Category Archives: Styling

C’s Office Essentials

Ikea-Shelves
Last month, I revealed our new office space…complete with an entire accent wall of duct tape. Yes, duct tape. Read more about that crazy project right here
Well, it’s one month later and I’m still pretty obsessed with our little triangle room.  In fact, I’m actually even doing work in this office! Blogging…at a desk…in an office…now that’s a bright idea! Don’t worry, the couch still calls my name every once and awhile.
white office space
As I gaze around this pretty little space, I realized that I didn’t show you many of the small details from this office makeover. Instead it was more of a here’s the disgusting before picture…and ohhhh check out the gorgeous after! I didn’t exactly go into the details about how we actually made the space functional, and how I made the desk area work for me.
I work best when I have a clean and fairly sparse workspace, so I try to keep unnecessary papers and clutter away from my work area. Instead you’ll mostly find a few pretty items, and a few functional items. Let’s dive into the details…
coffee cup
First on the list of office essentials: coffee. Coffee is a must-have no matter where I’m working. Yep..I’m addicted to my morning cup o’ joe and I have no immediate plans to take my caffeine levels down a notch #sorryimnotsorry (In fact, Bridget & I love coffee so much we even created some free coffee printables!)  This Kate Spade coffee mug lets me sip in style, and the DIY scrabble tile coaster leaves my side of the desk coffee ring free.
flowers
I love bulletin boards and inspiration boards in office spaces, especially when you need to get your creative juices flowing. But sometimes, I feel like they can look a little messy. Pushpins, clippings, photos, papers…it can be a bit much. I like my workspace organized, but I do see the importance of a small inspiration board. This chicken wire frame (a flea market find) leans against the back of my desk, and I often find myself clipping new ideas, quotes, and pictures onto it with clothespins. Sometimes it gets a little cluttered with crap..so I have to pare it down every now and again. Right now it’s only holding some fun photo booth pictures (I’ve never come across a photo booth I didn’t want to dive right into!) Whatever your style, I think it’s important to have some inspiring pieces nearby to brighten up your workspace.
pencil holder
A girls gotta have pens and colorful markers within reach, right? That’s where this little guy comes in handy. To add some color, I placed the white pencil holder in the top of a pretty box. I think the box held some stationery, and I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. It adds some color and pattern to the white desk space.
thank you notes
There’s nothing I love more than receiving handwritten cards and letters in the mail. What a sweet surprise to open your mailbox and find something thoughtful…and not just a pile of bills!  Because I love receiving thank you notes and letters, you better believe I love sending them out too. Whenever I see pretty stationery on sale, I’ll typically scoop it up to add to my collection. You just never know when you’ll need to write a thank you note or card. That’s why I keep these beauties at my desk, along with plenty of stamps.
Ikea Hemnes dresser
In the corner of the office we tucked this tall dresser from Ikea, which provides some serious storage. You’ll remember how I jazzed it up both with marbled paper on the drawer sides, and with new hardware and brackets. It definitely feels more glam and a tad less boring than the original. But it’s not what’s on the outside…it’s what’s on the inside that counts! This dresser holds so many office supplies and goodies. Before we had this, we literally had piles of randomness all over this room. Now everything is concealed and has a place to call home. This tall guy helps keep things much more organized around here.
mac on desk
I round out my office essentials with something fresh and alive. These fresh flowers are alstroemerias and I’m pretty sure they top my list of favorite flowers (along with hydrangeas). They just come in the most beautiful colors and they last forever. Seriously, if you need a flower to last awhile…buy a bunch of these. Love ’em. While I don’t always have fresh flowers on my desk, it sure does make me feel a bit more productive when I have beautiful sights and smells right there in front of me.
ikea desk area
So there you have it…if I’ve got coffee, inspiration, pens with pretty stationery, storage, and fresh flowers then I’ve got myself the perfect area for being productive. But let’s be real here…coffee and my computer will do 99% of the time 😉
Casey DIY Playbook
What are your office essentials? Are you more of a cluttered desktop gal…or do you prefer things tidy?
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5 Tips to Style your Nightstand

