Who Are We?

James, Jamie & Harley Dec 30 2012

We are 2 boys customizing our “plain box”1972 ranch house in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas Texas. Patiently making her everything we want her to be. It doesn’t always work out the way we want it. Thus our mantra…….

“2 Grown Men vs a 40 Year Old house” 

This blog, which began as a way to keep friends and family updated on the purchase of our first house together, has become a way to showcase all those changes we have made…..and still want to make.

James is a creative manager for a major retail store and self-proclaimed “organized hoarder”.  Jamie is a regional sales manager for a San Francisco based software company.  With sawdust in our hair and paint under our finger nails, we have begun to customize this house to truly make it Our Home. We both travel constantly for work, have a limited budget, and have absolutely no idea what we are doing most of the time.

Stick around and see how it turns out.

It should be a fun ride.

(All of our work is overseen by Harley Davidson, our rescued Doberman)

                             If you would like to contact us, and we would LOVE to hear from you …..

                             James Angus: james@thecavenderdiary.com Creative Director

                             Jamie Bolton: jamie@thecavenderdiary.com Operations Manager

91 comments on “Who Are We?

  1. This is so fun! I feel like I have been invited over for a cocktail….Thank you for sharing! The house is as I would have imagined…Gorgeous!

    • Cathy Shields!!!! You are always welcome for cocktails!!! Next time you’re in Dallas come by and we’ll even let you see the parts that don’t get photographed…

  2. Hey I found this Blog looking at things on Pintrest and I love your home.
    I was wondering if you could tell me where you bought the huge print of the Indian chief.
    LOve love love. I have a home in Idaho. And always looking for a painting or print and I just fell in love with cowboy and native american decor!

    Great Job!!!!

    • Kristen, we are so glad that you found us. That’s Chief Sitting Bear by the photographer Edward “Sherif” Curtis. It’s actually printed on a thin scrim, I had to build a frame and cover it in canvas to strech him over. I picked him up at Ikea about 4 years ago, before we even had wall space to put him. Sadly, Ikea doesn’t sell them anymore, but you can by his photos online (Ebay has some) or buy a book (Amazon has plenty) and frame a few of the pages.

      • I found a PFD of the photo on line and took it to Staples and had it printed as an Engineeing print. Total $4.99 !

  3. saw your blog listed on the Homies List… decided to stop by!
    You guys are amazing… I love your DIY style & attention to details. All your “stuff” is soooo interesting! I would imagine friends who visit just wander around looking in all the nooks & crannies (my grandmother used to say that) of each room. Could you show more of your kitchen sometime. I’m always interested in what people do to change their kitchen up with little $$$ & a lot of pizzazz!
    You two are the bomb!

    • Christine, I am so thrilled that you found us, and “over the moon” that you like what you found. We do have a LOT of stuff, I’m a stylist, so I don’t part with anything….you should see the garage. Oy! We are currently updating our kitchen, still working on the posts…..it looks VERY different.

      I love your site, a couple dear friends of mine are from Peru, they swear Machu Picchu will change your life..Jealous here
      And Pinterest rocks!….

  4. Hey guys! I am loving your home, style and projects. I just went crazy pinning stuff. I want to subscribe to your blog, but I only see the “subscribe via email” option. Do you have the RSS button somewhere that I’m missing or is that the only way via email? Thanks!
    Becca

    • Becca, I think that I have added the RSS Feed to the blog. Please check it out again and let me know if its working. I was able to subscribe to it thru Google. Jamie

    • Welcome Nichole, we’re glad to have you!! We have lots of plans for this shack…stay tuned and watch all the fun!

  5. Well yall are just too cool!! I stumbled across you from the HOUZZ site while lapping the screen at ideas for our home. My partner and I just moved out of “Big D” proper and up the road a bit to “disturbia” (suburbia). Its really not too bad…. We have a son and the schools are stellar up yonder!! Anyway.. love your house!!! I wish I could send you some pics of our lil shanty so you could help us bring it out of the 80′s.
    Keep up the good work!!

