Making A Light & Airy Living Room (That’s Still Livable!)

Just when you thought the duplex was getting all the action, we snuck in some beach house updates. The backyard is slowly starting to come together (shed! patio! fence! I CAN’T WAIT to show it to you once it gets a little further along!!) but today we’re diving into our lightener & brighter (and much beachier) living room.

Now this place actually looks like it’s a few blocks from the beach! And the bonus is that everything is sand and popsicle friendly – which is a must for us (we pack this place with family and friends and all the kids). So our goal was never to make it too precious. In other words, we were going for a light and airy look… but it had to be durable, wipeable, and as close to worry-free as we could get it!

bright neutral living room gray sofa white heron walls
sofa | side table | coffee table | rug | bookcase | lamps | wall: SW White Heron | trim: SW Stone Isle

We wanted to use some of the furniture we designed, including one of our new sofas (performance fabric = all the yesses). So we started with our Mellow sofa. It’s sold out right now, but our other two sofas – the Pivot and the Spiffy – are discounted just for the next few days thanks to a Joss & Main’s flash sale (they’ve got different names on J&M for some reason). A lot of things are at the lowest prices they’ve ever been ($699 for the sofas!) so if you’ve had your eye on one of our designs, it’s a pretty great time to check it out.

bright neutral living room gray sofa with white scalloped coffee table and modern chandelier
sofa | side table | coffee table | rug | lamp | chandelier| wall: SW White Heron | trim: SW Stone Isle

Sadly, our trusty old Ikea sectional (Karl the Karlstad, remember?) was ready for retirement (aka: donation). The problem with moving a sectional from house to house to house (we moved it from our second house, to our current house, and then to the beach house over the last eight years) is that sometimes the space would be better suited for a sofa… but you have a sectional… so you just sort of keep moving it around and trying to make the best of it.

neutral living room with dark charcoal ikea sectional

We could kind of make sense of it it photos, but in real life there were awkward things like the chaise cutting into the doorway. We tried putting the chaise on the other end of the living room (it’s reversible), but it wasn’t any better because it meant we couldn’t have the extra seating over there, which really comes in handy and gets used a lot.

doorway between living and dining room with sectional chaise

So as we mentioned a few weeks ago on the podcast, after eight awesome years with Karl, we donated him to a local charity that we love, and he’s living it up with a sweet new family. His legacy lives on. (*cue that Celine Dion song from Titanic*).

Another way that we tried to make this room feel lighter and airier was the patterned gray rug that we bought to replace the vintage one below (which happily lives in a bedroom at the duplex now). OMG that was meant to be in there, guys.

gray wall living room with red color vintage rug and dark navy ikea sectional

Along with our rug switch, the new sofa is a HUGE step forward in lightening things up. Plus its smaller footprint meant there was room for a few more functional furnishings. Like, momma finally gets a side table on her end of the couch. Hello reading lamp! Hello spot for my tea!

bright neutral living room gray sofa with round side table and scalloped coffee table
sofa | side table | coffee table | rug | lamp | baskets | bookcase | chandelier

Also, a word about white wood furniture: it’s a GREAT WAY to achieve a lighter look that’s still livable (it’s all wipeable, but it looks so nice and bright). So if you’re staring at a space you’d love to lighten up, sometimes it’s as simple as a $15 quart of white paint with primer built in (we recently tried Behr Marquee and it had great coverage) and you can redo your coffee table and your end tables – or even a bookcase or a shelving unit in an afternoon. Light walls and white (gloriously washable) curtains help too!

The three tiers on our side table = all the spots for magazines, a basket full of legos, or whatever else you like to keep at arm’s length. We actually ordered two more of the same side tables for the duplex because we love it so much. It also comes in a smaller version (which is super marked down right now) and you know I want to make a coffee table version, so stay tuned!

round white three tiered bamboo side table with pink lamp and gray sofa
side table | | | vase | lamp | baskets | pink pillow |

I also hung some new art that I bought through an artist I found on Instagram. Her name is and her stuff is just beautiful and so well priced. These two 8 x 8″ canvas prints were $25 each! Printed on canvas with gorgeous vibrant colors! I just love them – and I framed them in simple Ribba frames from Ikea that I already had (with linen-like fabric behind them, which adds some really pretty texture and a double-mat effect).

And as much as we liked the coffee table we DIYed last summer, the dark wood legs started to feel pretty busy – especially as the room got lighter. So we carried over one of these coffee tables that we ordered for the duplex. I’m liking how visually airy it is and the size is better for the space, so I may end up ordering another one to make up for the one I yoinked from the duplex.

Also, John and I burst out laughing when we realized that we basically recreated this photoshoot set-up in our beach house. Even the rugs are similar!

Sherry and John in photoshoot with furniture line

It kind of makes sense that it would happen that way, because we chose some of our favorite stuff for that photo… so I love seeing it living together at the beach house now. Especially mixed with other stuff that we love (that CB2 ladder shelf is so glossy and gorgeous in person, and I feel a deep and meaningful connection to our pretty pink lamp from Target).

white heron walls in beach house living room with gray sofa and tall bookcase

Funny story about this coffee table. A couple weeks after that photoshoot, John shot up in bed nervous that the scallops around the outside were a terrible idea. His concern was that it was going to prevent people from kicking their feet up on it (to which I said: “but not everyone puts their feet on the coffee table, right?”).

close up of scalloped white coffee table showing inlay stenciled pattern on top

So imagine his palpable relief when he realized that his legs easily fit between the shallow rounded scallops, and he actually proclaimed it to be more comfortable than our coffee table at home (which also has a small lip on top, but it’s sharper and not rounded/smoothed out).

