Category Archives: DIY Tutorial

Our New Ceiling Fan and 10 Tips to Install your Own

new-ceiling-fan-for-bedroom

Ever since we moved into our condo (about 1.5 years ago…time is flying!), I have been meaning to swap out the ceiling fan in our master bedroom.

before-ceiling-fanIt worked just fine, but wasn’t entirely our style. The wood matched the color of our hardwood floors before we stained them darker. So this light wood fan, just didn’t really seem to go with anything else in the house.

old-ceiling-fan-bedroomAt night I would lay in bed and stare up at it thinking, “I have to get a new fan!” I would also think, “Dang. I need to get up there and dust. I can see the dust bunnies from down here!” My least favorite place to dust…

ceiling-fan-black-bedroomWell, I’m so happy that I finally followed through on this task and we now have a new ceiling fan! I’m not gonna lie, I had every intention of making this a “How to Install a Ceiling Fan” post. But then once I installed it and realized how many steps there are…I decided to just offer some of my tips and tricks that I learned along the way. Plus every ceiling fan will come with a different set of instructions, so I figured a step-by-step tutorial on how my fan was installed might not be as helpful.

black-casablanca-fanI’m not gonna sugar coat it, this was by far the most challenging electrical DIY project I’ve tackled. It wasn’t necessarily super difficult…but it was time-consuming, hard to lift up a heavy fan to the ceiling, and there were so many wires to connect.

But with that being said, this is definitely a DIY project that you can tackle if you feel comfortable working with electrical. Bridget and I have installed light fixtures, swapped out outlets, and installed new light switches…so I felt okay trying this project myself. However if you are nervous, or if this is your first electrical DIY, then I suggest calling in a pro. Safety first, right?!

But for those of you interested in DIY-ing this installation, here are my top 10 tips.ceiling-fan-tips

10 TIPS TO INSTALL A CEILING FANnew-ceiling-fan-black

Choose the Right Fan

casablanca-black-ceiling-fanFirst, find the right sized fan for your space. The bigger your room, the bigger the fan you’ll need. Here are some general guidelines…

  • 36″ diameter = Longest Wall in Room is < 12 ft
  • 42″ diameter = Longest Wall in Room is between 12-15 ft
  • 52″ diameter = Longest Wall in Room is > 15 ft 

We ended up going with this one from Lowe’s because we absolutely loved the sleek look and the matte black finish. It’s contemporary, simple, and classic. lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-wide-shotI actually first found this fan when we ordered it for our Lowe’s Home Makeover. I loved it so much and vowed that when we changed our own fan I would get this one!

Make Time During the Day

installing-new-ceiling-fan

I assumed this project would take about 1 hour from start to finish, but I definitely underestimated the time. Give yourself at least 2-3 hours of uninterrupted time to get this project done. I also advise doing this during the day time since you will need to turn the power off in the room and you’ll need light to see what you’re doing!

Enlist a Buddy

When it comes to DIY projects like this one, I often prefer to work alone (or sometimes with Bridget). However, this is definitely a 2-person job. You may need someone to hold the old fan while you disconnect the wires, you’ll need a helper to hand you things while you’re up high on the ladder, and you’ll want a buddy to help you lift up the new heavy fan to the ceiling.

Finn graciously helped me out for this project on a Sunday afternoon. It was the only afternoon we had available to get it done, and he was sweet enough to pause football to help me out. I told him it wouldn’t take more than an hour and he agreed. Obviously it took much longer than I told him (see tip above…), but he was a trooper.

First, Read The Directions Completely

I often like to dive right into a project and figure it out as I go. But this is not the time to be doing that. Instead read the directions that come with your fan completely from start to finish before you even get going. This will save you a lost of time & frustration later on #trustme

Layout All the Parts

Make sure you get out ALL of your supplies before you get started. Open the box and layout all of the supplies neatly, and be sure to have all of your DIY tools on-hand too (including a flashlight!) We made the mistake of putting out the supplies on our kitchen island, instead of near us in the back where we were doing the project. This resulted in a lot of back and forth from the kitchen to the bedroom. Learn from our mistake and keep all supplies nearby and neat!

Turn Off the Powerturn-off-power-electricity

When I do electrical projects, I often get kinda scared and turn off power to the entire house so there’s no chance of getting hurt. However, because this was in the middle of a winter day, we didn’t want to turn the heat off, the DVR off (remember…it was a football Sunday), or the oven (food was in there cooking away!) Instead we just shut off the power to the bedroom and carefully tested to make sure the wires were safe. Whichever method you choose, just be safe and double-check that there is no electricity flowing to your work area.

Be Prepared for an Arm Workoutladder-towels

Because you’re up on a ladder…holding heavy objects…reaching up towards the ceiling, you’re bound to get in a very good arm workout with this DIY project. My arms were burning by the end of this one. Not only was it a bit hard to hold the new & old fans when they weren’t connected, but just tightening screws with your arms over your head is a burner! No visit to the gym needed on install day. Yes!

Get Ready to Drop Things (But Don’t Get Too Frustrated!)

I can’t even tell you the amount of times I dropped a tiny screw or wire cap while doing this project. When you’re up on the ladder trying desperately to screw things in, you’re bound to drop things. So just know that it’s totally normal & okay.

I did get pretty frustrated with this project, and I want you to learn from me and ease up a bit. All I wanted was for this dang fan to be installed, and the small setbacks of dropping items really made my blood boil. But that meant that I was more tense when screwing things in and wasn’t 100% paying attention..which resulted in more mistakes. Instead take a breath and keep moving forward. You got this!

Invest in a Wire Cutter

My toolbox didn’t have a wire cutter, but I ended up purchasing one for this project. This is a must as you’ll have to shorten lots of the wires from the fan to connect to the ceiling wires. So be sure to pick one up from the store before you get started!

Make Tight Wire Connectionsrewiring-electricity-fan

Because you’re connecting wires from the ceiling, the light, and the fan there will be tons of wires to connect. Be sure you’re making tight connections and really twisting your wire caps on. I had 1 loose connection between some of the wires and when I went to turn on the power to see if the fan was working, nothing happened! Once I took everything off again I realized it was because one of the small wires had slipped away. Make tight connections for a successful & safe install!

Choose the Right Direction for the Season

ceiling-fan-remote-controlOur new fan came with a remote that controls the light, fan intensity, and direction of the fan. Did you guys know that you should change-up the direction of your fan depending on the time of the year? Yep, crazy right?! In the summer, have it spin counter-clockwise to move the air down to cool your room. In the winter, have it spin clockwise to draw air up and force warm air down #whoknew

Celebrate your Hard Worknew-ceiling-fan-for-bedroom

Even though it wasn’t the easiest DIY project I’ve done, it was one that was well worth it. I am in love with our new sleek fan, and it has really upgraded the entire look and feel of our space. new-black-ceiling-fan

But it doesn’t just look good, it works really well too! It’s practically silent and doesn’t wobble at all when the fan is on full blast, and the LED light really brightens up the room. ceiling-fan-black-bedroom

I’m so happy to finally cross this task off our new home to-do list and couldn’t be happier with our purchase! Plus, this touch of black has me eager to add in a few more small touches of black to this space. Nothing crazy…but I’m thinking of a couple of ideas to incorporate this classic color into our master bedroom space. casey_sig

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5 thoughts on “Our New Ceiling Fan and 10 Tips to Install your Own

  1. Trang

    Great job! It looks wonderful.
    And hey, you had talked about working out and getting fit right??? What a creative way to work out the arms! haha.

    Reply

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5 thoughts on “Our New Ceiling Fan and 10 Tips to Install your Own

  1. Trang

    Great job! It looks wonderful.
    And hey, you had talked about working out and getting fit right??? What a creative way to work out the arms! haha.

    Reply

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How to Organize your French Door Refrigerator

organize-fridge

[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!]

