Category Archives: Home Decor

Reader SOS: Furniture Layout & Blank Walls


Today we are back with another “DIY Playbook, Save our Space!”. You guys have been emailing us and we’ve been able to get a little glimpse into some of the dilemmas you’re having when it comes to decorating. Our plan for #DIYPlaybookSOS is to take a reader’s space and (virtually) offer tips & tricks on how to improve it.playbook-sos-instagram-1

We figure this is a good idea for a few reasons…

  • You may have the exact same design dilemma as one of the featured spaces, so hearing some decorating advice could help you tackle your own home!
  • We can showcase various styles that may be different from ours.

So today, we are excited to introduce you to our new friend Joanna!

Reader Design Dilemma

Joanna reached out to ask for help with the layout of her living room (rearranging) and how to decorate her blank walls. Here’s a look at her space:readerSOSreaderSOS

Now that you know what her space looks like, let’s dive into some of the tips we offered Joanna.

Furniture Layout

Move TVreaderSOSIdea-for-decorating-around-TV-art-hung-in-grid

Inspiration via Driven by Decor

First we would suggest moving the TV & stand to the middle of the wall, instead of tucking it into the corner. We encourage this adjustment because it would make a bigger statement in this space and will also fill some of that blank walls that Joanna mentioned she doesn’t currently love.

Aspyn-Ovard-House-Makeover-Vintage-Revivals-17-706x1024Inspiration via Vintage Revivals

We also suggested that she can eventually invest in a larger console to place the TV on. If Joanna was looking to add even more visual interest around the TV, we are always big fans of adding a gallery wall (just like we instructed this reader to do). Next to the console Joanna could add a basket to corral throw blankets and pillows or another plant to add more life.

Move the CouchreaderSOS

We suggested that Joanna move the plaid couch along the window to create more of an open concept in this space. Her entryway and room layout is almost identical to one of our favorite blogs, House Tweaking.

living-room-2014-13Dana from House Tweaking placed one of her couches in front of the window and we are obsessed with the open and airy space.

We also LOVE what she did with the entryway because it adds a lot of visual interest, extra storage, and ties both areas into one another. We think this exact layout is something Joanna can definitely achieve in her home. But if she didn’t love the idea of open shelving in the entry, we also had another idea for that entry.



Inspiration via Apartment Therapy

Instead of having the console against the wall, we asked Joanna if she has ever thought about butting it up to the back of the couch. This hides the back of the couch and adds even more storage.  She can still make it work as a mini drop zone (love that idea) by adding a bowl, organizer for mail, a frame or two, and some cute accessories.

board-batten-entryway-1Moving the table would open up the entryway and make the back of the couch look like less of an eyesore right when you walk in. Then on the wall where the console is currently sitting, Joanna could add a board and batten treatment halfway up the wall with some black or silver hooks.

Clearly you guys know we love some board & batten (considering we both have it all over our homes!), so why not add it to this space? This treatment would add some additional style to this large wall and would tie in well with the white kitchen and built-in shelving unit across the space. Plus the white paint next to the GORGEOUS wood floors would look stunning!Mudroom+by+Studio+McGee

Inspiration via Studio McGee

The board and batten would also make it super functional because Joanna and her family can drop their coats, bags, scarves or hats when they come home (or have guests over!). Then to finish this space off, she can add a large runner to add a pop of color and personality. Joanna can even paint the interior of her front door for more color!

New Items


Inspiration via Amber Interior Design

We also think adding a larger area rug (8×10 or 9×12) could be a good way to bring this space together and make it feel extra cozy. We suggest buying a rug large enough (love this one!) where at least the front legs of both couches are on the area rug. This will really help ground the space and bonus points if you can get all of the furniture legs onto the rug!

And last but certainly not least, we encouraged Joanna to think about adding a new light fixture and coffee table. We don’t think either of her items are bad (not at all!!) but a round coffee table (in a light color) could break up all of the straight lines in this space and make the sitting area feel more open and airy.

The fan could be swapped out for a more updated look/color or for a statement light fixture if she’s not married to the idea of a fan. We think these simple upgrades could really add some serious style to this space.

We want to hear from you!

diy-playbook-sos-instagram-18We wish we could come to ALL of your homes to hang out, drink coffee, and help solve your design dilemmas (#dreamjob!). Sadly, we can’t BUT that doesn’t mean we still can’t drink coffee and help solve some of these design dilemmas from afar!

If you want your space to be the next #diyplaybookSOS feature, all you have to do is share a photo on Instagram, tag @diyplaybook and use the #diyplaybooksos. Tell us about your design dilemma and your space could be our next feature! Or feel free to email us some pictures and information about the space to bridget_and_casey_sig

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9 thoughts on “Reader SOS: Furniture Layout & Blank Walls

  1. Brie

    Wow, I love all of these ideas and all of the amazing inspiration photos you included for Joanna. Please do more of this series!!! (I may have to create an instagram account someday to request your feedback on my bare and oddly shaped bedroom!) 🙂

  2. Erin

    so i was looking through all these ideas which is a lot but man, i really wanted some sort of floor plan. so i took some ideas and put it on paper, which i think will help joanna quite a bit. She can either do the console behind the smaller couch, or she can put it against the wall where she has it now. i think keeping the one side open is nice. there can always be big floor pillows to keep around. me and my husband are floor people — someone is at least always on the floor!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Erin this is above & beyond! Loooooove this floor plan! Thanks for creating it. I’m sure Joanna will appreciate it! And totally agree that it’s much more open and balanced with your layout.

    2. Erin

      that’s all your ideas. I just put it on paper! =) I’m a visual person! so pictures HELPED big time! Hope Joanna likes it!

  3. Trang

    All of your recommendations for Joanna are fabulous. I love all of the inspirational photos! I personally recommend doing away with the fan/light in the center first and foremost ;-). It’s dated. A new chandelier style light or even a new fan in more of modern look in that spot will update the room’s look immediately.
    I follow Apartment Therapy daily because their tips on living in small spaces are the bomb!


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My Search for a New Coffee Table for our Family Room


Ever since we got a new couch, I’ve been itching to get a new coffee table. Actually it started with the couch…then it snowballed into building a DIY side table…then adding a new piece of art…then finally the addition of our leather chair.

family-living-room-sectional-built-insIsn’t it funny how one change in a room can then catapult into so many more?! But the fact remains…I need a new coffee

I DIY’ed our current coffee table about 4 years ago and it was my first ever staining project. I made quite a few mistakes during that run (like not using wood conditioner and wiping down the wood with water…yikes!), and those mistakes led to a less than ideal finish on the table. But you’ve gotta start somewhere, right?coffee-table-family-room

While I’ve always loved the size and style of the table, it has some serious damage on the top and a lot of discoloration from all of the wear and tear. The tray that I keep on top of the table masks a lot of the flaws, but it can only do so much. So the time has come to finally replace this table with something else!

