In the end, all the social media love wasn’t enough to sustain the renovation diary of Sherry and John Petersik, their wildly popular home improvement blog Young House Love.


John, right, and Sherry Petersik at work in 2011. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

The Richmond couple, now in their 30s, wrote earnestly about every about paint color choice, DIY bathroom project and budget pillow selection. They redid three pretty ordinary Richmond houses while raising two kids. But they had enough of trying to come up with fresh topics to chronicle in their personal diary, and they were getting tired of the critical comments that are part of the blogosphere. The Petersiks announced in a blog post this month titled “Feeeeeelings” that they were taking a break for at least a month and would be exploring other employment options.

From the Young House Love blog Sept. 9:

“The truth is that we love you guys. Like for real. Even for the tough love. We know you say it because you care (or hopefully you did at some point), and we want you to know we care right back. We want to do a good job. We want to do this with joy and excitement. We want to inspire you. We know this is an incredible way to have made a living and we are full of gratitude for the experience to have shared the last seven years of our lives with you guys online.”

They express regret over a bit of “oversharing.” But after drawing millions of page views, more than 144,000 Facebook likes, about 87,000 Instagram followers, more than 29,000 Twitter followers and more than 1.1 million followers on Pinterest, the Petersiks have clammed up.

The faithful readers have lived for their adventures and commiserated about their mistakes. They flocked to Target to scoop up the Young House Love hardware line that includes wall hooks shaped like chihuahuas and bees.


The living room in a previous home of John and Sherry Petersik. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

A view of the guest room in a previous home of John and Sherry Petersik. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

John and Sherry Petersik’s bedroom from one of their previous homes. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

A chorus of sadness erupted in the blog comments section. “Keep hope alive” seems to be the message, and “sorry we hurt your feelings.” As one of the 4,500 commenters on their final blog post wrote:

“I think all YHL fans should continue to come to their website on a regular basis just to look back on old posts and support them by keeping up website traffic while they are re-energizing.”

Since they signed off, there have been no more updates, no more pins, no more tweets.

They seemed to have slipped out of touch.The e-mail address provided on their Web site gets you an immediate blanket reply (labeled “canned.response” ) that provides links to old posts.

Sherry Petersik did e-mail me back yesterday: “So sorry, we aren’t commenting to the media right now. We hope you can respect that decision and wish you all the best.”

I contacted Artisan Books, the publisher of their 2012 book “Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love” to see whether someone might help me talk to the Petersiks.

The answer was no. But this isn’t the end. According to Allison McGeehon, an Artisan publicist, Artisan will publish a second book by the Petersiks in fall 2015.

Related stories:

Design books of 2012

Young House Love bloggers their DIY hobby into a full-time job

Younghouselove.com’s old furniture makeovers

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