Reader Redesign: Counters Of Steel


Today we’re working away on demo-ing out the old balcony where the new deck is going to go (since Mother Nature rained us out yesterday) so we hope to have more photos to share of our progress soon (Monday at the latest if all goes well!).   In the meantime, we thought this awesome budget-friendly kitchen idea was such a smart solution. We never really considered stainless steel counters, but after seeing Linn and her husband make it look so easy (and affordable) we’re definitely into it. Here’s Linn’s note: I wanted to share a DIY tip for countertops which isn’t really that common, but it’s a great idea if you’re on a budget and

Stool Musings…


Me + a picture of our kitchen + photoshop = this post. Back in December when we bought our kitchen stools (from a school supply store for $32 a pop) we mentioned we were entertaining a number of ways to tweak them down the line (painting them, upholstering/staining the seat, etc) but just couldn’t shake the feeling that we should live with them a while first – just to make sure we weren’t doing anything rash in the middle of a kitchen remodel. We basically wanted the room to come together, live with them a little, and then make the call. It was actually really nice how they tied into the stainless appliances, felt kind

How To Build A Deck: Getting A Permit


Permission accomplished! Wait, before we get to the deck/permit stuff that this post is really about, we wanted to mention that we keep hearing from folks who had no idea that we have a family/personal/behind the scenes blog called Young House Life (which we started nearly a year ago – my how time flies). So if you’re looking for photos of our messy house, pictures of us being weird, life-stuff beyond the home improvement happenings at our house, and Burger/Clara galore, that’s the place. We usually post 3-4 times a week (very randomly) and you can get there by clicking the word “Life” under our header or by clicking the button that says “Our Family

Hanging A Clipboard In A Cabinet To Organize Takeout Menus


Duuude, let’s go boarding. Clipboarding, that is. I’m not coordinated enough to tackle a surfboard, skateboard, or a snowboard, but this I can handle. And it can definitely be considered a Dude, Get On That Already project, because this old clipboard hails from the playroom, where I plopped it down among the ceramic animal chaos and said to myself: “I’ll do something cute with this later.” But soon I forgot all about it and fall turned into winter and now it’s late spring and completely time to get on it. It was a favor from a bridal shower I attended last fall (it was what we all used to play bride-quiz-games, and since the host

And Now For A Kitchen Rug Fashion Show


Ah, the rugs in our kitchen. They were $34 from The Company Store ages ago (maybe 2008?). They originally lived in our first house’s kitchen and third bedroom, and they’re awesomely durable and neutral – but they don’t really do anything for the new kitchen (in person they’re a little too small and sort of clash with the avocado walls since they’re so honey-oak-colored). So “find a new kitchen rug (or rugs)” has been on our lingering kitchen to-do list for the last couple of months. We decided to tackle this rug situation – well, more like it decided to tackle us – on a recent stop at HomeGoods. Sherry found a pile of awesome

Fab Freebie: One, Two, Three, Flor


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** sifted through the 9000+ entries and came up with our winner. She is… Jenn (whose favorite number is 13 because of The Offspring song “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” and the lyric “He went for a tattoo yeah, he’s getting it done. He asked for a 13 but they drew a 31″). Congrats Jenn – looks like 13 ended up being pretty lucky for you this week! Happy Memorial Day! We’re spending the holiday with our family, but wanted to drop in with today’s giveaway. And let’s keep the counting that we did in the title going all the way to

Hosta La Vista (A Little Front Yard Landscaping)


Okay, y’all ready for another what-we’ve-been-doing-outside post? This particular rundown, as you may have guessed from my title (why yes I can pun in Spanish), is about some hosta business that we pulled off, thanks to a bunch of extra hostas growing randomly in our backyard (this backyard garden bed is a hot mess but we’ll get to it someday!). Since they weren’t doing much for us back there, we dug ’em up – about five in total – and decided to put them to better use. For starters, they certainly could help our bedraggled mailbox (which became quite weedy this spring). The mums that were there turned into dead sticks in the winter and,

Reader Redesign: Blank Wall to Big Welcome


We never get tired of seeing a solution like the one that Sada and her husband Reagan sent our way. They took an otherwise useless wall in their entryway and turned it into both a functional space for coats and a pretty spot for displaying art and personal mementos (we think they did an especially awesome job picking meaningful, happy art and arranging it in a really charming way). Here’s their letter: My hubby and I recently redid our entryway! With the way that our house is laid out, I knew we were never going to be able to have a beautiful “mudroom”, however, we have this huge blank wall right by our front door.