Even though I’m a fairly organized person, I have a really hard time keeping our refrigerator organized. In fact, my husband always prefers to unload the groceries because I usually just throw items in willy-nilly and I certainly don’t utilize all of the valuable space inside the fridge.finn-chopping-kitchen-1

Finn is so good at spatial organization. He’s our go-to guy for packing up the car for road trips, making all of our bulk items from Costco fit in our cabinets, and (of course!) organizing our fridge. It doesn’t hurt that he does all of the cooking in our household too. (I know…I’m one lucky gal!)

maytag-refrigerator-kitchenOur new refrigerator from Maytag was a new (exciting!) challenge for him as he now had to figure out how to efficiently use a fridge with French doors. Since we’ve lived with the new fridge for a few months now, I figured it was time to share what we’ve learned when it comes to organizing a French door refrigerator.

organize-fridgeHere’s how to maximize the space in your fridge, while keeping your groceries fresh for as long as possible.

Condiments on the Doors

condiments-hot-sauceThe doors are the warmest part of the fridge, so you want to make sure that you don’t put anything there that simply can’t get warm (I’m looking at you milk!). Instead, this is the ideal spot for condiments. Since condiments have preservatives, they’ll stay just fine in this part of your fridge.

Leftovers at the Toporganized-maytag-refrigerator-1

We like to put our leftovers right out in the open where we can see them. That makes it way more likely for us to eat them. The worst thing is having delicious leftovers that you put in the back of the fridge and forget to eat. Instead we like our leftovers right at the top of our fridge.

Adjust the Shelves

veggies-fridge-organizedAnother tip? Make your fridge layout work for you. Don’t be afraid to adjust the height of the shelves so you can make the fridge work for you and your family. Taking a little bit of time now to get this all set will save you lots of time later on.

Wine Storage

wine-fridgeWe recently purchased this inexpensive wine bottle holder and it has been a great addition to our fridge. We used to always have wine bottles taking up space on the drink level, but now we can lay these flat on a shorter shelf. wine-bottles-fridgeI suggest looking into a few budget-friendly fridge organizers to take your refrigerator to the next level!

Utilize the Deep Pull-Out Tray

platter-tray-fridgeThe wide deli drawer is BY FAR our favorite part of our new Maytag refrigerator. The pull-out tray at the bottom is amazing. It’s sooooo deep and you can fit so much in there. party-platter-tray-maytagI’ll admit on the weekends this area usually holds a pizza box, but it’s also a great space for veggie trays or party platters. We also keep all of our cheese and deli meat in this compartment too.

Keep Dairy in the Back

grapes-fridge-dairy-maytag-1Dairy items should be kept in the very back where the fridge is the coldest. We’ll put our almond milk and yogurt in the back of the fridge so it stays fresh as long as possible.

Separate Fruits & Veggies

peppers-fridgeThe humidity is regulated in the fruit and veggies drawers to keep your produce tasting great.  humidity-crisper-maytagWe used to just throw all of our produce in 1 drawer, but utilizing these separate spaces has made a big difference for us. We’ll put fruit in the low humidity side, and vegetables in the high humidity side.

Wash & Chop Right Away

veggies-cut-tupperwareThe best way to get yourself to snack on fruits & veggies is to have it handy! Immediately when we get home from the grocery store, we will wash and chop everything. chopping-vegetables-peppers-finnCelery, broccoli, and peppers will be cut so they can easily be hummus dippers.berries-fridge-colander-1 Berries will be rinsed and added to this cute little colander so they’re quickly added to yogurt and cereal. And grapes are washed and put in a bowl for convenient snacking! Doing this task right away will help you make more nutritious choices when your hunger kicks in.

Label Tupperware

leftovers-labelThis is something we recently started doing, but it has been a game changer for our household. Whenever we do cut up veggies or do Sunday prep for the week, we always separate our prepared food into tupperware. Often times we would forget how long items were in the fridge, and we’d end up tossing them too early, or too late. Now, I take a piece of washi tape and a pen and I write the prepared date right on there. It takes 2 minutes and keeps everything much more organized in our refrigerator.

kitchen-new-maytag-fridgeSo there you have it. Some of the tips we practice on a regular basis to keep our fridge looking good and organized. And I must add that the outside of the fridge stays just as neat as the inside, thanks to the fingerprint resistant stainless steel. What a game changer for this household (no more wiping smudges away constantly!)finn-organizing-fridge

And a special thanks to this guy, who always keeps the fridge in tip-top shape and me well fed.

casey_sig

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4 thoughts on “How to Organize your French Door Refrigerator

  1. Trang

    We do the same thing with our veggies after we come home from the store: cut them up and put then in containers. We are huge veggie and homemade black bean hummus snackers (Ha- I’m actually snacking on some as I type this), and this makes it super convenient and allows us to not stray to the bad snacks. We cook in bulk every weekend so our fridge is filled with food storage containers and by Friday, it’s empty again.
    I spy a Bailey’s in your fridge (sweet!) – I didn’t know you are suppose to refrigerate that. I need to get better at labeling.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Homemade black bean hummus? That sounds delicious!

      And have you ever tried blended Baileys? Just baileys blended with ice…it’s amazing! We had it in the mornings when in Mexico…perfect coffee like drink to start the day 🙂

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4 thoughts on “How to Organize your French Door Refrigerator

  1. Trang

    We do the same thing with our veggies after we come home from the store: cut them up and put then in containers. We are huge veggie and homemade black bean hummus snackers (Ha- I’m actually snacking on some as I type this), and this makes it super convenient and allows us to not stray to the bad snacks. We cook in bulk every weekend so our fridge is filled with food storage containers and by Friday, it’s empty again.
    I spy a Bailey’s in your fridge (sweet!) – I didn’t know you are suppose to refrigerate that. I need to get better at labeling.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Homemade black bean hummus? That sounds delicious!

      And have you ever tried blended Baileys? Just baileys blended with ice…it’s amazing! We had it in the mornings when in Mexico…perfect coffee like drink to start the day 🙂

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Organizing a Fauxdenza and Hiding a Printer

diy-fauxdenza-organization-mail-box

Yesterday I shared details about the DIY Fauxdenza we added to the office and today I’m back with the details on how this stylish piece adds a TON of secret storage to this space.diy-fauxdenza-organizationYou can see the fauxdenza if you stand in the kitchen/family room and look down the hall. It looks sleek and brings a hint of the light wood we have in the front of the house into the back of the house. But believe it or not, my favorite part isn’t the cute look. Instead it’s how much secret storage is hiding right there in plain sight.

Secret Storage
diy-fauxdenza-tutorial-10

If you looked at this petite cabinet, you would probably never guess how much stuff is in there…. including our printer! diy-fauxdenza-organization-hidden-printerEven I was surprised at how much stuff fit into these cabinets as I filled them up! Let’s take a look at the whole cabinet filled up and then I will break down exactly what I store in our very hardworking fauxdenza.  diy-fauxdenza-organization-with-printerThis is actually almost all of our office “stuff”. We keep two organized “junk drawers” in our kitchen with random items like scissors, tape, pens, envelopes, etc. I also keep some craft supplies (like a glue gun, party stuff, wrapping paper, etc.) in the office closet, but beyond those two places, this is the only office storage I have in the house. And the crazy thing is that I could downsize even more if I really tried. <— when I’m done with the office, my goal is to do just that.

I also want to note that I didn’t buy anything new to organize this fauxdenza. The adjustable shelves made it super easy to customize the spaces within the cabinets, which really helped me use items I already had around the house to organize. Maybe one day I’ll upgrade some of the boxes or do a better job of labeling, but overall I’m happy with the start of this secret storage.

The Printer
diy-fauxdenza-organization-printer

Hands down my FAVORITE part of this entire cabinet is the fact that it secretly holds our printer. Like I mentioned yesterday, we cut out a hole in the back of the cabinet so that the printer could plug-in while inside of this cabinet. When I send something to print, all I do is open up the cabinet and it’s there!

I know some people could be nervous about the heat of the printer inside of the cabinet, and I totally understand those concerns. This may not be the perfect solution for everyone but I don’t print that often in my house (maybe a couple of pages per WEEK) so it doesn’t work hard enough to ever overheat. I also keep it unplugged whenever it’s not in use.

