits over an empty part of the basement.

  • rick powell

    2011/08/18 at 9:31 am

    What are the music credits for that piece? Loved it.

  • jenwilson

    2011/08/18 at 9:32 am

    Wow. WOW. Incredible! I could live just in that one room. LOVE IT.

  • dooce

    2011/08/18 at 9:33 am

    @rick powell Jon wrote the music. The entire thing.

  • Cooky

    2011/08/18 at 9:35 am

    Amazing. I love every inch of your new house. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  • rick powell

    2011/08/18 at 9:36 am

    @dooce Seriously? Wow, I’m impressed. Is it available for download?

  • 3under5

    2011/08/18 at 9:37 am

    Wow! I love that room, thank you for sharing.

  • jrzygrl72

    2011/08/18 at 9:44 am

    Great room!

    How do you find a book with the spines facing the wall? Did you turn the books around for the shoot, or are they always like that?

  • specialkrispy

    2011/08/18 at 9:45 am

    I got ladywood watching that. Love everything, from the wall design (wallpaper?) to the pink candles. I’m so happy for you. Can I come visit teach? I’ll bring the wine.

  • Isabel Kallman

    2011/08/18 at 9:48 am

    BOOM is right. Wow. Love the touches of color that pop against the crisp white.

    @specialkrispy I, too, love the pink candles.

    Well Done!

  • agirlandaboy

    2011/08/18 at 9:49 am

    Two things:

    1. Is that two rugs stacked on top of each other?!

    2. The music! Jon! The music!

    Both genius. Well done.

  • sarahenn

    2011/08/18 at 9:59 am

    wow, this turned out incredible!! hey, where did you get that seahorse print that is at 2:34?! i love it!! and all the other modern aspects of the room, too. 🙂 well done, lady.

  • Rebecca from Texas

    2011/08/18 at 10:02 am

    Bad fuc*ing a$$.

  • mselisabs

    2011/08/18 at 10:10 am

    Dammit, now my life is meaningless.

    The singing in the background reminds me of the ghosts from Donkey Kong.

  • virtualcarly

    2011/08/18 at 10:10 am

    I love how eclectic it seems! While I watched, I couldn’t help wondering to myself how you protect your nice things from the children. Seriously. I am afraid to get anything really nice (like that couch in it’s plushy gorgeousness) because my kids would mess it up.

  • Leahpeah

    2011/08/18 at 10:16 am

    I noticed a distinct lack of Buff Brawny Jesus.

  • wakeandbake

    2011/08/18 at 10:21 am

    Whoa. The room is awesome, but the video made it like Hollywood awesome. Jon isn’t fucking around anymore. That is some serious footage. I knew he was good, but I did not know he was that good. My mother in law, the interior designer, and me are just sitting here blown away.

  • wakeandbake

    2011/08/18 at 10:29 am

    I had to come back and comment again. I am literally sitting my husband down tonight, the one in college for web design and programming, and showing him this video and telling him this is the bar that he must reach in order to have a satisfied wife. I will accept no less. This is just so badass that people can do this from home. I love this entire video.

  • katdenk

    2011/08/18 at 10:34 am

    For me, the dandelion chandelier is the best part. I love it.

  • evilcleopatra

    2011/08/18 at 10:48 am

    Wow, I love the finished product! I have to know, though: Did Jon really get that amazingly good with the camera, or did he break down and get a SteadyCam of sorts?

  • dianemaggipintovoiceover

    2011/08/18 at 10:58 am

    another day, another turning-my-head-away-from-the-hideosity-that-is-my-house


    2011/08/18 at 11:08 am

    not only do I hate my own living room now – but I am also really sad about my lack of creative talents.

    You Armstrong’s are regular savants when it comes to writing, designing, composing, editing, and smart-assing your faces off!

  • jon

    2011/08/18 at 11:18 am

    @agirlandaboy, thanks!

    Everybody else, thanks! 🙂

  • kristanhoffman

    2011/08/18 at 11:18 am

    Like Moomser said, this isn’t my personal style/taste, but it’s really well put together and comfy-modern. I’m so happy for you guys!

    Also, props to Jon for the music! It had that cheeky almost-hymnal bit, which amused me given the fact that it’s in a video about furniture, lol, but it was really nice to listen to. I definitely thought it was by some super hip band that I’d never heard of.

  • deirdre04

    2011/08/18 at 12:42 pm

    Okay, so I realize that I’ve picked out a very insignificant part of this post to comment about, but…

    I SO WANT A PIG! A miniature one. Because my boyfriend says I’m not allowed to have a tiger. And I shall call my pig Bacon.

    That is all.

  • ElegantGoose

    2011/08/18 at 1:03 pm

    Nice try, Heather, but next time make it a little less yellow, ok? ‘Cause you won’t like it in 20 years Bwahahahahaha! I kid, I kid! It’s beeyouteeful!