John reading on gray sofa with feet on scalloped white coffee table

We’re also happy to report that the edge doesn’t get in the way of other tabletop activities like board games (you know we LOVE OUR BOARD GAMES). Actually the border does a nice job of corralling things. You know, if one of your crazy bear creations gets out of hand or you’re rolling dice and don’t want them flying all over the place. So if you DMed me about that, here’s your answer: works great for family board games – the scallops aren’t nearly tall enough to block your arms or anything like that.

hands playing bears vs babies board game on stenciled coffee table

I also had someone message me to say “be sure to put a shallow little remote drawer in your next coffee table design!” and the good news is that this one already has one! I love a little hidden drawer to keep that stuff contained.

small remote drawer open on scalloped coffee table with stencil inlay pattern

Also a note on living room layouts, because I FEEL YOU OUT THERE. THEY ARE HARD. This room has been evolving for over a year and a half now (I know, it feels like just yesterday that we furnished the beach house!), and we still have plans to mount the TV on the wall, possibly paint the walls, and change out those diamond backed chairs that are living by the windows, but more on that in a second.

TV in gray neutral bright living room against exposed brick chimney
sofa | side table | coffee table | rug | lamps | media cabinet

One of the reasons that living room layouts are tough is because we make assumptions about the way we live or the things we want and then we’re too nervous to try something else. So it’s hard to unlock a fresh solution if we’re stuck in the same thought patterns. Like for example, it sounds counterintuitive to say getting a smaller sofa can create more seating, but we learned last summer that trying to cram all of our guests onto a sectional wasn’t always the most comfortable or the most conducive to conversation.

So we decided to try to “break up” the seating options a little more. With the chaise gone, we could also tuck a chair into the corner by the TV. So the sofa seats about three adults (the four of us fit on it just fine since the kids are smaller), and there are three other chairs in the room now, too. So even though your brain wants to believe that a sectional = the most seating, it’s not always true.

brick chinmey with TV on dark gray media cabinet with neutral furnishings

We’re still on the hunt to find some bigger / more relaxed feeling chairs for the window wall, but these thrifted ones (which you may remember from back in our old home office) are doing the trick for now. I spray painted them and recovered the seats to make them a little more neutral – and I always picture them ending up at the duplex because they have that diamond shape like the diamond windows over there.

tall CB2 bookcase in neutral gray living room with pink lamps and accessories

Oh and the rug. Let’s talk about that for a second. We recently had a slime incident. Not just a “slime got on the rug” issue, but a “slime sat on the rug for months under the chaise and I only discovered it when we switched the sofa out and it left a huge grease stain that everyone could see thanks to no longer having a chaise” issue. ARGH!

But…. I got it out! After a lot of googling and some tips from people on InstaStories, the winning removal method was pouring white vinegar on the grease spot, letting it sit, scraping it with a spoon (to remove some leftover slime – it was actually “Thinking Putty”) and after it dried I dabbed it with nail polish remover. That was key in lifting the grease stain and you can’t even see where it was! Plus it gives me a new appreciation that this rug has such a variety of gray tones! Those lighter and darker areas make it much more forgiving.

Between that AND getting an immediate chocolate stain on the new sofa (which came right out dabbing it with water – thanks again, performance fabric!) – we feel like this room can take anything that these kids throw at it – both literally and figuratively. I mean… they might prove us wrong, but they’re gonna have to try harder than slime and chocolate…

The last thing I’ll mention while we’re on the topic of updates at the beach house is our dining room chandeliers. A few months ago in our email newsletter, we showed how we swapped out the old capiz chandeliers for these from our lighting line, but I’m not sure we ever shared a picture on the blog. We love that they’re a little more substantial and the polished nickel details tie into the other light fixtures throughout the living room and the kitchen.

vintage dining table with two capiz chandeliers over top
capiz chandeliers | benches | chairs | marble vase

The previous chandeliers are now hanging in the master bedrooms at the duplex because it’s basically in the Sherry Petersik Decorating Handbook that every house we fix up must have a capiz fixture somewhere. And you know I love playing musical furniture & light fixtures! (p.s. this is a TV concept, I just don’t want to actually be on tv – but someone please make a series about switching things you already have around like that old show on HGTV called Freestyle and I’d be SO INTO IT! It goes back to my love of staging houses and being scrappy with things you already have on hand).

view into beach house kitchen through dining room capiz chandeliers

So there are our latest beach house updates – and I hope it’s comforting to hear that sometimes rooms take a little while to figure out, and it’s totally not a failure to move things around and keep experimenting and trying new things. Even in our very first home I used to rearrange stuff all the time! There truly is no better way to get a quick makeover.

If you want to catch some of our furniture while it’s on flash sale, it’s only on Joss & Main this week (actually, like only 3 more days). And if you want to learn more about the whole furniture designing process, here’s a post we wrote all about that. And for more on our (well, mostly John’s) idea of painting the living room walls a new color, that’s on this week’s podcast. We tried out some trendy online paint companies to see if they really would make picking paint colors easier…

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This content was originally published here.

#139: Our Exterior Makeover Continues…

Painting our brick house white was just the tip of our home’s exterior update iceberg, so this week we’re sharing more of our plans – including one that’s turning out to be much more complex than we expected. We’ve also got an exciting announcement about a color collaboration we’ve been working on and we’re sharing more of everyone’s favorite thing: design norms from around the world, including bomb shelters, frost lines, and… special windows that keep witches out of your house?! Plus we try a strange but awesome subscription box that makes us feel like we’re on Law & Order.