However, one thing that is not perfect about this set-up is the ability to easily scan or copy from this location.

diy-fauxdenza-organization-wideI could have left space above the printer so that I could open the top of it and easily scan/copy but I thought the space in the cabinet was too precious. So whenever I have to scan or copy something, which is very rare, I simply pull out the printer and put it on the floor (while it’s still plugged in). I scan/copy while the printer is on the floor and then place it right back on the shelf. It’s not the perfect set-up but I’ll take that small inconvenience every so often if it means that I can hide my printer.

Other Storage
diy-fauxdenza-organization-shelf-diyplaybook-cards

The next shelf is home to my photo albums from years ago and these drawers that I got at HomeGoods awhile back. The drawers are awesome because they hold lots of “odds and ends” like pens, mini notebooks, ink pads, etc. diy-fauxdenza-organization-photo-storageI bought these white organizers from IKEA a few years ago and I really love that they hide your books, papers, or spirals. I’m hoping to eventually get a few more of these for all the binders I’m currently storing in here. (more on that in a second)diy-fauxdenza-organization-mail-cords

The next shelf is home to all of my mail essentials, washi tape, nail polish, cords, and a receipt organizer.
diy-fauxdenza-organization-mail-boxRemember when I DIY-ed this two toned box? I still love it and still use it the exact same way as before — to store stamps, envelopes, personalized address stamps, ink pads, etc. The floral file on top of it is the receipt organizer that I recently shared in this post and I am committed to maintaining it this year. So far my receipts are definitely more organized, but I still have some work to do in keeping it that way for the long run. diy-fauxdenza-organization-shelfThe glass jars in the back are home to some mini paintbrushes, pens, markers, and the other white jar is filled with all of my nail polish. Having a few open bowls in here for other odds and ends has been super helpful, especially for corralling cords.
diy-fauxdenza-organization-wire-bowlI keep my camera’s USB cord in there along with headphones and honestly whatever other cords are lying around at the time. Having them in the bowl makes grabbing them super easy and putting them back in the right place even easier.

Even More Storage!
diy-fauxdenza-organization-with-printer

The left side of the fauxdenza has even more secret storage! diy-fauxdenza-organization-12The top row is some of my camera supplies, like extra lenses and my instax mini that I pull out every once in a while. I DIY-ed the polka dot greeting card organizer a few YEARS ago and still use it all the time. I keep all of my cards and stationery in this box, which has been so helpful for me… especially when I forget a special occasion. I can easily go through my collection and quickly get a card in the mail without running out and having to buy one. Plus, I try to stock up on cute cards when they’re on sale to save some money.  diy-fauxdenza-organization-boxes

This shelf is home to lots of boxes that each contain a little something different. The bottom left, striped box is full of old chargers, batteries and those kind of things… they’re mostly all Matt’s so I’m not entirely sure what’s in there. The white and blue box on top of that one is home to our external hard drives and other computer essentials (aka more chargers). The other white box is home to our extra printer cartridges. And the navy box is full of extra computer paper and some scrapbook-y paper for crafts, cards, or gift tags.diy-fauxdenza-organization-14And last but not least is this shelf of books and binders. This is the shelf I hope to add the IKEA organizers to someday so that I can keep them even more corralled than they are now. Some of these binders are for the DIY Playbook (taxes, contracts, random info) while the others are for our household. But when I was adding these binders to the fauxdenza I realized that I could probably go through a lot of them and downsize my collection. <– Add it to the list.

#Obsessed

diy-fauxdenza-organization-secret-storageI always knew our new fauxdenza would add some necessary storage to our new office but honestly I never anticipated it would add this much storage. If you haven’t figured it out so far, I’m pretty obsessed with this addition to our office. If I end up loving every new piece as much as I love this one, our office is going to pretty darn awesome (at least in my eyes)!

Unfortunately I don’t have any specific office updates on the calendar coming up but as I make more decisions (and progress!), I will keep you guys updated. In the meantime I hope you have an awesome weekend. If you’re from the Chicagoland area, we’d love to see you at the Old House, New House Show in St. Charles. We’re presenting on Sunday at noon (eek!) and would love to meet you!!   bridget_sig

Weekend Sales

  • LOFT – They have some great Valentine’s Day sales going on!
  • West Elm – 20-30% off sofas, chairs, & sectionals! Currently lusting after this chair #hearteyes
  • Express – 30% off dresses…loving this one for warmer days ahead!
  • Ann Taylor – $50 off Dresses with Code “DRESS50”
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Adding a Fauxdenza in the Office

diy-fauxdenza-tutorial-8

Office Updates
white_paint-door-office-after

The last time I checked in the office had just been painted. After a little hesitation, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone by choosing to paint my walls white for the first time ever! Since the office is pretty darn empty right now, the white does seem a little stark… and very plain… but I’m confident (and excited) to see how this looks transforms the space after we continue to bring in more furniture and decor. But before we get into the latest update (the DIY fauxdenza that I’m currently obsessed with), I need to back track a bit.

Office Floor Plan

Some of you mentioned that it would be really helpful to see a floor plan of this space. Thank you for that suggestion… I should have thought of that from the beginning! Here’s a very rough draft of the floor plan of the office and the layout I hope to use for the furniture. The scale is not perfect, especially with the furniture, but I hope this snapshot gives you a better sense of the layout. As we dive into the fauxdenza details today, you can see exactly what part of the room it’s in.

Inspiration

guest-room-fauxdenza-minted

Okay… now onto the fun part — fauxdenzas! Ever since Casey added one to her guest room, I’ve been pretty obsessed with the look. Not only is it super stylish, but it offers a TON of storage. AND I love that fauxdenzas can be totally customizable and are pretty darn affordable. My office is small and finding a piece of furniture that offers storage, but is still slim enough to fit in this space, has proven to be a challenging task. lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-fauxdenza-tv-plant

I always thought that I would someday add a fauxdenza into our small home because of the size + storage. I originally thought maybe I would add it to our someday nursery as a changing table but after we tackled this one as part of the Lowe’s Fall Makeover, I didn’t want to wait any longer to get to work on adding one in our home.

So when the office makeover popped up, I knew it was the perfect time to experiment with this DIY project. But instead of going with the dark wood like we did two times prior, I was excited to step outside my comfort zone once again and try something new!

DIY Fauxdenza with a light wood finish

Specific IKEA items used:

Total Cost for Cabinets and Wood: a little more than $200
diy-fauxdenza-tutorial-10

And that’s when I decided to go with the light, more natural looking wood to surround my DIY fauxdenza. I am so in love with the new look and so happy that I stepped outside my comfort zone (it wasn’t easy since I love the look of Casey’s so much!).
diy-fauxdenza-tutorial-2

Step by Step Fauxdenza Tutorial

We teamed up with Zillow to create a step-by-step guide in assembling and hanging a DIY fauxdenza. If you’re looking to DIY your own, be sure to check that tutorial out here. Much like Casey did, I attached this IKEA wall bracket to the wall and hung the IKEA cabinets about 7 inches off of the ground.
diy-fauxdenza-tutorial-3But one thing I did do differently was cut out the back of the cabinet so that items inside of the cabinet could get plugged in while being hidden inside. (Secret Storage for the win!)

We’ll get to exactly how I’m using that outlet soon, but let me first tell you how much of a GAME CHANGER that was.
diy-fauxdenza-tutorial-6I hung the cabinets on the track and started attaching the new wood (specific details here). I used thick plywood from Lowe’s for the project and added an iron-on wood veneer edging to make the edges of the plywood appear to be finished. The wood veneer I used actually matched my wood pretty perfectly, but you can stain the veneer to match your wood if you need to. diy-fauxdenza-tutorial-8

Rookie Mistake

Just to be safe, I did exactly that. I treated the veneer the exact same way that I did the rest of the wood.

diy-fauxdenza-stain-brush-finishI used one coat of Pre-stain conditioner and brushed on three coats of protective finish.

Rookie Mistake: If I were to do this project again (or any project that required light, more natural looking wood) I would NOT use the wood conditioner. Instead, I would start with a wood wax and then add the protective finishing coats. The stain had a slight yellow-orange undertone that I did not love. Luckily the wood dried more natural than I thought it would after I applied the first coat, but I wouldn’t advise others to use the oil based wood conditioner if you want more of a natural wood without the yellow/orange undertone. And technically I didn’t even need to use the pre-stain coat since I didn’t plain on staining the wood. #rookieprobs 
diy-fauxdenza-tutorial-9Somehow the wood turned out and I still loved the natural look! <— Thank goodness because thick plywood is not cheap and I wasn’t eager to buy and cut a whole new board for $50.

