Category Archives: Furniture

Finding an Affordable, Modern, and Round Coffee Table


After living without a coffee table for almost two months now (more on that decision here), I finally bought a new one and I don’t think anyone is more excited about it than my husband!round_modern_coffee_table-family_room_couch

Honestly, he couldn’t care less about the look of the new one and is far more excited that he finally has somewhere to kick up his feet while watching TV or at the very least, somewhere to put his TV essentials while lounging on the couch (i.e. remote controls, drink, snacks)

round_modern_coffee_table-couch_family_room_doorI, on the other hand, am excited about the look… and the price… of this new beauty.


I sold our old coffee table for $100, not because it wasn’t a gorgeous table but because it wasn’t my style and created a space that was too matchy-matchy with the dining room and kitchen. After the space was cleared, I sought to find a coffee table that was my style and the search turned out a lot harder than I

The Huntfamilyroom_no_coffee_table

Narrowing down options to find coffee tables that I loved was not the problem, I actually found a few very strong contenders and shared them in this post. But most of the contenders were too large for the space or way too low to the ground when compared to our couch.

round_modern_coffee_table-couch_family_room_plantI continued looking and realized that although I LOVED a lot of the rectangular tables, this space needed something round to break up all of the straight lines. So after even more looking (and lots of measuring + re-measuring), I decided to go with this round one.

round_modern_coffee_table-buffalo_checkI loved the size, proportion, and the style and really loved that the light wood tones paired well with the light wood tones on my dining room chairs. But hands down my favorite part was finding out that this table was on sale for $149!!


Since I collected $100 by selling my old table, I was able to get a brand new table that I love a whole lot more for an extra $50. I’ve also learned from my extensive research that coffee tables can be very expensive so dishing out $150 (or $50 in my case) seemed like a steal, especially in a space that has so many size limitations.

round_modern_coffee_table-geometric_white_vaseI’m happy with my decision and am even more excited that this room is feeling a lot more “me” than it did before. I’ve looked at the old coffee table for so long and knew it wasn’t my style & knew I wanted to change it, but never got around to putting it on the to-do list and actually getting it done.

round_modern_coffee_table-accessories_flowersI wouldn’t necessarily recommend living without a coffee table for 2 months (especially if your husband has anything to say about it) but I am really happy that I decided to sell my previous table because it got my butt in gear and kicked off the search.

round_modern_coffee_table-dining_room Although it was annoying/awkward to be table-less for a while, I’m proud that I didn’t rush the decision or ended up “buying just to buy”. Taking my time meant I eventually found a table that I love instead of just one that was “just okay”.

Styling a Round Table

Having a round coffee table is definitely new territory for me when it comes to styling it, so it’s been fun trying to test the waters. I’ve been using Pinterest to gather some inspiration but when I finally find an easy recipe that works, I will be sure to check back in with some tips.

My number one goal is to add some personality while trying to hide the remote controls (which I haven’t done in this set-up). I did hide the coasters in that handmade basket from Ikea, but I still want to find some type of box to hide the remote controls too! In the meantime, I’m just happy that we have a coffee table to enjoy.



  • Athleta is having a huge Friends and Family Sale through this weekend! It’s 25% off your purchase including sale items! Mention The DIY Playbook if you’re heading to the store here on Fremont in Chicago so your discount is honored at checkout! (We had no idea they had such cute swimwear! Loving this classic black bikini top)
  • West Elm: 20-30% off bedroom furniture. (This contemporary bed is perfection)
  • LOFT: 40% off sale (Their Lou & Grey line is our favorite. Everything is so soft & comfy!)
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Rookie Review: OUR COUCHES


We get a lot of questions around here about each of our couches. Where did you get them? How do you live with such light-colored couches without staining them? Do you still like your couches? How do you wash them?! Would you buy them again?  <– Today, we are reviewing each of our couches without holding back aka delivering some serious REAL TALK! We will answer all of these questions while also chatting about what we would do differently next time.

Casey’s Couch

Casey-Couch-Family-Room-Pillows-BlanketProduct/Buying Details: We bought our couch as we moved from Wisconsin to St. Louis…way back in 2011. We had previously used a navy leather sectional back from my college days. It wasn’t the cutest piece of furniture in the world, and I was excited to upgrade. My new white couch was one of my first “adult” purchases, and I bought it as a gift for myself for landing a new job. Back then I wasn’t really all that into home decor, but I did want the “Pottery Barn” look for our new loft.  Here was my “wish list” at the time:

  • Sectional & potential chaise
  • Large enough for Finn & I (we’re both pretty tall)
  • Light color
  • “Pottery Barn” look

I have no idea how I landed on this sectional from JcPenney. I think it had the look I wanted, at the right price. I never sat on it, but it looked comfortable in pictures so I made the purchase (I can’t even imagine doing that today!) We went with the color “natural” and did 5 pieces with our chaise on the left side. 5 years ago, I was absolutely SMITTEN with my new couch. But I’ve learned a lot since then. Here’s how I’d grade it today.


  • Washable: Every single piece of this couch is slipcovered, and that means every single piece of this couch is washable. Honestly, that’s one of my favorite parts about having a white couch…I can throw the pieces in the washing machine, wash them on hot, and bleach the heck out of them. It keeps the couch looking fresher longer, and also keeps those stains at bay. We did take a few slipcovers to the dry cleaners one time when we had an entire coke spilled all over it, and it came out perfectly.
  • Comfortable: This is one of those deep-sink-down-take-a-nap kinda couches. It’s seriously so dang comfortable. It’s the perfect movie watching couch, and the perfect wanna-laze- around-all-day-reading couch. We both love that it isn’t too stiff and we can curl up with a blanket and relax on it.
  • Lightens up our Space: A heavy dark couch can make a room feel kinda dark. Since this couch is white, it really lightens up the entire room. I also love that it’s light, because it matches with any color scheme. Any pillows work, any wall color, any rug…it’s a great neutral base to have when you want to change up other aspects of a


  • Limited Layout: When living in our Chicago apartment, we took the chaise away and also took out 1 piece in the middle so it could fit in our teeny-tiny place. It kinda worked, but always felt a little awkward. When we bought our new condo, we were excited to get the gang all back together and use the chaise & extra piece again. However, because of the chaise, we only had 1 way in which we would place our sofa. So the back is to the door as well as to the kitchen. We’d love to open it up so the “L” could face the entire room (making it appear bigger), but we can’t do that since the chaise is not able to move from one side to the other. <— Does that make sense?
  • Too Big for New Space: Now I don’t want a petite sofa by any means, but I do think this one has become a bit bulky for my current style. The rolled arms and overstuffed cushions make it feel like it’s too large for our room. While I love sectionals, this one just feels too bulky for our home’s style.
  • Gets Wrinkly: Ughhhhh. This is seriously the worst. While it’s great that you can wash the slipcovers, it’s also a huge pain in the neck to iron them. The slipcovers on the bottom get so incredibly wrinkly, and the wrinkles are almost impossible to get out. I’ve ironed, I’ve steamed, I’ve done just about everything…and some stubborn ones just won’t go away.
  • Looks Dingy after 5 Years: Again even though it’s washable, whites can still get a little dingy…and that’s definitely the case for our couch. It’s just not as bright as it used to be. I think partly from use, partly from the sun, and just everyday wear and tear.wrinkled-couchpillows-couch-tulips-flowers

Overall Grade: B-

I think for 5 years, it has served us well. Especially considering that it has lived in 3 different homes of ours. But I will say that I’m definitely keeping my eyes peeled for a new sectional in our price point. I’d love to still have a sectional, but maybe look for something a bit more like Bridget’s gray couch. Any retailers in particular you guys think I should look at while I research? I’m all ears over here!

