Category Archives: Home Decor

The Easy Way to Keep Your Outdoor Patio Furniture Dry


I absolutely love our little slice of the outdoors in downtown Chicago. Our patio may be small, but in the summertime we are constantly sitting out here enjoying the sunny days and warm nights. balcony-overhead-shot-patio

But let me let you guys in on a little secret. I left our patio furniture (and all of the pillows and cushions…) outside for the entire year. Yep, rain…snow….sleet…this baby has been through it all. The truth is we don’t have room to store all of our patio furniture indoors during the winter months. Heck, we don’t even have room to bring the cushions, pillows, or rug inside. I don’t recommend this method (Bridget stores all of her patio furniture in her garage), but it’s all that we can do since we live in the city.

Keeping Patio Furniture Dry

So in order to keep our furniture from getting destroyed I’ve done a couple of things. First, I purchased furniture covers for the couch & 2 chairs. Those stayed on the entire winter and kept the furniture, cushions, and outdoor pillows dry. I also try to put the covers on whenever I know it is going to rain outside or if we leave for an extended period of time.patio-furniture-chair

But to be perfectly honest, sometimes I see the forecast and I have no motivation to run outside and put the covers on our furniture before it rains. Therefore, I added another step of protection.scotchgard-spray

I bought a can of this Scotchgard Water Shield and I sprayed all of our cushions and pillows.

Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area (this stuff reeks) and make sure you really cover the entire cushion. I ended up going through 1 entire can for our small setup, so if you have a larger space you’ll probably need to buy more.spray-outdoor-pillow

After doing a nice spray over the front, back, and sides of every cushion and pillow…I let them dry for a few hours.

Then I put them back in place and gave them a test to see if it really wicked the water away. Instead of seeping into the fabric, the water just pooled on the surface into little droplets. Success!patio-balcony-10

I still plan to cover the furniture and cushions when possible, but if I accidentally leave them exposed I’m happy to know I have a second layer of protection.

I will say that the wood legs of the wicker furniture have seen better days. I think the moisture has really affected the wood. But I’m not too distraught about it. I’m just happy if this furniture lasts through another season or so.

I do have my eyes peeled for a new coffee table out here…preferably a round one. I wanted this one from CB2, but it’s back ordered until August. If you have any suggestions for a nice round table (suitable for the outdoors) I’m all ears!

Our Summer Flowers

Just like last year, we added hanging flower boxes to our railings. The flowers are doing tremendously well! They just love the sunshine back here. patio-balcony-11

We also planted a hibiscus tree (you can see it in the corner of the pic above) that is slowly dying a sad death. We should have just stuck with palms, as they worked well for us back here last year. At least the hibiscus tree is in a new modern planter!balcony-patio-flowers

I also left our rug out here all winter long and it’s doing surprisingly well! I may get a new one if it goes on super sale, but for now the old one is getting the job done. Black and white stripes just never go out of style.patio-balcony-4

So lessons learned from this post. Store your stuff inside if you can! If not…cover it and take 15 minutes to spray all of your cushions and pillows. It’s totally worth it.

I’m planning to make some tweaks to this space (a few new pillows, a couple more plants, and maybe a table & rug) over the next few weeks. I’m a little mad at myself for waiting until mid-July to tackle this, but better late than never right?! I’ll be sure to check back in once I’ve made some progress.Casey_Sig

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An Inexpensive Master Bedroom Update


Now that our master bedroom is just about “done” in terms of decorating, I’ve been eyeing each and every piece in this space to make sure I absolutely love it. That’s the fun part about having a room that is done. You can really take a close look at all of the details, instead of being overwhelmed by the prospect of decorating an entire room!master-bedroom-bedding

I’ve never really loved the gray pillows on our bed. The gray & white certainly worked well for the space, and they were the perfect size. But the Greek key pattern never felt quite right. But it was never a big priority for me to change them up, so they stayed nicely fluffed on the bed. bedding-pillows-bedroom

Over the past few months, I’ve kept my eyes peeled for new pillows to replace them and nothing ever fit the bill. But then I saw these pillow covers online at a great price, and figure it was finally time to have pillows on my bed that I absolutely love.

Plus, the covers would fit the old pillows perfectly so I didn’t even need to buy new inserts. Success!

Black & White Striped Pillow Coversblack-white-striped-pillow

I found the pillows on Tonic Living which is a new-to-me site. My friend Courtney recently used them for curtains in her home, so I figured the site had to be pretty great. They have a great assortment of pillow covers, and these days finding quality covers for under $50 is a win in my book. Why are they sometimes so expensive? Craziness.zipper-pillow-cover

I decided to go with black and white stripes because I don’t have any other stripes in the room (not sure how that is possible…) and I think stripes can go with just about anything. Plus adding a hint more black to this room is on my agenda, so this would be a nice subtle way to add in more black details.put-on-pillow-cover

Once the covers came, I pulled them right over my old pillows and zipped up the pretty gold zipper.wide-shot-master-bedroom

Honestly I’m surprised by how much I love them! bedroom-pillows-4

I know this isn’t the most groundbreaking blog post of all time, but I think it’s important to call out a few things.

Small Tweaks Make a Big Difference

First, if you’re not obsessed with something in your space…change it! Every time I made my bed, I always thought about how I didn’t love the greek key pillows (they’re cute…just not totally my current style). So I’m happy I FINALLY did something about that.bedroom-pillows-11

And second, pillow covers can be a game changer! Find new ones you like and put them directly over your old pillows. Such a budget-friendly way to make a bed or couch look completely different. Oh and Tonic Living has some affordable & contemporary patterns. (Not sponsored at all…just love finding new resources for home accessories!) bedroom-pillows-8

For now, our master bedroom is feeling just right. But we will see how long that lasts…Casey_Sig


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14 thoughts on “An Inexpensive Master Bedroom Update

  1. Erin

    love tonic living! i have curtains in our dining room made by them years ago! their fabrics are really truly amazing. a bit pricey but i think it’s worth it!