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneIn Radio, and  – or listen to it below! Note: If you’re reading in a feed reader, you may have to click through to the post to see the player.

What’s New


  • As for the global design norms we shared in this episode, here’s one of the photos we received, which shows how two twin duvets can be made nicely on one larger bed (this is a hotel in Copenhagen sent by a listener named Adrianne).

We’re Digging

  • I couldn’t find the coupon code that got our first box delivered for free, but I’ll do you one better. The code FRIEND30 will get you 30% off your entire order. That’s almost like getting two boxes free!
  • The top one shows a trio where almost everything is the same (all green, all ovals, all filled in solidly) – just the number of icons differs (3, 2, and 1). Which means it’s a set!
  • The middle set has the same shape (squiggle) and number (1) but all different colors and shadings. Which also means it’s a set.
  • The bottom is where everything is different – no cards share the same number, color, shape, or shading. So yes – that’s a set too!

If you’re looking for something we’ve dug in a past episode, but don’t remember which show notes to click into, here’s a master list of everything we’ve been digging from all of our past episodes. You can also see all the books we’ve recommended on our  page.

And lastly, a big thank you to Social Print Studio for sponsoring this episode. You can take 15% off your next order using the code YHL15!

Thanks for listening, guys!

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This content was originally published here.

#137: The Next Home We’re Taking On

We’ve got a really exciting announcement this week about a new design project we’re taking on, including how it came to be, what has us most excited, and why it’s going to challenge us in some new ways (did we mention it’s out-of-state?). We’re also sharing how last week’s spring break trip reinforced our mission to minimize our belongings, even if John did bring home something very strange from vacation. Plus, a new solution we found for wrangling digital photos, a DIY tool that’s brilliantly simple, and… well… nutmeat.

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneIn Radio, and  – or listen to it below! Note: If you’re reading in a feed reader, you may have to click through to the post to see the player.

What’s New

  • Like we mentioned in the episode, our Spring Break trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida was another reminder that all four of us are perfectly happy with less stuff and more time together.

That’s Embarrassing

  • I wish I had taken a photo of the offending (and aggressive!) closet that “attacked” me in the dark, but maybe it’s best left to your imagination… so that you picture it much more sinister thing than a simple built in dresser. But here are a couple of photos of my unlikely injury:
  • The photo at left is obviously in Florida, taken the morning after the incident. The other is back in Richmond as the bruising was just past its peak.
  • And if you’ve picked up the April issue of Real Simple, perhaps you’ve already seen Sherry’s unforgettable quote on page 126. If not, here it is in all its nutty and meaty glory.

Real Simple Idea House

Quick Tip

We’re Digging

If you’re looking for something we’ve dug in a past episode, but don’t remember which show notes to click into, here’s a master list of everything we’ve been digging from all of our past episodes. You can also see all the books we’ve recommended on our  page.

And lastly, a big thank you to Agility Bed for sponsoring this episode. Use the code YHL at AgilityBed.comto get $200 off any size hybrid mattress.

Thanks for listening, guys!

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This content was originally published here.

#125: A Tale Of Two Kitchens

Our holiday was full of fun, family, and a freakish amount of Ikea boxes filling the duplex. So this week we’re sharing how we navigated the task of installing not one, but two kitchens over winter break – including how things got off to a rocky start – and when we actually saw the light (both literally and figuratively). We also got AN AVALANCHE of feedback from you guys on the small sleeping nook we debated filling with various bed layouts in our last episode, so today we’re sharing how we’ve adjusted our plans to make the room work for as many families as possible. Plus, we tried out a new money-saving trick (why haven’t we been doing this for years?!) and requested some info from our international listeners that we hope leads to some interesting revelations.

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneIn Radio, and  – or listen to it below! Note: If you’re reading in a feed reader, you may have to click through to the post to see the player.

What’s New

  • We’ll share more of them as Sherry and the kids begin the process of fixing them up.
  • We’ll share more photos of our final plan once they come together a little more, but for now I’ll treat you to these incredibly lifelike “renderings” that Sherry did on her phone to show the three configurations that we can achieve with the beds we bought.

Pinterest 100 Game

Design Norms Around The World

  • Please use the Google Form below, and don’t forget to specify what country, state, or region you’re writing about.

Duplex Kitchen Progress

  • Those are HALF of the boxes that were delivered for the duplex kitchens and laundry rooms on each side of the house (the other half were stacked on the other side).
  • It was slow-going the first couple of days, but we eventually got rolling and are really excited about our progress. We’re planning to write a detailed blog post about the actual steps and materials that can make installing an Ikea kitchen go a lot more smoothly (this is our fourth rodeo) so you can stay tuned for that – hopefully in a week or two.
  • Below you can see the wall Sherry mentioned in the episode that was so bowed that it required lots of shimming to keep the metal cabinet rail straight (this was an exterior wall where we used the original framing).
  • And again, we’ll share more pictures soon, but below is a peek at how far we got by the end of the holiday break. There’s still toekicks to be added, hardware to be installed, plus little details like appliances, counters, and backsplashes.
  • But getting this far means we can finally get our counters templated and our appliances installed!

We’re Digging

  • I also want to add that after recording I spent $3 to get THREE 10% off your order coupons for Lowe’s, which has already saved me over $50 on curtains rods & ring clips (more glamorous duplex purchases).

