Kitchen The Blog The Victorian House

Finding the Balance Between Sponsored and Not

I had something else planned to share today, but in light of recent comments (which were polite and respectful, thank you), I want to let you in on my thought process with a big upcoming project. And I would love your feedback.

Our home had more pressing issues to tend to before we got to the kitchen. We addressed the heating system, remodeled the second floor and turned a superfluous kitchen into a bedroom (Calvin’s nursery), consolidated the multiple gas lines and accounts into one and did the same with our electrical service (in addition to rewiring everything).

There is a room off the back of the kitchen, a former sleeping porch, that would be wonderful to open up and incorporate. Direct access to the yard! Breakfast for the kids in an eat-in kitchen! The ability to not have our stove right next to the fridge! It requires opening a load-bearing wall though, and new flooring, new cabinetry, the works. It’s a maybe someday type of project, and it’s not something that we’re looking to do right now. The kitchen works well for us overall as it is — we have plenty of storage, the cabinets have some quirks but they’re fine, and we do at least have the modern convenience of a dishwasher.

That antique gas/wood-burning stove, though! I’ve been hesitant to get rid of the it because I have a love/hate thing going on, but it’s time. We’re a family of five now, we cook dinner every night, and the stove makes it harder than it needs to be. We’ll be selling it eventually and I’m sure it will have many more useful years ahead of it, but we’re ready for something else.

Antique Stove

We’ve also had some electrical problems that are driving a redo. There is a sconce, a ceiling fan, and three pendant lights in the kitchen. The light above the stove sparked and burned a light bulb in Brandon’s hand as he was changing it out one day, which was more than a little scary. In an unrelated event (I think), we mysteriously lost power to a portion of the second floor. While our electricians were fixing that problem, they found active knob and tube that was missed during our initial house inspection, and thus began the rewiring of the entire place. The bulk of the job is done now, but it was suggested that we wait to finish the rest when we didn’t have a newborn. We agreed and then we were waiting until after we hosted my sister’s bridal shower in the house (which I will share next week), and now we’ll be able to get back to it as soon as we can get back on the electricians’ schedule. A ceiling is coming down, walls are being opened, and the house is going to be in a state of chaos for a while, but I’m looking forward to getting this work done because it has been holding other projects back.

In the meantime, we had the faulty kitchen pendant rewired and thought all was well, but then I was changing a bulb recently in the pendant above the sink and the same thing happened. The sparks were pretty spectacular! So now we aren’t sure if the problem lies in the house’s wiring (the kitchen has not been done yet), the vintage lighting fixtures, or both. The problem will be investigated, and I’m hoping it can be fixed without destroying the tin ceiling.

Tin Ceiling

So. New stove. Rewiring or replacing the lights. While we’re at it, I would also like to put in new counters, swap out the sink and faucet, remove the wallpaper, paint or put up new paper, and add ventilation with a range hood. Maybe paint the cabinets, bring in some tile, and revamp or replace the kitchen island too. I’m in the early stages of planning everything right now, but the crazy thing is that (to be perfectly honest) the blog puts me in a position to do much of the room for free.

The business of blogging is always changing and those of us that have been doing this for a long time are always adapting, and I’ve addressed the topic of sponsorship before. I teach, I write elsewhere, and I cobble together a living from other opportunities, but the primary source of my income is sponsor-driven and has been for many years. I’m not sure what our budget for the kitchen will be yet, but let’s say I can set aside $10,000. We will likely hire someone to put in the ventilation and there will be some repairs needed after the electricians do their thing (the extent of which will determine whether we DIY or hire out), so those costs are somewhat fixed. With the rest of our budget, I could buy a mid-priced range, save money by painting instead of adding tile or wallpaper, rewire and keep our existing lighting (assuming it can be deemed safe), reuse the sink and faucet that we took out from the kitchen on the second floor, and watch our pennies with all the rest.

