Fun Friday Departure: Costume Chitchat


With Halloween finally upon us we’re wondering if you guys plan to host parties, attend them, attend them in costume or just answer the door and shove fistfulls of Butterfingers at the three-foot-tall ghosts and goblins ringing your bell. Something about Halloween is especially intriguing to us this year. Maybe because it’s sort of a before and after fest when it comes to your house (our porch and our living room had a little spooky makeover) and even when it comes to yourself (if you’re dressing up there’s a definite transformation that takes place). So tell us all about who or what you’ll be for the night (any Jon & Kate Plus 8s? Or how

Our Home Made Canadian House & Home!


We’re super excited to share that our humble abode made Canadian House & Home’s amazing website! They approached us a while back to see if they could feature our before and after pics in an online gallery (alongside some pretty amazing designers and fellow bloggers like Grace Bonney of Design Sponge and Courtney Barnes of Style Court). Of course we jumped at the chance. Ok maybe we screamed and convulsed at the chance. And imagine our surprise when a photo of our living room actually made their home page (!) last week (by the way, thanks for all the facebook and twitter messages directing us there so we could see it for ourselves- we gaped

How To Unclog A Super Backed Up Drain


IN YOUR FACE, CLOG. Please excuse me if this post comes off as hyper or deranged or a little bit of both, but yesterday at exactly 5:41pm I told that drain who was boss and cleared the clog. Victory is mine! And yes I did have my hands up in the hallelujah pose for at least five minutes while I stared at the euphorically-empty-tub before breaking into a full body happy dance (think Elaine from Seinfeld). The funny thing is that I did it all by myself while John was on his way home from work (gotta love girl power) and without spending a dime or using a drop or Drain-o, Liquid Plumr, or anything

Using Oil-Based Drylok To Block Mildew & Seal Cinderblocks


Ok, we’re back on speaking terms with the basement. After it gave us quite a hard time when we began our Dryloking-interrupted-by-oh-no-is-that-mildew adventure (read all about that right here), we’re feeling victorious after conquering the first step towards turning our cinder block insect shelter into clean and functional storage space. If you recall, we had already faced the grueling disappointment of mildew spots making their way through our first coat of white latex-based Drylok (which is like painting with Elmer’s glue, btw)… So with our second round of bleach-treatment having tamed the mildew a bit more, we crossed our fingers as we broke out the powerhouse oil-based Drylok (as recommended by the experts at True

Lee’s Second Design Dilemma


Lee is still putting the finishing touches on her front room makeover (pics to come!) but she’s back for help with the 10 x 10 space right off of her kitchen. Here’s her letter: We love the mood board you made for our front room (pics coming soon!) and we’re thinking that for the room off of our kitchen we’d like to go for a warm but casual style that still looks pulled together. When we first moved into the house it was a 10 x 10′ dining room but it quickly became a walkway between the front room and the new great room behind it. The great room has a dining room/eating area so

The Heart Wants What It Wants


Sometimes it’s fun for us to scroll through the photos on our House Tour page and try to pick out decorating similarities or patterns that we’ve never noticed before. Obviously there are blatant themes that we knowingly gravitate towards, like a light and airy look, neutral colors with some hits of soft blue and grass green, white curtains, dark wood furnishings mixed with white painted pieces and white ceramic animals (which I admit I like a little too much). But it’s also interesting to notice that we seem to have subliminal attractions that even we’re not privy to until waaay after the fact when we’re looking at the photos as a whole. For example, in

Reader Redesign: An Enlightened Entryway


When Jen and Erik sent their toddler-friendly entryway makeover our way we had to share their genius transformation. Here’s their letter: I just wanted to let you guys know how much we love your site. It’s funny because in a lot of ways you remind us of ourselves. People think we’re nuts doing all we do around the house. We thought once we had a baby we’d be done- but nope, our son just inspires us more, as is the case with our new mudroom. The space was once green, which wasn’t bad but looked crazy with all the colorful art we were trying to bring in. So we decided to lighten it up with

Burning Question: Sharing Is Caring?