Coffee Table Must-Haves

I have a few must-haves when it comes to this upcoming purchase…

  1. Round: There are a lot of straight lines in this space with the rug, built-ins, and sectional. A round table softens the area and allows for good flow in the family room.
  2. Wood or Black: Because the built-ins are white and our dining room table is white marble, I want to avoid those colors for the coffee table. I think wood would really warm up the space, but I’m also not opposed to black.
  3. Legs? No Legs?: I’m not really sure if I want legs on the coffee table. The sectional, side table, and leather chair all have noticeable legs and I think adding a coffee table with more legs would make the space look too busy. There aren’t a ton of great coffee tables without legs, so I’m not sure how this one will go down.

With those stipulations in mind, I started online shopping and searched my go-to sites.

West ElmCrate & BarrelCB2WayfairThe MineAllModernPottery BarnOverstockArticle…these are all sites I checked out to view their coffee table inventory. Here are some of my favorites.

Round Coffee Table  – Crate & Barrel

I really love the shape and weight of this piece and I’ve always had great luck with the quality of the furniture from Crate & Barrel. But I feel like I really need to see this coffee table in person. It looks almost black to me online, but it says it’s mahogany. I wouldn’t want the coloring to be too red and clash with the space. This one is a maybe, but that price tag is super steep for a coffee table…

Wood Top Coffee TableThe Minethe-mine-round-coffee-table

I like this coffee table. The size, the shape, the color of the wood. The only thing holding me back is that it may be a bit too rustic for our space. What do you think? Too farmhouse for our city condo?

Copenhagen Coffee TableOverstock

The simple look of this coffee table really draws me in, plus the wood color is very nice and soothing. I think it would complement the gray color of the couch. And you can’t beat that price tag…gotta love Overstock! But I worry that it’s too “leggy” for the space.

Black & BrownOverstock

I really like the modern look of this table and it’s just over $200! The black metal legs would look sleek in our space and I’m all for that! I do worry that it may be too dinky and not have enough “weight” in our space. But definitely a contender.

Black MetalWayfair

I could really get behind this one from Wayfair. It’s simple, classic, and would definitely work for our space! If I could find something comparable at a lower price I would probably pull the trigger on this one!

Light WoodArticlearticle-light-wood-table

Our cognac leather chair is from Article and I’m obsessed with it, so I would definitely be on board to add another piece of their furniture to our home. The light wood on this piece would definitely go with the look in our space, and the black legs would match our dining table and side table. But is that too many black legs going on? I’m not sure…

Round Wood TableOverstock

This is the table I’ve been coveting for quite some time. The only problem is…it’s either $1,300 on some sites (like on Wayfair right here) or when it’s more in the $400 range it is out of stock. Gah. I signed up on Overstock to get a notification if the $409 version comes back in stock. Anyone see this table anywhere else at a manageable price? If so, I just might scoop it up!

Well, I think I’m feeling more confused than ever! You guys gave me such great advice for our bathroom lights…I’d love to hear your thoughts on my coffee table design dilemma. Any insight? Any tables that you absolutely adore? HELP!


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26 thoughts on “My Search for a New Coffee Table for our Family Room

  1. Trang

    I like the Article or the Wayfair metal one. I am not digging the leg-less ones; they look odd. Good luck in your pursuit; I’m sure it will look great whatever you end up with.

  2. Austin Brewer

    I’m so obsessed with the round one at the end, but I was never able to catch it at the lower price, either. Ended up with a round bone-inlay table from West Elm, which works perfectly with our sectional! I think the first table from Crate & Barrel would look stunning, but sheesh, that price!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Happy to know I’m not the only one going gaga over that pricey round one! Do you think a bone-inlay would work for my space? And I agree…I love the C&B one…but that is a heck of a lot of money for a small table. Hmmmm… feeling more confused than ever!

    2. Austin Brewer

      I have a dark gray sectional, so the creamy tones of the bone inlay brighten up my room a bit and balance it out. Honestly, I think the type I have would probably not give you enough contrast with your white built-ins and the marble table. I just agree that round is the way to go to balance out the hard lines of a sectional!

  3. Veronica Susan

    I like the one from The Mine…. but what if you painted the base black? I feel like then it might just meet all of your wants.

  4. Kerri Hansen

    I don’t envy you on this decision making friend, what a tough call! So many options! My gut instinct was to go with one of the more solid pieces, the Crate and Barrel or the Overstock one-in other words, the crazy expensive one or the out of stock one…sorry! What I like about those two is that they have some weight to them and would anchor the space, if that makes sense. I also like the Article one. Touch call, can’t wait to see what you choose! Good luck!

    1. DIY Playbook

      I completely agree Kerri! I feel like I have so many “legs” in this room and something to anchor it all would be really nice. But damn..those prices! Fingers crossed the Overstock one comes back in stock and I can pounce on it in time!

  5. Kara D

    I like a lot of these choices, and since I’m also casually looking for a coffee table for my own living room – one “feature” that sticks out in my head is the “legs”. For those with the round circular bottom like the Wayfair or The Mine tables, you’d have to lift the whole table up or move it whenever you want to vacuum underneath it. That would irk me over time. Granted, in a no-kids-no-pet household, it wouldn’t be a big deal to not vacuum underneath too often, but it depends on how OCD you’d feel about it!

  6. Katie

    So, this one is cheaper (not much) and similar to one you posted
    I’m in the market for a new coffee table myself, and would prefer a round one so that cuts the pool even smaller. P.S. – Isn’t looking back at an early DIY kind of hysterical? I painted a dining room wood buffet and did a less than stellar job because it was my first time painting furniture. Oops!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Oh thanks for the link Katie! That one is nice.

      And holy smokes…looking back at old projects is torture! But I guess it’s a good reminder of how far you’ve come!

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How to Decorate your Dining Room Table for the Everyday


There are plenty of spaces in our homes where we style up an area and don’t touch it for weeks or months. We can just decorate it and forget it. Home decor on our bookcases or built-ins really don’t get moved around all too often (although we are forever tweaking things because we’re just crazy like that!)

article-chair-built-insBut other spots that are used on a regular basis don’t get the same treatment. Like our coffee tables, dining room tables, and dressers. Because these areas are actually used (& not just looked at), we have to make sure they’re functional and don’t interrupt the flow of our lives.dining_room

These spots are by far the most difficult to decorate. Yes you want it to look nice and pretty, but it can’t be overly styled to the point where it becomes a nuisance every single day. Our dining room tables have always fit into that category and we want to share how we handle this in our own homes.

