Category Archives: Home Decor

Office Design Plans

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Last week I told you guys why I’m in the process of swapping our guest room and office, and we briefly chatted about the major problems with the current space (you can catch up here). Today, I’m sharing the design plans for our “new office” with a mood board and a few notes about my plans.neutral_office_inspo-07-pm

I love putting together a mood board before I start painting, buying furniture, or making any changes in the space.  It’s great to see a snapshot of the entire space before taking any action. Putting all of the pieces that I’m loving together gives me a clear direction and far more confidence to start the space. If you’re tackling a new space, I would HIGHLY recommend doing this if you’re having trouble visualizing the look. We shared this tutorial on making a mood board last year to help walk you through the process. <— The best part is that it’s super EASY and you don’t need to have any special software on your computer or any photoshop-like skills.

Once I had the mood board together (and I tested out a few different items), I was really loving the look and was super excited to get started. Here are my thoughts for this space:

Office Plansminimal_desk

via Minimal Desks

  • White Paint: You guys know we’re all about neutral paint around here but I’ve never experimented with WHITE and I’m actually really excited to try. I’ve seen so many white rooms I’ve been loving lately and thought this bright space could be the perfect opportunity to test out the look for myself. (And see if I just love the look online or if I really love living with it too).
  • Neutral Decor: I really want to focus on neutral decor and incorporate some greenery as color. Since this is a place where I’ll be working, I want it to be calm and minimal. I don’t want a lot of clutter, but instead a space where all of our office essentials (including mail and paperwork) have a specific place to call home. When everything in our house has a place to call home, I find that I don’t feel like our space is cluttered… which really helps me feel calm and ready to work. workhardvia School House Electric
  • Meaningful Art: I’ve been eyeing this “WORK HARD & BE NICE TO PEOPLE” Art for YEARS… yes YEARS! It may be my all time favorite piece of art on the internet and I knew that it was finally time to splurge on it since I love it so much (and the message is so meaningful to me). The art is more than I usually spend but like I’ve been mentioning all year, I want quality over quantity and would rather spend more money on one thing I love than a lot of little pieces on sale. guest-room-fauxdenza-minted
  • Fauxdenza: I love both Casey’s fauxdenza and the fauxdenza we built for the Lowe’s Fall Makeover. Ever since Casey installed hers, I knew I wanted to try one in our home but wasn’t sure where to make it work. Now that this space is a blank slate, I think a fauxdenza will be the stylish storage we need. But I definitely want to put my own spin on this DIY, so it’s not exactly the same as the others.
  • Tall Desk for 2: I’ve been intrigued about a standing desk for a while. I have some neck problems (aka too much time on the computer not enough time at the gym) and thought that working towards a standing desk could be a fun… and a healthy challenge in 2017. Plus, I liked this taller table because it could fit both Matt and I (or me and Casey) so we can work together in the office without having a huge footprint in the room.

barn_door_inspovia PopSugar

  • DIY Barn Door: This is the component of the room that I’m most excited about but also most nervous about. I have to do a lot of research before tackling this project but I do love the idea of getting rid of the two current doors and replacing them with one large sliding door. We have access to our crawl space in this closet and the current setup is not working out too well. I think the large door will look great while offering more room for access into this space.

These are my ideas for now. Of course this room will definitely be a work in process but now that I have more of a plan, I’m excited to get started. First on the to-do list? Paint!! If all goes as planned, stay tuned some time next week with white paint updates! bridget_sig

 

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Casey’s New Living Room Couch

family-room-couch

The time has finally come to reveal our new couch and I couldn’t be more excited. This has been a looooong time in the making. In fact, I first chatted about our desire for a new couch back in this post from October.

Casey-White-Couch-Family-Room-3Our old couch wasn’t bad (here’s a full review on it), but we had it for 6 years and wanted to change things up. It felt a bit too bulky for our home, we didn’t love the chaise because it cut off the room, and we felt like our style had evolved since purchasing this couch. We figured we could sell the white couch and put that money to a new one that we both absolutely loved (and that’s what we did)!

Our gameplan was to find a sleeker (but still comfortable!) gray sectional without a chaise. After looking at A LOT of options we took the plunge and bought a couch from Interior Define. Coincidentally we just happened to visit their show room during their yearly 20% off sale. After sitting on the Sloan, and hearing about the sale…we immediately bought it! (FYI: This post is not sponsored in any way. We paid for this couch all on our own. I’m just really excited to share all of the details with you guys!)interior-define-gray-couch-family-room

And then we waited…and waited. It took 3 MONTHS for our new couch to arrive and I was so eager to get the new one in our place and looking good. Their couches take quite awhile because each one is custom-made. You choose the length, fabric, and legs and then they make it after you order it. It’s nice because you then have a couch that is exactly what you want…but the waiting game can be tough!gray-couch

We really liked the sleek look of the Sloan model, but before we sat on it in the store we thought it might not be super comfortable. Luckily, we were wrong. It’s really deep and incredibly comfortable. gray-linen-fabricThere’s nothing worse than having a nice looking couch that you don’t even want to sit on because it’s so firm and uncomfortable. After sitting on this one, we were pleasantly surprised at the comfort level and that’s what made us swipe our credit card really fast!linen-fabric

We went with the color “dove” in a pebble weave fabric. It’s got a nice texture and they assured us that it is very resistant to stains and dirt <— a must for us!interior-define-gray-couch

