Category Archives: DIY Tutorial

Replacing My Front Door Knob and Lock for Better Curb Appeal

Kwikset_Doorknobs_Locks-doormat

Disclaimer: We have partnered with Kwikset to bring you this post. All opinions & photography are our own and are not influenced by Kwikset. Thank you for supporting the brands that help support this blog!

About a year ago I seriously looked into changing out all of the doors throughout our house. The doors in my house are very builder grade and I’m not in love with the 6 panel/beveled design. Instead I wanted more of a craftsman door (similar to this one). I also wanted to switch out all of the hardware to solid black when we swapped out the doors.

I researched my options and came to the conclusion that this change would be a HUGE project, because it would require me to change not only the doors but all of the door casings. The project would also require me to hire a professional and spend a lot of money on the work itself and the material. Because I don’t view this house as our “forever house”, I ditched that idea and vowed to seriously consider this look in our next house.

new_garage_doorknobs_kwiksetWhen Kwikset approached us for the opportunity to team up, I combed through their site and was reminded of my love for black door knobs. At first I didn’t think this partnership would work (sadly) since I knew that new black door knobs were not really an option in this house. But then I stumbled upon their exterior options and had a major a-ha moment.

Why not add this gorgeous black hardware to our front door?! And more importantly… why haven’t I thought of this idea sooner?!

Front Door Upgrade

original_doorknob_lock_Our door knob was in rough shape from all the wear and tear it sees on a daily basis . Since we don’t have access to our home from the garage, we use the front door to enter/exit our house 100% of the time. This also means that when guests approach our house they see an old and outdated door knob. Not the best first impression and actually kind of embarrassing to look back at these photos.

This is when we enthusiastically agreed to partner with Kwikset to replace the exterior door knobs on my house with the sleek black ones I had been dreaming about for over a year!

door_before_garageThe weird part of our front door is that right next to it is the entrance to our one-car garage. If I was going to change the front door hardware, I needed to change the “side door’s” hardware so they matched.

I ordered this gorgeous doorknob and lock for the front door (aka the Downtown Low Profile Deadbolt and Halifax Lever) and this set (980 deadbolt and Hancock knob) for the side door. I chose the iron black and went with a front door handle that was sleek and modern. I noticed on their site that they have options (and colors!) for every style, so there really is something for everyone.

Kwikset_Doorknobs_Locks-blackI like how the square detail on the front door makes that one a little more eye-catching, and the round option on the garage door seemed like the perfect supporting role.

Our New Door Hardware

Kwikset_Doorknobs_Locks-materialsShortly after I ordered the hardware, it was delivered in the mail. This is the first time I had DIY-ed a project like this and honestly I was a little hesitant at the beginning.

old_door_hardwareFast forward to about an hour later and I’m happy to report this project was not nearly as intimidating as I predicted it to be. Taking out the old and installing the new hardware was actually a LOT easier than I expected, which makes me even more excited about the idea of doing this in the future.

The new hardware came with SmartKey Security, which allowed me to make sure all 4 of these locks worked on ONE magic key! I was a little hesitant about this at first but after 5 minutes or less, I was able to transition all four locks to match one single key. I love the convenience of that because I only need to carry one key on my keyring instead of 4.  Plus this SmartKey security protects against lock picking and lock bumping, two of the most common break-in methods. Stylish, convenient AND safe = I’m sold!

new_hardware_garage_doorOnce that project was over, I was seriously OBSESSED! Every time I come home and approach the front door, the new color and design brings a smile to my face… literally. Our front porch may be tiny, but this tiny change makes me so much more proud of it.

And I can’t believe how much of a different this small change has made in our curb appeal. The black accent is just what we needed, I still can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure it out. Thank you, Kwikset!!

Sprucing up our Flower Boxes

black_window_boxesAfter the door knobs were installed, I decided to give our old DIY flower boxes a quick coat of black spray paint (before we did our planting of course). I loved the hint of black so much on the doorknobs that I wanted to continue these subtle pops of black throughout our exterior.

I had the same reaction after painting the boxes — why am I just doing this now?!

Adding more Curb Appeal

trim_bushes_yardAfter we did our planting, we had some minor landscaping updates to do in order to prep for the summer ahead, which will hopefully bring lots of guests over! We trimmed the bushes and added some mulch. These are two projects that I honestly don’t mind doing because you can see such a difference when it’s all said and done.

Kwikset_Doorknobs_Locks-doormatOh, and of course we had to add a fun new doormat for an extra pop of summer vibes. If you follow us on Instagram then you know that Matt picked this colorful doormat out from Target. He’s obviously a man after my own heart.

Before & After

I had no idea that a few minor updates would make such a difference. Let’s take a look back at the before and after one more time…door_front_yard_beforehouse_after_doorknobs_window_boxesI still can’t believe this simple change took 4 years to figure out?! Hopefully my next house will have black door knobs on the front door and all the doors inside… well before the 4 year mark!Bridget_sig

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Replacing My Front Door Knob and Lock for Better Curb Appeal

  1. Kat Hamilton

    Love the black knobs!