Casey’s Dining Room Tabledining-living-room

First, an update on our dining room table. We’ve now lived with the table and chairs for quite some time and I’m happy to report that we still love the choices we made. The chairs look good as new and are quite comfortable. And the marble is absolutely stunning.marble-table

I will say that we have to be very careful with the marble, and I don’t love that. Finn’s note to guests…”respect the marble.” Ha..I laugh every time he says that! But it’s true. Even though we sealed the table, using coasters is a must in order avoid water stains. And whenever we finish dinner on the table I have to wipe the entire table down right away, out of fear that any sauces or spills will stain the stone. It’s a bit high-maintenance, but it’s still worth it! dining-room-table

It’s also made me realize that I probably won’t ever choose marble for future kitchens or bathrooms. I think I would constantly be panicked that it was getting ruined during everyday wear and tear. tulips-wood-tray-dining-roomBut back to how we DECORATE our marble dining room table for the everyday! I have one word for you….TRAYS. They are a  must when it comes to dining room tables (& coffee tables for that matter). These are so useful because you can place pretty items on the tray, and then when it comes time to eat dinner or use the table…you simply lift the tray and the table is clear! Just like that!wood-tray-tulips

I originally had this silver tray on the table, and while I still love that tray, it didn’t work well with the marble. Something about the look was just too cold. Instead I found this hefty wood tray from HomeGoods (here is a similar one) and placed it in the middle of the table. It adds the perfect amount of warmth to the sleek marble. tulip-flowers

On top of the tray I usually showcase 3 things…

  1. Flowers or Plants
  2. A Candle
  3. Coasters

Each week I treat myself to fresh flowers from the grocery store. For less than $10 it sure does make my week a little brighter. Those fresh blooms often end up in the middle of our dining room table. It’s the perfect spot because it’s in the middle of our home and it’s what you spot right when you walk in the door. marble-coasters

I also ALWAYS have coasters on our wooden tray. This keeps them handy so we always make sure we use them when setting a drink down on the table. These marble ones from Crate & Barrel are a favorite because they’re a good weight. I hate when coasters are light and they stick to the bottom of a sweaty glass and then drop down with a clunk. That definitely doesn’t happen with these babies. tulipsFinally, a candle is always found on our dining room table. You guys know how much I adore this scent from Anthropologie because it fills your entire home with a fresh scent. I can’t get enough and have no plans to stop buying this candle any time soon. dining-room-table-built-ins

All in all, I really like the look of how our dining room table is “decorated.” It’s functional, yet still pretty!

Bridget’s Dining Room Table

Like Casey, I’m all about keeping our dining room table clutter-free & functional, yet still looking somewhat stylish. But unlike Casey’s, my dining room table doesn’t require coasters so my tabletop accessories look a tad different from hers.bridget_dining_room

I do love the idea of a tray corralling everything, but most of the trays that I’ve seen and loved are wood…which won’t work on my wood table. If I could find a sleek marble tray that doesn’t cost a ton, I would instantly add that onto our table. For now though, I switch off between two simple staples that pull the space together with very little effort.dining_room

My first go-to is a vase and fresh flowers. Like Casey mentioned, my table is also one of the first things you see when you walk in the door and having some fresh flowers front and center magically makes everything seem more put together.

bridget-home-tour-wide-shots-family-room-kitchen-dining-12Sometimes I’ll add a candle next to the vase but most of the time the fresh flowers are just enough to add a pop of style without cluttering the tabletop with extra stuff.

flowersWhen I don’t have fresh flowers on the table there’s most likely a bowl of fresh fruit on there.

fruit_bowl_aboveMatt eats 2-4 apples… per day(!) and so you can imagine how many apples we go through in a week. Mix in there some other healthy snacks like oranges, lemons (for our water) and any other fruit that’s on sale at the grocery store, and that’s typically the collection that is found on our dining room table.


I bought this bowl for $15 at HomeGoods but I linked some similar options above (like this one and this one). I love the texture and shape of the bowl and especially love the size. This versatile piece was definitely worth the $15 price tag.

dining_room_fruit-bowl-verticalAnd is it just me or does anyone else eat more fruit when it’s displayed?! I’m much more likely to grab an apple when I’m looking for a snack when they’re out on the dining room table instead of hidden in a drawer inside the fridge. Decor that doubles as a healthy treat… sounds like a win-win to me!kitchen_dining_fruit-bowl

I love flowers on display and also love the fruit, but I rarely (if ever) put both on the table at the same time. I avoid this partly because it sometimes starts to look like it’s “too much” and partly because I’ve heard some of the acidic gases given off by fruits, kill (or prematurely age) the flowers.

Do What’s Best for You

So whether it’s a tray to corral your table must-haves, a simple flower display, or a bowl of fruit, we encourage you to choose the combo that is best for you and your household. There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this design dilemma, but hopefully our tips will expose you to some more options. Even a tiny touch can make a big difference!

For those who showcase a staple on their dining room table when it’s not in use, we would love to hear your tips and tricks!   


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12 thoughts on “How to Decorate your Dining Room Table for the Everyday

  1. Erin

    i cringe every time i hear someone wanting marble for their kitchen/bathroom. I’m like but it is SOOOO MUCH maintenance!!!! i can’t even imagine.

    Respect the Marble! haha…

    1. DIY Playbook

      hahaha, Right?! That’s all I’ve heard from people who have it in their bathroom…how do you avoid the watermarks? I think I’d lean more towards a durable stone that maybe looks like marble?

  2. Kat Hamilton

    Mail and my purse are not the sleekest decor. 🤦🏼‍♀️ But I do love putting flowers on my dining room table, and have definitely been encouraged to buy flowers more often by your love of them!

  3. Trang

    I have a glass dinning table and it’s also high maintenance to keep finger prints and smudges off of it. To combat the constant cleaning, I have place mats (4) that cover most of the table. The center of the table is a marble (I also cannot resist marble) ‘tray’ that you ladies had made in one of your posts (the marble tile bought at Home Depot with handles glued on). On top of the marble tray, I have a metal basket that holds napkins and a few deck of playing cards since that is what we use our dinning table for – playing euchre with friends!

  4. Kristen Ayotte

    Love your ideas and tables! We have platter with candles and wine corks that sits in the middle of the table. It’s fine and easy to move but I’m searching for new ideas because it’s been the same for years! Have a good week ladies!


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5 Secret Storage Tricks in the Office


When I first set out to make over our guest room into an office one of my main goals was to add as much hidden storage as possible. I live in a 1,000 square foot house and storage is at a premium around here. I’m definitely not complaining because the minimal amount of storage really forces me to live with only what I need, which is a lifestyle I have come to LOVE over the past few years. Office_Wide

Extra Storage

However that doesn’t mean that I’m not always brainstorming ways to add more storage whenever possible. The creative solutions I have experimented with has really helped our small space work hard for us and that’s exactly what happened in our office.

This room has come along way since its days as a guest room and there is so much I love about it! But the thing I love most about this space is how functional it is. Our new office works very hard yet doesn’t look/feel cluttered and I credit that to the secret storage that is sprinkled throughout the room.

Today I want to show you guys around and dive a little deeper into the 5 ways I incorporated storage into this room without compromising the overall design.


The DIY fauxdenza is hands-down the most hardworking piece of storage in this space. fauxdenza_mirror_Spring_branches_books_flowers-15It’s made out of kitchen cabinets, which gives you an idea of how much storage it provides! But the best part is that the fauxdenza doesn’t feel like I have clunky kitchen cabinets in the office. It actually feels super thin and sleek…
fauxdenza_mirror_Spring_branches_books_flowers-19… especially when you see it from the side. This is the view we see looking down the hallway and I’m always amazed at how this slim fauxdenza holds ALL of our office essentials, including our printer! (more details here)diy-fauxdenza-organization-wideWe’ve been using our printer from inside the fauxdenza for a few months now and I LOVE it. Yes I have to remember to open up the cabinet door before I press print and I also have to lift the printer onto the floor when I have to scan or copy a document (which is pretty rare), but honestly I don’t mind those small inconveniences if it means that this clunky office staple is MIA.fauxdenza_mirror_Spring_branches_books_flowers-14

The top of the fauxdenza even holds some more secret storage. The box in the middle holds some jewelry and the bowl above it holds a few necklaces I wear often and my sunglasses. The round basket holds my earbuds. Although these items may be small every little bit counts, right?!