Bloggers hold influence, and therefore companies are often eager to get product into our hands in exchange for coverage. Any goods that I accept, either those that have been proactively offered or that I seek out with proposals, would effectively increase our overall budget and allow us to allocate our cash differently. It could mean the difference in my design between a standard 30″ stove and a higher-end 36″ range (the added six inches comes with a huge price jump), or it could mean more beautiful lighting and a new sink. I wouldn’t accept something just because the (free) price is right, but if it was something I would have purchased anyway, I simply look at it as another form of income — one that allows us to accomplish more than we would have been able to do otherwise.

There are a couple of remodels going on in the blog world right now that will be incorporating gifted items, some of which have been more clearly disclosed than others. The ongoing One Room Challenge series, is fun to follow, provides a ton of inspiration, and it is made possible in large part by sponsorships. Knowing this doesn’t diminish my interest as a reader, but perhaps my perception is different because I am on both sides of the issue.

Accepting sponsorships or free goods allows me to create a more beautiful finished product (I’m happy), offers coverage for the brands I partner with (they’re happy), and produces more original content for the blog (I want you to be happy, too). I get that it’s not easy to relate to a kitchen done entirely with free goods, but I think there is a balance to be struck and I can’t make the call in a vacuum or an echo-chamber. I can discuss these things with friends, family, and fellow bloggers, but then sometimes I’ll make a decision and it prompts a completely unexpected reaction. So let’s talk. Would you prefer to see a modest kitchen redone without the help of free goods? Or a more involved design with higher-end finishes and details that were made possible (either in part or entirely) by seeking out partnerships? Do you draw a distinction between accepting individual components (appliances, tile, etc.) or an overall sponsorship (brought to you by _____)?

I’ve always aimed to be transparent in these matters, so you tell me. What would you (ideally) like to see? I’m listening.

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334 Comments

  • Reply
    Nicole
    August 3, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Long-time (pre children) reader. I read the blog less and less because (1) our styles are diverging a bit which I find interesting as we both had children around the same time and thus you would think they would be converging; and (2) I have very little interest in the non-design sponsored posts. I know you have to eat and feed your family, but the food thing has never been your (blogged about) strength. I’m not clicking over to you to see how you cook. And I’m probably not clicking over to a crafty something that is so obviously an attempt at unrelated sponsorship. So the coffee mate and blue apron – yeah, not coming here for that and it is off-putting.

    That said, I could see a kitchen redo with major sponsorship doing fine w/ transparency and realistic alternatives for all of us truly middle (or even upper middle) class folks. Because that is what the blog was built upon. Stick with what you are good at… making a house a home through good, practical (if in this hypothetical case out of our $$ reach) design.

    • Reply
      Kelley
      August 7, 2015 at 10:04 am

      I pretty much agree with all of this. I think you had a stronger hold on your identity – and esthetic – before. Now, though you are certainly encouraged and free to evolve – something’s just not the same. How do I say this….I expect Blue Apron from the bloggers who really don’t have more to say. But you’ve always seemed so smart and, frankly, just cool. So I guess I expect more from you than obligatory sponsorships and that kind of content. Thank you for being open, though. This post makes me respect you a zillion times more than most of the other diy/home bloggers on my reading list.

  • Reply
    Sarah @ 702 Park Project
    August 3, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I love this honest post. Yours was one of the very first blogs I ever read several years ago, and I still enjoy it so much today! As a blogger, I’ve learned that you really can’t make everyone happy. And you can go a little crazy trying. For me, personally, if the product fits naturally into your content, I don’t really care if it’s sponsored or not. Whether or not the light fixture was free has no bearing on whether or not I like it and the post. I’m sure that you get SO many more sponsorship offers than you actually accept, and I know that you choose those wisely. As for the kitchen, I’d love to see a higher end space. We live in a 1902 American Foursquare and will be tackling the kitchen in a few years, and I’d love to see how you rework yours! :)

    • Reply
      Christina
      August 17, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      I agree! As long as the kitchen reno fits in with your style and the needs of your family and your house, I don’t even pay attention to whether things are sponsored or not. I do appreciate when bloggers are transparent about sponsored items. I love old houses, want one in the future, and can’t wait to see what you end up doing!