Switching Out Bedroom Rugs & Accessories


We did a little more bedroom noodling. Noodling, not canoodling. *Blush* Anyway, we last left off after moving our Alaskan prints together over the bed and surprising ourselves by getting a new rug: And there were a few commonly asked bedroom questions in the 800+ comments on Monday’s post, which were: have you considered getting larger bedside tables? can the bed go on another wall? will you repaint? maybe in a darker color? what are your plans for the nook to the left of the bed? what about changing out the pillows/painting the bed & tables/getting a longer bench/switching the lamps, etc? The short answers to those are: yes but it’s complicated, no, we’re open

Sourcing And Buying Materials To Build A Deck


Our deck project kind of got back-burnered amidst all of the party/dollhouse/bedroom stuff, but we have made one decision in that time: much like both of our parents chose for our houses growing up, we’re going the pressure-treated wood route. But making that call was no easy decision. We actually weighed a bunch of options, got a few quotes from a few different sources, and endured the all important “sleep on it” step. Then we second-guessed ourselves a few times because the right choice isn’t very obvious. Haha. There are so many ways to go, so it really is one of those it’s-different-for-everyone things. In the end it just came down to personal factors about

Window Shopping: Some Overdue Target Practice


“Would love to see another post about your favourite finds at Target. They’re coming to Canada and I’m so giddy I could piddle! Love your blog!” – Jaye It’s been way too long since our last window shopping adventure (10 months?!?!), so to everyone who has been requesting them (especially if you used the word piddle), we’re psyched to share the goods. For those who remember these things, we just stroll around a store (we’ve done big chains, small local shops, and even random little stores that we find while road tripping) and take photos of all of the things we love. Not for compensation or anything – these sprees are just for fun. So

Planting Boxwoods, Petunias, and Hydrangeas


It feels like forever since we posted about any gardening we’ve done (over a month, actually), but that doesn’t mean nothing’s happened. We’re just a little behind on writing about it (I like to think that we were waiting for things to fill in a bit so we could snap some pics for ya). So let’s play catch up. Remember when we transplanted some bushes to perk up the area behind our patio? Well, that was all fine and good for that side of the patio. But it left this big empty, ugly spot in its wake. So a couple of weeks ago we got our hydrangea on again (thanks to a pair we picked

Fab Freebie: Wrapped In Comfort


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** Someone’s about to get more comfortable because just helped us pick them as the winner. That lucky person is… Kristen B (who says a walk on the beach seems to help everything for her). Congrats Kristen! I realize the title of the giveaway sounds like a cheesy line from a fabric softener commercial, but this prize isn’t about wrapping you in comfort – it’s about wrapping your furniture. Your Ikea furniture to be exact. See, the Australian company Comfort Works had the smart idea of offering slipcovers custom fitted some of Ikea’s popular couch and chair styles. You can get your Ektorp

Scoring A New Wool Rug For A Cheap Cheap Price


As we mentioned here, the bedroom is “still looking rough and we’re not sure about a lot of things – just waiting for inspiration to strike – which might involve repainting and rearranging furniture along with refinishing the floors”). We even elaborated a bit in the comments when folks started asking what we meant by that or if we hated the current color by saying: “We love the paint color but something is off about the bedroom and we’re not sure we can rule anything out – including the paint color. Everything is a suspect until proven innocent. Haha. Something is limiting us, so we’re not opposed to changing that thing once we pin it

Spacing Out And Hanging Two Pictures Over The Bed


Come togetheeeeeerrrrrr. Riiiiiiiiiight nah-aa-oww…. ovah me. Well, over us. Shall I explain why these Beatles lyrics are so apropos? I think I shall. But first I shall stop saying shall. Do you remember these puppies that we picked up at a yard sale last year for $10 a pop? They’re old professionally framed prints of the berries and wildflowers of Alaska, which we thought were sweet since we honeymooned there. So we spray-painted the frames (and mats!) and hung them on either side of our bed. If that doesn’t jog your memory, perhaps this old pic from that post shall will. Well, recently they’ve – say it with me now – come together. Here’s how

Pink, Orange, And Thanks!


