Category Archives: Family Room

Tips & Tricks to Styling a Bookshelf

I’ve gotten quite a few questions lately on how I style my book shelves. My biggest advice: there is no right or wrong way to do it, the best thing is to make sure your shelves fit your style. 
But for all of you who still need a little assistance or some helpful hints…here are the tips I try and follow, while adding my own style along the way.
Tips and Tricks to style bookshelves

No matter which shelf you’re styling, always add layers! Layers eliminate that bare look that make accessories look like they’re swimming on a wide open shelf. No swimming here. Check out my step-by-step layering technique.

Each layer added a little something until the shelf was completely filled. Start with the bigger accessories and work until you’ve added your final touch (usually the smaller, more personal items like the photo strips).
If you have lots of shelves to fill (like I do) adding an entire row of books is a great space filler. It’s great because if you add accessories to every single shelf, sometimes the accessories start to look like a big mess of clutter. An entire bookshelf adds color, while eliminating that crazy clutter look that we try to avoid around here.
It’s all about the compromise around here. It’s always good to add a little bit of his and a little bit of hers to make a new home “ours”.
Ladies, I know it’s sometime hard to add a little bit of “his” but if you use your imagination, you can make even some old baseballs look cute! Plus, major brownie points for displaying a little bit of “his” proudly. #winwin

Books can say a lot about a person, so adding a few of your favorites in a prominent spot is a must!

Adding sentimental value is also a must. I added my grandparent’s wedding picture because it reminds me of them. I’d like to add my parent’s wedding picture alongside my own wedding picture up here some day too.

Seriously, don’t. Stacking these shelves with accessories can definitely become pricey, and pricey is not always better. My advice: scour the shelves of your local thrift shops, vintage stores, and garage sales to add charm to these shelves without breaking the bank. You’ll thank me later.

And one last tutorial on styling another shelf:

Regardless of what tips work for you, always remember… there is no right or wrong answer in styling your shelves. As long as you love the look, that’s all that matters. 
I love my look and my shelves are still constantly changing. It’s okay to change the look when you find a new treasure or re-do an old one… that’s what decorating is all about. Arranging, re-arranging, and continuously changing to love the space you’re in: that’s what we’re all about here @ the Playbook. 
Good luck styling your shelves! If you have a stylin’ shelf that you’d like to share, we’d love to feature you. Email us your pictures at diyplaybook@gmail.com.
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5 thoughts on “Tips & Tricks to Styling a Bookshelf

  1. Our Wolf Den

    Very well written.
    Sometimes it can be overwhelming to style shelves. We are building some around our TV and I am a
    little frustrated because 75% of it is going to be taken up in DVDs but it is
    what we need to they aren’t in boxes in the spare bedroom.

    You did a very beautiful job on yours!

    -Manda @ Our Wolf Den
    ourwolfden.wordpress.com

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Thanks @Manda! Functionality trumps style… but with a little creativity, there’s no reason why we all can’t have functional style! =) Thanks for stopping by. Good luck!!

    Reply
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5 thoughts on “Tips & Tricks to Styling a Bookshelf

  1. Our Wolf Den

    Very well written.
    Sometimes it can be overwhelming to style shelves. We are building some around our TV and I am a
    little frustrated because 75% of it is going to be taken up in DVDs but it is
    what we need to they aren’t in boxes in the spare bedroom.

    You did a very beautiful job on yours!

    -Manda @ Our Wolf Den
    ourwolfden.wordpress.com

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Thanks @Manda! Functionality trumps style… but with a little creativity, there’s no reason why we all can’t have functional style! =) Thanks for stopping by. Good luck!!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Entertaining the idea... | DIY Playbook

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Why a White Couch?

family room couch apartment

I often get asked why on earth I would purchase a large ALL WHITE couch for our family room.

White slipcovered couch JcPenney Natural Friday Sectional

The simple answer. I like it.

I always dreamed of having a big, comfy, “pottery barn-esque” couch to lounge on. One that was crisp and neutral. So when we moved to St. Louis, I decided to find one that I loved without the Pottery Barn price tag.

White slipcovered couch JcPenney Natural Friday Sectional

I ended up going with this couch from Jcpenney in the color natural (I think the price has gone up a bit since we purchased ours).

It’s definitely a BIG piece of furniture, but luckily we have the space in our loft.