  2. Kerri Hansen

    Love it! It’s amazing how a small change can have a big impact. I recently started sewing my own cushion covers and have been “renovating” pillows all around my house. It’s a pretty easy sewing project and the results are so gratifying I have found myself slightly obsessed!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Kerri, I am soooo impressed! Sewing your own pillows! Wow…that is awesome. And you’re right..makes such a big impact for not a lot of money.

  3. Marguerite Huber

    Pillow covers are ahhh-mazing. Like there is no space to be storing tons of pillows when you live in a tiny apartment. Pillow covers let you change it up without adding more to the pillow pile!


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Designing a Modern Master Bedroom in Chicago


Most of the time you’ll find us decorating our own homes here on The DIY Playbook. But since things are a little slow on the home front (more on that here), we agreed to help some friends design their master bedroom.

Casey’s brother (Ryan) and his girlfriend (Sarah) recently moved into a GORGEOUS condo in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. Saying this condo is gorgeous is actually an understatement. It’s a stunner and is huge! 4 bedrooms, 3 bedrooms, and an outdoor rooftop deck that is about the size of one of our homes (no joke!).

Photo from MLS Listing

Photo from MLS Listing

Photo from MLS Listing

Photo from MLS Listing

They’ve got a lot of areas to decorate, but we decided to help them with their master bedroom first. When you’re first moving into a new space it’s easy to want to get all of the spots that people see done & checked off your list first. But we think it’s important to have a relaxing and calming bedroom to return to at night, when you’re knee-deep in the stress of decorating a new home. So that’s why we’re starting in their boudoir.

Here are some of the photos we took of the space before they moved in…


Quite the blank canvas, right? Such a large space just ready for some furniture and personality.

After seeing the space, we started looking online for inspiration. Here are a few rooms that we’re loving and hope to emulate. (Clearly we have a love for the work by Studio McGee…)

Photo via Studio Mcgee

Photo via Studio Mcgee


Photo via Studio Mcgee

Photo via Studio McGee

Photo via Studio Mcgee

Now onto our design gameplan. Ryan & Sarah are planning to paint the walls a medium gray (still haven’t chosen the exact paint color), and have neutral blinds being installed over the large window (gotta have something to keep the sun out in the morning!)

As for furniture, they already purchased this 4-poster bed from Restoration Hardware. It’s a showstopper and will be the focal point of the space. Other than that though, they need to buy all of the other pieces for the bedroom. Here’s what we recommend…

Modern_Neutral_Bedroom_Mood_board.53 PM

Paint Color, Benjamin Moore “Stonington Gray” // 4-poster canopy bed (one above is similar) // Leather Bench // Rug // White Duvet // Nightstand // Floor Mirror // Faux Fiddle // White Pillow // Black Pillow // Striped Pillow

We are loving the vibe of this mood board. It’s a great mix of masculine and feminine, which is perfect for this young couple. We tried to keep things pretty sleek and modern, considering the architecture of the condo. We are also excited to add some vintage details with the accessories in the space. However, we don’t want to include too much “stuff” as this space might work best with a hint of minimalism.

Ryan & Sarah are excited about the potential for the master bedroom. They’ve already ordered some of the furniture pieces we recommended, so hopefully this space will start to take shape soon. We will definitely keep you updated along the way as we transform this master bedroom in the heart of Chicago. Casey_bridget_Sig

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10 thoughts on “Designing a Modern Master Bedroom in Chicago

  1. Erin

    4 bedrooms 3 bathrooms in chicago and a roof top deck. I’m jealous! i’d like to see more pictures of that!

  2. Kerri Hansen

    Wow! That window is amazing! Between that and the bed, there is going to be a serious wow factor going on when you walk in that room! I am curious about the shade they ordered, such a challenging shape to cover! I love the mood board you created, I cant wait to see how it all comes together!


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Neutral Office with Lots of Secret Storage


Much to our surprise my recent neutral office makeover has been one of our most popular “room reveals” to date! We get a lot of questions about items in this room or projects we’ve tackled in here (most notably the DIY barn door) and when we go to address these questions, we have quickly realized that there isn’t one specific post we should point readers to see ALL of the details of this space. Our bad. Neutral Office Source List

We counted that the journey of transforming this old guest room (that barely got any attention) into an office (that we use every single day) ended up being a 15 post series! That’s a lot of details! If you weren’t following from the very beginning of our journey, some of those posts could easily get lost in the shuffle.

Today we decided to bring ALL of this information into one post, so that it’s easy for our readers to find all of the information.

This post links ALL of the updates (one by one!) from the very beginning. And we also included a source list for everything in this room. If I accidentally missed something, please don’t hesitate to let me know and I will be sure to update the post.

So let’s start at the very beginning and take a little walk down memory lane, shall we?


Progress & Source List


Fauxdenza Details


DIY Barn Door

This barn door was a DIY project that was outside of my comfort zone, but I’m glad I gave it a try.  I love the look (and function) of this new piece, but my favorite part is how much bigger this door makes our closet feel. Getting rid of the 2 bi-pass doors that used to be here was the best decision I made. If you’re looking to tackle your own DIY barn door, check out the following posts (in order):

Okay, I think I linked everything from the start of this makeover until now! If I add anything to this space after today, I will be sure to update this page so you can reference all of the items, projects, and posts in one spot.

