September Superlatives


It’s that time again! When we take a moment to look back on all that we’ve done in the past month at a glance (and gather all the links in one handy place for ya). And of course we tossed in some never-before-seen stuff, just because we’re over-sharers. This month felt pretty scattered since we did everything from finding secondhand night stands and starting to stencil some walls to building a 13 foot desk, altering a light fixture, framing out a mirror, making free art, and beyond. So let’s take a walk down memory lane, with yearbook-esque superlatives. Why? Because that’s our idea of a good time. Most Pro-Banquette: Starting off the month with a

Easy Handmade Art: Let’s Frame Some Food Coloring


All week I imagined a big office stencil reveal post here. Sadly, it’s not done yet. Oh DIY, why do you take such pleasure in toying with my emotions? Quit playing games with my heart, home improvement. But regardless of the fact that it’s not exactly a quick project, it’s looking awesome and totally going to be worth the blood, sweat, and tears (all three of which have occurred, incidentally). So hopefully by this weekend I’ll be doing some celebratory Rocky laps around the house (yes, with music blaring and fists in the air) and I can share photos & deets of the whole shebang on Monday. Woot! Until then, here’s a still-needs-to-be-finished wall (the

Online Tools for Planning A Space in 3D


Break out the 3D glasses! Okay, not really. Put them away. This blog will not be coming to you in any additional dimensions today. As you saw in our latest kitchen planning post yesterday, I finally bit the bullet and learned me some Google Sketch-Up (as many of you recommended) to help us plan our kitchen renovation. But having been a loyal user of in the past and having recently become acquainted with Ikea’s Kitchen Planner, I thought I’d give you my take on how these three 3D modeling tools stack up against each other… because there’s actually not a clear winner in my book. Each have pros, cons, and a different scenario where

Bad News For Banquette Fans


For all those wondering when the heck we’ll tackle that kitchen banquette idea that we mentioned a few weeks ago (here and here), well… probably never. Cue the frowny face emoticons. Here’s the deal. After getting lots of positive feedback on the idea a few weeks ago (over 1,400 comments total!), Sherry and I were certain your collective enthusiasm would push us from “we think this is a good idea” to “this is definitely a good idea.” And it nearly did. But parts of us still questioned the whole commitment-factor when it came to actually doing it (we definitely described it as a half baked idea when we shared it). We worried if it’d really

Reader Redesign: Gorgeous In Grey


Just as we mentioned last week, Reader Redesigns are back y’all!! And we’re kicking things off with Michelle’s amazing bathroom renovation. She and her husband David gutted the crazy yellow bathroom, completely reconfigured the layout, and built it back up in beautiful greys and fresh sparkling whites. Here’s her letter: Hi Sherry & John! Your bathroom at your first house sparked me and my hubs to renovate our 1952 master bath. We followed soooo many of your tips (we ran into all of the same demolition problems, including the wire mesh). It was no bueno! But thank goodness all of the hard work is done. I shared the big final reveal of the bathroom here

Ten Step By Step Wall Stenciling Tips (You Can Do It!)


Dude, stencils are no joke. But I did it! I bit the bullet and ordered the stencil that John and I have been pining after for the past month (mentioned here a few weeks back). We loved the idea of adding some subtle tone on tone detailing above the chair rail in our office (we didn’t want anything with too much contrast since it’ll compete with the dark teal built-ins and the fun curtains in the nearby dining room). So we settled on a softer gray tone with a tiny pop of color (leftover grellow paint from the adjoining kitchen). At 54 honking dollars it was hardly a drop in the bucket, but let me tell

Fab Freebie: Canine Design


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** Burger barked a few times at and it spit out our two winners. They are… Ruth (who’s jealous of the “sleep wherever you want” factor) and Mattie (who envies the happiness her dog finds in a squeaky toy). Congrats ladies! Everyone else – don’t forget about the discounts listed among the giveaway details. They’re still valid! Tomorrow is Burger’s 5th birthday (I’m sure you already had it marked on your calendar), so this week’s giveaway is distinctly doggy-themed in his honor – thanks to two puppy lovin’ shops. The first is Oliver Blu Designs whose punchy animal silhouettes find their way onto

Adding Molding To Cabinets To Make Them Look Built In


Yup, we got a little trim. As you read in last week’s Day In The Life post, we recently tackled the add-trim-to-the-hooter-and-the-hotter-office-desk project. The basic game plan was to add some simple baseboard or molding to the bottom of our cabinets so they looked more like built-ins. In other words, the bottoms were looking a little unfinished… I took measurements and headed off to the store with my little cheat sheet. Notice how I mark which way my cuts go? When I’m making angled miter cuts I’m so anxious about cutting the wrong way that I leave myself as many reminders as possible. One very critical measurement, not shown here, was the trim height. We