**Psst- We know most Fridays we just post once, but every month on sponsor shout out days we double up. So we’ll be back in a few hours with a bedroom-related update. It’s time for our monthly showing of thanks to our sponsors (the folks who help make the other 30+ posts happen). This time we took Clara’s recent par-tay as an excuse to celebrate all of the worm-like objects they’re serving up. Just kidding, we went with our favorite pink and orange items since those were Clara’s colors (none of which have been gifted to us – here’s our no-swag policy). And as always, if you’re looking to save some loot, don’t miss the

Reader Redesign: Looks Like Tween Spirit


Clara may be another year older, but she’s still a long ways off from her tweenage years. Which is why it was fun to live vicariously through Courtney’s makeover of her 11-year-old niece Emily’s room. Having virtually crashed Courtney’s own home last May, we knew there’d be some great eye candy, and we often hear from folks who’d love to see a tween room or two, so here ya go. Hi guys! I hope all is well in the Petersik house. I wanted to show you my 11 year old niece’s room that we helped her makeover. She would be so excited for her room to be featured! This was an accumulation of four very

How To Build A Dollhouse (Part 2: Decorating It)


Hold onto your miniature hats, it’s time for the fun part! When we last left off, John had completed his idea of the fun part… the building process: Which meant it was time to schlep his 31″ x 31″ creation up into the sunroom for some priming and painting. Just like our office cabinets, kitchen cabinets, and the play kitchen we made for Clara, I used a coat of Zinsser Smart Prime (it’s no-VOC but amazingly good for blocking bleed through when you’re painting raw or stained wood) followed by two coats of Bejamin Moore’s low-VOC Advance paint (really durable and awesomely self-leveling). I went with Decorators White since we had it leftover from painting

How To Build A Dollhouse (Part 1: Assembling It)


Update: Check out Part 2 of this project right here. When Sherry and I started talking about building a dollhouse for Clara, I was afraid. I know, I know – scared of a dollhouse? Get your laughs out. But that ominous word conjured up these elaborate images of perfectly crafted, to-scale replicas of Victorian mansions that seemed waaaaay beyond my skill / patience level. But once Sherry showed me some of her inspiration pictures on Pinterest (from Mousehouse, Natty Michelle and Under The Sycamore) my cold sweats dried up and I actually got a little excited. Yes, excited about a dollhouse. Now get those laughs out. More accurately, those cold sweats turned into regular sweats

How To Cut Your Man’s Hair (Tips & Video)


Let’s talk about DIY haircuts, shall we? This is one of those posts I never thought I’d write (it’s definitely not very home related) but due to a surprising amount of requests, here it is. I guess anything that has to do with saving money and doing something yourself is fair game, right? I have no idea how I got into cutting people’s hair, but throughout high school and college I just played around, cutting off a guy’s mullet here and giving my BFF a super short pixie cut there (all at my “client’s” requests, of course). Why did they trust me? I have no idea. Maybe I just have a trustworthy face? I most

Replacing An Old Bathroom Light


We don’t talk much about our hall bathroom. In fact, in 17 months of living here, it’s been the subject of just two posts (knocking down a towel bar and fixing the toilet). And since we later used almost the same color as the inspiration room in our guest bedroom, we’re no longer planning to use that color in here, so we’re kind of back to square one. But we finally made a little lighting progress, as today’s title suggests. There was nothing especially offensive about the existing fixture – nor anything especially exciting about it. It felt sort of builder basic to us. And kind of “backstage make-up room” to us thanks to the

Fab Freebie: Here’s Looking At Two, Babe


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** did his duty once again and picked our winner of this pair of prizes as… Sarah (whose recently two-year-old daughter insists on telling everyone she is “mean”, and her response to everything is “You’re womp womp (you’re welcome).”) Congrats! Since Clara is officially two years old today, we’re celebrating with a kid-themed giveaway featuring two $200 prizes. Are you sensing a two theme yet? The first comes from Sarah + Abraham who offer a slew of customized treats, including party supplies (banners, invitations, cupcake toppers), housewares (personalized plates, pillows, place mats) and more (stationery, water bottles, magnets, etc). They have fun modern

Clara’s Worm Themed Second Birthday Party


Aw, yeah. Clara’s second b-day party was full of food, family, friends, fun… and worms (she picked the theme based on her deep love of looking at, drawing, and even dreaming about worms). So… worm to your motha! We were so thankful to be surrounded by the people we love, the bean had the best time, and the 75 degree weather and sunny skies were the icing on the worm cake. Or should I say worm cupcakes. Let’s get this party (breakdown) started… But let’s start at the beginning. Clara was born two years ago today. Wait, that’s too far back. Let’s just cover the party. Here’s the sunroom all decked out for the big

DIYing vs. Living In Your Home & Enjoying It


Q: Since you decorate/upgrade/reno your house for a living, do you ever feel like you are always working on your house but not ever getting to just live in it and enjoy it? Like when you spend all day cooking in the kitchen by dinnertime you aren’t hungry and don’t even want to eat half the time. If something (like your house) is never quite done and there’s a to do list longer than the purchase contract, is it hard to just peacefully sit without always thinking about the next project and thereby giving yourself low level anxiety? Or….am I the anxious one which is why this even occurred to me? – Rach A: Haha,