As always, thanks for following along! This makeover was a long time coming and at times felt like it took a lot longer than expected. But now that it’s finally done, I could not be more happy with how it turned out. Thank you for following along, weighing in, and cheering me on every step of the way! You guys are seriously the best.


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2 thoughts on “Neutral Office with Lots of Secret Storage

  1. Kerri Hansen

    Bridget I love this space and 3 of your design elements (white paint, shiplap and barn door) with are things I want to incorporate into my master bedroom. I want to get started with painting, but I am wondering, if I paint my walls white, what do I do about the trim? A different shade of white with a different finish? Question #2 is about the barn door, which I am desperate for. I want to put one over door that leads into our master bath, but I am wondering about the noise factor. My husband, god love him, works in finance and gets up between 4-5 am for work. I am a light sleeper and I worry that sliding the barn door would be noisy. Would love your input!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Great questions! #1. Paint: you can do either! Mine are different and I don’t mind it at all… I actually kinda like the contrast. The colors and the sheen are both different from the trim & wall. #2. Barn door: the sliding of the barn is nearly silent however since the door just slides In front of the door frame I would be weary about how much you would hear while your husband is inside the bathroom. Does that make sense? Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any other questions!!

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Our Favorite Room Reveals of All Time


Over the course of the past 4 years, we’ve tackled a lot of spaces. We’ve worked on every single room in both of our homes, and have even gone outside our own houses to help friends and family with some of their spaces.

Top 9 Must-See Room Reveals

Everyone loves a good before and after, so we figured it would be fun to compile some of our favorite room reveals into one convenient post! A few of these are from a couple of years back, and therefore they’re new to some readers.

So drumroll please…let’s check out our favorite makeovers!

Casey’s Master Bedroom – BEFORE


When we first moved into our condo, the master bedroom was a bright green! A very bright green. It took quite a bit of time and lots of intentional decorating, but today it looks like this…

Casey’s Master Bedroom – AFTER


Our master bedroom is my favorite room in our Chicago condo because it’s such a relaxing spot to kick back and wind down after a long day. And even though the space came together slowly, I can say that I love every piece in this space. Just goes to show that when you decorate with intention you are much more likely to create a room that reflects your style.

Lowe’s Bedroom Makeover – BEFORE

bedroom-before-lowes-makeoverAdmittedly this before picture is pretty dark, but believe us when we say that this master bedroom was in dire need of some TLC. And ironically it’s another green master bedroom that needed a bit of a neutral edge. In just 24 hours we were able to give this room the facelift it so desperately needed.

Lowe’s Bedroom Makeover – AFTER


Before Photos // Bedroom Gameplan // Choosing a Paint Color // Lowe’s Makeover Day // VideoRecap // Source List

Gray paint, white trim, and some classic furniture transformed this room. And lucky for us, the deserving couple absolutely loved their new bedroom

Maggie’s Living Room – BEFOREMaggie


This is an oldie…but a goodie! A couple of years ago, we helped Bridget’s younger sister Maggie re-do her entire Chicago condo. Our favorite room turned out to be her living room (although her bedroom makeover is a close runner-up!)

Maggie’s Living Room – AFTERmaggie revealMaggie Built in Shelves

Before Photos // Built-In Details // Full Condo TourFull Condo Tour

To maximize storage in her city condo, Maggie had built-ins installed on one of the walls in the large space. This provided lots of secret storage below, and plenty of styling room above. Add in some modern furniture and gold accessories, and this feminine spot was ready for guests!

Bridget’s Dining Room – BEFORE


When Bridget moved into her home almost 5 years ago, she had a very basic space for her dining room setup. Add-on the fact that she bought a brown table, with brown chairs, and a brown bench..and this space was feeling a little too dark and traditional for her taste.

Bridget’s Dining Room – AFTERdining-room-vertical-full

DIY Board & Batten // New Chairs // New Rug

After a DIY board & batten treatment, a new rug, and new chairs…and this hardworking space is now one of her favorites! Plus, it’s the room guests see right when they walk into her home, so it now makes a great impression!

Casey’s Patio – BEFOREaugusta-balcony-deck-before-patio

Outdoor space comes at a premium here in Chicago, so when we bought our condo we were thrilled that it came with a small balcony. Sure, it was an awkwardly shaped triangle space…but it was outside!

Casey’s Patio – AFTERwide-shot-patio

Patio Furniture // Summer Update

Flowers, string lights, and petite patio furniture worked to take this space to the next level. We now enjoy summer nights out here on the patio with friends and couldn’t be more proud to enjoy our very own slice of the outdoors.

Bridget’s Bathroom – BEFOREbathroom cabinet

Bridget’s builder-grade home came complete with a builder-grade bathroom. The space wasn’t necessarily “bad”, but it was a bit dark and devoid of personality.

Bridget’s Bathroom – AFTER


Paint Color // New Mirror // New Lighting // New Lighting

New lighting, DIY shiplap, a round mirror, and plenty of accessories added personality and style to this small space. And the best part? It was all done on a budget!

Casey’s Guest Room – BEFOREAugusta-Guest-Bedroom-Before.27 PM

When we moved into our condo, we inherited a spare bedroom that used to house the old owner’s bicycles. The room itself isn’t large, but it had major potential for a nice guest bedroom.

Casey’s Guest Room – AFTERguest-bedroom

Guest Room Before // Picking a Navy // Wood Wall Treatment 1 // Wood Wall Treatment 2 // Fauxdenza // Guest Room Reveal

Bridget & I gave ourselves about 6 weeks to tackle this room and I still love the space! It stays pretty pristine and it is no longer a catch-all for random items we don’t know what to do with. The navy color is so comforting, and our guests say they always wake up  well rested!

