Category Archives: Home Decor

New Pendant Lights in our Master Bathroom


Back in February, I asked you guys to help me narrow down the choices for lighting in our master bathroom. Man oh man did you guys deliver!

We got lots of comments on the post, and then we even got emails from a few of you. One amazing reader even photo shopped in some of the lighting options so I could get a better sense of how they would look in our space! Don’t we have the coolest readers?! Seriously, so supportive and sweet!bathroom_light_options

All of your input really helped me consider my options…and I ended up buying the new lights not long after that post! I decided to go with…option #1!

master-bathroom-lights-5After doing lots of measuring, I decided that they would fit the space well and I really couldn’t go wrong with the sleek black look. Heck, even if they weren’t perfect I knew they would be 1000x better than the rusty pendants we had hanging in the bathroom.

master-bathroom-lights-6Plus, lighting can be incredibly expensive and these were only $65 a pop. Not too shabby. I love the black matte shades and the large size compared to the old dinky ones. pendant-lights-master-bathroom

I installed them myself one morning and it really wasn’t too difficult of a project. Luckily the pendants are really light weight, so I didn’t need to wake up my snoozing husband to lend me a hand and hold them up while I attached the wires. It was still an arm workout, but not nearly as difficult as installing our ceiling fan!black-pendant-light-bathroom

The cord isn’t perfect straight which bugs me a bit, but I’m hoping that gravity will work to coax the cord down? Any ideas for me to get the cords looking perfect?master-bathroom-lights-8While the new black pendant lights look so much better than the old ones, they also create a  ton of light! I was amazed when I flicked the power back on and our entire bathroom illuminated. Let’s just say my makeup will be much more precise these days…bathroom-pendant-lighting

This project has been on my to-do list forever, so I’m so happy that I finally chose new lights and got them installed. Throwing away those rusty pendants was an amazing feeling if I do say so myself. master-bathroom

With the new black pendants installed, I now want to add a few more touches of black to the space. We have shelves above the toilet that are just asking for a bit of re-styling. Cannot wait to get my hands on them…


Until then, you’ll likely find me sitting close to the mirror plucking my eyebrows and checking out my pores in my new illuminated bathroom! <—gross, but it’s the truth.




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12 thoughts on “New Pendant Lights in our Master Bathroom

  1. Erin

    Beautiful! I hope gravity will do it’s job! i think it will. we have cords for our dining room light, and the cords are straight.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Kerri! These electrical projects get easier every time, but this one was kinda a doozy. You just never know what you’re gonna find when you open up that box in there!

  2. Trang

    Isn’t it an awesome feeling to get a task completed and checked off your list? I love the new look. Great lighting is a must for us gals because we have so much upkeep with our beauty routine.

  3. Kara D

    I love your choice! Those matte black big pendants in there have that unique “this is my home” look as opposed to “hi, this is a basic build install” look. Glad to hear they weren’t such a pain to install like the ceiling fan! As Erin has already said, and I’ve also experienced it previously, those cords will straighten out with gravity over time – all it requires is patience!


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9 Tips for Shopping at HomeGoods


It’s no secret that we are both big HomeGoods lovers. We shop there for just about everything…planters, pillows, bedding, even wrapping paper! The prices are usually spot on and we love how the inventory is constantly changing so you never know what you’re going to find.

Tips_for_shopping_at_HomeGoodsThere is actually a HomeGoods about a block from Bridget’s house, so we often take walks up there when we’re together to do some shopping! While we love digging through the aisles for “treasures”, we also realize that this store can be super overwhelming for shoppers. Luckily we’ve learned some tricks over the years to make the most of your time at the store.

Here are 9 tips to make the most of your next shopping trip to HomeGoods.

Shopping at HomeGoods1. Make a Listcell-phone-mobile-site

We’ve got a list for just about every aspect of our lives, and home decor shopping is no exception. We each keep a list of items that we need for our homes right on the notes in our phones. Taking inventory of what you need and keeping that list in one spot has been a game changer for us both. This makes shopping so much more efficient and strategic. Plus you only leave with what you need, and don’t fill your cart with items that won’t have a good spot when you bring them into your home.

2. Carve Out Enough Time to Shop


Shopping is a time investment, and rushing the process often results in design regret. Give yourself a chunk of time so you can really enjoy the shopping trip and see everything you want to see.

The local HomeGoods by Bridget is massive, and we don’t want to miss any new items that might be on display. So carving out a chunk of time to explore is your best bet.

Shopping together always makes things fun too! Nothing like having a buddy to reinforce your purchase decision.


We also recommend going first thing in the morning if you can. It’s typically less crowded right when the doors open, and displays are still looking fresh and put together. Plus you’ll be able to zip right through the store and checkout when there are fewer people shopping. Save time, beat the crowds, and leave with some awesome items…sounds like a gameplan!

3. Have Maximum & Minimum Dimensions NotedTips_for_shopping_at_HomeGoods-20

Remember tip #1? Well we want to expand that a bit. If you have specific size requirements for pieces make sure to jot it down in your notes folder. That way you’re purchasing the right items and you’re not questioning whether a piece will fit in your home.


We both keep mini tape measures in our purses (nerds all the way), but HomeGoods actually has little paper yard sticks throughout the store that you can use to measure pieces! This is so helpful to make sure you’re only buying items that will work in your house.

4. Go from One End to the Other


You might be tempted to jump from the pillow aisle, to the lighting section, and then to the clearance area. But we suggest hitting up one end of the store to the other so you don’t miss anything.

Often times items may be intermixed on clearance racks, so if you’re looking for a pillow you might miss some good deals if you only check out the pillow aisle. Go from one end of the store to the other and you’ll be able to see everything!

5. Stay Focused (only home decor..not fashion)


Often times HomeGoods stores will also be a Marshall’s or a TJMaxx and it can be tempting to kill 2 birds with 1 stone and get your home & clothing shopping done all at once. We urge you to focus on one or the other. This will make your shopping trip less overwhelming and much more fruitful. So it’s fine to shop for home decor and clothing at these stores…just not at the same time!