Bridget’s Couch


Product/Buying Details:  Our couch is three years old (almost to the day!). It was one of the first “real” pieces of furniture we bought for our new home and we bought it at Macy’s furniture. We didn’t do much research before we bought it (such rookies!) and decided on Macy’s because my older sister had just had some luck finding a cute (and affordable) couch there. Here’s what was on our “wish list” at the time:

  • affordable
  • light grey
  • an “L” couch
  • comfortable

After sitting in lots of couches on display at Macy’s with Matt, we decided on the Devon Sectional (currently unavailable for sale) and were able to choose the fabric from a collection of swatches. We ended up going with a light grey, which was called “Heavenly”. At that time, the sectional was on sale AND we were able to get a 7 year stain coverage package with the deal, which we (knock on wood) haven’t needed to use yet. Now that we’ve lived with the couch for 3 years… let’s have an honest chat about what we still LOVE about our couch and what we would have done differently knowing what we know now.

Family Room Christmas Home TourPositives:  

  • Color: I still love the color of our couch. I always knew I wanted a light-colored fabric and originally wanted something similar to Casey’s (like white-ish). However, I was nervous that if the covers weren’t removable/washable like Casey’s are, having a white couch would most likely lead to lots of stains/imperfections very quickly. And as much as I wanted it to look gorgeous, I also wanted to be able to live in it without being nervous to ruin it. Life happens, right?! So I went with my next best option which was a light grey. I still really love the color of our couch because it can take on pretty much any color I pair it with. A light, versatile color will definitely be on my wish list again whenever it’s time for a new couch.
  • Fabric: I really love the fabric of this couch as well. We use it literally every single day and there are no spots on the couch. I have seen where couches get “pill-y” and this fabric doesn’t do that at ALL and it’s comfortable — a win-win in our playbook!
  • Size: I still really like the size of our couch… it just “fits” us and our lifestyle perfectly. Originally we wanted a chaise on our couch but realized that wouldn’t work in our small family room so the “L” shaped that we ended up deciding on works perfectly.
  • Comfort: our couch is supercomfortable, which is definitely a positive in my book… and especially in Matt’s book. For comfort, we would give this sectional an A+!

Matt Fall Home Tour

Negatives: Some days I think that if I were to purchase a couch all over again, I would probably buy the same exact one while other days I wish I knew what I know now in order to make a better decision. The days that I wish I could do it all over again are probably the ones when these few negatives are totally getting on my nerves.

  • Slouchy back cushions: Ugh… my least favorite part of our couch. I love that the back cushions are fluffy and so comfortable, BUT I do not love that the fluff droops to the bottom of the back cushions and makes the whole couch look “slouchy” and worn out. Matt and I sit in almost the same spots each day, so each of our “spots” look more worn out and slouchy when compared to the areas that don’t get a lot of use. I hate the slouchy look because it looks sloppy to me and if I were to do it all over again, I would try to look for a comfy couch that wouldn’t get so slouchy looking <— if that’s even possible when you want a comfy couch!?! No Pillows Couch
  • Non-symmetrical pillows: Slouchy pillows are almost bound to happen with comfy couches, right? However, what makes my couch different (and a tad more annoying to me) is that the cushions are not symmetrical and therefore cannot be reorganized to even out the use. For example, I wish all of the cushions fit in all of the spaces so that when Matt’s seat was getting too “worn” looking, I could swap that cushion out so another cushion could get some use and the overused one could get a little break. … almost like a tire rotation. Unfortunately though, the cushions on my couch only fit in their specific place (because of shape) and can only be turned around (and some can’t even be turned around) and not swapped out for another one. My mom has a large sectional that she is able to swap out all of the cushions every month in order for it to get evenly worn. <– I had no clue about that when I went to buy my couch but if I were to do it all over again, I would opt for a couch that would allow me to do this. It’s not the end of the world but DEFINITELY something I would consider next time I go to buy a couch.

Fall Home Tour Family Room

  • The arms + leg style: I know this typically isn’t a “deal breaker” but if I’m being completely honest, I don’t think the couch “style” reflects my style now. If I were to do it again I would probably get a couch with arms and legs that reflect my style a little more. I’m thinking slimmer, more modern legs and arms that are a little less bulky/traditional. To my defense though, my style was just “starting out” at the time and has done some serious evolving since then. I don’t even know if I really looked at the arms and legs too closely at the time…. that would probably be a different story today.

family_room_couch_pillows_flowers_Bridget-004Overall Grade: B+

Tomorrow: The bad news is… neither of us have found THE perfect couch. And as we chatted about each of our couch’s faults, we both realized that a lot of you probably share in this feeling of living with an imperfect couch. Maybe you too have a couch that is slouchy, a style that is different from what you love, a color that isn’t your favorite, or a stain that totally ruins the couch’s vibes. Ugh… life happens, right?!

The good news is… we have found “creative” ways to dress up an imperfect couch and trick guests (and even ourselves) into believing it really is as close to that perfect couch as we can get! Tomorrow we will be sharing our tips and tricks on how we live with imperfect couches and learn to LOVE them by highlighting the best parts of them and hiding (literally hiding) the worst parts of them!


But before then, we would love to hear your thoughts!! What is one thing you wish you knew when buying your couch? Any advice you’d like to share to help us all avoid that mistake in the future?! We are taking notes…Bridget and Casey Signature



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30 thoughts on “Rookie Review: OUR COUCHES

  1. Gretchen Braun

    Such great advice! I’m going to be buying a new couch in the next few months so I’ll work on creating a list of things that I want BEFORE I go! Thanks for the idea to do that!

    1. DIY Playbook

      YES!! If only we knew that way back when, we both think that maybe we would do a few things different. Good luck on your hunt, what an exciting purchase.


    These were GREAT points! I especially liked hearing about the slouchy cushions! haha We’ve been looking at one of those couches where the whole back is just those big, squishy pillows. I’m betting over time, they will slouch but all of those are able to be rearranged, so perhaps it won’t be such a big deal.

    What fabric are your cushions made of? – The standard couch textured stuff (lol is that a thing?), microfiber, velvet? I was curious since both couches sound like they have held up fairly well over time.

    I originally wanted to go light for our couch, but when I went shopping I kept falling in love with charcoal grays. One time, I even fell in love with a black couch! I had to talk myself out of it – I have cats, one of which is black and I didn’t want to not see her and smush her. Poor kitty.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Kimi! You’ll have to keep us updated what you put on your “wish list” and what you end of deciding on! Good luck and happy shopping. =)

  3. shawnna griffin

    hey girls! Love the couches! So pretty! I would love to have a slipcover (fitted) to go over our couch! We have an almost 5 yr old boxer! Right now we have a 3 slip covers on it but they are not fitted!

