True Dat, True Value


The end of 2009 marks the end of our stint on the True Value DIY Blog Squad (which we excitedly introduced just three short months ago). Cue the nostalgic music: “it’s so haaaaard, to say goodbyyyyyye, to yesterdaaaaaaaaaaay.” But don’t get all teary-eyed on us. We have tons to be grateful for thanks to our amazing three month gig. After all, True Value is the reason we took major leaps forward in getting ready for new additions in 2010 (i.e. the bean + all of the bean’s stuff). They provided gallon upon gallon of Drylok to make our basement storage-ready and supplied the rented demolition hammer that helped get the bathroom project rolling (so we can

Courtney’s Design Dilemma


Courtney’s living and dining room is ready to be transformed. Here’s her letter: I received a mood board as a Christmas gift and I’m super excited! I read your blog almost every day and love your style (and budget-conscious ideas!). Anyway, my boyfriend and I just moved in together and we really need help with our living room/dining room (with focus on the living room). Our style is much more casual as opposed to formal and we like more traditional styles. We are definitely open to some fun touches though! If we had to pick a store that best reflected our desired aesthetic, it would be Crate and Barrel. We DEFINITELY need some color in

Two Christmas Surprises


Nope, we didn’t find out that we’re having twins. There’s definitely just one little guy or girl in there (we actually found out the bean’s sex the day before Christmas Eve and will be revealing it shortly so stay tuned for that…). But we also discovered two unexpected and totally amazing holiday gifts waiting for us in our PO Box when we checked it one last time before heading over to John’s family’s house on the 24th. One item was a box from one of our lovely readers who attached a note that said she enjoyed our blog regularly and referenced my love of ceramic animals. Of course I could hardly contain myself as I

Email Answer: Can You Mix Metal Finishes In A Room?


Q: Hey guys! What’s your opinion on mixing metal finishes in a room? Thanks! – Shelly A: Do it! We don’t really like anything that’s too matchy-matchy, so as long as you make it look deliberate and layered (as opposed to haphazard and mismatched) the end result can be chic and elegant. For example we have a chrome-based floor lamp in our den, along with oil-rubbed bronze curtain rods and they both stand on their own and don’t look mismatched because we repeat both colors & materials again throughout the room for an intentional effect. In other words, nothing is a sore thumb when you have a number of oil-rubbed bronze thumbs sharing a space

Reader Redesign: Get Board


When Lyzz sent along her awesome DIY chalkboard door project we couldn’t wait to share the goods. Here’s her letter: I found your blog about 6 months ago and have been addicted ever since. I read it every single day and always find so much inspiration. I wanted to share a quick before & after that we took on. We’ve seen many homes painted with chalkboard paint and loved the look but unfortunately most of the homes in California have textured walls, so it was never going to work. Instead, I took the door connecting the house to the garage and used it as a large canvas for chalkboard opportunities. We added a chalkboard calendar



One of the (many) benefits to being with child is that I’ve been exiled from the bathroom for some of the rougher renovation undertakings. Although it’s sort of sad too, because I love to swing the ol’ sledgehammer from time to time. But the boys (John and his handy tile-slingin’ dad)… … mysteriously sealed themselves into the room with a big plastic tarp just to foil my view (ok, really to keep the house free of flying debris and dust, but still). The good news is that I could still manage to hear pretty well through their plastic bubble of sorts, so every once in a while I’d catch a fraction of their mano a

Our There’s-A-Baby-Coming Christmas Card


By now you’re all probably off with your family eating gingerbread and tearing into some presents but we just wanted to share the holiday card we whipped up for our loved ones (since you’re all on our virtual mailing list). We wish you guys a very happy and sweet holiday with the ones you love. And speaking of love, we adore every last one of you for dropping in to see what we’re up to over here at Casa Petersik. Your support and encouragement never fail to put smiles on our faces each and every day, and we’re full of gratitude for the amazing year we’ve been fortunate enough to share with all of you.

Holiday Roundup: 18 Christmas Decorating Ideas & Projects


With Christmas right around the corner we thought we’d toss together a fun little roundup of a bunch of holiday projects (both old and new) that we’ve whipped up over our last three Christmases as bloggers. Let the festivus begin! Our first stop is a fun table decorating post from last year. Here are just a few of our favorite seasonal set-ups (see more arrangements and additional details here): Here’s how we decorated our tree the last two years, full of tone on tone texture and gleaming metallics (see more pics and get more details here): And here’s a little treat Martha Stewart my sweet hubby tossed together for us while we decorated back in

Gail’s Design Dilemma


Gail’s den is a long & skinny decorating challenge (one of our toughest yet- especially because it has to do so many things). Here’s her letter: I’m so glad our den is in your talented hands! It’s where we watch TV, where our two kids play, and it’s also our office. If we had a place where the kids could also do their crafts that would be the icing on the cake. We’re really looking forward to getting our family pictures and some of our books into this room. I’m struggling with how to join the various “sections” of this long, skinny space (it’s 9 feet wide by 23′ long with a bump-out which accommodates a fireplace in the next

Reader Redesign: Cottage Charm


When Sarah sent over her dramatic sitting room makeover we couldn’t wait to share it. Here’s her letter: I gotta tell you I was in a makeover blip with our old cottage here Down Under but you’ve given me back my zing! Here’s our transformation of the worst sitting room eva! We snapped the before photos of this delightful room at the open house when we bought our beach cottage a year ago, complete with wall art and two tv’s. Now it’s a lot more cozy and current. To see more you can check out my blog. Keep up the good work. Here’s to DIY!  -Sarah in Australia Here’s the crazy and cluttered before: And

Makeover Complete: Updating Our Basement For Just $344!