IMG_97471
Back in March, we had some fun showing you guys 5 tips to style your coffee table. Well we’re back at it! Today, we decided to tackle a different table top…the nightstand.
Often times this spot can be a drop spot for random bedroom stuff. Think used tissues, glasses of water, piles of books, and a whole lot of unnecessary clutter. That may be the case for many nightstands out there, and we want to change that. A nightstand can look good, and still be functional, and we’re here to show you how to do just that.
Here’s Bridget’s stained wood nightstand…
White bedside table
And here’s Casey’s bright white bedside table. We have two totally different looks, but we’re both applying the same principals when it comes to styling.
nightstand styling
Tip #1
Keep Reading Material Handy: This is a no-brainer and we would guess most people have books and magazines on their own nightstand. Gotta love drifting off to your favorite novel or trashy magazine! But, just make sure you don’t stack up too many books on your nightstand. Messy, scattered, and toppling over is not a good look.
layering a nightstand
Tip #2
Let the be Light: Okay, duh…another no-brainer. Lamps are pretty much on every nightstand…we get it! But we just want to reinforce that lamps not only add function, but they also add some necessary height to the table. Plus you can really play off your personality with the lamp style. Casey has a bright white shade, while Bridget went with the silver, shiny one. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into a particular style of lamp..have fun with it!
Tray with glasses
white nighstand
Tip #3
Storage is Key: We both have nightstands with drawers, which is perfect for that “secret storage” we both love. That way you can toss in your tissues, eye mask, and any other bedtime necessities right in the drawers. But we also take the storage up a notch, past just the drawers. Casey has a small tray on her bedside table, to hold earrings, glasses, and other small items. While Bridget hides a wire basket underneath her nightstand for extra blankets and slippers. Gotta love plenty of storage options!
fresh white flowers
Tip #4
Fresh Aromas Set the Mood: We believe that every master bedroom needs one of these two…fresh flowers or scented candles. You know what, why not go crazy and incorporate both?! A small bowl of flowers add some life to Casey’s nightstand, while Bridget’s vanilla candle definitely adds a scent of something special to her bedroom.
styling a nighstand
Tip #5
Layer it up: To take the look up a notch, be sure to add in layers of decor. On Casey’s white nightstand, she puts a tall white frame in the back. This adds some height and brings some dimension to the table top. Bridget incorporates a colorful vase and coral into her nightstand. This just adds texture and differing sizes to the area. Plus, layering gives you a chance to show off your personality and style. Just don’t go overboard with the knick-knacks. Think classy, not cluttered.
There you have it 5 tips to rock your nightstand! So go work on your own bedside table, and then take a much deserved nap. You can cozy up in bed and wake up with the best sight of all…a gorgeously styled nightstand. Sweet dreams friends!
Bridget and Casey DIY Playbook
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10 Tips for Decorative Pillows

our love for pillows
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again..and again…and again. We’ve got a serious thing for throw pillows. In fact, you may have to call it a shopping obsession. If we see a cute decorative pillow, at a decent price, you better believe it’s hopping into our carts.
Lucky for us (& our wallets) many of our favorite stores have great pillows with inexpensive price tags. I mean, have you been to the HomeGoods pillow aisle? It makes you want to curl up and take a nap right there amongst all of the fluff, color, and pattern.
So enough chatting about pillows, let’s get to the eye candy…DSC_0021
Casey: I’ve got a few decorative pillows on our master bedding. The gray geometric ones and the light blue are HomeGoods. All were pretty inexpensive, which makes me feel better if I ever want to change the color scheme in there. Come read about our bedroom over in this post. Blue-Gray-Bedroom-PillowsCaseys-Bedroom-Vertical-White-Duvet
Blue-Gray-Pillows-Bedroom
corner of couch
Casey: We’ve got lots of gray and blue tones in our family room area. Most of these pillows are HomeGoods finds. Typically if I find something in our color scheme, I scoop it up right away!
decorative throw pillows

Bridget: Much like Casey, I stick with the cool colored pillows as well. I find that I’m often drawn to blue pillows, striped pillows, soft geometric prints or pillows with a hint of nautical.