You can also choose the legs for your piece We went with tapered square wood ones in the color “oiled walnut.” You can actually buy multiple sets of legs if you want to change things up down the line. I like that there are options if we ever want to try out a new style in our home in the future, especially because swapping out the legs is much more affordable than purchasing a whole new couch.family-room-couch

In terms of positioning, we ended up opening up the “L” towards the rest of the room and ordered the couch with 2 even sides (100″ long). With our old couch, we had it flipped the other way and this divided our large room into 2 separate areas. It worked just fine, but we are loving this open setup much more! coffee-table-built-in

Now that our new couch is in I’m eager to find a few other pieces for the living room.couch-planning

To the left of the couch, I’d love to put a side table and a lamp. We have recessed lighting in this space, but I love having soft lights on at night to create a cozy atmosphere. We have just enough space for a small table and pretty lamp. I can’t wait to start looking.coffee-table

We also desperately need a new coffee table. I love the shape and color of this one, but it has seen better days at this point. So many nicks, scratches, and marks on this thrift store piece I DIY’ed about 4 years ago. I’m not 100% sure what I want in terms of a new table (open to suggestions!), but I’m excited to start looking. built-ins-family-room

I’m also toying with the idea of adding a chair directly across from the couch. So if you look at the picture above it would go on the left side towards the built-ins. Do you think that would make it too crowded? I just think it would add more seating and would make the room feel even homier. couch-family-roombuilt-ins-family-roomI don’t want to block the built-ins too much, so the chair would have to be worth it!couch-pillows

I also want to thoughtfully choose pillows for this couch. Most of the pillows on my old couch were gray, and they definitely do not work on our new gray sectional. couch-family-room-interior-defineFor now I took the navy pillows from our guest room and put them on the couch, but I want to choose some new ones that go well with the look, style, and feel of this new sectional. couch-family-room-built-ins

Overall this couch is a game changer in our home! It fits with our current style much better and is a great sectional for city living. I cannot wait to find the other pieces to turn this room into the amazing space I know it can be! casey_sig

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21 thoughts on “Casey’s New Living Room Couch

    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much Kira! Interior Define is awesome. The hardest part was just waiting for my new couch to get here! Love the suggestions too. Thanks so much!

  1. Erin

    excellent choice! and the price. I love it! i’m really wanting a sectional, but i think our living room is too small for one. and it’d feel like we were blocking everything in. the hard part is i can’t rearrange anything!! My mom always rearranges the furniture in the living room a couple times a year…. and it kills me that i can’t!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      The price was waaaay better than we anticipated! Plus with the sale and selling our old one, it was well worth it. I feel ya on changing things around! It’s nice to try a new layout to keep it fresh!

  2. Trang

    I love it. Great job on picking out THE couch for your place (and for the patience you had). It was well worth the wait.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Do it! We had ours for 6 years and I haven’t loved it for the past 2 or so. By selling our old one and finding a good deal on a new one…it wasn’t even that crazy of a splurge! So exciting for you to look for a new one Diana!

  3. Let Facts be Submitted

    Love it !!! I have a sectional as well and I have a sitting chair that I was able to find at Home Goods. A mid-century style would look nice. Enjoy your new space!

    Reply
  4. Samantha Clark

    Have you considered a large (maybe square) ottoman instead of a coffee table? Also, where did you get the cream colored pillows?

    Reply

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Pegging my Style & Testing out New Outlets

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[Disclaimer: Legrand sponsored this post, however all opinions and photography are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.]

When I “refreshed” my bathroom last year, I chatted a lot about how I’m using my current house as a place to experiment with home decor and design. Even though we’ve only been here for four years, I have learned SO much about my style. And I’ve really done that by bringing an item into my home and figuring out whether I like it or don’t like it. bathroom-wide

Figuring it Outbathroom-hallway

We are all guilty of seeing things on Pinterest or the blogosphere and thinking that you should try that exact look in your own home. I’ve certainly done it before and most of the time I would end up with serious design regret.

I’ve gotten better over the past few years, but I certainly experience design regret every now and then. I’ve learned to accept it as a learning opportunity and a part of the journey of finding my own style.bridget-home-tour-wide-shots-family-room-kitchen-dining-7

It is my ultimate goal that when we find our next house (presumably our “forever house”), I will have my style pegged. I want to know what I love and don’t love without the influence of the overwhelming (yet amazing!) inspiration around me.

Taking Chancesbridget-home-tour-wide-shots-family-room-kitchen-dining-9

To do that, I have made a promise to myself that I will use this house as a chance to try different things in order to determine what I love and what I don’t. I see our house almost like a sampler platter. Or for my fellow ice cream lovers, it’s like when the ice cream shop gives you those tiny tastes of whatever ice cream you want before finally committing to the flavor that will fill up your cone. That’s me right now. Taking those tiny plastic spoons and dipping them into all kinds of different flavors so that when we find our forever house, I know EXACTLY what flavor I want to order.

So what does ice cream or pegging my design style have to do with outlets? Great question.