6. Avoid Themes


Early on in our blogging career, we were very guilty of taking themes a bit too far. Anyone remember Bridget’s house when it was chock full of nautical pieces? While some of these items are perfect, it’s probably not a good idea to buy everything from a theme you can get your hands on. That’s a bit overkill. Instead choose a few of your favorite items and mix them in with other pieces throughout your home for a more refined and subdued look.

7. Check out the Clearance Area

Tips_for_shopping_at_HomeGoods-4The prices at HomeGoods are usually competitive, but it’s those clearance items where you can really get the most bang for your buck!


Look for the red clearance signs and tags on specific pieces to find the best deals. Also, the corners of the store often have the clearance racks so don’t forget to check out those areas.And usually each corner has a clearance section so make sure you check out all of them! You may have to do some digging, but we’ve both found some amazing deals on clearance at HomeGoods.

But remember, don’t buy just to buy. Only bring home items that you love. We find that a good way to check in with ourselves is to ask ourselves if we would have paid full price for the item. If the answer is no, then we don’t love it enough to bring it home with us. So while deals are amazing, make sure you’re purchasing for the right reasons. <– and now it sounds like an episode of the Bachelor. “I’m here for the right reasons….”

8. Bring it Home to Try it on for Size

There have been plenty of times when we’ve loved an item in the store, only to find that it’s just not the perfect fit when it comes home with us. That’s a-okay!


Keep the tags on, save those receipts, and don’t be afraid to return items. HomeGoods is really great about returning items for your money back with a receipt. But if you’ve lost your receipt, don’t be afraid to take back the item. Although you won’t get cash back, HomeGoods is really great about giving store credit!

9. Don’t Force it, Be Patient


Because items at HomeGoods are constantly changing, it can be tempting to want to scoop up everything you kinda like just in case it’s gone by your next visit.

But again, don’t buy just to buy. Be patient and wait for the perfect item. Because their items are constantly changing, there’s bound to be something even better the next time around. So avoid design regret and be patient and intentional when shopping!

We love a good deal and we love home decor, so a place like HomeGoods is our happy place. We hope these tips will help make your shopping experience a little less overwhelming, and a lot more enjoyable!


Pssst..did you see that TJX is launching another home decor store?! Apparently it will complement (not compete) with HomeGoods, but other than that few details have been announced. We’re excited to see what happens! 




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10 thoughts on “9 Tips for Shopping at HomeGoods

  1. Zan Turner

    I mean, you couldn’t be more on point with all your tips. I feel like I usually have a list but still tempted to buy all.the.things. They are so fun – but if I get more than I went for I usually end up taking them back anyway. I also love how you mentioned not trying to shop all the related stores in one day, guilty here. It ends up being too much especially with husband and kids, too!! Haha!!
    Definitely a happy place for decor though. I love the clearance isle and have found some really good pieces for so cheap (usually one or two things at a time). I recently found a map art of Chicago for under around $12-ish on clearance. Thanks for your great tips!!

  2. shawnna griffin

    hey girls- love the tips! I go in to our TJ maxx (about 15 minutes away) usually every few weeks! so cool! love that store!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Yea, I can see why you’d would all three of these shopping staples by your home! We always wish HomeGoods had more of an online selection, maybe this new store will be more online based?! In that case you may finally have access to the HG merchandise!

  3. Katie

    Love HomeGoods. Ever see something you wish you bought, only to go back like literally two days later and not only is the item gone but the section it was in got totally redesigned in those two little days also?!


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Rookie Mistake: Over-the-door Hangers & Mirrors


Rookie Mistakes: a series of common decor mistakes made by rookies… aka US. And no we are not judging because, we have made (and continue to make) these mistakes too!

Rookie Mistake – Over-the-door hooks & mirrors

So today let’s dive into our feelings about over-the-door hooks and mirrors. Don’t get us wrong, there is definitely a time and a place for these genius inventions.

The time? Your College Days OR Renting Days
The place? Your College Dorm Room OR Rental Apartment

If you’re in one of these stages of your life then you are NOT currently making a rookie mistake by using an over-the-door hook or mirror. Actually, you’re doing everything right because no one wants lose their security deposit for damage to the walls! But if you’re not in one of those stages of life, we think there is a better, more stylish alternative for each of these very practical pieces.

Over-the-door Hook Replacements


Image + Door Hook via The Container Store 

Anyone who has lived with an over-the-door product knows how ANNOYING they become when you’re trying to close the door, not to mention the scratches they can make on the door or to the door frame.

We don’t want to be dramatic because we realize that this problem isn’t the worst case scenario, but we do think that ditching the over-the-door hooks for a permanent, more stylish solution is well worth it.Wooden_door_hook-outfit

Swapping out the over-the-door piece for a permanent hook, or hooks, will be far less annoying, yet just as functional.

door-hookI (Bridget) recently did this in my office. I chose this handmade hook because of its simplicity and shallow depth (plus the Etsy seller was awesome to work with). Finding a hook that is shallow enough and won’t make contact with the wall behind it is important to keep it from causing other issues.

I installed the hook into the hollow door using this method, which is very similar to hanging a picture frame on a wall by using anchors and screws.

Shirt_tie_hanging-hookMatt actually picks out his outfit and hangs it up behind the office door each night. This tiny hook works so hard each day, yet no one ever knows it’s back there because it’s hidden by the door! Plus whenever I want to close the office door for a conference call, I can easily do so without fighting an over-the-door hook. Clothes_hanging_on_doorjpg

I only added one hook to this door but if you have small kids or a couple of kids sharing a room, we think adding two hooks at varying levels could also work well. How cool would it be to get hooks that have each child’s initial on them so they know where to hang their outfit, or school bag, or even bath towel?!

View More: of towels, both of us have hooks just like this for towels in our bathrooms and Casey even has one in her guest room. For such an affordable piece that’s so easy to install, it seems silly not to add them into each room for a bit of extra storage. Although it may be small, these secret weapons can really make a difference!

gender_neutral_nursery_happy_camper_reveal-51Rookie Tip: For those of you who may be a little nervous to drill the door, adding a hook to the wall behind the door can work just as well! We did that in B’s sister’s nursery last year and she still loves the function it offers. She usually hangs her little guy’s mini towel on it after bath time.

