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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
I will start with a disclaimer that I am an avid blog follower, and am thus biased to like anything written by the Petersiks. As someone who was determined to love the book regardless of any flaws, I will do my best to be honest and objective in my appraisal.

I had very high expectations for this book, and was incredibly excited to see that it had arrived at my house. I eagerly cracked it open and began reading. Overall, I would definitely recommend the book to any home decor enthusiast, but I have to painfully admit I was slightly underwhelmed. Most of my excitement flipping through the pages was driven more by the cute captions, glimpses of well known Petersik personnel (Gee, Clara, and Ramsey make appearances for any other YHL enthusiasts out there), and the personal forewards to each chapter, than by the majority of the actual projects.

That's not to say there aren't gems inside; many very creative and useful ideas fill the pages (i.e. personalizing thrift store decor, creating your own artwork, alternatives to traditional knife blocks). Not to mention step by step instructions for painting furniture and cabinets, as well as a 'dummy guide' to a variety of DIY topics such as curtains and paint finishes. However, I felt that being a YHL reader was actually a detriment in some ways to finding novel inspiriation from the book. Very few projects were truly original to the book, most I skimmed through having read similar projects on the blog. That being said, even with some concepts being 'repeats', it will be nice in the future to have everything bound in one volume, easily accesible without the internet.

I appreciate the formatting of the book. John and Sherry did a fantastic job of categorizing projects by the relative expense, difficulty, and time needed for execution. There is a great balance between easy and cheap projects, with those that are a bit more labor and cost intensive. Many projects can also be easily personalized to an individual's tastes and preferences. Most projects, although not all, also include 'in-progress' photos to illustrate difficult steps, such as how to properly fold the corners of fabric when covering a dining room seat or headboard.

Other readers have complained about the quality of the pictures inside; I personally found the photo layouts to be well executed, and aside from old childhood photographs, thought the quality to be acceptable. I do agree that the finish of the book ( a matte paper versus glossy sheen) is a bit cheap-looking, but think this reflects more on the publishers than the authors themselves.

In summary, I was definitely pleased with the book and plan to gift copies to several friends and relatives over the holidays. In my opinion, it is a book that anyone with a love of DIY, home improvement, or decor, would appreciate, but also agree with other reviewers that those looking for a more advanced or detailed how-to book will be left wanting more. For what the authors intended it to be, a very basic spring board of ideas, the book is highly successful and as a first book I think the Petersiks should be proud.
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51 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2012
I read the YHL blog semi-regularly, and, even though there are times when their design aesthetic is the complete opposite of mine, I keep reading because they have some good basic DIY design and decorating ideas and tips, and because they seem like fun, genuinely sweet people. I was excited about their book, and I even stood in line for four hours to have them sign a copy of the book. Well, it turns out that four hours of standing in line was long enough for me, and a friend, to read the book and decide that it would be a waste of money to purchase it. There were maybe 3 or 4 ideas, out of the 200+ in the book, which I would actually want to try to replicate, or that seemed somewhat fresh and inspiring. Most of the other ideas were very basic, or have been done (and, more stylishly done) before, on their blog or elsewhere on the internet, and the remaining ideas were downright ridiculous - putting your knives in a clear jar filled with macaroni is a design/decorating idea? Also, I agree with another reviewer who commented on the poor design of the book itself. The cover is pretty bland, and somewhat garish, and the inside is not beautiful or inspiring enough for me to want to buy the book despite the bland ideas in it. On the positive side, the writing seemed sweet, quirky, and very readable, just like it is on their blog.

In this era of Pinterest and beautiful design blogs, design books have to be fresh, beautiful, and inspiring - and should have a lot of substantive content - in order to be worth the money. I'll stick to reading their blog, where I have found some good design tips and project ideas.
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80 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2012
I follow the Petersik's blog and I admit that I was looking forward to the book. Over the last few months, the Petersiks built up anticipation for the book on their blog by repeatedly saying "we can't show you this yet because we did it for the book!"

Well, I'd estimate that the book is maybe 25% new material. And much of the new stuff is just a slightly different iteration of something they have done before, in great detail, online. (Yes, I know that you can spray paint almost anything a bright color and make it cute.) That, combined with the book's poor production values, means that you can learn everything you need about "Petersik Style" from the Young House Love blog and the book adds little.