Trying New ThingsDIY_updated_faucet-005

Along with honing my design style, I also want to try new household products so I know what I love and what I don’t. For example, my current touch sensor kitchen faucet. I LOVE it and would have never been exposed to this technology without testing it out. But even though I love it, I don’t know if it’s a must-have in my next house. It’s very convenient and cool but it’s not significantly different from how I used to use a regular faucet (probably since I don’t do much cooking…). And when people come over and try to use the faucet, it becomes a bit inconvenient since others have a hard time working it. But I would have never gotten this information without living with it over the past year.old_faucet_DIY_bridget

This is the exact type of experimenting I want to do while we live in this “sample platter” of a home. And here’s where the new outlets come in. When Legrand invited us to test out their products, I was excited to give them a try to see if what sounded like AMAZING technology would be worth the investment to install in an entire house someday.

New Outletslegrand-outlet-covers-2

Legrand offers tons of smart technology for homes, from home automation systems, sensor lights, USB ports, security cameras… they have it all. Checking out their site had me excited to test these waters because I’m very new to just about any smart home technology but I’m really interested in learning more about it.

legrand-outlet-coversI looked at the radiant collection and decided to start small by ordering new outlets with no-screw cover plates, a USB port inside an outlet (!!), and a sleek light switch with another no-screw cover plate. Outside of the smart home components, I was also excited to see how their no-screw cover plates worked. All of our outlets have the traditional screw(s) on the front of them and imagining an entire house with sleek cover plates had me intrigued.

Once I ordered them, I used this tutorial to switch out all of the outlets and the light switch in our office.

Outlets with USB ports

Even the outlet with the USB port was easy to install, which was a VERY pleasant surprise!

legrand-outlet-covers-5I chose to install all of the outlets in the office. I figured the USB technology would get the most use back there, especially for charging our devices (Matt’s FitBit seems to always be hanging off of my computer stealing a charge at all the wrong times). Matt really loves the USB addition and his mind was officially blown when I showed him our new outlet!output_imAdEQ

No Screw Cover Plateslegrand-outlet-covers-4

Outside of the USB feature and the sleek look of these outlets and light switch, I am pretty obsessed with the no-screw switch plates. I couldn’t imagine how these no-screw plates would connect until I actually installed them.

Each plate comes with this black cover that attaches to the wall before the cover plate is attached. Once that is attached, all you have to do is snap on the cover plate. I was concerned how the plate would come off if I ever had to open up the outlet again and I was again pleasantly surprised to find that is was very easy to snap it off. All you have to do is squeeze both sides of the outlet and it snaps right off — genius!

So Far, So Goodlegrand-outlet-covers-8

So far we’re loving the new look of cover plates and REALLY love the new technology Legrand has brought into our office. Now I can charge my computer, camera battery AND phone all at the same time without one of those chunky adapters on the outlet. The first bite of this sampler was very delicious but I’ll keep you updated on how much it changes our lives for the better!

Psst… here’s a sneak peek at the current state of the “new office”. I can’t wait to dish all about the paint color and my first furniture purchase (this table!). More details next week! 

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Anyone else have experience incorporating smart technology into your home? We’d love to hear about it! How do you like it? Would you recommend it to others? Is it a forever home must-have?

 

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9 thoughts on “Pegging my Style & Testing out New Outlets

  1. Jaclyn

    Those USB outlet plugs look awesome! One would be great by my nightstand – even though I know they say you shouldn’t keep your cell phone right next to you while you sleep, I still do.

    Reply
  2. Kara D

    I’ve added some smart outlets to my house, programmed the timers in a smartphone’s app, and plugged lights into them. It turns on my living room lights every day right around sunset and off every night at a certain time (kinda the equivalent of mom telling you to go to bed!). I love it because 1) I almost never have to touch it (except when I refuse to go to bed, then I can manually turn it on at the plug or through the app) 2) it’s consistent even when I’m away from the house, and 3) My bedroom light is like my fake morning sunlight during the dark winter morning hours. I’m going to add a smart thermostat next!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      This is amazing! Love the idea for waking up in the morning. I hate getting up now in the darkness…I just feel so disoriented! Totally gonna look into this.

      Our smart thermostat is AMAZING! Definitely recommend getting one.

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B’s Guest Room is Getting a Makeover!

guest room

Bad Blogger

Real Talk: I’ve been a bad blogger. It’s been over three years of having the blog and I’ve hardly ever taken you guys into our guest room. When we FIRST started the blog I snapped a few pics but honestly since then…nothing.

Since we moved in, this space has been a “catch-all”. I really haven’t invested any money into it except for a few IKEA pieces and a few thrift store finds. The rest of the furniture and accessories in this space are hand-me-downs or overflow from the rest of the house. Don’t get me wrong I’m SO grateful for hand-me-downs, especially since those precious pieces saved us a lot of money at the time AND allowed this room to function as a guest room for the past four years.

The Current Problems

It’s time overdue for a change. After lots of discussing, Matt & I have decided to make this room into our new office and our current office into the guest room. We think swapping these two rooms will make a lot more sense for our house while solving some of the current problems we’ve been facing in this space. Allow me to explain some of the current problems:guest room

