How Home Improvement Bloggers Live

When you run a blog with 100,000 visitors a day, you get a lot of (virtual) traffic in your home. Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love share their greatest hits with HGTV Magazine .
By: Jessica Dodell-Feder

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

The Homeowners

Through their popular home blog, Young House Love, Sherry and John Petersik have opened their "virtual" doors to millions of people eager to peek at their doable DIY projects and makeovers inside the Richmond, Va., home they share with three-year-old daughter Clara. "Now we spend a combined 14 hours a day writing posts, photographing projects, making over furniture and shopping for supplies," says John, who used to work as an advertising executive. Next up: a new, bigger home, which means more DIY!


Sherry and John share a home office, so they wanted to create a spacious spot where they'd be happy to sit for hours. Sherry stenciled the wall with a leafy pattern that looks like wallpaper. The 13-foot-long desk was another DIY project: It's made from four cabinets (only $6 total from a Habitat for Humanity ReStore) that are topped with stained lumber from The Home Depot. Nearly 300 people commented on the thrift store chairs, which Sherry spray-painted Ivy Leaf by Krylon.


The front door opens directly into the dining room, so the couple added a console they got on Craigslist for $155 to provide more of an entryway feel. Sherry, a former advertising copywriter, touched it up using a matching sample pot of green Cricket by Behr. She also painted "All You Need Is Love" on yard sale art. The post got more than 300 comments, and many readers copied the look.

Dining Room

After four attempts to redo the dining chairs — she didn't like any of the results — Sherry turned to these woven outdoor seats from Target ($62 each), which she made more indoors-y with pillows. The 70-inch round Indian rosewood table was a floor sample from a local furniture store, reduced from $1,800 to $800. Sherry made the curtains with fabric from Robert Allen.


The Petersiks painted the back of the built-in bookcases Dragonfly by Benjamin Moore. It's one of the blog's most popular projects. "It took us a long time to decide on a color, but less than a day to paint," says Sherry. "No one could believe it took just a quart."

Dining Room Lighting

The $89 chandelier — from the Petersiks' line with Shades of Light — is one of the most commented-on items in the dining room.

Living Room

"At least once a week, someone asks us where the rug is from," says Sherry, who got the 10-foot-by-14-foot floor covering for $599 from flash-sale site Joss & Main. The big U-shaped sectional is from the Karlstad sofa series at IKEA, with dark-gray cotton slipcovers. The Petersiks say their best score was the $380 tufted leather ottoman, also from Joss & Main — it has a top that lifts up to store Clara's toys. The yellow and white pendant shade is also from their Shades of Light collection.

Wall Art

About 400 people wrote in about this gallery wall, which Sherry made by hanging Instagram photos in frames with fabric matting.


"This is one of the only rooms that got a serious redo, not just little tweaks," says Sherry. She and John spent four months overhauling the space. They knocked down part of a wall, built shelves with lumber and brackets from The Home Depot, put in new cork floors and painted the cabinets. They also built the peninsula, which they topped with a Corian countertop, and added two industrial-style pendants, about $60 each from a local lighting outlet. The slatted stools were just $150 on Craigslist.


Some readers had never seen penny tile before the Petersiks' posts. Their installation how-to video got almost 25,000 views. "We can't believe how nuts people went over the kitchen redo," says Sherry. "We wrote close to 100 posts about it, and each one got an average of 500 comments."


Readers prompted the couple to change the color of this once-red brick wall, so they painted it the same shade as their bedroom. The round rattan chair was a $30 thrift store find that Sherry spray-painted white. The West Elm daybed is covered with a gray fitted sheet and topped with pillows; Sherry's favorite source is HomeGoods. A few framed pictures hang above it, including a portrait of the Petersiks' Chihuahua, Burger, which was painted by a reader.


Clara picked the playroom decor. "I expected her to go for glitter butterflies, but all she requested was red and pink," says Sherry. A dotted rug and ikat bedspread, both from Joss & Main, fit the bill. The chairs are from a thrift store, and John cut down the base of a Target side table to make it just the right height for Clara to sit and play. Hanging in the corner, a white birdcage sat lonely for years before Sherry found two companions, at Hobby Lobby and a thrift shop.

Master Bedroom

The starting point for Sherry and John's bedroom was the headboard, which Sherry upholstered with a botanical-print curtain. For a custom look, John sawed the posts off the IKEA Edland bed frame. His online how-to video has 7,100 views. They made the X-stools by upholstering the tops of old side tables from Target. The 9-foot-by-12-foot rug was marked down from $1,287 to $250 because it had a hole in it. Sherry easily fixed it with rug tape.

Bedroom Lighting

The white orb above the bed is an attention-grabber, too. "Tons of readers have told us they bought this light after seeing it on the blog," says Sherry of the IKEA PS Maskros pendant. To see more of Sherry and John's projects, check out their book, Young House Love ($26, To watch how-to videos from the projects featured here, go to

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