I eventually hope to add pulls to my DIY Fauxdenza but I’m waiting for more of the room to come together to make this decision. I’m leaning towards something sleek and black but I’ll know more when we make more progress in here. Any suggestions?

Secret Storage for the Win!
diy-fauxdenza-office

Excuse the imperfection, but here’s a picture of what the room looks like this very second. I hope this shot gives you a better sense of the lay-out of the room and ALL that’s still left to be done in here!

Although there is still lots left to do, I’m super excited that this space is starting out organized! Wait until you see how much I was able to store in this fauxdenza. Spoiler Alert: The printer is in there… plugged in and totally functional!! Make sure you tune in tomorrow for all the details!
bridget_sig

 

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10 thoughts on “Adding a Fauxdenza in the Office

  1. Allison Hanley

    I’m curious as to why you plan on anchoring the side of the desk on th wall. Have you thought about turning it 180 degrees and floating it in the middle of the room?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      That’s a great idea, Allison. I originally had it set like this because it’s close to the outlet (for when we charge our computer) and because I originally planned to have two chairs (to make it a working desk for two). But I’m definitely going to play around with the layout and see what it looks like! Thanks for the idea =)

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10 thoughts on “Adding a Fauxdenza in the Office

  1. Allison Hanley

    I’m curious as to why you plan on anchoring the side of the desk on th wall. Have you thought about turning it 180 degrees and floating it in the middle of the room?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      That’s a great idea, Allison. I originally had it set like this because it’s close to the outlet (for when we charge our computer) and because I originally planned to have two chairs (to make it a working desk for two). But I’m definitely going to play around with the layout and see what it looks like! Thanks for the idea =)

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Finding the Perfect White Paint Color for the Office

zillow-how-to-paint-a-room-14

Happy Friday, I hope everyone is having a great week!! Before we sign-off for the weekend, I’m excited to check-in with some office progress. For those of you who are just joining us, you can get caught up on our plans to transition our current guest room into an office here.
guest room

The Plan

Long story short this room used to be our guest room. Because it’s the brightest room in the house and we only use it as a guest room 10 out of the 365 days per year, we decided to transform it into an office that will allow us to get a lot more use out of it. When you live in an 1,100 square foot home, using every square inch wisely is important! neutral_office_inspo-07-pm

You can read more of our plans in this post, but here’s a mood board of what I’m envisioning for this space. I want it to be light, bright, minimalistic yet very hardworking.

Office Floor Plan

Office Floor Plan

Some of you also mentioned that you would really love to see a floor plan of this space to visualize what is where. (Why didn’t I think of that?!) Here’s a rough sketch of the floor plan of this space and the furniture I have planned (tentatively). With the fauxdenza and shelves, I hope to add our own style and lots of secret storage but before we get to all that fun stuff, we needed to choose a paint color and get to work painting this space.white_paint-office-before

White WallsChoosing white paint

The guest room was originally painted with Benjamin Moore’s “Moonshine” when we first moved in. I liked the light grey because it was very versatile but I was never obsessed. This color showed blue undertones at different times of the day. I love blue but I was going for more of a pure grey in this space and I never felt like Moonshine fit that look. Plus, there were LOTS of holes in the walls from hanging shelves and art that used to be in here, so I knew that whether I wanted to change the paint color or not, I would still have to patch and paint.
white_paint-samplesI’m trying to test different looks and figure out if I enjoy living with these looks now so I have a better idea of what I want to incorporate in our forever house. One of the looks that I’m currently loving and want to see if I still love after living with it is white painted walls.

I’ve seen so many gorgeous white spaces recently so I thought this “new” office would be the perfect chance to see if that white paint is as good as I think it is in pictures. But believe it or not, choosing the “perfect” white paint was a lot harder than I anticipated!

Choosing The Perfect White

I looked lots of white paint swatches and narrowed it down to my top 3 choices. I wanted the paint color to be clean and bright but also with a warmish undertone. I really wanted it to feel warm and not super sterile because I was afraid that if the color was too bright white, it would look brighter than the trim and doors in this space. I was concerned that this would then make the doors and trim look old and dirty. #notgood
white_paint

So I bought a few samples and painted them next to the trim all around the room.

  1. Behr’s Ultra White (TOP)
  2. Behr’s Polar Bear (MIDDLE)
  3. Behr’s Falling Snow (BOTTOM)

I added each color right next to the closet door, but I also painted this same combo next to the window trim, base board, and in the darker corners of the room. I wanted to read the true color in all different parts of the room and at all different times of the day to make sure I was making the best decision I could.

Behr’s Falling Snow

Seeing the paint next to the trim really helped me narrow down the winner — Behr’s Falling Snow. I loved that this color was white and clean but still seemed like it had a bit of a warm undertone (at least in relation to my trim). The Falling Snow was also the winning contender because it didn’t make the trim look dirty.

white_paint-brush

Painting a Room – Tips & Tricks

You can get a full step-by-step tutorial on how we patched and painted this room here on Zillow’s blog. It was the first time I used bright pink spackle and I LOVED IT. Not only did it seem super crazy to slap on bright pink anything onto our walls, but magically when the spackle was dry the bright pink dried the color of traditional spackle. This made figuring out when each coat was dry super easy, which helped speed up the process just a bit. <— Every little bit helps, right?! white_paint-office-afterNow that the paint is dry, I’m SO excited about the bright and clean look of this space.
white_paint-window-after

Let the fun begin!

It does seem very plain right now with white paint right next to the white trim, but I’m so excited to add furniture and decor to this space so that these pieces can be the “stars of the show” rather than the wall color.
white_paint-door-office-after

Decorating around white walls is very new to me but I can’t wait to give it a try! Does anyone else tuning in have any experience with white walls? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks before we get started.

Next on the to-do list is building a fauxdenza so that our office has lots of secret storage. If all goes as planned, I’ll have more updates on this DIY Fauxdenza next week!

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8 thoughts on “Finding the Perfect White Paint Color for the Office

  1. Erin

    now i can really visualize the room!!! so much better. I’m digging on that rug! and the white! that’s definitely a bold statement, but i know it’ll be a nice refreshing change but still feel comfortable!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Erin! The rug wasn’t an actual rug (I wish), it was just an option from the floor plan website. However, I do want to stick with a light rug like this one. =)

    2. DIY Playbook

      This is actually one of my finalists!! I’m OBSESSED with this rug but am not sure if the sizes offered match my space the best. I’m still trying to make it work because it’s so good (and pretty darn affordable!). If I can’t make it work in here, hopefully I’ll find a home for this gorgeous rug someday.

  2. Kara D

    I’ve not used that pink spackle before, but I’ve used the primer that has the same concept, goes on pink and dries white. I love the idea but I’ve learned to avoid using it in rooms that get a lot of moisture (like the bathroom) because it kept turning slightly pink again whenever I showered again, and lighter paint colors required more coats to truly cover that up!

    I love that you are doing the white walls! Personally, I think white walled rooms need to have textures layered into them, because all solid/smooth surfaces would probably look/feel cold.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thank you so much for those tips about the pink spackle/primer. Honestly, I would have never thought of that but you are SO right. I can see why that would happen in a space that sees a lot of moisture, like a bathroom. Thanks for the tips!!

      As for the white paint, I couldn’t agree more. The more layer + texture = the better! Thanks Kara!!

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8 thoughts on “Finding the Perfect White Paint Color for the Office

  1. Erin

    now i can really visualize the room!!! so much better. I’m digging on that rug! and the white! that’s definitely a bold statement, but i know it’ll be a nice refreshing change but still feel comfortable!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Erin! The rug wasn’t an actual rug (I wish), it was just an option from the floor plan website. However, I do want to stick with a light rug like this one. =)

    2. DIY Playbook

      This is actually one of my finalists!! I’m OBSESSED with this rug but am not sure if the sizes offered match my space the best. I’m still trying to make it work because it’s so good (and pretty darn affordable!). If I can’t make it work in here, hopefully I’ll find a home for this gorgeous rug someday.