  1. We gave away a lot of the furniture in this space to a new homeowner who was looking to fill his new house. It was a win-win because we were looking to start fresh and he was excited to give the dresser, nightstand, shelves and chair a new home. This isn’t necessarily a problem (it actually turned out to be a great thing) but the problem is that we don’t have anything left in the guest room, which means we HAVE to get going on this project soon! #yay
  2. The guest room is the lightest room in the house (two windows that get lots of sunlight almost all day long) but since it’s a guest room, we hardly ever use it. In a 1,000 square foot house, it seems like such a waste to not use an ENTIRE room consistently… especially the one that’s the brightest all day long.
  3. We have guests every once in a while (like Casey!) but 355 days of the year, the room sits pretty much unused. If I need a place to throw project materials or a place to hold holiday/birthday gifts until I wrap them, I’ll throw them on the bed in the guest room. But outside of those random times, we barely ever use this room, which again seemed like such a waste.
  4. This room is small-ish — like 11×11. I always thought one day we would transition this room from a guest room to a nursery when the time came. But then I realized that our current office is quite a bit bigger than this room so why not use that as the nursery someday? Don’t get the wrong idea, THERE IS NOT A BUN IN THE OVEN… but it’s always good to have a tentative plan for the future, right?
  5. Right now, I’m not in love with this colorful room. It’s full of random overflow items and not full of items I love or items that are meaningful to us. Plus my style has evolved a lot since we moved in and this catch-all space isn’t me. We always preach the importance of loving your home and making it reflect your style and your journey, and this bedroom is not doing any of that.

My Goals for this Space

So it’s FINALLY time to tackle this room and make it an office that we will use everyday and one that is a lot more me. Here are some of the priorities I’m keeping in mind as I plan:guest-room-fauxdenza-minted

  1. Hidden storage: You guys know the drill, our small house needs all the hidden storage it can get. I definitely want to work in as much stylish storage into this space as possible to hide all of our office supplies (including our printer) like Casey did with this fauxdenza in her guest room.neutral-couch-pillows-blanket
  2. Neutral colors: Nothing against bright colors, I LOVE them on Pinterest, the blogosphere, and at Target, BUT I’ve learned that I don’t love to live with them.office desk and gallery
  3. More my style: This colorful room has taught me a lot about my design style and has opened my eyes to one of the hardest parts of finding my style. I see so many amazing spaces that I love online, in magazines, or even in stores and it’s sometimes hard to decipher what I love and want to live with and what I just love to look at — there’s a huge difference but sometimes that line gets blurred. I think I’m slowly arriving at my style and I want to use this room as a canvas to continue to hone in on that.
  4. Minimal: I’ve also learned that I don’t like seeing clutter. Maybe it’s the small house or maybe it’s just my organized nature, but when I see items out (even decor sometimes), I instantly feel like it’s a cluttered mess… which stresses me out! I’m hoping to make this space intentional, functional, and pretty minimal. The last thing I want to feel is overwhelmed and stressed in a place where I should be getting work done!
  5. Easier access to our closet: Access to our crawl space is in this closet and right now the door situation is not working well. I’m trying to research options to open this space up so we can get in and out of the crawl space easily. lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-plant-white-vase
  6. Try something new: Like I said before, I think I’m slowly but surely arriving at my style… mostly by learning “what not to do” thanks to a lot of trial and error. But I also want to use my current house as my chance to experiment before we buy our “forever house”. So with this space, I want to take a few chances and try a few new-to-me things to see how I like living with these looks. By doing this my hope is that I’ll have my style really nailed down by the time we move. Who knows if that plan will ever work, but it’s worth a shot, right?!

Time to get to work!

I hope you forgive me for being a really bad blogger and totally isolating this room of our house (so much so that I don’t even have photos of it!). Between hand-me-downs and being at a total crossroads, I never knew what to do with this spare room! But now that I have a plan, I can’t wait to get started transforming this space into our office so it gets A LOT more daily use. Once this room is transformed, I’m sure we’ll have to tweak the current office when it’s time to make it into a guest room so this project should definitely keep us busy… and of course we’ll keep you updated along the way. Next week I plan on checking in with design plans for this new office space.

bridget_sig

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8 thoughts on “B’s Guest Room is Getting a Makeover!

  1. Kara D

    Pffft, you’re not a bad blogger. You did just what most of us would do – tried to make it nice looking and useful in the beginning, then went on to focus on other things that you could tackle. Before you know it, you’ve blinked and it’s been 4 years! Now you’re more confident on your ideas of on what you want to do! Getting rid of the furniture definitely helps for that push you needed!

    Reply
  2. Kerri Hansen

    Bridget, so much of what you said resonated with me! In particular finding your style and what you want to live with in your home. I also prefer a clean, de-cluttered space with a less is more approach to accessories. But you wouldn’t necessarily know that to look at my home! This is something I am just learning about myself. The problem is I LOVE to shop, and Target is my weak spot. Beautiful, on trend home decor that is crazy affordable? I have a hard time saying no! A few weeks ago when I was taking down the holiday decor and putting out the “year-round” accessories, I only put out about 2/3rds of the decor, my absolute favorites. The rest are sitting on a table waiting for their fate to be determined! To keep or to donate….that is the question! But I realized that I really prefer less “stuff”… even if it is really cute. Thanks for sharing your plans and I can’t wait to see the progress!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We are speaking the same language because I TOTALLY know what you mean, all too well actually! I enjoy shopping… or at least look for new inspiration… and sometimes have a hard time saying no when I see something that I love, even if I don’t need it. I’m glad I’m not alone but I’m really trying to get better. And I know it hasn’t been long but I do feel like I’ve improved so far, which has motivated me to get even better. And like you, I didn’t put everything back up after the holidays, which helped me sort what I love and what “isn’t me” anymore. So excited that you’re sharing this journey with me — we can do this!!