  • Reply
    Debbie
    August 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    I don’t care for the sponsored posts, and quite often when I see that you’ve written a sponsored post, I skim them because I’m either not interested or I don’t quite believe what you have to say since it was sponsored. As far as your kitchen renovation goes, I would prefer to see it done without the aid of sponsorships, but I am sure it will be nice either way.

  • Reply
    Melanie
    August 3, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    As a mother of young children on a tight budget I look to my favorite blogs for inspiration on how to make our home beautiful without breaking the bank. I prefer to see projects that are attainable and I’ll never be able to swing the look you achieve if supplemented by sponsors. Just my two cents :)

    • Reply
      kate
      August 7, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      I came here to say pretty much this. I started reading when you were expecting Eleanor, and I LOVED your tone then. Practical, affordable, stylish, and attainable. It felt like it was actually your opinion, and your experiences. You did “style” post then that didn’t include, say, $250 shirts, and talked about getting your baby to sleep through the night. You mixed in IKEA stuff. It was nice to see something semi-realistic.

      I suppose I should admit I don’t read the sponsored posts, or if I do, I read them by accident and then feel rather betrayed when I realize I’m being sold something. I definitely preferred the earlier tone, it felt much more attainable for normal, everyday folks.

  • Reply
    Tobi Kelly
    August 3, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    I think you work hard for your blog, and you will be true to your taste (something we come here to see), and if someone wants to give you their product, in exchange for writing about it, you are free to take it! Just because a post is “sponsored” does not mean the content isn’t valid, or value information cannot be gleaned. I am always asking my friends, what kind of sink/washer/sofa/sweater/flooring is that? I use those answers to help make decisions regarding what I am in the market for, and that is what you are going to be doing here. I call it smart business.

  • Reply
    Lydia
    August 3, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    If you are in a position to deck out your kitchen remodel with sponsored goods- go for it! This is the type of sponsorship that makes sense. I could care less about coffee mate or blue apron. Those types of sponsorships do not seem relevant to the type of content that you are known for. And they are especially hard to read when every other blog in my feed is writing the same posts with the same sponsors.
    I want to see how you are transforming your home. I love your sense of style and your interior design skills- that’s why I’ve been reading this blog for 5+ years. I live in an apartment, so any permanent change you make to your home (on a budget or with sponsored bells and whistles) is aspirational to me since I can’t make any changes to my space. If you are able to do more and therefore have more blog content because you have a larger budget… I’m all in!

    • Reply
      Leslie
      August 20, 2015 at 11:51 am

      +1

  • Reply
    Jenny
    August 3, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Dear Nicole,

    I really appreciate that you have opened up this discussion. As a reader, it honestly doesn’t matter to me either way. You do what YOU want to do. I’ll be following with interest either way. I like when bloggers are transparent about sponsorship, as you always are, but sponsorship itself does not bother me. No, I can’t get my kitchen renovation sponsored, as I’m not a blogger, but that doesn’t bother me. Blogs are aspirational for me. I may not be able to replicate what you do, but it can give me ideas. I understand that you do this for a living and that sponsorship is a form of income for you, and I respect that. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do!