Bridget’s Office – BEFORE

bridget-guest-room-beforeOur most recent makeover was turning Bridget’s guest room into an office space. It went from a very colorful & nautical bedroom, to a neutral office.

Bridget’s Office – AFTEROffice_Wide

Before & Gameplan // Barn Door // Shiplap // Fauxdenza // Secret Storage // Office Reveal

A lot of hard work and DIY projects went into this space, and it’s now B’s favorite room in her house! Plus, it’s used much more often now that it’s no longer a guest room with a twin bed.

So now we want to hear from you! Which room reveal is your absolute favorite? They all are pretty special to us!Casey_bridget_Sig

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8 thoughts on “Our Favorite Room Reveals of All Time

  1. Kerri Hansen

    Love love love this post. Before and afters are so dramatic and fun to read about! I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite, but Casey your master bedroom and patio give me heart eyes, and Bridget your office makeover has been a major inspiration for me! I also love Maggie’s condo, I am so jealous of the built-ins and love the furniture you guys chose.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Awww, you’re way too sweet! Thanks so much Kerri. It was fun to look back at the room reveals… it gets us excited & motivated for more room makeovers!

  2. Kara D

    They are all so good!
    “Most Likely to Take Home”: Its a tie between Maggie’s living room and Bridget’s Office (for me anyway)
    “Most Dramatic”: Casey’s Guest Bedroom.
    “Best Personality”: Casey’s Balcony
    “Best Dressed”: Casey’s Master Bedroom
    “Most Environmentally Conscious”: Bridget’s Bathroom
    “Class Heartbreaker”: Lowe’s Bedroom Makeover

    1. DIY Playbook

      this has has cracking up Kara!! You know we love a good “High school yearbook” list..and yours is amazing! Thanks for making our day 🙂

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Were We the Only Ones Who Didn’t Know Nordstrom Sold Home Decor?!


[Disclaimer: We partnered with Nordstrom to bring you this post. All opinions and photography are our own and are not influenced by Nordstrom]

We need to talk. Seriously guys, are we the only ones who didn’t know that Nordstrom sold home decor? And not just home decor… but adorable, creative and unique items that are giving us some serious heart eyes. Where have we been all this time?! Please reassure us that we’re not the only ones left in the dark here.good-vibes-guest-room-5

Online Shopping

Nordstrom is usually our go-to place for online shopping when it comes to clothing because they offer free shipping and have an amazing return policy. We typically peruse Nordstrom’s website to find clothes, accessories, and even shoes. We buy the items and get them sent to us with free shipping! That way we can try them on in the comfort of our own homes and try to pair them with other items we already own.nordstrom_Weekly_planner_office_laptop_flowers_coffee-3

Then anything we don’t like, we take it back to the actual store because both of us have a brick and mortar Nordstrom pretty close to us. Needless to say we are not strangers to this store, yet somehow totally overlooked the fact that they have a large selection of home decor items that are very much on-trend. #gamechanger

Home Decor Products We Lovebathroom-stripes-accessory-2

After browsing their home decor section… for the first time (!!), we both caved and bought a few favorites and are excited to show them to you guys today.


As you guys know, we don’t bring items into our home that we don’t absolutely adore. There’s just no space for that. So rest assured that the accessories I found from Nordstrom are special.good-vibes-guest-room-1

The first is this “Good Vibes Only” sign. How awesome is this?! It’s quirky, has a good message, and makes for a great addition to our guest room. Because let’s be honest, I don’t want anyone staying in our home unless they’re bringing their good vibes along with them!good-vibes-guest-room-4

Finn saw this new accessory in the guest room and immediately asked if he could bring it into work to display on his desk. Because it looks perfect on the fauxdenza in the guest room, I may have to get another one for his desk. And I’d love this one for my own desk!bathroom-stripes-accessory-3

I also added a new accessory to our bathroom. As you guys know, I recently re-styled our bathroom shelves to add some more hints of black to the space. I was keeping my eyes peeled for a new container to hold my cotton balls and q-tips, and then I found this one! The black and white stripes fit the vibe of the space really well!


I’ve been looking for a small, yet stylish, desk planner for a long time and ended up finding the perfect one right here. I keep an electronic calendar and an electronic to-do list, but now that I’m home for the summer, I like to have a paper copy so I can plan out my week… especially now that everyday looks so different.nordstrom_Weekly_planner_office_laptop_flowers_coffee-4

I’ve been loving the new weekly planner so much, I think I may buy one for my desk at work come August. And for $12?! You just can’t beat it! entryway

We get questions about our gold pineapples often and when we saw the exact replica at Nordstrom, we had to share! We typically use ours as shelf decor, but the top of the pineapple comes off to make these the chicest drinking glasses ever. And this same style comes in rose gold (and it’s one sale!) or a mini version. If you’re looking for a little something to add a touch of metallic to your home, this may be for you.pineapple_gold

Oh and side note. Did you guys know that pineapples are the sign of warmth, friendship, hospitality, and welcome?! It seems like we are always looking for meaningful (yet stylish!) new homeowner gifts but we never thought about a symbolic pineapple piece until now. These cute pineapples may have to be our new go-to homeowner gifts! This pineapple light-up sign could be awesome for a patio or dorm room and this pineapple bottle opener is just too cute! good-vibes-guest-room-2

So what do you guys think, will you be adding Nordstrom to your “places to check when shopping for home decor online” list like we are?! Or maybe you already have it on your list! In that case, we would love to hear about some of your favorite Nordstrom decor finds or what’s currently on your wish list. Casey_bridget_Sig


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  1. Trang

    A friend recently told me the meaning of pineapples when she came over and saw that I had so many pineapple decor pieces randomly throughout my house (mini salt/pepper shaker, ceramic potpourri holder, mini gold metal piece). So yeah, we were cooler before we even knew the meaning right?