  3. Erin

    i feel like you do what most of us do. you lived with it, and then years later you realize, that what you set up is just not working. Happens to every single one of us! Now you know what you need & want and will make the best use of it!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Aw, thanks Erin!! I’m so grateful for your support and SO excited to figure out what I want to do with this space. There’s a lot to do but I’m ready… Let the DIY projects begin!!

  4. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    I completely understand this. We haven’t done much to our master bedroom in 11 YEARS and it so badly need (i.e. I want) a change. Our (my) style has changed A LOT since I was in my early 20s and since it’s the first room we really did after buying our house, it’s been the same the longest, even though we obviously use it daily (not counting traveling). Excited to see what you come up with!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much Diana! So happy I’m not alone. It’s crazy how your style can evolve so much! I’m excited to come up with a new space that I absolutely love.

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Laundry Room Upgrades

maytag-laundry-doors

[Disclaimer: We have partnered with Maytag to bring you this post. All opinions are our own and are not influenced by Maytag. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog!]

I’ve made some big progress on our “laundry room” to-do list! If you guys remember this post, then you know we’ve been meaning to make some upgrades to our small closet that holds our washer & dryer.

Let me give you a little refresher on how the space used to look…before-laundry-closet-stackable

Luckily, we quickly crossed the first item off our list and got rid of our old appliances. maytag-direct-drive-laundry-soapWe replaced them with this new washer & dryer from Maytag that look so much better, but (more importantly) function much better!

maytag-laundry-basket-washerNow that we’ve been using the washer & dryer for the past few months, I love them even more. The units are so much larger than our old ones, and I can get our laundry done so quickly. casey-laundry-bedroomI used to have to do multiple loads of towels and bedding. Now I can throw them in and get them done in no time at all. The drums are big and hold so much all at once.

washer-sheets-maytagThe Fresh Hold option (where the washer tumbles loads and circulates air with a built-in fan) has been a lifesaver too! casey-maytag-laundrySometimes when I’m multi-tasking during the week, I throw in a load of laundry and then get wrapped up in other tasks and forget about it. Since the machine keeps my clothing fresh for up to 12 hours even after the wash cycle ends, I no longer feel like I need to re-wash when I inevitably forget I was in the middle of doing laundry. <— Please tell me I’m not alone in this?! I feel like it happens just about every single time #laundryfail

maytag-laundry-washerWhile the new appliances made a big difference in the look of the space,  there was still work to be done.

From the start of this mini makeover, I knew I wanted to replace the doors. The louvered doors just weren’t cutting it and really took the entire look of the space down a notch. After seeing the dramatic transformation on the closet doors in our fall makeover, I knew that I wanted to do the same in this space.

And instead of just doing the laundry room doors, I decided to do all of the closet doors in this open space. Because as long as you’re getting all of the tools out, you might as well get ‘er all done at once!

Here’s how they looked before the DIY began…doors-before-laundry

And here they are now!diy-doors-laundry-hvac

I’ll have the full tutorial on this DIY project tomorrow on the blog, but I couldn’t help but share the dramatic difference!dryer-washerkitchen-dining-laundry

So much better, right?! It took the look of the entire main room up to the next level and I’m so happy I finally got this project off my to-do list.

laundry-gif

Speaking of that laundry room to-do list…

Laundry Room To-Do List

  • New Washer & Dryer (You can read all about them right here)
  • Replace Closet Doors (All done & looking fabulous!)
  • Trim out Door (This is next on the to-do list. I’m planning to add molding around the perimeter of all of these doors. It’s going to be quite a DIY project as I’ll have to remove the baseboards and replace them)
  • Organize & Add Storage

maytag-washer-dryerLet’s talk about that final task on my list. I’m not really sure what I can do to make this space as functional as possible. My original thought was to put a slim cart on wheels right next to the washer, but now that it’s in there isn’t enough room for one. I also thought I might be able to put a basket on top, but since the dryer is tall it’s hard to fit one up there. Any ideas for me? I’m all ears!

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10 thoughts on “Laundry Room Upgrades

  1. Hillary W.

    We have a similar size laundry “room” with stacked machines that I love so much (it got the machines out of our basement). Same side space, not big enough for a cart but big enough for SOMETHING. After trial and error we settled on installing a hook high on the wall and hanging a large three basket shower organizer from it to hold laundry soap, bleach tablets and dryer spray (we gave up on sheets once we found Method’s spray version) and a slim trash can on the floor. Good luck!

    Reply
    1. Jaclyn

      That is so smart! I have a similar set up. I store my drying rack in the space right next to the washer and dryer and I am lucky to have a linen closet right across from the washing machine closet where I store my detergent etc. But I wonder if I can fit both my drying rack & a shower caddy…

  2. Brie

    Are the sides of the washer/dryer magnetic? If so, perhaps you could find magnetic holders (e.g. like this pencil holder, but bigger: http://www.staples.com/dps-by-Staples-Plastic-Verti-Go-Cubicle-Accessories-Pencil-Cup-Recycled-DPS21653-CC-/product_342932) to corral smaller items like dryer sheets, gathered lint, items left in pockets, etc. Otherwise, I’d probably just shove my ironing board in that narrow spot and consider DIYing a magnetic sheet for the front of one of the machines with laundry symbol shortcuts (e.g. http://athome.kimvallee.com/free-printable-a-fabric-laundry-care-symbols-chart/).

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Oh my goodness…our readers are so smart! That is genius Brie. I never ever would have thought of that. I’m gonna have to test it out this weekend. Thank you for the idea!

