Reader Redesign: Tile For Miles


When Amanda and her husband Ken sent over the amazing before and after photos of their kitchen, let’s just say our mouths literally watered. Here’s their letter: I really enjoy your blog and your knitty-gritty do-it-yourself attitude, so I thought you might be interested in our own kitchen remodel. We live in a little brick house in St. Louis, built in the 1930’s. The kitchen had been redone in the 70’s and the cabinets were kinda shoddy- plus, we needed A LOT more storage. Last summer we took the plunge and decided to tackle it. My husband and I are both graphic designers and very particular about design but the room came together so smoothly,

Burning Question: Got Any Burning Questions?


We’ve loved getting your read on quite a few surprisingly controversial subjects over the years (from whether you prefer wood or carpeted floors in the bedroom to which way you like to dispense your toilet paper). Some topics elicited way more responses than we ever thought possible (like this chatter about how early is too early to decorate for the holidays). While others got unexpectedly heated (who knew there were such strongly opposing views when it came to being pro or anti cul-de-sac?). So now our big question is: got any more questions? It’s not really that we’re “out” per se. There are always about a million things to ask, from what upholstery fabric you

Reader Redesign: Pop The Cork


When Emily emailed us with a great textural and natural DIY project we had to share the goods. Here’s her letter: I really REALLY enjoy reading your blog. I’m totally hooked on it- you have so many GREAT and accomplishable ideas. I’m constantly inspired by the things that you guys create and recently I completed one of my own DIY projects: a wine cork bulletin board. It was a simple project but really rewarding. You can check out the full story here on my blog, but I wanted to share the photos with you and let you know how inspiring you are to me everyday (from painting a wall to traveling around the country with

Figuring Out A Whole-House Paint Palette


Paint can pretty much be chalked up to a learning experience around Casa Petersik. From painting all of our home’s trim with flat paint right after we moved in (baaad idea, use semi-gloss!) to picking a different color of the rainbow for each room (not the way to make a small house flow!) we’ve pretty much made every mistake in the book. And over the last almost-four years our walls have definitely “evolved” as we learned what we liked (and a whole lot of what we didn’t). We decided to use a handy little floor plan (created thanks to Floorplanner) to demonstrate three “stages” of our home’s ever changing color scheme to show that homes

Feeling Sheepish: Making A Faux Sheepskin Rug (Part 2)


So we’re back with our second faux sheepskin DIY undertaking (after sharing the first one this morning). For this project we actually visited the biggest most insane fabric store that we’d ever seen while on a recent trip to Charlotte to visit some friends. It’s called Mary Jo’s Cloth Store and it’s basically a gigantic 32,000 square foot warehouse full of about a million bolts of fabric (we’re talking about a football-stadium-sized holy grail of textiles). And it’s located right outside of Charlotte (just off of 1-85 at exit 21). All I can say is that if they don’t have it there, nobody does. Plus their prices are fantastic. We saw designer prints marked down

Feeling Sheepish: Making A Faux Sheepskin Rug (Part 1)


Ok, so you might think we’re crazy, but we always thought the sheepskin rugs that Ikea sold (especially the super cheap small sized ones that we always grab) were faux. Well, we recently had one of those duh moments when we noticed that the materials weren’t listed as acrylic or some other fabric and instead read: 100% sheepskin. Oops. We should have known- after all, they’re a Swedish company- but for some reason we always saw $99 sheepskin rugs and assumed those were the real ones and that the cheap $25 Ikea ones just had to be man made. Now we know the faux or real sheepskin decision is an extremely personal choice (just like

This Vacuum Sucks, Part Two (The Full Sized Vacuum We Bought)


We already talked about how much we love the Kurv (we’re not paid by them or otherwise perk’d in any way, we just truly love it) and now we’re even more excited because the day has finally come that we’ve discovered a full sized vacuum cleaner that we love just as much! Really, it sucks like a champ. And when we pair the carpet-friendly nature and the sheer power of our new addition with the super portable and wood-floor-friendly Kurv, the dust bunnies and tiny puppy hairs on our floors don’t stand a chance. Seriously, our house has never looked (or felt, because that’s important too) so clean. We realized we needed to replace our

Reader Redesign: Baby Love


When Robyn sent over some photos of her charming nursery (full of adorable details) we had to share the love. Here’s her letter: We had our first baby on 9/9/09 and I wanted to share his nursery with you. It started off as our guest room but shower water leaked through the bathroom wall onto the berber carpet so when I was many, many months pregnant my husband ripped it out and we laid tiles from Home Depot that we bought for about $75. We painted one wall Shark Fin blue, put up some old shelves I had for years (from West Elm), used some curtains we had stored away (from Pier 1), moved in

Burning Question: Collection Connection?

