Pics & Pixels

The following images make me wish I could carry a professional photographer around in my pocket at all times. But since I can’t, at least we had the pleasure of having one over for the afternoon. Local-ish photographer Andrea Hubbell (she’s from nearby Charlottesville, VA) is doing a series of “living spaces” photo shoots and asked if we wanted to participate for fun. Since we’re (a) not too camera shy – at least when it comes to our house and (b) always excited to see our home through someone else’s eyes (especially someone a lot better with a camera), we gave an enthusiastic yes.

And boy are we glad we did. Not only was Andrea super nice (and very stealthy too – we almost forgot she was here a couple of times) but her photos are beautiful:

Of course we loved seeing the wider-angled full room shots, but what was most amusing for us was seeing all the little details that Andrea picked up along the way. You know, the things we hardly notice and never think to shoot and share. So we thought you guys might get a kick out of that too. What’s a trip to the Petersiks without a shot of Sherry’s pile o’ paint chips after all?

Be sure to hit up Andrea’s blog to see the rest of her photos of our house (barely half of them are shown here). They were taken about three weeks ago, which is why some rooms (ahem, bedroom and living room) are already looking semi-out-of-date and others (this means you laundry room) aren’t shown (since our little built-in shelves were just getting started when she arrived). Oh and here we are with Andrea. Most surprising thing ever? Sherry’s not wearing a black shirt. Crazy, right? I hardly recognized her.

But wait – there’s more. Andrea wasn’t the only person to capture our house recently. We got a very sweet email the other day from a 16-year-old reader from the Netherlands named Karlijn. She’s an avid fan of the video game The Sims, and thought it would be funny to use her Sims-ing skills to virtually recreate our house. And considering the limitations of the game (she said she would have added a Burger if she could have), we’re pretty darn impressed by how close she got!

First we have our guest room with the teal walls, green headboard, and two slipper chairs that look almost exactly like the ones we have:

We chuckled at the accuracy of the “alley” on the left side of this screen capture of our living room (complete with a big gray sectional, a green rug, the bedroom door, and a giant paned window just like our house):

And how true-to-life it is that our windowless kitchen is pretty dark with the lights off? Maybe you don’t know that so I’ll answer for you: very true.

Our favorite is probably the Sims-ified space that is Clara’s room (although the highway that leads into her window kind of cracked us up, since the view is a little different in real life- but we’re sure Karlijn didn’t have much control over that):

And perhaps Karlijn was dropping us some decorating “hints” along the way too. Like maybe we should add a zebra rug in the bedroom? Ooh la la.

Or some outdoor lighting to the patio? (Totally agree with her on this one, btw – we’re thinking about big bulb string lights).

Maybe some Sims players out there can find Karlijn’s place in that giant Sims universe to virtually drop in on on our house. Is that how it works? I’m so video game dumb it’s not even funny. Last time I played The Sims it was called Sim City and I think I gave up after a tornado and a monster attack simultaneously took out all of my skyscrapers. Anyway, we’re sending out a big thanks to both Andrea and Karlijn for taking the time to capture our home using their respective talents. It’s always fun to see a familiar place through someone else’s eyes. Have you guys ever tried to recreate your house in a video game or with online room-planning software or anything? Or seen photos that someone else took of your house that make you take notice of little things that you’d never really “see” on your own?

Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winners. Click here to see if you’re one of them.


  1. Lili says

    Dude… I’m a total Sims fan… Could you find out her link to your house? Lol. Or did she share it on the Sims site at all? I must know! Love it!

  2. Marie says

    Oh, I laughed out loud at the Sims stuff! I have the Sims 3, but only really played for a few weeks after I bought it.

    However, after our offer on our new house was accepted last year, I was so excited that I made a rough draft of it in the sims to try and place all of our furniture. It was a good way to channel my excited energy and surprisingly helpful, even though it was a very, very rough draft (the Sims can’t do split-level).

  3. Carrie says

    I remember you two designed a nursery for John’s sister and you featured Sherry’s mom’s house in NJ. Have you done any decorating/designing in John’s parents’ new house?

  4. Valerie says

    I have to admit, my favourite pic is totally the one of the monkey hanging on Clara’s closet rod (on Andrea’s website)! Totally fun and captures the spirit of the family I think! (well – of what I can tell by getting to know you via the interwebs… lol)

  5. Aly says

    I actually just bought that print in the Mini Mini size from Kal Barteski! Did you find your frame at Ikea? It seems like a hard size to find

    • says

      It was an old frame we had (hung horizontally with two pics in it above our stove in the first house) but I think it was originally from Target. Hope it helps!


  6. Shifra says

    It’s so funny how seeing these new pictures make me see things I didn’t notice before- at least consciously. Now I realize why I’ve been searching for a green runner for my dining room table for weeks! So funny! I’ve just about given up and am contemplating trying to make my own with no sew tape (of course, inspired by you, too!) Do you remember where you got yours, as a last ditch effort before I resort to the diy method? Thanks!!!!

  7. Dianna says

    may i ask what color that is behind the bookshelves in your dining room it is the PERFECT shade I have been looking for!

  8. Melissa says

    I really want to play the Sims and create my home digitally. I’ll admit it – I’m a geek, but in a good way! :)

  9. Leslie Ann says

    LOL @ the picture of Sherry’s ceramic/concrete white dog! I don’t know why, but the picture Andrea took of it makes me giggle. Maybe it’s because she only took a “portrait” shot of the doggy… she made him look pretty lifelike, hehe.

  10. Rebecca R says

    Where did you find that little map idea?? We travel ALOT and have a frame wall like yours (only in black frames) and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea but have never seen sucha small version of the whole US like that. Please share!!!


  11. Allison says

    Those photos are absolutely lovely. One thing though, I kept looking at the picture of your gorgeous dining room thinking something was missing. I tried to chalk it up to knowing that at some point you will knock down the wall for a big doorway. . .But that wasn’t it. And then I realized: You don’t have a chandelier!!!

    I would love to see what kind of chandy you guys would choose for your dining room. Maybe a big drum chandelier with a fun pattern on it?

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