If you’re looking for something we’ve dug in a past episode, but don’t remember which show notes to click into, here’s a master list of everything we’ve been digging from all of our past episodes. You can also see all the books we’ve recommended on our  page.

And lastly, a big thank you to You Need A Budget (YNAB) for sponsoring this episode. Sign up at to get your first three months free!

Thanks for listening, guys!

*This post contains affiliate links*

The post #125: A Tale Of Two Kitchens appeared first on Young House Love.

This content was originally published here.

Our Furniture Is Officially For Sale On Wayfair! | Young House Love

I’m not sure an emoji even exists to capture how THRILLED we are to announce that our furniture line is finally out! The one that represents me would probably be the salsa dancing woman, except she’d be wearing all black with a skull for a face because I’m 95% dead from the excitement. Also let’s add a taco in her hand because that’s always a good idea. Am I already talking about tacos? That got off track quickly. Anyway, I know a lot of you have been following along as this day has crept closer (thank you for that, btw!) so now you can officially (over 30 pieces! way more than we could cram into this post!) at Wayfair and Wayfair Canada.

I’ll do my best to keep the cliches to a minimum, but designing furniture has been a dream of ours for years and it still feels like this isn’t real. There’s actual physical stuff that you can sit on, sleep on, eat at, and rub your face all over (is that just me?) and we’re just so happy with how everything turned out.

Both the finished look and the quality exceeded our expectations when we saw everything in person – and we LOVE how they mix and match together. I CANNOT WAIT for you guys to have it your houses.

Like I’m actively preparing to have my brain explode when you start tagging me in your pictures.

So today we wanted to share some of the pieces (there are way more ) and show you some behind-the-scenes of how it all came together.

Speaking of which, here’s a peek at what it took to get that shot above. This is from the photoshoot we did back in August down in North Carolina and, if you follow us on Instagram, you saw us road trip down there with a car full of accessories to excitedly style each shot (you can ).

All of the photos of the furniture “in situation” were photographed in a real person’s home that we rented for a week (she’s an interior designer, so she had THE BEST architecture to work with). Things were constantly getting moved around, the garage was filled with tables of accessories, and there was camera equipment everywhere you looked. These photos are of the living room, which became a makeshift bedroom more than once.

We had some of the samples from the photoshoot delivered to our house a few weeks ago – which fully completes the dream of designing things we’d love to live with in our own home! And let’s just say that moving in with them has taken our relationship to the next level. “Our” meaning me and the furniture. But hey, at least I let John third-wheel it in that basically acts as a chair-and-a-half when you take the side pillows off. Plus the performance fabric means I don’t have to fear the kids or the dogs smearing it up – or myself spilling tea on it – both literally or figuratively speaking (Atlanta Housewives, anyone? No? Bueller?). 

We’re working with a company based in High Point, North Carolina that also makes Universal Furniture, a name you’ve probably heard advertised on our podcast. That’s actually how we first got to know them, and about 18 months ago we started developing a line of furniture with them too. We traveled to their showroom a few times to gather inspiration and they came to our house to see our style firsthand. And together with their team of designers we started drafting up a whole slew of furniture ideas.

That sheet above is partially blurred because not everything survives the development process. Sometimes the design doesn’t work out the way you hope, it may not be feasible or cost-effective to produce, or the retailer just doesn’t pick it up. It’s certainly sad to let go of some things, but the good news is that we’re already working on more stuff and can hopefully revive and reimagine some of what didn’t make it into this first batch.

We’re also hoping to release alternate colors and fabric finishes of the bestsellers as time goes on. Like I’m DYING to do in white, emerald green, light gray, and a natural wood finish (and in a counter-height stool version – AHHHH! Somebody stop me!).

And how great would these white chairs be in a soft mint or pink color with a lightly bleached all-wood version of this table?

We snagged  shown above from the photoshoot, along with , and have used them to upgrade our kids’ crafting corner in our bonus room. There used to be a kid-height table with some cute little green chairs in that spot, but our tall kids were ready for a more regular-sized set-up. Added bonus: now we can sit with them without developing butt cramps from the old mini-chairs.

Overall, our goal was to make super versatile pieces (says the person who just used a dining table as a kids’ craft table) that are classic but still interesting. Like the dresser below that has a fun diamond pattern (inspired by in the duplex) but comes in two goes-with-anything colors (white or gray).

Interesting details in easy-to-integrate colors make it so simple for these pieces to slip in seamlessly with your existing furniture. So you can upgrade that old dresser, coffee table, media cabinet, or dining table without having to redesign (or rebuy) your entire room. Or even just add this cute little side table next to your sofa for a soft hint of greeny-blue color and some bonus setting-things-down space.

In our bedroom, we swapped out my former dresser (the one with the stuck drawer that you saw on ) for  so I can finally have a fully functional piece. The vintage dresser that used to live here now happily resides in the guest room – where that sticking middle drawer bothers nobody – and I finally have six drawers that open and shut without a fight! Everyone wins!

We wanted things to feel like us, so we worked in lots of little nods or details – like the dentil molding along the above (just like the dentil molding along ). Several pieces have an  (you know that makes me SO HAPPY), and the  below is based on the aforementioned vintage dresser that John’s dad handed down to us. It’s hard to find pieces with cool old details like fluted legs or tops that aren’t just rectangles (see how the top of the dresser below is so much more of an intricate shape?) so we LOVED working those in.