  2. Kara D

    I’ve not used that pink spackle before, but I’ve used the primer that has the same concept, goes on pink and dries white. I love the idea but I’ve learned to avoid using it in rooms that get a lot of moisture (like the bathroom) because it kept turning slightly pink again whenever I showered again, and lighter paint colors required more coats to truly cover that up!

    I love that you are doing the white walls! Personally, I think white walled rooms need to have textures layered into them, because all solid/smooth surfaces would probably look/feel cold.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thank you so much for those tips about the pink spackle/primer. Honestly, I would have never thought of that but you are SO right. I can see why that would happen in a space that sees a lot of moisture, like a bathroom. Thanks for the tips!!

      As for the white paint, I couldn’t agree more. The more layer + texture = the better! Thanks Kara!!

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6 Simple Ways to Finally Get your Receipts Organized

how-to-organize-receipts_-3

Real Talk: I’m a pretty organized person. I’m not perfect or obsessive about organizing but I can confidently say that if you were to stop by my house unexpectedly, it would look pretty close to the photos you see here on the blog… maybe without the fresh flowers all the time or the bed made on days when we leave for work extra early. Clutter around my house stresses me out (I wish it didn’t but it does) and opening a closet, drawer or cabinet to find clutter has the same effect. If I open a drawer and it looks disorganized or cluttered, I’ll take a few minutes right then and there to purge and organize and instantly feel more fulfilled. Believe it or not I actually like organizing!Built In boxes organization family room

Some of my students have a hard time keeping their binder, locker or backpacks organized and I actually love sitting down with them to “get organized”. Labeling, color coding, and sorting all bring me happiness. <— you should see my students’ faces when I tell them that I would love to help them get organized! ha!

The Problemhow-to-organize-receipts_-3

But as much as I love being organized, I just can’t get a handle on keeping my receipts organized and it has driven me crazy for YEARS. Now that it’s January, I’ve decided to finally tackle my receipts and figure out a system that will help me keep them organized and more importantly, accounted for.

As I did some Pinterest research on this, I found some really easy and creative options and decided to share a variety of ideas. Here are 6 easy ideas for us receipt hoarders to find a way that helps us get organized once for all! And the best part? They’re all super easy and very affordable!

1. Hidden In the Closet

This is actually the one component of my receipt organizing that currently works for me. This method is specifically for clothing and is perfect for those clothes you think you’re going to wear but don’t end up loving. Here’s how it works….receipt_organization-clothes-2

When I check-out at a clothing store and the cashier asks if I want the receipt with me or in my bag, I always choose to keep it in the bag (less clutter in the purse/wallet!). When I get home I  hang up the item in my closet and immediately staple or paper clip the receipt onto the item’s tag.

receipt_organization-clothesIf I don’t end up wearing the item or when I get home and don’t love the fit/color/style anymore, I always know where the receipt is to return it. All I do then is throw it in a bag and bring it back, and honestly I don’t detach the receipt until I’m in line at the store.

This method has really worked for me, but the only problem is that it doesn’t account for receipts for the items you do end up keeping/wearing. What should I do with the receipt of the large ticket items after I wear them, especially in case I find an imperfection after I wear it? Here’s where the remaining 5 ideas come in.

2. Monthly Organizing Planhow-to-organize-receipts_

I saw this monthly organizer at Target (in the office supply section) and thought this $7 item could be the answer to all my receipt problem. I labeled the 12 tabs in this pouch by month and plan to place each receipt into the right pocket based on the month I bought each item.

how-to-organize-receipts_-2However, I like the idea of separating the receipts based on categories (i.e. blog expenses, clothing, home, family, personal, etc.) too. We’ll see what works out, but I bought this pocket pouch for my purse and I’m loving the idea to pair it with #6 from this list.

3. Digitally Organize

receipts-683x1024

Image and tutorial via Simplify Days

This next option was fascinating to me because I would LOVE to get rid of as much paper as possible if I could. Unfortunately I know myself too well and know that converting hard copies of receipts and storing them electronically is not something I will stick to for the long haul. I did want to include this option into the round-up though because I know other people are amazing with technology and may love this method of organizing.

If you are one of those people, make sure to check out this post because it offers a step-by-step tutorial on how to use an app on your phone to transition all of your hard copy receipts into electronic files. This tutorial also dives into details on how to keep these electronic files organized, which is a super important step in going digital. If anyone else does this, I would love to hear more about it! With all of the blog expense receipts Casey and I save, having digital copies would be amazing… especially come tax season!

4. Eliminate Counter Top Clutter

Image and tutorial via Organizing Home Life

This next idea is not a permanent home for receipts or important docs, but it’s a great “holding place” for this clutter until you have time to address it. Since we live in a small house, there is not a ton of room in the front of our home to “hide” paperwork that is coming in from work, the mail, or the store. And our weekdays are usually pretty crazy with work and late nights blogging. I love this cabinet command center to immediately hide all of the annoying paperwork until we have time later in the week to organize/file it. Even though we have limited space, we definitely have a cabinet door available to tackle something like this so it’s on my radar to possibly tackle. Does anyone have one of these hidden gems? I would love to hear your tips before tackling my own.

5. In a Jar

Image via Ryan Benyi for AllYou.com

This project is SO easy but pretty darn genius! I love this option especially for people who describe themselves as disorganized. This is a great way to corral those receipts and keep them around but doesn’t require a ton of time to create or maintain. All you need is a large canister to drop in important receipts. For extra credit you can add a piece of   on the front as a label. The glass jar can be displayed (especially if it’s not glass and you can’t see through it) or added to a cabinet or closet. It’s super low maintenance but does what it has to do — collects receipts all in one place!

6. DIY Envelope Collectionhow-to-organize-receipts_-4

This is an idea I threw together using items I had around the house. It’s pretty much like my Target accordion organizer (#2 above) but it didn’t cost me anything and can easily be personalized. I used a ring (leftover from this Christmas Card project), a stack of envelopes, and a hole punch to create a DIY Receipt Ring. I love this because it allows you to add or subtract categories and it’s easier to manipulate because you can detach one of the envelopes if you need to.

how-to-organize-receipts_-5Since Casey’s husband takes care of all of the DIY Playbook’s finances, I usually TRY to save all my receipts and give them my pile monthly. In this system, I can make a blog expense envelope and easily take it off and give it to him when I see him. Then I can just add another envelope to the ring for the next month. I also love this because I can add an envelope for Coupons and easily take that off the ring when I head out to go shopping. Easy enough, right?how-to-organize-receipts

Any über organized receipt collectors tuning in? I want to hear ALL of your tips! I’m determined to make 2017 the year I finally get my receipt collections organized and I would love your help.

bridget_sig

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12 thoughts on “6 Simple Ways to Finally Get your Receipts Organized

  1. Erin

    i rarely save receipts, or really let me say most of my receipts are usually from the grocery store and/or target. if i have other receipts, I do keep them in a pile until I know for sure i’m keeping the item. Otherwise, i just make sure to keep an eye on my credit card purchases.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We feel ya, Erin! We really only hold onto every receipt for blog purchases so we keep everything in order when it comes to filing taxes. Piles of receipts are never fun!

  2. Summer Hogan

    Love all of these ideas! I still haven’t found the perfect system so I might try the envelops or just the jar lol! Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  3. DIY Playbook

    I love that idea Linda! We too shop at the same stores all the time, so that’s a great idea.

    And THANK YOU for the sweet words about the blog! We’re so happy you enjoy our content.

    Reply
  4. Anne Weber-Falk

    When you are shopping for clothes you can ask for gift receipts for the items. This way you can put that item’s own receipt on the tag and be able to file the original receipt where it needs to be.