Shelves with Drawers

The next most hardworking item in this room is these shelves.
office_progress_wayfair_furniture-shelvesNot only do they offer some space to style, they also offer some amazing organization opportunities. The drawers at the bottom of these two shelves are by far my favorite part of these pieces. office_progress_wayfair_furniture-drawersThe drawers are wide and deep enough to store pretty much anything you want, but they also come with the tools necessary to make them into file cabinets.
office_progress_file-foldersI set up a filing system for our personal files (banking, home docs, medical docs, etc.), the DIY Playbook (receipts, contracts, invoices, etc.) and for Matt’s business. I’ve never lived with a file cabinet before this and honestly I don’t think I’ll ever go back to my old ways. It’s SO convenient to open up these drawers and easily file away all of our important documents. This is also a storage option I didn’t originally plan for in our office space, but it’s a component I will definitely put a priority on in any future office projects.

*Note to self: having an easily accessible filing system is such an important factor to keep important docs organized. Keeping this paperwork accounted for and organized was never a strength of mine because I never had a place I could easily drop my files without investing a lot of time. This organized and accessible filing system has changed that and I’m so thankful!

Decorative Boxes

Believe it or not, the hard work of these two shelves doesn’t stop with the drawers.
office_progress_frames_shelves_michaels-4Some of the accessories on these shelves are solely for decoration but there are others I snuck in there to offer even more extra storage.office_progress_wayfair_full-shelf

Doing Double Duty

You can only see three of the decorative storage boxes in this picture, but there are actually 4 storage boxes and 5 additional jars/canisters that are ALL offering extra storage. Although these boxes/canisters aren’t storing a ton of stuff, every little bit matters!

Lower Left Hand corner: I bought this drawer organizer from HomeGoods a few years ago and it’s home to all kinds of little stuff like cords, USB ports, binder clips, pens/pencils and mini office supplies. I love the drawers because they act as simple dividers to keep the cords/small stuff separate.

Lower Right Hand Corner: This clear box with the gold embellishments is from Michaels and stores some extra sunglasses and a few pieces of jewelry like bracelets and a watch. Again this isn’t a ton of storage but I’ve found that when everything in my house has a specific home, I stay a LOT more organized.

Two-Toned Box under the antler: This is also a box I scored at HomeGoods for under $10. I used to have it on my coffee table where it held our remote controls, but after we got the new coffee table, this color scheme didn’t work anymore. So I brought this box back to the office where it now looks good and also holds our business cards and branded DIY Playbook stationery/stamps. I typically just grab the whole box when I have to write a thank you or send someone a check because everything I need is all in one box. Cute + Convenient = win, win!

If you look past the lamp, you can see another white box on the bottom shelf. I bought this one (and a few others just like it) from IKEA for $6.99! It holds all of my camera gear, including my camera itself.

camera-box-officeNow I don’t have to search in three different spots to find a new lens, the USB cord, and the charger because the camera and all of its accessories are all in one place! Plus, I love that I can take the whole box with me if I’m working from a different part of the house.full-office-wayfair

Plus we have two laptops and one fits perfectly on the box’s top. Having a place to set the other computer is super helpful to keep this simple space feeling less cluttered.

Jars & Canisters office_progress_wayfair_furniture-plant-office

I also have a few canisters/jars on the shelves that hold a lot of stuff. This canister holds our extra ink cartridges for the printer.office_progress_frames_shelves_michaels-2

These three jars hold random items we use in the office or around the house. I love that these jars hold everyday office items like my collection of washi tape, yet do double duty as acceptable shelf decor. office-jarsAt first I did this because I didn’t want to buy anything new for these shelves and had these jars lying around. Once I saw the function of these jars and how they doubled as free decor, I haven’t moved them!


Last but certainly not least — the closet! how-to-build-a-DIY-barn-doorChanging this closet door from two small bypass doors to one oversized barn door has been a total game changer! Before I could only see or access one side of the closet at a time. Now I feel so spoiled for the opportunity to open the entire barn door and look at the WHOLE closet at once.

I know it’s still a small closet but this door honestly makes it feel more like a walk-in closet now! Maybe I’ve been living in this small house too long, but honestly the upgrade is one of my favorites in our house to date!

I still have some work ahead of me when it comes to creating an organizing system that works, but just the opportunity to open the door and look at/get to everything at once feels like an amazing start. It’s home to some of my clothes, all of my wrapping paper, craft supplies, and old files. It’s also the access point to our crawl space, which makes getting down there 1,000x’s easier!!

Secret StorageOffice_Wide_Room

I knew I wanted to add extra storage to this space but honestly the amount of storage in this small room has exceeded my expectations. For my fellow homeowners or renters short on storage, these are my two best tips:

  • Do everything you can to make your furniture and decor do double duty. Choose items that look cute AND offer secret storage.
  • Make sure everything (even the tiniest items) has a home. Maintaining these organization systems will be SO much easier when you know where each item belongs!


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10 thoughts on “5 Secret Storage Tricks in the Office

  1. Erin

    storage is super crucial! I’m always looking for creative ways to store store things because i don’t really want anything sitting out. I hate clutter. We recently bought the storage ottoman/pop up tray from Crate & Barrel. It was pricey. but it does TRIPLE duty! it stores off season pillows. Allows us to eat in the living room on fridays — it’s pizza friday and we use that to catch up on some comedy shows. and it’s also extra seating as well as a place for my husband to put his feet up.

    Any future pieces of furniture has to have some form of storage!

  2. Kerri Hansen

    A place for every thing and everything in its place! Love it all! Such an efficient use of space and gorgeously styled to boot, win win and double gold star!


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Our Home Decor Favorites at Target


We know we’re not alone in our love for Target. In fact, we often feel like we need to avoid going to Target altogether because there is just no way in hell we’re coming out of that store without a $100 receipt for items we didn’t even know we needed. Hate when that happens (but also secretly love it!). target-fall-line-4

But can you blame us? Their home decor items are always on point and on trend. And their spring and summer collection is no different. Here are a few budget-friendly items they’ve recently added to their home decor aisles that we can’t wait to scoop up!

Outdoor Loveseat

If you’re a city dweller (without a lot of outdoor space), this modern loveseat is a winner. Not only does it look comfortable, but the shape is anything but cookie-cutter. Add some colorful throw pillows on it and you’re good to go!

White Classic Vase

Target’s ceramic products have always been on point, and this vase is an example of that. The subtle pattern on the vase adds interest, but the white can go with any home decor. You can fill it with flowers or fresh leaves, or it can stand alone as stunning home decor.

Plant Stand

This artificial plant reminds me of the snake plant and West Elm planter found in my dining room. But this one doesn’t need any watering! Ha. If you don’t have a ton of room for a plant, this petite one is a winner. Love the modern planter. We’d put this next to a side table or bench for some added freshness.

Wood Arm Chair

It’s kind of hard to believe that this chair is from Target. I mean, c’mon?! How good is this piece?! Plus it’s just over $200, which is a spectacular price for an accent chair. The wood and neutral color make it a piece that can fit in with just about any home decor. And love the MCM lines on this one.