I scored the watercolor print on major clearance at JC Penny’s and the rest of the blue pillow rotation at HomeGoods.
Bridget: This pillow is very much outside of my traditional style, and maybe that’s why I love it so much! I scored this zip pillow from IKEA and I love it because you can easily remove the pillow and wash the case with one easy zip!
Bridget: Again, I’m a sucker for stripes. This pillow was in the clearance aisle at HomeGoods and adds a whole different color and texture combo to this floral print chair. As far as I’m concerned, mixing and matching prints is always a great idea (even if my mom tends to disagree).bridget room
bridgetBridget: Are you surprised? More stripes! These nautical pillows were all HomeGoods scores. I like that each are a different size and add a little extra dimension to the bed. I think I scored all of these for $30 total! Plus, when I get tired of this combination in our bedroom, I switch out some of the pillows from other rooms and have a whole new look in each area of my home!
Bridget: Don’t be fooled, pillows aren’t just for the indoors. I scored the majority of these outdoor pillows at SteinMart. I love that I was able to step outside my traditional pillow style and add some serious pops of color to our outdoor patio. Of course I don’t leave these out all of the time, but they add a whole new level of coziness to our outdoor patio when it’s time to relax or entertain!

Rookie Pillow Tips

  1. Find pillows with a zippered, removable cover. That way you can keep the cushion and find new covers if you’re looking to change things up. Major cost saver.
  2. Zippered covers also come in handy for washing. You can easily toss it into the wash and you’re good to go!
  3. We try not to spend more than $25 for a single pillow. We try and aim for $12-$16. Look for steals, sales, and clearance sections. You can find some great stuff if you’re patient.
  4. Avoid being too matchy-matchy. That goes for color, texture, and pattern. Change it up and you’ll have a more appealing, layered look.
  5. Incorporate a wide variety of pillow sizes on couches and beds.
  6. As with most home decor, group pillows in odd numbers (we prefer 3’s & 5’s)
  7. Switch pillows from room to room around your home for a “fresh” look without a new price-tag.
  8. Only buy pillows that you absolutely LOVE; don’t just buy to buy. If you wait for a pillow you really love, rather than just settling with what’s in stock or available, you’ll tend to use it for a lot longer and will continue to love it every time you look at it, which is way better than always looking at that pillow and wishing you never bought it.
  9. Choose pillows that fit your style… no one else’s! With Pinterest, the blogosphere & every amazing Home Decor magazine putting you on decor overload, sometimes it’s easy to adopt someone else’s style rather than embrace your own style. Buy pillows that fit YOUR style, even if that style is different than what’s the most pinned. You’re the one that has to cuddle up with it at the end of the day… be proud!
  10. When you find the perfect pillow combinations, do NOT forget the most important part – – kicking up your feet up, cozying up on that adorable couch & enjoying all of your new fluffy friends!
We hope this helps with your next pillow shopping trip!
Bridget and Casey Signature
Want some advice on bedroom pillows, check out this post!
pillows
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  1. heather

    I’m curious how you determine how many pillows and which sizes to use. I have a couch and loveseat and am considering changing up my pillows, but can’t decide how many I need and what sizes. I do have both euro shams and 20×20 forms available to use. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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One thought on “10 Tips for Decorative Pillows

  1. heather

    I’m curious how you determine how many pillows and which sizes to use. I have a couch and loveseat and am considering changing up my pillows, but can’t decide how many I need and what sizes. I do have both euro shams and 20×20 forms available to use. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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5 Tips to Style your Coffee Table

coffee table styling
When it comes to home decor, styling tops the list as our most favorite part of the decorating process. Oftentimes we fly through a DIY project, in eager anticipation of the final step…styling the big after shot!

We’ve both come a long way in styling vignettes, but we’ve only gotten better with practice and trial & error. Whether it’s a bookshelf, a kitchen nook, or a bar cart you just gotta play around with the area and tweak it as you go.

Today we’re going to give you some tips to style the perfect coffee table. This is just a basic guide or “formula” that you can use to transform your own table to give it a look that works with your home and your style.

In fact, we even styled 2 totally different coffee table looks using the same basic techniques. So class, let’s dive into Coffee Table Styling: 101.