We’re back with the full rundown of basement projects that we took on to totally transform our spooky bug graveyard into clean and functional storage space. First let’s take a walk down memory lane to reminisce about the creepy jail-cell-looking room that we started with: Gross eh? The worst was that although the exterior of the basement’s foundation was equipped with drains and graded to reduce water flow, we still had a bit of moisture seepage through those porous unsealed cinder block walls every time we got a good amount of rain. It wasn’t as if the room flooded by any means, but it was damp and nasty because water slowly oozed through the walls

Hanging Cement Board, Drywall, & Fixing The Subfloor


As if our bathroom didn’t already make it abundantly clear during the demo process, the act of putting things back together certainly proved that renovating an old bathroom is a lot of work. And it’s almost always full of surprises. Nothing we couldn’t handle though. Let’s just say we were kept on our toes. As you may recall from this post, my dad just DIYed two separate bathroom remodels this year in his own home and kindly volunteered his time, expertise and tools to help us with ours (hooray free labor – although there was some obligatory feeding involved). So I took two days off of work to give the three of us a four-day-long-mega-weekend

Burning Question: Just Coasting?

All the impending holiday parties that everyone will be throwing and attending got us thinking about… coasters of all things. Most homes are either a please-use-coasters zone or a we-don’t-own-a-single-coaster area. Which one are you? Do those of you who go without just embrace drink rings or do you have some secret formula (or fabulous furniture) to ward them off? And do those of you who use them regularly have a favorite type (metal? monogrammed? glass with a photo slipped inside?). Do tell. And we’d love guesses about which type we are. The answer might just surprise you…

DIY Damage? (Avoiding The Fear That You’ll Break Your House)


Q: I have a HUGE question for you! My husband and I have now lived in our first house for close to a year. We share your motivation, but are very intimidated by the projects that we’d like to tackle. Neither one of us is super handy, and I guess we’re afraid of “breaking” our little nest. What did you two do to get past the hump of “how on earth do we do this and not cause an even bigger problem in the end?” Thanks! -Amy A: This is a great question! Especially because when we moved into our house just three short years ago we knew nothing. We were beyond beginners. We literally

Reader Redesign: Now We’re Cooking…


When Barbara sent us her almost-too-good-to-be-true before and after photos we couldn’t wait to share the eye candy. Here’s her letter: I have been enjoying your blog and thought I would send over my most recent remodeling project. My parents bought a home that was built in the 70’s and gave me and my husband the project of remodeling it. Here are the before and after pictures of the kitchen. As you can see this home stayed in the 70’s until about a few months ago. Dark seemed to play a theme in the entire house. And wanna know what was hiding beneath all that brown carpet? Beautiful wood floors. We were so excited! Here



Yesterday we learned that Young House Love was named one of the World’s Best Design Blogs by The London Times when we shockingly noticed our name on their top fifty list. Insanely enough we came in at number twelve. As in, they think we’re the 12th best design blog in the world. Isn’t that kind of mind blowing? We’re still pinching ourselves. And we’re thrilled to be in good company with a slew of stateside and international blogs that we know and love (like Apartment Therapy, Desire To Inspire, Decor8, Design Sponge, Making It Lovely, Chez Larsson, SF Girl By Bay, and Brooklyn Limestone to name a few). Here’s a link to the page with

Jonel’s Design Dilemma


Jonel’s blank slate of a living room is raw and ready for a major update. Here’s her letter: My living room needs help! I don’t know my exact style but I would like a comfortable, light, and airy living space. I like country with a bit of casual modern. I also like natural items. I don’t mind patterns. I like neutrals, greens, blues and grays- nothing very bold and bright but I am honestly up for any color scheme you think would work. The blue carpet will be removed to reveal the hardwood floors underneath. This is my first home so I will need a couch, chairs (I like the Dolce one from Target you have), coffee and/or side

How To Clean, Prep, & Frost An Exterior Window


We’re back to share a quick and easy window-frosting tutorial as promised last week. We knew our basement windows were completely devoid of privacy and therefore could use a bit of cover, but we didn’t want to hang heavy blinds that we kept perpetually closed since that would definitely rob the room of tons of light. Enter the idea of window film. We actually used it to frost the original master bathroom window after we moved in. Then we later replaced all of our windows and realized our private backyard didn’t provide a good view of the bathroom since it’s up so high, so we opted not to redo the frosting treatment afterwards. But the

Making A Cardboard Snowflake Wreath


Let’s get wreath the program, shall we? Forgive the bad pun, I’m just a little (ok, a lot) hyper about our latest holiday project. You may remember Cardboard Safari from our recent Sponsor Shout-Out post. Well, they generously sent over two of their amazing white cardboard snowflake wreaths and we couldn’t wait to put them together. One of the most fun things about everything from Cardboard Safari is that it arrives flat in a box, and all the laser cut pieces of recycled cardboard can then be punched out by the lucky recipient and put together, like a highly entertaining 3-D puzzle for adults (you can see us crafting our white Cardboard Safari rhino from