Category Archives: Tips

How to Style an Entryway Shelf 2 Ways

entryway diy gold shelf

Last week, we showed you guys how to make your own “gold & glamorous” marble shelf using this tutorial. Such an easy project with a high-end result!
IMG_0835-001Today we’re back with 2 different ways to style this entryway.

Option 1: THE GIRLY GIRL

The first look definitely has that girly-girl feel. We like to think that the lucky lady who would rock a shelf like this is a sophisticated, stylish, single gal ready to take on the world! She certainly has some sass and a hefty dose of “girl boss” in her! The gold & marble show off her love of the finer things in life, while the hydrangeas and elephant planter showcase her softer, whimsical side. Shelf Gif

 Tips to Achieve this Look:

  • Start with a Mirror: It’s great to hang something on a shelf like this to add some height to the vignette. This mirror offers more than just wall art though, a mirror is a must when you’re a busy girl on the go. Gotta check out your makeup as you head out the door for date night!
  • Add your Favorite Reads: We love decorating with books, especially when they have a cute black & white striped spine like this one. Add some color and personality to your shelf with a couple stacked books. Not too many though…
  • Gotta love Fresh Flowers: Fact…everything looks (& smells) better with fresh flowers. Hydrangeas are a personal favorite. But if you want longevity, go with alstroemerias. We get ours from Trader Joe’s for about $4 a bunch and they last 2 weeks!
  • Keep it Functional: This adorable mail sorter adds some major function. I mean mail…entryway….ummm yeah they definitely go together. Instead of plopping down your pile of mail, keep it stylish and sorted.
  • Inject a bit of Fun: That glass elephant holding succulents is one of our favorite kitschy accessories. It’s pretty darn adorable and keeps things light and quirky. Definitely add something to show off your style and interests right in your entry.
  • Minimize Clutter: Because this is the first stop in your home (& the first area viewed by guests), you don’t want random items to pile up. Keep mail, keys, and random accessories to a minimum for a clean and clutter-free look.

Shop the Look:

Marble Shelf: $7.99 IKEA Hack using this tutorial
Mirror: Garage Sale
Gold Letter Organizer: Target by Nate Berkus (Office Supplies Section)
Elements of Style Book
Glass Elephant: Garage Sale (25 cents!)
Succulent: No Maintenance Succulent Garden DIY
Sun Glasses: LOFT
Vase: Dollar Store
Hooks: Lowe’s
Scarf: Forever21
Purse: Marshall’s Clearance
Blazer: H&M

shelf accessories Option 2: THE FAMILY FRIENDLY LOOK

Now this look is what we like to call the “style compromise.” In fact, this is pretty much what the Matkovich’s entryway looks like on a daily basis. This look adds some masculine elements, without having an over the top “dude feel.” We swapped the marble shelf & gold brackets, to go with a more subdued look of white wood and silver. Newly married or just moved in with your guy? A look like this is bound to get the green light from your +1.

imageedit_5_4573892042Tips to Achieve this Look:

  • Add Something 3-Dimensional: Okay, so faux taxidermy may not be your thing, but we love the idea of adding something 3-dimensional to your wall space. Instead of always relying on frames or art, you can add some texture and interest to the wall with a larger object.
  • Frame it up: Whether you lean some framed art, or actually hang pieces on the wall…we think it’s a great idea to add frames to your shelf area. Also, feel free to frame more than just pictures. Your favorite quote or postcard could be great additions. Plus it’s easy to swap things out when you get tired of them.
  • More Books: Clearly we can’t get away from decorating with books. They’re just so versatile and add some height to accessories. When in doubt, go with the same color and hardcover for the most cohesive look.
  • Throw Tall Objects in the Mix: These Target vases are useful when filled with a flower or small bud, but they look pretty darn good on their own too. They balance the open space under the smaller picture frame, and give this look some color and pizzazz.
  • Faux Succulents for the Win: Brown thumb? Then succulents are for you! Afraid you’ll even kill a low maintenance plant like a succulent? Then faux is definitely the way to go. This small fake succulent adds some greenery to the shelf space, and we love the addition of the dome on top.
  • Patterned Bowl for Keys: If you’re prone to losing things (or your husband is!) then a drop-zone for keys is a must for your entryway. No more digging through your purse or scavenging through your drawers for your car keys with this method. Bonus points if you find a fun patterned bowl like this one.

Shop the Look:

Shelf: $7.99 at IKEA
Deer Head: HomeGoods
Bow tie: Macy’s <– Fun Fact: Matt wore this tie to Casey’s Wedding
Hanging Wood Frame: IKEA
Brown & White Frame: Target
Ikat Bowl: West Elm
Multi-colored Vases: Target
Books: Garage Sale
Succulent: Michael’s
Succulent Dome: JoAnn Fabric

So now it’s your turn…which option would you go with in your home? We’re very intrigued to hear which look best suits you and your style! Let us know in the comments below!

Option 1: THE GIRLY GIRL LOOK

Option 2: THE FAMILY FRIENDLY LOOK

Bridget and Casey SignatureP.S. We are excited to announce that we are now online contributors for Domino Magazine! Check out our first post on their site right here!

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

Leave a Comment

8 thoughts on “How to Style an Entryway Shelf 2 Ways

  1. Jessie

    It’s weird, because I’m not really a girly girl, or a fan of gold, but I’m loving the first option. What are you two doing to my style sense?!

