10 Inexpensive Updates That Made A Giant Difference


There are definitely some projects that we’ve taken on (and hired out) along with a few accessories that we’ve brought home that stand out in our mind as particularly worthwhile, especially because they were all around $100 (some much less, some a bit more) and they made a heckova difference in our casa’s function and form department. Without further ado, our top ten list: 1. Widening the two doorways between the living room, the kitchen and the den (we paid a mason around $100 to help us with the den wall since it’s load bearing and had an electrician help us widen the living room wall since there were some wires in the way- also

Reader Redesign: Craigslist Quick-Change


When Michelle sent over her fab furniture makeover we had to share her mouthwatering before and after pics. Here’s her letter: About a month ago I found your site by accident and completely fell in love with it! You’ve even inspired me to start my own blog! I could go on and on but I don’t wanna waste your precious time cuz you guys are busy little bees. I just wanted to show you a piece of eye candy that I re-designed! I bought this dresser off of craigslist.org for only $20! Then I painted it white, slapped some new hardware on it and replaced those bar looking things on the doors with glass. Isn’t it amazing what a little updating can do? Hope

Burning Question: Thanky-Panky

Sherry and I have so much to be grateful for. From being blessed with our home, our health, our marriage and our wonderful growing family to sharing it all with enthusiastic and supportive readers like you –  we really couldn’t ask for more. And beyond those “traditional” things, we’re thankful for the little things too. Like DVR and Amy’s Pizza and Tina Fey to name a few… And we’d love to know what you guys are thankful for this year. From the usual big time stuff (life, love, laughter) to the quirky mundane things that have the power to make your day (new shoes, Lady GaGa or a leopard print Snuggie) tell us all about

Blayne’s Third Design Dilemma


We were super excited when one of our favorite clients Blayne came back for another mood board with us (she should be your favorite too- she sent after pics for both of the rooms we already did for her: her bedroom and her living room). And this time she needs a nursery! Good thing we have babies on the brain these days. Here’s her letter: It’s official… we need a GIRL nursery! My husband has pretty much said “whatever you want,” so that makes my life easy. I’d like to see a room that’s cute, modern, bold, and both kid and adult friendly. I don’t want it to be super baby-ish or theme-y, and I

Basement Updates: Using Gift Wrap To Obscure Clear Doors


We’re back with our weekly basement update (here’s where we left off) and this week we painted the dingy built-in cabinet, added some art, obscured the semi-sheer doors to our armoires and brought in a bevy of bins to organize everything we have on hand (and everything we’re sure we’ll acquire down the line- now there’s lots of room to grow). Here’s just a taste of the latest updates: But before we get to all the dirty details we owe a huuuuuge thank you to the wonderful peeps at True Value who made a lot of this week’s undertakings possible thanks to their generous gift card (which we’ve been using left and right these days).

Alena’s Design Dilemma


Alena’s living room is ready for a major makeover. Here’s her letter: This is the perfect 25th birthday present to myself! We recently painted our open living room, dining room and entryway Benjamin Moore’s Hawthorne Yellow. I’d like to replace the carpet with hardwood, bamboo, or tile in all those spaces so any suggestions with that are welcome and I need more help with the living room specifically. I like modern and natural looks. Duce is our huge boxer puppy who is allowed on the furniture so everything needs to be dog-friendly and/or washable. I’m not afraid of color, but also love neutrals. I’m stumped because of our open floor plan. The Van Gogh poster

You’re A Curious Bunch!