    • Seth, you are just too sweet!!! We’re so glad that you found us AND that you like what you found! Our child is permanently furry, so schools aren’t an issue….. But we certainly understand the importance. Send some pics of your place. I LOVE telling (I mean advising ) people how to decorate.
      All our best
      J&J

  6. Good evening! I stumbled across your bedroom’s focal wall on Pinterest…AND NOW I’M HOOKED ON YOUR BLOG! Your home is ah-mazing! I love your relaxed, put-together style. I’m your newest follower…thanks for sharing your home.

    Tina

    • Tina,
      What a treat to return from vacation ( almost, we are still in Puerto Rico ) and find that you have discovered us! Welcome aboard!!!

  7. Pingback: Harley Davidson Blanket

  8. I just became totally obsessed with this!! I will be stalking this blog everyday now. I am loving some of the ideas. Our 57 Lake Highlands home needs help, so I am always looking for ideas!

    • Trisha,
      You are so sweet !!!! We’d love to have y’all over sometime when you’re in Dallas !!!

  9. I was looking up photos of different colored fence stains and saw we have a similar horizontal fence. I like your choice in color and love your website. I ordered soap from Judy too. Thanks for the updates, photos are beautiful. xoxo, Illinois

    • Aww thanks Jennifer, we’re so glad that you like our little place on the web. Our stain is “russett” but we only added 1/4 of the colorant….When we build the deck it will be that same color as well. Keep watchin’!

  10. I am officially obsessed with your home and style. And so thrilled to see your follow back on Pinterest. My “Potter House” board is the home my fiance and I just bought (a 6 month long ordeal of a short sale) near Santa Cruz, Ca. I’d been struggling to find a style that fit us and our large puppy (120-pound Rhodesian Ridgeback) but I love your use of colors and textures and can’t wait to start putting some of the ideas in place, especially in our family room with the big rock fireplace. We need to redo the kitchen and master bath but those will have to wait until our bank accounts recover from the home purchase. I grew up in Phoenix so the Southwestern/Native American influence makes me feel nostalgic and you do such a great job bringing it all together.

    I would so love your advice/input as we start our own journey…and a long journey it will be!

    • Nicole,
      You are so sweet, I wanted to respond immediately, but our internet has been down all weekend. So now I can tell you how glad we are to have inspired you. Our house is just a mix of “US”. We both grew up in small Texas towns; Jamie showing horses and me rearanging my bed room monthly. Our style is hard to pinpoint, Western-Modern-Lodge-Ranch…and we are NOT minimalists. Arizona is one of my favorite states…also New Mexico, Colorado, and of course, Texas. I’m so jealous of your beautiful house (stalked you on Facebook), and a big, rock fireplace! Be still my heart.

      We’d love to give “pointers” in any way we can. It takes time. I’m amazed at how much we have done in 2.5 years……at this rate our place will be perfect in about 2 more…or maybe not,

      (I won’t have anything to blog about if we finish)

      Welcome aboard…I hope we give you lots more ideas….

  11. Love your front door paint color of red/orangey — do you know what brand/exact paint color it is?
    Need to paint mine this shade; recently I painted it a shade of turquoise but I think red/orange will compliment the house paint better.
    thanks – let me know if you can soon

    • Hi Amy,
      Let me run to the garage and check….(sound of footsteps jogging) …Ok,…there were 2 oranges, took us 2 tries to get the color just right , but Jamie says it’s Behr Sweet Mandarin…..We’d love to see a picture of your finished door

  12. Love all the ideas you both have come up with.So amazing!! I also love to decorate rustic ranch, vintage ranch and lodge look. Thanks for the inspiration. I used to work retail also in Western Wear .
    Thanks again..

    • Thanks Joanie!!!

      We’re glad you’ve been scoping us out. We are just a couple of Texas boys doing the best we can with what we have. I promise to stalk your site tonight ….and steal a little inspiration from you !
      James

  13. Hi guys, I just discovered your blog because of the Houzz feature, I have to say I’m pretty much infatuated with the whole package. I love your style (even though it isn’t quite my style, I completely relate) and attention to detail, and how you explain how you do all your cool ideas (like all your fabulous Christmas decorating).
    I lived in the Houston area for about 30 years before moving to the Pacific Northwest. I had to drop the y’all’s right away because people up here don’t get it. But after 12 years, Texas is still in my blood.
    I’m an artist (www.joanteedart.com) and avid DIYer… thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • Hi Joan,
      We’re so glad that you did discover us. We do have a pretty unique style….not everyone gets it.

