Reader Redesign: Makeover Magic


When Bonnie sent us her charming kitchen before and after pictures we just had to share the goods. Here’s her letter: I’ve been enjoying YHL for the last year. My husband and I bought my grandparents home this past November and have had so much fun renovating it! We turned the place upside down and within about five weeks we got this outcome. We were on a really tight budget, so most everything is from Ikea, thrifted or made by us. We drew tons of inspiration from Young House Love and referred to your ‘how to’s’ quite often! My readers really enjoyed our kitchen before & afters, so I thought you might like to see

Burning Question: Counter Intelligence?

When it comes to kitchen counters, which material do you like best? Are you a sucker for natural stone options like granite or marble? Or manmade materials like Corian and Silestone? Do you love the charming and rustic look of butcher block or tile? Or adore the eco-friendly stuff like recycled glass and sustainable bamboo? Is sleek stainless steel or industrial poured concrete more your speed? Or do you like the easy care and low cost of laminate? How about a combination (like a butcher block island with marble counters)? So many choices, so little time…  

Wendy’s Second Design Dilemma


When Wendy came back for a second mood board (the first one’s still in progress) we were itching to tackle her dining room. Here’s her letter: We’re excited to work with you again! We think this room has a lot of potential, but don’t know where to start. We like transitional rooms and clean lines. We’d like the dining room to feel a bit dressier than the rest of the downstairs, comfortable and warm, but not fussy. Just a bit of sparkle. I REALLY liked the tone of the dining room mood board you did for Alissa a while back (I especially liked the dark brown table and the idea of two plushier end chairs).

Hanging Some White Faux Wood Blinds In The Bedroom


We first brought home a pair of white faux wood blinds back when were decorating the nursery (since a nice dark room sounded like a good idea when it came to encouraging some serious pee-wee shut eye). The ironic thing is that literally for years we’ve been dying to bring them into our very own bedroom. See, the window above the bed was never covered, and although the sun doesn’t rise on that side of the house we knew it could definitely stand to get darker with the help of some sort of rolling or slatted blind. Plus the other window in the room had the original plastic roller shade that came with the house

Reader Redesign: Affordable Kitchen Overhaul


When Rachel sent us her recently DIYed kitchen makeover we had to share the goods. Here’s her letter: To say that there are touches of YHL in our newly renovated kitchen/dining room would be an understatement. I “borrowed” many of your ideas! First we removed the upper half of the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room. And after the dated wallpaper came down we painted both rooms with a 5 gallon bucket of Valspar paint to cut costs. We removed the upper kitchen cabinet doors to create an “open” look while the lower doors are original (we sanded, primed, & repainted them). We also added new hinges & hardware. Then we installed a

Office Progress: Finding An Affordable Sleaper Sofa

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After recently revealing that John would be coming on as a full time blogger here on the home front (and mentioning that we had a full scale guest bedroom to office-slash-guest-bedroom-slash-playroom makeover in the cards) we’re back to spill more details about that space’s big switcheroo. First we’ll take a look back – waaaaay back – at what the room looked like when we moved in. It was actually a pretty blank slate to begin with, so replacing the ceiling fan with a flush mount fixture (like this– basic and cheap, but still an improvement) seemed to raise the ceiling about a foot. Then we just painted the walls a neutral tone, added some crown

How To Sand Down A Door So It Stops Sticking


Ever been trapped in the bathroom? We were. All the time. Every spring and summer, thanks to a bit of increased humidity, our full bathroom’s door used to swell just enough in the top left corner to keep the door from opening on the first pull. Or the second. Or the third. In fact it usually took some serious “door flapping” (grabbing the knob and rocking back and forth until it sprung free on the fifth or sixth tug) to get out of the bathroom every time we used it. And forget about our poor friends and family members who innocently ducked in there and then freaked out about a minute later when they thought

Some Great Money Saving “Dad Advice”


