With her superior #selfie skills and ultra-expressive face, blogger Jordan Reid of Ramshackle Glam is like the girl next door you can’t wait to be friends with. Which makes her the perfect lifestyle expert for Thumbtack, an online marketplace for service professionals (from plumbers and painters to personal trainers). Reid recently documented her family’s cross-country move from Tarrytown, New York, to San Jose, California—watch her video here as she sees her new house for the very first time—and over the next few weeks will be chronicling her home improvements with Thumbtack for Lonny. Follow along for some serious fixer-upper inspiration.
THE CALIFORNIA DREAM
“I love how casual everyone is out here—I don’t think I’ve worn anything but cutoffs and tank tops since I’ve arrived. And, of course, the weather. I can’t believe how much I love all this sun, and I’m pretty psyched about the prospect of shoveling zero snow this winter. [Buying the house] was obviously a little nerve-wracking—we could have arrived to discover we’d poured all of our money into a disaster. When I saw that FaceTime video, I saw mismatched floors, dated paint colors, light-free ceilings, and other things I didn’t like…but I also saw arched doorways, a lofted ceiling, and massive windows in the master bedroom. I saw a whole life happening there, you know?”
“The most challenging thing—aside from the logistics of transporting a family of four, plus two dogs, three thousand miles—was letting go of one picture of what our lives would look like, and heading toward a future that, at that point in time, we couldn’t see clearly at all. Everyone who goes through a major move should have Thumbtack on speed-dial (or on hi-speed Internet, as it were). The pros I’ve hired through the site have been with me virtually every step of the way—from helping me pack up my house and load my trailer to going into my house and fixing it up before I even arrived.”
“I’m a big believer in letting a house hold on to its history—I love making a home my own, but there’s something beautiful about letting the weird little quirks that come with a property stay put. We’ve worked with Thumbtack pros to do a ton of cool stuff already: put in pale gray floors throughout the house, installed can lighting, and added extra shelving in the closets. More projects on the horizon: replacing the 70s-style entryway tile with a graphic blue-and-white pattern, installing a sliding barn door to section off the master bathroom, and transforming our tiny extra bedroom into an office/playroom that opens onto the living room and makes the whole space infinitely more useful for our family.”
THE INSTAGRAM STRATEGY
“A few months ago I decided to reimagine my approach. I now spend quite a bit of time composing photos and thinking about how they can best be used to convey a place, a moment, or an emotion while maintaining a consistent aesthetic. I look for backgrounds that set off subjects, ways to incorporate negative space, unique lighting opportunities, and cool textures. I also think about how the photos relate to the others immediately around them. When I first started writing Ramshackle Glam, images weren’t something I thought a whole lot about: I figured the photos were there to illustrate the words. But over time, I started to realize that in this field, images aren’t just a supplement; they’re an opportunity, and to treat them as an aside is to potentially waste a very powerful storytelling tool.”