A Fresh Start

We’re spending today packing things up, and although we thought it would feel monotonous and tiring, it’s oddly exciting.

Basically I’m Kristen Wiig in this skit.

Even the act of wrapping a bunch of cups in newspaper feels like “IT’S HAAAAAAPPENING! We’re really DOING IT!”

Can you believe Clara looked like this last time we moved?

Three birthdays (and a significant amount of hair) later, my baby’s gone. Sniffle. But there’s a pretty cool kid (complete with an arm tat) in her place, so it’s a fair trade.

Life will change with this big move, and our blog and our process for the new house might feel different to you because we’re approaching it, well, differently. More than any other house that we’ve lived in, our new place feels like it could become a long-term home for us and we want to make sure that the decisions we’re making, the projects we’re doing, and the materials we’re choosing will fit the vision of a place where we could live for decades and raise a family.

That means we may take more time to mull over design decisions, research options, weigh different approaches, and save up for materials and projects. So the pace at which this home transforms may be slower than the pace that you’re used to from us (it’ll most likely resemble the pace of our first house as opposed to our second one). But we hope that it’ll add up to a home that we love like crazy full of lots of thoughtful upgrades and exciting projects over time. Some weeks we might be humming right along (like our mad dash to paint the blue trim and install the hardwoods) and other weeks we might not make much progress at all because we’re stuck or delayed or saving up… but hey, that’s real life.

We’d also love to tackle more projects for the people we love, like this bathroom reno that we did for John’s grandma last fall. Beyond how awesome it feels to do something sweet like that for someone else, we’ve learned that those “off-campus” projects stretch us in new ways. After all, it was getting out of our house to do that makeover that later inspired our own bathroom paint color.

So it should end up being a nice smorgasbord of home, family, and random stuff – which has always been our favorite mix.

Some of you might like this new-ish approach more, others might like it less, and some folks probably won’t even notice a difference, but this little refresh makes us giddy in the nerdiest of ways. It feels just like it did when we started this back in 2007… the air is so thick with possibility that it’s fogging up our safety goggles.

So thank you thank you thank you for stopping in to see what’s going on in our house/life/brain. There’s so much fun stuff ahead, and we love you guys so much it’s borderline uncool.

Ok, back to packing it up and packing it in…

And you can bet your sweet buns that I’m teaching Clara the words (well, the clean ones). Turns out this kid is a HUGE fan of jumping around…

See you guys on the flip side when we’re all moved in!*

*And by the flip side, I mean Monday. And by moved in, I mean our house will look like a pillow and ceramic animal bomb went off.


  1. Pam says

    I’m actually excited for the changes to the blog you describe. I loved watching you transform house #2 but the pace sometimes felt a little too frenetic for me, at times like you were doing projects just to get them up on the blog. I really missed the tone of the blog with house #1 – some house projects, some mood boards, some other people’s projects/house crashing, etc. I hope you’re heading back in that direction!

    Good luck with the move this weekend!!

    • says

      I went to comment to say just this. It’s definitely okay to slow down and be extra thoughtful – and I for one am excited about the change of pace! Congratulations, you guys!

    • says

      I agree! As someone who also recently moved into what I hope is my “forever home”, I am looking forward to seeing some thoughtful and classic choices for this next beautiful endeavor. Best of luck with your gorgeous house!

    • says

      I’m with you, Pam! (Not that I haven’t loved your second home transformation!) Hopefully, this will give you guys a chance to breathe and enjoy the process. You can be sure that we’re all along for the ride and can’t wait to see (in time) what decisions you make.

      Hooray for “real time” DIY!

