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Blog Revue – Young House Love

I’d be completely remiss in this “best of blogs” series if I didn’t spend at least one week writing about Young, House, Love… they are the gold standard for DIY, home decorating and renovating. They’ve been working on their homes and writing about their adventures for eight years, three houses and two kiddos and they’ve managed to parlay their love of all things DIY into a profoundly profitable business. I admire that kind of moxie and I love watching people find their passion and then turn it into their life’s work. John and Sherrie, owners of YHL, have now published two books, have created a line of lighting, designed and manufactured a line of hooks and rails, carried exclusively by Target, and partnered with Home Depot to create a collection of super cool and uber-trendy hardware.

Yep, they’ve been busy… and did I mention the two kids?? Kinda makes you feel like a slacker, right? Well, slack no more, my friends, because I have some Young, House, Love tips for you and your brand new home and if you follow my (really, their) advice, you’ll soon be renovating with the best of them. You’ll discover the joy of getting down and dirty with your new home and putting your mark on your biggest and most important investment.

So, here’s the drill… buy new home, unpack, boot up computer and log onto Young, House, Love. Grab a favorite adult beverage and spend some time perusing John and Sherrie’s home tours. Start with their first home, which they spent 4 ½ years renovating. Fast forward to house number two, where they refined their techniques and style and then meander through a tour of their current home… a beautiful work in progress. I absolutely love these home tours… the great before and after shots and the guidelines for quickly and efficiently making big changes without breaking the bank. Best of all, you can match your new home with the John and Sherrie version that works best for you. If you just bought your first home or downsized to a smaller home, check out the first or second home. If you’re movin’ on up, check out their current home, a large and rambling colonial with lots and lots and LOTS of opportunity for renovation.

One of the very best tips on the entire site is to simply live in your new home – as is – for a while (or as long as you can stand it) and get a feel for it. Figure out how light hits certain rooms at various times of the day. Reimagine the purpose of rooms. Many new homeowners don’t find a need for a formal dining room. Perhaps the space would be better used as a home office. YHL are the masters at converting rooms from one purpose to another. Now, there are some things you simply can’t wait for… like removing this freaky 1970’s room divider.

They tore that bad boy down the day they moved into their first house, but other changes, like a major gutting and remodeling of each and every kitchen took more than a year to complete. Now, they’re not crazy, so they’re not going to just live with 1950’s knotty pine cabinets. They like to tackle those huge jobs (kitchens and bathrooms) in phases. Read more about the easy-peasy, but oh-so-pleasing phase one of their new kitchen here. A little paint, a new fixture and voila: fresh and clean and livable while they plan a larger renovation down the line.

I think I mentioned that this couple is s.m.a.r.t. To that end, their website is one of the most user-friendly I’ve come across. Even if you just sit down to browse, you’re going to be planning some home improvements before you log of. It’s just that enticing. And because they aren’t all about the giant, big-ticket makeovers, there are plenty of suggestions for little upgrades that make big differences. Check out the way they use bamboo blinds… as light and airy window coverings, but also in the place of cabinet doors. They are wizards at finding new and super-cool uses for everyday (and inexpensive!) household items.

So, yep… I kinda saved the best for last as this is my final post in the blog-lovin’ series. I hope you’ll find – as I have – that these huge home changes can be accomplished with a little inspiration (thank you, blogs/sites!), a little muscle (save money on that gym membership and remodel instead!) and a little time (I know, I hear you laughing…). Best of all, you’ll have engaged with your new home in a real and meaningful way, come to love it even more than when we pulled up to the curb for the first time and you’ll have truly made it your own!

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