It was also important to us that everything was well constructed and durable. So all of the dresser drawers have dove-tailed joints and there are no paper-thin cardboard backs on anything (these pieces are SOLID – believe me we have carried them up and down the stairs – ha!). Plus all the sofas and armchairs are made with performance fabric – which isn’t chemically sprayed, but actually created from tightly woven durable fibers to better repel stains and wear. We also snuck in some fun bonus functions and features on some of the pieces too, like these:

I’ve already said more than I need to because I’m probably just distracting you from actually looking at the furniture. There is SO MUCH MORE than what we’ve shown in this post, so feel free to .

There are sofas, coffee tables, nightstands, dining tables, chairs, headboards, a bed, and even that’s earning all the extra credit in our bedroom for reflecting my capiz chandelier (it’s like I have two of them now 😉

So this is me officially zipping my trap, getting out of your way, and spooning with  (John’s fine with it because he’s busy gushing about how smoothly the dresser drawers glide).

Thanks so much to everyone who has been so excited and supportive about this whole new adventure for us! We are SO EXCITED to have these things out in the world!

This content was originally published here.

Creating A DIY Vine Trellis | Young House Love

Before it gets too cold to do any more outdoor updates around here, we snuck in a fun little project that I’ve been dying to try for, oh 10 years now. Actually the first time I was like “yeah – I want that” was upon seeing one of those cool diamond trellis things waaaay back in 2009 on the outside of this house that we crashed (yes, that’s 10 years ago! Even though I swear 1999 sounds like 10 years ago in my head). I wish we had captured a picture of it for that post, but I think there was blotchy sunlight on it so it didn’t make the final cut. But that family still lives in that house, that diamond trellis continues to thrive, and I continue to gasp at it every time we walk by. It looks a little something like this:

The Diamond Trellis Urge (let’s capitalize it because it has grown into a legitimate condition for me over the years) grew even stronger after we painted our house white last fall. It’s just such a perfect blank canvas for some lush flowering vines. You may have even seen a couple of spectacularly bad renderings of me drawing a diamond trellis on the big white wall on the right of this photo last year on my InstaStories:

And well, now that strong whole-body craving has been satisfied… because MOMMA HAS A DIAMOND TRELLIS.

It doesn’t look like much right now as we wait for everything to grow in, but I have extremely high hopes that it’ll turn this formerly basic spot in our backyard into a showcase moment. And please know that every day I walk out there and whisper encouraging and nurturing things like “grow, my darlings” and “please don’t die on me guys.”

They sell some kits for installing them (like this one and this one) but we decided to buy the pieces ourselves a la cart (that was dumb, just buy the $13 kit – or two if you need more wire). You’ll also need a few basic tools (we added asterisks next to the ones that are required for brick in case you have the same setup that we do).

Materials & Tools

*Reminder: these are items we needed because we were installing a trellis on brick. If you have some other type of siding, you may not need some of these. Like, a regular drill and drill bits should work just fine.

Planning Your Wire Trellis

The very first step for us was to figure out what we wanted our vine trellis to look like. I snapped a picture of the space and dragged it into photoshop so we could play with the scale, size, and placement of the trellis. This is something you could figure out on paper if you don’t have the right software (heck, you can print out a photo and sketch right onto it with pencil), but I highly recommend some sort of “planning” step like this before you start making holes. We did this rendering first, and pretty quickly determined the scale was too large for our liking (just two diamonds tall felt kinda piddly…).

We tried to see if we liked it better with “open” diamonds on the side, but we both agreed it looked too much like an argyle sweater and the “closed” diamond shapes were much better on the ends.

Our final design ended up being a smaller version of the first one we attempted. Thanks to this planning process, we were able to make sure it looked centered on the wall while also staying visually in line with other elements, like the door. It also helped us plan how much material we would need.

Map Out Your Pattern In Real Life

Transferring our digital mockup onto the physical wall was probably the most brain-intensive portion of this project. I wouldn’t even call it hard, it just required some concentration and double checking. We used some reference points in our photos to determine where we wanted our pattern to start on the wall and, through a little bit of trial and error, figured out the precise measurements for each of our diamonds (ours are 25″ apart). If I were doing it again, I would’ve included a tape measure or yardstick in my original photo before photoshopping, that way we could use that for scale – but it worked out just fine without that reference point.

Since it was critical for our final pattern that all of our anchor points were equally spaced and totally level, we marked each anchor point with a small piece of painter’s tape and a marker dot. We didn’t want to write directly onto the brick, especially as we were fine-tuned the placement of everything.

After you mark out all of your drilling spots with tape and a marker dot, it’s time to double and triple check your measurements before you drill anything. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Don’t skip this step. It’s much easier to move pieces of tape than to drill new holes and move everything because you got it wrong. We even broke out a long piece of scrap wood to make sure our top marks were exactly plumb with the bottom holes (ignore those small vertical notches in our brick along the bottom that correlate with nothing, those are some sort of garage ventilation thing and aren’t tape marks – our blue tape marks are closer to the ground and right under the dots that we taped out along the top).

Installing Your Anchor Points

Once your spots are marked, you can get to drilling. Since we were drilling into brick, we used our hammer drill with a small masonry bit to make shallow holes through each of our tape marks, just to make a more permanent mark on the wall before any tape fell or blew off.

Then we went back around with a bigger bit to drill a larger and deeper hole to slip the anchors into. A hammer drill makes these easier because in addition to the spinning motion of a regular drill, it also pulses or “hammers” at the same time to chip away at materials like brick, concrete, or block.