After recently admiring John’s mom’s display of chic mixed & matched tea cups and saucers (she has an entire end table devoted to hers) we got to wondering what you guys collect. Are you into saving something specific (we love wine corks from memorable celebrations and matchbooks from meaningful meals)? Or do you prefer to display something else en masse (cobalt glass vases? fiestaware? glass candlesticks? ceramic animals?). From black and white art prints (like the stunning collection above) to bottle caps, tell us all about what you love to accumulate.

House Crashing: Stunning In Sydney


We love personally crashing every house that we feature but this amazing casa was just too far away (as in, Sydney Australia) to drop in on. Not to worry, we decided that holding back the amazing eye candy was just too cruel, so we opted to “virtually” house crash Max and her husband Peter’s home after they invited us to have a little look-see. They’re the masterminds behind Murchison-Hume, an amazing and eco line of posh cleaning products that are even carried here in the states by shops like Anthropologie (stay tuned for a YHL giveaway with them in April). Max and Peter live in an unbelievably inviting and organized home with their two adorable

Anne’s Design Dilemma


Anne’s living an dining room is ready for a fresh new look. Here’s her letter: I’m BEYOND excited to be getting a mood board from you two!!! I need your help with my living room, which is the first room you enter in our home. It does connect to our dining room, so any suggestions for that adjoined space would be welcome. My husband and I like modern and contemporary styles, perhaps with a dash of eclectic-ness. The only things we want to stay in the room are the entertainment center and the picture above the love seat (although that can be moved to a different wall). Everything else can go! I’d love an ottoman

Email Answer: Finding The Motivation To Tackle DIY Projects


Q: Dear John (no it’s not a Dear John letter) and Sherry. I’m begging you (on bare knees in front of laptop now) to write a post that teaches the following: HOW… HOW, I beg you, do you find the motivation and… ENERGY to take on such things after work?! Or even a whole weekend cooped up in a bathroom? I BEG you, please, how do you get that mind-set to get things done?! And after work! It’s incomprehensible to me but I would love to be that person. If you bottle it, I’m buying ten. I know this isn’t a motivational/self-improvement blog but I think your attitude to get things done so consistently does

Reader Redesign: Bathroom Brilliance


When our bloggy friend Roeshel sent over her bathroom makeover it was love at first sight. Here’s her letter: I’d love to submit my bathroom makeover for a reader redesign. Thank you so much for the inspiration! The entire project cost just $512 and I really love the outcome. The ceiling paint, primer and trim and door paint were free (we already had it from previous projects) and the wall paint is Benjamin Moore’s Light Pewter and Nimbus (color matched to Valspar’s Signature paint). The lighting was from Lighting Direct and the oval vanity mirror came from Lowe’s. I painted the floor myself with Valspar Porch and Floor Paint in “Journey” and some Benjamin Moore

Nursery Progress: Painting A Round Mirror For Over The Crib


We’re back to share how we painted our $39 Marshall’s mirror so it’s a bit less upscale-formal (in black) and a smidge more playful and nursery-ready (thanks to a few coats of deep asparagus green paint). It was a super straightforward process, although I’m not gonna lie- all those curvy openings definitely took me a bit longer to work around than a basic mirror frame would have. But it was totally worth it in the end. As in, I’d do it again ten times without a second thought. We just love it! We were inspired by the deeper green tones in the leaves from our curtain fabric so the color that we decided on for

Nursery Progress: Chair Hunting (& How To Test For Lead!)


The exact weekend after we wrapped up our big bathroom makeover, we hightailed it out of town. It wasn’t that we were over staring at our new bathroom (we actually found ourselves going into the room just to ogle our newly spruced surroundings) but it was more like we needed a self-imposed “vacation” after such hard work. Especially my main tile man John. He really deserved a nice little weekend getaway. So we drove five hours up to the family beach house in scenic Rehoboth, Delaware (we know it’s weird to go to the beach in the dead of winter, but we love how quiet and sleepy the off-season is… and we always seize the

Allyson’s Design Dilemma


After spending time on the rest of her house, Allyson’s finally ready to transform her bedroom. Here’s her letter: We’re very excited about our bedroom’s impending transformation!  It’s essentially a blank canvas and we’ve spent a lot of time on the rest of our house, but haven’t made it to this room yet. I was trying to define “our style” when I saw the description of your nursery- it’s exactly what I was thinking!- “modern-meets-traditional (clean lines and punchy patterns without much stark white) also with a charming lived-in look.” Casual, lived-in, cozy, but modern-ish is perfect for us. We’re not afraid to go a little vintage, especially with accessories. We also like oversized art.

Eight Photography Tips For Rooms & Homes


Q: Do you guys have any tips for photographing your rooms? I’m actually listing my house for sale and thinking of snapping some photos (for memories and also to help with the flier) but I want them to look great. Any and all tricks, tips and suggestions are appreciated! – Leslie A: We totally feel your pain. When we started our blog and were suddenly tasked with sharing photos we had no idea how to make rooms look their best (hence all the fugly pictures way back in our archives). But we did learn our fair share of simple tricks (mostly through trial and error) along the way- and we’re happy to share the goods.