The Petersiks' disappointing foray into print media has convinced me that for home decorating ideas, online pictures, instructions, and video are far superior communication methods. In other words, read the blog and save your money.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2013
Mixed feelings with this one- some great ideas on one page..but then some truly hideous and downright tacky ones just a page later..confusing and to be honest I expected more. Not alot in here that I havent already seen on pinterest or elsewhere. Its low priced book though so you are getting what you pay for.
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
As a longtime follower of younghouselove.com, I eagerly bought the book. However, I love YHL for the large-scale home transformations such as their former home's bathroom renovation.

I was hoping this book would provide more insight into similar, larger scale, more permanent projects: how they chose their homes and why, the process they go through, step by step, in a reno project, tips for those also updating older homes etc. This book just does not contain this sought after info.

Instead, the book offers many "crafty" projects ranging from not-so-great to really clever. I think it's telling that many of the projects were said to be gifted or donated, only a few were kept by the authors.

I'm glad I own it, but I think of it more as "fan gear" for a blog I love than a truly useful guide for my home.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2014
Knives in a jar of macaroni? Really? Not impressed.
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35 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2012
Young House Love promises "243 ways to paint, craft, update & show your home some love." This is a good basic book of simple home crafts, written in an unpretentious style that will especially appeal to people who feel intimidated by the prospect of decorating. It's written for homeowners, but apartment-dwellers will find plenty of projects here too.

The first thing I noticed about this book was the text. This isn't simply a book of fancy photos with teensy captions sprinkled about - the Petersiks share details about their home, their lives and evolving taste in decor. I especially liked the part where they talk about how when they first got their home, they painted every room a different color just because they could. Ultimately they settled on a more cohesive color scheme. This book captures their ideas at a particular point in their lives, and I'll be interested to see how their perspectives might grow or change five or ten years down the road.

The projects themselves are a mix of fresh and same-o. I really liked all the DIY art and framing options, which included sewing cardstock, geometric paintings, silhouettes from photos and maps, abstract art using silverleaf and tissue paper, stenciling, shadowboxes, etc. There are also multiple projects for headboards, mirror embellishments, pillow decoration, furniture makeovers and uses of wallpaper. There are loads of inexpensive projects, and many that won't take more than an hour or two on a weekend. Most are pretty simple, the kind of thing you can figure out just by looking at a clear photo of it. The blog tends to have more photos and details than the book does, but there's enough info to get you started. The back has an excellent resource list.

There were a few I didn't care for - a faux fireplace, anything involving chalkboard paint - but overall there are more hits than misses. This is a good solid book of projects, but I do have a feeling this book will get more hype than it deserves for being 'Decor Craft 101'. It's not a must-have if you already own a bunch of books of this type, but it's a fun addition and very beginner-friendly if you're just starting out.

This isn't a coffee table book and the production values could be better. Mine arrived with dented corners, and the matte white cover doesn't seem like it'll wear well. This is a thick volume printed in full color, but some of the photos are poorly lit and a little grainy, giving it an amateur look. Since the focus here is different craft projects rather than stunning roomscapes, it's not that bad. It would still make a nice housewarming gift, especially if you include supplies for one of the projects.

Update: The book shows a lot of shelf wear. I've only had it for less than a month, and it's not exactly my go-to resource. The blue dye has completely rubbed off the edges. It was packed properly when I received it, the quality is just not what I expected, even for the low price.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2013
Don't get me wrong, I love Young House Love, and I've been reading the blog for a long, long time! That being said, this purchase didn't really justify itself to me. I love coffee table books, and home decorating books, but this one just wasn't very good. I picked maybe three projects out of it that I might be interested in doing. A lot of it was repetitive - I saw "just paint that x!" a lot - whether it was a door, a piece of furniture, or whatever. Some of the ideas seemed just... bad, or slapped together - like "Use two IKEA tables to make a headboard!" That headboard just looks like two tables. It's ugly.

Anyway, it's a neat book to flip through. Maybe if I didn't read their blog, or lots of other decorating blogs, I would be more wowed by the content, but as it stands, it's pretty bland and recycled.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2014
You know in high school when you have this really big project due at the end of the semester and you wait until the night before it's due to just BS most of it? That's this book. There are a few quality projects but most of it made me thing "WHAT????" Many of these projects are ideas children would have. Storing knives in a case of macaroni noodles? Come on guys.

Love the people. Dislike the book. Just read the blog. They do plenty of these useless projects for you to view for free on their blog.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2013
This book was incredibly disappointing. I've read the blog since before their daughter was born, and have become more and more disillusioned with the Petersiks' DIY skills. The vast majority of the tips have been done (and done to death) on Pinterest and all the other YHL copycat blogs. Frankly, most of the tips would only be appropriate in a shabby chic dorm room, not in an adult's home. if you must read it, get it from the library. Otherwise, I'd skip it.
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