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Video: The Story Behind our Lowe’s Fall Makeover

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We have a Monday treat for you guys! Remember this short trailer we shared last month showcasing our fall home makeover with Lowe’s Home Improvement?lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-mike-april

Well today, we’re back with the full video. We love that we were able to capture the amazing homeowners on camera to tell their powerful (& emotional!) backstory. We hope you love this video as much as we do.

The Story Behind our Fall Home Makeover


That video makes us cry, laugh…and everything in between! Hope you love it as much as who do. *And if you’re new to the DIY Playbook, you can see the whole transformation here!

Have a great start to your week!

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7 thoughts on “Video: The Story Behind our Lowe’s Fall Makeover

    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much, Shawnna! Yes… we’re ALMOST ready for Christmas. Our shopping is almost done & we’re so excited! We’re trying to slow down and take it all in this upcoming week. How about you?! Can you believe it’s less than a week away?!!

    2. shawnna griffin

      Ya I’m just about done! I have a couple more gifts for my Dad and my brother in law! This year has gone by so fast!

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Tips for Decorating Shelves for the Holidays

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Changing up our shelves is one of the quickest and easiest ways that we welcome in each of the seasons. It’s not that we have new decor for each season (our small homes have absolutely NO room to store this seasonal decor) but we do add a few touches or at least rearrange the shelves whenever we can. Just a simple rearrangement makes them feel new to us, even if nothing on them is actually new to our home. family-room-christmas-built-ins-wide

Typically we will “shop our homes” and add existing items from other rooms to these shelves and you’d be surprised how different they start to feel, even without spending any money. Please tell us we’re not the only crazy people that do this. Actually maybe we are… our husbands sure seem to think so!

Either way, here are our budget-friendly tips on decorating shelves for the holidays. Hopefully some of these simple tips will inspire you to refresh your home without spending a ton of money!

Casey’s Tipsbuilt-ins-christmas-tv

Instead of completely removing absolutely everything on our built-ins, I decided to remove a couple items and then inject a few festive touches to all of the shelves. present-books-decor-christmas

The cheapest and easiest way to do that?! Wrapped presents! I used some of the “gifts” (actually just cardboard boxes…) from our Christmas Card Photo Shoot and placed them on our shelves to inject some holiday color! shelves-christmas-decor

This is such a great idea if you plan to change your color scheme up each year since it’s super budget-friendly!

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I also added some greenery amongst my shelves. I always love to have some green plants (even if they’re fake) on our built-ins, and swapping out some of those plants for evergreen (these little cute pots are from Michaels) is the perfect way to add a bit of holiday. built-ins-christmas-card-displaychristmas-santa-decor

A few new accessories (like this adorable santa!) filled out the rest of our shelves and really added some holiday spirit. couch-christmas-shelves

Bridget’s Tips

And just like Casey, my go-to decor for the built-ins this holiday season were a few “fake” wrapped gifts. I upcycled a few Amazon boxes that were delivered earlier in the season and even wrapped a few books that were previously on the built-ins. This way each gift was a different size and depth, which made it feel a bit less cookie-cutter.

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Plus, wrapping the gifts helped me keep the general color-scheme and neutral feel without spending money on new items. Since I’m still honing my “Christmas style” (<– if that’s even a thing), I don’t want to buy a lot of new decor just to realize I don’t love it next season. #rookiemistake
bookshelf-present-gold-rubbonI’ve also found that putting less stuff on my built-ins is better for me. Take this shelf for example, all that’s on it is a ONE gift. No books, no other accessories, just the one gift.

A few years ago, I would have never kept a shelf this simple but now that I’ve lived with these shelves for four years, I’ve found that they start to feel too cluttered when I overdo them. The simpler and less clutter, the better.
wreath-holiday-built-insI also try to use as much of my regular decor as I can throughout the holidays. I take out the items that are obviously more spring-y or summer-y, but I’m not afraid to mix Christmas in with anything that is neutral or fake plants/succulents that I keep up all year round.

As long as I love these pieces and they’re relatively neutral, I think they can still work for the holidays… especially if you put them in a new spot on the built-ins and pair them with a simple ornament or tiny holiday accessory. Magically this new spot (and new partner) makes the whole look feel new!  christmas-built-in-basket

Both of us also try to incorporate baskets into our decor. We LOVE them because they offer secret storage, can add texture to the look, and can cut down on feeling like your shelves look cluttered. To make these baskets feel a bit more holiday, we simply keep everything that’s already in them there, but then add a bit of greenery, leftover ribbon, or beaded garland on top. It’s SO easy and so darn affordable.
christmas-builtin-giftsAnd last but certainly not least, it’s important that we have fun and mix it up! Unlike Casey, I actually take everything OFF of my built-ins when the new season comes around and try to reorganize the items. The shelves that I really love, I try to keep somewhat consistent but for those other shelves that are just “okay”, I re-work them and add items I have in other parts of the home to make them feel new to me. You would be surprised how much more I start to love an old item when I pair it with something that complements it more. All of a sudden that old item that was always just “okay-ish” is now the shelf’s MVP.built-ins-christmas-decor-holiday-present

Key Takeaways

  1. Use presents

  2. Add greenery

  3. Buy a few items you L-O-V-E

  4. Keep your favorite neutral items up

  5. Add holiday embellishments to baskets

  6. Have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment!

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Our New Kitchen Appliances

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[Disclaimer: We have partnered with Maytag to bring you this post. All opinions are our own and are not influenced by Maytag. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog!]