Once all of our holes were made, we went around and tapped in some plastic anchors designed for concrete and brick with a hammer. Typically I would use something like a Tapcon screw to screw something into brick, but in this case we needed something that would work with the screw eye hooks and these did the trick.

Then we went around and screwed in our eye hooks. I had trouble finding ones that (1) stuck out from the wall significantly and (2) weren’t enormous, but these 3″ puppies did the trick. The small size is helpful because it helps them visually disappear (I want your eyeballs to take in the lovely vines, not the metal hooks) and the long length will help separate our trellis from the back wall – so our plant has plenty of room to grow and wrap around the wire on both sides.

They were easy to hand tighten into the anchor at first, and towards the end we relied on a spare drill bit to give us a bit more leverage for the last few spins. These suckers are in there.

Stringing Your Wire

We were using this 1/16th galvanized steel wire rope for our trellis. We had no clue how much we’d need so rather than buy one long uninterrupted reel from the store, we bought several 50ft packs so we could more easily return any unused material. I highly recommend opening and unwinding them fully before you start attaching them, since ours often came out as a tangled mess.

I’ll show you in a minute how we secured the end of the first wire to start the pattern, but this whole process is pretty straightforward. It’s just basically looping the wire through the pattern – up and down, side to side – making sure you’re going to the correct next eye hook. We messed this up once and started to create a wonky diamond, but it was easy enough to fix as soon as we noticed our mistake. It’s literally like putting shoe laces into a shoe. Nothing is permanent and you can step back to make sure it looks right.

We looped the wire through each eye hook twice as we went, because that made it easier to keep the wire taut as we continued to string it through different eye hooks.

It basically looked like this as we went along. So it’s not tied in a knot, but the wire is stiff enough that it holds fairly well with a tight loop like this.

When we came to the end of one 50ft length of wire, it came time to connect a new strand. We hadn’t worked with this stuff before, but we found these aluminum ferrules to be a pretty straightforward way to accomplish this. They allow you to make these loops at the end of your wire by feeding it through one side of the ferrule and then back through the other one.

Then we just used some pliers we had on hand (well, electrical wire cutters – by they had a great tip for this) to crimp the tips of the ferrule, which basically crushed them enough to hold the wire in place for the long haul. Making these small loops on the end of each wire became our go-to way to connect them into one long, continuous strand.

It’s also the technique we used to attach the starting end of our wire to the first anchor point and (once everything was full threaded and pulled fully taut) we made another loop at the end of the wire to do the same thing.

One tip for you is that in order to thread the ferrule, you need to have a very clean cut on the end of your wire. If it’s frayed it won’t slide in and you’ll stand there for 45 minutes trying to get it in there (ask me how I know). We actually had to go buy a new pair of wire cutters for this project because our old pair had become kind of blunt and it was fraying and smashing the wire to the point where it wouldn’t fit into the ferrule. So save yourself some of that frustration and make sure your wire cutters are up to snuff from the start.

Some of the kits come with a turnbuckle that you can use to tighten your wire for maximum sustained tension. We opted not to do one for now just for simplicity’s sake, but if we find ours becoming lose over time we could always add one OR just try twisting some of the eye hooks in the brick a bit tighter to taut things up.

Adding Your Vining Plants

There are all sort of options for good vining plants for projects like this – especially depending on your location and conditions (for example we have deer who love to eat everything) so we spoke to two experts at our local nursery and they highly recommended clematis for our application since it’s a fast grower, it produces nice flowers, deer don’t tend to eat it in our area, and it isn’t dangerous to put near our brick (some ivies are said to be more problematic if they grow on your brick for a long time).

Our local nursery was running a little low on inventory so we grabbed what we could and were able to plant four vines at strategic intervals along the bottom edge of our wire trellis. After delicately unwinding them from the trellis they came with (each plant had a little metal trellis in the pot), we did our best to carefully wrap them up and around the wire in all directions.

We do know that clematis is such a strong grower that the diamond pattern is something we’ll need to continue to train them to hold onto over time (if we didn’t touch them again they might just cover this entire wall with leafy vines and blooms – but we plan to keep an eye on them to make them hug the trellis shape over time, so we’ll share how that goes too.

The last step of this project was to mulch everything and we’ve been watering diligently ever since (this is usually when I whisper my “you grow, girl” encouragements to the vines). We also replaced a couple of dying plants in the bed, so it’s already looking a little nicer back there, even though most of our trellis has yet to be covered with vines.

It has been such a weird fall for us weather-wise (super hot, super dry, now crazy rainy) that who knows what the heck will happen. Even if it’s slow going, we’re really happy with how everything turned out because the wire is nearly invisible against the brick. So until it starts to fill in, it’s not like we’re staring at some ugly messy of wires in the meantime.

I’ve got my fingers, toes, and everything crossed (even my wires!) that we’ll have some great progress to share with you guys next year once things start to fill in. Until then you can find me out back, whispering sweet nothings to my plants.

P.S. Want to see more outdoor projects we have tackled over the years? Here’s an entire archive full of them (from pea gravel patios & string lights & shed organization to decorative oars – ha! – it covers a lot of ground).

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This content was originally published here.

#138: Was Ikea Not “Good Enough” For Our Home’s Kitchen?