Over-the-door Mirror Replacements

over-the-door-mirrorImage + Over-the-door Mirror via The Container Store

Just like over-the-door hooks, over-the-door mirrors are perfect for college students/renters, but we think that creating a more permanent solution for homeowners offers a practical yet still stylish choice.

Don’t get us wrong, the over-the-door mirrors have come a long way in the style department since we lived in dorms.  But we don’t love the hooks you see while standing on the other side of the door. And like we mentioned before, we don’t enjoy the struggle to try to close the door when these items are attached.

behind-the-door-mirror-bedroom-4Our solution? Hang a mirror on the wall behind the door! It still provides the function of having access to a full length mirror, it’s still hidden, and it doesn’t mess with the function of the door. <— sounds like a win, win, win to us!

I’ve always wanted a full-length mirror in my house but couldn’t figure out a place to make it happen. I was tight on space and living without one for four years! That’s when it dawned on me to add this very functional piece to the back of my bedroom door.

behind-the-door-mirror-bedroom-3And that’s exactly what I did! I bought this one from IKEA for $49 and hung it behind the door. It adds a TON of function, yet it’s not taking up any valuable space, actually… no one even knows it’s back there! behind-the-door-mirror-bedroom

The one thing I would note is that it’s important to find a mirror that isn’t too deep. This one is a bit thick for the job, so you need to make sure it don’t line up with the door knob because this could damage the mirror overtime. If you choose a very thin mirror, that won’t be a problem at all.

Like the door hook, we think this secret solution can make such a difference in your everyday life without interrupting the door’s function or having hooks poking out on the other side of the door.

If you’re an owner looking to upgrade your over-the-door hooks or mirrors, we hope you consider these easy, affordable options! Fighting with the door in order to close it is enough motivation to make the switch! Now we’d love to hear from you guys… what do you hide behind your doors?! Any other secret storage solutions you’d like to share with the group?



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9 thoughts on “Rookie Mistake: Over-the-door Hangers & Mirrors

  1. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I need to do this with our long mirror! It’s been leaning against the side of the wall ever since we moved in our house….three years ago….but our master bedroom is FINALLY coming together so its time to do something with it. It’s kind of funny because I was thinking about this and how I wanted to avoid the over the door hanger at all costs, and I thought to myself, ‘What would Bridget and Casey do?. I’m not kidding. HA!

    1. DIY Playbook

      That is crazy, Alysia! It’s like we hopped in your brain and decided to post about it. Love that! So exciting that your master is shaping up. Hope you get your mirror and door hangers all up and running soon!

  2. Erin

    so 2 places we actually do have over the door storage. One is in our guest room which is more of his studio, catch all space. But i have plans to make it more guest room friendly. Anyway that room has a walk in closet which we store all kinds of stuff. I was getting frustrated with not being able to just walk in. so I got one of those over the door shoe storage. this allows me to store toilet paper and paper towels!!! It is AMAZING. a little annoying with being able to see the hooks, but i can WALK INTO the closet and get anything I need!

    the other is in my closet — it’s basically a series of mesh baskets — I decided to try it so i could see whether it was working for me or not before i went ahead and added actual baskets to the door! otherwise — we have no issues with putting hooks on our doors! We actually have 2 rows of hooks in our entrance closet — the top is for scarves/bags, etc and the bottom is all for the dog collars/leashes. you;d be amazed at how many collars and leashes one dog accumulates!

  3. Trang

    I’m currently obsessed with full length mirrors! I’m specifically looking for one place on the floor to put against the wall at the end of my hallway. I don’t have any windows or much light showing through this hallway so I’m hoping that a floor mirror will help to brighten it up. Plus, I don’t have space in the bedrooms (not even behind a door like yours – my house is tiny!) so it would also serve has the mirror to ‘check’ myself out before heading out the door. There are so many options; it’s overwhelming.

  4. Connie

    I was looking for somewhere to hang the full length mirror that would give everyone easy access. Our linen closet is in the middle of the hallway where the bedrooms and bathroom are – so I hung the mirror on the inside of the linen closet door 🙂


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Decorating Above the Office Fauxdenza


office_progress_frames_shelves_michaels-4Last time I checked in with updates was when I chatted about how the office decor was shaping up on the far side of the room (the shelves + desk). Thank you for your kind words and all of the support… you guys are the sweetest!

Today I’m excited to be back sharing updates on the opposite side of this small space. Tackling the space and above the DIY fauxdenza has been a bit of a challenge, because I want to keep it simple.

The other side of the room has the open shelves, which I LOVE, but with open shelves comes extra “stuff”. I didn’t want this small room to look cluttered but instead wanted to build an intentional space. One that is functional, fashionable and makes me feel inspired to get my work done.


Last time we chatted about this side of the room, it looked a little like this…
diy-fauxdenza-officeI had just installed the DIY fauxdenza and added A TON of hidden storage in here (including our printer, which is magically plugged in inside of the fauxdenza — I’m obsessed). Now, the space is looking a little more like this…


Yay for progress! I’m digging the new look and I am especially excited to chat about each piece because you’d be surprised at how affordable this look turned out to be. fauxdenza_mirror_Spring_branches_books_flowers-16

I bought the mirror for $100 from HomeGoods and that was the only item that cost more than $19. The rest were ones I had in the house OR items that I scored without breaking the bank.
fauxdenza_mirror_Spring_branches_books_flowers-6I knew I wanted a mirror here since I did oversized frames on the other side of the room. I thought a round mirror would be a stylish way to add function and make this room feel bigger and brighter. From the moment I hung it, it has done just that.

I originally wanted a black one but all of the black mirrors I looked at were a bit too pricey. When I saw this metallic one for $100 at HomeGoods, I figured it couldn’t hurt to bring it home & give it a try. I “tested” it out in the space and realized it felt perfect and the affordable price-tag didn’t hurt either

Left Sidefauxdenza_mirror_Spring_branches_books_flowers-2

Once I hung the mirror, the top of the fauxdenza felt like it was split into three equal parts:

  1. left (window side)
  2. middle (under the mirror)
  3. right (next to the door)

I knew I wanted some height on each side of the mirror and also knew I wanted to add something in the middle so the look didn’t feel like a teeter-totter.

