Young House Love bloggers their DIY hobby into a full-time job
To the decorating-obsessed among us, John and Sherry Petersik have a gig we dream about: They fix up their home, blog about it and get paid.
In the past weeks, they furnished and accessorized an empty guest room and adjoining bathroom, painted wooden ceiling beams in their living room, scored a pair of $35 vintage chairs for their home office, fashioned a bedside table using a thrift store luggage rack, replaced a ceiling fan in their master bedroom with a paper pendant lamp and de-cluttered their carport.
As the writers of Young House Love, an addictive home-improvement blog (www.younghouselove.com), the Petersiks chronicle the do-it-yourself decorating "adventures (and misadventures)" in their Richmond home. They're not trained carpenters or interior designers. It's the story they tell about their renovations that has made them successful.
Advertising on the 31/2-year-old blog, and other editorial work, now generates enough income to support the entire Petersik family, which includes 10-month-old Clara and a feisty Chihuahua named Burger.
Since the start of Young House Love, John, 29, and Sherry, 28, have renovated their first home inside and out. Now they're on to house No. 2 and are starting again, blogging about every wall they paint, nail they hammer and deal they find.
"We're keeping a diary and sharing our life," says Sherry. "It's rewarding to get support for that. And it's rewarding to know our little old diary is encouraging others to make their homes something they're proud of, too."
Their "little old diary" gets more than 3.5 million page views per month. Each post routinely garners about 250 reader comments (the highest, in response to a Z Gallerie gift card giveaway, was 11,691). At a recent count, the blog had more than 20,000 followers on Facebook and nearly 10,000 on Twitter.
The blog's popularity has led the Petersiks to a book deal. They recently signed with Artisan/Workman to write a home-related book that is supposed to hit shelves in 2012.
Like many homeowners, the Petersiks are learning as they go. So what makes the masses clamor for their input and advice?
"First of all, they're adorable," says talk show host and designer Nate Berkus. In the fall, the Petersiks appeared on "The Nate Berkus Show" as DIY experts and judges for a design challenge.
"Their delivery is particularly charming and endearing, and their information is delivered in a smart way," Berkus says. " . . . I think Young House Love could easily transition into a TV program."