Installing Ikea cabinets in all three of our beach house kitchens invites the question: why didn’t we use them in our home’s kitchen in Richmond?! So this week we’re diving into the answer, including what gave us pause about using Ikea back then, how it could’ve changed our final result, and what we’d choose if we had to select kitchen cabinets for our home today. Plus, we share how a simple outdoor project turned into a major plumbing issue at the duplex (yes, another one – the water curse lives on!) and why there was also an emergency call to an electrician one evening, you know, for balance.

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneIn Radio, and  – or listen to it below! Note: If you’re reading in a feed reader, you may have to click through to the post to see the player.

What’s New

  • That is literally the text I sent Sherry when I realized one of the water shut off valves had been buried over at the duplex. You can see the exposed one in the foreground, and the other should’ve been about 4 feet in front of it, but I dug around for a while and… nada.
  • We always knew it was buried a bit deeper than the other, but you can see below how deeply it had been hidden when the guys were installing the pathway along the side of the house (it was around 4″ below the ground level once the path went in). You can also see how it was so close to the path that some of the plastic edging pieces actually prevented someone from removing the cover.
  • I didn’t take any pictures while I was digging it out because I didn’t expect this to be a moment worth sharing with anyone… and then the water line broke. But the photo below shows some of the aftermath. You can see the box (aka “margarine tub”) removed from the hole in the background. The lid to it is set off to the right side.
  • And here is a detail of the break itself (at the bottom of the picture). It’s not very big, but it sure did release a lot of water very quickly! The pipe wasn’t visible for hours until the water drained, leaving this lovely mud situation.
  • It’s all fixed now and when the plumber reconnected it, he set everything a little higher so that one is level with the ground as well. So we won’t have the issue of it getting hidden again – AND it’s further away from the path, which was also an issue.

That’s Embarassing

Ikea Kitchens

  • And if you’re looking for details on the projects where we’ve used Ikea cabinetry, here they are in order of completion:
Wood Ikea Kitchen With Exposed Brick Chimney and Blue White Patterned Tile
Pink Patterned Tile In Blue Kitchen With Exposed Brick Chimney
  • One last thing on the subject of kitchens. When Sherry mentioned an “appliance garage” as one of the more customized features in our kitchen, she was referring to this area that our cabinet installers were able to put together with stock doors and filler pieces to resemble a cabinet (notice how the cabinet has no back?). We use it to store a lot of our breakfast foods and large/frequently used appliances like the toaster and the crock pot. We just leave it open when they’re in use and close it to hide them the rest of the time.

We’re Digging

If you’re looking for something we’ve dug in a past episode, but don’t remember which show notes to click into, here’s a master list of everything we’ve been digging from all of our past episodes. You can also see all the books we’ve recommended on our  page.

And lastly, a big thank you to Annie Selke for sponsoring this episode. Check it her latest collaboration with artist Laura Park at And get 15% off your order with code YHL15.

Thanks for listening, guys!

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The post #138: Was Ikea Not “Good Enough” For Our Home’s Kitchen? appeared first on Young House Love.

This content was originally published here.

#142: Our Kitchen Is Grosser Than You Think

So it turns out there are some weird spots in the kitchen where germs go to party – so we’re learning more about that (and what you can do about it), as well as talking about why we gave up on those meal delivery kits and found a better solution for our family. We’re also talking about how shopping for your home can be fun, but it can also be frustrating and time-consuming. So we’re sharing our tips for how to streamline your hunt and pick things with confidence. Plus, you’ll hear how our backyard is finally winning the war against our hungry deer, and what new face thing Sherry is obsessed with now.  

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneIn Radio, and  – or listen to it below! Note: If you’re reading in a feed reader, you may have to click through to the post to see the player.

What’s New

  • I know it’s kind of hard to see in pictures (it all just turns into a blob of green) but we’re extra relieved that our cherry tree and gingko tree not only survived, but came back even better than before.

What’s Not Game

Listener Question

  • When you feel like you’re burning hours and hours shopping for the “perfect” thing for your home (whether it’s a light fixture, sofa, table, basket, bathroom tile, etc) we ultimately think it’s worth it to hold out for something you truly love and not settle…
  • In short: don’t settle for something meh or basic & hold out for “the one” that makes you feel super elated. But if you’ve looked for a while, and still can’t find it – a cheap secondhand option can help you hold out longer for the right thing to come along (so you don’t rush into buying something you’re only feeling warm about because you’re just tired of not having one at all). Note: you can usually resell that secondhand thing on Craigslist later – once you find your long-term favorite – so it doesn’t ultimately have to cost you much at all.
  • We also mentioned that we’ve been using the Google Shopping search function a lot more lately (it’s just the “Shopping” tab on the regular Google results page) because it helps us browse lots of sites at once – which saves us a lot of time versus searching something like “fabric shade pendant” on 10 individual home websites.
  • Like any Google search, it’s not perfect, but it does offer some helpful filters. Sites like Overstock and Wayfair are also good for searching a lot of options of something if you just plug in a keyword or two – they just won’t return results for other retailers like Pottery Barn, Target, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, etc…. which is where that Shopping tab comes in.

We’re Digging

If you’re looking for something we’ve dug in a past episode, but don’t remember which show notes to click into, here’s a master list of everything we’ve been digging from all of our past episodes. You can also see all the books we’ve recommended on our  page.

And lastly, a big thank you to Agility Bed for sponsoring this episode. For Memorial Day you can get 15% off your ENTIRE ORDER. Just visit and enter your email address to unlock the discount. And after the 28th, you can still use the code YHL to get $200 off a hybrid mattress of any size.

Thanks for listening, guys!

