I already gave you a sneak peek at some of my books that I’ll be reviewing over the coming months. It seemed apt to begin with Young House Love since that’s my first daily must-read when I’m tucking into my brekky.

My impressions

I am a total fangirl of Sherry & John’s blog so I was very excited when I heard they were publishing a book, but it did mean my expectations were pretty high.

Unfortunately my first impression was that the quality of the book itself was not great: the cover is printed on a dull uncoated stock and the background printing on some of the pages doesn’t go all the way into the seams. However I know they were trying to keep the price point down in keeping with their budget ethos so I am happy with that compromise.

Happily, they didn’t suddenly seize up at the words ‘book deal’ and suddenly change their writing style to suit the different medium. It reads just like their blog, full of puns, funny anecdotes and even commentary from their pet dog.

The projects themselves are mainly quick and/or cheap, which I love because I’m all about doing little tweaks that over time will make your home beautiful. Oh and when they say ‘cheap’ they do mean cheap, as in less than $25 (some are even free), which makes it so accessible and achievable for anyone. Big thumbs up for that.

As well as the price guide, the handy project key indicates the amount of time and effort involved so you know what you’re getting yourself in for. Best of all, the book is not just a compilation of ‘best of’ blog projects. There were tons of new projects that even a YHL tragic like me hadn’t seen before. The photography and styling were lovely, but there were a couple of images that were obviously provided by suppliers and they stuck out like a sore thumb.

The projects ranged from the perennial favourites (such as painting furniture) to ingenious new ideas (like the I-never-would-have-thought-of-that ways to repurpose an Ikea table). Mixed in were great tips like how to style a bookcase and how to hang curtains. I like that they took care to point out that these ideas were not necessarily new or theirs, but that it was their take on it.

That said, there were some ideas that seemed like filler content (macaroni art, really?!) and I would not have minded if there were fewer projects if it meant losing some of the not-so-hot ones.

There was plenty of specific advice – for example, furniture brands and paint colours – that would be really helpful to novices (at least those in the US anyway). Likewise the tutorial tips would help beginners with technique to give the best results.


As someone who’s tackled quite a lot of home improvement projects over the last five years, most of the ideas were not necessarily new to me. But they are all affordable (tick!), achievable (tick!) and in an aesthetic that is similar to my own (tick!).

Having a whole house full of ideas in one book (with a chapter dedicated to each room) will make this book a go-to resource when I am feeling stuck or need a quick intro to a new technique.

Buy this book if you:

  • Are a beginner DIYer or decorator. 
  • Love Sherry & John’s style and personalities and want more YHL in your life.
  • Are looking for an excellent housewarming present for first time homeowners.
  • Have seen some of these project ideas around but need specific advice on techniques.
  • Are looking for rental-friendly decorating ideas.
  • Are stuck in a decorating rut.
  • Are always looking for budget-friendly home updates.

This book may not be for you if you:

  • Are experienced at home improvement. 
  • Are looking for advice on finding your decorating style or more extensive renovations.
  • Don’t share John & Sherry’s design aesthetic.

Buy the book here!

Have you read Young House Love? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

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