  • Reply
    maddie
    August 3, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    I would agree with the sentiment that sponsorship in and of itself doesn’t bother me! If you wanted to buy, say, a Samsung refrigerator, you were going to buy it one way or another… like you said, maybe the only difference is you get a slightly different model. In the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t mean we as readers learn any less from the remodel. It’s a refrigerator, you plug it into the wall and put food in it. You know what I mean? I’ve never left an anti-sponsorship comment I don’t think, I’ve never been outwardly outraged at hem or anything like that. I think the extent of my distaste for sponsored posts is that across all the blogs I read, there are definitely times when I feel like I’m reading word for word the press release the company gives bloggers as far as language and advertising goes. Does that make sense? Honestly, if a sponsored item or post is truly well integrated and makes sense and doesn’t feel forced, I couldn’t care less. If you say “Fireclay provided these gorgeous tiles, they’re handmade in CA, aren’t they stunning?” then cool. If you have to like launch into a spiel about it and make sure you’re hitting all their buzzwords and stuff like that, that sticks out to readers I think. Like Blue Apron, they really don’t bug me. But I know a number of bloggers who work with them and across all the blogs I find the posts repetitive. I’m not sure if there’s a deal as far as how many sponsored posts you’re supposed to have with them? A certain number over a certain time period, something like that, but yeah I could probably do with one or two less of those.

    I guess the key for me is it has to feel authentic, it has to feel like it fits you. And this isn’t fair for me as a stranger to try and tell you what fits you, I realize that, but for the sake of honesty I will share how I feel about it and hope that it’s actually helpful! I feel like before a lot of the sponsored content, I didn’t see much from you in regards to cooking. But hey, who am I to tell you you shouldn’t be blogging about cooking now, or whatever post someone takes an issue with. A comment from another reader, CPeter, on a previous post said “I may eventually stop reading a blog if all the content is not relevant to me, but that occurs regardless of if the content is sponsored or not.” and I think that phrases it about as well as I can.

    I saw some comments on the other posts about readers who just don’t like the style of this home as much as the last, and to them I would like to say suck it, tbh. They can’t tell you what style to blog about it, and if they don’t love it then like that’s their feedback and that’s valid but then they can go read someone that doesn’t evolve and just does the same style forever. It’s fine! Who cares! You’re doing something authentic with the remodel in the Victorian and I think that’s just as interesting. I know that’s neither here nor there in regards to sponsorship but reading some of those comments, it was just the same critique over and over and I’m sure that can’t be nice to read. So consider this an internet hug, in case you ever get discouraged.

    • Reply
      maddie
      August 3, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      oh god sorry this is so long

  • Reply
    Pbkmaine
    August 3, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Actually, I think you should sponsor the heck out of it and do the full Reno you really want to do.

    • Reply
      Kate K
      August 5, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      Seriously, open up that wall and MOVE THE FRIDGE! Wish I could sponsor it myself! ;-)

  • Reply
    Tricia
    August 3, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Thank you for your transparency! I read your blog, because I am interested in your decisions- I thoroughly enjoy what you do with your house and am thankful that you invite us out here into your family home and consequently give up a piece of privacy by doing so. Some posts I might not be so interested in, but I just skip them and enjoy the majority of your blog nevertheless. If a post is sponsored or not is of no importance to me- you deserve to make your home as special and beautiful as possible, with whatever possibilities you have- I am sure everybody would be happy to seize the opportunity to do so. Go full force and show us what else you have in store, I am looking forward to it! GO! GO! GO!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    August 3, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks for asking. I’m with the others who say go for it. You’ve always been transparent about your sponsorships, and it’s always clear that your editorial voice is behind everything that’s on your blog. I do surprisingly have a preference for piece-by-piece sponsorships; as another commenter said, it feels more like you’re bringing us along on “the hunt.”

    Also I’m fond of the idea of choosing what you like and then seeking sponsor support. Either that or getting one big sponsor that isn’t a store/brand, like AmEx or something. Mostly because I’m interested in what you would put together when you’re not at all constrained in where you can buy something.

  • Reply
    Sarah W
    August 4, 2015 at 1:36 am

    I have never been bothered by your sponsored posts. I have always thought that you did them well. I also loved the interview with David Bromstad. I love him! I say get as much free stuff as you can! I feel like that’s one of the perks of being a blogger. :)

  • Reply
    Aimee
    August 4, 2015 at 3:57 am

    Long time reader from back when you had your card shop and no babies, and your blog has changed as it should to move on with your life. I see no issues with the changes or sponsored posts. You should continue to do you, and anyone who does not love what you are doing should either stop reading or consider getting a life.