First of all, thanks so much to everyone for sharing in our baby-bomb excitement and wishing us well on our little “project.” You guys are the best! This new-ish development (actually it began in August, which feels like eons ago) certainly means that we’ll be working away harder than ever on our house and we promise to share every dirty home improvement detail with you. And speaking of details, we’re interrupting our regularly scheduled programming to field a bunch of the questions you guys asked on Wednesday in this as-promised Petersik Baby Q&A. Q: How far along are you? When are you due? Baby Petersik (or “the bean” as he or she is affectionately known

Thanksgiving Place Settings & Decor


Last year Thanksgiving flew by so fast that we barely got to acknowledge any fun fall decorating (except for this post with some seasonal inspiration that we were loving). So this year we were determined to do a little Thanksgiving sprucing of our own and we finally got around to it yesterday. First we transformed our formerly spooky Halloween console in the living room (more details about that here)… … into a less sinister, more fall-friendly Thanksgiving setup complete with white pumpkins, glittering votives, a stack of cream and brown books, and an abundance of corks atop a borrowed kitchen cake stand. You’ll notice that we kept the same textured piece of burlap as a

Oh Brother! (Or Sister?)


We’re excited to announce that the Petersik family is currently under construction. Our new addition is expected on May 19th. We’re thrilled, even though a certain someone won’t be the baby anymore… Yup, Sherry’s got a proverbial bun in her proverbial oven. And we couldn’t be more elated to share the news with you guys! More details to follow on Friday (so ask any and all q’s and we’ll answer as many as we can at the end of the week). Until then it’s back to before & afters and DIY ideas- we’re nothing if not home obsessed…

Reader Redesign: A Buffet Reinvented


When Lindsay sent us the before photos of a cabinet that she completely transformed we could never have predicted just how different the end result would be. It looks like a whole new piece! Here’s her letter: Well, I know you guys love a good before and after so I wanted to share an “extreme makeover” we performed on a large hutch a few weekends ago. For us, it was all about working with what we had, livening up the piece and taking cues from places like Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs (too much $$, but really cute things!). The hutch is a truly dramatic transformation (see more info here on my blog about the

Ania’s Design Dilemma: Solved


When Ania sent us her delicious after photos (thanks to this mood board that we whipped up for her last month) we couldn’t wait to share the eye candy! We know you guys love a good before and after, and Ania did a faaaabulous job! Here’s her letter: Here are a few after pictures that I took for you! Needless to say, we LOVE our new living and dining room area. I can’t believe I ever had doubts about the bentwood chairs or the media stand. They are honestly my favorite items that we purchased. We L-O-V-E everything. From the frame collage to the chandelier to the sofa table… everything! Thank you soooooo much for

Basement Update: Hanging Our Bikes And Adding A Shade


We’re back with our weekly basement update (here’s where we left off) and this time we conquered the bare-bulb ceiling fixture (by dressing it up with a polished linen shade). We also snagged a vertical balancing bike rack (on sale!) since our cinder block walls make hanging weight-baring hooks and stands close to impossible) and got the ultimate surprise from Flor in the form of an awesome 5 x 8 rug thanks to their amazing carpet squares. Sure we still have to add privacy to the windows, paint the built-in cabinet near the bikes, build a screen to hide our eyesore of a water heater, and more… but here’s what the room looks like these days with the

Reader Redesign: Best Seat In The House


When Angie sent over her simple and inspiring chair makeover we loved the outcome so much we had to share it. Here’s her letter: I love your style and your blog. I just got into blogs a few months ago and yours is a must read every day! I’m so excited to share my before and after chair makeover. I purchased it at the Ann Arbor ReUse Center for $5.00. After I removed the seat cushion and a ridiculous number of staples, I patched, sanded and primed the chair. I bought some new foam for the seat on sale at Joann’s and painted the chair with some white trim paint I had on hand from other paint jobs in our house. To cover

Adding Lots Of Basement Storage


Well, thanks to the generous and wonderful folks at True Value, we now have a totally dry and completely functional basement to use for storage galore (read about how we prepped and waterproofed the former bug graveyard here and here). And thanks to a little road trip to Ikea this weekend, we came home armed with pretty much every item that we planned to snag in this basic mood board of sorts that we shared last week: Expedit shelf (included in the total Expedit Workstation) -$120 Torsby table (already owned, so it’s free!) A woven basket or two – $17 each Two Aneboda wardrobes – $100 a pop A few white storage boxes – $12