  4. Heather

    We upgraded our entry-level sectional that could not be repositioned to a sofa and loveseat. I really do love the look of ours and comfort level, but the back pillows slouch and they cannot be removed to wash….so of course they are so much dingier than the rest of the couch. With couches, I feel like it is always the “grass is always greener” situation. While we can’t take the cushions off the back, I would hate loose back cushions thrown all around.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Great point! We completely agree about the “grass is always greener” situation… there’s probably at least ONE thing we would all change about our couches, especially after living with them for a few years. Hopefully by focusing on the POSITIVE and learning to live with that imperfect couch, we can all love what we have just a bit more. =) Thanks for sharing!

  5. Claudia

    Thank you for the thorough review – it really helps. I struggled with my old couch being too comfy for company. It was wonderful to watch t.v. or read but when they sat on it, it almost swallowed them up. I decided to let my daughter take it to her new apartment when she moved out and I bought a simple three-cushioned couch. Now my company can sit comfortable when they come but I don’t get to cozy up with my guy to watch t.v. Couches are a difficult purchase. Wish we could take them home for a week/month to try them out. I am ready to see if my daughter will switch with me but she loves that couch. I think its time to shop for a couch again…

    1. DIY Playbook

      haha that’s too funny! I’m sure your daughter appreciates it. And totally agree..wish you could try out a couch for a bit before making that big purchase!

  6. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    These are excellent points! I’m (slightly) older than you girls and have yet to purchase a couch…right before we got married 10 years ago my husband’s brother offered us their gently used couch & love set for $100 and that’s still what we use today! Definitely wouldn’t be my first choices but they are still in pretty good shape. I’d LOVE a grey sectional of some sort some day…but will likely be mid-late 30s before that happens! Thanks for giving me some great things to consider!!

  7. Kate LaCorte

    Attached cushions! Biggest regret! Our 50 lb dog loves to lay on the top of the couch (we’ve tried to change that, and lost). So our back cushions are all squished down, and since they are attached it’s really hard to fluff them up.

    Along with part of the bottom break in the move last spring… we were at crate and barrel last weekend ordering a new one (with detached cushions!).

  8. Erin

    we bought our couch about 8 years ago via ethan allen. It is SUPER comfortable. and I love the look of it (I was insistent on high arms. I just love high arms, it’s what i grew up with) and it had to be clean lines. and well back then (8 years ago) there weren’t really too many options for us to find something. And trust me we spent a many weekends at various furniture stores. (now there’s west elm, CB2, etc!)

    But then i went to my cousin’s house, and they had a sectional, and I was sold — it was awesome seeing how many people could crash on the couch! I feel like when we have friends or family over, i almost always end up on the floor.

    So as much as I love our couch. it really has served us well… and we aren’t ever getting rid of it, it was so much money! if we get a house, that couch is going in his studio. hah! and i’m getting a sectional! I hate that we cannot rearrange our furniture in our condo! that’s something i was so used to being able to do!

    I’d love to get something like the henry sectional from west elm. i’d definitely stick with gray.

    as for your comments – i agree about the cushions! fortunately our couch, we can flip them when we need to. but the 1 1/2 chair that’s the same, the back cushion is terrible!! and i’d probably get a more not as elegant fabric? if that makes sense. I find it hard to match pillows to it!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Totally understand where you’re coming from! Hard to part with an item you paid a pretty penny for. Your Ethan Allen one sounds great.

      And loofa the Henry Sectional from West Elm. You’ve got great taste girl!

      B & C

    2. Erin

      I’m totally trying to convince my best girl to pull the trigger on getting that henry couch so i can live vicariously through her! hahahahahahah

    3. Kara D

      I was THATCLOSE a few months ago, but nope. It doesn’t have a tufted back! I feel like the “flat” cushions show wear & tear easily on the tops! 😉

  9. Katie

    Couches are SUCH a scary purchase! They are not cheap and meant to have for years. We bought ours when I didn’t have much of a “personal style” and while I don’t hate it, you def learn as you go along. They have wide/flat arms which are great for a laptop or a snack but not so comfy when you’re trying to lay down. We’re getting a bit of that pilling too which sucks but hopefully whenever a future house has a basement, down they’ll go and we can learn from mistakes when replacing. A must for me was 3 cushions…guys ALWAYS sit in the same spot (usually the middle) and two cushions are just asking for that weird dent.

  10. Marissa

    When I graduated from college and moved “out on my own” I bought two things: a bed and a couch. Said couch was heinously ugly and had cushions along the back. My 6’4″ boyfriend (now husband) would rest his elbows on the cushions and over the course of 5 years completely destroyed them. That’s when I vowed to never again buy another couch that had cushions for a back. In the past 7 years we’ve bought two couches from Room and Board and love them both. Both lean midcentury modern and are on the firmer side (which we prefer). Plus they’ve held up great despite my kids thinking they are trampolines. The price point is a little higher but I once read that you should spend your money on the furniture you sit on so I bought cheaper end tables!

    1. DIY Playbook

      This is hilarious, Marissa! “Heinously Ugly.” hahahaha

      We are both big Room & Board fans and happy to hear the splurge was well worth it. You’re so right…spending more on something you use so often is worth it!

  11. Alli

    Hi Girls! I’ve been a (silent) reader for awhile, but had to comment on this post! We just got a new sectional – after using my husband’s furniture (that he bought before we met) for the past 10 years or so! I had been looking for a new couch for years, and finally found my perfect match in the Jonathan Louis “Choices” set – It’s essentially mix and match pieces that all come together to form a semi-custom sectional. You select the structure/layout of the pieces, as well as the fabric (from tons of choices – at least 200+), then the leg style, arm style and cushion style (I did box cushions so I could move them around when they start getting the bum indentations!). And it’s affordable! We found ours at a furniture store in Milwaukee, but it looks like it’s a national brand and available all over at different retailers. Hope this helps for when you’re ready to make a change!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Alli, thank you so much for this info! I’m going to go check out the Jonathan Louis sets online right now. Love that you can mix and match everything….and affordable sounds pretty darn amazing too! Seriously, thanks for the info.

      And thank you for being a reader! We love the silent & vocal ones all equally 🙂

    2. Alissa

      Alli – how has your couch held up after 1 year? My boyfriend and I are considering buying the choices sectional, for many of the same reasons you described, but have also read some reviews that the cushions give and look worn after just a few months of use! 🙁 would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks! Alissa

    3. Alli

      Hey Alissa!
      It still looks great! And we have a very energetic toddler who bounces on it daily, so I’d say it’s probably getting more wear than average right now. I just flip, fluff or move the cushions around as needed. We bought a second choices sectional for our lower level, and while that one gets much less wear than the one upstairs, the older one still looks really good in comparison. Hope that helps!

  12. Ashley

    When my fiancé and I moved into our new house about 2 years ago out small apartment couch was definitely not cutting it any more! We started searching for a new, large sectional for our living room and really struggled to find something we both liked, was durable enough for our energetic dogs, wouldn’t collect all the fur from our dogs, and fit the space. After a couple months of constant searching we finally found the perfect fit! We ended up with a large customizable 2 piece leather sectional. We were able to get the pieces to fit our space, pick from 100+ different leathers, pick the legs and nail head trim, and get it delivered! While it was definitely a splurge ($5000+, eeek!) it is by far the best purchase we have made for our home! We condition the leather at least once per month, and after almost 2 years it shows no signs of wear and tear, even with our active, large dogs treating it as their playground. It is extremely comfortable (great for movie nights and lazy naps), but very stylish and beautiful. It could not recommend it highly enough! And we were able to do a completely interest free payment plan. It is the echo park sectional from furniture row if anyone with pets is looking for something very durable!