    The pressure to be “bigger and better” is crazy; you have three kids- that is bigger and better.

    My happiness/ design choices/ entertainment does not rest on your blog, and I don’t get why readers put these insane expectations on bloggers, which is in part what closed down YHL, in my opinion. The quality and focus of one’s work shifts- consider Van Gogh. His readers would have said “enough with all this blue!”. Input is somewhat important, but don’t let people in your head.

  • Reply
    Nikki
    August 4, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Do it, Rockapella!!!! Sponsored or not I would love to see a beautiful kitchen!

  • Reply
    Jane
    August 4, 2015 at 9:54 am

    OMG!!!!!!! I hate that you feel you have to ask us!! You are an amazingly gifted designer and business woman. I know you are trying to do the right thing but just rock it out!! It is no different than any one of us acheiving success through hard work and determination. You have built something unique. Not one us has any right to take away the fruits of your labor and sacrifice. Shame on anyone for saying otherwise. This is a design blog about life, design, etc. It has been ever evolving since the beginning. I think you always do such a nice job navigating the world of sponsorship. If you have grown this blog truly to the point where sponsors want to pay you in goods to reno your home, DO IT!! You deserve it. It makes me feel happy for you and motivated to acheive my own personal success.

  • Reply
    Cara
    August 4, 2015 at 10:11 am

    I think that you should have the kitchen that you’re happy with. You & your family are going to have to live with it & use it every day. I have no issue with sponsored posts. As long as you do the kitchen how you want it & not according to what free sponsored stuff you’re offered, I say go for it! I sure would!

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    August 4, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I’ve been reading for a long time. The sponsorships don’t matter. What matters is the decline in the quality of the content you’re putting out and general lack of enthusiasm.

    Is this really what you want to be doing with your life? Because it doesn’t seem like it.

  • Reply
    jess
    August 4, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I think you should totally go for it! You could always do a high/low comparison with ideas or options for a budget redo. Your hard work has paid off in the form of awesome perks. :)

  • Reply
    Kathy
    August 4, 2015 at 11:55 am

    This is your house that you are living in. Make the kitchen how you want with whatever it takes. Sponsored posts are okay. If I’m interested, I read it, if not, I scroll on by. The kitchen is the heart of most homes so make it for your family!!!

  • Reply
    adriana
    August 4, 2015 at 11:56 am

    If you’re a true fan of Making it Lovely, you’ll know that you have fantastic taste and all of your previous renovation work has turned out just beautifully. Why wouldn’t that be the case with a sponsored post? We all trust your judgement and know that you wouldn’t pick some ultra-modern refrigerator that completely clashes with the rest of your home and aesthetic. I say go full sponsor and do you, girl!! We have faith in you!

  • Reply
    Ami
    August 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    I have read your blog for years and really enjoyed it until the past year. The post that really caused me to stop reading was the painters’ tape sponsored post where you painted the inside of the armoire. To me, that was an example of something you would not have done or posted about had it not been sponsored. I would have rather you posted about how you organize the insides of the armoire. The finished product looked so different and odd compared to the rest of your site.

    I don’t mind sponsored posts, but they sometimes feel like a square peg forced into a round hole. If you are posting about blue apron, for example, and use it to explain how it’s great for portion control or getting your kids (or yourself) to eat more veggies, it seems more genuine. I liked your recent post about the chair on the porch (the one from Pier 1). You mentioned always wanting one and imagining yourself sitting in one and rocking a baby. I enjoyed hearing about your thought process in buying it, choosing the one with the cup holder, etc.

  • Reply
    Kristin
    August 4, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Absolutely, you should sponsor it! You’ve earned it with all of the hard work you’ve done to get this blog to where it is. And people shouldn’t care how it’s paid for. We come here because you’re a talented home designer. I can’t wait to see what you put together! PLEASE don’t let a few naysayers hold you back.