Salad Bowl

Is it bad that sometimes you want to buy items for a life you don’t have…but want? Imagine the gorgeous dinner parties, serving a gorgeous salad, with your gorgeous friends using this salad bowl. Picture perfect, right? Perhaps adding this to our kitchen would result in a. eating more salads b. those glamorous dinner parties

Moroccan Wedding Rug

We’ve always been fascinated with Moroccan wedding blankets (traditional blankets woven in anticipation of a wedding), and this rug version is pretty dang cool. Again, more neutral colors that go with just about anything. The textures, pattern, and boho vibe make this an interesting piece to add to any room.

Tripod Floor Lamp

$80 for a floor lamp of this size is a steal. Something comparable at Crate and Barrel or West Elm would cost much closer to $200…so this lamp is one to take a second look at. We’re all about layering lighting in your space, and this wooden tripod lamp would definitely get the job done in a family room or office.

Tropical Wall Art

This print reminds us of the prints we created a few years back with photos of palm prints. While those are still some of our favorites, this is a softer option. Layer this frame on a shelf or built-in to add a pop of color to your home for spring!


Baskets are always your friend when it comes to corralling the clutter. We can’t get enough of them and have a basket in just about every single room in our homes. This one is at a great price and the white pattern keeps it interesting.

File Box

This file box isn’t exactly “springy”, but when we spotted it online we couldn’t resist! The gold, the texture, the functionality…yes, yes, and YES! We’re always looking for cute ways to stay organized and this file box would look great in a home office.

Outdoor Lantern

As we mentioned earlier this week, we’re both currently scooping up new items to spruce up our outdoor patios. This simple wood lantern would add the perfect nighttime glow to the outdoors and can you believe it’s an LED light in there? Sure makes setting the mood easy!

Outdoor Chairs

And speaking of sprucing up our outdoor spaces, these $39 chairs have us both wishing that we were in need of more seating! They are soooo good and for that price?! Someone please buy these because they are just too good.

Hour Glass

How gorgeous is this hour glass? And the hint of black has us loving this design even more! And in true Target fashion, $19 seems like a good deal for this high-end looking piece!

Hexagon Make-up Mirror

Stylish (or even unique) make-up mirrors are hard to come by so we definitely want to put the spot-light on this gorgeous geometric option. We love it because it’s functional but can easily be displayed on a desk or vanity because it’s so pretty.

Pineapple Doormat

This option is a bit outside our neutral comfort zone, but can you even resist this quirky doormat?! Target never disappoints when it comes to doormats and this season is no different. From flamingos, to pineapples to adorable cacti, their doormat selection is so fun. They’re usually priced at $12.99 but put these front porch staples on sale pretty often, making it easy to score one for under ten bucks!


succulent_target_stand_plant-3Don’t even get us started about the clothing, swimsuit, or spring shoe collections at Target. It seriously is hard to contain ourselves! For now, we’ll just stick to perusing the home decor aisles or else we may be broke by the time it’s fall…bridget_and_casey_sig

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20 thoughts on “Our Home Decor Favorites at Target

  1. Erin

    that armchair!!!!!!!! why don’t i have room for it?!
    and that pineapple rug, might have to get that!

    1. DIY Playbook

      We feel the exact same way about the armchair — it’s so gorgeous! We hope that by sharing it, someone will bring it home and enjoy it =)

  2. Kerri Hansen

    You are speaking my Target language ladies! I want #allthethings in this post! As I may have mentioned, since we no longer have Target in Canada 😩, shopping there is a mini designation vacation for me! I went a few weeks ago and had to be very disciplined… the only thing scarier than facing my husband after a Target shopping spree are the border guards I have to fess up to on the way home. Techically you are supposed to pay duty on stuff you buy if you are only across the border for a day, but usually they let a small amount go. Nothing worse than tacking some extra 💵 to a shopping spree! I spotted those $39 chairs and was so tempted, there is also a matching bench! So modern farmhouse, I can’t even!

    1. DIY Playbook

      “The only thing scarier than facing my husband after a Target shopping spree are the border guards I have to fess up to on the way home.” <— this literally made us LOL. At least you're forced to only buy what you really love and not just buy to buy. This is especially handy for Target since almost everything in the store gives us instant heart-eyes!

  3. Marit

    Hey ladies! Love the new layout of your roundup posts. I hated have to scroll up and down trying to find what you were talking about. 🙂

  4. Kara D

    Great minds think alike! I bought that faux plant stand last week! It’s perfect to put in the darker, less lit areas in my place where I know the lack of sunlight would kill plants like this! I’m now eyeballing that marble tray you had in the first picture! That would be great to put on my dining table, I haven’t found the *right* tray yet for it!

  5. Liz M

    Be warned about those outdoor Windsor chairs – they leak rusty water all over if they get any rain on them. It’s a poor design flaw unfortunately. I bought them before I saw all the reviews on them complaining about the rust. Too bad since they are totally cute and affordable 🙁

    Love all your picks in this post! Will have to check them out on my next Target run! 🙂

  6. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    WAAAAY too many cute things! I love the vase and the lines on that white and wood chair! I reallllly like that pineapple rug but not sure my husband would go for it? But he also rarely uses the front door sooooo….maybe by the time he noticed it would be too late to return. Haha (he really wouldn’t care, just not what he would pick). And that tri-pod light! I “need” more lights…right???


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3 Patio Looks to Makeover your Outdoor Space this Summer


I don’t know about you, but we are both very eager to get our patios ready for the summer months ahead. When you live in Chicago (and you’re cooped up for months at a time!), you tend to spend every waking moment of a nice day outdoors. It’s funny because even on a somewhat nice day (sunny and high 50’s) Chicagoans are out and about, smiling, and often wearing shorts and sandals! And neighbors who you haven’t seen in months have suddenly emerged from their homes to soak up those warm days!patio-flowers-balcony-overhead-shot-patio

We are those people!  But in order to really appreciate the weather, we need to get our patios in working order (because Bridget’s patio certainly doesn’t look like this, and mine doesn’t look like this anymore either!)

Those Chicago winters can do a number on things, so the start of a new season often means shopping around for some new patio decor. Even if it’s just some new outdoor pillows, a fresh rug, and a few cute new planter, some new pieces can really brighten up a space!Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-5

If you’re in the same boat as we are, then we hope to inspire you with 3 different styles for your outdoor area….

Classic Black & White

*Click on the pieces in the mood board below and you’ll be directed to the source

Rug // Wicker Sofa  // Coffee Table // Palm Print Pillow // Striped Umbrella // Planter // String Lights // Brass Bowl Planter

You really can’t go wrong with a classic black and white look for your patio, especially if you plan to add in color with lots of flowers and plants. This is similar to the look that I chose for my patio last year with a striped rug and neutral furniture. If you’re unsure of what design direction to take, then this is a safe bet!

Glam Bohemian

Kilim Rug // Gold Daybed // Drum Coffee Table // Marbled Pink Pillow // Small Elephant Planter // Hanging Lanterns // Outdoor Wood Mirror // Candles

How gorgeous is this look? Wow, such a cool global vibe. This boho look would be absolutely stunning at night time…filled with lanterns and lots of candles. We would definitely want to hang out on a patio like this! Plus you can add hints of gold to this space to make it even more glam and feminine.