    Reply
  2. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I love them both! Though I’d lean more towards the first option – maybe without the flowers. I could probably sell the hubs on that a little easier. 🙂 We’re looking for some entry way decor, I might be heading to IKEA soon!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

8 thoughts on “How to Style an Entryway Shelf 2 Ways

  1. Jessie

    It’s weird, because I’m not really a girly girl, or a fan of gold, but I’m loving the first option. What are you two doing to my style sense?!

    Reply
  2. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I love them both! Though I’d lean more towards the first option – maybe without the flowers. I could probably sell the hubs on that a little easier. 🙂 We’re looking for some entry way decor, I might be heading to IKEA soon!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Top 5 Design Tips for Small Space Living

Shoes-Near-Basket

If you live in a small space, we feel your pain.  We both live in small homes, and we know what it’s like to have too much stuff, and not enough room for it all. Plus, we understand how difficult it can be to really create a style and a look without making your petite house feel cluttered. It’s definitely a challenge, but we’re confident that you can overcome the “crowded-look” and transform your house into a home that reflects your personality.

Because we consider ourselves to be “small living experts”, we came up with a list of tips we’ve acquired during our time living in our small spaces.decorate a small space1. Storage is a Must: No matter how much you purge, you’re still going to have stuff and you’ll need a place to put that stuff. Storage options are key to organized, clutter-free living. Extra credit if you have “secret storage” (i.e. Hidden storage areas designed to hold all kinds of goodies!) We use many large items to store our smaller items…including benches, boxes, and baskets.

Shoes-Near-BasketThis basket actually holds all of Casey’s wrapping paper and gift supplies. You’d never know those goodies are tucked away in here.Table-TrayThis marble box on Casey’s coffee table actually holds all of their playing cards. Who knew they were tucked inside this gorgeous table decoration!

video game And just like Casey’s, B’s coffee table box hides remote controls (is that even what they’re called?!) #allsisters

Shelf-frame-hooksBut not all storage needs to be hidden. Hang a shelf on the wall, or add some hooks to a bare space (like this drop zone), and you’ve instantly got a new spot to store your possessions. Anything is better than a big pile on the floor or in the closet, so making the most of the storage space you do have is KEY!

Another way to flaunt that fancy storage is by adding a bar cart to your small space. We love that these offer storage, function, and some serious style to any entertaining space. And who says a bar cart must be used for drinks?! If you’re not a big fan of bar accessories, bar carts can still be a valuable (and fancy) way to store other household products as well. (dishes, baking station, office supplies… the possibilities are really endless!)

2. Get Creative with Extra Seating: Casey and Finn won’t be throwing any large dinner parties anytime soon. That’s because they only have 2 “real” seats for eating purposes….the stools at their kitchen island. But of course they still love to entertain and have people over. So they pull out any extra seats when company comes over. Benches, poufs, large pillows…they can all be used as extra spots for your guest’s tush. Just because you don’t have room for a formal dining room doesn’t mean you can’t wine and dine your favorite people in your small home.

IMG_97621This bench in the Finn’s bedroom works double duty when it’s brought out to the main area to act as a seat in the family room.storage seatsThese cubes usually live tucked under the coffee table for storage and double as creative seating. When we have guests over, these two upholstered beauties can easily be pulled out & double as extra seating.

storage seatsBridget hides her extra pillows and blankets in these little cuties for when guests crash on her couch. And let’s be honest here, that doesn’t happen all that often- but you can never be too ready for unexpected company, right?

3. Show Off your Personality on your Walls: So you may not have enough square footage to showcase all of your fabulous books and knick-knacks. But don’t forget about your walls! Blank wall spaces are just begging for some action. Office makeoverPicture-LedgesThree-shelves-straight-onYou can hang shelves or picture ledges if you want to display all kinds of goodies…Wide-Family-Room….or go with a large piece of statement artoffice desk and gallery …or even a fun mismatched gallery wall! Take advantage of empty wall space and get decorating.

4. Let your Accessories Work Double Duty: Again, back to the theme of not having enough room to purchase all of the lovely accessories and items you want to display in your home. Well here’s what we do. We try to purchase decor that has multiple purposes. For example…

A cake stand for baked goods, or for a stunning jewelry display.

Or a geometric vase for cooking utensils that can work as a vase when you have fresh flowers around. Look at items for more than just their original intention, and get creative with your accessories.

5. Be Proud & Own It: Okay perhaps not the most helpful tip from our list but we think it is by far the most important. So what…you don’t have a McMansion complete with walk-in closets, a 5-car garage, and multiple guest rooms…that’s a-okay! Just because you live in a small space doesn’t mean you can’t love your home. bigVersionNEWHeck if you’re living small you should have even more reason to celebrate. Less area to clean, less furniture to buy, and less space to decorate! It should take you no time at all to transform your itty bitty space to make it fit your style and personality.

So now you might be thinking to yourself, C & B…you make it sound easy, but there’s no way I can decorate my 900 sq ft apartment without making it look like a storage unit packed to the gills. We get it..not everyone is into home decor. They want a great look for their space, but have no idea how to achieve it. If you’re thinking that the above tips are too much for you to handle, then we have another option for you….

Decor Aid Project - Tudor City After 4-001Photo via Décor Aid

6. Hire a Professional!: Now you’re thinking “ummm, I don’t have the money to have a reaaaal interior designer help me with my space!” Well don’t worry, we have an affordable interior design option for you. It’s called Décor Aid. This design service pairs clients with a designer who fits their budget and style. After a brief consultation, the designer will recommend hours, budget, and a timeline to suit your needs all for a reasonable price. It doesn’t matter if you’re just rearranging a room, or furnishing your home from scratch…they’ll help you out! So if you’re looking for assistance when it comes to design,  Décor Aid be worth looking into. This company is based in New York now, but is expanding across the US in the new few months. Pretty much, this a la carte decorating service is heading to your neck of the woods ASAP!Decor Aid Project - Tudor City After 6-1Photo via Décor Aid

Regardless of what you do…whether you DIY your small space, or hire a pro…we hope you take the time to make your little space feel like home sweet home. There’s nothing more rewarding (& relaxing) than coming home to a space you love.