Coffee Table Styling Tips

Here’s Casey’s adorable round table with a squared tray….White-Sectional-Couch-Coffee-Table

And here’s Bridget’s square table with a round tray (we swear we didn’t plan that)….
Gray coffee table tray
Tray
Tip #1
Use a Tray: We both firmly believe that trays are a must-have when it comes to styling a coffee table. Why you ask? Because if you ever need to clear the table quickly, you simply pick up the tray and set it to the side. Your little vignette stays cute and tidy, and you now have a nice spacious area to kick up your feet and relax. Trays help you corral all of your goodies and keeps everything in a nice, centralized space on your table and places like HomeGoods offer a very large variety of trays- all on the cheap!
West elm marble box
Basket for storage
Tip #2
Secret Storage: Similar to the tray idea, it is nice to have a way to corral the clutter while also HIDING it at the same time. Since our coffee table is two-tiered we have a nice little basket on the bottom level. This guy holds lots of “ugly” stuff. Remote controls, Xbox controllers, extra coasters, etc. It’s nice to just pull out the basket and toss stuff inside so you don’t have stuff everywhere! We also have some “secret storage” going on with that beautiful marble box. It’s from West Elm and was a housewarming gift. Not only is it gorgeous, but it also holds all of our Uno and playing cards. Functional and fashionable? Yes please! Bridget uses a faux marble looking tray from HomeGoods to hide her remote controls & X-box controller. She also hides a few kisses for her guests (or Matt..wink, wink) to enjoy.
Coffee-Table-Books
Tip #3
Make it Personal: A coffee table is an area where you can make a statement and showcase your style. Why not personalize it a bit so your guests can learn a little bit about you and your tastes? Coffee table books can often help show off your personality. Not only are they pretty, but they’re also entertaining so your guests can flip through your favorite finds. If books aren’t your thing, magazines, photo albums, or even a journal could be your “personal touch”.
Blue-Hydrangea-Plant
Tip #4
Add some Life: We’ve both admitted that we have complete brown thumbs. But that doesn’t mean we don’t attempt to keep things alive around here. Fresh flowers, a hydrangea plant, or even some (fake) greenery can all liven up a coffee table display. (Full disclosure here…this is hydrangea plant #2 for me, after the first had an untimely death after a weekend of no watering. Gotta love Trader Joe’s and their always amazing display of fresh plants and flowers. I found a replacement in no time!) We suggest you channel your inner gardener and bring some beauty to your table with something fresh.
Coffee Table style
Tip #5
Make it Pretty: Okay, so this may be very similar to Tip #3, but we still think it deserves its own category. So many people tend to throw cords, remote controls, and just general clutter on their coffee tables. But it doesn’t need to be that way. This is an area where you can show off your decor taste and overall style, so use it wisely! Shiny candles, pretty trinkets…anything is fair game for your coffee table display. Just keep it somewhat simple and don’t overdo it. You want it to look classy…not cluttered.
So let’s review….
1. Get a tray (they are everywhere now a days…)
2. Add some secret storage (a nice decor compromise for the gentleman’s coffee tray must-haves)
3. Add some personal touches (favorite books/magazines, candles, table topics… something!)
4. Add life (flowers, succulents, something that freshens up the space)
5. Make it pretty (our favorite part of course, but remember- LESS is more)
coffee table
Optional: 6. Sit back, pour yourself a beverage and enjoy the new look! We’re proud of you and that glamorous new coffee table tray!!
coffetablestyling
Bridget and Casey Signature
If you’re new to the DIY Playbook, we’d love to connect with you! You can find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter. Or… come check out our homes, make yourself comfortable & stay while. We’re glad you stopped by!! 
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2 thoughts on “5 Tips to Style your Coffee Table

  1. KristyDoyle

    I’m a big fan of leaving the top of the coffee table clear of everything, so it’s a blank space for your cups (or feet, as the case may be), so when we purchased a two-tiered coffee table a few months ago, I ordered a three-basket set from Amazon to slide on the second tier. Now the basket closest to the front door (our front door opens right into the living room) holds hats, scarves and mittens in the winter and sunglasses in the summer, the second basket holds phone chargers and “extra” remotes, and the third basket holds notebooks, pens and reading material. Then, on the top I have a small basket for the remotes we use on a regular basis. I love being able to corral our clutter and leaving the coffee table as blank as can be. Although I do love your adorable styling of the coffee tables!