    • Jen. says

      Agreed! It sounds like the pace of projects in the new house will be more … relatable. If that’s a word. I’ve liked reading about what you’ve done with your houses so far, and am super-excited to see what you do with your new one, at whatever pace it happens. And maybe a slower pace will make me feel better about the rate at which change happens around my house. :) :) :) It’s *definitely* because we’re trying to make the best decisions, right? Not because we’re slow. ;)

    • Jenny says

      Totally agree. It’s been nice/interesting to see some of the decisions and turn-arounds in this house, demonstrations that initial decisions aren’t ALWAYS the right ones, but a slightly slower, more reflective pace is more like what most of us aspire to. Totally agree on “relatable.”

      Seems like recently there have been a lot of posts like “well we decided to do x so we did some research and decided y and bought the materials and it’s done now.” I’d welcome a step back toward “We’re thinking about doing x, looks like some options are y and z. Here’s where we’re leaning – what have y’all done?” Then the comments are full of interesting pros and cons. Then you figure out what you want to do, you (always tactfully) explain why that was the best choice for you, and get your DIY on. Seems like there used to be more of that.

      Anyway, what I really wanted to say was good luck with the move!

      And wow, “see you on the flip side” makes me love that it’s you guys doing all the ‘doing’ on this blog and not me, all the more…because really, a relatable move without the tape and boxes is awesome! I’ll try and have a cold bev on your behalf round about Sunday, though, cause you’ll be needing it. Good luck!! And congratulations!!!

    • Amy says

      Agreed. I also hope house #3 reflects more of an adult decor and is decorated like a forever house (more quality furniture, classic choices…). House #2 felt like that stage post-college when you’re an adult but you still have neon colors and ikea furniture. I mean this in the nicest way possible, while I liked watching house #2, it didn’t feel like a home for 30 year olds.

    • Mary P says

      I totally disagree with Amy! If you pick up design magazines or visit the homes of very stylish (and I’m talking people who have worked as decorators), people in their early-30s, the color choices are very similar to the Petersiks’ They’re just on the leading edge of the trend, Amy. Rock on Petersiks!

    • Ashlee says

      I am a long time reader & big fan, but I’m team Amy on this one. For some reason, house #2 felt like that awkward stage in middle school where you change your look & it feels so right at the time…but later when you look at pictures, you are all like, what was I thinking? Looking forward to the style evolution! Good luck with the move.

    • Jen says

      I also disagree with Amy. I’m so sick of this notion that if you happen to have furniture from Ikea, you don’t have “grown up” decor. Yes, Ikea’s cheaper options make it popular for college-age or just starting out folks here. But Ikea offers a range of products, and you can in fact find good quality furniture there at affordable prices. In many places in Europe, Ikea is considered “real” furniture, and me and all of my similarly aged (late 30s to early 40s) professional friends have some Ikea in our homes. I hardly think we’re less adult for that.

      And neon/bright colors have been very trendy in the design world, meaning adults with money to spend on decor are using it in their real, grown up homes. To me, it’s a very old fashioned notion that there is some magic point in life where suddenly you have to have a “classic” house full of traditional furniture and colors. Mix it up, have fun, and do what’s right for you.

    • Pam the Goatherd says

      I’m in my mid-50s and I think the “adult look” as Amy describes it sounds totally boring! Grown-ups can like color and faddish/stylish things, too. Why would anyone want to live in a boring home full of stuffy “forever” furniture and dull paint colors? There are some rooms in my home that I want to decorate in classics that will stay the same for the rest of my life, but there are also rooms that I like to decorate in funky, fun ways that I can change as whimsy strikes me. Being a grown-up doesn’t mean your decorating style has to be boring!

    • Chaucea says

      Definitely agree with Amy on this.