    Reply
  5. Nicole

    Well I don’t think I’m quite as organized as you are Bridget, but I also do the envelope system. I typically keep three envelopes in my purse: one for gifts, one for apparel and other items I buy myself that have a high return likelihood, and the third for groceries and other low return item receipts. At the end of each month I take them out of my purse and put them in a shoebox with the dates on them. I tried pretty organizing envelopes but ultimately they just made me crazy! Good luck with your endeavor! Love the articles. P.S. I just ordered my first pair of Zella workout pants. Thanks for the tip!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      I’m trying to get organized but who knows it will last. I LOVE your idea and may need to add it to my list of things to try… thank you!! I especially love the shoebox at the end of the month. It’s easy yet super effective and sounds like a great way to re-use items we all have around the house!! Thanks Nicole =)

  6. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    Ohhh…receipts organizing…this is something, as a former accountant, I am a little obsessive about. I keep a small storage box in my desk that my husband and I use as a dump spot for receipts and the few bills that come in the mail. Once a week I go through them and enter them in my Money program (highly recommend using some program to keep track of everything you spend!) and then file according to card used in a filing cabinet. When we buy something online I print a PDF of the confirmation to my desktop and enter those once a week too. I have a recurring task on my phone to clean out the file cabinet and digital files once a month and I delete/shred most receipts (besides tax related ones, large purchases, etc.). I usually don’t bother keeping for possible returns since most stores can look up the receipts using the card paid (I do this ALL. THE. TIME. at Target). I know what we spend, the paper doesn’t overtake our house, and I’ve never had a problem returning! Good luck figuring out the perfect system for you!

    Reply

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12 thoughts on “6 Simple Ways to Finally Get your Receipts Organized

  1. Erin

    i rarely save receipts, or really let me say most of my receipts are usually from the grocery store and/or target. if i have other receipts, I do keep them in a pile until I know for sure i’m keeping the item. Otherwise, i just make sure to keep an eye on my credit card purchases.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We feel ya, Erin! We really only hold onto every receipt for blog purchases so we keep everything in order when it comes to filing taxes. Piles of receipts are never fun!

  2. Summer Hogan

    Love all of these ideas! I still haven’t found the perfect system so I might try the envelops or just the jar lol! Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  3. DIY Playbook

    I love that idea Linda! We too shop at the same stores all the time, so that’s a great idea.

    And THANK YOU for the sweet words about the blog! We’re so happy you enjoy our content.

    Reply
  4. Anne Weber-Falk

    When you are shopping for clothes you can ask for gift receipts for the items. This way you can put that item’s own receipt on the tag and be able to file the original receipt where it needs to be.

    Reply
  5. Nicole

    Well I don’t think I’m quite as organized as you are Bridget, but I also do the envelope system. I typically keep three envelopes in my purse: one for gifts, one for apparel and other items I buy myself that have a high return likelihood, and the third for groceries and other low return item receipts. At the end of each month I take them out of my purse and put them in a shoebox with the dates on them. I tried pretty organizing envelopes but ultimately they just made me crazy! Good luck with your endeavor! Love the articles. P.S. I just ordered my first pair of Zella workout pants. Thanks for the tip!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      I’m trying to get organized but who knows it will last. I LOVE your idea and may need to add it to my list of things to try… thank you!! I especially love the shoebox at the end of the month. It’s easy yet super effective and sounds like a great way to re-use items we all have around the house!! Thanks Nicole =)

  6. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    Ohhh…receipts organizing…this is something, as a former accountant, I am a little obsessive about. I keep a small storage box in my desk that my husband and I use as a dump spot for receipts and the few bills that come in the mail. Once a week I go through them and enter them in my Money program (highly recommend using some program to keep track of everything you spend!) and then file according to card used in a filing cabinet. When we buy something online I print a PDF of the confirmation to my desktop and enter those once a week too. I have a recurring task on my phone to clean out the file cabinet and digital files once a month and I delete/shred most receipts (besides tax related ones, large purchases, etc.). I usually don’t bother keeping for possible returns since most stores can look up the receipts using the card paid (I do this ALL. THE. TIME. at Target). I know what we spend, the paper doesn’t overtake our house, and I’ve never had a problem returning! Good luck figuring out the perfect system for you!

    Reply

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New Bedroom Light Fixture

zillow-installing-light-fixture-24

I wish I was writing this post about 6 months ago because that would have meant that I didn’t drag my feet on this decision for the past 6+ months and I finally made progress! But instead, I’m sharing my new bedroom light fixture today because I have hmm-ed & haw-ed for the past few months. I really just could not decide (and was probably just over thinking it the entire time) but I’m finally here to share some progress.
bedroom_rug_pillows_bench

Deciding on a New Light

If you guys remember from last year when I gave our room a mini “refresh”, I was really happy with the changes. But honestly I was not loving how our nautical-inspired light fixture fit into the new design. Not only was the silver finish all wrong for our now gold-infused room, but the nautical vibes were not working with the new modern look.bedroom_flush_mount_lightfixture-2

Don’t get me wrong, I still love this fixture… it’s just not right for the space anymore. And guess the best part of this story?! I was able to replace this light fixture ALL. BY. MYSELF.

Installing a New Light Fixture

You guys inspired me to swap out a light switch and outlet last year, when you insisted that it wasn’t truly that scary. I took the necessary precautions and changed my first light switch with your encouragement. This ultimately gave me the confidence to tackle this larger electrical project in my bedroom. And guess what?! It wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it was!

I’m sharing a detailed tutorial over on Zillow’s blog today. If you’re looking to change a light fixture and don’t have a lot of experience, definitely check out that step by step tutorial. As long as you take the necessary safety steps (I talk all about them in the post), I promise you can do this!bedroom_flush_mount_lightfixture-2

What Took so Long?!Room-4

You’re probably wondering why the heck it took me so long to decide on this new fixture (especially since I went with the most plain flush mount around!) and honestly I couldn’t agree more.

I looked at a LOT of light fixtures over the past few months, and as much as I wanted to try something a bit more “fun” or outside of my comfort zone, I ended up going plain and subtle. The fixture from CB2 was incredibly inexpensive (less than $75!), and was the perfect size for this small space.

I want our room to feel calm and soothing, and exotic light fixtures (although very gorgeous) felt a little too busy for our bedroom. One day I’ll go bold with a light fixture, but probably not in our bedroom.

Other Updatesbedroom-navyheadboard-roundmirror-pillows

I also added these buffalo check pillows into the room to make it a little more traditional-meets-modern, and I’m loving the new touch. I bought the pillow covers at IKEA and put them onto the pillows that were always there. This was a super simple touch but one that makes me love our bedroom just a tad more. Now I’m on the hunt for the perfect lumbar pillow… probably one that’s just a bit longer than this one.

Six months later than I thought, I’m glad to FINALLY be checking this mini project off our to-do list. I love our new light because it’s simple and actually lights up the room a lot more since it’s not a pendant narrowing in on one specific spot. And more importantly, I love that I made a decision and am happy with the results. Hopefully this momentum will give me the motivation I need to get a few other looming projects off of our to-do list!Room-3

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9 thoughts on “New Bedroom Light Fixture

  1. Trang

    Girl, I wouldn’t fret over taking 6 months to decide on making a change or doing something. I’ve lived in my house for almost 6 months and STILL haven’t gotten around to doing all the things that need to be done. Half of my back splash still needs to be grouted, base boards still need to be installed, decorative shelves need to be installed in the kitchen, the list goes on and on. Only last weekend did I finally put up blinds in the largest window (facing the street where everyone can see in)! I’ve decided to take 1 task a week and complete it. At this rate, I should be done by the end of the year right? Haha.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Haha thanks for the pep-talk Trang, that helps!! I guess I should just be happy it’s checked off the to-do list, right?! I struggle between wanting to get it done (and off the to-do list ASAP) but at the same time I don’t want to rush the process and choose something I don’t love. Such a balancing act! #slowandsteady

    1. DIY Playbook

      The nightstands are from World Market… I bought them a few years ago though. I haven’t seen them in-stock for a while, but I haven’t checked recently… maybe you’ll find a similar pair?