I found the tall vase at HomeGoods for $19 and when I put it on the fauxdenza without anything  in it, it felt too plain. That’s when I got two branches from Michael’s (on sale!) and thought the tall scale and pop of spring was a fun touch for now. Honestly, I’m not sure if this part of the look will be here forever, but I’m digging it for this time of year!

fauxdenza_mirror_Spring_branches_books_flowers-3Just setting the vase on that side of the mirror still seemed a bit bare so I added a few of my favorite books and this $2 vintage bookend I scored at a local estate sale.fauxdenza_mirror_Spring_branches_books_flowers-9The marble + gold combo sold me immediately. But after I brought it home and cleaned it up, I realized it may need a coat of new gold (or black?) spray paint to freshen it up. I’m going to live with it for a little while and decide from there.



Now onto the “middle” third. Putting items on both sides of the mirror without adding something in the middle felt off, so adding something in the middle of the fauxdenza was a must. I grabbed this jewelry box I had from HomeGoods that now holds ear buds, wires, and chargers. Then I placed this wooden bowl on top of that for even more “storage”.

Usually at the end of the day I’ll drop in my jewelry. It’s actually really nice to have a bowl to corral all of those little items.

Right Side


Last but not least, details on the right side of the fauxdenza. For now I added this vase of tulips for a pop of color and some added height.fauxdenza_mirror_Spring_branches_books_flowers-18

I scored this set of 3 handwoven baskets from IKEA for $9. This is the smallest of the set and I’ve already found so much use out of them throughout the house. They’re versatile and can basically work in any room. fauxdenza_mirror_Spring_branches_books_flowers-19

Looking Ahead

By pairing a few new pieces with a few items I already had, I’m really loving the decor around this hardworking fauxdenza! The pop of color is perfect for spring and has brought so much more eye candy to the end of our hallway. I’ve thought about changing out the branches for hanging planters but I’m still a little nervous to commit. Until then, this setup is perfect and makes me smile while I work away in the office.fauxdenza_mirror_Spring_branches_books_flowers-15

Next on the office to-do list = Shiplap! Stay tuned… bridget_sig


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6 thoughts on “Decorating Above the Office Fauxdenza

  1. Kerri Hansen

    It looks amazing! Love it all,but in particular,the mirror and the tall vase with the faux stems. The height they offer really completes the look and you can change them out with the seasons, so fun!

  2. Erin

    i want some faux flowers maybe even tulips for my shelving unit but when i look, it feels/looks so fake. there’s gotta be a source for something realistic?

    1. DIY Playbook

      You’re so right Erin. So much of what’s out there isn’t the best. We usually stick to branches or greenery because it looks a teeny tiny bit better than faux florals. But if you find a good resource please share!

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Our New Cognac Leather Chair in the Living Room


Our family room is quickly turning into my favorite room in our house. I’ve always loved it because it’s really the main living space, since it connects to the “dining room” (not exactly a room..) and kitchen. But now I’m loving the design & look of the space too!

family-room-couchWe’re still obsessed with our new gray sectional from Interior Define (more about that purchase here). It’s so comfortable and it really opened up the entire space. But with our big bulky white sofa gone, I felt like the room still needed something.

family-room-built-ins-artThe side table, lamp, and art certainly helped. But still…1 more piece was needed for this space to feel more complete. And now it is here…family-room-article-chair

A chair!

Our New Leather Chair

leather-nina-armchairThis Nina armchair recently arrived from Article and I’m in love. When considering a chair for the space, I was at a loss as to what to get. With the large sectional being all upholstered fabric, I wanted to try to stay away from another upholstered piece. That’s when I started looking into leather.

When I first told Finn I was considering a leather couch, he automatically assumed I meant a jumbo lounger chair complete with a cupholder. I think he was secretly excited, but then I quickly explained that the leather chairs I was contemplating would be a bit more sleek.

leather-cognac-chairAs for the color of leather…it took me a little bit to finally decide on cognac. I’ve had a crush on the color for some time now, after seeing it in so many beautifully designed spaces. After hemming & hawing for far too long (something I do incessantly about home purchases), I decided to take the plunge.

I’m so happy I did. This chair from Article is absolute perfection. I’ve been familiar with Article for some time now (thanks to some of our favorite bloggers), but got major heart eyes when I dove deeper into their website. So many gorgeous finds with reasonable price points.

built-ins-family-roomAnd the chair…the chair! As soon as I spotted it, I knew it was the one. It’s a bit mid-century, a bit contemporary, and a whole lot of comfy. The seat is so deep and the leather is like butter.

family-room-chairI’ve never owned a leather piece of furniture before, so I find myself constantly petting this. Is that weird? Hmmm…probably. But I can’t seem to help it!

family-room-back-of-chairI’m not gonna lie, I was a little nervous that adding a large chair to this space would really crowd it and ruin the open concept look. But my fears quickly disappeared when I put this one into place. We ended up moving the large seagrass rug about a foot to the left in order to ground the chair a bit more. That really helped it feel more a part of the living room space.

family-room-augusta-kitchen-built-insInstead of it feeling crowded in here, it just feels right. And I can’t wait to have a few people over so we can really use this space the way it’s been designed. It’s ideal for sitting around, having drinks, and just chatting. Instead of us all together on the couch, it’s more of a circle of conversation.

laptop-blanket-chairAll in all, I couldn’t be happier with my new chair from Article. I’m already finding that it’s the perfect place to sit with my laptop and blog away. So if you need me, you now know where to find me. casey_sig

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13 thoughts on “Our New Cognac Leather Chair in the Living Room

  1. Kerri Hansen

    I am also slow to commit to buying big ticket furniture items for our home, mostly because if you end up not liking it, you feel really stuck with it! Your new chair is beautiful and sounds so comfy! It does look a little lonely though, like it might need some company in the form of a side table or pouf or ottoman…😉 And now I must check out this Article website of which you speak!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks so much Kerri! I did consider adding a side table, but I think it will just be a little too cluttered in there. A pouf might be a good idea instead!

      Yes, definitely check out Article. Great stuff and good prices.