      Your art is just stunning!! You understand color…..How anybody can wear all black and live in a white box is beyond me. Colors evoke emotions…love, love, love your pieces.

      I don’t think I have any Texan accent until I travel and I have to over-pronunciate some words for Yankees….Sheesh.

  14. Warm fuzzies each time I find fellow eclectic enthusiasts! Been dreaming for a ranch-style home to call my own… just not in the stars, yet. I will just have to live vicariously through your creative & inspirational blog!

    • AAWwww Rachael…aren’t you just the sweetest. How nice to find your comment. We’d love to have you share in or mis-adventures of home ownership. So glad that you found us.

  15. James and Jamie, I found your blog through an email from Houzz on 26 Dec. I then spent the next day and a half of my Christmas vacation laying on my Mother’s couch in East Texas reading your entire blog. Suffice it to say, I really enjoy reading about your projects and now try to catch up with you every few days. Y’all are awesome!

    • Ann, Thank you for letting us know that you’re here. We never tire of hearing from people that we’ve reached. (sometimes, we wonder if anyone is out there at all) …Stay tuned, we have w-a-yyy more to blog about…

  16. Hello J and J… just wanted to let you know I’ve only today discovered your blog (thanks to Mrs. Limestone’s pic of your paintbrush organizer). I am now an excited follower! Your projects are so inspiring (I mean the wood holder, the star, wow), and I love your writing style. Thanks for making me feel better on an otherwise dreary (sick-with-the-flu) day. Opening your blog is like unwrapping a late Christmas present that I’m fairly certain will keep on giving through the year.

    • “Unwrapping a late Christmas present” is the best metaphor I’ve ever read describing our blog. Hands down. We’re so lucky that Mrs Limestone sent you our way…… And we promise to not disappoint in the years to come,

      Welcome aboard!

  17. Hi Guys,
    Just found your website, thanks to my son! He sent me the link to the paint brush holder and soup cans! So cool! And you are in Dallas!! We are out here in West Texas, trying to organize our garage and our workshop barn, sure could use your help! Did I mention Jim makes a mean green chili stew!? Just saying, in case you are out this way! I signed up for e-mail alerts. Looking forward to your next project.
    Christine

    • Hi Christine!! We LOVE green chili! OOOHH but how we wish that we had a barn. I went to Texas Tech, so I’m familar with West Texas….and your son obviously has great taste.
      So glad that you are here watching us, hope we keep you entertained with the rest of our home remodel.

  18. I am officially in love… While getting ready to re-do our basement family room I have been trying to describe to my husband the style I’m going for. White antlers, arrows, i have a few vintage globes, thinking about a chalkboard ‘wall’ for my boys. Then I discovered your blog.

    It has helped me fill in the gaps! Pendleton blankets and pillows, yes please! (my dad owns every pendleton shirt ever made) And your pictures have helped me show my honey what the look is that I love. I also have a love of English Pyrex and Catherineholm, but that’s for upstairs.

    Thanks for sharing your home! Love from Minnesota. :0)
    xo~jen

    • Awwww Thanks Jen for the love, and for pointing Catherineholm out to me – how cheery all that vintage stuff is. I’m sure I’ve seen it before…but it just never registered.

      We’d love to see how your family room turns out…Pendleton all the way…I can never have enough. And it should keep all of y’all warm on those Minnesota winter nights.

    • Thanks Krystal, It’s alway so nice to hear that from people…..We “put ourselves out there” and hope someone likes it….Great to know that it worked…welcome aboard

  19. Great blog from what I’ve looked at so far. I’m Maple from Hart, Austria and I was so thankful to have seen
    this blog. Actually, I’d really like to get in contact with you. Perhaps we could exchange emails?

  20. Hi! I found your blog through an organizing website. Your home is gorgeous! So many great organizing ideas…thanks for sharing your home, project, and ideas. You guys have wonderful style and I felt such warmth in your space. Wish I lived in your neighborhood!! Julie from Georgia

    • Hi Julie , you are so sweet , glad that you like our place …… Trust me its a constant work in progress. Love Georgia! All those trees and red clay, wish you lived in Dallas!