Bridget and Casey Signature

[Disclaimer: This post was sponsored in part by Décor Aid All original content, imagery and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!]

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

Leave a Comment

4 thoughts on “Top 5 Design Tips for Small Space Living

  1. Joanna

    Hi Bridget & Casey – love your blog 🙂 Do you happen to know where I can find a tray like that round metal one with the wood handles? I’m in love with it. I need it. Haha, thanks!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Hey Joanna,

      Thanks so much!! I got it as a shower gift actually, so I’m not sure where it is from. Maybe try HomeGoods or Target? If I see one like it, I’ll let you know!

      Sorry I can’t be of more help. Happy Shopping.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Morgan,
      I actually found it at an estate sale for $8! But I do see similar baskets like that at HomeGoods all the time.

      Good luck shopping!
      Casey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

4 thoughts on “Top 5 Design Tips for Small Space Living

  1. Joanna

    Hi Bridget & Casey – love your blog 🙂 Do you happen to know where I can find a tray like that round metal one with the wood handles? I’m in love with it. I need it. Haha, thanks!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Hey Joanna,

      Thanks so much!! I got it as a shower gift actually, so I’m not sure where it is from. Maybe try HomeGoods or Target? If I see one like it, I’ll let you know!

      Sorry I can’t be of more help. Happy Shopping.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Morgan,
      I actually found it at an estate sale for $8! But I do see similar baskets like that at HomeGoods all the time.

      Good luck shopping!
      Casey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

How to Install a Dual Flush Kit

Dual-Flush-Toilet-Kit

Okay ladies…put your hair in a pony tail, throw on your comfy fat pants (i.e. sweatpants), and unhook your bra (we all know that is the best part of every day!)…because today’s post is far from glamorous.

We are heading into the bathroom…

Bathroom-After1…for a DIY that isn’t very pretty. I figured we’ve had a lot of glamorous posts lately (like yesterday’s patio reveal…and Bridget’s gorgeous office last week!) so today let’s dish on something a little less beautiful.

Okay, I’m not exactly talking up this DIY project. I swear that it is actually pretty awesome, super easy, and it’s a project that I recommend each and every one of you tackle as soon as possible! Today, I’m going to show you how to install a dual flush kit.

Dual-Flush-Toilet-Kit

So now many of you may be scratching your heads thinking…what is a dual flush kit? Well, it’s a small device that can be installed into most existing toilets to reduce the amount of water it uses each time you flush. To cut to the chase…you hit one button to flush “liquid” waste, and another button to flush ummmm….”#2″. See I told you this isn’t the prettiest project we’ve ever tackled.

I’m guessing you’re starting to see dual flush toilets in many public restrooms, because these bad boys can save money and water. So you’re essentially saving some green, while making your home a little greener. #winwin

Eliminate Common Toilet ProblemsBut, I’m not gonna lie. That’s not the #1 reason why we installed a dual flush in our master bathroom. Sure, I believe in becoming more energy-efficient. And who doesn’t want to save money on their water bill? But the real reason we installed this little guy? Our toilet was driving me bonkers!

The handle and flapper were so old that it was constantly breaking. Often times I would come into the bathroom to find that the toilet has been running all day long. I’d open the back of the tank, push the flapper down, and hope that it would cooperate. Finn and I kept saying we should call the landlord to come fix it, but it just never happened. Sometimes when you’re a renter you hate bugging your landlord every time something small breaks, especially when you know it would just be a heck of a lot faster to fix it yourself. So on a random weekday night, I finally decided to end my hateful relationship with our toilet once and for all.

Save-WaterI found this dual flush kit for $20 at Home Depot. It looked fairly simple to install, and my confidence grew when I saw the words “Install in 10 minutes without tools.” No tools? Yes please!

Dual-Flush-Contraption-ToiletHere is the contraption. It may look complicated and scary…but it really isn’t. The blue part regulates how much water is let out when you flush. You can easily adjust the level right on there.

Dual-Flush-ButtonHere is the new handle. You’ll see the top button is for #1, and bottom button is for #2. It’s actually looks pretty sleek and futuristic-looking if you ask me.

Inside-toilet-tankOkay, so let’s get going on this 10 minute installation. I first opened up the back of my tank and took a looksie around. Not exactly the most gorgeous picture we’ve ever shown on DIY Playbook. But hey, it’s a toilet tank.

The first step is optional…and that is to turn off your water supply and drain the back tank. I decided to forego this optional step. Consider me a lazy do-it-yourselfer. Then it was time to remove all of the old stuff in the tank….the flapper and the handle.

Old-Toilet-FlapperThis required no tools for me. It was just a matter of unhooking a few parts.

Old-Toilet-HandleThe yucky handle and flapper were removed in 2 minutes flat.

Empty-Toilet-BowlNow I had an empty toilet that was ready for new parts.

Installing-Dual-Flush-itTo install, I first slid the bottom part of the kit onto the area where the old flapper was located. The kit even came with a zip tie to hold this piece into place, so I tightened it up nicely. Then I attached the top part of the dual-flush with a simple drop and twist motion.