  2. Abbie DeLaney Zinkan

    I love the chair Casey, but I also have a completely random question. You have a seagrass rug, which I’ve been looking at for my place, but I notice some people have commented that natural seagrass has a smell, like hay, and I wondered if A) yours had that and B) if so how long did the smell last? Thanks!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Hey Abbie,
      Thanks so much. The rug may have had a slight smell when we first got it, but I really don’t remember it very much. Now there’s no smell at all. We love the rug…super durable!

      Hope that helps!


  3. Good Neighbour

    Please post re the quality of the chair over the next few moths, especially how the leather wears and if the seat starts to sag. I am considering buying the Sven sofa from Article but am afraid about the quality and their “warranty’.

  4. Lisa I

    I was very nervous to purchase this chair online and not have the chance to “seat test.” We went ahead and made the purchase, crossed our fingers, and couldn’t be happier. It has been 8 months and the chair looks new. We get compliments all the time on the look and comfort.

    I would love to know where the planter is from? I have been shopping for something similar. Thanks!


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Easy Trick to Arrange Short Flowers in a Tall Vase


Now that it’s officially Spring, we have seen some pretty amazing sales on flowers… especially tulips!
How-to-arrange-tulips-2After a dreary winter these pops of bold color (typically under $5 a bunch!) are exactly what our homes are craving. And don’t even get us started on how amazing these flowers are at lasting in a vase longer than some of our other favorites (yeah… we’re looking at you hydrangeas). How-to-arrange-tulipsTulips in spring are always a good idea & today I thought it was only fitting to pop in with a super quick tip that has made such a difference in helping me display these beautiful blooms in some of my favorite vases.
How-to-arrange-tulips-4This is a shot I took when I came home from the grocery store and plopped the tulips in one of my taller vases. It’s definitely not bad-looking (some may even prefer this tighter look), but I like my tulips to droop out of the vase. That way the arrangement seems to take up more room on the table and it makes a larger visual impact.

Unfortunately these stems were too short, so they didn’t have enough height to droop outside of the vase. Instead they are only peeking out of the top, which makes a smaller visual impact.

Give your Flowers Height

But with a super easy trick, I was able to use the same vase and achieve the bigger, more droopy arrangement I wanted from the start. My secret weapon?!

A mini tupperware bowl! You can use an actual bowl or a heavy measuring cup (these actually work better). Since this tupperware bowl fit the circumference of the vase perfectly, I’m using it instead.

How-to-arrange-tulips-6This mini tupperware bowl (or whatever household item you choose) will add “secret” height to the bottom of your vase so that your short flowers will look a lot taller when you plop them in the vase.

The taller they are, the more opportunity you will have to arrange them how you like. How-to-arrange-tulips-7

After you add the bowl upside down into the bottom of the vase, add water and no one will ever know about your secret weapon.How-to-arrange-tulips-3Then all you have to do is plop the short stemmed tulips (or whatever flower you have) into the vase and arrange accordingly! Not all tulips start as droopy as these did, but over time your short stems will start drooping around the vase and will make a bigger visual impact when on display. How-to-arrange-tulips-10For such a simple trick, I’m always surprised at what a difference it makes. You may not have to use this trick every time, but I wanted to share it just in case you come across short blooms that you want to display in your favorite tall vase.

Create a Tight Arrangement

And for those large mouth vases that tend to spread your flowers around the mouth of the vase, think about adding a smaller vase inside the larger one. This will create a narrower opening. How-to-arrange-tulips-11There’s been plenty of times where I sneak a mason jar inside a larger, more stylish vase. This way the flowers are tighter and I can still use the vase I had my heart set on.

In cases like this, I usually only put water in the mason jar (or the skinnier vase) and not in the large vase too. That’s what I did with this flower arrangement of spray roses…

round_modern_coffee_table-roses_vase_flowersSo what do you guys think… do any of you already use tricks like this? I love splurging on fresh flowers, and hate when I don’t have the perfect vase to fit the specific bouquet I purchased.  Any tips or tricks to creating a solution OR keeping my flowers alive as long as possible are very welcome! bridget_sig

P.S. Looking to update your vase collection?
You may enjoy checking out this post — 6 Vases Every Homeowner Should Own.

how to display tulips


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6 thoughts on “Easy Trick to Arrange Short Flowers in a Tall Vase

  1. Kerri Hansen

    Gorgeous! Love tulips! I remember reading years ago about poking the top of the stem (just under the flower part) with a pin. I can’t remember why… my mother-in-law just mentioned yesterday that she puts a nickel in the vase water and that prolongs their freshness. Now, that is a Canadian nickel, so given the exchange rate, if you used an US nickel, it should be 25% more effective, lol! 😂🇨🇦💵

    1. DIY Playbook

      The exchange rate literally made us LOL. Thank you for that this gloomy morning, Kerri! And we’ve heard about the nickel (or penny) in order to get the tulips to stand up taller, which we still haven’t tried!

  2. Hillary

    Great tips! Also, if you don’t already use the hydrangea bath trick, give it a try – you can revive them over and over again!


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Office Updates: Shelves, Rug & a New Light


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Wayfair. All opinions and photography are our own and are not influenced by Wayfair. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The DIY Playbook

Barn_door_building_process-painted_whiteLast time we chatted, I updated you guys on the progress of our DIY Barn Door in the office. I should have some detailed updates on that final look next week but until then, I’m excited to check in with other office developments — new furniture, a new rug, and a new light fixture!


Honestly, this makeover has been a bit backwards since I should have finished all of the DIY projects in this space before ordering the furniture BUT it didn’t happen exactly like that.


After I painted the room white, I was a bit at a crossroads. I knew I loved the white paint, but the blank canvas staring back at me was freaking me out. white_paint-office-afterWas the mood board really going to translate well into this space? Was the white paint the right decision? Is it going to make this space look too stark or flat? But instead of letting these thoughts freeze me into that awful stage of indecision, I vowed that I would just keep going… intentionally choosing items that I love.  I was confident that if I brought only items that I loved into this room, I was bound to love the final outcome (white paint and all).


office_rug_pouf-TomsI know the room isn’t completely done yet but so far so good…. I’m LOVING the look and overall direction. It all started when I spotted this Wayfair Olga Gray Rug on sale! I had been stalking the internet for weeks and couldn’t seem to find the perfect neutral rug for this space. I found a lot of contenders but they ended up being the wrong size, the wrong price, or just too busy for my taste.