    We just purchased our first house this month (eeeeek!) and the knobs on the inside are bugging me. Brass knobs everywhere. I’ve been looking into the possibility of spray painting them to tide them over until I feel like dropping that much money on doorknobs. I’ve found a few posts on it, and may give it a try. Definitely not a forever fix, but new doorknobs are way down the list of things to buy right away.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Love that idea!! And you’re so right, it’s a great temporary solution until you can save for the real deal! If you decided to move forward, you’ll have to keep us updated and let us know what you think/how they hold up! Good luck. =)

  2. Trang

    I’ve been toying with the idea of installing flower boxes underneath a huge front window that I have, but have been too scared. The task of drilling into mortar is super daunting because I would also have to install at least 2 boxes (maybe even 3) under this big window which gives me chills to think I have to be precise and make the level. I think of all the horrible things that could go wrong and the time it takes and then I give up. After reading your experience, I have a feeling mine would be similar with lots of cursing!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Now that the flower boxes are up, I definitely think they upgrade our curb appeal by 1000% BUT getting them up was not fun! I’m sure you can do it, but I can totally understand your hesitation and nerves because I was right there with you!

  3. DIY Playbook

    Your hesitation about black + red is EXACTLY what took me so long to make these changes. I too wasn’t sure if those two colors would mix well but I LOVEEE the new look so much. And thanks for the tip, you can never be too safe on the internet. =)

    Reply
  4. Kelly

    I changed all our indoor knobs a year ago and still am happy every time I look at them! They were all a tarnished gold color and some even had the gold on one side and silver on the other side of the door. I guess this was a look in the 90s?

    I bought all Kwikset knobs and they were so easy to install. The hardest part was figuring out how to get the old doorknob off. They were all different and it was hard to tell if I needed to remove more parts or if they were just stuck from old age. Thank goodness for google!

    Your door looks great! We need to replace our whole front door (not a fun expense!) and the only thing I am looking forward to is getting the new hardware!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Sounds like we had the same problem with the tarnished old hardware! Happy you love your Kwikset doorknobs too. Good luck with the new front door. Hopefully you find one you love!

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7 thoughts on “Replacing My Front Door Knob and Lock for Better Curb Appeal

  1. Kat Hamilton

    Love the black knobs!

    We just purchased our first house this month (eeeeek!) and the knobs on the inside are bugging me. Brass knobs everywhere. I’ve been looking into the possibility of spray painting them to tide them over until I feel like dropping that much money on doorknobs. I’ve found a few posts on it, and may give it a try. Definitely not a forever fix, but new doorknobs are way down the list of things to buy right away.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Love that idea!! And you’re so right, it’s a great temporary solution until you can save for the real deal! If you decided to move forward, you’ll have to keep us updated and let us know what you think/how they hold up! Good luck. =)

  2. Trang

    I’ve been toying with the idea of installing flower boxes underneath a huge front window that I have, but have been too scared. The task of drilling into mortar is super daunting because I would also have to install at least 2 boxes (maybe even 3) under this big window which gives me chills to think I have to be precise and make the level. I think of all the horrible things that could go wrong and the time it takes and then I give up. After reading your experience, I have a feeling mine would be similar with lots of cursing!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Now that the flower boxes are up, I definitely think they upgrade our curb appeal by 1000% BUT getting them up was not fun! I’m sure you can do it, but I can totally understand your hesitation and nerves because I was right there with you!

  3. DIY Playbook

    Your hesitation about black + red is EXACTLY what took me so long to make these changes. I too wasn’t sure if those two colors would mix well but I LOVEEE the new look so much. And thanks for the tip, you can never be too safe on the internet. =)

    Reply
  4. Kelly

    I changed all our indoor knobs a year ago and still am happy every time I look at them! They were all a tarnished gold color and some even had the gold on one side and silver on the other side of the door. I guess this was a look in the 90s?

    I bought all Kwikset knobs and they were so easy to install. The hardest part was figuring out how to get the old doorknob off. They were all different and it was hard to tell if I needed to remove more parts or if they were just stuck from old age. Thank goodness for google!

    Your door looks great! We need to replace our whole front door (not a fun expense!) and the only thing I am looking forward to is getting the new hardware!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Sounds like we had the same problem with the tarnished old hardware! Happy you love your Kwikset doorknobs too. Good luck with the new front door. Hopefully you find one you love!

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How To Clean Converse Gym Shoes

How_to_clean_Converse_Gymshoes-9

Summer Uniform

I wear my converse on repeat pretty much all weekend and summer long. If I’m not dressed up, you will most likely find me “putzing” around my house or out running errands in jeans, a gray t-shirt, and my converse.
brown-leather-jacket-with-converse-bridget

I feel very “me” in this uniform because it’s so comfy. And the more and more I wear my converse, the more broken in they get. I love when these shoes are extra worn in because they are the most comfortable at that point. To wear them in and increase the comfort, I have to wear them all. the. time.

And when I say “all the time”, I mean it very literally. Whether I’m painting, cutting the lawn or out running errands, you can bet that I probably have my converse on. And that goes for my entire family actually! All of us love a good pair of converse (even my parents!) as evidenced by this dorky star photo we took when we all showed up with our matching converse on.

Dirty ConverseHow_to_clean_Converse_Gymshoes-2

I love that my converse are super worn in after wearing them so much but I don’t love when they get really dirty. And this photo of “dirty converse” isn’t even a good representation of how dirty they can really get throughout the summer.

But for purposes of this post I photographed my converse as they were pre-wash. The good news is that getting these classic shoes dirty is not a problem because getting them clean is simple.

How_to_clean_Converse_GymshoesEvery few months I clean my gym shoes and figured I would take you guys along the way this time around. It’s a quick post but one that will hopefully come in handy for some of you, especially throughout the summer when converse seem to get even more use than normal.