  • Reply
    Heather
    August 4, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    While I don’t necessarily mind sponsored posts, I think it depends on how they are done and how well they fit into the blog I’m reading or if I feel like I keep seeing the same sponsor on the same blogs. Can I just say how tired I am of seeing Blue Apron on every blog I read and usually all within a day of each other?? Ish. I appreciate sponsored posts when it’s something I can potentially attain myself. Is it a product that I could afford? Awesome! Is the post well-written and doesn’t sound fake? Even better! I totally get that bloggers need to make a living in some way and I find it hard to believe that most of your readers wouldn’t jump at the chance to get products for free just for reviewing them.

  • Reply
    gina
    August 4, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Been a reader since before you had your three littles. I love how your taste and budget has evolved and how it shows in your design choices. If someone offered to buy me a new kitchen, I wouldn’t feel bad about it in the slightest. Do it! With that said, I think it would be nice to see how you could recreate that dream look by pointing out some similar appliances for less. Maybe a budget breakdown of low, mid, and high end looks. I have loved everything you do so have at it! I will still be a reader!

  • Reply
    Maegan
    August 4, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Girl, do whatever works for you. I will read no matter what.

  • Reply
    emma
    August 4, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Imho I feel decorating bloggers are doing a huge disservice to their readers with all the emphasis on catalog decorating. I throughly dislike it- it discourages uniqueness and encourages cookie cutter sameness. Surprise us, do something original.

  • Reply
    Gen
    August 4, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    why not really challenge yourself and create a beautiful kitchen on YOUR budget? Whatever that may be. That is the goal for most people right? Making a beautiful space with our individual budgets.
    I don’t know when the Blue Aprons of the world are gonna realize it’s not working.
    It’s your blog but I do miss the little to no sponsored content blogs.

  • Reply
    Jaclyn
    August 4, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Woman, get exactly what you want for your house! You have exquisite taste and I’d hate to see that hindered by fear of sponsorships. For me I think it is best to be explicit in what you receive as sponsored items instead of a blanket sponsored statement. It is more credible that way to me. You are doing a great job, thank you for including us in this conversation!

  • Reply
    carrie
    August 4, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Like so many other folks have mentioned, I have been reading your blog less and less. I have felt less connected to you, I feel like you do not seem as down to earth as you used to. I wish you well in all of your endeavors and I wouldn’t say a word, but you asked. I would love it if you would use some of those big sponsorship dollars to do good. You live so close to so many folks who live under the poverty level, I am sure that a school or a daycare facility could use some new products and a nice refresher, as a Mother of three young children you have your finger on the pulse of this demographic as it is. The more you give, the more you get.

    • Reply
      Maria
      August 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      I do totally agree.

  • Reply
    Thoughts on Replacing our Antique Stove | Making it Lovely
    August 4, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    […] kitchen is coming from (plus I can’t pay my mortgage in fridges and faucets). Responses to last week’s post varied, as I knew they would, but I was surprised by the overall support in favor of integrating […]

  • Reply
    JB
    August 5, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    OK, be honest: If all 7,000 comments here said “Go with the modest kitchen!” and yet you had sponsors willing to give you free appliances, would you *really* say, “No thanks”?
    Like many have said, I do not care about sponsored posts. I do not read them, I do not trust any of the product praising they contain, and I do not use them to help me consider any purchases. I just want to see you DO something on this blog again. I come here for the design, not to read about ridiculously overpriced delivery meals or the 200 different rugs you’ve bought for the living room (and simultaneously replaced). Please, please, get back to design!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 5, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    I don’t know if i’ve put my two cents in, but i’ve been a reader for a really long time now! and i don’t care at all! of all the blogs i’ve ever read you have integrated sponsorship in one of the most seamless ways. quite frankly, my kitchen will still function just as it is if yours is freed or paid for out of pocket.

    realistically, i want you to have the best kitchen you can have. if you get a free stove? good for you! you’ve put in the work building a brand and should enjoy the fruits of your labor. i think it’s highly inappropriate for me to be jealous of an opportunity you have when i’m not willing to put in the work you did to get there.

    i will, however, be INSANELY jealous when Tesla comes over to offer you a free car in exchange for blogging about it… :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 5, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      and also, you just had a baby. your third kid. i feel like you deserve a break. there has to be an ebb and flow to life!