  21. 2 Grown Men vs a 40 Year Old house with the work being overseen by your Doberman. Lol! I love it! Your house (and garage) looks awesome!

    • You are so sweet, Harley monitors everything we do in this house…we wouldn’t have it any other way. Soo glad that you found us!!!

  22. Hi, guys. I just have one little suggestion, and I hope you won’t take this as being critical.

    I really enjoy reading your posts, but on my iPad it takes a long time to load everything because there are so many posts that show on the home page and they have a lot of photos. (Don’t cut down on the photos though!)

    My suggestion is that you adjust the number of posts that show on the home page to perhaps just two or three, maybe four.

    Although I can read through everything, the last thing to load is the “Like” button, and I enjoy clicking the “Like” button to let you know that you did a great job.”

    Keep up the great posts, and I sure hope you won’t take this as being critical or mean, just helpful. Thanks!

    • Hey Buddy,

      You’re not being critical at all. I have the same problem on my iPad sometimes too. (Can’t figure out why some pics sometimes display sideways too.) We are working on doing just that. We hope to move away from WordPress soon and restructure the whole blog (slightly…I hope)

      This is still new to us….and a big learning process

      Stay tuned – and keep hitting “like”

  23. Hello gentlemen!

    I came across your wonderful site as I was running a search for local firewood vendors here in Oak Cliff [Yes that's right, we're neighbors! YAY]. The search brought up your plumbing pipe firewood holder…I am digging it. too cool. We live in the NorthCliff Conservation District.
    Thank you for sharing your projects. you both have a great eye…great taste.

    Regards,

    Ismael

    • Hi Ismael, so glad that you found us. We love the Cliff. Someday we hope to move up to the fancy part…..until then, we’ll just keep obsessing on this house.

  24. I forgot how cool your blog was!!! :) Next time I go to Dallas im going to show up at your house, so i can have a REAL tour.

    • How could you forget? I spend more time on this than at work……and you’re not the first to threaten a “stop by” ….we’re ready for ya!

  25. Omg! You guys are so creative! I love all the DIY projects you are doing. I just found you on pinterest..my second home….lol I showed my husband the cart you made for your wood. Love it! He needs to make one for us. We live in Michigan, brrrrrrr. It gets really cold here. We heat our home
    with wood, so that would be perfect for our living room. Thanks for sharing with us. I’ll be following you guys.

    • Hi Joyce, I have to tell you how much we love that log holder…..it just rolls right over to the back door and we fill it up…we don’t have fires that often in Texas (maybe 3 times a year)I know you will get wayyyy more use out of it in Michigan…. Thanks for following along, and yeah, Pinterest is pretty addictive.

  26. I’m laughing and smiling. Long ago, I found your blog (through some google search, I’m certain). I pinned your photos to a just-launch Pinterest, specifically for a client (I make stuff). I eventually deleted that customer’s board, and then realized . . . NOOOOO! I could NOT find you. “Oak Cliff, TX, design blog, two men” . . . I had to choose my search wording carefully . . . Pinterest searches for items I remember, all to no avail. So here I sit, doing another google search—”Diane Keaton’s Kitchen”. I saw and recognized your smiling faces and nearly spilled coffee all over the laptop keyboard. I found you! Thank you for all the hard work you put into this blog. Your home is an inspiration! With much love from Fort Worth.

    • I’ve done the same thing, with other blogs of course, I’m so glad that you discovered us all over again. We put a lot of ourselves in this and it’s great when it resonates with someone. Especially someone in Ft Worth, we love that city……..almost as much as we love Oak Cliff. We still make it there occasionally, for the stock show mostly. Anyhoo……Welcome back,

  27. Hey guys! I’m thinking about moving my washer and dryer out to the garage. They’re currently just in a closet in our family room, and with 8 people in our house, the laundry really piles up. Has your w/d always been in the garage and if not, was it difficult to move it out there? I know we’ll have to have a vent for the dryer and plumbing for the washer, but anything is better than a mountain of laundry in our family room! Also, is your garage insulated and heated?
    Thanks y’all!

