What If…

By now everyone’s probably aware that there’s a $5,000 bonus up for grabs for the person who earns the most votes on their project over on BHG.com (remember we did this to our porch?). And although we’re holding steady at second place, a bunch of people have commented and emailed us to ask what we would do with BHG’s $5,000 bonus if we were lucky enough to take it home. Of course our initial reaction is always “well, we hate to count our chickens… especially since the competition is so fierce and we definitely have some ground to make up…” but since you guys are very (very) persistent we figured we’d indulge you (and ourselves) and let our home-improvement-loving imaginations wander.

After all, $5,000 is ten times the amount of money that we had for the challenge (!) and although we would donate some of it to one of our favorite housing charity here in Richmond, we’d definitely put the rest right back into the house (no shopping sprees at Bloomies or fabulous vacations for us). Of course your votes would help that become a bit closer to a reality (if everyone who read this post voted once a day until June 12th we’d definitely be contenders). So without further ado, here’s what we’d do:

#1. Retile the hearth of the living room fireplace (it’s actually just old red terra cotta tile that we painted white and then sealed with about a hundred coats of water-based polyurethane). We’d love to do something with white river rocks, glass mosaic tile or even white marble so here’s hoping…


#2. Replace the boring builder light fixtures in both of our guest bedrooms. But they both won’t just be something off the shelf. That would be too easy. We’re thinking we’d love to DIY a large drum shade with little cascading tabs of white felt, or even something woven or rattan (perhaps made from a repurposed runner or a few woven placemats).



#3. Completely overhaul the 50-year-old master bathroom. We’re talking tile work, maybe some wainscotting, a new vanity/sink, etc. We did our best to salvage our vintage tile, but there are cracks and discolorations everywhere we look, so one day we’d love a complete redo. And that day would certainly come sooner with a little extra cash in our wallets (and you know John’s itching to pick up the sledgehammer, right?)…


#4. Add a lounging area to the patio. We’d bring in some planters, some posh West Elm-ish lounge chairs, a few accent tables and even an all-weather rug to make our little table-only patio into a bona fide outdoor room. Maybe even build a stone fire pit. That would be cool, right?


#5. Introduce a bit of layered, textural interest in the half bathroom. This one’s gonna be a surprise so that’s all you get.


#6. Transform our secret room. Yeah, we actually have a separate entry basement under the sunroom that currently looks like this. Pretty nasty, eh? But we’ve dealt with some pretty bad befores and we actually have a plan for this mindnumbingly terrible cinder block prison.


scary old nasty basement

You may be asking yourself if we’re confused and think that the BHG bonus is $50,000 and not $5,000, but we’re cheap little buggers and a few of these projects would only run us around $100 which would leave a lot more bank for a few of the more major tasks on our dream to-do list.

And of course we have to say that we’re extremely thankful just to have been included in the challenge and to be among such fabulous fellow bloggers! And if the extra moolah isn’t in the cards we still have big plans here at Casa Petersik. This is just what happens when we let our imaginations wander… we get all hyper and sweaty. Thanks for the fun!


  1. Jamie says

    hey, question about your copper fire-pit/bowl/whatever it’s called. My parents have one too and we used it during my brother’s wedding (also a backyard affair) – but the next day we realized we killed a spot in the lawn that was under the fire pit. It took a long time to fill back in. So after that my dad glued some leftover tiles to a piece of wood and attached a rope handle, and now we put that under the fire pit to protect the lawn or deck when we use it.

    Have you guys had a similar experience or were you smarter than us and protected the lawn from the get-go?

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Jamie,

      We’re so not smarter than you guys, in fact we also have a little circle of grass that has disappeared under the small iron fire pit in the yard. The only difference is that we assume it’s because of the lack of sun since we rarely ever actually use the fire pit but it keeps that part of the grass in shadow 24/7. Does that make sense? Anyway we’re not too worried about it because it’s not visible since the fire pit blocks it, and we can always move the pit and reseed the little circle of dead grass in the fall and it should come in like new (grass is very “enthusiastic” in the fall, so it’s always the best time to reseed). Hope it helps!


  2. says

    I vote for you guys whenever I remember because I want to see all the house projects you do afterwards! It’s helpful when you remind us to vote though because some days I forget. Thanks for the “preview” of possible projects!

  3. Jennifer says

    I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now and it was love at first site. I’ve been voting everyday since I learned that you were in this competition. I really hope you win because I look forward to all the afters of all of the projects you listed! Good Luck!

  4. says

    Voted!! Good luck.. I love these design ideas and very interested to see those guest bedroom light fixtures!

  5. says

    Ok, I finally registered today, and have placed my vote for Young House Love!! I will vote daily for you guys… I’d love to see all these project become a reality!

  6. Jennifer says

    I’m still voting every day! Where’s all the people who wanted the white ceramic thingies?

    Good luck!

  7. Sandra says

    I’d love to see the bathroom or basement revamp. I love your “holy crap, I can’t believe it looked like that!” before/after projects!

    And of course, voted today. :)

  8. Julia Ryan says

    I’ve been looking EVERYWHERE online for a DIY drum shade chandelier how-to. I really hope y’all win so you can teach us how to do our own! I have found the price between drum shades and actual drum shade chadeliers to be pretty big and I’m dying to do one in my new fixer upper house! By the way, I was born and raised in Richmond but I live on the coast in South Carolina now and love all of your decor ideas!

  9. Lorrie says

    I have been voting for you guys as well…..LOVE your website!

    Quick question….what color of white did you use for all your trim work in the house!?!?!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Lorrie,

      We actually used Glidden’s Ready-Mix white (the semi-gloss gallon of stock paint that you can buy right off the shelf without getting it custom mixed). It’s a great white tone that’s not too stark or too dingy. We also love Benjamin Moore’s Decorators White. Hope it helps!


  10. Carly says

    I am a quiet reader…but I have your blog in my favorites and read often! I absolutely love your DIY wedding! It is my fave.

    AND…I voted for you guys!:)


  11. Tina says

    Hey guys,
    I just found your blog a few weeks ago through the Nest, and I’m already hooked. I don’t even own a house yet, but you are very inspiring! I just voted for you at BHG and I wanted to let you know I hope you guys win so you can keep up the cool projects! Can’t wait to see how they turn out! I’ll keep voting for ya!