      And its going to be really neat to see a more “forever” home dynamic with this new place! :-)

    • says

      I’m somewhere in the middle of this debate. I got hooked on your blog right before you moved to house #2 because I adored your first house’s white-on-white-with-a-bit-of-soft-teal vibe. It always kind of pains me a bit when you say that your first house’s color choices were just “playing it safe,” because it served as an inspiration for me as I moved into my first house (which is very white-on-white-with-a-bit-of-teal). This wasn’t playing it safe for me (in fact, I felt like everyone thought I was crazy asking for white walls instead of builder beige). I love this blog (wayyy too much) which has kept me reading (every. single. day.), but house #2’s bold and bright color palette has been such a departure from the reason I first fell in love with the blog! But, all that to say, I just hope your style will continue to evolve and the choices you make will not be because you are trying to be “ahead of the trends” or “cutting edge.” I hope they will always just be reflective of who you are and what you love. That’s what your home should be, and I can’t wait to see what happens next :)

    • Jennie says

      I don’t think your color choices have to reflect whether you are decorating like “adults” or not. There are plenty of us classy, full-fledged adults who still love color and pattern. I find it interesting that some people equate bold style and color with the immediate post-college years and / or middle school mentality. We have embraced color and pattern in our own home from the moment we bought it years ago, so this idea is new to me. But, to each his own, for sure.

      I personally always thought house #2 looked like a fun, vibrant home for a cute couple and their little girl. You have a young family, why shouldn’t your house feel young and fun too? I loved your first house, I loved your second house, I can’t wait to see what you do with the third one! (I know I am going to love it!)

      Best of luck, J&S (and C & B!)

    • says

      I was trying to think of a way to delicately say this, only to see it’s already been said.

      I’m excited to see things slow down. Hopefully you’ll include more detailed posts of your thought process when selecting materials. I miss that from the first house (I’m remembering Clara’s crib, your mattress, etc.) I know in House #2 you’d show some other options, but it felt more like “we saw this, this, this, and picked this” without real commentary on why one choice worked better over the others.

      Also, and I say this in the LEAST judgmental mean way possible, House 2 feels very “on trend”. I love me some color and IKEA, so I’m not judging that, I just feel like a lot of the choices would feel outdated quickly. I’m excited to see some long-lasting, forever home type choices.

      Soooo what I’m saying is… excited!

    • says

      This is really a fantastic debate and it is fun to read about color choices in this way. I am from the Caribbean, and the majority of houses – inside and out – that I have been in use MUCH MUCH bolder, brighter colors on walls, particularly than you guys tend to have in the US. Color is neither old nor young. I believe it is just as thoughtful to arrive at a grellow, or teal, as it _might_ be to arrive at a white/beige brown combo for a house. And indeed, no less adult.

      It’s a privilege to watch you guys work on your life in such a public way, whatever your color or design preferences.

    • says

      Wow, what an interesting discussion this has sparked! Personally, I love reading/seeing the Petersiks’ taste, even when it’s not my own. Most of the time I’m really inspired by their selection of colors/fabrics/textures – very clean, modern, and fun! None of it has ever seemed like something that would go “out of style” very quickly, and even if something did, that would offer the opportunity to change it up again if their tastes changed along with modern style. Anyway, I’m just excited to see what comes next and to share in the journey!

    • Jen F says

      I’m with Pam – I love that you will be slowing down and making thoughtful decisions. I can’t believe the pace you guys have sometimes. It will be nice to see you enjoy the ride a bit more maybe. XO.

  2. Debbie says

    Good Luck with the move. Slow down and enjoy every minute of making this house your “forever” home.

  3. Amy says

    WooHoo!! So excited for you guys! Looking forward to your new approach. My husband and greyhound and I are moving into our new house in a month, and we’re scouring your site for DIY inspiration! Thank you for all you do!

  4. Jill says

    I’m so excited for you! And is that… a tree? In the deck? Awesome! Hope the move goes smoothly. Good luck :)

    • says

      Haha yes! I love that thing but the inspector said it has to go so the roots don’t damage our house’s foundation (it’s only about 4 feet away and it’s HUGE). Boo! I think we’ll get a nice big umbrella and maybe even build a pergola over the deck for shade down the line though. And I LOVE that we have this picture of Clara sitting under the tree.


    • Lindsay says

      I was gonna comment on that too. It looks huge! At least the bottom part is nicely trimmed.