John’s dad’s nickname is El Cheapo and he truly is one of our money management role models. It’s not like he wears shoes with holes in them or lives without creature comforts- he just saves for what is truly important to him (like a family-sized vehicle and even a vacation home for us to gather) and forgoes things that don’t mean as much to him (like fancy meals on the town and a room-sized flat screen TV). Of course deciding what matters to you and being frugal in other areas is truly a personal decision (so if a flat screen TV will give you more joy than a minivan you should certainly follow your heart

Reader Redesign: Stairway Heaven


When Rhoda sent her amazing DIY staircase makeover we had to share the goods. Here’s her letter: I wanted to pass along photos of my latest project, since y’all are such DIY loving people. I hated the carpet on our downstairs set of steps, so I ripped all the carpet up. Oooops, you can see from the pics what I had to work with… and these stairs were never meant to be shown to the public.  But, I slowly transformed them by adding TONS of molding (I just used my hand miter box and lots of paint- including porch and floor paint for the stair treads). Then I added a natural jute runner down the

House Crashing: Lovely & Light


We’re back with another House Crashing adventure, and this one happened right here in Richmond. This charming Westover Hills house was just too pretty to pass up, so when Lori and her husband Greg invited us inside to poke around we knew we had to bring our camera and snap some photos for you guys as well. And here’s the cute couple now… Lori’s actually expecting a wee one in August, but although the whole nesting thing hasn’t quite kicked in just yet, her house was spotless none the less. Here’s the view as soon as you step into the front door. Gorgeous and sundrenched would be exactly how we can describe their entire house.

So… How About A Baby Announcement?


Just thought we should mention that we recently welcomed a new member of the family. On Friday the 14th at 5:57pm, Clara Kenley Petersik was born with a paint brush in her hand weighing in at 7 lbs 10 oz and measuring 20.5 inches long. We’re insanely in love with her. And she and Burger are already best buddies. Seriously, he thinks it’s his job to stand guard next to her at all times. Clara was named after John’s grandmother on his dad’s side. And her middle name, Kenley, is an homage to my dad (Ken) with John’s mom’s maiden name worked in there (Kelley) along with a reference to my great aunt on my

Update: Our Edible Garden A Year Later


Last year was our very first year spent playing farmer. Perhaps I should rephrase that. Last year we enthusiastically planted some herbs, veggies, and fruits in a small backyard garden that we created just for that purpose. Farmer might be a bit of a stretch, but for two not-always-great-with-plants people, it was quite a lofty goal… and it worked! Now that spring is back in full bloom (and the local farmer’s market is finally open again) we were able to replant a ton of new stuff and some old favorites too. You can read about how we originally prepped and planted our edible garden right here (tip: we used some non-edible evergreen shrubs to fill

Burning Question: New Vs. Old?

This week’s topic is sure to elicit some pretty passionate responses: when it comes to your dream house, is it a new construction or an older home? Do you love the character that you find in a house that has been around for decades? Or do you prefer the brand-spanking-new appeal of being a house’s very first owner? We’re itching to hear where you stand on the issue.

May We Say Thanks?

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As we embark on our new lives as a full-time blogging family, we are especially excited to toss out a huge “thanks” to our always-supportive sponsors in our monthly shout-out post (after all, they make the other 40+ posts that we write each month possible). So feel free to take a peek at all they’ve got to offer (along with a few exclusive YHL discounts for you guys to cash in on). Hoot Design Co. may sound familiar, since back in April they provided their signature Simply Baby poster as part of our Nursery Art Bundle giveaway. But you can also head over there to check out their grown up prints along with some other

Window Shopping: Get The Goods


By now you guys have probably grown accustomed to our random tours through places like Target, Ikea, Crate & Barrel and Anthropologie with our camera in tow. But this time we traipsed through HomeGoods and couldn’t stop ourselves from snapping pictures of all the things that we loved (with fabulous prices to match). So without further ado, here’s what’s frying our bacon these days from the decor mecca that is HomeGoods… This amazing white cut-out urn is nothing short of art when it’s placed in the center of a large dining table or displayed on a console table or buffet. And although we’ve seen them in a few places for upwards of $100-150, this baby