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How to Clean Couch Cushions


Our couch sees A LOT of traffic. It’s really the only place in our house where we can kick back and relax. We sit on it to watch TV, Matt lies on it to take naps, and sometimes we bring our plates over and eat dinner on it. Needless to say this couch has seen its far share of wear and tear over the past 4 years… including some stains.

Cleaning_Couch_Cushions_Family_Room_AfterIf you came over to see it though, I’m confident you would think it looks pretty darn good partly because of these subtle tricks I use to hide some of the imperfections and partly because I clean it regularly.

Today we are diving into the details on how I clean my couch. This trick will definitely not work with all couch materials so PLEASE CHECK YOURS BEFORE TRYING THIS AT HOME. You don’t want to put your couch covers in the washing machine or dryer only to find that they all shrunk and now you need a new couch! #notgoodCleaning_Couch_Cushions_Family_Room-before-no-pillows

If this will work for your specific couch I highly recommend looking into this trick because the process is super easy and really does make a difference, even if it’s hard to capture in these photos. Here’s how I clean my couch covers in about 2 hours… total!

1. Remove the couch’s pillow cases (covers)Cleaning_Couch_Cushions_removing-pillow-casecouch_cleaning

My couch has zippers, which allows me to remove the pillows from the casings very easily. I usually do a few at a time so I can keep the pillows straight while they’re washing/drying.Cleaning_Couch_Cushions_Family_Room-wash-machine

2. Wash the casesCleaning_Couch_sanitize

Then I take the pillow cases and wash them in our washing machine using regular laundry detergent. I typically only put about half of the cases in at a time so it doesn’t get overstuffed. I also use the SANITIZE option on my washing machine so that they get the deepest clean possible, especially since I don’t clean the cushions as often as I probably should.

3. Dry the caseCleaning_Couch_Cushions_laundry_sanitation

I dry my pillow cases in my dryer, but I would advise you to look at the labels on your pillow cases before taking this step. My cases do shrink up a tiny bit in the dryer, which I like but that could be extremely problematic if your cases shrink too much. Please read your label before attempting this step.

I use a dryer sheet so the pillow cases smell extra fresh after they’re clean!

4. Stuff the pillows back in the pillow casesCleaning_Couch_Cushions_Family_Room-no-pillows-after

Like I mentioned, drying my pillow cases shrinks them a tiny bit. I actually like when this happens because it makes the pillow inside of the covers look a lot more plush and “perky”. It’s harder to get the pillow inside the cover, but over time they go back to normal. It’s hard to photograph the fabric for this project, but you can tell how much “perkier” the cushions are in the photo above.

5. Put the couch cushions back on the couch — you’re done!Cleaning_Couch_Cushions_Family_Room-no-pillows

See, I told you this was easy! Life happens and I don’t want to be living in a house where we can’t do things like eat pizza on the couch during movie night because we’re afraid to ruin the couch. Those nights are too fun to skip… especially for something so trivial like making a stain. But don’t get me wrong here… I’m not excited or totally unfazed when a stain appears, but I’m a lot more chill knowing it’s most-likely temporary.

Photo Storyboard

Here’s a photo line-up of the before, during and after so you can have more of a reference:Cleaning_Couch_Cushions_Family_Room_AfterCleaning_Couch_Cushions_Family_Room-before-no-pillowsCleaning_Couch_Cushions_Family_Room-no-pillows-afterCleaning_Couch_Cushions_Family_Room-coffee_table-fiddle

And from a different angle:


I will do a few things differently when I buy my next couch (more thoughts about that in this post) but one thing I will do exactly the same is buying a couch where the fabric/cushions can be cleaned. Especially if there are kids in the mix someday, a washable couch is a necessity on my couch wish list.Cleaning_Couch_Cushions_Family_Room-after-2


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6 thoughts on “How to Clean Couch Cushions

  1. Kerri Hansen

    So funny, I was just looking online at sofas as we are in the market for a new sectional. And as I was browsing, my main criteria was removeable/washable slipcovers. Then I jump over to my fave blog and your post is about just that very thing! #youreadmymind. We currently have the IKEA ektorp sectional and it has been good to us, but we are looking for something a little more comfy. I am struggling with sticker shock, IKEA is just so affordable. Any suggestions on where to look?

    1. DIY Playbook

      Hahaha, we’re glad we are not the only ones! Thanks so much Kerri, you made our day! We are so happy that searching for “removable/washable slipcovers” is a thing but we totally hear you on the sticker shock. Couches are such an investment and finding a cheap one (that’s comfy/quality) is HARD. We don’t really know where to advise you for cheap couches but we do advise you to wait for a big furniture sale when you do find the one. I got a large percentage off of my couch by waiting until the big sale right after Christmas, maybe they’ll be an end-of-the-summer sale or Labor Day Sale coming up? I’d find out when the next big sale is at the retailer you’re shopping at and have your choice ready for then. It probably won’t be “cheap” but at least it’ll save you some money. Good luck! Let us know where you end up choosing.

  2. Ashley

    We have 3 very active dogs and are planning to have kids in the next few years, so we have a large leather sectional. I was a little hesitant about the leather at first, but my husband insisted because of all the dog hair and 2 years later I could not be happier with it! It actually looks amazing and “contemporary” (not like it belongs in a man cave!), is the most comfortable couch I’ve ever sat (or slept) on, and is beyond easy to maintain! Hair is never an issue, and if we spill anything on it wipes right up! We have a pretty dry climate, so I do condition it with leather condition ~ once per month, but overall has barely any upkeep to keep it looking brand new!