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9 thoughts on “New Bedroom Light Fixture

  1. Trang

    Girl, I wouldn’t fret over taking 6 months to decide on making a change or doing something. I’ve lived in my house for almost 6 months and STILL haven’t gotten around to doing all the things that need to be done. Half of my back splash still needs to be grouted, base boards still need to be installed, decorative shelves need to be installed in the kitchen, the list goes on and on. Only last weekend did I finally put up blinds in the largest window (facing the street where everyone can see in)! I’ve decided to take 1 task a week and complete it. At this rate, I should be done by the end of the year right? Haha.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Haha thanks for the pep-talk Trang, that helps!! I guess I should just be happy it’s checked off the to-do list, right?! I struggle between wanting to get it done (and off the to-do list ASAP) but at the same time I don’t want to rush the process and choose something I don’t love. Such a balancing act! #slowandsteady

    1. DIY Playbook

      The nightstands are from World Market… I bought them a few years ago though. I haven’t seen them in-stock for a while, but I haven’t checked recently… maybe you’ll find a similar pair?

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Simple DIY Ideas for a Successful Super Bowl Party

nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-snacks-chese

We may not watch a ton of football, but we’re always game for a little tailgating or homegating!nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-bears-tvWho could resist an excuse to get together with family and friends, while snacking on way too much unhealthy food?! We don’t do a ton of this throughout the season (our hubbies prefer to actually watch the games) but we do really look forward to it on the Super Bowl. Ask us who’s playing in the game and honestly, we probably don’t know but that NEVER stops us from having a great time and enjoying the tailgating atmosphere… snacks, commercials, half time show, and all! nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-full-party

We had so much fun putting together this homegating party for the Chicago Bears a few months back. We learned so many SUPER easy DIY projects along the way, and we think the Super Bowl is the perfect time to dive into the details. Whether you’re hosting a big party or trying to add a bit of creativity while you watch with a few others, here are 5 simple ideas to bring your Super Bowl Party game to the next level!

DIY Table Runner

Supplies: Roll of craft paper, Permanent marker
Time: 5-10 minutes

Creating a DIY Table Runner for your Super Bowl party is awesome because it’s so easy, adds a fun touch to any surface, and makes clean up easier!

nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-snacks-cheseWe used a roll of craft paper we had on hand and ran it right down the middle of Casey’s kitchen table. We taped it under the table to keep it out-of-the-way and in place, and then we got to work “decorating it” with a permanent marker. <– it’s seriously that easy! 

nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-appetizersWe looked up a few football plays on Google to make sure our pictures looked legit, but you can add whatever plays, messages, or cheers that you like. You can even use this table runner to label the food on the table.

Then after the party, simply remove the table runner and throw it away… taking all the crumbs and stains with it. How awesome is that?!

DIY Referee Bottles

Supplies: Roll of oversized washi tape (found at Michaels), Scissors
Time: 3-5 minutes

Creating these referee-inspired bottles took us 3-5 minutes, mostly because all you have to do is take the roll of black + white washi tape and adhere it to the water bottle, just like a sticky label.
nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-diy-waterbottlesThe one thing to keep in mind is that the washi tape roll that we bought was slightly wider than the label of the water bottle. Before we stuck the washi tape onto the water bottle, we pulled a long piece of washi tape and cut off about 4 stripes to make the width of the tape fit perfectly on the bottle.nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-diy-water-bottles

Then we removed all of the existing water bottle labels. You don’t have to remove every single sticky remnant of the original label because the new washi-tape will cover those spots, but removing the original label before adding the striped washi-tape does make the bottles look better in the end. nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-water-bottles

Five minutes later, your DIY referee water bottles are done and ready to be served!

DIY Football Drink Cups

Supplies: Paper cups, Extra thin washi-tape
Time: 5 minutes

nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-football-craftThese football cups are another fun way to add some personality and team spirit to your Super Bowl Party without breaking the bank… or investing a ton of time. It’s also a great way to get the kids involved in a little “project” before or during the game! nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-diy-football-craftWe chose orange and blue football cups for our Chicago Bears themed party, but any color combos will work and could be a great way to help fans of either team feel involved.

Literally ALL you have to do is cut little pieces of washi-tape and stick them on the paper cups. The vertical tape should be longer and the three horizontal pieces (the football’s laces) should be approximately the same length as each other but shorter than the vertical piece.

We also love the idea of using the washi tape to stick your favorite player’s jersey number on each cup. This would be a fun way to get guests involved and an even better way to make sure each person can easily keep track of their drink!

Self Serve Chili Bar

If you’re hosting, we love the idea of a self-serve chili bar because it encourages your guests to help themselves and not rely on you to serve them.
nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-chili-mug

We used these oversized mugs to serve up our chili, but we know this is not an option for everyone. Another way to cut down on dishes and creatively serve up the chili bar is actually an idea we stole from an event we attended last year because it was GENIUS!

At the event, the host provided Chinese take-out boxes and forks and that’s what they served the chili bar out of. It was so creative and so darn cool. All the guests grabbed the take-out container and filled it up with chili and their favorite toppings. It sounds kinda weird but it was so unique and really worked out well! Plus, it would eliminate a ton of dishes for the hosts. nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-chilinfl_chicago_bears_homegating-chili-barIf you had several crock pots or had friends that volunteered to bring a crockpot of chili, it could be cool to serve up a few different kinds of chili to make the chili bar even more delicious!

DIY Balloon Garland

This was the first time we tackled a DIY balloon garland and we are now huge fans! There’s definitely a few things we learned a long the way and a few things we would do differently next time around, but we’re glad we gave it a try because it’s a lot easier than we anticipated. Not as easy as the 5-10 minute projects above, but still very attainable.

Supplies: Mini Helium Tank (found at Party City), 2-4 different sized and colored balloons, fishing line, safety-pin
Time: 20-30 minutes

We bought a mini helium tank from Party City for this project and ended up having quite a bit of helium leftover, so we definitely plan on using the rest on our next project.

balloon-tanknfl_chicago_bears_homegating-balloonsOutside of the tank, we also picked up a variety of blue and orange balloons. Next time we will probably choose to add a few more colors but for the Chicago Bears theme, blue and orange worked just fine. We read a few tutorials that called for a sewing needle but we did not have one on hand so we made do with a safety-pin that actually worked just fine.
nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-blowing-balloonWe blew up the balloons…. nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-balloon-diy… and then tied them closed.balloon-garland-stepsThen we took the safety-pin to puncture a small hole in the bottom of the balloon. balloon-garland-steps-fishingThat hole is what we used to string the fishing wire through to attach the balloon. The fishing wire is what will keep all of the balloons connected.nfl_chicago_bears_homegating-balloon-garlandWe continued to add balloons, switching off color and size randomly, until the line of fishing wire was full. Then we tied the bottom of the fishing line to the bar cart and had the balloon garland float along the built-ins to add a serious pop of color and team spirit!

So what do you think, are these DIY Super Bowl Party easy enough to tackle (pun intended) before the big game?! We’re rooting for you and can’t wait for our favorite excuse to stay out late on a Sunday while chowing down on all of our favorite snacks! #CaloriesdontcountonSuperBowlSunday

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4 thoughts on “Simple DIY Ideas for a Successful Super Bowl Party

  1. Kara D

    I’m right there with you on the snacks, chats, commercials and half-time show! Yeah, yeah… I guess the game counts too (but that’s when I go get my food and chat….) I really like the paper runner and the washi-football lace ideas, very cute!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Kara!! Gotta love super easy DIY ideas that can make a big impact… especially using a lot of items we already had around the house. And most importantly, we’re glad we have some fellow commercial/half-time fans tuning in! =)

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4 thoughts on “Simple DIY Ideas for a Successful Super Bowl Party

  1. Kara D

    I’m right there with you on the snacks, chats, commercials and half-time show! Yeah, yeah… I guess the game counts too (but that’s when I go get my food and chat….) I really like the paper runner and the washi-football lace ideas, very cute!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Kara!! Gotta love super easy DIY ideas that can make a big impact… especially using a lot of items we already had around the house. And most importantly, we’re glad we have some fellow commercial/half-time fans tuning in! =)

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How to Add Trim to Plain Bifold Doors

primer-paint

Remember the doors we DIY’ed in April & Mike’s bedroom for the fall home makeoverlowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-closet-doors

They turned out soooooo good & really inspired me to take a look at the bi-fold doors in my own home.