DSC_0066Next up, installing the new handle. Again, no tools required for this step. You simply push in the blue button and the handle pops off. Then just fish it through the hole in the side of the toilet and tighten by hand.

Toilet-Tank-OpenedThat’s it! Seriously…how easy was that? Before putting the lid back on the tank I tried the buttons a couple of times. Thankfully it was a success.

dual-toilet-flusherHere’s the button from the outside of the tank. When you push button #1, only 3/4’s of a gallon of water is used to flush the bowl. When you push button #2, 1.5 gallons of water are used to clear the toilet bowl. Just call me earth-friendly Casey from here on out. (fun fact: I’m actually born on Earth Day, so perhaps I should try to get that nickname to catch on!)

Now it’s your turn. Go and buy this $20 kit and install it on your home’s toilet. I promise you’ll notice a different in your next water bill.

casey_sig

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

Leave a Comment

5 thoughts on “How to Install a Dual Flush Kit

  1. DIY Playbook

    I am so sorry to hear that you guys had trouble! I hate recommending something and then it doesn’t work! Hmmm…not sure why it wouldn’t give a nice snug fit on the hole. But plumber’s tape was a great idea. I hope it works and stays for you guys!

    Reply
  2. KimiWho.com

    Oh I love this! I wonder how much water (and how much water bill) you’ve saved by using these. I have 3 toilets… so that’s about $60 worth of bathroom hardware. Maybe I will start with installing it just downstairs in the new house where people are more likely to just pee. 😀

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

5 thoughts on “How to Install a Dual Flush Kit

  1. DIY Playbook

    I am so sorry to hear that you guys had trouble! I hate recommending something and then it doesn’t work! Hmmm…not sure why it wouldn’t give a nice snug fit on the hole. But plumber’s tape was a great idea. I hope it works and stays for you guys!

    Reply
  2. KimiWho.com

    Oh I love this! I wonder how much water (and how much water bill) you’ve saved by using these. I have 3 toilets… so that’s about $60 worth of bathroom hardware. Maybe I will start with installing it just downstairs in the new house where people are more likely to just pee. 😀

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

How to Open/Close a Paint Can…. without the mess

IMG_8871

And we’re back with another Tool Talk Tuesday. I’m not sure how perfectly today’s “tips” fit into the tool category, but let’s just pretend for a minute here. I mean, as far as I’m concerned paint is typically stored in the garage and to me, anything that is stored in the garage is automatically a tool. (My dad, a painter by trade, is undoubtedly cringing at the fact that I just said that). #sorryimnotsorry

Speaking of my dear ol’ dad, he is unknowingly the mastermind behind today’s tip. It took a professional painter to show me the most mindless, yet GENIUS, paint tricks I’m sharing today. To be honest, I never really put any extra thought into how I opened/closed a paint can without making a mess because that’s the only way I knew how from watching my dad. That’s until Casey saw me do what I did and said “OMG, that is simply genius!”. Immediately I realized this mindless strategy was not common knowledge and we needed to share my dad’s free wisdom with YOU.

How to open a paint can
What do you need? A paint can, obviously, and a straight edge screw driver… any size. Plus a hammer and a dirty old rag for later.
Paint Supplies

How do I open the paint can? Wedge the straight edge screw driver gently under the edge of the lid. Once the screwdriver is in place, gently push down on the screw driver’s handle- this will force the lid to release slightly and eliminate its air-tight seal. Move the screwdriver to another part of the lid and repeat this exact process. Continue to do this (about 3-4 times around the lid) until the lid is disconnected from the paint can and can be easily lifted off…no mess.

opening a paint can
lid and screwdriver
paint can tricks

Does the screwdriver get paint on it? The screwdriver should never come in contact with wet paint. If you’re working with a paint can that has been used in the past 24 hours, then be a little careful. There may be a chance that wet paint residue left on the can from prior work could be on the exterior of the can.

Can that work on both new or used paint cans? YES! I use this method over and over and over again until the can is empty. This process should not bend, damage or disfigure the lid/can in any way.

Okay, painting is all done. How do I close it without the mess? Simply place the lid on top of the can. Place the rag over the lid/can and hammer gently around the lid. This will ensure that the lid is SEALED and that no paint from the lid or drips from the can splatter on you, your clothes, your hammer, your pet, your father-in-law or most importantly, your project area.

how to close a paint can without the mess
paint can closing
sealing a paint can
paint can tricks and tips

What should I do with the rag? Remove it from the paint can so that it doesn’t dry there and get stuck to the top of the can. Personally, I would then name it my official paint can partner and continue to use that old rag to close future cans. Note: Make sure you use an old rag, because it will get paint on it…. remember it’s acting as a shield.

Why is it important to seal the lid? In order to eliminate the paint from drying out and ultimately ruining.

Is it really that easy? Seriously though… it is.

Does this work for any size paint can? YES!

What if I don’t have a hammer? I find myself in the same situation quite often… I mean who has a hammer around when they’re painting?! All you really need is a heavy object- so the handle of the screw driver, the handle of a CLEAN paint brush, a random brick from the garage… anything heavy will do the trick. Heck, I’ve even seen my dad stand on the rag/can combo to close it. Although that trick is highly discouraged and should be saved for trained professionals.

DIY painting tricks

So dad, I hope you are extra proud today because you are unknowingly preventing sprays, splatters, drips, stains, curse words, and marital spats for DIY rookies around the nation. On behalf of the entire Playbook team, we thank you.