How_to_clean_Converse_Gymshoes-3

Cleaning Converse

When my Converse start to see better days, I know it’s time to wash them. All I do is put them in the washing machine (usually with some towels so they don’t make a ton of noise!) and add some regular detergent. I press start on the washing machine and let them run through the cycle just like a regular load of wash.

How_to_clean_Converse_Gymshoes-9When that load is done, I take out the converse and simply put them in the sun to dry!

How_to_clean_Converse_Gymshoes-5Usually about 12 to 24 hours later, the shoes look brand new yet still fit like a glove! Every time I go through this process, I’m always surprised at how much brighter they look with one easy wash!

Cleaning the Rubber

Usually just throwing them in the washing machine is enough to bring these shoes back to life. But if you have some stubborn scuffs/stains on the rubber portion of the shoe (like paint or some grass stains!) that won’t come off in the wash, I usually use a magic eraserHow_to_clean_Converse_Gymshoes-4

I’ll use one of these, add water, and scrub the rubber until it is clean and bright again.How_to_clean_Converse_Gymshoes-7
But that’s actually pretty rare because the washing machine is usually plenty!

Just like NewHow to clean Converse

How easy is that?! I hope this quick post serves as a reminder as we head into the summer that you CAN wear your classic converse shoes all the time and never have to worry about getting them dirty. Whether you’re mowing the lawn, attending a muddy concert, or just running errands in the rain, these wardrobe staples can handle the miles.bridget_sig

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8 thoughts on “How To Clean Converse Gym Shoes

  1. Trang

    Ha! I know exactly what you mean by loving your super worn Converse. I have a gray pair that are old and super worn (aka so comfortable) but, a couple of years ago, I thought I’d buy a new pair to replace them since they are a part of my uniform as well. However, the new pair didn’t feel like the old and I don’t wear them as often. Thus, they are not getting the worn in feel/look that I love in my old pair. So alas, the old ones are still being worn and cleaned (I wash mine just like you do – super simple) regularly while the newer pair is put away and hardly touched.

    Reply
  2. Geneviève

    Ha! I do the same and it works so well. I also put my plastic flip flops I wear for gardening and my reuseable grocery bags in the washing machine. Two thumbs up for letting the appliance work for us. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Kayla

    Yes! I’ve been meaning to clean mine but didn’t know you could just throw them in the washing machine. This post is just what I needed! Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Nancy McNalley

    I I soak mine in a mild Oxyclean solution for a couple of hours, then throw them in the laundry. Never dry them in the dryer. This gets shoes, shoestring, and rubber soles amazingly clean

    Reply

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8 thoughts on “How To Clean Converse Gym Shoes

  1. Trang

    Ha! I know exactly what you mean by loving your super worn Converse. I have a gray pair that are old and super worn (aka so comfortable) but, a couple of years ago, I thought I’d buy a new pair to replace them since they are a part of my uniform as well. However, the new pair didn’t feel like the old and I don’t wear them as often. Thus, they are not getting the worn in feel/look that I love in my old pair. So alas, the old ones are still being worn and cleaned (I wash mine just like you do – super simple) regularly while the newer pair is put away and hardly touched.

    Reply
  2. Geneviève

    Ha! I do the same and it works so well. I also put my plastic flip flops I wear for gardening and my reuseable grocery bags in the washing machine. Two thumbs up for letting the appliance work for us. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Kayla

    Yes! I’ve been meaning to clean mine but didn’t know you could just throw them in the washing machine. This post is just what I needed! Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Nancy McNalley

    I I soak mine in a mild Oxyclean solution for a couple of hours, then throw them in the laundry. Never dry them in the dryer. This gets shoes, shoestring, and rubber soles amazingly clean

    Reply

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DIY Shiplap for under $100 in the Office

How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-73

I haven’t regretted my decision to paint the office white, in fact this room has really proven to me how much I LOVE white paint. Bridget-office-desk-laptop

However the white paint could make the room look “flat” without enough texture injected into it. When I added all the furniture and the DIY barn door into this space, I absolutely LOVED it. I felt like it was “so me” but after living in it for a few weeks I did think the white walls were missing just a little something.

Adding a Wall of Shiplap

Office_WideThat thought is what inspired me to add DIY Shiplap to the far wall and I’m pretty obsessed with the texture it brings to the space. This was the first “large-scale” DIY project I did with Matt and I’m so glad we decided to do it together because we knocked it out in less than a weekend. Shiplap_Desk_office

The Process

We bought 4 sheets of plywood from Lowe’s for under $100 and had all of the other materials on hand, making this project a very affordable one!
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-22How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-23How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-30

If you’re in the game to shiplap a space in your home, be sure to check out the step-by-step  tutorial we created with Zillow here. I tried to break down the process as much as we could so that anyone can tackle this weekend project.  How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-32The one thing I did differently this time around was take off the baseboard and put the last board behind the baseboard. I LOVED this trick because it took the pressure off of creating a perfectly straight cut on the last piece of wood.

You can kind of tell in this photo that the last piece of wood was cut close but not perfectly using a jigsaw but… How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-35… once I added the baseboard on top of it, you can never tell! If you’re tackling this project and need to replace the baseboard anyway, wait to put the baseboard on until after your shiplap has been hung so that you have some wiggle room on that last cut.

