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Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love Hardcover – November 5, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Do we really need another forum for glib and talented bloggers to instruct novice decorators? Yes, as it turns out, we do. The Petersiks, whose snail-mail address is Richmond, Va., and whose Internet address is www.younghouselove.com, splashed into the blogosphere when they decided to document upgrades to their dark, dated home. After the makeover, bright colors and light prevailed. While the couple has an obvious flair for transforming fixer-uppers, at first glance, the book's projects look elementary. Stack books in the fireplace in its idle seasons? A voracious reader of shelter magazines could have thought of that. Still, the very simplicity of some of their ideas might be a virtue. Completing something far less than a full makeover—like a task that can be done in an evening—could be a genuine confidence builder. And the book is solidly apartment-friendly. There is some gold, like the steps to reupholster a chair, hidden in tips for framing and stenciling accessories. This book is a natural for beginners. Experienced do-it-yourselfers should keep looking. (Nov.)
“Allow us to introduce you to the king and queen of DIY: John and Sherry Petersik [whose] first book is jammed with more than 200 ideas—everything from rehabbing furniture to customizing a backsplash.” —Redbook
“No-attitude advice and step-by-step directions for lots of everyday projects.” —Washington Post
“Loaded with pictures, tips, and step-by-step tutorials, the Petersiks’ book offers a fresh and not-too-serious approach to infusing a home with personality.” —Dallas Morning News
“DIY gurus John and Sherry Petersik show how to radically reinvent plain pieces.” —Country Living
“This book is a natural for beginners.” —Publishers Weekly
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I think that you can live in a condo or apartment or a home and put this advice to work. For me this book is a practical and fun how to make your place of residence a comfortable home. I also think that the age range for this book is not limited to those under 35 either, the advice is great for people of any age. The photos and advice are easy to read and understand as well. I always loved Martha Stewart as well but I found her stuff too be too time consuming and difficult. This is the Jr. version of that but also keeping it real. This is a great gift for anyone wants to spruce stuff up at home.
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.
Why 4 stars instead of 5? Because many of the projects have illustrations instead of pictures. Although illustrations may get the concept across in a more concise way, in this age of Pinterest and Houzz, I think we all appreciate and are more inspired by "real-life" photographs instead of illustrations.
Overall - great job, Sherry and John! I don't usually write reviews, but I love your blog so much that I wanted to support you by buying your book, and I really think you did a wonderful job!
The instructions are easy to follow and the photos are great. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who loves DIY projects but doesn't have huge budgets. Great for new homeowners, too.