Need a few other Tool Tips to help you tackle your next DIY?
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Tool Tips: Palm Sander

There has definitely been a slow and steady “progression” into the DIY world for both of us rookies. When we started this blog, we dabbled in a lot of crafts and anything that did not require power tools or heavy lifting. We did this partly because we didn’t own any “real” tools at the time, but let’s not kid ourselves here, mostly because we were super intimidated by any project that required a power tool. Who needs a nail gun when you have a glue gun?!

It’s no secret that we are DIY Rookies and are totally learning this whole do-it-yourself thing as we go, most likely not knowing more than a few random tips we picked up from YouTube a few minutes before we are starting any given project (Not a recommended strategy). However, it has worked for us so far- and has actually forced us to get a little dirty and start using those scary tools we used to avoid at all costs. I’m not saying we’re still not a tad hesitant to pull out these tools every now and again (we still love us a nice glue gun!), and I’m definitely not saying we know what we are talking about. But we are here to report that although these tools are a tad intimidating, they are essential in stepping up that DIY game & earning some serious DIY cred around the neighborhood. Allow us to share what we’ve learned so far and hopefully (if you’re anything like we are) you can build up the courage to try your hand at a project that you always wanted to try but never really had the courage. If us two clueless rookies figured it out (blonde hair and all), we know that you can too!!

To kick-off our first “Tool Talk Tuesday”, allow us to introduce you to one of our favs… The Palm Sander.

What does it do? The palm sander, or orbital finishing sander, is a hand-held tool that allows you to sand surfaces to remove the finish in order to add another finish or to generally smooth the surface of something. It can be controlled using one hand and lacks the power to ruin a piece because of too much sanding.
What projects would I use this for?  You would use this if you wanted to repaint/stain an old piece of furniture, refinish cabinets, smooth surfaces in between coats of paint, or just generally sand a surface.
How much does it cost? A little under $30, based on model, brand, store, etc. I bought this one for about $27 at Home Depot.
What projects have you used it on? This two tone nightstand, this Coffee Table, Casey’s TV Stand, B’s Laundry Room Makeover, these Chalkboard Cabinets, & this antique desk… just to name a few. =)

Any rookie tips I should know? Sand outside when possible!! Although this sander looks small… don’t be fooled- this bad boy can make a BIG ol’ mess. Sand outside to avoid a thick layer of dust throughout your home. If you do have to sand inside, use a large drop cloth, tarp or old sheet to cover anything and everything! Come to think of it, use the tarp/sheet/cloth regardless of where you end up sanding.

Where do you buy it? Local hardware stores, large retail hardware stores, anywhere tools are sold really. 

What are these clips or “clamps” for? The clips are what helps the sand paper squares stay secure on the palm sander while you are sanding away. You lay the sand paper square (about a quarter of an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sand paper) under the sander and fold the excess sandpaper around the sides of the sander and secure them with the two clips (one on each side). When that piece of sand paper’s grit has worn away, go ahead and pull up and out on each clip to release and tear away the sand paper. Repeat the process again and again until the surface is completely sanded!

What other supplies should I have available when sanding? Sand paper (lots of it), scissors to cut the large pieces of sand paper into squares that fit the palm sander, and a drop cloth (or some way to catch the dust). To keep things safe…we also recommend wearing eye protection and a face mask. You don’t want to be breathing in all that yuck!

How do you store your sander? In a fabulously organized, zipped bag out of reach of your child, dog, hamster or neighbor.

How can you win your very own palm sander?! In honor of Tool Tip Tuesday, we have partnered with the amazing RYOBI to give TWO lucky readers brand new sanders! Check out the rafflecopter widget below for exact details on how to enter. You can enter until next Sunday… so hurry up!!
Cheers to a little summer sun, a little extra sanding, and a whole new confidence to tackle some serious power tool DIY!
So tell us, how would you use your brand new RYOBI sander?! What project is on your summer to do list?!
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

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
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Top 10 Unique Tips & Tricks for fellow Brides

Bride Tips
Plain & Simple: Here are the top 10 random tips I have for fellow brides (with a little sneak peek of our big day)….

1. Do as much as you can in advance
If you feel like it’s too early to start dress shopping, choosing invites, buying bridesmaids’ gifts, or doing wedding DIY, it’s NOT! The sooner the better is quite the understatement as far as this bride is concerned. If you have some free time, get to work!! You’ll thank yourself later… trust me. 

2. Buy Forever stamps now!!
The price of stamps are going up next week, so my advice to you: stock up now! Buy enough Forever stamps for your invitations, shower thank you’s, bachelorette thank you’s, and even your wedding thank you’s so you can save a few bucks and skip any extra trips to the post office. Plus, costs don’t seem as hard to swallow in wedding planning when they’re spaced out. Once you get closer to the wedding and money feels like it’s flying out the window, you’ll be happy your splurged early! 

3. Address your shower/bachelorette thank you note envelopes prior to the party
I know this sounds crazy, but trust me when I say this was one of the best decisions I ever made. Writing thank you’s is definitely time consuming and to me, half the battle is addressing those puppies. By pre-addressing each envelope in advance, the thank you card process is cut in half and seems a lot less daunting! Plus, it helps to make sure you didn’t miss anyone!