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  2. DIY Playbook

    Baskets are the best! Corral the clutter and keep it all looking nice…good thinking! If you do ever want to style up your table just a little bit, we definitely recommend using a tray. You can have that coffee table bare (and ready for feet!) in no time at all.

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2 thoughts on “5 Tips to Style your Coffee Table

  1. KristyDoyle

    I’m a big fan of leaving the top of the coffee table clear of everything, so it’s a blank space for your cups (or feet, as the case may be), so when we purchased a two-tiered coffee table a few months ago, I ordered a three-basket set from Amazon to slide on the second tier. Now the basket closest to the front door (our front door opens right into the living room) holds hats, scarves and mittens in the winter and sunglasses in the summer, the second basket holds phone chargers and “extra” remotes, and the third basket holds notebooks, pens and reading material. Then, on the top I have a small basket for the remotes we use on a regular basis. I love being able to corral our clutter and leaving the coffee table as blank as can be. Although I do love your adorable styling of the coffee tables!

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Baskets are the best! Corral the clutter and keep it all looking nice…good thinking! If you do ever want to style up your table just a little bit, we definitely recommend using a tray. You can have that coffee table bare (and ready for feet!) in no time at all.

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Styling 101: How to Style a Bar Cart

Bar Cart-010

I’m a big fan of entertaining. It’s always so nice to have friends and family over to hang out, have a few cocktails, and eat some munchies.

We like to accommodate all of our guests with a wide variety of beverages. That’s why we’re always well stocked with a plethora of wine, hard alcohol, and fun fruity cocktails.

Our little bar cart definitely comes in handy for these occasions.

Bar Cart

We found this little gem at a flea market a few years back for only $20 (more on that here) I think it was actually an old microwave cart but we decided to use it as a bar cart. I cleaned it up and it’s been housing our drinking accessories ever since.

Bar Cart

Sometimes I see some really cool bar carts…but they’re overcrowded and filled to the brim with sticky syrups, glasses, and bottles and bottles of wine. Yes the cart is a great spot for storage, but oftentimes less is more.  Don’t turn it into a dumping ground for all things drink-related. Instead, use it to your advantage and show off your entertaining gear in style.

How to Style a Bar Cart
Here are some tips to style your own bar cart.
Glass Decanters
Decanters are a staple in our house. We’ve slowly accumulated some ornate glass ones on the cheap. All of ours are $5 or less and they’re actually fairly easy to find (from goodwill, to flea markets). We’ve found some great ones to hold our favorite liquors (vodka, rum, tequila, whiskey) and continue to grow our collection as our tastes mature.
Decanters can add a little bit of glam to your bar cart, and they certainly make you feel more “grown-up.” No more random bottles everywhere. Unify your cart with some shiny decanters.
Flowers, cutting lemons and limes, and pellegrino
Fresh flowers and fruit are a must when having guests over for a few drinks. They add some color and life, and the lemons and limes can certainly be used for some fun cocktails.
Also, keep cloth napkins on hand for any spills or emergency clean ups.
martini glasses
We used to have all of our glasses on the bar cart, but we quickly found out that things get dusty real fast. So now we constantly trade out the glasses, depending on what we’ll be drinking while entertaining. Clean glasses certainly add some shine and function to a boring bar cart.
We’re lucky that our cart has 3 different levels, but you can certainly make any size cart work for you!
Just get creative and keep things grouped together and organized.
Wine Rack
A wine rack fits on our bottom level.  It’s always good to have a few bottles of wine for backup.
Lemons and cocktail book
Then on the other side we have straws, extra lemons, and our favorite…books! (We decorate with books fairly often here on DIY Playbook. Why should bar cart styling be any different?)
These cocktail books certainly come in handy when you have zero bartending skills (like me!)
Bar Cart
So cheers to creating your own bar cart that has both function & style! I know you can do it, and you will definitely impress the heck out of your guests at your next get together.
Bar Cart Accessoriescasey_sig
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6 thoughts on “Styling 101: How to Style a Bar Cart

  1. Beth

    Love the decanters, but remember to be mindful of lead. Storing liquor in lead crystal is not safe to drink. Cheers!

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6 thoughts on “Styling 101: How to Style a Bar Cart

  1. Beth

    Love the decanters, but remember to be mindful of lead. Storing liquor in lead crystal is not safe to drink. Cheers!

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