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No More Card Table!


So it’s been about two weeks since I checked-in to share the very embarrassing situation in my bedroom… Bedroom BeforeIt’s kind of a long story, you can read WHY I have this card table in my bedroom in this post (not my proudest moment). Today I’m happy to move on from those dark days of homeowner embarrassment to celebrate the fact that the card table is finally gone and has been replaced with…bedroom_builtin_progress… a new shelving unit! Because I feel like I’m not even close to qualified to build something like this all by myself (I wish!), I hired a carpenter to build this unit. I gave him a sketch of what I had envisioned, he worked out the measurements and got to work. To my surprise he was able to get this whole project done in one day. <— ONE freakin’ day… I couldn’t believe it! This idea has been in my head for well over a year and in just 8 hours, DONE!

The cabinets are standard white cabinets and the carpenter built the shelves around those cabinets. Because the cabinets were standard size, the cost of the labor was far more affordable than if the carpenter had to build custom cabinets AND shelves. And since we’re DIY-ing the paint part, the project was very affordable, turned out far more professional, and was done a LOT faster than anything I could have done it.

So today’s pics are where we are today with this project — getting the shelves primed and painted white. So far the shelves have been primed once, but they still need caulk and at least two more coats of white paint to be considered completely done.Bedroom Beforebedroom_builtin_progress-001Once they’re painted, hopefully I can add hardware pulls (still undecided on the style), get the TV/wire situation hooked up, and then accessorize the shelves (my fav) to finally check this project off my list.  Bedroom Beforebedroom_builtin_progress-002I know it’s hard to visualize all of that from these photos, but I’m loving the direction this look is going and if things continue to go as I hope they do, this completed project will be a gorgeous addition to our bedroom. <– let’s be honest though, any substitute for that darn card table is pretty gorgeous in my book.

I’m really excited to start styling these shelves, but I’m also a little nervous because the “boxes” are all such odd shapes — very different than any shelfies I’ve had experience with. And is it bad that since these have been up (and I’ve been watching Casey build her amazing bedroom), I kinda want to give my whole room a “refresh” aka mini makeover? <– Not a whole dramatic makeover, just mini changes to refresh the space just a tad. Eeek…. I guess removing that card table was the first step down a very slippery slope. Hahaha who would have thought that?! #dontanswerthat

Bridget Signature



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20 thoughts on “No More Card Table!

    1. DIY Playbook

      The carpenter picked them up from his wholesale cabinet place (he uses them in kitchens usually). He said that it’s been so hard to get his hands on them because this style (in grey or white) is out of stock all the time. Unless he gets them on the same day the shipment arrives, he says they’re MIA for a few weeks!! Crazy!

  1. Emma and JW

    I love the idea of giving a room a “mini makeover” and LOVE the way that shelving unit looks in your room. I’m excited for the second installation in the series of styling the unit!

  2. Diana

    This is awesome! I’ve spent waaaay too much time thinking about where we could have built ins in our house…and I’ve come up with nothing. So I’m living vicariously through you girls and your wonderful sets! Looking forward to seeing them done!!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Of course! The materials came out to be about $450 and the labor was $500 so the total was $900. I think that’s a bit pricey but then when I think about buying a dresser from somewhere like West Elm, the price of the built-in is about the same (if not less!).

  3. Gesa

    Would you mind sharing the dimensions? I’m trying to figure out built ins for our house (living room and play room) but am really bad at visualizing in 3D! I’m interested to see how deep and high your cabinets and shelves are. Thank you so much in advance and I love your blog and both of your spaces!

    1. DIY Playbook

      No problem!!

      The cabinets are approximately 35 inches tall and 13 inches deep. The side shelves are bout 17 inches high and 10 inches deep. Hope that helps!! Good luck with the planning — how exciting!

    2. Gesa

      Thank you so much! This is very helpful, I appreciate it!
      I just saw your post about styling the shelves as well. They look beautiful!

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Interior Define + a $1,000 Giveaway!


Do you guys follow The Everygirl? If not, you absolutely should. It’s a website full of inspiring articles for millennial women looking to make the most of their everyday lives. And often times the site is full of gorgeous eye candy of interiors. Like this photo…

the-everygirl-interior-define-sofas-001Image via The Every Girl

Feminine, classy, and timeless. Love this look. When we saw this picture, we instantly fell in love with the couch and had to learn more about where it came from. I mean those legs..those arms…where could we get our hands on this beauty?!

That’s when we learned about the sofa retailer Interior Define.


Interior Define crafts gorgeous sofas at attainable price points, and they just so happen to have a storefront here in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. We recently had the opportunity to meet ID founder Rob Royer and learn more about their awesome products.



Their sign at the front door explains Interior Define’s motto very clearly…sofas are one-of-a-kind. Each piece is made to order and you can choose the style, size, fabric, color, and legs so it can seamlessly fit with your home’s style. We’re talking over 50 fabric options, 20+ leg choices, and endless styles and configurations.

But the craziest part is they can customize the size of your sofa down to the inch! So if you have a weird layout or need a sofa to span a certain amount of space in your home…you can work with Interior Define to create one that is right for you!

That was kinda mind-blowing for us both. When you live in small homes (like these 2 gals right here!), then you want to choose a sofa that is the right size for your space. You shouldn’t have to compromise style or quality to find a couch that is the perfect scale for your home.


With all of this customization, we figured that would dramatically alter the price. But it doesn’t. Their made-to-order production approach eliminates costly overhead, so you can still get a quality sofa at an affordable price. The cost only changes based on your specific sizing, so there are no upcharges for different fabric, colors, or leg options.


Because of all of the customization, we asked Rob about their return policy….thinking that there was no way they would take back a sofa when a consumer designs every last detail down to the inch. But he said they have a 365-day return policy for every piece sold. Say what?!

We think that’s pretty darn awesome. Especially since a couch is a big investment and you want to make sure you get the right piece for your home.


So after getting the scoop from Rob, we decided to have some fun eyeing the different styles, stroking the fabric blankets, and testing the softness of each sofa. IMG_7650

We each chose our favorite styles (Casey loves the Lucy, while Bridget loves the sloan), but both agreed that if we had a feminine space to makeover we’d go with the Rose style designed by Danielle and Alaina of The Everygirl. Or perhaps we could convince our boys to let us each buy one of the Rose chairs for our spaces? #valentinesdayhint


Interior Define plans to open more storefronts across the US, but you can still design and order your custom sofa on their website and have it delivered (for free!) right to your front

We suggest browsing their gorgeous selection online, and then be sure to order free swatches so you can check out all of the different fabric options before you finalize your sofa order.

Image via the Every Girl

And the absolute best part about today’s post?! We’re giving away a $1,000 credit to Interior Define so you can design your own new couch! Yep…$1,000! This covers the entire cost of Interior Define’s entry-sized Sloan sofa, or you can use the credit towards a larger one if any style of your choice!


Enter by joining Interior Define’s mailing list via the Rafflecopter widget, and be sure to let us know which style is your favorite in a comment below. You can check out our favorite styles right here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We will contact the lucky winner on Saturday! If you’re not the winner…we still have a little treat for you. Use the code “DIY100” and get $100 off your Interior Define order now through the end of the month!