4. Designate a spot in your home for wedding “stuff” and don’t fight it
Yup, weddings come with “stuff”… lots and lots of STUFF. Stuff for your outfit, stuff for his outfit, stuff for the ceremony, stuff for the reception, stuff left over from the shower, stuff that hasn’t been put away from the bachelorette party, stuff for your wedding party, stuff for the rehearsal dinner and even stuff that may or may not make the cut for the big day… (still deciding on that kind of stuff). Regardless of what kind of stuff you’re working with, don’t fight it. Accept all of the stuff and the mess or clutter that stuff brings and don’t fight it! Rest assure that the stuff will eventually find it’s home after the wedding and in the meantime, it’s exactly where it’s supposed to be- piled up in your extra bedroom embarrassing you whenever guests come over. 

5. Be careful picking your invitation envelopes- size is money
Yup, when you are picking invitations, there typically isn’t a disclaimer that says “90% of these invitations costs more than one stamp so don’t buy me”. Although, as far as I’m concerned… there should be!! The size of the invitation (and envelope) is everything. So if you’re on a rookie budget, do your research before you pick your invites and make sure the envelopes don’t require extra postage. (Not a cool wedding surprise for the bride-to-be)

6. Choose your usher carefully
The usher has the hardest, most thankless jobs of the day. Allocating tips, communicating to vendors, passing out ceremony pamphlets with a smile, unrolling the runner, you name it- the ushers are doing it! Make sure you choose carefully and you won’t have to worry about a thing!

7. Make a Pinterest board of photo ideas for your photographer
This will help you and your photographer have a similar vision walking into your day. It’s a great way to identify your own style and expectation for the day while also communicating that same style to the photographer. For extra credit: Make a list of “Must Have”, “Would like to have” and “Don’t need” pictures to share with the photographer as well. 

8. Call all of your vendors to confirm, ask questions, give directions
During the week of your wedding, call ALL of your vendors to personally confirm the details of the big day. Times, directions, addresses, specific tips, questions- cover everything because this may be the only time you actually get to talk to these professionals. (As much as you think you may have time to catch them on your wedding day to give them tips or ask last minute questions- don’t count on it) 

9. Get your engagement ring cleaned before the wedding and don’t wear it until the Rehearsal dinner or wedding
Because who doesn’t want their ring to be extra sparkly on the big day? Your jeweler should be available to do this… hopefully even for FREE! 

10. Perspective is everything. Life goes on after your wedding so make sure you are good to the people around you as you prepare (and they help you prepare) for your big day!
Yes, a wedding is extremely important, but the people in your life after your wedding are far, far more important. Keep this in mind when you’re preparing for your big day. Make sure you make them feel special, appreciated, and honored to be a part of your day…. because when it’s all said & done, it’s all about your new +1 and those important people that made it all possible. 

I hope these random tips help you prepare for your big day just a little more. Whether it’s saving you a few extra bucks, keeping your stress levels a little lower than before, or making you feel just a little less overwhelmed by the endless demands that come with planning a wedding, every little bit helps! Happy planning fellow brides!

Tune in tomorrow to see Bridget’s venue all dressed up for her big day! 
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

Leave a Comment

4 thoughts on “Top 10 Unique Tips & Tricks for fellow Brides

  1. Katie Mcnamara

    Your tips are dead on! I was married last October and did many of the things you suggested and had such an UNstressful wedding experience! Also, people told me to expect a few things (that no one will ever notice) to go wrong. They did and no one noticed. Congratulations 🙂

    Reply
  2. Maribeth Purtle

    Hey Bridget, your wedding decor and venue looked beautifully artistic . I am the hunter of the original vintage glass on your tables ( Aunt Maribeth, Lianes sista) your Playbook ideas are great and very inspiring. Luv ed the bar cart. You rookies would love this old timers house and really , really! really! love the treasures in the basement. Come for tea someday , would love to have you. Keep on junk’in ! Loved the winter white on the gals, Maribeth

    Reply
  3. Kevin Morrison

    Congrats Bridget and great tips indeed!! I love your color choice and wedding place. Pinterest and invitation envelop ideas are great. For marriage planning Leonard’s Palazzo’s Banquet Hall Long Island
    offers a prime location and the perfect ambiance for any occasion. –
    See
    more at: http://www.leonardspalazzo.com

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

4 thoughts on “Top 10 Unique Tips & Tricks for fellow Brides

  1. Katie Mcnamara

    Your tips are dead on! I was married last October and did many of the things you suggested and had such an UNstressful wedding experience! Also, people told me to expect a few things (that no one will ever notice) to go wrong. They did and no one noticed. Congratulations 🙂

    Reply
  2. Maribeth Purtle

    Hey Bridget, your wedding decor and venue looked beautifully artistic . I am the hunter of the original vintage glass on your tables ( Aunt Maribeth, Lianes sista) your Playbook ideas are great and very inspiring. Luv ed the bar cart. You rookies would love this old timers house and really , really! really! love the treasures in the basement. Come for tea someday , would love to have you. Keep on junk’in ! Loved the winter white on the gals, Maribeth

    Reply
  3. Kevin Morrison

    Congrats Bridget and great tips indeed!! I love your color choice and wedding place. Pinterest and invitation envelop ideas are great. For marriage planning Leonard’s Palazzo’s Banquet Hall Long Island
    offers a prime location and the perfect ambiance for any occasion. –
    See
    more at: http://www.leonardspalazzo.com

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Interviewing Mr. Fix-it

When we were offered the opportunity to interview THE Mr. Fix-it, Mr. Lou Manfredini, we just couldn’t resist! You may have seen him on the TODAY show as a Home & Garden Contributor, or if you’re from the Chicagoland area… on WGN News, WGN Radio 720, or as the host of Home Talk TV. 