My fave part is the chaise lounge seat. It might just be the best seat in the house.

Now we don’t have kids. Or animals. But, we sure as heck are not the cleanest people in the world.

We eat on the couch. We drink on the couch. We drool nap on the couch.  And it still looks just as good as the day we bought it.

So how the heck do you keep a couch like this clean?

Chaise sectional jcpenney

Well, first of all the cotton fabric is incredibly durable. We’ve spilled things on it and marked it up, and mostly everything can be wiped away with a wet towel.

Also, the entire couch is slip covered. So, I can easily remove cushions and wash them in our washing machine! Yep, how many people can actually wash their entire couch?

White slipcovered couch JcPenney Natural Friday Sectional

Now the first time I did it, I was so incredibly nervous. I eyeballed the washing machine the entire time thinking I had ruined our couch. But, I had nothing to worry about. It turned out fine.

Here are my steps for washing…
-Take off all the slipcovers you want to wash (I’d say 3 loads to do the entire couch)
-Spray any stains or dirty parts with a stain remover (We use Resolve, and I liberally apply it all over)
-Wash with detergent, bleach, and on HOT HOT HOT!
-When it’s done in the washing machine, look over all of the cushions to make sure they’re to your liking. If not, spray and wash again.
-Put them into the dryer on the highest setting to get them dry.
-Squeeze them back onto your cushions. They’ll be nice and tight and it will be a workout getting them on.

I’ll maybe wash the couch once or twice a year. There’s just no need to do it more often than that.

But one time we did have an incident…

A certain someone (cough cough, Finn) fell asleep on the couch holding an entire glass full of Diet Coke. We had a huuuuuuuge brown stain all over.  Let’s just say I was not too pleased. I mean who falls asleep holding a glass anyways?! Yeesh.

For this mess, I needed professionals.

So I stripped the slipcovers and took 6 of them to the cleaners. A few days (and about $30 later) it was good as new! Crisis averted.

So it has been two years, and I still love my all white couch. I really brightens up our space and makes decorating easy! Because the largest piece of furniture we own is neutral, I can easily add pops of color with pillows and blankets. Right now it is oranges and reds, but maybe someday soon I’ll try out a different color palette.  
Maybe this post seems completely random to you. But, I did want you guys to know that you don’t have to fear white! A big piece of furniture can be a light color, and still be comfy and lived in.
Just ask my little napper. He knows how comfy it is 🙂
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4 thoughts on “Why a White Couch?

  1. Angila Barbee

    I too have wanted a white slip-covered couch! I have had a really hard time finding something of quality without the Pottery Barn price tag. I have wavered between IKEA & this one that you posted from JCP. I saw some bad reviews that said these pillows broke down rather quickly. Have you had this problem? This would really make my decision easier. Also, I do have a child & plan to have more, do you think this would end up being high maintenance?

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Angila, I’m so happy you reached out to me. While we don’t have dogs or kids (yet!), this couch has remained in phenomenal shape over the 3 years we’ve had it. We have had no problem at all with the cushions breaking down. None! The only thing is the rogue spill or small stain, but we easily fix those with bleach and the washing machine. I think it is a great purchase, especially if you want the PB look without the PB price tag.

    Good luck shopping!
    Casey

    Reply
  3. Angila Barbee

    Thank you so much! Excited to hear that! Now on to deciding what seating combination will suit us best. Yay!:)

    Reply

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4 thoughts on “Why a White Couch?

  1. Angila Barbee

    I too have wanted a white slip-covered couch! I have had a really hard time finding something of quality without the Pottery Barn price tag. I have wavered between IKEA & this one that you posted from JCP. I saw some bad reviews that said these pillows broke down rather quickly. Have you had this problem? This would really make my decision easier. Also, I do have a child & plan to have more, do you think this would end up being high maintenance?

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Angila, I’m so happy you reached out to me. While we don’t have dogs or kids (yet!), this couch has remained in phenomenal shape over the 3 years we’ve had it. We have had no problem at all with the cushions breaking down. None! The only thing is the rogue spill or small stain, but we easily fix those with bleach and the washing machine. I think it is a great purchase, especially if you want the PB look without the PB price tag.

    Good luck shopping!
    Casey

    Reply
  3. Angila Barbee

    Thank you so much! Excited to hear that! Now on to deciding what seating combination will suit us best. Yay!:)

    Reply

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