It’s really amazing and surprisingly to me that DIY home bloggers can be so divisive, yet Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love definitely are. I started reading their blog a few years ago, and it kind of provided the soil for my dormant love of home decor and DIY to finally blossom into a huge, cumbersome, expensive flower. About a year ago, I became aware that there was some kind of malcontent rumbling in the comments section, which was closely linked to a large forum that picks apart bloggers they find annoying. (Some of you may know to whom I refer.) I’m not saying I don’t understand some of the criticism, but it’s really a weird, hateful subculture that finds people’s addresses and criticizes their children.
So I went into this aware of the weird polarizing effect of YHL. It’s sort of like the difference between just sitting down every week and watching The Walking Dead versus also watching The Talking Dead and staying current on casting updates and fan theories and behind the scenes stuff. I’m interested in the book on its own merits, but I’m also kind of fascinated by how much some people hate John and Sherry. It’s weird, if you think about it. Once you’re aware of it, you can’t not notice how defensive they can seem, but I can’t blame them.
Mostly, it’s a really good book. I have a ton of things written down to make or try sometime, and it definitely got me thinking about things I might try around the house. It’s very accessible and budget-friendly. Parts of it do already feel dated, but it was published four years ago. I think that’s the price of doing business when “business” is writing books about home decor, which very much tends to be trendy, especially in YHL’s world. I can’t imagine that this book is going to hold up very well after another four years, but for right now it’s chock full of cool ideas.
There were definitely some projects that I had to side-eye, like the one that is basically just applying goldleaf to a thrift shop picture for…a metallic rectangle? There were a few like that, and they really felt like filler. They would’ve been better off just cutting some of the dumb ones and making it 200 ideas, but hey, maybe someone loved that project. Your mileage may vary, but overall I recommend it.