Seagrass Rug // Dining Table // Chairs // Teak Chaise // Umbrella // Sea Urchin Decor // Striped Pillow // Wood Lanterns // Light Fixture

Another classic look that can’t be beat! Even if you don’t live near the beach, you can still get those beachy vibes going with this coastal inspired look. Navy, white, and wood are a combination that stands the test of time. Lots of greenery and lush plants would look amazing scattered throughout a patio with this nautical theme.

patio-balcony-furniture-outdoorsNow that we have some major inspiration, it’s time to get our butts in gear to get our patios looking fresh for the summertime! While we both plan to keep our patio furniture from last year, we’ll add some new pieces into the mix to give our spaces a mini refresh.

chair-lanterns-balcony-patioAnd now’s the time because a lot of home stores are having sales on their outdoor furniture (like CB2 and Crate & Barrel!)  and accessories. Currently eyeing this outdoor pouf and this planter that is on sale! 

Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-15Plus it’s finally time to get our flowers planted! We had some cold days at the beginning of May, so we waited to do our planting for the season. Our general rule of thumb is to wait until after Mother’s Day to plant, because usually by then you’re in the safe zone of freezing temps at night. Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-12

And now we want to hear…which look is your favorite? Classic, Boho, or Coastal? We’d love to know which one inspired you the most to take on your own space!



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8 thoughts on “3 Patio Looks to Makeover your Outdoor Space this Summer

  1. Heather

    I think our patio is starting to turn into a Coastal Preppy Patio. It is still a total blank slate, though. I just refinished a patio set that was given to us for free and we are trending towards the navy/white/teal color scheme. I am sad to report that the rug I mentioned in the other post was a total fail 🙁 It is way too small.

    1. Colleen Bansley

      Heather I found a super cute navy and white rug at a Target in the city. I looked for it online to include the link but it is not online. It is Threshold brand 5×7 but they also had bigger and it was $60 plus 10% off. I am super excited to put it out. I had a very neutral rug last year with our dark brown wickerish furniture also from target but wanted to go for a little color this year and I love that seaside prep look. Target had a few great options for that style!

    2. Heather

      Target has a lot of cute rugs this year! I was shooting for a round one because our new patio set is round, but I may have to go for a 5×7 because there were so many great options!

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Outdoor Rugs at Every Price Point


I love outdoor rugs because they instantly make an outdoor space feel 100% more cozy. Not to mention the instant pop of style (& color!) they bring outside.

We included an 8×10 outdoor rug in our outdoor set-up since the day we added a patio to our landscaping, and don’t have any plans to change this tradition. I really love everything about outdoor rugs EXCEPT the fact that they need to be replaced every year or two.  Is this just me or do you guys find the same problem?

Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-18We bring our rug and furniture inside over the winter, but the bright sun, rain, foot traffic and debris our rug sees throughout a couple of summer seasons is enough to wear it out. And this is exactly where my story starts today. I bought last year’s rug on sale from Target. I saw it and immediately loved it (and loved the clearance price tag!) but if I’m being completely honest, this rug eventually brought design regret. However, I don’t call this purchase a total loss because it worked for a whole year AND it really taught me that I’m not a lover of dark rugs with busy patterns. It still think the pattern is super cute, it’s just not a perfect match for me and my style.

So this year I’m determined to find something that is a lot more me without spending a ton of money. I set out to find the new rug and figured some of you may be in the exact same predicament. And with summer entertaining on the horizon (yay!), now’s the perfect time for me to finally take the plunge and order a new rug. balcony-overhead-shot-patio

I was OBSESSED with Casey’s black and white striped rug last year. It looked so gorgeous with her decor and really held up well throughout the summer. Patio Reveal Door

I also really loved the neutral rug we added to our Lowe’s Patio Makeover a few years ago. Although it was plain, the natural color was such a great contrast against the gray patio and it added much warmth and texture.

Both of these provided me with some much-needed inspiration and helped me identify my “wish list” when choosing a new outdoor rug.

  • Neutral (dark busy rugs are not for me)
  • Affordable (especially considering its short lifespan)
  • Large Enough for the Space (at least 8×10 in my case)

After doing lots of research, I found out that it was more difficult to find a neutral/affordable rug than I expected it to be. I found some contenders, but not without falling in love with a few gorgeous outdoor options that were way outside my price range! Here are some that caught my eye:

Natural Sisal Rug

This rug is definitely a very safe play but that’s not always a bad thing, right? Like the Lowe’s Makeover, this rug would add instant warmth without cluttering the patio with additional color/pattern.  It comes in a 9×12, which I love, but the $342 price tag is not my favorite.

Boho Kilim Rug

outdoor rug

This rug is a bit outside of my comfort zone, but I LOVE the soft colors and subtle pattern. The $400 price tag is more than I want to spend but World Market is running a sale that currently has this outdoor rug on sale for $319, which makes it a tad more affordable. The reviews sound very positive too, which makes the large price tag a little easier to handle.

Braided Rug

This is another safe option but I like the braided detail. It gives the rug a nautical hint and seems very “summer-y” to me.  And this 7×10 rug is currently on sale for $100. Can’t beat that price!

Oversized Plaid Rug

I don’t think this traditional pattern is going to work on my patio, but I had to include this outdoor rug in the round-up because I have never seen anything like this before! It’s actually from Walmart and the 8×11 is on currently on sale for $164 (originally $550!). In the right space, I think this rug could really look amazing!

Oriental Inspired Rug

This tapestry rug is also outside of my typical “look” but I really love the idea of bringing this oriental rug look outdoors. Plus the blue is very light and summer-y. The price on this one is also pretty amazing — a 9×12 for $165!

Neutral Pattern Striped Rug

I love the color of this neutral rug paired with its subtle pattern. The pattern adds instant texture and warmth and would match with just about any outdoor decor! But not only is this 9×12 rug versatile, it’s also a great price at $101.

Diamond Rug

My sister has this diamond rug and I love it! This one is black but it’s available in about 12 colors. The only negative is that it’s pricey at $450 for an 8×10.

Herringbone Rug

I really love the subtle, neutral pattern on this herringbone indoor/outdoor rug. The reviews are great but unfortunately the $690 price tag for this 8×10 rug is way outside my price range.

Black Geometric Woven Indoor/Outdoor RugIndoor Outdoor Patio Rug

How adorable is this indoor/outdoor rug?! The colors, pattern and fray have me really loving this choice. I would love this choice for indoors or outdoors and the reviews look great! The 8×10 is currently on sale for $319, which isn’t the cheapest option up here but not nearly as expensive as this next one.

‘Cleo’ Indoor/Outdoor Rug

I had MAJOR heart eyes for this option until I saw its $1,800 price tag! I think I would literally cry if I spent that much money on a rug that sat outside and was exposed to the elements… and the lawnmower.

Subtle Frayed Edge Outdoor Rug

The light color and subtle fringe on this rug totally caught my eye and made my really love the look of this rug. The only negative is that this style only comes in 2×3, 3×5 and 4×6 so it’s not big enough for my space. The good news is that it may fit yours and only costs $54 for the 4×6, which seems like nothing after hearing about that $1,800 option!

Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-16I’m still pretty torn on which rug is perfect for me, but I’ll definitely keep you posted when I do finally decide. Right now some of my top contenders include the one that’s totally outside of my comfort zone (boho Kilim rug), the gray/black geometric option, and the most plain option up there (the plain jute rug). Talk about three very different looks… and price tags. Maybe once I get the flowers planted and the furniture set up I’ll have more of a vision.

In the meantime, have you guys seen any amazing outdoor rugs? Finding the perfect one without breaking the bank is turning out to be a little harder than I expected. I’d love to check out your favorites before finally buying one! bridget_sig


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8 thoughts on “Outdoor Rugs at Every Price Point

  1. Heather

    I just bought an outdoor rug from Overstock for $35 to fit under the patio set we are about to get. It should be delivered next week, so I am not totally sure how magnificent it is yet. I figure, even if the rug isnt the greatest, that price tag is!!

    1. DIY Playbook

      OMG — I love this and REALLY love the price! Thanks so much for sharing, Heather. You’ll have to keep us updated on how you like it. =) Have a great weekend!!

  2. Kerri Hansen

    Great round up! I also am having some buyers remorse over the outdoor rug I bought last year from Pier1. It was an impulse driven purchase because I had a coupon! I have 😍 For Casey’s black and white stripped rug! Can’t wait to see what you go with Bridget!

    1. DIY Playbook

      I left my black and white striped one outside all winter long…and surprisingly it doesn’t look too terrible! I think it just needs a hose down and I may be able to get 2 seasons out of it?!

  3. Katie

    Holy cow an $1,800 OUTDOOR rug?!? We got one off Amazon a couple years back, it’s bold but our small space allows for it. I think next time I’m creating a bigger space I’ll go with Casey’s classic stripes. Sidenote…how are those white outdoor cushions holding up??

    1. DIY Playbook

      I know…pretty pricey, right?! The white outdoor cushions actually look pretty good! We cover them when it rains and put everything inside for the winter, but looks like they’ll still be good for this season!

  4. Austin Brewer

    Love this collection! Just a heads up, the last rug from Target is $54 for the 2×3′. The 4×6′ is actually $169.99. Just so no one is disappointed if they go to buy it. 🙂


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A Night In


[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Article. All opinions and photography are our own and are not influenced by Article.]

We are so excited for today’s post (or shall we say this evening’s post?), because we’re doing something that you’ve never seen before here on The DIY Playbook. We’re showing photos from our space at night.

As bloggers, we are always showcasing our homes during the day when it’s bright and light outside. Rarely do you ever see these rooms when the sun goes down, and that’s often when these spaces really come to life. Who doesn’t love the slow pace of an evening in, simply relaxing and enjoying your home?


When Kim & Julia asked us to partake in their A Night In series, we were overjoyed at the opportunity to give you a glimpse into one of our spaces at nighttime. I decided to showcase my family room, and Bridget volunteered to come over to photograph a regular weekday night in the Finn household.

Casey’s Family Room – Daytime

You guys often see my family room like this…family-room-augusta-kitchen-built-ins

The shades are up, the sun is streaming through our large windows, and it’s a very bright and light space. But at night, this room takes on a totally different feeling.

Casey’s Family Room – Nighttimefamily-room-night

It’s moodier, warmer, and a bit comfier during the evening hours.

Our Evening Routine

Finn and I have a bit of a routine when we get settled for a night in. First, we change out of our work clothes and get our comfiest clothes on. For me, that usually means yoga pants and my favorite slippersslippers-a-night-in

I then turn off any of the harsh overhead lighting, dim the kitchen lights, and I switch on our lampscasey-lamp

Finn puts our shades down, and when that happens it instantly gets extra cozy in our space. Instead of the expanse of our street outside, the family room turns into a little cocoon just meant for us two. lit-candle

A lit candle is a must, and I just added this one to our coffee table. Such a fresh scent and adds major ambiance to our dimly lit space. family-room-built-ins-a-night-in

On Thursdays, we usually relax with a cocktail because it’s practically the weekend! And if we have overscheduled weekends (which seems to be the case lately!), this is always a nice time to sit together and hang just us two. rocks-makers-glass-drink

Makers on the rocks is Finn’s drink of choice. champagne-slippersWhile I prefer a glass of champs. chair-article-nightIf we’re just sitting and chatting, our new leather chair from Article is always a comfy spot for one of us to take a seat and relax. It’s kinda the coveted spot in our family room, so whomever sits their butt down first gets dibs. Ha!lamp-night

But the couch area is super comfortable too, and we upped the cozy factor with this sheepskin and a new pillow from Article. It’s those little touches that really make the space extra comfortable and luxurious for us. basket-article-family-roomWe also corral our blankets in this basket, and wrap ourselves up on the couch when it’s chilly outside. In the morning, I always come out here and straighten everything up. I’ll fold the blankets and stuff them back in…only to be taken out again 12 hours later. mike-casey-finn-family-room-night-

It’s these simple nights in that are truly my favorite. I feel like they really capture the stage of life we’re currently in…just us two, working hard during the day, and relaxing together at night.a-night-in-lamp

Be sure to check out the nighttime rituals from the other bloggers taking part in the A Night In series, we are so honored to be among such a talented group and can’t thank Kim & Julia enough for having us!


And if you’re new around here, come see our entire home (but this time during the day) right here!


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13 thoughts on “A Night In

    1. DIY Playbook

      It was so difficult taking photos at night! We don’t know how people do it. We’ll take a light & bright photo environment any day! haha

  1. Brenna McConaughey

    I sure hope you shared some of that champs with Bridget! Real talk though, how do you keep it bubbly when you’re not drinking the whole bottle? Do you re-cork?

    1. DIY Playbook don’t drink the entire bottle in one sitting? haha….I’ve definitely been guilty of that!

      We actually have a stopper that is specific to champagne bottles! It will keep an open bottle good for at least 1-3 days! I was skeptical at first, but it really does keep it fizzy and fresh.

      I couldn’t find my exact one, but it’s similar to this one from Crate & Barrel!

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Finding Your Personal Design Style – Step 3


The Problem

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 to them living with decor that they hate! <— we want to change this ASAP!!

guest-room-1We 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 started providing you with more information and exercises that you can use to figure out what your 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)

family-room-hydrangeasToday we’re going to pick up where left off and continue the fun by diving into Step #3 – Using the information from Steps Finding Your Personal Design Style – Step 1 and #2 to start collecting inspiration and making a plan. You ready for this?!

Compiling Data From Step #1 and #2

After figuring out what you definitely DO NOT love (dark furniture, bright colors, and super busy patterns for us) and then what you DO love in your closet (neutrals, classic patterns like gingham, and a relaxed/cozy feel for us), you need to put this new information into action for home decor.

However, before you start making a plan for a specific room and making changes, we want you to complete this next step. We think this simple exercise will help you decorate with intention, which will help you avoid design regret in your future.

