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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Book Review: Young House Love

Time to share my first "book review" from My Reading List today! Aren't you excited?? (Sidenote: My books arrived from Amazon so I have some more reading material - woot!) While we were on our way to Trent's family's near Columbus, Ohio for the weekend (about an 8 hour drive from our house in Western Illinois), I had time to read John and Sherry Petersik's awesome book titled, "Young House Love - 243 ways to paint, craft, update, and show your home some love." See more about their book here.
Since they are my favorite bloggers of all time (I even got to meet them on their book tour), I of course loved the book. There are 243 different ideas for home-related DIY projects to take on, and it's written in the same style as their blog, enthusiastic and sweet just like John and Sherry are. I had preordered the book on Amazon and received it back in November when it was released, and I had since paged through its pretty pages and read bits and pieces but never really sat down and took in all of the projects individually, thinking about those I wanted to take on, or those that I had already conquered.

Now that I had the time to go through the whole book, I was able to bookmark the projects that stood out most to me and the little tidbits I loved. Although the book is full of thoughtful and amazing tips just like their blog is, one of my favorite parts was what they wrote in the Introduction on page 11 under "How to use this book." They said the following:

"This book doesn't include a lot of don'ts. It's more like a do anthem. Rules are limiting, and we find that in making a house a home there shouldn't be too many of those since it's a very personal experience and it's going to be a different journey ... for each person."

I love that. If there's one thing I've learned from John and Sherry's DIY adventures it's that it's important to make your home "your own," and to do whatever makes you happy. I'm starting to learn that after living in our house for a little over two years now. I think I'm decorating less and less according to the "design rules" you read in text books and more with my personal preference lately! It's evident in the bright colorful artwork I'm beginning to hang on my walls, and my little ceramic owl figurines I've started to collect. Nothing makes you happier than walking into every room and seeing the things you love displayed.

Another important lesson to be learned from these two is that it takes time to make your house into a home that you really love. I can say that that's definitely true! Although I would LOVE for our house to be complete and a house that we love every bit of right at this moment -  it just ain't gonna happen. It takes lots of time and patience. And work. It doesn't happen overnight. So we've just learned to do things one step at a time and have patience..and enjoy the ride along the way.

Honestly, John and Sherry are so inspiring with all that they've accomplished and this book is just one other way they are able to put all of their hard work, knowledge and talent into something that inspires and encourages others to try and do the same. I've learned so much from them so far following their blog for a few years now. It's crazy to think that I'm 25 now, the same age they were when they started all gives me hope for what I can still accomplish!

I was surprised at how many of the projects in the book we've already taken on in the two years we've lived in our house. It made me feel pretty proud, I'm not gonna lie. :) Just take a look at this list I made of the projects in the book I've tackled to date (before the book came out, that is - some of which I've already mentioned on my blog, others which I may have to write a post about!):

#38: DIY Backsplash. We installed a beadboard backsplash in our kitchen during Phase 1 of our kitchen reno project back in 2011.
#44: Paint your kitchen cabinets. We also did this in Phase 1 of our kitchen makeover, which you can see here.
#54: Reupholster a dining chair. I painted our old kitchen chairs, then we reupholstered them with some foam and some fabric. See the before and after in our kitchen post.
#70: Line your drawers with patterned paper. I haven't blogged about this, but a year or so ago I fixed up the inside of an old dresser given to us by Trent's sister by just cutting some wrapping paper to size and using double stick tape to attach it to the inside of the drawers. and Voila - instant drawer liners!
#94: Add storage ottomans. I love me some storage ottomans. So far we have two and right now they are both in the bedroom. I would love to add more. They're great for a little stylish storage!
#117: Master a few framing arrangements. So far I've added some frame arrangements to the living room and bedroom. See how I did them here!
#139: Start a collection. I've definitely already done this with my Owls and my Plates! Another great way to personalize your home and turn it into a place you love!
#172: Get something special for your home by getting away from it. Love this one. We picked up some shells and a starfish from our East coast vacation last summer (see post about it here) and by displaying it in our home, it adds a nice touch of sentimental value to the space!
#232: Hang new house numbers. This is one of the quick updates we did in the front of the house to spruce it up a little. (See post mentioning this update it here) Amazing at what such an easy and quick update can do to improve the look of your home!
\#237: Upgrade exterior lights. We updated our front porch light - see this post for details. We love it soo much more than that ugly eyesore that was there before!
See why I was surprised to find we had tackled so many of those projects? There's ten right there checked off my list :) 
Here are some projects in the book that I still want to take on:
#1: Faux wallpaper the back of your bookcase. I would love to do this to my bookshelves - I love that it's such an easy solution to spruce them up a little!
#34: Hang textured wallpaper for a tin-ceiling effect. Trent and I both want to do this in our hallway!
#51: Make etched-glass containers for your counter. I've been wanting to do this with our glass cookie jar.
#61: Make an upholstered headboard. It would be fun to take this on in my sisters new apartment. Maybe I could even do it for my own bed someday, even though we have a wooden headboard already!
#104: Deal with bookcase clutter. I want to do this with my bookcases. They're a little crazy at the moment! Would love to make them look nice and appealing to the eye.
#197: Ceramicize something. Totally going to do this to my horse bookend! It actually may already be in progress... ;)

So, to summarize this very long and detailed post, I pretty much loved this book! One book checked off my reading list :) 7 more to go! See the whole list here.


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