Trust me when I say this trick will make your life SO much easier and will make the finished project look much more professional.How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-62I caulked, puttied and primed the wood once and painted the wall twice, using the same white paint I used on the rest of the room. I’ve really liked the look of black shiplap lately, but I want to keep this space light and cohesive so I skipped that color choice this time around. Maybe someday I’ll be bold enough to try that.How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-72The shiplap adds just enough texture while still blending in with the rest of the space. This project was definitely worth the $100 price-tag and weekend time commitment. PLUS, Matt tried his hand at a miter saw and nail gun and didn’t hate it. #PROGRESS

Casey was nervous that he had taken over her spot as my DIY partner-in-crime but Matt reassured her that she never has to worry about that. Gotta love him for at least trying, right?! And it’s a win-win because I still have my bestie to count on for future projects!

AfterShiplap_Desk_office

I don’t think I have any more space to shiplap in this house but I’m confident this won’t be my last shiplap project. There’s just something about this charming wall treatment that instantly makes a space feel more cozy. Because of that I’m sure it’ll always sneak its way into our future homes.
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-73

Now that I can check “SHIPLAP” off of our office to-do list, I think this space is officially done! From the paint, to the new furniture, to the DIY fauxdenza, DIY barn door and now DIY shiplap, I’m so happy to be done and so in love with this space.

The goal was to transition this room from a guest room into an office. I can confidently say I spend time in here working every.single.day., which is 500% more than I used to!Shiplap_completeI’m excited to show you guys around one more time later in the week where I’m going to break down all of the secret storage our office offers. The amount of storage in this small space has exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait to dish all the details on Friday.  bridget_sig

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10 thoughts on “DIY Shiplap for under $100 in the Office

  1. Sara Kral

    Looks gorgeous! And you are definitely right about the shiplap adding more texture! Nice work, Bridget (& Matt)!

    Reply
  2. Kerri Hansen

    I LOVE your shiplap wall! I want to try doing a shiplap wall so badly! I read your tutorial on Zillow and you have done a great job of explaing the process. I was with you until you said “jigsaw”, and then my fear of power tools took over! I may have to hire someone to help me if I am going to do this project. Sadly my husband would not be down with helping and is less “power tool savvy” than me! have looked into the “peel and stick” Shiplap option but wonder about the price tag. I completely agree that white walls look so amazing with some texture. Your office space is amazing, what a gorgeous spot to work in!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      You can do it, I promise!! You do need a partner-in-crime to help hold the planks but other than that, I know you can do it. The jig-saw is a lot scarier than it sounds. It’s honestly like a sewing machine but instead of making a seam, it’s cutting the wood. Personally I think it’s a lot less intimidating than a miter saw! You got this girl!!

    2. Kerri Hansen

      Well when you put it that way, a jigsaw doesn’t sound as scary anymore! My dad is coming to visit this summer (sadly my parents love quite far) and he is the perfect partner in crime for this project. You have really encouraged and inspired me! Thank you!❤️❤️

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10 thoughts on “DIY Shiplap for under $100 in the Office

  1. Sara Kral

    Looks gorgeous! And you are definitely right about the shiplap adding more texture! Nice work, Bridget (& Matt)!

    Reply
  2. Kerri Hansen

    I LOVE your shiplap wall! I want to try doing a shiplap wall so badly! I read your tutorial on Zillow and you have done a great job of explaing the process. I was with you until you said “jigsaw”, and then my fear of power tools took over! I may have to hire someone to help me if I am going to do this project. Sadly my husband would not be down with helping and is less “power tool savvy” than me! have looked into the “peel and stick” Shiplap option but wonder about the price tag. I completely agree that white walls look so amazing with some texture. Your office space is amazing, what a gorgeous spot to work in!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      You can do it, I promise!! You do need a partner-in-crime to help hold the planks but other than that, I know you can do it. The jig-saw is a lot scarier than it sounds. It’s honestly like a sewing machine but instead of making a seam, it’s cutting the wood. Personally I think it’s a lot less intimidating than a miter saw! You got this girl!!

    2. Kerri Hansen

      Well when you put it that way, a jigsaw doesn’t sound as scary anymore! My dad is coming to visit this summer (sadly my parents love quite far) and he is the perfect partner in crime for this project. You have really encouraged and inspired me! Thank you!❤️❤️

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Homeowner Tasks You Should Do on a Regular Basis

waterpik_shower_faucet_bathroom_tools

We’ve both been homeowners for a few years now, and there are so many things we love about owning. We can change anything we want, we can paint, hang art, and overall we can really customize each and every nook and cranny to fit our needs.American FlagSt. Joe's Michigan Exterior Home

But there are plenty of not-so-fun aspects about being a homeowner. Having to pay big bucks when things break is certainly high on the cons of being a homeowner list. But there are also a lot of little tasks that you should be doing for your home on a regular basis, and those small to-dos can be a bit of a nuisance.

Plus, it’s not like you get a “how to be a good homeowner” book when you buy your house (although that sounds like a worthwhile read). So you can often feel like you have no idea what you should be doing to keep things up and running!Home Maintenance

We certainly are not homeowner experts, but there are tasks we try to complete at least once a year to make sure our homes are in tip-top shape. And while some of these tasks may take some time and money right now, these will end up saving you lots of cash and heartache in the long run.

Clean your Guttershome_maintanence-gutter

Matt and I actually clean our gutters twice per year… at least. We clean them in the fall after all the leaves have fallen, and again in the spring. Keeping your gutters clean is essential to make sure water doesn’t back up and cause a leaky roof.

