How To Seal Grout

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Experts recommend thoroughly sealing your grout after any new tile work is done, but even those who have sealed it (or have had it done professionally) back when their floor, shower surround, or backsplash is newly completed should break out the sealer regularly (anywhere from every six months to a year) to keep that nice protective coating on your grout. You don’t absolutely have to, but it really cuts down on maintenance and keeps it looking mint for years to come. What does sealed grout have over non sealed grout? Well, by not allowing moisture or dirt to penetrate the grout, it relegates these things to the surface, thereby protecting the look of your lines.

Office Progress: Squeezing In A “Playroom”

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As if our 10′ x 10.5′ home office / guest bedroom didn’t have enough requirements (must accommodate two bloggers 50+ hours a week and sleep two people comfortably every now and then all while keeping our paper clutter tucked out of sight) we ambitiously decided to force yet another function on the space: playroom. We wish we could dedicate an entire room to that playroom title, but with three small bedrooms – one serving as the master, another as the nursery, and the third one being this room – we had to face the music and make it work a la Tim Gunn. So we decided that along with making a lot of rug space

Picking The Right Paint Finish

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Picking the perfect paint finish is all about learning the pros and cons of each one and then exercising your right to choose. In other words, it’s one part knowledge and one part personal preference. Here’s a little rundown of paint finish possibilities along with a few facts about each one to help you hone in on the one that’s right for you. Flat paint: This is a great choice for hiding imperfections in your walls and it’s by far the easiest to touch up. The cons are that many people say that it shows more wear than its more wipe-able counterparts (like eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss) but we have found that with a

Burning Question: It’s A Wash?

When it comes to your dream laundry scenario, do you prefer sleek front loaders for the countertop space that they provide or the stackable option that they afford? Or would you rather have one of those new larger high-tech top-loading washer and dryers? What about a steam washer? Or a set that comes in bright red or robin’s egg blue?

How To Warm Up A White Kitchen (& Add Personality)

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After our big kitchen renovation we were left with a nice polished looking room, but the space still felt so bare and devoid of warmth and personality… and we just didn’t know where to start. Slowly we amassed some great items that gave our new kitchen a lot more character and charm. Whew. So we’re here to share a few simple (and cheap) ways to up the ante in your kitch with eye-pleasing and functional additions that will look good while providing convenience and usability to boot. 1. Jars for cereal. We got ours for $6.97 each at Walmart last October and we love that we can easily pour our cheerios or granola (which they

Why We Like Being Eco-Friendly (& How We Compromise)

You already probably know that Sherry and I do our best to make green decisions around Casa Petersik, but we actually approach the whole eco-friendly issue from two different places. Which means that we don’t always see eye to eye on the lengths that we’ll go to be green. Sherry’s interest in being green comes from a health & safety standpoint. That usually means limiting unnatural chemicals around our house, on our bodies, and in our food whenever possible. She’s the driving force behind things like filtering our water, gradually shifting into organic food, switching plastic tupperware for glass, cooking with Greenware instead of Teflon, and trading our personal care and cleaning products for their

Speed Cleaning As You Go: How To Clean Your House Faster

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We’ve already shared a slew of homemade cleaning recipes, and chatted about our own housekeeping habits, but we’re back with an error proof roundup of fast and easy fixes to leave you with a sparkly clean casa in no time. And perhaps best of all, these are all 100% free solutions, assuming you have some basics on hand, and each suggestion has three steps or less to keep things oh so doable. But enough chit chat. Let the cleaning frenzy begin! Oh and just to demonstrate how easy and speedy they really are, we’re including a handy little timetable, so you can pick a cleaning time span (either 7 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or

Reader Redesign: Headboard Happiness

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When Jennae sent over her bedroom before and after photos we had to share her DIY headboard project. Here’s her letter: My husband and I live in a rental, we’re on a budget, and we love all things green (as indicated by my blog) – so decorating the bedroom wasn’t the easiest task. Our biggest challenge was what to do for a headboard. We searched the web for headboard ideas & tutorials (including yours) and then I finally remembered a product I’d featured on my blog a while back: Wall Flats from Inhabit Living. Wall flats are essentially paintable 3-dimensional wallpaper, although it feels more like stiff lightweight cardboard. They’re made of bamboo pulp and

Burning Question: Feeling Gifted?