Pinterest Homework

We love Pinterest but we also realize that it can be extremely overwhelming. Is it just us or is almost every room on that gorgeous platform magazine-worthy?! But instead of scrolling through Pinterest without a plan, we want you to use it for this next exercise. typing_on_laptop_computer-2

Make a new board and title it “MY DECOR STYLE” and if you want, you can do this same thing for your “WARDROBE STYLE”. Once you have your new decor board, you need to collect images as carefully and mindfully as possible. Instead of just pinning all the cute rooms you see on there, ONLY pin images that you are obsessed with. Images that literally stop you in your tracks. Images that you feel are “so you”.

bedroom_headboard_Pillows_nightstandThese images should also reflect the new information you found about yourself from Steps 1 – 2. If you don’t love dark furniture, you should not be pinning images with dark furniture because that is not “so you”. If you don’t love bright colors, the room on Pinterest may look pretty but it does not deserve a coveted spot on your decor style board.

Making Notes

Be as selective and intentional as you can as you gather these images. When you do stumble upon an image that is “so you” that has almost stopped you in your tracks, pin it and note in the description of the pin WHAT you love about that photo.

If you love the white subway tile, the mixture of furniture, the rug, the color scheme — note that on the pin for reference later on! The more specific you can be while you add pins to your board, the better! <— (both for decor style and fashion style)

Conclusions & Reflectionsplanner_bedroom_coffee_flowers-2

After you have pinned at least 50 images (yes, the more images the better!), take a break from pinning and review the pins. Here’s a list of questions you can ask yourself to try to find clarity from this collection and more about your personal style moving forward:

  • What color interiors were you drawn to?
  • What common themes did you notice? (color, texture, furniture color, etc.)
  • Is there a texture or pattern that keeps re-occurring throughout your board?
  • What do these images have that you already have in your home and love?
  • What do these images have that you wish you had in your home?
  • Do the colors, textures and patterns match the trends you saw in the closet activity?
  • What trends are consistent? (shiplap, lots of plants, gold hardware, etc.)

Moving Forward

Now that you have found some recurring themes, colors, textures and interior trends that fit your style, it’s time to use this information as you move forward planning a new room.

Even if most of the pins gave you inspiration for a family room, you can still use this information to design a kitchen, nursery, patio… anything!bathroom-round-mirror

It’s important that you take the “vibes” (colors, finishes, textures, patterns) and incorporate them into both your current and future spaces. The information and collection of pins is now your Design Style. Once you nail down your personal style, you’ll be able to keep your style consistent across your home and create a home that is cohesive and “so you”.

Finding_your_personal_StyleWe’ll use Step 4 to dive into strategies you can use to be more intentional with your shopping, decorating, and DIY-ing so that everything you bring into your home moving forward is “so you” and will not lead to design regret in a few months. In the meantime, happy pinning!


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8 thoughts on “Finding Your Personal Design Style – Step 3

  1. Trang

    Shoot, this assignment is easy. I just copied both your home décor style boards! LOL My style is very similar to you gals’ style. My friends have said it’s obvious what I like in my house (grays, coppers, simple/sleek designs with a splash of mint/aqua color throughout). Pinterest is the devil. I pin so much with so many ‘bright ideas’ of DIYs and then I don’t actually do those DIYs. Yet, I keep pinning more daily (a lot of recipes too!).

    1. DIY Playbook

      literally laughing out loud over here! Hahahaha! You’re right, pinterest can be so overwhelming at times. And don’t sell yourself seems like you’re always DIY’ing something awesome for that house of yours!

  2. Sara

    Love this series! This is a much better process for me than trying to find one already named style, or trying to figure out how to mix styles. Thank you. I know I love preppy prints, lots of color, brass, rattan, traditional symmetry, and a key west vibe. I struggle with how to make choices that won’t lead my house to look like a circus.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Happy to help Sara! It’s good that you know what you like. That’s key! Hopefully these steps will help you as you put it all together.

  3. Kerri Hansen

    Pinterest homework? Why wasn’t there pinterest homework when I was in university? I would have my PHD by now! I love this series, so helpful. I feel like I “like” alot of styles, furniture, accessories, etc. but I am slowly figuring out what my style is and what I like in my home. Can’t wait for step 4!

  4. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    I love this advice. I always thought I was more of a colorful home person until I realized almost everything I was pinning was heavy on the neutrals or just pops of color and now that’s slowly making it’s way into my house! And I like it! Pinterest isn’t just for wasting time. Woo-hoo!


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A Roundup of Our Favorite Doorstops for your Home


It’s that time of year. The time when you can FINALLY open up all of your doors and windows to let some fresh air in. Yes! Such a good feeling right?

You know what’s not so great though? When all of that air flow creates a wind tunnel and your doors slam shut scaring everyone in the household. Not fun.

doorstop-cb2-marble-3But that’s where doorstops come in! After too many slammed doors, I finally decided to find a doorstop that would remedy the situation. Bonus points…my doorstop looks amazing and fits right in with my home decor. Function, check! Fashion, check!

doorstop-cb2-marble-1I’ve been using my new marble doorstop for quite some time now and is it weird that I’ve now become obsessed with an inanimate object? Because I truly am obsessed and I wish I would have gotten one sooner!doorstop-cb2-marble-5

If you’re having the same wind tunnel problem in your home, I’m here to help! Here are some doorstop options that are both stylish & functional!

CB2 Marble Doorstop

This is the one I have and love. It’s got a great weight to it and is really well made. The marble is heavy (which is good because it keeps my door open!) and the leather pull on the top is the perfect detail.

Anthropologie Elephant Doorstop

This elephant one is too cute! How adorable would this one be for a kid’s room or playroom? A hint of regal gold could go in any space.

Wayfair Rope Knot

The rope knot seems to be a popular doorstop on the market, and for good reason. It goes with just about any style of home decor and you really can’t go wrong with a neutral color right there on the floor. This is a great traditional option.

Stripe Door Wedge


I’d be remiss if I didn’t add a wedge doorstop to the round-up. And how awesome is this one from Schoolhouse Electric? Love the subtle stripe and simplicity of this piece.

Gold Geometric Doorstop

This is a great modern option that can add a hint of glam to any space. At first when I spotted this picture, I thought it looked like a large stool or side table. But it’s actually a small sculptured object with some weight to it. This would also look good as a bookend or just as a decorative piece on a shelf!doorstop-cb2-marble-4

One question I’ve gotten is, “where do you put the doorstop when you close the door?” The answer is simple…I just move the doorstop to the side. Because my marble one is a pretty decorative piece, it just adds a little bit of style to the floor area!doorstop-cb2-marble-2

So are you ready to open up the windows and let that fresh air in?! Now you can without the fear of those startling door slams. Bring it on spring!


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6 thoughts on “A Roundup of Our Favorite Doorstops for your Home

  1. Trang

    I’ve had an old cast iron door stop shaped like a daschund for years (I no longer have that breed of dog; just a cat now). I rarely use it, but it looks so darn cute next to the front door, I can’t part with it.

  2. Katie Lewis

    I love a cute doorstop! In our house however, our kids would be moving them all over the place 🙂 A solution that has worked really well for us are magnetic door stops. Basically you just replace the metal peg that sticks out of the wall with a magnetic one, and another magnet attaches onto the door. The magnets are strong and hold well against the wind, and you just give a slight tug to separate them when you want to close the door.

    This is what we use.

    Have a great day!


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