Young House Love
Young House Love is my all time favorite blog. I read it every day. Sometimes I go to check for a new post on Saturday and curse the weekend, because it means no posts from my favorite Internet family. It's safe to say I'm addicted. I started reading Young House Love years and years ago, back when it was called This Young House (For obvious, if unnecessary and stupid, legal reasons they were forced to change the name). At this point I feel like I personally know John and Sherry Petersik, and their adorable daughter Clara and equally adorable dog Burger. I've been following them through their first home's makeover, their daughter's birth, and their move and subsequent renovations to their second home. When I was moving into my new apartment and figuring out how to decorate, I frequently found myself saying, "Well, the Petersiks did this..." and having my parents look at me like, "Who the eff are the Petersiks?"
John and Sherry blog about all their home improvement projects, from completely redoing their kitchen to hanging a gallery of pictures in their hallway. They're all about living well, but modestly, and are very honest about how much they spent on their projects and how they've cut costs when possible. I love how they show that you can have a beautiful home and still be on a budget. They frequently shop at the Habitat For Humanity ReStore (Great place: I got my Pottery Barn dining room chairs there for cheap cheap cheap) and various thrift shops. The Petersiks are money-conscious, but they're not cheap, and they don't sacrifice quality. They do as much as they can themselves, and DIY a lot of great projects. (They actually have a book coming out in November with tons of DIY home improvement ideas.)
I love Young House Love because I just plain love houses and home improvement projects, but also because it makes me kind of nostalgic and appreciate my parents a bit more. See, I grew up in a similar environment I imagine the Petersik daughter Clara will be raised in - constant home projects going on all around me. My parents were always making improvements and doing projects around the house. My dad, inspired by the landscaping at Disney World (really), completely redid our yards (in IL and Seattle) and made them look amazing. So amazing that he was recruited by our neighbors to help them make their yards just as fab. He also installed hardwood floor throughout our entire house by himself, and with my mom has remodeled our kitchen, bathrooms... pretty much every room. They also bought antique furniture and refinished it to furnish like, 80% of our home. When I was a kid it could get kind of annoying, Like, "Hello! I'm trying to watch cartoons and that loud table saw is making it kind of hard." But after reading about all the Petersik's adventures and realizing my parents did the same thing, I appreciate all the love and hard work they put into our homes, and that they taught me so much about how to tackle home improvement.
John and Sherry blog about both big projects (right now John is building a deck with the help of his dad) and the small (Sherry once made a pillowcase out of a napkin), and they walk the reader through every step so they can both marvel at the Petersik's hard work, but also use the blog as a reference for projects of their own. They'll also blog about their design mistakes, or how they changed their minds and decided to go in a different direction. They keep it real, which I appreciate.
Young House Love is a fantastic blog, and you should totally check it out. Go. NOW.
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