This week we’re back with one of those questions that can seriously stump people (read: us). What do you do when people give you home-decor type gifts that you don’t really like? Say your mother-in-law is constantly buying stuff to spruce up your space (but you’re less than enthused at the items of her choosing). Do you put the stuff out for a while and then gradually move it into storage? Do you just learn to love it and display it for the long haul? Do you only put it out when the gift giver is visiting? Do you admit off the bat that it’s not your style and ask if they’d mind if you

Our House In Pasadena?

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Ok, so this is right up there with the weirdest thing we’ve ever seen in our past almost-three-years as bloggers. Recently a reader (thanks Sara!) wrote alerting us that she had seen photos of our living room and guest bedroom on a vacation rental site called Airbnb. And apparently the “landlord” was claiming that they were photos of their house in Pasadena- and charging $48 a night with priority to anyone who booked it for one or two weeks straight (to the tune of $336 to $672) since they “received so much interest.” Isn’t that weird???? What happens when people get there and it doesn’t look like that? Or maybe it doesn’t get that far

Budget Blooms: Sunny Delights

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As most of you know, every month we like to enjoy one inexpensive- and sometimes free- bouquet to keep things feeling fresh around here (the idea actually stemmed from a super sweet Christmas present from the hubs a while back). And this month John actually came home with a bouquet thanks to the fact that for the first time ever, he went grocery shopping without me. We always run errands like that together, but since Clara was just two and half weeks old at the time, us girls opted to stay behind and send daddy out for food on his own. Guess what? He survived without us (the nerve). And of course it was a

Space Planning 101: Five Ways To Plan A Room Layout

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Q: I need help with space planning! Just your tip in the comment section of Ania’s design dilemma to “let the room breathe” made me realize that I’m so guilty of filling ever available inch of wall space. I need to edit some rooms! I’d love to get a post on space planning and room flow somewhere down the line! – Threadbndr A: This is such a good question, and a topic that we’ve been meaning to tackle for ages. First we’ll include the comment that Threadbndr is referring to in her question above. Someone asked what we thought Ania should stick in the bottom right corner of the room (between the desk, #10, and

Reader Redesign: Pattern Perfection

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When one of our favorite paint prodigies sent over photos of her recent transformation we couldn’t wait to share them. Here’s her letter: Hi guys! I just wanted to send you this recent project I did because I thought the colors and style screamed “Young House Love.” I came up with the pattern and design on my own- then I made a custom stencil to achieve the pattern. I was really happy with the end result (which looks like wallpaper, but with WAY less hassle!). Hope you like it! – Kristen Here’s the room before Kristen worked her magic: And here’s the room after Kristen’s amazing paint project: Didn’t she do a fantastic job? We

Making An Ikea Bookcase Look Built In (& Painting The Back)

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We mentioned a few times that we wanted to get a bookcase for the office/guest room/playroom since they’re so great for storing things, displaying things, and adding some architecture and height. We thought a bit about placement and quickly realized that the area to the left of the uncentered window on the far wall of the room would be the best place for a bookcase, so we headed off to Ikea with the measurements of that wall on a little scrap of paper in my purse. And in a few short hours we found ourselves assembling our $69 Billy bookcase: We actually checked out a few other Ikea options (like the Expedit and the Lack

Burning Question: Mirror Or Medicine?

We’re back with another bathroom question and this time it’s all about what you love above the sink. Do you prefer a medicine cabinet for a bit of concealed storage? Or do you love the sleek clean-lined look of a mirror without anything hidden behind it? Would a bathroom without a medicine cabinet be a deal breaker? Or do you love the lighter look of a mirror without all the hidden Advil?

Safe House: 12 Ways To Protect Your Home

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What’s the use of DIYing yourself silly and upgrading every inch of your house if you’re not going to protect it from bad guys and natural disasters? And there are so many simple ways that you can do just that. So here’s how we do our best to protect our precious home sweet home. 1. Opt for a safe deposit box. Ever since I was a young child and we got robbed (the bad guys stole all my Christmas money and a necklace that was handed down to me from my grandma) my mom has ingrained in me that you’ll never be sorry that you have a safe deposit box. It’s just a small fee