  • Reply
    The Pink Pagoda
    August 6, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    This is an interesting issue. I’ve participated in 6 ORCs and I’ve used sponsorship very minimally. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing so. We’ve worked hard for opportunities, and should feel comfortable accepting them. I only use sponsorship when I truly love an item for my space. I don’t want anything in my house I don’t genuinely love. A happy by-product is that readers aren’t distracted by a disconnect. They’re intelligent people who are quickly able to discern inconsistency. Your kitchen will be amazing, and I’m looking forward to seeing the result!

  • Reply
    Linda - Calling it Home
    August 6, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I’m just so excited to read that you follow the One Room Challenge™. On this topic, I know that most readers don’t understand the time commitment involved in photographing and documenting a project. Time away from your family and friends. It is hard work. As my dad would always say, ‘an honest day’s work, for an honest day’s pay”. I turn down most of the sponsorship opportunities I am offered because it isn’t authentic to my home/life. Can’t wait to see your amazing kitchen. Oh, and for the record, all sponsorship opportunities in the ORC are entirely optional.

  • Reply
    Susannah
    August 6, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    I mean, I do not have your eye, so even if you did your kitchen on a budget there is a 100% chance my house will never look as good as yours. I just like to look at before/beautiful after stuff, so go for it with the sponsorship if it’s going to yield a more beautiful after. BUT. I did achieve a baby as cute as Calvin around the same time, so there’s that.

  • Reply
    Julia Novoa
    August 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

    This is fascinating commentary. I find it all very interesting and think that while an IRL budget is awesome to see a blogger commit to, I know first hand the travails of DIY and modest. Behind the scenes cost effective can frequently mean bland or held together with duct tape and safety pins (plenty of that in my own home).

    I love sponsored content when it’s uniquely and thoughtfully presented. Creating a distinct viewpoint with sponsored content is some of my fave stuff to read. So… doing your high/low comparisons, showing how your initial 10K stretches when sponsors are involved, all this seems like a great jumping off board for growing in expertise regarding managing sponsored content in general. You teach a college course on this, so your experience is valuable. It’s amazing that you have brought your readers opinions into this and yet there is the notion that you run a business and a brand – managing that responsibly matters. And I like the idea of well crafted, unique, highly intentional content. It could be wonderful!

  • Reply
    Katie
    August 12, 2015 at 12:27 am

    I respect and understand the need to do sponsored posts. I love your style and still love your ideas. I agree that it would be great to see a mix of more affordable/no-sponsored and sponsored items. And sponsored posts are not my favorite but I’ll still read and enjoy your blog and appreciate it. Thanks for what you do!

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely Blogger, Nicole Balch, Talks Sponsored Content | BlogBase
    August 14, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    […] In light of these recent comments Nicole decided to asked readers for their input on how to find the balance between sponsored and non-sponsored content. […]

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    Setbacks in Rewiring Our 1891 Victorian House – Making it Lovely
    April 4, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    […] The problems all started when we lost power to the second floor in October, 2014. The electrical system was unsafe and we quickly had the problem repaired, but we discovered active knob and tube in dangerous condition throughout the house. Here’s what I wrote in an update from July of the next year. […]

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    Jeanne
    October 11, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    If you need to use the sponsors (and the definition of ‘need’ is YOUR definition, not ours), then use them. It wouldn’t change how I feel about what you do. They only thing I would pass by and not read is something that doesn’t interest me. And that is wholely predicated upon my mood at any given moment. I love seeing renos – major difference before and afters just get me. Yes, because I’d love to be able to do one myself but currently can’t afford it. But I’m not about to sit here being all judge-y about how you go about it. Sponsor away. Knock that reno out of the park.

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