    Kim in Plano

    • Hi Kim,

      Funny that you should mention this. The washer/dryer were in the garage when we bought the house, glad too, because the previous owner left before pictures and they “consumed” the old kitchen. Our garage is NOT insulated, and this past week has been below freezing for several days. There is now a small leak from under the machines, possibly behind the wall…no one can tell. The plumber said it was coming from the dryer….that’s right…DRYER. So now were are waiting for an appliance repairman to “look at it” on Monday…while the puddle gets bigger and bigger. Ughh! Not sure if being in the garage caused this….at least it’s not leakng in the family room. Am I right?

      • That is good to know! Our garage isn’t insulated either, and that was one of the things I was concerned about. I’d LOVE to know what y’all found out about the leak on Monday! Was it really coming from the dryer?
        And much better the garage than the family room! (even tho it’s already happened) Grrr.
        Thank you for your reply. Now we’ll see what the hubby says about moving them out there.
        Merry Christmas y’all!

      • Good News Kim, the leak was unrelated to the cold…Someone…OK, it was Jamie….didn’t connect the connection for the steam on the dryer very well. All it took was a tightening, by hand. Love the machines out there and not where I have to hear them.

  28. Hey, just found your blog and I’m glad I did! You’ve done wonderful things to your home! Though your style is not my style, there are more than enough creative ideas to steal, I mean “borrow” and use in my own~~thanks! Um, I lived in Texas briefly in the 70′s when hubs was stationed at Ft. Hood. Man, that is one huge state~and so much beauty and diversity! Well, gotta go, seems I’ve used up my allotment of exclamation points, I need to replenish my supply….

    • Hi Marilyn, We love Ft Worth….Jamie used to show horses in his youth, and Ft Worth is like a second home to him….We never miss the Stock Show. Welcome aboard!!!

  29. Gentleman! I am blown away! I just found your site through Kelly at Eclectically Vintage. I would love to continue following you and sharing creative ideas together. Your home is lovely!

    • Awww shucks Alison, We would love to share more creative ideas with you…so glad that you found us!!!Headed to Soiled Rotten right now, BTW

  30. Hey Guys!! OMG I love your Blog! I too found you on Eclectically Vintage today! I clicked FOLLOW right away! We just purchased a 1965 “groovy” lake house in Michigan and are trying to make it a rustic/modern/eclectic place of Bliss…on a limited budget as well! I can’t wait to read every page of your blog, gleaning lovely ideas all over the place…am already planning my banquette!!!! Can’t wait to see how you cover the cushion! Keep inspiring us!

    • Hi Anne! So great that you found us! Hope we offer tons of inspiration for that lake house!! We’d love to see pictures of the transformation!

  31. Gentlemen, Great stuff. First noticed your site through Pinterest (bzwrthy77). Fellow Dallasite now obsessed with your Pinterest boards. Seriously though, you have a great home.

    You guys are damn cute too. When’s the home tour? ;-)

    Ivan
    Buzzworthy77@hotmail.com

    • Hi Ivan! Don’t worry, I’ll find you on the Pinterest……if you like my pins…….I know that I’ll LOVE yours as well…..glad you like the abode as well!

  32. Love your blog ! Found it when I was looking at “horizontal gates” for the fence I’m building- but kept reading and now I find ur in Oak Cliff :) I’m an Okie now, but from Plano, and everytime I hear Oak Cliff I think of Edie singing “oak cliff bra” :) I’ll be back to read more :) it’s great to see you pick up the prairie style- too often overlooked! 1972 was a great year! For houses and peeps (like me! Lol)
    Angel

    • Hi Angel, we are just thrilled that you did finally found us! And we just love The Cliff……I saw Eddie and the Bohemians at a dive bar in Denton when I was in high school…..many, many moons ago. Forgot about that song, but pretty sure that I have the cd somewhere……I’ll have to dig it out……

  33. Pingback: Day 19: My Five Favorite |

  34. Hello James and Jamie….I’ve joined your blog!!! :) No longer will I roam the Cavender halls of style and DIY as the anonymous, un-subscribed wraith that I was. With my hammer held high and my hand on my crayolas, I salute you.

  35. Hello! First time lurker, full time follower! Love your blog! Just found your little gem today and am soooo happy!!!!!! Keep up the good work and can’t wait to see what the future holds! <3

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