Q&A with Young House Love bloggers John and Sherry Petersik

March 16, 2011

Here is more advice on DIY home projects and blogging from Young House Love writers John and Sherry Petersik, based on phone interviews with each of them.

Favorite places to shop

S and J: Thrift stores, Craigslist, Target, Ikea, Z Gallerie and Pottery Barn.

Favorite chain store

S and J: A tie between Target and Ikea. Target has great accessories that are always changing. Ikea has great larger pieces; we bought our bed and sectional there.

Go-to item

S: West Elm Parsons desk. It goes anywhere and just works.

Best design tip

S: Play around with things and stop being frozen with indecision.

Recent splurge

S: Our Ikea sectional ($1,200). I don’t think we own many items over $1,000.

J: Our dining table ($800).

Recent inexpensive purchase

S: Vintage-looking drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby for $1.50 each that look just like some from Anthropologie.

J: The teal blue paint we used in the guest bedroom (Martha Stewart’s Plumage, color matched in Olympic Premium’s No-VOC paint). It was $22 for the gallon.

Favorite DIY project

S: The built-in wardrobes in the master bedroom in our old house.

J: The full bathroom in our old house. With the exception of a few minor things, it was all me. I did so many things in that project that I had never done before. I was immensely proud.

Least favorite DIY project

S: Pulling down a scalloped trim on our old porch. It was a nightmare. There was metal flashing and lots of falling over into the bushes involved. The irony is that the new house has same thing.

J: [Demolishing] the bathroom.

Most expensive house project

S and J: The kitchen renovation in our old house. But we got it done for $17,000 by doing a lot of it ourselves.

Easiest upgrade besides paint

S: Curtains. They can almost make as much of a difference as paint.

J: Lighting.

Favorite blogs

S: www.bowerpowerblog.com

www.brooklynlimestone.com

www.makingitlovely.com

J: howaboutorange.blogspot.com

www.unplggd.com

lovelylisting.

icanhascheezburger.com

Best advice for novice bloggers

S: Do something that feels authentic, and don’t mimic other bloggers.

J: Be yourself and make sure you enjoy it before deciding to make it your profession.

Best blogger moment

S: When people think we’re funny. It makes us feel like they like us as people rather than just a source to find something they’re looking for.

J: When readers take inspiration from something we’ve done, take pictures and send them to us.

If you weren’t a blogger, what would you be?

S: A writer. That’s my background.

J: Something in advertising. But if I was adventurous, I would try something completely different, like teach high school.

Chat Thursday at 11 a.m.

4John and Sherry Petersik join staff writers Jura Koncius and Terri Sapienza for our weekly online Q&A about decorating and household advice. Submit questions at washingtonpost.com/home.

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