Usually when it’s time to clean one of us will get up on the ladder and scoop out all of the heavy stuff and then we blast all the debris out with the hose. The person on the ground holds the ladder and catches all of the flying debris from the gutter in a bucket. We have a small house so getting the gutters cleaned is a fairly quick and easy routine. Plus we don’t have to get up on the roof, which is always a good thing!

Change your Furnace Filter

hvac-filter-air-conditionerChanging out the filter on your HVAC unit is a must if you want to extend the life of your unit. The most common reason a heating and air conditioning unit breaks down is because of a dirty filter, so replacing it on a regular basis will keep it up and running for years to come!

hvac-filterThere are so many filters on the market and it can be overwhelming. First, make sure you get the right size for your unit so it fits perfectly. Then choose a filter based on your lifestyle. The higher the MERV number (1-12), the better the filter. If you have kids or pets, you may want to go for a higher number even though it’s a bit more expensive. Then be sure to change the filters  every 1-3 months (depending on the kind you buy). We’ve always heard that it’s okay to buy the cheap ones, but just make sure you put it on your calendar to change it out every single month. Buying in bulk will save money, and it also ensures you always have a fresh one on hand.

Get your HVAC Serviced

hvac-furnaceWhen it comes to your HVAC, it’s your job to change the filter. But it’s also your job to set up a yearly check-up for your unit. Even if you don’t suspect any problems, have a pro come out to inspect and service your HVAC unit at least once per year. We usually call ours in the spring so it’s raring to go for those hot summer months!

It’s also nice to have someone come out to tell you how your unit is doing. They can often tell how much “life” it has left, so if you need a new one in the next few years you can start saving now so you have the budget to replace it immediately when it dies!

Maintain the Humidifier on your Furnace

We wanted to add this task on here, because it’s definitely something we’ve learned since becoming homeowners. Did you know that many furnaces have a furnace-mounted humidifier?  It works to maintain the levels of humidity in your home so it’s comfortable all-year round.

humidifier-dial-1But there are a few things you need to do to keep this functioning well. First of all, change the dial depending on the time of year. Right on the machine you’ll see a little dial with the percentage of humidity based on the outdoor temps. Adjust it accordingly throughout the seasons. hvac-dial

Also, adjust the dial on the damper so it’s in the correct position. Now that the temps have warmed up, we recently moved ours to the “summer” position.

There should also be an evaporator pad in your machine that you’ll want to replace each year. After a long winter of using your furnace, the pad will likely be covered in mineral deposits. Putting a fresh pad in will keep things running smoothly.

Wipe Down Vents

bathroom-hallwayCleaning your circulation vents on the ceiling, in the wall, or even on the floor is important to keep proper airflow throughout your house. I have one ceiling vent that circulates the air from our entire house (see it in the hallway) and it gets dirty so quickly! home_maintanence-ventI’m always wiping it down with a wet cloth to get rid of the dusty/dirty soot because… well, how embarrassing! The last thing I want is someone coming into our home and seeing that gross collection of dust.

Get your Chimney Cleanedafter-fireplace-3

This is another one where all you need to do is call in a professional. We do not recommend cleaning your own chimney, instead leave it to the pros. If you use your fireplace regularly, have it cleaned each fall to keep your home safe. And if you want to improve the look of your fireplace after all of that dirty soot, you can always spray paint the interior black like Casey’s fireplace above.

Change Smoke Alarm & CO2 Batteries

home_maintanence-smoke-detectorHaving smoke alarms and CO2 detectors in your home is crucial and making sure they’re working properly is even more important. It’s recommended that there is a smoke detector in every single sleeping room. That’s a lot of batteries to maintain, but definitely worth the time since these detectors can save lives. Experts say you should be checking the batteries in these detectors once a month and although that seems a bit excessive to us, we would much rather be safe than sorry! Having back-up batteries in the drawer makes changing the batteries a quick and easy process and ensures you never go a day without a functioning detector.

So what are we missing on our homeowner to-do list? What tasks do you complete on a regular basis? Hopefully we can all learn together how to be the best homeowners we can be!

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10 thoughts on “Homeowner Tasks You Should Do on a Regular Basis

  1. Kerri Hansen

    These are all very good reminders! And while I would WAY rather talk about styling throw pillows and how to install shiplap, home maintenance is very important and is easy to forget about! We just paid a stupid amount of money to have our gutters cleaned because we don’t have the proper equipment to do ours safely. But the other things on your list definitely need my attention. Thanks ladies!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We totally agree…home maintenance is not fun, or glamorous! Paying for gutters is no fun, but so happy you did that! Let us know how the other things on the to-do list go

  2. Kara D

    Hmm, cleaning out the dryer vent is also a good safety task to take on – any build up in the vent could ignite into a fire, and during the winter – if your dryer vent “exit hole” on the house is below snow level – always take the time to clear the snow away, so that no carbon monoxide can build up into your house!

    Reply
  3. Kara D

    Oh! And if you don’t have frost-free valves, drain out your outdoor spigots before the winter hits. If you DO have frost-free valves, then pretty much all you have to do is ensure that you’ve disconnected your hose before the winter. Otherwise, you could have a nasty and expensive plumbing mess in the middle of winter.

    Reply
  4. Katie

    Ahhh we are going from a condo to a single family home (yay!) next month and this totally reminded me that my husband and I will have some extra chores to tackle!