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Replacing My Front Door Knob and Lock for Better Curb Appeal


Disclaimer: We have partnered with Kwikset to bring you this post. All opinions & photography are our own and are not influenced by Kwikset. Thank you for supporting the brands that help support this blog!

About a year ago I seriously looked into changing out all of the doors throughout our house. The doors in my house are very builder grade and I’m not in love with the 6 panel/beveled design. Instead I wanted more of a craftsman door (similar to this one). I also wanted to switch out all of the hardware to solid black when we swapped out the doors.

I researched my options and came to the conclusion that this change would be a HUGE project, because it would require me to change not only the doors but all of the door casings. The project would also require me to hire a professional and spend a lot of money on the work itself and the material. Because I don’t view this house as our “forever house”, I ditched that idea and vowed to seriously consider this look in our next house.

new_garage_doorknobs_kwiksetWhen Kwikset approached us for the opportunity to team up, I combed through their site and was reminded of my love for black door knobs. At first I didn’t think this partnership would work (sadly) since I knew that new black door knobs were not really an option in this house. But then I stumbled upon their exterior options and had a major a-ha moment.

Why not add this gorgeous black hardware to our front door?! And more importantly… why haven’t I thought of this idea sooner?!

Front Door Upgrade

original_doorknob_lock_Our door knob was in rough shape from all the wear and tear it sees on a daily basis . Since we don’t have access to our home from the garage, we use the front door to enter/exit our house 100% of the time. This also means that when guests approach our house they see an old and outdated door knob. Not the best first impression and actually kind of embarrassing to look back at these photos.

This is when we enthusiastically agreed to partner with Kwikset to replace the exterior door knobs on my house with the sleek black ones I had been dreaming about for over a year!

door_before_garageThe weird part of our front door is that right next to it is the entrance to our one-car garage. If I was going to change the front door hardware, I needed to change the “side door’s” hardware so they matched.

I ordered this gorgeous doorknob and lock for the front door (aka the Downtown Low Profile Deadbolt and Halifax Lever) and this set (980 deadbolt and Hancock knob) for the side door. I chose the iron black and went with a front door handle that was sleek and modern. I noticed on their site that they have options (and colors!) for every style, so there really is something for everyone.

Kwikset_Doorknobs_Locks-blackI like how the square detail on the front door makes that one a little more eye-catching, and the round option on the garage door seemed like the perfect supporting role.

Our New Door Hardware

Kwikset_Doorknobs_Locks-materialsShortly after I ordered the hardware, it was delivered in the mail. This is the first time I had DIY-ed a project like this and honestly I was a little hesitant at the beginning.

old_door_hardwareFast forward to about an hour later and I’m happy to report this project was not nearly as intimidating as I predicted it to be. Taking out the old and installing the new hardware was actually a LOT easier than I expected, which makes me even more excited about the idea of doing this in the future.

The new hardware came with SmartKey Security, which allowed me to make sure all 4 of these locks worked on ONE magic key! I was a little hesitant about this at first but after 5 minutes or less, I was able to transition all four locks to match one single key. I love the convenience of that because I only need to carry one key on my keyring instead of 4.  Plus this SmartKey security protects against lock picking and lock bumping, two of the most common break-in methods. Stylish, convenient AND safe = I’m sold!

new_hardware_garage_doorOnce that project was over, I was seriously OBSESSED! Every time I come home and approach the front door, the new color and design brings a smile to my face… literally. Our front porch may be tiny, but this tiny change makes me so much more proud of it.

And I can’t believe how much of a different this small change has made in our curb appeal. The black accent is just what we needed, I still can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure it out. Thank you, Kwikset!!

Sprucing up our Flower Boxes

black_window_boxesAfter the door knobs were installed, I decided to give our old DIY flower boxes a quick coat of black spray paint (before we did our planting of course). I loved the hint of black so much on the doorknobs that I wanted to continue these subtle pops of black throughout our exterior.

I had the same reaction after painting the boxes — why am I just doing this now?!

Adding more Curb Appeal

trim_bushes_yardAfter we did our planting, we had some minor landscaping updates to do in order to prep for the summer ahead, which will hopefully bring lots of guests over! We trimmed the bushes and added some mulch. These are two projects that I honestly don’t mind doing because you can see such a difference when it’s all said and done.

Kwikset_Doorknobs_Locks-doormatOh, and of course we had to add a fun new doormat for an extra pop of summer vibes. If you follow us on Instagram then you know that Matt picked this colorful doormat out from Target. He’s obviously a man after my own heart.

Before & After

I had no idea that a few minor updates would make such a difference. Let’s take a look back at the before and after one more time…door_front_yard_beforehouse_after_doorknobs_window_boxesI still can’t believe this simple change took 4 years to figure out?! Hopefully my next house will have black door knobs on the front door and all the doors inside… well before the 4 year mark!Bridget_sig



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7 thoughts on “Replacing My Front Door Knob and Lock for Better Curb Appeal

  1. Kat Hamilton

    Love the black knobs!

    We just purchased our first house this month (eeeeek!) and the knobs on the inside are bugging me. Brass knobs everywhere. I’ve been looking into the possibility of spray painting them to tide them over until I feel like dropping that much money on doorknobs. I’ve found a few posts on it, and may give it a try. Definitely not a forever fix, but new doorknobs are way down the list of things to buy right away.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Love that idea!! And you’re so right, it’s a great temporary solution until you can save for the real deal! If you decided to move forward, you’ll have to keep us updated and let us know what you think/how they hold up! Good luck. =)

  2. Trang

    I’ve been toying with the idea of installing flower boxes underneath a huge front window that I have, but have been too scared. The task of drilling into mortar is super daunting because I would also have to install at least 2 boxes (maybe even 3) under this big window which gives me chills to think I have to be precise and make the level. I think of all the horrible things that could go wrong and the time it takes and then I give up. After reading your experience, I have a feeling mine would be similar with lots of cursing!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Now that the flower boxes are up, I definitely think they upgrade our curb appeal by 1000% BUT getting them up was not fun! I’m sure you can do it, but I can totally understand your hesitation and nerves because I was right there with you!