    • says

      ….but but but it’s so pretty! Maybe a semi-dwarf or dwarf variety of a nice tree could go in it’s place! I agree there’s something so sweet that they built around the tree.

      Also, I’m looking forward to the newer/fresher blog style. I know this is your income, so blogging a lot is necessary, but maybe this is also a good time to cut back on one of the blogging days so you can focus more on family and get in line with some of the goals for balance you guys wanted!

    • Jessica says

      Depending on how they have to cut it down, you might be able to salvage a big chunk of it and use the wood to build something with it so it’s like the tree is always a part of your home. You could saw it into planks for a nice, rustic outdoor table. Cut the trunk into cross-sections a few inches thick and use them to create a walking path. There’s so much you could do with it. Plus, you’d save money having it hauled away and on materials. Just an idea; ignore it if you want. :)

    • says

      Oh yes, I saw a tree-stump-turned-table on Pinterest but we’re not sure if the placement is too close to the house and might look cramped! We’ll have to see where we end up! I definitely LOVE using some part of it forever so it lives on in the backyard!


    • Claire says

      Not sure if anyone has suggested this already but when you chop that tree down you could have the trunk made into planks to use in projects in the house! My friends used wood from their tree-heavy back yard to make beams for their lofted ceiling in the master suite. Then it truly gets to live on at the house!

    • Emily says

      I love that tree! The house I lived in until I was 11 had a huge tree growing straight through one of the decks. I’m pretty sure the inspector would have had the same things to say about our tree as he did about this one. Disappointing! But I love the idea of an upcycled tree project – I’m all for eco-friendly building materials. :)

    • Momlady says

      Thank you Diane!
      I’ve been wondering about him too. Hope the new direction includes more pics and posts involving The Adventures Young Master Burger.

    • Nicole says

      Oh, I’ve been wondering too! I can’t wait to see a video of Burger enjoying his new digs lol. What does he think of stairs??

      Good luck moving Petersik clan :). Like most people I’m really looking forward to the changes you describe in the pace of your projects. Wishing you all the happiness that comes with knowing you’re in the ‘right’ place.

    • says

      He seems to like sniffing them which scares me a little since there’s some old carpet on there with a few questionable marks… haha! Just this morning John and I were talking about how we’re going to have to get used to waking up and walking downstairs to let him out though (instead of taking a few steps to let him outside now). Should be interesting to see how different things feel!


  5. Melissa says

    I think my favorite part of your new house is that tree right in the middle of your deck! Take your time with getting the house ready and in order…just think how old that tree is…good things take time!

  6. Amanda says

    I don’t normally comment, but I wanted to on this. I’m really excited for this next chapter. I think you’ve done a killer job at renovating two “starter” homes, so now I can’t wait to see you guys tackle more lasting, ‘forever home’ projects. The new floors already look awesome! Also, John’s grandma’s bathroom is my favorite bathroom reno you’ve done so PLEASE do more of those, I love seeing your weekend makeovers for others!

    • Sarah says

      Ditto Amanda – so exciting for you guys and can’t wait to see “forever home” projects and little renos for other folks too. Best of luck with the huge task of moving!

    • Amanda says

      Also, not to be weird and reply to myself…. But I loved your post on how you’re glad you waited and bought another starter home even though you could have afforded more, and potentially not been able to afford this home.

      It’s making me feel okay about not stretching the budget when we buy our first house next year after graduating nursing school.

  7. Gray says

    Good luck this weekend! Hope all goes well and the transportation of all your goods is MUCH smoother than John’s transportation of all the wood flooring! Excited to watch from the sidelines (read: this blog) as your family turns another house into a lovely, comfy, envy-inducing, home! :)

  8. says

    Best of luck with the move! I’m excited to see what you have in store in the new house, and I for one will be thankful for a slower pace-it’s how we roll too, and it’s refreshing to see slow and steady changes instead of those 30 minute makeovers on HGTV.

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