    Reply

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10 thoughts on “Homeowner Tasks You Should Do on a Regular Basis

  1. Kerri Hansen

    These are all very good reminders! And while I would WAY rather talk about styling throw pillows and how to install shiplap, home maintenance is very important and is easy to forget about! We just paid a stupid amount of money to have our gutters cleaned because we don’t have the proper equipment to do ours safely. But the other things on your list definitely need my attention. Thanks ladies!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We totally agree…home maintenance is not fun, or glamorous! Paying for gutters is no fun, but so happy you did that! Let us know how the other things on the to-do list go

  2. Kara D

    Hmm, cleaning out the dryer vent is also a good safety task to take on – any build up in the vent could ignite into a fire, and during the winter – if your dryer vent “exit hole” on the house is below snow level – always take the time to clear the snow away, so that no carbon monoxide can build up into your house!

    Reply
  3. Kara D

    Oh! And if you don’t have frost-free valves, drain out your outdoor spigots before the winter hits. If you DO have frost-free valves, then pretty much all you have to do is ensure that you’ve disconnected your hose before the winter. Otherwise, you could have a nasty and expensive plumbing mess in the middle of winter.

    Reply
  4. Katie

    Ahhh we are going from a condo to a single family home (yay!) next month and this totally reminded me that my husband and I will have some extra chores to tackle!

    Reply

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Finding the Perfect Gray Paint Color

BarnDoor_Paint_swatches_coffee

When it comes to finding the perfect shade of gray… the STRUGGLE IS REAL! The first decision in both of our homes was picking paint colors. We both knew we wanted a light shade of gray and finding that perfect gray was an overwhelming task because there are so many options to choose from. <— please tell us we’re not alone in feeling this way?

BarnDoor_Paint_swatches_coffeeFinding the Perfect Shade of Gray Paint

i_heart_paint_organization-30All of our favorite brands of paint offered lots of different shades of gray, and figuring out which shades we loved from each brand in order to narrow down our search seemed downright impossible. That’s when we turned to our readers and asked them, “what gray paint do you absolutely LOVE in your home?!”.

The response was overwhelming and quite honestly, SO helpful. Hearing the names of some of these reader-tested, reader-approved grays has really helped us identify which ones we should take a closer look at. From there, we were then able to advance our search by narrowing this collection down even more and bringing home samples of those remaining colors to test out in the given space. Eventually those samples led us to our answers, but looking back we realized that the list of grays we collected from you guys continues to be our best place to start in this process.

Share the Lovelowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-wide-shot

That’s when we figured that others could be struggling with the same exact process. Why not make this reader-tested-reader-approved list of gray paints available for EVERYONE to use when starting their search?

And that’s what today’s post is all about. You may not need this list today, or not even this year, but hopefully you can bookmark it (or pin it) so that when the day comes to choose the perfect shade of gray, you’ll have a resource to help make this overwhelming task a bit more attainable.

Favorite Gray Paint ColorsGray Paint Color

So without further ado, here is the complete list of ALL the Gray Paint Colors that our readers love and recommend to others:

Benjamin Moore Colors

  • Benjamin Moore Shoreline
  • Benjamin Moore Gray Owl (this is actually throughout Casey’s entire home!)
  • Benjamin Moore Harbor Gray
  • Benjamin Moore Plantinum Gray
  • Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Grey
  • Benjamin Moore Shoreline
  • Benjamin Moore Moonshine (light blue grey)
  • Benjamin Moore Stormy Monday
  • Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter (A greige Bridget has throughout her home)
  • Benjamin Moore Sea Salt (Greige)
  • Benjamin Moore Winter White (light gray)
  • Benjamin Moore Collingwood
  • Benjamin Moore Horizon
  • Benjamin Moore Pelican Gray

Sherwin Williams’ Colors

  • Sherwin Williams Amazing Gray
  • Sherwin Williams Repose Grey
  • Sherwin Williams Perfect Greige
  • Sherwin Williams Passive
  • Sherwin Williams Argos
  • Sherwin Williams Crushed Ice
  • Sherwin Williams Requisite Grey
  • Sherwin Williams Functional Grey
  • Sherwin Williams Mindful Grey
  • Sherwin Williams Nebulous White (super-duper light grey)
  • Sherwin Williams Anew Gray

Behr Colors

  • Mineral by Behr
  • Crooked Creek by Behr (Bridget used this in her bathroom)
  • Irish Mist by Behr
  • Silver Drop by Behr

Other

  • Stony Ground by Farrow and Ball
  • Glidden’s Universal Grey (we used this on B’s DIY Barn Door)
  • Restoration Hardware’s Graphite
  • Stony Path by Valspar
  • Ruffled Feathers by Dulux
  • Frappe by Valspar (Green undertones)
  • Filtered Shade by Valspar (We used this in the Lowe’s Bedroom Makeover)

paint-color-swatches-diy-bloggerHopefully this list will be a resource for you when it’s time to find that perfect gray for your next paint project! And if you happen to stumble upon a gorgeous new gray, please leave it in the comments below and we will add it to the master list for everyone to see. bridget_and_casey_sig

 

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17 thoughts on “Finding the Perfect Gray Paint Color

    1. Kira @ The Imperfectionist

      You listed some of my faves! Our house is painted BM Shoreline, and lately I’ve really been loving the warmer undertones of BM Collingwood. I also like BM Horizon (no, I am not sponsored by Benjamin Moore lol).

    2. DIY Playbook

      hahaha…we are big Benjamin Moore fans too! We haven’t used any of those colors, but will definitely add them to our someday list!

