Valerie Golik

Photo of Valerie Golik
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
School
Calumet College Of St. Joseph, Purdue University
Expertise
Gardening And Landscaping, Home Decorating And Maintenance, Home Organizing
  • Valerie is learning from her dad, son of Italian immigrants, how to keep a fig tree alive in the definitely non-Calabrian Pennsylvania zone 6 climate.
  • She enjoys learning new things through her writing, whether it's dreaming about beautiful décor for her home, figuring out how to organize a closet, or creating a fairy garden.
  • Having bought her first house at age 20, Valerie has been immersed in the merriment, mania, and minutiae of home ownership and household management for several decades since signing that first mortgage.

Experience

As the daughter of a carpenter who built his own house and continues to add on to it or fix things himself (even as his age puts him closer to 100 than to 80), it's only natural that Valerie would be comfortable writing about home improvement projects. She remembers being barely more than 8 or 9 and getting to play with hammers, nails, and scraps of lumber. Her love of gardening also grew from family ties, thriving much like the mint she mistakenly planted when she was younger and didn't know that it was important to contain it if you didn't want it to take over your garden. When she began writing for The Times newspaper in Lake County, Indiana, near Chicago, Illinois, Valerie's childhood experiences helping her parents with everything from weeding gardens to organizing junk drawers to scrubbing ovens served her well for many feature articles, not unlike the ones seen now under her byline on House Blog. Whether useful like How To Select The Right Color Hardwood For Your Home, Trellis Ideas to Maximize Your Outdoor Space, and 5 Creative Ways to Use Decoupage In Your Home or slightly horrifying like 11 Scary Weeds In Your Yard To Destroy Right Away, the articles never fail to make her feel smarter. Her years as a journalist covering innumerable municipal meetings, zoning boards, and discussions about major construction projects led Valerie to frequently quip that she learned more about sewage lines than she ever thought she'd need – or want – to know. She learned to ask the right questions, a handy skill in every walk of life, whether as a homeowner or in her future roles as a marketing professional and nonprofit executive. Inquisitiveness and looking for the right answers continue to define her writing and research, even if she's just trying to decide if she really wants to attract squirrels to her yard with a little squirrel feeder picnic table that she can make herself out of scraps of lumber.

Education

Valerie earned a bachelor of science in organization management from Calumet College of St. Joseph, and a master of arts in communication from Purdue University. An avid proponent of lifelong learning, Valerie enhanced her formal education through a multi-session nonprofit leadership program at Duquesne University and countless continuing education seminars.
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Stories By Valerie Golik