Blogiversary IV: Ten Things We’ve Learned As Pro Bloggers


We thought we’d wrap up blogiversary week with one last post for anyone else writing a blog and/or trying to make a business out of it. We don’t like to think of ourselves as formal blogging experts, but since we always share our learn-as-we-go insights when it comes to home and DIY, we figured it made sense to share what we’ve learned in the past four years of blogging too. Oh and we included pictures of Burger to help illustrate some points along the way. You know, for kicks. Rule #1: A blog should be born from passion (not a business plan). At least for us, that seemed to work. We write about DIY because

Blogiversary IV: Anatomy Of A Blog Post


Ever wonder what goes into writing one of our posts? No? Well, we’re gonna tell you anyways. Consider it another peek behind the scenes and into our crazy blogging minds a bit further. We probably take our post writing a bit more seriously than most folks (but maybe we should since paying the mortgage depends on it) so we’re certainly not saying this is how it should be done. It’s just how we do it. In general terms, most of our project-oriented posts go through these stages: from planning & prep through doing & documenting things, all the way to posting & responding to comments. Those of you who write blogs about your home probably

Blogiversary IV: 9 Blog Coding & Site Design Tips


Since a bunch of you have requested it, I’m going to attempt to dole out some technical blogging / coding advice. I’ll admit I’ve been very hesitant to write this because I am very much an amateur myself. Asking me for web design advice feels a bit like asking your waiter to teach you how to cook. I can tell you the basic ingredients of what we’re serving, but things might get hairy if I’m asked to put together a menu. It’s really all just trial and error and a decent amount of googling around for answers. Note: yes, the following visual is a coding joke, hence the brackets. Now that I’ve let my insecurities

Blogiversary IV: Goal Tending


It’s time for some annual goal declaring (because nothing lights a fire under your arse like a big ol’ public proclamation). Let’s do this thang. Goal #1: Find Balance- We mentioned that we were aiming for more balance in our lives during this 2011 resolutions post. We basically said that we’re going to try our darndest not to fall into the trap of putting all of our time, money, and energy into the house to the point that we have no life, no savings, and Clara is trapped in our casa for her entire childhood (we actually haven’t been on a big vacation since our honeymoon four and a half years ago other than some

Blogiversary IV: You Time


We’ve blabbed on (and on) about ourselves this week, so we wanted to take a moment (as we usually do during these blogiversary weeks) to focus on you… and your feelings. Okay, not so much your feelings. Unless, um, you want to talk about them. But seriously, you know so much about us, so we’d love to learn a bit about you (and no, this isn’t some not-so-cleverly disguised marketing research survey – it’s just us being nosy and wondering who the heck you fine people are). So just like last year, I’m breaking out our little polling plug-in to let you guys weigh in about yourselves. And just as you have in past years,

Blogiversary IV: How We Get Blog Sponsors & Other Questions

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We’ve once again solicited questions from you guys on Facebook for our blogiversary extravaganza (of the personal, not decorating, variety). And just like we did in 2009 and 2010, we had fun answering a bunch of ’em. We crammed as many responses as we could into 20 minutes, so unfortunately not every one of the 80+ questions got answered, but we figured 20 minutes was already pushing the bounds of an acceptable YouTube video length. Haha. Here are a few things that we cover: Our favorite and least favorite qualities in each other What our neighbors think about the blog If the former owners of our house read the blog Our weirdest fan interaction Who

Blogiversary IV: A Few Fun (& Crazy) Blog Stats


As if this morning’s pie charts weren’t enough, we’re back to get all numerical and statistical on you. Each year we like to break down what YHL looks like by the numbers. Some are crazy. Some are surprising. Some are serious. Some are, well, just for fun. We’ve included some of last year’s numbers just for comparison’s sake, but you can also look back at our past by-the-numbers posts for our last three blogiversaries to see how things have changed: 2010, 2009 and 2008. 2,014 – The number of published posts to date on Young House Love (Last year: 1,527) 16 – The number of published posts to date on Young House Life (clearly someone’s

Blogiversary IV: How Do Bloggers Make Money?