Interior Define Bridget & CaseyGood luck & have fun sofa shopping! Bridget and Casey Signature

[Disclaimer: We teamed up with Interior Define to sponsor this post and giveaway. All opinions are our own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog!]

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126 thoughts on “Interior Define + a $1,000 Giveaway!

  1. aGalwayGirl

    The Rose chair is my favorite! We literally have no comfy chairs in our house…only couches. Crossing my fingers and toes!!! What a fun and amazing giveaway!

  2. Kiersten P

    I with you guys- I like the Sloan. However, I think the Henry would probably be a better compromise for me and my husband.

  3. Chelsea

    I love the Rose couch – the french style lines and femininity of it make it a great statement piece for any room!

  4. Kara D

    OMG, I’m excited to check out Interior Define! I’ve been pondering new sofa choices in the last year but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Too bad I can’t sit and test it out myself though… hmm.

    1. DIY Playbook

      We hope you find something that fits! If you’re interested in purchasing one, make sure you request some free textile samples. Having them sent to your house is the perfect way to test them out next to paint + pillows + rug + accessories + etc.

    2. Kara D

      I’m sorta bummed that there isn’t a tufted back option. There are certainly nice options there though.

  5. Amanda Risius

    I love the Lucy in linen!! This is perfect because we actually need a sofa for our basement living room 🙂

  6. Michelle Conn

    I think you ladies read my mind. We have been on the hunt for a small sofa with some style. Thank you so much!

  7. Trang

    Pick me! I’d love to win. LOL
    I really need a re-start button to push for my living room décor. It’s the most neglected room and I don’t have people over for that reason.

  8. Lara Gephart

    I neeeeeed a new sofa in my living room like whoah. My tribal print 80’s couch with a terrible slip cover isn’t doing my house any favors 🙂 Also I’m dying over all their couches! Amazing!

  9. Margo Solomon

    I loved tufted anything. I think it’s a childhood memory. We had tufted couches growing up. I also want a fainting couch in my room. So romantic!

  10. Colleen Bansley

    I like the Sloan but I also really like the Kelley style with chaise. I like the more traditional look, but also like having some hidden storage for puzzles and games under the couch! Not sure I entered contest correctly! Thanks for introducing another amazing local business!


    I am choosing a favorite just based on looks, I’d have to go with Russell. I adore the clean lines and the modern look – but it also looks plush and inviting. So many modern styles couches don’t for some reason. It’s kind of pricey however. Ouch. 🙁

    If I were choosing more inside of my own budget, I’d have to pick Walters w/ the chaise. I adore it in the Charcoal fabric!

  12. Jillian Marissa

    I’m torn, Henry or Asher? Basically anything light grey has me won over. Thanks for sharing, I have been looking for a new sectional!


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Cleaning up an old Trunk


When you see an old trunk at a garage sale for $10, don’t ask questions…. just buy it! You can figure out the next steps (like how the heck to clean it up!) after it’s yours.trunkAt least that’s what I thought when I first saw this old, GOLD trunk at a garage sale for $10! No, it’s not actually gold…. I think it’s brass (?)…. but I knew when I laid eyes on it, I had to bring it home (much to Matt’s disapproval). I knew he couldn’t see past the rust, stains, and wear & tear of it, the bright gold finish probably didn’t help either. trunktrunkTo be perfectly honest, I didn’t even care what kind of shape it was in because it was such a unique piece; I really don’t think I’ve ever seen a gold trunk. And for $10?! I needed to at least try to clean this baby up and see what I could do with her. And LITERALLY, the night before I was scouring the internet for a petite coffee table for our office. I couldn’t seem to find the perfect piece and after A LOT of searching, I was almost forced (and willing) to spend a pretty penny to get my hands on something that would work. I’m very glad I didn’t settle because the next morning fate stepped in and delivered me this beauty. (Definitely another lesson in shopping with intention & waiting for the PERFECT piece).

Plus ten bucks was just too good of price not to at least TRYYYYYYY to make it work. Matt rolled his eyes, pulled out his wallet, and cursed under his breath as he hauled this shiny treasure to our car. But who am I kidding? I hardly noticed because I was already scheming……

We got home, unloaded the trunk and brought it straight to the office. It was like this trunk was made for this space. I was SOLD, but Matt still needed some serious convincing. Like the best husband that he is, Matt hauled it back out to the garage and allowed me to get to work… immediately.

I ran out and picked up some Brasso, very fine steel wool, & goo gone (only to remove the sticker that was on it– not necessary if you don’t have anything sticky on the surface). I also have a stock of old T-shirts that I pulled up to use as rags.

As I learned as I buffed this thing out, proceed with EXTRA caution when using the steel wool. Even the finest grade steel wool slightly scratched the surface/dulled the gold sheen. I tried to stay away from using that as much as I could. But to be perfectly honest, I would rather lose the sheen in some of the areas and use the steel wool to remove/lessen some of the heavy rust spots instead of allowing them to stay without using the steel wool. I guess I would just suggest to test ALL products (especially the steel wool) on the bottom of the trunk. This way if it does scratch, discolor or ruin the surface, no one will be able to see the mistakes and you’ll know not to use that combo on the other parts of the trunk.

trunkThat’s exactly what I did. I started on the bottom of the trunk as a “test drive”. Then I moved to the back and sides. By the time I hit the front and top, I knew the “tricks” and what worked best for this project.

trunkI rubbed brasso all over the surface and really used some muscle on the nail heads and the locks. trunkWith a clean, old T-shirt, I rubbed clockwise to remove all of the brass. I was left with a shiny (not perfect!) surface that looked much better than when I started. I saw the biggest difference on the locks and nail heads. The top made a pretty dramatic come back as well.

Even though the trunk looks 100% better, it’s definitely NOT perfect but that’s okay with me. I still love it!!

But before I added it to the office permanently (and before Matt saw the inside), I needed to clean out and makeover the inside of the trunk. #eek

trunkI mean talk about an amazing storage solution for our small home. I think I plan on putting my winter clothes in here to store throughout the summer and summer clothes in here to store throughout the winter. Still undecided but either way, it definitely needed some TLC before I did that.

contact paperI used the marble contact paper we often use for our photos (this paper to be exact — sticky on one side), measured, cut and stuck it the sides & bottom of the trunk.

Easy enough, right?

marble paper trunkAnd finally, my favorite part….trunktrunk


Styling our new “coffee table”. Because the top of the table isn’t perfect and because I like this look anyway, I added layers of books, decorative boxes and trinkets to the top of the table. Not only is this solution fashionable, it’s also very functional. Each of these boxes is home to something random (cords, jewelry, office supplies– more storage is always a win in my playbook).trunk

And the BEST part of this entire project– Matt came in the office after the trunk was styled and the room was put together and said these exact words…

“Wow, I hate to say it but that trunk makes this room” <—- {insert me picking my jaw up from the floor}

SAY WHAT?! When I can win over Matt with a $10 shiny gold trunk makeover…. life is good great.

Bridget Signature

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14 thoughts on “Cleaning up an old Trunk

  1. Kayla

    Nice job, it looks great! My parents had this EXACT trunk (I swear!) and I actually used it in my bedroom for quite a few years! I wonder if they still have it… 🙂

  2. Carol Stratford

    Well done for $10! The reflective surface works almost the same way lucite does to give a roomier feeling to the space. Love!