This week we got to wondering how often you share with your spouse, specifically the bathroom. Do you guys use the same one? Not at the same time of course. And if so, do you have a double sink situation or are you sharing one mirror and one vanity like us? Are you fancy enough to each have a designated bathroom so you never cross paths while you’re washing up? We’ve heard some say it’s the secret to a happy marriage, so tell us what you’re working with. And speaking of bathrooms, check out how we injected some subtle style to our guest bathroom in just a few hours with $4 of paint.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Us


1. A few months before starting this blog we had never painted brick, ripped up a carpet, upholstered a chair, made a headboard, caulked anything, changed out hardware or done pretty much any of the other tutorials we’ve since figured out and shared on our How To page (we’re true believers in learning as you go). 2. Our license plate says “Burgrr” (custom plates are only $10 here so we couldn’t resist). 3. John’s middle name is Freeman in honor of his grandfather (his first name honors his other grandfather named John). 4. My first name is actually not Sherry, it’s Sherry-Beth (my mom thinks it flows like Elizabeth, but it doesn’t- in fact it

Cindy & Katie’s Design Dilemma


Cindy’s daughter Katie’s bedroom is already cool, and she wants to up the ante. Here’s her letter: I need help with my daughter Katie’s room. She’s a 15 yr old self-confessed band geek and is not a girlie girl (she’ll happily throw on her cowboy work boots with her shorts to go to band practice- no makeup- won’t shop for clothes even when necessary). The door on the left with the mirror in the first pic will be removed & sheetrocked. The door on the right (with the towel over the window) will lead to a walk-in closet. When it comes to style, we like modern, casual, & bold. The things that must stay are

Reader Redesign: A Tale Of Teal


When Trish sent us photos of her vibrant living room walls we couldn’t wait to share the amazing before and after pics. Here’s her letter: Here are a couple of pics of my transformed teal coloured walls for any of your colour-loving readers. We live in a tiny old cottage with tongue-and-groove timber interior walls and our living room needed some cheering up. It’s amazing what some happy colors can do to transform a formerly gloomy room! -Cheers from Trish in Australia Isn’t Trish’s living room welcoming and smile-inducing? There’s just something about it that makes us hopelessly happy. We love her bold use of such punchy and fabulous colors (like how she spray painted

Clean Up Your Act: All Natural Homemade Cleaners


And now we’ll continue the cleaning chit-chat with this handy little homemade cleaner breakdown. When we talked about getting even greener and experimenting with homemade cleaners in year three of YHL, an expert in that very area offered up a few of her favorite formulas. And we jumped at the chance to learn how all natural and totally eco-friendly cleaning materials are easy and effective- and sometimes way cheaper than paying for the more toxic stuff that can hurt pets, kids, people in general and the planet at large. Here’s what Evan the all-knowing homemade cleaner girl passed along: This has become an obsession for me. If you think of your home as a sanctuary

Easy Upgrade: Ditching Swiffer Dusters For Microfiber Cloths


We did it. After a few months of passively wishing that we were using reusable microfiber cloths to dust our house (instead of disposable Swiffer duster pads) we finally made the switch. We’re use-up-what-you-have-before-getting-something-new people, so we were counting down those last few Swiffer pads until the box was finally empty (here it is in our recycling bin)… …and we could replace them with a five pack of white microfiber cloths (snagged for just $5 at TJ Maxx). Why is this big news for us? Well since we were going through a few Swiffer duster pads a week (remember our detailed cleaning rundown right here?) we realized that if microfiber cloths are just as good

How I Organize All Of My Inspiration Images


Q: I am wondering how you keep all your decorating ideas and images organized. Do you keep all the magazines and catalogs with good design ideas (if so how do you organize them?). Do you cut out images? Do you keep everything electronic or scan in images? Just wondering because I always want to keep lots of inspiring decorating ideas but then never know how to organize them or find them again without allowing the clutter to get overwhelming. Love the blog! -Lindsay A: Good question! Of course I used to have piles and piles of torn out pages from glossy shelter magazines sitting around waiting to be filed or flipped through. But a few years ago I

Burning Question: The Finish Line


This week we’re wondering about your dream kitchen appliances. Namely the finish. Do you lust for sleek stainless steel or prefer the more finger-print-resistant white or black options? And while we’re on the subject, what’s your idea of the perfect fridge design? Is it a side-by-side model or one of those freezer-drawer-on-the-bottom dealies? Do tell. And we can’t talk about amazing kitchens without sharing the easiest way to spiff up a tired or dated one. Painting those old cabinets will have your kitch looking like new in no time (and contrary to popular belief, it’s not rocket science). Images courtesy of Lowe’s. Psst- Don’t forget to drop in on Hamburger’s House to see what Burger’s

15 Ways To Save Energy (& Money)


It’s October 15th and that means we’re back to share some earth friendly info courtesy of Almost-Doctor Dan for Blog Action Day 2009 (click here for more details on the big event). Since we consistently cover ways to live greener and give back to the planet (we have an entire section devoted to Eco Living on our How To page) this little online event seemed to fit right in, but we really wanted to go beyond ever-present eco encouragement like “use CFLs!” and “don’t forget to recycle!” (which are both great suggestions, they’re just a bit tried and true). So we looked no further than my brainy scientist brother to see what sorts of things