  1. Trang

    There are definitely more than 50 shades of gray! It was such a hard decision to make when painting every room in my house last summer. I wanted to pull my hair out because it all looked different under certain lights, time of the day, wall, etc. I believe I even emailed Casey about it asking what color was used in Maggie’s condo makeover. In the end, I went with all SW paints (because of a 40% off sale): repose gray for the kitchen, light French Gray for the living room/dinning room and my bedroom, and ice cube for the ceiling (white with a hint of gray/lavender/blue).

    Reply
  2. Kerri Hansen

    Great round up of grey paints! I heart grey paint and the color I have throughout most of my home is “Ruffled Feathers” by Dulux. With a name like that, you can’t go wrong!

    Reply
  3. Kristen Ayotte

    After trying what felt like a million samples last summer, I finally landed on Sherwin Williams Anew Gray. I feel like it’s perfect “griege” in our house. I was so slow to switch over from my previously all beige house to gray so I needed something that still felt warm and cozy. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Chaney | Mix & Match Design Co

    This is a great roundup! I used BM Winter White throughout my home, and I love it. It’s a very light gray that provides just enough contrast with the Behr Ultra Pure White we used for our trim!

    Reply

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17 thoughts on “Finding the Perfect Gray Paint Color

    1. Kira @ The Imperfectionist

      You listed some of my faves! Our house is painted BM Shoreline, and lately I’ve really been loving the warmer undertones of BM Collingwood. I also like BM Horizon (no, I am not sponsored by Benjamin Moore lol).

    2. DIY Playbook

      hahaha…we are big Benjamin Moore fans too! We haven’t used any of those colors, but will definitely add them to our someday list!

  1. Trang

    There are definitely more than 50 shades of gray! It was such a hard decision to make when painting every room in my house last summer. I wanted to pull my hair out because it all looked different under certain lights, time of the day, wall, etc. I believe I even emailed Casey about it asking what color was used in Maggie’s condo makeover. In the end, I went with all SW paints (because of a 40% off sale): repose gray for the kitchen, light French Gray for the living room/dinning room and my bedroom, and ice cube for the ceiling (white with a hint of gray/lavender/blue).

    Reply
  2. Kerri Hansen

    Great round up of grey paints! I heart grey paint and the color I have throughout most of my home is “Ruffled Feathers” by Dulux. With a name like that, you can’t go wrong!

    Reply
  3. Kristen Ayotte

    After trying what felt like a million samples last summer, I finally landed on Sherwin Williams Anew Gray. I feel like it’s perfect “griege” in our house. I was so slow to switch over from my previously all beige house to gray so I needed something that still felt warm and cozy. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Chaney | Mix & Match Design Co

    This is a great roundup! I used BM Winter White throughout my home, and I love it. It’s a very light gray that provides just enough contrast with the Behr Ultra Pure White we used for our trim!

    Reply

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Make your Own DIY Terrarium

DIY_Terrarium-10

Looking for an easy way to inject some greenery into your home? This DIY Terrarium is super easy to create and a great way to do just that. Plus, we love that this natural element and pop of greenery can double as a great piece of decor in just about any room of the house!DIY_Terrarium

We chatted about creating a DIY Terrarium on this news segment last week, but wanted to break it down on the blog as well. It really is simple and it can make such a big impact. Here’s what you will need to get to make your very own DIY Terrarium.

Supplies

  • Succulents
  • Rocks (we used 2 small bags)
  • Soil (we chose soil best for cacti + succulents)
  • Bowl (any shape, size, or style)
  • Gardening gloves
  • Drop Cloth (not necessary, but highly recommended)

DIY_Terrarium-2We love that this project can be individualized to fit your home’s decor and style. We chose a glass bowl from HomeGoods, but honestly a terrarium can work in just about any bowl.

Because we were sharing this on TV we went with a larger bowl, but if you want to cut down on costs, choosing a smaller bowl (even from a thrift store!) can work just as well.
DIY_Terrarium-3

Because there’s not drainage in this bowl, it’s important to start the terrarium with a layer of rocks (which doubles as a natural drain of sorts.)

We used two small bags of rocks for this project, which we found in the plant section at Lowe’s. DIY_Terrarium-4

After the layer of rocks, add the layer of soil. We chose to go with the potting mix that was specifically made for succulents/cacti and bought far more than we actually needed. DIY_Terrarium-5Working with the soil becomes a bit of a mess so we would suggest wearing gardening gloves during this project AND working outside on the grass or on a drop cloth.DIY_Terrarium-7After there was a healthy layer of soil, we arranged the succulents in a way we liked and started planting each one into the soil.
DIY_Terrarium-9From start to finish the entire terrarium took less than 5 minutes to plant.
DIY_Terrarium-8The hardest part was trying to make sure the succulents were surrounded by enough soil after we added them to the terrarium. We wanted them to settle into their new home with plenty of soil to support them. DIY_Terrarium-10A few minutes later, we had this colorful terrarium and love the variety of shapes, sizes, and colors of this mixture. DIY_Terrarium-11We sprayed the succulents with some water and let the terrarium dry before bringing it inside to display.

DIY_TerrariumFast forward a few weeks and this mini terrarium is alive and thriving! We keep it by Casey’s front windows so it has PLENTY of sun.