I showed you guys the new doors in yesterday’s post, but today I’m ready to break down the DIY project for ya so you can DIY closet doors like these in your own home. doors-before-laundry

Here are the louvered doors that hide our laundry unit, HVAC, and hot water heater. They’re so dang crappy and I’ve been meaning to spruce them up ever since we moved in.

before-old-doorsNot only are they a bit of an eyesore, but they also allow a lot of noise to escape into the main room. Whenever the hot water heater kicks on, or we have laundry going, you can really hear it in the main room. Not the best when you’re trying to enjoy dinner or watch TV.

When we got our HVAC & hot water heater serviced, I specifically asked the technician if we would be able to remove the louvered door and instead put in flat panel doors that are a bit thicker. That way some of the noise would be muffled and it would look a heck of a lot better. He surveyed the entire area, and to my delight he said we could go for it! Yes! Bye, bye, ugly cheap doors.

laundry-door-beforeWith our new laundry, I knew it was time to get to this DIY project and spruce up the doors. While we did a blog post about the doors for the Lowe’s home makeover, we didn’t do a fully fledged tutorial. If you’re looking to recreate this project at home, I figured it might be helpful to give you a step-by-step for how I DIY’ed my bifold doors. paint-brush

Supplies

  • New Flat Panel Doors
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush, Tray, & Small Roller
  • Miter Saw
  • Nail Gun & 1″ nails
  • Liquid Nails
  • Sanding Block
  • Caulk & Caulk Gun
  • Painter’s Putty
  • White Paint
  • Black Handles
  • Drop Cloths
  • Saw Horses
  • Lattice
  • Tape Measure & Pencil
  • Safety Glasses
  • Laser Level

How to Add Trim to Plain Bifold Doors

Step 1

wood-door-laundry The first thing I did was order new flat panel doors. I ended up getting these oak ones and they were shipped within a week. Once they arrived, I removed the old ones and hung the new. I simply followed the directions to get the new ones up and secure. The doors came with a new track and hardware, so it wasn’t too difficult. I wanted to make sure the doors fit perfectly before I painted & added the trim. So once I ensured that they were good to go, I removed them and took them to the garage for painting.

Step 2 

painting-door

With the help of some sawhorses, I laid out the doors and got to priming. A small roller & tray got the job done, and I used my favorite primer. I put 2 coats on each side and also got the edges & creases.

Step 3primer-paint

With the doors drying, I put a thin coat of primer on every side of each piece of lattice. The mini roller came in handy to get these done very quickly.

Step 4dewalt-miter-saw

With the lattice & doors all primed and ready, it was time to get cutting. I started with the long vertical pieces and I measured 1/2 inch off of each edge of the door. For each bi-fold, I cut all 4 vertical pieces at once to make sure that they were all even. Then I attached them to the actual door, still leaving the 1/2 inch on each edge (so the door can easily open & close). wood-trim

To attached each piece, I used liquid nails as well as our pneumatic nail gun. liquid-nails

This combo will keep any piece of wood on there very securely.

Step 5wood-doors-trim

With all of the vertical pieces attached, I went ahead and cut the horizontal pieces of lattice. This took some trial & error to make each piece fit exactly between the verticals. doors-diy-woodI decided on a design with 3 rectangular boxes on each 1/2 of the door, so I ended up cutting 8 pieces for each. As I cut each one, I attached it to the door…until all of the wood was on there!

Rookie Tip: I ended up doing the laundry doors & the other 2 doors on different days, so my laundry door was done before the other 2. For the other 2 doors, I waited to add the horizontal lattice until I actually hung the doors up. I didn’t want the horizontal pieces to not line up perfectly, so I found it easiest to hang the doors up and then attach. I definitely recommend this route if you have more than 1 door to DIY, and use a laser level to make sure they’re perfect aligned. 

Step 6painters-putty

Now it was time to make my work look seamless. I filled the nail holes with Painter’s Putty (be sure to just ball it up and use it like an eraser on each little hole), and waited for that to dry. caulk-gun-doors

Then, I used caulk along every single seam of the wood to make it look that much more polished.

Rookie Tip: Keep a wet paper towel or rag nearby as you caulk, and clean up your lines as you go. We always use the method where you drag your finger behind your line of caulk. It gets messy on the hands, but you come away with a nice neat line of caulk on your piece. sanding-block

With the caulk & putty dry, I went around and sanded everything down to ensure it was smooth and ready for paint! Make sure you also use a rag to get rid of any dust & debris before you move onto the next step.

Step 7diy-doors-trim-laundry

I decided to hang my doors and then paint them. But you could always paint the doors at your work station, let them fully cure, and then hang them back up. Totally up to you!paint-doors-laundry

Using a roller & brush combo, I got to work painting the bi-folds with a white semi-gloss paint. behr-white-paint

After 3 coats, my doors were looking good with even coverage!

Step 8

black-closet-handlesFor the finishing touch, I added these sleek black handles to each door. Just use a drill and pilot bit to create your hole, and then secure the handle right on there.diy-closet-doors

They look 100x better than our old doors and I’m in love! diy-doors-handleskitchen-dining-laundry

It’s crazy how big of a difference the doors make in the entire space. I can’t believe I didn’t do this project sooner!laundry-closet-doorsHow_To_Add_Trim-To-Bi-Fold-Doors

 

Next DIY for me? Add trim around the perimeter of these closet doors so I can officially cross this area off our home’s to-do list!

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16 thoughts on “How to Add Trim to Plain Bifold Doors

  1. Kara D

    I’m thrilled you shared these plans, thank you. When you did them for the makeover – it reminded me that I hated my bifold doors in my bedroom when I first moved into my house. I’ve turned a blind eye on them since then. This seems like a not too challenging DIY project, thank you!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      So happy to help Kara! You should absolutely do this project. It’s not that bad. Once you get started you can easily get it done in a day. You got this girl!

  2. Mallory

    These are great! My sister has similar doors to your “before” and I suggested something similar to your DIY. Taking notes and waiting to see the trim tutorial before we tackle hers!

    Reply

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16 thoughts on “How to Add Trim to Plain Bifold Doors

  1. Kara D

    I’m thrilled you shared these plans, thank you. When you did them for the makeover – it reminded me that I hated my bifold doors in my bedroom when I first moved into my house. I’ve turned a blind eye on them since then. This seems like a not too challenging DIY project, thank you!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      So happy to help Kara! You should absolutely do this project. It’s not that bad. Once you get started you can easily get it done in a day. You got this girl!

  2. Mallory

    These are great! My sister has similar doors to your “before” and I suggested something similar to your DIY. Taking notes and waiting to see the trim tutorial before we tackle hers!

    Reply

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Video: Painting Tips & Tricks

i_heart_paint_organization-2

Remember back when we painted Casey’s guest room a deep dark navy?? Here’s a little refresher of the space for ya…View More: http://ginacristinestudios.pass.us/diy-playbook-guest-bedroom

We’re still in love with the bold color and have no regrets about going dark in this space! However we do regret that we created a fun little DIY video when painting and totally forgot to share it right here on the blog! #brainfart

valspar-paintSo today we’re going to give you a little blast from the past, with a quick video highlighting some painting tips & tricks.

Video: Painting Tips & Tricks

Painting Tip #1: When you close up the paint can, always use a rag and a hammer! This will prevent little bits of wet paint from flying out of the lid and splattering the ground around you. Instead place the rag on top of the can and hammer away! Seriously a lifesaver when it comes time to cleanup.

Painting Tip #2: Be sure to baggie up all of the outlet covers, switch covers, and wall plates when you paint a space. Labeling each ziploc bag is a great idea too so you can stay extra organized! It’s the worst to finish up a room and then have to search for all of the missing screws that go along with your wall plate covers.

changing_electrical_light_switch-9Speaking of outlets & switches, we recently shared an in-depth tutorial on how to change out your light switches all by yourself (no electrician required!) over on the Zillow blog. Bridget shared a few rookie tips when she DIY’ed the switch in her mini mudroom in this post, but this tutorial is much more in-depth and it walks you through each and every step. Be sure to check it out if you’re looking to change any outlets or switches in your home. bridget_and_casey_sig

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