But when I saw the 6’7″ x 9′ rug on sale and read the glowing reviews, I was sold. Plus this room is small so finding a rug that was the right size and one that I loved proved harder than I thought it would be… that was until I saw this one. I knew I loved this rug enough to add it to the room.office_progress_wayfair_furniture-shelves

Once I decided on the rug, I used that as a springboard to make a few more design decisions. I originally thought about hanging shelves but didn’t know if that would work since I wasn’t sure what I would put under those shelves. Another dresser? A chair? Could I find a dresser tall enough so it wouldn’t get hidden by the tall desk in front of it?



Then I saw these Wayfair Easmore Leaning Bookcases that offered some secret storage (a very high priority in this room). When I realized that buying one small one and one larger one and displaying them side by side would fit perfectly in this space, I was again SOLD! I saw a very similar shelving unit from a different store that I love, but the price-tag was almost DOUBLE so this more affordable option was a welcomed surprise!

office_progress_file-foldersI’m going to dive into more details about what these shelves store (and hide!) soon, but I’m super happy with the secret storage they provide. And how about that record player?! More on that soon too but let’s just say it’s my newest obsession. Blog work + Records = my new jam!

wayfair_record_playerSide note: For my record junkies tuning in, any recommendations for a newbie like me? I just ordered the Lumineers and have my Footloose record from when I was a kid but I would love to hear your advice on what other records I should add to my tiny collection.

office_progress_wayfair_lightJust like the rug, I looked online for a LOT of lighting options. I knew I wanted a drum light (like the one I installed in our bedroom). When I saw this Baxton 3 light flush mount from Wayfair  with the pop of black, I knew it was the one. The pop of black was the perfect way to tie everything together. And swapping out the pendant for this one really lit up the space a lot more, which is great for those late nights working.


Rookie Tip: I think I may be done hanging pendant style lights in small bedrooms. They may be cute, but because they hang lower, they don’t light up the space enough. <— Something I didn’t even realize was happening until I started swapping them out.

office_progress_wayfair_furniture-plant-officeWhen the shelves + rug + light arrived, I was SO much more excited about the direction of the space and finally started to see the vision of the room coming to life.

Looking back I’m so glad I didn’t over think the process, but instead just shopped with intention and only brought items I really loved into the room. And although I wish the messy DIY projects were out-of-the-way before I brought in the furniture, it has been nice having some of the big pieces in the space before choosing a color/style for the DIY Barn Door.

I know I have a lot more details to share about this space, including the status of the barn door and what the other side of the room is shaping up to look like! Checking in with you guys today has me even more motivated to finish the barn door and add some finishing touches on the second half of the room. Hopefully in the next week or two I’ll be back with more progress (and pics!!).bridget_sig

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19 thoughts on “Office Updates: Shelves, Rug & a New Light

  1. Erin

    seriously i swear you’re doing the shopping for us. i’ve been forever looking for a flush mount light for our bedroom, and i think the one you picked out just might be it! and the price is so right.

    We did buy the rug shortly after seeing it on your instagram, but i had it pinned for a couple months and was reading reviews. and the reviews sold me on it. i was truly scared to go for a rug that had a print on it because the first time we bought one (herringbone… i hated it so much it was ridiculous!) and the rug we had would NOT stop shedding – now it’s in the bedroom and doesn’t bother me as much anymore. so happy all around!!!!

    as for the leaning bookshelves – i love the drawer on the bottom — if my husband would let me i’d totally buy the white to replace the one we have. but he would kill me 😉

    1. DIY Playbook

      Aw, you made my day Erin! I’m so glad I could help!! I do love these items BUT I do want to note that the light was a little challenging to install because the screws were JUST long enough. They worked but if you have longer screws that fit the job, I would definitely recommend using those instead.

      And most importantly, you’ll have to send me a pic of the space when it’s done! I’d love to see some of these items styled differently/in different spaces. Your room is going to be amazing!

  2. Austin Schneider

    The room looks fantastic! I love what you said about only bringing in things you absolutely love – that’s what I’m trying to stick to as I decorate my new place!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Austin! Making decisions is hard when it comes to a blank slate, but focusing on what you really love is definitely a tool that has helped me get through it. =)

  3. Brandy

    Some of my favourite records to own are Michael Jackson’s Bad, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, and anything by Mumford & Sons. 🙂

  4. Katie

    This room is gorgeous! Lately I am loving the blank slate white can give and having pops of wood, black and greenery. Great job. Everything is simple and intentional.

  5. Heather

    Loving this room!! And I am with you on the flush mount drum lights. We just installed two in our kitchen because a) the oversized fluorescent light was just offensive and b) they give off soooo much more light it seems like.

  6. Maria

    Wow!! It looks stunning! I did not expect it compare with the rest of the house, is a surprise 🙂
    I moved to the St. Louis from Barcelona (Spain) a few months ago and still working on my rental apartment decor. I am looking for a round mirror like the one in your picture, where is it from?

    Like so much all your creations Casey and Bridget!

  7. Jen C.

    Bridget, I’m sorry if you already said and I missed it, but where did you get the picture frames above the shelves? I love the thin black edges. Thanks!


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Bedding 101: How We Wash our Bedding


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

I absolutely love our bed. It’s incredibly comfortable and I adore our soft sheets and warm, textured duvet. I try my best to remember to wash our bedding frequently, but I’m human and I sometimes let a little too much time go by in between washings.


Our Cleaning Routine

When it comes to our bedding I have different routines for all of the various bedding components. I try to wash the sheets and pillowcases every week (usually on Sundays). I then wash the duvet cover about once a month. And finally, I only wash the down comforter insert about once per year. I’m sure there are hard rules on when to wash these items, but this is what works for our household and I’m sticking to it.

casey-laundry-washerWashing the big queen-sized down comforter in our old washer and dryer wasn’t a great experience. It would get tangled up around the drum and it wouldn’t rinse completely. Which meant I was left with a big sopping wet comforter that would take hours of drying. Literally hours!

laundry-bedroomI recently washed our down comforter in our new Maytag appliances for the first time, and I’m happy to report that it went off without a hitch. No need to go to the laundromat or dry cleaners…these babies can actually hold the large comforter!