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The post #142: Our Kitchen Is Grosser Than You Think appeared first on Young House Love.

This content was originally published here.

#129: When It Feels Like Everything’s Going Wrong

House projects don’t always go smoothly. We’ve all been there (heck, we’re there right now with the duplex renovation) so we’re sharing some new strategies that we’ve been relying on to keep our spirits up whenever a renovation feels overwhelming, gets delayed, or hits some other unexpected snag. We’re also discussing some upcoming bathroom trends (one of them shook Sherry to her very core). Plus we’re officially starting our no TV challenge.

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneIn Radio, and  – or listen to it below! Note: If you’re reading in a feed reader, you may have to click through to the post to see the player.

What’s New

  • Below is the photo of the “scrape” the second delivery guy discovered on the other fridge during our most recent trip (don’t mind the tiny water droplets on the door, Sherry was in the midst of desperately trying to wipe the entire issue away). See how convincing/terrifying it was? Especially because it was lined up with the handle screw, totally validating the delivery guy’s theory that a drill had scraped the finish off.
Stainless Steel Fridge With Glue Marks
Silestone Pearl Jasmine Quartz counters with wood cabinets and brick chimney

2019 Bathroom Trend Quiz

  • Above are their examples of “buttery brass” finishes and the “off-kilter tub” that wasn’t as bad as it sounded to Sherry.
  • Below is the “tile statement wall” that I mentioned we did a couple of years ago in our beach house’s hall bathroom:
Blue Accent Tile In Shower Of Hall Bathroom With Wood Door
Aqua Glass Accent Shower Tile In Large Master Bathroom
  • And in the master shower at the beach house, we’ve got an example of an “invisible” shower wall, since the glass pane we used doesn’t have any metal framing (and the consistent floor helps the shower blend in with the rest of the room).
Frameless Glass Shower Panel In Subway Tile Bathroom

Listener Question

We’re Digging

If you’re looking for something we’ve dug in a past episode, but don’t remember which show notes to click into, here’s a master list of everything we’ve been digging from all of our past episodes. You can also see all the books we’ve recommended on our  page.

And lastly, a big thank you to Grove Collaborative for sponsoring this episode. Sign up at  to receive their FREE gift: a trio of Mrs. Meyers cleaners, a set of walnut scrubber sponges AND a tin cleaning caddy. Yup, all of that’s FREE!

Thanks for listening, guys!

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The post #129: When It Feels Like Everything’s Going Wrong appeared first on Young House Love.

This content was originally published here.

#130: Can Science Help Us Make Our Homes Happier?

Can the colors, furnishings, and accessories that we choose for our home actually make us feel quantifiably happier? Today we dive into the science of joy and learn how some tried-and-true design tricks might actually be affecting our daily moods (and how to make tasks that we don’t love a little more enjoyable). We also pin down a few ways that we’ve unknowingly added joy to our house, and a few others that could still use some work. Plus, the lesson we learned from waiting too long to give up on a piece of furniture, and a big dollhouse fail.

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneIn Radio, and  – or listen to it below! Note: If you’re reading in a feed reader, you may have to click through to the post to see the player.

What’s New

Living Room With Built In Bookcases and Wood Coffee Table
| | | | | rug & table: secondhand
  • That’s the Instagram photo above where many of you noticed that we had a new coffee table.
  • Here’s a better shot from the other side of the room, where you can see the X-base a little better (with those nice little nooks on each end to slide two white poufs from upstairs).
  • And here’s a closer photo where you can also see that the finish isn’t totally perfect, but it’s functioning just fine for our family (much better than our ottoman in those final days). And we’ll share all the details if we tile the top or refinish it in some other way.
  • I tried to dig up some photos of its deterioration (and the “dandruff” it left all over the house) but we apparently avoided capturing it – or at least vacuumed it up before taking photos. But here’s a random iPhone shot we took last year where you can kind of see the bare spots forming along the top where the faux leather had started to peel. And those white dots on the floor are all ottoman confetti.

That’s Embarrassing

  • Here’s a photo of the Sweet Shop in progress, and the dozens and dozens of little pieces we were tasked with turning into some semblance of a dollhouse-sized candy store. (Note the paper fan blades in the foreground that were meant to become a ceiling fan. Spoiler – that did not happen).
  • Like I said in the episode, I think Sherry did it a great job getting something together just in time for Christmas, and our daughter LOVES IT. As Sherry pointed out, it doesn’t look much like the picture on the box, though.

“Joyful” Decor Discussion

girls bedroom closet pink door wallpaper
Removable Wallpaper Mural With Oranges In Room With Two Twin Beds
  • You can also scroll up to see all of the “circles” and round objects we didn’t realize we have in our living room. When you start to look around, they’re EVERYWHERE.

We’re Digging

  • You can see Sherry’s big gleaming “brasshopper” (brass grasshopper figurine) in the photo below (and you can kinda see the little one that lives on our mantel at home in the second photo of this post).

If you’re looking for something we’ve dug in a past episode, but don’t remember which show notes to click into, here’s a master list of everything we’ve been digging from all of our past episodes. You can also see all the books we’ve recommended on our  page.

And lastly, a big thank you to Annie Selke for sponsoring this episode. Their big Presidents’ Day sale kicks off this week on Thursday (Feb 14th, aka Valentine’s Day) and you can get 20% off basically the whole site! Check it out at

Thanks for listening, guys!

*This post contains affiliate links*

The post #130: Can Science Help Us Make Our Homes Happier? appeared first on Young House Love.

This content was originally published here.