Channeling John and Sherry

Have you heard of John and Sherry of Young House Love? They are a very talented young couple who have documented their DIY (do it yourself) journey as home owners in blog form. I follow it religiously. They are creative, inventive and resourceful. Their house is beautiful and extremely personal.

We can relate to the satisfaction of completing house projects on our own (or with the help of family and friends). While we outsourced some of the bigger projects, we’ve taken on a lot ourselves since we bought our first home in August 2009. From meticulously painting every room and all of the trim in the house, updating every light fixture, replacing faucets, fixing leaky tub faucets and running toilets, hanging new house numbers and a mailbox, refinishing the foundation…we’ve been busy. Our list of what we’d still like to do seems never-ending, but we’re slowing turning our house into a home that we love.

Our living room has posed a design challenge for us from the beginning. It’s a small room that also serves as the entry into our house. So, whatever is going on in the living room is the first thing guests see when they enter.

A few weeks ago, I submitted the room to Apartment Therapy seeking suggestions for curtains. We have a fair amount of furniture and had just purchased the rug and lamps. I liked all of the pieces, but they weren’t working together very well. I searched high and low for curtains I liked and finally decided to get the panels I had found at Crate and Barrel (on sale!). The commenters on my AT post had a lot of other great suggestions for the room – rearrange the furniture, add pops of color to the very brown room, recover the chair cushions (not pictured…and not done yet) – which I was extremely appreciative of. Their comments motivated me to get this room done!

So, I took their advice to rearrange, but ever since this blank wall has been staring at us and anyone else who walks in the front door. (Pardon the very crooked lamp shade.)

It just so happens that John and Sherry recently posted about their own art indecision. So, I took their lead and mocked up a few options using imagekind which lets you search for art by any color palette (love!). Etsy and All Posters are other good sources for art inspiration. There are some great artists out there with beautiful work.

One large piece of work seems too bold and overwhelming for such a small room. Then Ross remembered a poster from his childhood that he thought may be perfect for the space.

Oh dear. That won’t work.

A set of three would look nice, but the arrangement seems a little overused and predictable. Although, I’m really loving dekanimals Etsy shop and the colors may be just right.

Almost all of the current art in our house has some kind of meaning behind it. Most are photos of important people we love or of places we’ve been; some are paintings by Ross’s grandma; the art in Analiese’s room was designed by yours truly; the square painting on the shelf in the hall way (hidden by three figurines at the moment) is from this year’s Plymouth Art Fair. We don’t take what we put on our walls lightly.

And we do have a bit of talent when it comes to typography art. Maybe we should stick to what we know and make something ourselves.

I really like what John and Sherry decided to do in their office space (and I’m super jealous that they were able to implement their idea so quickly!).

I know us too well and I don’t think we’d be very good about changing out that many small pieces of art on a regular basis. But, I do love the idea of leaning framed pieces on a small ledge. Hmm…

I like where this is going. I’d like the mats to be ivory to help lighten up the very brown room, but I’m not sure about the frames – off white or dark brown? As some of the AT commenters mentioned, the room is very brown, so I’m planning to refinish a coffee table in the same off white color as our trim. Lots of work to do! Stay tuned…

*Above art is from the following sources:

Join the Conversation


  1. How very interesting. What a great way to try some ideas out first before buying anything. I like the ledge idea very much and would choose frames with a bold color, maybe a red? (Ross’s suggestion made me chuckle a bit). Good luck with this, I know you’ll make a perfect choice!

  2. Are you going to build a ledge like YHL or buy one? IKEA sells something very similar (RIBBA picture ledge). We have a few that we have not installed anywhere yet.

    Dan liked Ross’ suggestion. Whatever you do, you need that peacock print. It is the perfect color.

  3. i have always LOVED the ledge/shelf concept – and it would look great in that spot! You could definitely mix and match frame colors – reds, browns…

    Can’t wait to see the completed idea!

  4. Yes, you get to vote :) I really love the peacock print as well and hope to make the purchase once we start moving forward with this project. I received a fun surprise in the mail (thanks, Kates!) – that sweet “divine love shines” print is now mine!

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