    My only question – what sort of bank vault door did you have to install to keep your kids from going in there and *touching* everything and putting their toys and kleenexes and socks and stuff EVERYWHERE?

    Or is that your formal living room and you have a family room/tv room/kids’ shit all over the place room elsewhere?

  • dooce

    2011/08/18 at 1:08 pm

    @ElegantGoose at first it was really hard to keep Marlo out of everything, but we’ve coached her. Like, when she gets close to that bookshelf I go BZZZZZZZ! so that she thinks it’s going to shock her. If that doesn’t work I just go ahead and tase her.

    We have a separate family room where they spend the majority of the time. This is the room for adults.

  • tariwilde

    2011/08/18 at 1:11 pm

    you are amazing

  • dianasaurusx

    2011/08/18 at 1:22 pm

    That couch is amazeballs.

  • tokenblogger

    2011/08/18 at 1:30 pm

    I really like the red artichoke!

  • mybottlesup

    2011/08/18 at 2:13 pm

    THAT WALLPAPER!!!!!!! HOLY PANTS, THAT WALLPAPER!!!!!!!! it’s gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. how do you not sit in there all day long? congratulations to the both of you. what a beautiful accomplishment.

    (and yes, agreed on the music. spectacular!)

  • smallory78

    2011/08/18 at 2:21 pm

    beautiful! i have an empty living room..i’m going to have to check out this DIGS place.

  • blueglass03

    2011/08/18 at 2:44 pm


    here piggy piggy!!! 😀

  • kidsmom

    2011/08/18 at 3:01 pm

    Must remember that this is a DIGS sponsored room and best friend helped with the design.

    DOOCE is no longer one of “us”.

    Love the dandelion chandelier.

  • southerngirl

    2011/08/18 at 3:05 pm

    Beautiful room and great video by Jon. Kudos to everyone. But I’m mainly writing about Victor. We need a new rooster. Ours is getting up in years and the hens are complaining (if you know what I mean). We have a beautiful organic farm in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Can Victor travel?

  • schallca

    2011/08/18 at 3:16 pm

    Very well put together. Is it sad that I’m even more jealous that Marlo stays out of it? My son will be 2 in a few weeks and we literally have to lock the French doors to the computer room to keep him out. Wanna come train my kids? I’m ok with a little taser use

  • smithie1996

    2011/08/18 at 3:34 pm

    Southern Girl – Kate here. Holy cow! Are you serious!?

    I am googling “shipping adult chickens” and it appears that it is feasible. Can you message me through the Community site and we can talk details?

    This would be too awesome for words if this worked out.

  • musickatt

    2011/08/18 at 3:49 pm

    Wow, it looks FANTASTIC!! Can I come over and spend the night so that we can sit in that room and visit and sip tea?

  • Norabloom

    2011/08/18 at 4:15 pm

    What a beautiful room and I like the fact that it manages to be warm (while still being modern) and really reflects your tastes (as opposed to looking like something out of a catalog – perhaps beautiful but generic). Also, I am completely in love with that velvet sofa, although nobody with a glass of red wine would be allowed anywhere near it were it mine.

  • tallnoe

    2011/08/18 at 4:19 pm

    Wow. This looks awesome.
    And that light fixture over the table? OMG I love it.


  • katliz

    2011/08/18 at 4:30 pm

    So, yeah. My house (in various stages of rehab/remodel) looks more like the chicken coop pic. Pushing aside jealousy…

    This is breathtaking. Genius even. I can’t get behind all of the different patterns on a personal level, but I really appreciate those who can. The lines, textures, layout however? *shudders* Brilliant.

    Agreed with the comments on the audio/video praise. Very well done. The two of you give my husband and I designgasms with your talents. He hates you for it, I keep coming back for more.

  • AbbeyWrites

    2011/08/18 at 5:17 pm

    As I sit here on my second hand furniture that sits on top of a blond, parquet floor that is falling apart because the air conditioner keeps leaking in my shitty apartment that costs more per month than a house payment in most of the world, I can’t help but be a little envious. *sigh* its not my preferred style but it’s lovely, just so well-done (though i wouldn’t complain if that was a room in my house 😉 however, the couch made me say an expletive I loved it so much.

    is that wallpaper with the swirlies? because that’s awesome. I was thinking that you needed something on the wall and then, when you did a close up, i saw the swirlies. applause to your swirly walls.

    also, are you and Jon like Ricky Bobby and you just piss excellence in the morning?

  • Maryam in Marrakesh

    2011/08/18 at 5:35 pm

    Too too fun to see the gorgeous Moroccan rug from my shop, Red Thread Souk, in your livingroom, Heather! & you certainly picked the right girl to help you decorate. AB is amazing!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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