  3. DIY Playbook

    Your hesitation about black + red is EXACTLY what took me so long to make these changes. I too wasn’t sure if those two colors would mix well but I LOVEEE the new look so much. And thanks for the tip, you can never be too safe on the internet. =)

  4. Kelly

    I changed all our indoor knobs a year ago and still am happy every time I look at them! They were all a tarnished gold color and some even had the gold on one side and silver on the other side of the door. I guess this was a look in the 90s?

    I bought all Kwikset knobs and they were so easy to install. The hardest part was figuring out how to get the old doorknob off. They were all different and it was hard to tell if I needed to remove more parts or if they were just stuck from old age. Thank goodness for google!

    Your door looks great! We need to replace our whole front door (not a fun expense!) and the only thing I am looking forward to is getting the new hardware!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Sounds like we had the same problem with the tarnished old hardware! Happy you love your Kwikset doorknobs too. Good luck with the new front door. Hopefully you find one you love!

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Finding your Personal Design Style – Step 4


The ProblemPlanter-Gold-Frames-Spring-9

Far too often we chat with readers or receive emails asking for advice on how they can figure out their personal design style. These readers usually report that they know they don’t love what they have in their current space, but aren’t sure what to replace it with because they don’t know their style.

And because they’re afraid to make the wrong decision, they become frozen in a state of indecision. This leads them to live with decor that they hate! <— we want to change this ASAP!

Bedroom-dark-woodl-nightsandWe understand these concerns all too well because we have been there! And since we’ve gone through those same experiences (the struggle is real), we set out to provide our readers with more information and exercises that they can use to figure out what their individual style really is. To catch up check out:

Finding Your Personal Design Style – Step 1 (assessing what you don’t love)
Finding Your Personal Design Style – Step 2 (using your closet for clues)
Finding Your Personal Design Style – Step 3 (collecting inspiration and making connections)

Finding_your_personal_StyleToday we’re going to pick up where left off and continue the fun by diving into Step #4 – Using the information from Finding Your Personal Design Style – Step 1#2 & #3 so that you can start creating visuals to corral all of this information into a personal “Style Guide”. You ready for this?!

Using Previous Datafamily-living-room-sectional-built-ins

The last few steps walked you through the specific exercises you should do in order to identify what colors, textures, patterns and eventually what types of decor you are naturally drawn to.

This “collection” may not fit nicely into a generic style word like “Boho”, “Coastal”, or “Farmhouse” but instead, is a style that is unique to you. THAT’S OKAY and actually, that’s what is really awesome. Everyone’s style should be unique to them, their personality, and their specific situation.

work-hard-shiplap-office-laptopHowever, we also realize that without that buzz word it’s sometimes hard to pin down your unique style. And that’s where today’s activity comes in. Take the data you have collected from this checklist, this closet activity, and all of your Pinterest research and apply it while you tackle today’s exercise of making a mood board.

Making a Mood Board that is “so YOU”lowes-fall-makeover-mood-board.14 PMlowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal

Mood boards are extremely helpful for us when we are designing a room. They don’t always provide the exact representation of what the room will look like, but these mood boards do help us get a feel for the room in terms of color, textures, pattern and overall vibe. And that’s what we want you to get when you’re done with your mood board.

We don’t want you to choose only items that you need to buy right now but instead, we want you to strategically put things together to identify your “vibe” (or personal style) moving forward.

Style_mood_board-3Using our favorite free website for making mood boards, Polyvore, login and create a new mood board (full tutorial on how to use Polyvore HERE). First start the mood board by adding colors that are so you. You can do this by searching a color in the search bar and dragging it onto the board.

Style_mood_board-2Next, add on textures, finishes, wood tones or metallics that you are naturally drawn to. The Research from Step #3 will help you identify some of your favorites. I added white subway tile to this mood board because it was noted so consistently in my pinterest board, but I don’t even have white subway tile in my house. That’s okay!! We’re just putting this collection together to give you a snapshot of all of your favorite things. Hopefully this collection will provide you with a clearer image of what is “so you”.

Style_mood_boardNext, add a few items that are so you. This may be a print that you are obsessed with or lights that keep popping up in all of your pins. Or maybe it is a pillow pattern you love paired with a few small accessories that reflect your style perfectly. These pops of personality will help complete this mood board and help make it feel a lot more like you by the end.


nursery_moodboard_happy_camper.30 PMhappy_camper_nursery_reveal_gender_neutralPutting together this mood board may take more than one sitting and that’s totally normal, and may actually be better! Keep playing around with it until you feel that the mood board is “so you”. The more accurate this snapshot of your style, the better!

Next Steps!

master-bedroom-beddingOnce the mood board is done, it will be a style guide for you to reference as you shop, DIY and decorate your home. The more intentional you are the better you will be at avoiding design regret and creating a cohesive house.

Family_room_coffee_tableAnd that’s where we are going to leave off today! We can’t wait to share with you our tricks for using this mood board because you would probably be surprised at how often we consult our mood boards when we are out shopping or planning our next DIY project.

And since creating a mood board can be time-consuming if you are being super intentional, today’s assignment gives you plenty to work on before we touch base with Step 5!

For anyone creating mood boards as their new style guide, we would LOVE to see how they turn out! Everyone’s style is unique and tells a little about you and we would love to get to know you more by checking them out. Feel free to drop your image in the comments below or email us at Love hearing from you guys and seeing your gorgeous styles.