Lately I’ve been feeling more and more like a “real adult.” Allow me to explain. You guys read how I geeked out over our new laundry units, and today I’m here to gush about our new kitchen appliances. Yep, it’s official. I’m a grown-up who finds so much joy in shiny, new appliances.

But can you blame me, look at these new beauties…maytag-refrigeratormaytag-stove-rangedishwasher-maytag

Our Old Kitchen Appliances

Before I ramble about the new ones, let’s chat about our old appliances. Let me first start off by saying that our old appliances weren’t terrible. They functioned properly and never suddenly quit on us, so I can’t grade them too horribly. But they were far from perfect. The top rack of our dishwasher fell out of the tracks constantly, which would then make all of the dishes on top tumble down. Yikes.

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Our old appliances

As for the fridge, we were in a constant battle of fingerprints vs. stainless steel. And the fingerprints won…every.single.time.

How to Donate your Appliances

When I found out that we would receive a new fridge, dishwasher, and oven/range from Maytag I immediately came up with a gameplan for our old appliances. Since they were still all working properly, I wanted to make sure they found a good home. After a bit of research, I came up a website called Zealous Good and it was the answer to my donation conundrum.

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Our old dishwasher

You simply upload photos and descriptions of the items you want to donate, and then the website matches you up with local non-profit organizations that are in need of those items. We actually matched up with quite a few local groups, and then had to make the painful decision of choosing who needed our appliances the most.

Our fridge ended up going to a wonderful youth outreach program here in Chicago, and they were THRILLED to receive a refrigerator for their facility. It was so great to find such a gracious home for items we no longer needed. I’m telling ya, if you’re looking to donate big items…look into this site!

Our New Appliances from Maytag

With our old appliances gone it was time to bring the new ones in and get them going. The delivery & installation went incredibly smooth, and after a few hours we were left with all of our new ones!

Let’s first start with the fridge (because I may secretly love it the most).

maytag-refrigeratorFirst of all, it’s ginormous and holds all the things! We got the fridge right before Thanksgiving, and it was a lifesaver because it held all of our dishes (& plentiful leftovers) easily!

inside-of-maytag-fridgeI’ve never had a refrigerator with french doors on the top, and the freezer on the bottom but I instantly loved this new setup. I just feel like it’s so much easier to keep things organized and it can hold so much. The slide out drawer is awesome, and it even went 2 casserole dishes deep on Thanksgiving. It’s going to be great for future parties when we have deli trays, or cheese boards that I want to prep ahead of time.

maytag-stove-rangeThe gas range is gorgeous, and the cook in our household swears that it works as well as it looks. We have yet to use the burner in the middle, but I’m excited to try that out! It comes with this little flat top griddle so you can cook right on there.

dishwasher-maytagAnd finally, our new dishwasher. I would just be happy with a dishwasher that has a working slide out top drawer, and this one (obviously) has that…and so much more! Finn has a knack for eating cheesy quesadillas at night and the worst thing in the world is trying to get melted cheese off of plates. Seriously, it’s the worst and it doesn’t look like his quesadilla addiction is ending any time soon. dishwasher-plateBut so far this washer has handled the cheese like a pro. Appliances that minimize silly arguments in the household…gotta love em.

As crazy as it may seem, I probably like the fingerprint resistant stainless steel feature the very best. With a husband who loves to cook (not complaining one bit about that!) I used to constantly reach for the stainless steel cleaner after Finn’s meals. The clean freak in me just couldn’t stare at fingerprints on there for more than a few minutes.refrigerator-maytag-kitchen

But now all 3 of the kitchen appliances are fingerprint resistant, so nothing shows. Seriously, no greasy fingerprints whatsoever. Maytag even has a fingerprint resistant stainless steel microwave that I’ve got my eye on. I’m thinking I’ll love that feature even more once kids come into the picture.range-oven-maytag

I’m thrilled with our new setup, but the verdict is still out if they inspire me to start cooking more often around here. I’m thinking I’ll stick with dish duty!casey_sig

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Our Homes All Decked out for the Holidays!

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Happy Friday everyone! We’re excited that the weekend is almost here, but we’re extra pumped because today we’re taking part in the annual Blogger Stylin’ Home Tour to showcase our holiday homes! We’ve loved taking part in BSHT (hosted by the fabulous Lindsay!) each December and are thrilled and honored to be included again this year.

2016-DIY-Playbook-Christmas-Card-Casey-Bridget-packagesAnd today you’re getting double the fun because we’re each sharing our homes all decked out for the season. Yep…2 for the price of 1 #ourkindadeal

wreath-hanging-attach-christmas-cardsIf you’re coming from My Fabuless Life then welcome, we’re so happy that you’re here! And if you’re new around here (first of all, “hi!”), let’s bring you up to speed on The DIY Playbook.

  • There are 2 of us behind The DIY Playbook and we’ve been best friends since high school.
  • Casey lives in a condo in downtown Chicago with her husband Finn, while Bridget lives in a home just outside the city with her husband, Matt.
  • We both live in small spaces, so we only bring items into our homes that we l-o-v-e and we both try to keep our homes as organized as possible.
  • The DIY Playbook began almost 4 years ago (time flies when you’re having fun!), and we truly believe that everyone can create a personalized home without spending a ton of time or money.

letterfolk-halwayOkay, now that we’re all on the same page… let’s get to the good stuff!