  3. Heather

    Don’t you love when you are right about decor?! My husband complains most times when I bring something home. Just trust us! I love this piece in your space!

  4. Trang

    What a gem of a find! You can’t beat that for $10 and some elbow grease. You amaze me with your persistence and talent. It really does make the room!

  5. Ruth Robinson

    The trunk is wonderful! I would’ve bought this trunk for 10$ or even for 40$ in the shape it was! I love picking cool vintage items and I think that you did a great job with taking this one! Cleaning it up wasn’t that hard and now it is really a lovely part of your interior. I am happy that you share the way you clean up a trunk like this because it definitely is a great thing to know! Thanks for sharing! Greetings, Ruth from batterseacleaners 🙂


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Gold, White & Navy – A Table Makeover

full verticalGold Office Makeover table

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Lowe’s. All opinions are our own and are not influenced by Lowe’s. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog! 

Gold, White & Navy. <– my jam.

Allow me to explain. It’s no secret that we are trying harder to decorate with intention around here. We feel like we are slooooowly trying to define our style and not just “buying to buy” because something super cute is on clearance. I’m definitely not saying I want every design decision to be a labor of extreme thought and planning (no fun!), but I also don’t want to make spur-of-the-moment decisions that lead to design regret. My new rule? Only buy something that I absolutely LOVEEEEEEEEE. If I’m in a store trying to convince myself that an item will work, especially because the price is right — I PASS (sometimes sadly). If something catches my eye in the store and I feel like it’s unique, the price is right, and most importantly, it’s “so me“, then it’s fair game to scoop up! It’s crazy how many items I have passed on this summer, which ironically makes me really proud because it means I’m shopping with intention and hopefully (fingers crossed!!) I will be feeling less design regret in my future.  I’ll keep you posted on that part.

For now, allow me to introduce you to an item that recently passed the “Shopping with Intention” Test <– with flying colors might I add.

This is the actual photo I snapped in Goodwill to send to Casey. Once I saw it, I knew I wanted it and when I spotted the $4.99 price tag, I was even MORE excited to take her home.

I love the shape and geometric/glam thing this table has going on BUT black just doesn’t work in my space. I immediately knew I wanted to add some color to this table so I could add it to my office. Hmmm… back to that making design decisions with intention thing.

Inspiration Photos: Left via & Right via

I searched on Pinterest for rooms with navy couches and took note of the color combos. I find myself being drawn to more neutral color schemes lately with smaller pops of color. The whites + golds + a pop of navy consistently caught my eye.

Inspiration Photo via & via

I have a lot of silver in my house and don’t really have any gold. To be honest, I was always a little nervous to mix & match the two but really loved the look of subtle pops of gold. But enough of being too scared… gold here we come!! And for $4.99, now was the perfect time to try!

3ca22c89a75346553340d2edcdc39057Inspiration Photo via

Ironically as I searched for more navy + gold inspiration, this outfit popped up. Then it all clicked! Gold, white & navy are so me. Like literally sooooo me.

I headed to Lowe’s to pick up some paint for the table makeover. I wanted to mix and match the  navy and white color swatches from the store to see which white would be the perfect pick for this gold, white & navy project.


Their new HGTV Home paint selection is HUGE…. so many options (and I love how they’re grouped to help navigate and make picking paint a lot less intimidating)!! I chose some of my favorite navy and white swatches and brought them home to mix & match with a little pop of gold.

IMG_7241IMG_7274Decisions, decisions! I ended up going with a quart of HGTV Home Sherwin Williams “Pure White” (SW 7005)IMG_7247I put 3 coats of the Pure White (satin finish) onto the table top and my $4.99 table suddenly looked exactly how I hoped it would (maybe even a tad better!?)

full verticalGold Office Makeover Trunk

Who knew a few coats of Pure White paint could make such a dramatic difference in transforming an affordable piece to the perfect piece for our space? I’m in LOVE and don’t anticipate any design regret on this decision!! roses flower office makeover candle

Tomorrow I’ll be revealing ALL of our new office updates. Spoiler Alert: this $4.99 treasure is in very good company…trunk gold table officepink roses office table trunk
Bridget Signature

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10 thoughts on “Gold, White & Navy – A Table Makeover

  1. Nikki Simmerson

    I loved this table when you scored it, but now that you have that gorgeous white paint on it, I am positively obsessed! Like a previous lady commented, it is amazing what a little paint can do. Beautiful, beautiful!


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VIDEO: Easy Crate Storage Tutorial

crate storage

We’re 2 gals who feel like there is no such thing as being too organized. It’s simply not possible. And we truly believe that the best way to be organized & STAY ORGANIZED, is to give everything a designated spot to call “home.” Today’s project can help do just that!

DIY Crate Storage
When the WGN-TV show Weekend Workbench asked us to come up with a simple organization home hack, we immediately thought of using crates for some seriously easy storage. We had seen wood crates & binder clips used for various DIY projects around the internet (like here by one of our fav bloggers). So we thought we should give it a go and see if it really is as easy as it looks.crate storageSpoiler Alert: It truly is as easy as clipping crates together. Legit like 2 minute project.Crate DIYBefore we get to the goods (aka us all awkward on-camera), we need to gush about how freakin’ awesome this project is.

Personalized to Fit Your Space

First of all, you can use a variation of this shelving unit to fit any space in your home. Make it wider, taller, bigger…it’s so customizable.  We styled it as if it would be used in a mudroom or in a nice garage. But we think it would be an awesome fit for just about any space! Crate

Budget Friendly Storage

Second, it’s budget-friendly. We purchased these crates from Michael’s for about $12 a pop (there are several options available here too) and bought a pack of large binder clipssperry boots

Customize the Design and Function

Finally, you can customize this crate storage to fit the decor of your home. Stain the wood crates, paint them, spray paint the binder clips a fun color…make it reflect your home and your personality! We kept everything it its natural condition because there simply isn’t enough “TV time” to paint, stain, or spray paint the supplies. But if we were going to do this project again, we would definitely add some color.crate storage

Video Tutorial

Okay, so we made you wait long enough. Here’s the how-to video tutorial. We hope you enjoy!
crate storageIf you have an awkward space in your home that’s in desperate need of some organization, this just might be the perfection solution for you!Casey_bridget_Sig

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Ikea Dresser Hack


Our first IKEA Dresser Hack in the history of the DIY Playbook. Wow, we have a lot to talk about. Let’s first start with a step-by-step overview of what we did to dress up this $34 RAST Ikea Dresser. Then, we’ll get into what we love about the look, what we learned, what we would do differently and why we may never buy a $34 dresser again.
ikearastStanding 24 and 3/8 inches tall, arriving at our doorstep in all individual pieces, and costing only $34 (say whaaaat?!)… meet the Ikea RAST.
IMG_1290With a little extra time in the DIY Playbook’s beauty shop, check out the new, improved, mid-century inspired RAST Ikea dresser! Let’s break down the transformation, shall we?