If you’re not from the area, allow us to give you a quick run-down of how these shows work. As the host, Lou offers viewers the chance to call in to ask him questions about DIY projects around their home. He coaches the viewer and gives them his hall-of-fame advice.    
As DIY Rookies, we were thrilled with the chance to pick Mr. Fix-it brains and share all of his insight with you, our favorite readers. So with no further ado.. here’s what we learned in our rookie interview with the ultimate DIY MVP.
Name some basic tools that a new DIY’er needs to buy.
“Now the one thing I want people to know is when it comes to tools, you’ve got to play a little extra for good tools. If you’re going to build a small tool set, it’s really important to look for name brand tools that come with a lifetime guarantee.”

“So in your kit, you want to get a really good toolbox that you can store it all in.  You want to get things like a good set of screwdrivers, a good set of wrenches in both standard and metric sizes…A good utility knife, a good hammer, good tape measure, at least 25 feet long, a small level would be great for hanging pictures or doing any kind of work where you have to line things up, and I would do a one foot level which would be a pretty standard and could be used for a lot of different projects.  And then a saw of some sort, like a small hand cutoff saw, as a starter, and from there you build.”
Toolbox Essentials

What about power tools?
“If they’re going to buy a power tool, would probably be a decent cordless drill, and I would look for one that has a lithium ion battery.  And the reason is, the lithium ion battery, though they cost a little bit more, the battery holds its charge longer, and so once it’s charged, it will hold the charge for 18 months.  So when you need the thing to work, it’s ready to go!”

How would you determine whether a project should be hired out or whether a DIY’er can tackle it on their own? 

“This is a big one because you really do need to know your limitations.  I use the analogy of home improvement as a train ride.  So your first stop on the train is painting, ‘cause that’s something that you can do, there’s not a lot of risk.  You might spill some, maybe you don’t do a great job on the paint job, maybe you choose the wrong color.  Well, that’s okay, it’s just paint.”
when to diy and when to hire a pro

“Then from there, you graduate to carpentry, light carpentry work.  You know, whether it’s changing out some cabinet doors, or changing the hardware on the doors.  And then you go to plumbing.  But you have to ask yourself when you look at a project, wow, that’s big.  Could I make this worse if I try it myself?  Could I harm my house or damage it if I try this myself?  Or could I hurt myself or people around me if I tried this.  If you answer yes to one of those questions, chances are you need a professional to do this job.”

This is something that really challenges the new DIY’er.  A lot of times just pure intimidation keeps us from tackling a new project.  Do you have any advice to overcome that initial intimidation? 
“It’s all about building your confidence.  So, use the resources that are out there, that are available to you, the web, magazines, television shows, radio shows, whatever it is, and really try and learn as much as you can.  Like anything in life, knowledge is power.  And pay attention.  The great thing about the internet industry is the picture’s worth a thousand words.  I can read all the things in the world, but if this guy shows me how to change a tile and I see exactly how he’s changing that broken tile on the floor, that’ll give you the confidence to say, hey, I can do this.  And just really try not to bite off more than you can chew, and take your time.”


PS. Thanks to 3M for providing us the opportunity to interview Lou. The experience was so much fun, and these DIY Rookies really learned a lot along the way!
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Be Our Guest

Finn & I absolutely love love love when people come to visit. It’s like having a grown-up sleepover with your friends and family.

(Side note: Bridget & I totally believe that sleepovers are a “do” even for grown-ups! Why should you stop hanging out with your girlfriends, watching movies, staying up late…just because you’re an adult?! Ours will continue on forever, and hopefully our fort making skills will improve over the years.)

 But, there are some steps you need to take to make your guests feel truly welcome in your home. It’s more than just providing a comfy bed and a clean towel. It’s about making them feel at ease and comfortable, and making your space their “Home Away from Home.”

Guest Room Essentials

Here’s a little check-off list of things you might want to incorporate into your own guest room…

The Basics (a.k.a. T-Ball)

Towels in wicker basket for guests

-Clean Towels:  I would recommend providing at least a few for your guest. I’m a fan of all white, because then you can bleach those babies and keep them bright for years!

Towels in wicker basket
Extra pillows and blankets in guest room

-Extra Pillows & Blankets: You don’t want your guests tip toeing around at night in search of an extra blanket if they get chilly. Have everything right there, so they can cozy on up in your guest room. 

White nightstand with yellow target lamp

-Bedside Table with Lamp: This allows your guests to read in bed in the morning or at night, and also adds to the coziness of the space.

White Vintage Alarm Clock

-Alarm Clock: Some people might use their phones for alarm clocks, but give them the option of an old fashioned clock.

The Next Level (a.k.a. Minor Leagues)

Open Electrical Outlet

-Easily Accessible Outlet: This tip is often overlooked, but I feel it is very important. It seems like everything needs to be charged these days…phones, ipads, computers. So make sure you have an open outlet for your guests to charge up. Don’t make them crawl on the ground to find one, and then find out it is stuffed with cords from everything else in the room.

Water Decanter Cups

-Water: I’m the kind of girl that has a glass of water on my bedside table every night. I can’t go to sleep without it there. Offer this option to your guests too. You can keep water bottles in a cute basket, or fill up a glass decanter with fresh water.  It doesn’t need to be an eyesore…in fact incorporate it into the spa-like decor of your guest room.

Tissues

-Tissues: Keep some tissues on the bedside table, or tucked away in the top drawer.

Empty Wood Hangers
Vintage Luggage Rack

-Luggage Rack/Hooks/Extra Hangers: Living out of a suitcase is never fun, but you can make it a little easier on your friends. We have a cute little luggage rack (found at a flea market for $10) that I keep in the room. Extra hangers are also a must. If you’re looking to save space, over the door hooks are great to hold your guest’s wet towels, jackets, and bags.