I typically wash the duvet cover and the insert separately. However I use warm (not hot) water for both, as well as mild detergent. There’s actually a “bedding” setting right on the washing machine, so I always just choose that and it works perfectly. You’ll also want to check the tags on your bedding before washing at home, as some require dry cleaning.

dryer-maytag-applianceWhen it comes to drying the down comforter, make sure it’s incredibly dry before you put it back on the bed. Sometimes the feathers in there can clump up together and stay wet, so extra dry time is a must. maytag-dryerIn this large capacity dryer there is plenty of room to get our bedding evenly dried! I didn’t have to play the game of drying it, moving everything around to expose the wet spots, and putting it back in for more time. duvet-cover-how-to-washNow onto the tricky part…putting the duvet cover back on the down comforter. I know there are many methods out there (I’ve heard of a burrito technique…), but this is my go-to way that is incredibly simple.

The Easy Way to Put on a Duvet Cover

Step 1: Flip the duvet cover inside out on the bedbedroom-duvet-cover

Step 2: Place the down comforter directly over the duvet coverbedroom-down-comforter

Step 3: Tie the comforter to the duvet cover in all 4 corners (many covers these days come with ties, which makes it much easier!tying-corners-of-duvet-cover

Step 4: Go to the opening on the duvet cover. Reach inside until you get to the farthest 2 corners. Pull those 2 corners through the opening. Essentially you’re turning it from inside out to the right side.putting-on-duvet-cover

Step 5: Button or zipper your duvet coverbuttons-duvet-coverStep 6: Shake your cover well so there are no lumps and it is evenly distributed!

master-bedroomThis method creates a great non-lumpy look every.single.time. nightstand-bedroom-bedNow I’d love to hear, how often do you wash your bedding? Does my weekly, monthly, yearly routine sound sanitary enough? On second thought….maybe don’t answer that! Ha!casey_sig

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6 thoughts on “Bedding 101: How We Wash our Bedding

  1. Trang

    Do you know that it was only recently that I discovered that my duvet cover had those corner ties? Gosh, how much easier has it made my life to not have the down comforter shift inside it! What a saver that has been. AND only recently did I know to put the button end a the bottom of the bed. Rookie here.
    I have recently been washing my duvet and the down comforter along with EVERYTHING on the bed (mattress pad, sheets) A LOT. This is because I have a kitten that is having some urinary or stress issues and she has decided that my bed (my side in particular) is her favorite place to relief herself. It’s nasty. We’ve since put her on special foods, changed out everything that was recommended by the vet, and kept her out of our room when we are not in there. She’s gotten better, but just last week, my husband accidentally locked her in our bedroom all day while we were at work. You can guess what happened. UGH! Luckily, my washer is also big capacity and works like a champ for my bedding stuff.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Oh no, Trang! That’s a tough one. But so happy you found that your duvet has the ties…it makes it so much easier!

      Good luck with the kitten 🙂

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5 Ways to Add Hygge Style to your Home


Have you guys heard about hygge yet? No that isn’t a typo. That’s a real word (pronounced “hoo-ga”) and it’s taking over the home decor world.

What’s Hygge?!

Essentially it’s a Danish way of life where the people adopt comfort, togetherness, and well-being. And since the Danes have been marked as the happiest in the world (seriously!), we think we have something to learn from their home philosophy. Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of creating a safe, warm, happy home filled with people you love?chicago_christmas-coffee-scarf

So after looking into this concept a bit more, we came up with 5 ways that you can add a bit some hygge to your life.Hygge_Style

Candles (lots of them!)2-candles-fireplace-lit

The Danes say no recipe for hygge is complete with candles and that’s an idea we can get behind! We both already love candles and light one just about every single night. And we’ve already told you how we continue to buy our favorite smelling candle on repeat. But after learning more about hygge we want to up our candle game. While we both enjoy burning scented candles, they hygge way is more about the light and ambiance created from a dim room and candlelight. So we’re opting to make every night special (even weeknights when you’re super tired and just want to veg on the couch) and up the cozy factor in our homes with more candlelight. Plus, we’re starting to look at adding some pretty lanterns (like this one), clear vases, and modern candlesticks (loving these!)



Even though spring will be here soon, it’s still chilly here in Chicago. And you can bet your bottom dollar that we each spend our time relaxing wrapped up in a warm throw blanket. And usually those throws are extra big ones so you can wrap up your entire body! Add some happiness and pleasure to your everyday with a new comfy throw blanket.

Faux Sheepskin Pelts


You’ve probably spotted a few of these around our homes before, but we rarely talk about them on the blog. We always opt for the inexpensive faux sheepskin pelts from Ikea and love adding them to spaces that are needing a little extra something. Drape one over a chair, your couch, a bench…wherever needs a bit more comfort and texture. This is a surefire way to make your home a bit more hygge and cozy.


At night, I absolutely love turning off all of the overhead lights in our home and turning all of our lamps on. This creates such flattering light and it’s a great way unwind at the end of a long day. Consider investing in a few more table lamps or floor lamps (this tripod one is so cool!) to add more lighting options throughout your home. We promise these will instantly make any room feel cozier and more inviting <–exactly the way they setup their rooms in Denmark!



There’s nothing like putting your feet up to relax with a hot drink! Or better yet, having friends over for coffee, hot cider, or hot chocolate. We both adore our large monogram mugs from Anthropologie, but are always looking for fun, new ones! Adding some pretty new mugs to your repertoire may encourage you to sit back and just enjoy the simple pleasures more often. And there’s nothing more hygge than that.

How to Add Hygge Style Into My Home

Throw // Mug // Lamp // Candle // Sheepskin

So what do you guys think? Are you all aboard the hygge train? We both love reading about ways to make our everyday lives even happier, and embracing these simple touches into our homes seems like a wonderful way to do it.