First order of business (no progress pics, sorry!): We primed and painted all of the parts BEFORE we put the dresser together. We figured painting first would eliminate some of the tedious work of trying to paint some of the nooks & crannies.

dresser suppliesSecond order of business: the dresser’s new legs. This is the first time we bought “legs” for a piece of furniture and we LOVED our experience with them! We bought 4 of these Dual Top Plates to screw into the dresser itself. We then bought 4 of these two inch legs. Neither item cost more than $3.ikea dresserThe dual plates were extremely easy to screw into place and once you have the dual plates on, all you have to do is screw the leg into the plate. The “dual” option allows you to place the plate in a way that you could have the legs go straight down or use the other opening in order for the legs to curve outward, which is more of the midcentury look. Although we love, love, love the curved look, with such a small dresser the curved legs looked a tad odd. So we went with the straight down option for this project.

We did, however, run into a slight glitch when adding the legs. After building the painted dresser, we realized that this dresser didn’t have a “bottom” aka anything to attached the legs to. Therefore, we bought a small piece of MDF board, had it cut to size, and nailed that baby in to create a bottom to attached legs to. Of course, we had to paint that piece white after the other painting was already done. Sooo… if you do plan on doing this, we would suggest buying the MDF from the start and painting it with the rest of the project.

dresser hooksLike we mentioned before, all we had to do was screw in the dual plates and screw in the legs….
dresser feet… and this bad boy was walking! Well, not exactly, but the whole process was pretty darn easy! (We will definitely be using these again).puttyThen…. painter’s putty. We took our white painter’s putty and filled in the existing hardware holes. We wanted to add one long, sleek handle to each drawer and we couldn’t find one to fit the existing holes. The painter’s putty allowed us to cover the existing holes, but did require a second coat of paint to cover them. (Tip: Just like the MDF board, we recommend you cover the holes from the very start so you don’t have to go back and paint… again!) #rookiemistakes
hardwareNow, our finishing touches and our favorite part of the project… the hardware! We scored these amazing pulls from Hickory Hardware. You can pick these pulls up at Menard’s or order them from the Hickory Hardware website. However, we’re warning you: LOTS of choices! Just so many darn options!
IMG_1290We drilled pilot holes for each of the handles and screwed the handles into place. DONE and DONE!
IKEA Hack dresser
We are totally digging the sleek, mid-century inspired look. Thanks to the legs and the hardware, this $34 piece of furniture LOOKS a lot more expensive. decorative boxIMG_1280-001

However, we do have to be honest here. We love the look but the $34 dresser quality is exactly what you would expect a $34 dresser to be. Don’t get us wrong, if you’re looking for budget-friendly furniture that you can personalize on the cheap yet make look expensive… this project is definitely FOR YOU, and we will be cheering you on every step of the way.

Buutttttttt, if you’re looking for a quality, sturdy, long-lasting dresser, this $34 dresser may not be the perfect match for you. It looks awesome, but the quality leaves you thinking that maybe you should have spent the extra moola.

IMG_1277IMG_1270IMG_1290The takeaways here?  For $34 this IKEA Dresser hack is what it is. And regardless of quality, there’s no denying that those charming legs and that gorgeous hardware could totally fool any guest into thinking that your $34 could have actually been $340! Your secret is safe with us… #always.

Bridget and Casey SignatureIf you’re interested in seeing even more IKEA Hack Dresser inspiration, check out some of this amazing inspiration (they even come with tutorials!). 

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15 thoughts on “Ikea Dresser Hack

  1. Paula@SweetPea

    Your dresser looks great, Casey and Bridget. I like the hardware that you selected for it and also the legs. After adding a top to my dresser, it seems much sturdier. I think it balances the weight of the dresser. What will be the forever home for yours?

    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Paula!! And good to know about adding a top = sturdiness. We’re not sure yet where this dresser will permanently live, but we’re excited to try it out in different spots. =)

  2. Laura @

    So interesting to read about this… I’m working on a post for our blog about our Ikea Tarva dresser hack! We considered the Rast (so affordable) but in the end it was too small and a little rough for our purposes. The Tarva is solid wood and very “hackable” too, but I thought the drawers were smoother rolling and overall the quality was better. It’s for our toddler’s room, so it needs to stand up to many years of vigorous use. 🙂

    1. DIY Playbook

      Doing the Tarva instead was a great call! Although it was fun making over the Rast, it definitely doesn’t have much staying power. We’ll see how long it lasts around here…ha!

      B & C

  3. Zan Turner

    I love IKEA and would not have been able to tell it cost only $34 if you did not mention it (I mean with the finishing touches). Looks great! But I find it expensive to order online. So we just go there since we live real close to the one by Woodfield mall in Schaumburg. Did you have to pay shipping?

  4. Diana

    We’ve looked at the dressers in store as potentials to make over at our next house (still years away). You did a great job on this, it looks great! But my husband said the same thing about the quality…don’t know if we’ll end up purchasing them someday or not. But I love all the hack potential!


    Browsing about this morning and I’m glad I came across this post. I went to Ikea for the first time a month ago and I felt pretty “meh” about the quality of a lot of what we saw. But these dressers caught my eye. I liked that they were cheap and ready for me to customize.

    Thanks for the heads up that the quality is indeed, not stellar. I think I’m still going to buy them as a for now type thing. Why are nightstands so expensive!? I want something bigger like these because the smaller ones feel drawrfed by our king-sized bed and the size of our bedroom. But everything I find is $200+ each!


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Wooden Chest Refresh


Bridget & I often go on and on about our love for thrifting. There’s just nothing like visiting our local antique shops and thrift stores in hopes of finding a gem amongst the piles of items. But 90% of the time, we just browse and leave empty-handed. It’s still fun, but it’s nothing like the rush of finding something that you actually want to scoop up and put in your car immediately.

I recently had that awesome “rush” feeling, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it today.

Be-Happy-SignYou guys have seen this little nook here on the blog before. It’s in our family room right by the TV area, and the basket holds all of our wrapping paper and gift giving essentials. We found the wicker basket at an estate sale in St. Louis (for less than $10) and it’s been a welcome addition to our home. But recently I was jonesing to replace it with something a little more substantial. Perhaps something that could offer a bit more storage, and something that didn’t shed little pieces of wicker everywhere. #notfuntocleanup

Chest-Before-HorizontalSo imagine my excitement when I found this wooden chest at my local Salvation Army store for only $30. It was in relatively good condition, and I could tell that the solid wood piece was definitely well made. After a text to Finn for his “man approval” (and receiving the green light) I scooped this baby up and brought her to her new home.

After a closer inspection, I decided that the wooden chest certainly didn’t need an entire overhaul. Instead, it just need to a little refresh to bring the wood back to its former glory.

I’ve read about Restor-A-Finish on a few of my favorite blogs, and decided that I would give it a try for this project. It’s supposed to breathe new life into old antiques, without the rigorous steps that accompany a strip/stain/poly method of completely refurbishing a wooden piece. Feed-N-Wax goes along with the Restor-A-Finish as a way to finish off the piece and give it a nice, shiny coat. (Kinda like shampoo and conditioner). So I grabbed these 2 products before getting started on my mini refresh.

Magic-WipeMagic-Eraser-AfterMy first order of business was to get rid of some of the weird gunk that was on the chest. Honestly, not really sure what was on this thing. Stickers? Gum? I actually probably don’t want to know. I used a Magic Eraser (my new favorite cleaning supply) and scrubbed away at any suspicious areas. In about 5 minutes, it was look much better…and a lot less gunky.Before-after-one-coat

Then I got to work with the Restor-A-Finish. I simply followed the directions on the back (wipe-on with a cloth, wipe-off with a cloth) and I immediately saw a difference. It covered up water marks and many of the surface scratches and spots with just one coat. It also made the finish a tad bit darker, which really brought out the natural colors in the wood. I was pleasantly surprised to see it worked so well without a heck of a lot of work. DSC_0044

I followed up with the Feed-N-Wax and that really did add a shine to the piece. That too was really easy to apply (wipe-on, wipe-off) and I even put a coat of it on a couple of my other DIY wood pieces (our coffee table, our side table) to give them a little TLC.