Like previous blogiversaries, we’re gonna use this week as an excuse to take a look at the business side of blogging (at least as we know it). As you’ve probably gathered by now, we never intended to start a business when we wrote our first post back in Sept 2007, nor did we ever construct a formal business plan. So this whole adventure has been a learn as we go / roll with the punches / adjust along the way / insert more cliches here kind of deal. And just like we don’t claim to be DIY experts or trained interior designers (we’re just two people with a chihuahua and a baby), we’re not about

Fab Freebie: West In Show (Continued)


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** Well, after a blog-busting (literally) 18,018 entries across two posts (the first one got overloaded after reaching 10,680 entries so we had to start a second one) we finally have one lucky winner in what has become our biggest giveaway to date. In case anyone was worried about how this would all be tallied, we used to generate a random number between 1 and 18,018 and located the comment that correlated with that number across both posts (although you guys can no longer access the comments on the first post, they’re all visible to us in our WordPress dashboard, so we were

Fab Freebie: West In Show


***Uh oh – looks like we like we hit capacity on this post with over 10,000 comments! But this giveaway is closed anyways, so I guess it’s okay.*** It’s no secret that we love West Elm (we own two daybeds and a desk among other things from their store). So let’s just say that we’ll be mighty jealous of the person who wins this week’s FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR gift card there (four year blogiversaries are for big prizes, after all). And not that you asked, but if you need any help picking out what to buy – might we suggest some of these lurvely items below (Sherry had trouble picking just six things, so we

Blogiversary IV: A Day In The Blogging Life


As we mentioned yesterday, it’s Blogiversary Week, baby (still can’t believe it’s been four whole years). And since we shared a day in the life during our last annual celebration (and about a year before that too) it’s time for this year’s breakdown (similarities: no day is ever the same, differences: now we have a toddler running around and a 260+ page book we’re writing on the side). This year we had fun recording a full day from both of our perspectives so you can see what each of us (and even Clara and Burger) may be doing at any given time. Woop, here it is: 7:30 am – 8:00 am JOHN: Clara’s awake early

Blogiversary IV: It’s On Like Donkey Kong


It’s kind of unbelievable to us that it was four whole years ago that we started this little ol’ blog (just for friends and family members to drop in on our first home’s kitchen makeover). In the words of Gwen Stefani, that shhhh is bananas. So much has happened since then. And since we’re nothing but creatures of habit, we’re psyched to celebrate a week of blogiversary madness and behind the scenes hullabaloo as usual. Starting right now. Well tomorrow (Monday) to be exact. So raise the roof, y’all. It’s about to get festive up in here. These are a few of the things that we have on the agenda for this week: a day

Tele-Photos (& Missoni Spoils)


We get asked pretty frequently about where we find inspiration. The short answer: everywhere. Other blogs, design mags, real life, family and friends, clothing, nature, even reality TV. Yup, I’ll admit it. Who takes pictures of the TV for inspiration slash fun? This girl (points to self with thumbs). And then they get uploaded with all of our other photos and John dumps them into an iPhoto folder that’s aptly named “TV pics.” And every once in a while I come across them and click through and say “oh yeah that was Law & Order, I loved that ceiling” or “that headboard makes me all clammy, in a good way” or “poor actors slash reality

Restocking Our Fridge On The Cheap


As many of you know, hurricane Irene was a total jerk to our neck of the woods. Not only did it knock trees into nearby homes, cars, poles, and roads, it also took the power out for a nice long time. Three days for us. But that was nothing compared to some other areas of our neighborhood (where it was out for over seven days), and other parts of Richmond (which didn’t get it back for close to two weeks). There was even a contest for the last person to get their power back on a local website. So yes, three power-less days were annoying, but it could have been waaay worse. The only thing

House Crashing: Downsized & Upgraded


I don’t usually write these House Crashing posts, but this home in particular is very special to me. Well, at least it will be over time – it’s my parents’ new house here in Richmond. Since we literally crashed their pad for a few days post-Hurricane Irene (when our house had no power) and have spent many an evening hanging out over there, we figured it was high time we snapped some pics to share with you guys. That’s Dad and Mom right after moving day back in May (they’ve since painted the lavender door bright red). I’ve mentioned before how they sold their house of 32 years in Northern Virginia (aka, my childhood home)

Upgrading An Old Chandelier With Paint & A New Shade


Alternate punny post title: The Updated Light Fixture Blues. That’s right, we’ve got the blues, but we’re far from sad about our “new” light fixture in the office. We just opted for indigo blue spray paint and added a giant drum shade to our old brass friend. Hence the blues joke. But you’ll get a closer look in a minute. Patience, grasshopper. As a refresher, here’s what was there before (remember to ignore the lack of height due to the too-small frames leaning against the wall instead of proper hanging art and those we-probably-won’t-keep-them lamps on either side of our new desk). Our office was originally our house’s formal dining room, hence the whole formal