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9 thoughts on “5 Ways to Add Hygge Style to your Home

  1. Erin

    Kara got the sheepskin for me for my dog!!! she LOVES it. it’s like her little cozy spot on the floor. and for her to chew on too! i was impressed with how it felt! not too fake feeling or looking

  2. Gina Cristine

    Love this girls! I need to start turning on our lamps and shutting off the ceiling lights, so true about it adding a warmth to the room! I feel can lights have taken away from this!


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Rookie Mistake: Matching Furniture

Dining Room Board and Batten Reveal

Rookie Mistakes: a series of common decor mistakes made by rookies… aka US. And no we are not judging because, we have made (and continue to make) these mistakes too!

Remember the Rookie Mistakes series is a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE. We’ve both made ALL of these decorating mistakes in our own homes (evidenced by today’s post) and simply want you to learn from us so you can make your home look amazing without having to make the mistakes we did!

Rookie Mistake – Matching Furniture Sets

Back before we were ever interested in home decor, we purchased furniture a bit differently. For example, if we were in need of furniture for a bedroom you might find us heading to a big box store to pick up a matching bedroom set for a bargain. The bed, dresser, nightstands, side tables….all of them matching and ready to fill up the room! I mean who doesn’t love one-stop shopping, right?!

Jans-House-2017-11Now we realize why those rooms always felt a bit flat to us. The lack of variety in woods, colors, and textures made the entire space one-note. (Psssst. This is a guest room in my mom’s house. She agrees that it would look better without all of the matching pieces, so she graciously allowed me to use this photo for the post… thanks Mom!!)

We understand that those bedroom sets are a deal and that can be hard to pass up! Especially when you have a room to furnish and you just want to be d-o-n-e. We totally get it. Having some matching furniture is not a bad thing. But you probably don’t want your loveseat, couch, coffee table, and side table to all match. Some of them can match to keep a cohesive look, but if everything is the exact same…you’re going to end up with a cookie-cutter look that lacks personality.

But even just swapping out one of the matching pieces could make a big difference in the space. Here’s the proof…

Bridget’s Matching Furniture – Rookie Mistake

When Bridget first furnished her dining room (left), she made this rookie mistake by buying all matchy-matchy decor. A dark table, paired with dark chairs, next to a dark mirror then accented with a dark light fixture. This matchy-matchy look lacked depth and made the space look & feel… well, ugly.

After realizing the rookie mistake she had made, we approached this space in a very different/much LESS MATCHY way (right) and are SO much happier with the new look.

She sold the set of chairs that came with the table on Craigslist and used that money to buy these new ones that added a lot more contrast. Immediately the space felt a whole lot less matchy and far more light/bright! Since learning that lesson the hard way, we have approached buying furniture and decor in a whole new way.

Create a Layered Look!


Take a look at Casey’s bedroom. It’s a mix of a gray upholstered bedroom, shiny white campaign style nightstands, and a wood dresser. If every piece in the room was the exact same it wouldn’t look as layered and interesting. lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal

Or take a look at the bedroom we designed for the Lowe’s Home Makeover. We loved the large upholstered bed, and knew that adding in some wood elements would add some warmth. So the matching wood nightstands worked out perfectly! lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-wide-windowBut we didn’t feel compelled to choose a matching wood dresser for the room. Instead we built a wood & white floating credenza to combine elements of both the white duvet and the wood nightstands.

round_modern_coffee_table-family_room_couchIf you do have matching furniture all over your house, we’re certainly not telling you to get rid of everything. No way! Instead, think about moving things around a bit. Bring a dresser from one room into another. Or swap your nightstands for ones in a different room. We promise that you just might love all of your gorgeous furniture a bit more when it doesn’t get lost in a sea of it all being matchy-matchy. DIY_Curtains_Office_Bedroom-6

Or think about selling a few pieces that you don’t absolutely love, and use that money to find items that you do love! The search for a new piece of furniture that is just perfect will be a lot more satisfying than it felt to buy a bunch of furniture in one swoop!

Room-4So learn from our rookie mistake and avoid buying all matching furniture sets. You’re not a cookie cutter person, and your home shouldn’t be either! Search for pieces that you adore so you can create a home that is so YOU!bridget_and_casey_sig


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9 thoughts on “Rookie Mistake: Matching Furniture

  1. Erin

    this is definitely a tricky thing! fortunately we never really set out to do any of that. Our bedroom was always a piece of work. None of the furniture in there matches, but it’s all authentic mid century modern furniture — except the bed is from room & board but everything feels like it goes together! our couch and 1 1/2 chair are matching pieces, however, we got both of them upholstered in different fabrics. though for the 1 1/2 chair piece– we would like to get it reupholstered for sure.

  2. Kara D

    You should do a post on how you sell your items – how do you decide on a price, how you advertise, how you meet strangers (this is the part that makes me most nervous), and how the (heavy) item is transported. I never sell my pieces because I get creeped out by all the Craiglist horror stories. I don’t want to ask for a friend to come over every time to be sure I’m not meeting anyone alone.

    1. DIY Playbook

      We actually JUST added this to the calendar over the weekend after looking at some of the survey results. Lots of people are interested in how to do it! We’re not pros, but we’re excited to share what has worked for us

  3. Loveland Lodge

    I do think we’re sometimes programmed to think matching furniture set = being an adult or a feeling of “I’ve made it bc I can now afford all the matching pieces instead of just one!” It’s like the step up from hand-me-downs, but the hand-me-downs or thrifted furniture pieces often times looks better with more visual interest. Personally, I prefer the mismatched look too.

    1. DIY Playbook

      I never thought about it like that, but you are so right! What an interesting way to look at that!

      Love the mismatched look too! Thrifted pieces & hand me downs are sometimes the best.

  4. Stephanie

    Love this! What would you suggest in terms of bedroom furniture colors to coordinate with a dark brown headboard? My husband hates upholstered headboards (very tragically, in my opinion!), and I’ve been struggling with the best way to incorporate nightstands and a dresser without it looking to matchy-matchy.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Good idea to switch it up and go with something other than dark brown! White or gray are always great options, or even a really light wood tone could work too. As long as you steer clear from the exact same wood color in the dark brown headboard, you should be good!

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