The chest was done in about an hour. No stain, no crazy dry time, no big mess. Side-View-Wooden-Chest

If you have deep imperfections in the wooden piece you’re looking to spruce up, then this might not be the best method for you. Instead, I would only recommend doing this if your piece has some surface flaws, water spots, or light scratches. Consider the Restor-A-Finish method as a facial, while a strip/stain/poly method would be an actual facelift. Know what I mean?


So there you have it…a mini makeover of our new thrift store find. This simple refresh eliminates a lot of the intimidating factors that come along with DIY’ing a piece of wood furniture (staining, sanding, waxing, etc.) Would you give this method a try for your next furniture project? wood furniture cleanercasey_sig

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18 thoughts on “Wooden Chest Refresh

  1. Jaclyn Lorimer

    Super cute & functional–I’ll have to remember those two products for a couple of future projects I have in my back pocket. Thanks Casey!

    Visiting from LorimerLiving.Blogspot.Com

    XO, Jaclyn

  2. Liz Gordon

    Wow, the difference (for the amount of work) is amazing!

    I found your blog through IHeartOrganizing and you are now one of my new favorites! I live in a 3 bedroom/1.5 bathroom townhouse so it is so exciting to finally find a home decor blog written by people in a very similar situation. Now, if only you guys could tell me how to make the space work once you have to start making it livable for a child! 😉 I had my first baby just over 3 months ago and have been trying to find creative and attractive ways to store and incorporate baby stuff into our living spaces.

    On a different note, where are those lovely slippers from??

    1. DIY Playbook

      We are so happy that you found us! Congrats on the baby…what an exciting time. You’re right…we haven’t done any posts about making a nice space with a child in the house. Maybe someday that will be on our posting schedule! 😉

      The slippers are actually from Nordstrom Rack, Jessica Simpson brand. Sooooo comfy! I got them for Christmas and have worn them just about every day. Ha!

      Have a great rest of your weekend!

  3. Cathy Cortes

    Looks so good! That’s a great option to try those products. I’m so intimidated to redo a solid wood piece with sanding & staining.

  4. Emily Reed

    This stuff is amazing! We inherited a bunch of antique furniture that had been badly neglected for the last 15 years. Some good ole’ scrubbing with Murphy’s and both of these products brought them back to life! The mahogany one is awesome for the 50’s style pieces. And I love the smell of the feed-n-wax – you can’t beat walking into a room and smelling that orange. Some of the pieces were in a heavy smoke environment, but this has eliminated the odor on the outside. We’re still experimenting on getting rid of the smoke/must smell on the inside of the cabinets and drawers.

    1. Anita W. Rohmer

      I just read that coconut oil would take out musty odors! I have’t tried it yet but will soon! I LOVE that stuff for LOTS of things!

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Our Cozy Chicago Master Bedroom


It seems like our master bedroom is just about done and decorated. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll forever be tweaking things here and there…but for now, our cozy master bedroom is staying as is! To celebrate this mini success, I thought we could chat all about the space and how it has evolved since we moved in last year.

When we first found our apartment last October, this room was empty and in need of a good paint job. Before moving in we painted the room “Argos” by Sherwin Williams. Now a year later, and I’m still in love with the color. The bluish-gray is a gorgeous neutral and it really works well in this small space. When all of our belongings arrived from St. Louis, we got to work finding a layout for our furniture. Because this room is itty bitty…this is literally the only layout that made sense. One dresser on the right, one nightstand on the left, and our long black dresser across from the bed. It may seem wonky or unbalanced, but it is what it is. Of course I’d love to have a different setup, but when you’re a renter sometimes you just have to make due! Mirror-over-bedBedroom-DresserNIghstand-in-bedroomI have to admit that I do miss having two night stands, especially since the Mr. is terrible at hearing out alarm in the morning. There have been many a time when I get up, walk over to the other side of the bed, turn off the blaring alarm, and grunt at Finn who is blissfully unaware of any commotion. I would suggest that we just switch sides of the bed but the right side is my side. So perhaps I need to move the alarm clock to my side of the bed. (Side Note: That is definitely not our alarm clock in the picture. Ours is a humongous electronic thing that is hideous. That cute clock is my go-to stand in for blog pictures. #bloggersecrets But that is our white noise machine hiding behind the lamp. That thing is amazing and a total sleeping lifesaver)Casey-in-reflection

We get a good amount of natural light in this room, as our windows face the east. But, so as not to wake up at sunrise we have blackout shades that are usually drawn tight, with nice bamboo shades over the roller ones. Plus, the building across the way might get quite the peep show if we kept them open while getting ready each morning.


I chose to keep most of our accessories and lighting very light and neutral, to go along with the calming atmosphere of the room. White accents, white lamps, and large-scale “art” help give the room a cohesive look. Feet-on-rugPouf-ShoesI’m still obsessed with our shag rug. It hasn’t shed much at all and it’s still just about the coziest spot in our home. I swear one of these days I’m going to come home to find Finn curled up like a ball napping peacefully on this bad boy. IMG_9728IMG_9762Like most spots in our home, our bedroom features lots of personal touches. Like our “His” & “Hers” signs, wedding date game pieces, and of course our large picture ledge wall. Dresser-Wide-Shot

JewelryMost of my jewelry still stays tucked away in our white jewelry cabinet. I think I’ll have that thing forever, it’s a total lifesaver. I also like to showcase a few extra sparkly things on this HomeGoods cake tray. It’s fun to add a little glitz and glam to the stark black dresser.


As for the picture ledge wall, it has been so fun switching out the frames and art on it. It changes quite frequently as we collect new mementos and print out new pictures. I still love the combo of the black and white frames up here. Picture-LedgesOur-First-HOmeReading-on-bedAll in all, I’m very happy with our cozy bedroom. We didn’t have much space to work with, yet we somehow managed to fit all of our clothes and bedroom belongings in here. It’s a fabulous place to rest our heads at the end of a very long day.casey_sig

If you have any questions about any of these items found in our bedroom, see below…

Bedroom Posts:

Bedroom Source List:

  • Wall Color: Sherwin Williams’ “Argos”
  • Tufted Headboard – Lowe’s
  • Convex Mirror – Home Decorators Collection
  • White Bedding – West Elm
  • Gray Quilt – Target
  • Lambskin Throw – Ikea
  • Gray & Green Pillows – HomeGoods
  • White Lamps – HomeGoods
  • White Dresser – Value City (from college!)
  • White Nightstand – Value City (from college!)
  • Black Dresser – Ashley Furniture
  • Jewelry Cabinet – QVC
  • Shag Rug – Rugs USA
  • Nailhead Bench – DIY project
  • His & Hers Frames – Pier 1
  • Large Art – DIY project
  • Gray Pouf – Goodwill <—what a score!
  • Clear Candle Stick Holder – World Market
  • Ampersand – Etsy
  • Frames – Mostly all Ikea
  • Bamboo Shades – Overstock
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