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6 thoughts on “Finding your Personal Design Style – Step 4

  1. Kerri Hansen
    I used your Polyvore tutorialback in the fall to create this mood board for my daughter’s room makeover. I had previously used olioboard a few times, but I found your method so much easier thanks to you guys walking me through it step by step! I loved creating the mood board, it was so fun! Having a visual representation of my design plan was extremely helpful and eliminated costly purchasing errors. I have also used Polyvore to create mood boards when working with clients in my Interior Decorating business. I am soooooo grateful to you guys for sharing this tutorial, it has been a game changer for me!

    1. DIY Playbook

      omg this looks amazing Kerri! Wow, your vision really came to life in the space. So happy you’re like Polyvore. It’s been really helpful for us too!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Christina this living room looks AMAZING! Love the colors. So soothing, yet full of drama! Gorgeous. So happy this series has been helpful for you 🙂

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How to Style Shelves in your Bathroom


I feel like so many of the things I decorate in my home remind me of the book, “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie.” I know I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but it just makes me chuckle every time I think about it. If I change one thing in a room, then it usually prompts another change, and another…so on and so forth.

bathroom-pendant-lightingThat’s definitely the case in our master bathroom. You guys know all about how I hemmed and hawed over bathroom pendants, and I finally decided to go with these black ones.

pendant-lights-master-bathroomI’m still loving our choice and they really change the entire space! So much brighter and the black is classic.

Our Old Bathroom ShelvesWooden-Ikea-Shelves

But those black pendants made me look at our bathroom shelves in a whole new light. They needed to be re-styled….and fast! Every morning I would get ready for work and I’d stare at those shelves thinking about what needed to be changed. Then at night I’d brush my teeth and make a mental note on all of the items I needed to keep my eyes peeled for when shopping.

My storybook would write, “If you give Casey new bathroom lighting….she will want to re-decorate her bathroom shelves.” I’m happy to say that I finally stopped staring at the bathroom shelves, and instead I started decorating said shelves.

My Bathroom Shelves – Restyled

I decided to added some sleek black touches to complement the new pendants. With a color palette of black, white, and a hint of greenery…I was good to go. accessories-decorate

This black accessory was a Target find and it serves zero purpose, but as Marie Kondo would say, “it brings me joy”…so into my shopping cart it went. I gave it an extra boost of height with some hardcover books and it’s sitting pretty on the shelf.plant-shelves-bathroom

The black sculpture is one of the few pieces that is purely decorative. Mostly everything else actually has a purpose…I promise!navy-box-plant

The navy box on the top shelf is home to some SUPER secret storage. It’s where I keep my tampons. I don’t think tampons have ever looked so pretty. No one but me (and now all of you…) knows that I stash them in this spot, but it’s incredibly convenient to have them located right above the toilet. Now if you ever stop on by you’ll know where to find them! navy-box

If you’re looking for your own secret box, make sure you find one that is long enough to hold them!matches-bobby-pins

Moving on to another fun bathroom topic…matches. We all know why matches are sometimes needed in the bathroom, so why not display them in a cute way? I found this white container at a flea market and it holds our matchbook collection. We try to always pick up matches when they’re at a restaurant…kinda like a fun little souvenir.bobby-pins

Since my taking shots days are well behind me, I use a clear shot glass to hold extra bobby pins. Whenever I’m getting ready and need one I walk on over and pluck one out. So easy and no more digging through my bathroom cabinets to find one.accessories-bathroom-shelves

I stole this idea from Bridget, but the white canister holds a spare roll of toilet paper! I used to keep the in a basket, but they’d always get pretty dusty in there. This canister from Crate & Barrel holds a roll perfectly and no one would ever know! No there’s no excuse for not changing the roll when it gets empty!plant-bathroomTo bring some greenery and life into the space, I found this plant at Home Depot (I think it’s a jade plant, but don’t quote me on that) and put it in a black pot from HomeGoods. There’s a window in the bathroom so it does get some light, but I think the humidity from the shower is what it really loves. It’s actually thriving! accesories-frame-bathroom

And how about that gorgeous art on top? I’ve been eyeing it for some time now and finally purchased it from Minted. For only $25 for the 8×10 it wasn’t too bad. I then paired it in my favorite budget-friendly frame from Michaels.bathroom-augusta-toilet-shelves

Get the Look

Overall, I’m loving the new style in this space. It’s crazy how some re-arranging and adding a few new pieces can transform a room. And I have no other things to change in this room…for now. We’ll see how long that lasts!

Psst…here’s an old post showcasing how I built the shelves!


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14 thoughts on “How to Style Shelves in your Bathroom

  1. Kara D

    I love both the old and new shelve stylings! So the steam from the shower never had a bad effect on the framed artwork? That’s great!

  2. Austin Brewer

    They look fantastic! Question: is your toilet slightly off-centered on that wall (at least the non-tile portion)? We currently live in a duplex and both our toilets are slightly off-centered in their little nooks, and trying to hang art has me stumped (to center on the wall or the toilet!). It looks like you centered your shelves over the toilet, which is the direction I’m leaning.

    1. DIY Playbook

      I’ve never actually noticed…but you’re right! It is off-center. I went ahead and centered the shelves over the toilet. I’d recommend that!

    2. Austin Brewer

      Awesome! (I hope that didn’t come across as rude or critical, pointing that out. It was kind of a relief to see that quirk in someone else’s home!)

  3. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    I COMPLETELY understand the “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie” analogy. We always think every home project will stop at one thing…we’ve done enough of them by now we should know they always lead to more! New shelves look great!!


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