Practically a Hotel (a.k.a. Major League)

iPhone Charger

-Extra Phone Charger: Often times chargers are overlooked when someone is packing. Anticipate your guest’s needs and have a spare charger all ready to go in your guest room. We have an extra iPhone charger, but it might be a great idea to have a universal charger for all types of devices.

-Ear Plugs & Eye Mask: These touches takes things to the next level and help create that spa and vacation atmosphere for your visitors.

Better Homes and Gardens Magazine Mason Jar with markers

-Entertainment: This could include old magazines or your favorite books.  If your guests will be staying awhile, you could even share some local magazines or newspapers that might give them some fun options while they’re in town.

Desk with Magazines Better Homes and Gardens
Pen and paper

-Pen & Paper: Because you never know when someone will suddenly have a great idea!

Black Basket
Basket with toothbrush, toiletries, ibuprofen

-Extra Everything: It’s always nice to have some toiletries on hand. I just buy mini versions of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.  Find a cute basket to put all of your mini bottles in and your guests will be blown away by your thoughtfulness. Also, be sure to put some pain relievers in the basket too.

-Mirror: Now this is one tip that we don’t follow, simply because we don’t have the room.  If we had the space, I would add a dresser with a mirror on top, so our visitors would have a place to get ready.

Yellow white and gray guest room
So what do you think? Will you come be our guest?
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

Leave a Comment

2 thoughts on “Be Our Guest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

2 thoughts on “Be Our Guest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

8 Tips for the Perfect Entryway

A home’s entryway serves many purposes. First and foremost it needs to be a functional place. A space that helps you get out the door quickly with everything you need for the day. 


But, it also needs to reflect your style and personality. The entryway will typically be the first space that guests view when they enter your home…so why not allow the area to reflect your style?
8 Tips for the perfect entryway foyer mudroom
Here are some tips to help you create the perfect entryway that is both functional and fashionable!
Keys in a white bowl on entryway table white picture frames books
1. Keys: This is my number one tip for an entryway…a place for keys. We typically go with a cute bowl that will hold car keys, house keys, mail key, etc. But, there are many other stylish options to keep all of your keys in one place. Choose what works best for you and your family and you’ll never lose your keys again. 
Boots in a vintage crate kay c draft root beer antique
2. Shoe Storage: We are not the type of household that takes off their shoes right when they enter the home (oops, should probably work on that!) But, if our shoes or boots are wet, muddy, or downright dirty…you are not getting through the hallway with them on. 
Hunter boots in vintage crate antique
I found this vintage storage crate and it now holds our dirty footwear. It’s also a good spot for soaking wet umbrellas on a rainy day! No more puddles on the floor…
Basket with winter scarves
3. Corral the Clutter: It seems the warm Spring months have finally arrived, but during the Winter there can be clutter up the wazoo around here. Think scarves, mittens, and extra coats galore. To keep everything at hand, I simply added a little basket to our front table. It holds bright scarves to quickly snatch up as I head out the door.
Coat Closet with cute blue knob
Hand pulling knob on closet
We are also lucky enough to have a nice little coat closet to hold more of our winter gear, along with coats and jackets. I added a cute knob (only a few bucks at Anthropologie) to put my own “touch” on this otherwise blah coat closet. Easy way to add a little personality when you’re a renter!

4. Add a Mirror: Every entryway needs a mirror! I repeat, every entryway needs a mirror! First, it is very functional. You can check yourself out before heading out the door, and make sure every hair is in place. Also, it can add so much light to an otherwise dark hallway or foyer. The mirror will catch the light and make a narrow hallway seem much grander. 

Wooden bench with pillows in front hall
5. A place to sit: Remember how we take those dirty shoes off before entering our home? Well, it is always nice to have a place for your tush as you’re taking your shoes off. That’s where our bench comes in handy. 
Table lamp with clear base Ikea
6. Let there be Light: A table lamp works well on a long console table. It casts a light glow at night, and gives an inviting and welcoming feel to the hallway. 
Front Hall with rug runner neutral colors table with lamp
7. Add a Runner: A long runner cozies up our hardwood floors. Remember where I got this bad boy? ($3 at Goodwill!) Make sure your runner isn’t too close to the front door. You want the door to be able to swing freely open.  Also, invest in a rug pad to keep your runner in place.
White Ikea Table in Entryway Books Keys Frames
8. Let your Personality Shine: This may be my final tip, but it is an important one! There are many ways to add a bit of your style and personality to an entryway. Your favorite books? A fun picture? A family monogram? They’re all great ways to show off who you are and what your home is all about.
White Frames with picture and F monogram
Young House Love Book Antique Globe
DIY Subway Art
We proudly display our Subway Art (DIY tutorial here) in our front hallway. It shows all of the stops between our hometown and our current home and is a nice reminder that family is only a train ride away. 
Front Hallway Table with lamp keys and books on it
So there you have it 8 tips to make the most out of the first room in your home!

Bridget’s command center is another DIY project that I may add to my to-do list for our own entryway. It’s a fabulous way to stay organized, in style. 
What do you guys think makes up the perfect entryway? Anything else you have in yours that you want to share? 


TGIF… We can’t wait to see you back next week! We have an ENTIRE week of mother’s day gift ideas planned. Meaningful gifts, free printables, and a tribute to our two favorite women. Tune in for ideas on how to spoil the important ladies in your life. 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.