Caseybed-casey-christmas

When it comes to my home, I’m usually a little afraid of color (you’ll find plenty of white & gray around our space). But for Christmas, there’s just something about the color red that makes my heart happy. So this year, I decided to inject a bit of red into our very neutral Chicago condo. I also included a bit of plaid (like in our Christmas tree), because I can’t seem to get enough of that preppy pattern.

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Bridgetbridget-blogger-stylin-home-tour-christmas

Although I absolutely LOVE Casey’s gorgeous red & plaid holiday decor, I opted for something a little different this year. I removed the red that I have used in year’s past and instead, stuck with more neutrals, greenery, and buffalo check. Because I loved my neutral & buffalo check tree so much, I used that as inspiration for the rest of our house and although our holiday decor is pretty colorless and a lot more “boring”, I’m really loving the natural look!!christmas-tree-blogger-stylin-home-tourneutral_christmas_tree_michaels_makers-4My goal this year was to dress up our home for the holidays without going overboard. And more specifically, I didn’t want to spend a ton of time or money to “deck the halls.” I focused on our dining room, living room, and entryway by adding small touches of natural, neutral holiday elements. I was hoping this greenery, buffalo check and hints of metallic would inject that holiday charm into our home while still allowing us to use most of the decor we have up all year round. dining-room-home-tour-holiday-christmas-tree

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family-room-neutral-christmas

 

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Maybe I’m crazy for opting for a neutral and natural holiday theme (I probably am), but I can’t help but love that this decorating was easy, budget-friendly, and feels so warm and cozy. Don’t get me wrong, I love plaid, red and all things traditional-holiday, but trying something new has been a lot of fun this year!

flowers-winter-christmas-coffee-table

Wow, 2 homes in 1 post…. that’s a heck of a lot of pictures! We hope you enjoyed touring our homes all decked out for the season & maybe (just maybe?!) found a little inspiration to make your home extra special for the holidays! For more gorgeous holiday inspiration, be sure to visit House Seven to keep the Blogger Stylin’ Home tour moving!

2016-DIY-Playbook-Christmas-Card-Casey-Bridget-giftsBut before you head off, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year! And for the DIY Playbook newbies stopping by, we’d love to see you again soon!

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16 thoughts on “Our Homes All Decked out for the Holidays!

  1. Julia @cuckoo4design

    So fun and beautiful. I mean everything! And the photos of you two are just the best. I stink at taking pictures like that. Totally envious here 😉 Happy Holidays

    Reply
  2. Kerri Hansen

    Great post ladies! Your homes are beautiful. Casey I too have 😍 for bright pops of red incorporated into my decor during the holidays! And anything plaid. Bridget I love the natural elements and more subdued pallete of your house. And your “less is more” approach. I think at the end of this holiday season I will be letting go of some pieces that did not “spark joy” when I unpacked them from the …ahem…six large totes I had to haul out of the crawl space in our basement! Happy holidays to both of you!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much Kerri! And we feel ya on letting go of pieces that don’t spark joy! It’s so much better to pull out things you absolutely love each year than to be kinda “meh” about certain items. Happy holidays to you!

  3. Amie Johnson

    Both of you have beautiful homes, nicely done. Where is the couch from in Bridgett’s home? Have been looking for a smaller sectional…thanks

    Reply
  4. Colleen Bansley

    Both of your homes look beyond gorgeous and exude Holiday spirit!! Casey where did you find that JOY piece of deco? I am convinced it is easier to wrap ribbon around a fake tree compared to a real tree- ugh mine doesn’t look as good. The branches are hard to work around. Merry Christmas!!

    Reply
  5. Kimberlie S Pelletie

    Love your gorgeous homes! I did the same as Casey, but with blue. Makes it seem like a winter wonderland. I also incorporated some buffalo check with the tree skirt and gift wrap. Wanted to ask Casey where she got the gold wire present that is full of ornaments on her built-in?
    Really enjoy the blog. Always read your posts and look through your links. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Kimberlie you are so sweet! Thanks for the kind words. The gold ornament present cage is from Pier 1 a few years ago. I’ve always loved it, but haven’t seen it since.

      Happy Holidays!

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Video – A Quick Look at our Lowe’s Fall Makeover

lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-wide-shot

It’s been over a month since we revealed the master bedroom makeover we did with Lowe’s Home Improvement, and we are still obsessed with the space!lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal

The room photographs really well, but it’s hard to really capture the feel of a room. To us it feels so bright and happy, yet it’s still cozy and comfortable.

lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-benchAnd in terms of the actual renovation day? That day felt energetic, exciting, and at times even overwhelming!

lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-cameraWe decided to hire a producer and videographer to capture the entire Lowe’s Fall Makeover experience, and honestly it is the best money we ever spent! Although video & photography are similar mediums, there’s just something about video that is really special. It tells a story, it can build emotion, it can just capture something unlike the way photography does.

lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-gallery-wall-bridgetSo we absolutely knew that we needed to record this crazy makeover experience and we had our video team create 2 videos for us. This first one today is a trailer highlighting the entire day. Really it’s just a little snippet of what went into making this space come to life. In the next video we’ll share a much longer story that includes interviews from both us and the homeowners.

lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-mike-aprilWithout further ado, here’s our mini video recap of our Lowe’s Fall Makeover.


We hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our chaotic renovation day. We can’t wait to share more when we reveal the next video!

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