Terrarium_built_ins_Lamp_ArtWhen we do notice the soil is dry, we give it a good soak and wait for it to dry out again.succulent_west_elm_plant

We love what a statement this terrarium brings and are on a MISSION to keep this planter alive… and thriving! Do you guys have any tips or tricks that have worked for your succulents? B has had this little hedgehog one for over a YEAR, but we’re not exactly sure what the magic answer is to keep it alive. Most of the time she forgets to give it any attention and magically it’s still alive?!travel-carmel-succulents

succulents-plant-blue-vaseAnd don’t even get us started on the amazingly gorgeous succulents growing like weeds in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. How do they do it?! Especially when most of them live outside? Succulents you’ll forever have our hearts.DIY Terrarium (1)

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12 thoughts on “Make your Own DIY Terrarium

  1. Sarah

    That’s the trick! Pretty much ignoring them. Periods of drought are good for cacti and succulents. Actually, most of the varieties of cacti that can flower do so under drought conditions and not when they’re well watered. Waiting for the soil to completely dry out and then doing a thorough watering is the best way to go.

    Sarah
    Sweet Spontaneity

    Reply
  2. Trang

    I have a similar glass bowl used for a display at my wedding a few years ago that I can do this with. So you don’t water the soil after you plant it? Just spray the succulents themselves?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We watered them right after planting to get the soil kinda wet. Now we just use the spray bottle. But honestly, ignoring them is probably your best bet. haha

  3. Kara D

    Major heart eyes on anything succulents! And green envious eyes for those who have them naturally outdoors! I planted succulents in my topsy-turvy planter outside last summer (think terra cotta planters stacked on each other using a rebar pole through the centers of the pots to hold it in place), and I’m hoping and praying that they survived the winter and will come back this year!

    Reply
  4. Kat Hamilton

    I have a calendar event in my phone! Once a month I get an alarm that reminds me to water them. 🌱🌱 It lets them dry out, and then I soak them pretty good when I do water them. Good drainage is key though, or the roots will rot.

    Reply

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12 thoughts on “Make your Own DIY Terrarium

  1. Sarah

    That’s the trick! Pretty much ignoring them. Periods of drought are good for cacti and succulents. Actually, most of the varieties of cacti that can flower do so under drought conditions and not when they’re well watered. Waiting for the soil to completely dry out and then doing a thorough watering is the best way to go.

    Sarah
    Sweet Spontaneity

    Reply
  2. Trang

    I have a similar glass bowl used for a display at my wedding a few years ago that I can do this with. So you don’t water the soil after you plant it? Just spray the succulents themselves?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      We watered them right after planting to get the soil kinda wet. Now we just use the spray bottle. But honestly, ignoring them is probably your best bet. haha

  3. Kara D

    Major heart eyes on anything succulents! And green envious eyes for those who have them naturally outdoors! I planted succulents in my topsy-turvy planter outside last summer (think terra cotta planters stacked on each other using a rebar pole through the centers of the pots to hold it in place), and I’m hoping and praying that they survived the winter and will come back this year!

    Reply
  4. Kat Hamilton

    I have a calendar event in my phone! Once a month I get an alarm that reminds me to water them. 🌱🌱 It lets them dry out, and then I soak them pretty good when I do water them. Good drainage is key though, or the roots will rot.

    Reply

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How to Install New Baseboard – Part 2

How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-71

If you’re just joining us, make sure you START HERE to catch up on the first few steps of installing new baseboard. Yesterday we tackled steps #1 through #4 and today we are picking up where we left off to finish up this attainable DIY projectDIY Baseboard

If you’re back for more baseboard business, let’s dive right in. Here are the remaining steps (and lots of Rookie Tips!) to replace the baseboard in your home.

1. Buy New Baseboard & ShoeHow_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-71

You obviously need to buy new material (baseboard and shoe*) for this project. Chances are you’ll probably want to buy the same style baseboard that you have throughout the rest of your home so the new baseboard looks cohesive with the existing type.

Once you know the style, go ahead and buy the baseboard. But make sure you buy pieces that are LONGER than the wall you are attaching it to. This is important because you need to have plenty of room to make your cuts on both ends and still have it fit onto the wall.

How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-36*The shoe of the baseboard is that bottom piece that juts out a little bit and is connected to the floor. Believe it or not, this is a separate piece of wood that is attached to the baseboard after it’s attached to the wall. Whatever length you buy of the baseboard, you’ll need to buy the same length for the shoe. 

2. Measure & Cut Miters on the Baseboards

Once you have the material all set, it’s time to cut both the baseboard and the shoe to size.

Here’s where your miter saw is needed. I usually cut the new baseboard exactly how the old pieces were cut. If the old baseboard butts up to a straight edge (like a vent) than you will probably cut it straight, which makes the cutting process a whole lot easier.

However, if you’re meeting two corners of wood then you’ll most likely be “mitering” the corners, which means cutting each at a 45 degree angle. This is necessary so that when they are matched up together they make a perfect 90 degree angle at the corner. You can see in the photo above that you make these cuts by simply moving the saw blade from 0 degrees to 45 degrees. You cut it the exact same way, it’s just the saw itself that is reconfigured so that corners will be mitered.

How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-40This baseboard was cut at a 45 degree and notice that it was cut standing straight up on the saw and not laying flat.
How_to_install_baseboard_miter_cornerTo make the cut on the other 1/2 of the mitered corner simply change the 45 degree angle on the saw to the other side of saw (still 45 degrees) and make a cut. Once you put those two angles together they should fit perfectly into a 90 degree corner.

Rookie Tip: This is not hard but sometimes it takes a few cuts of trial and error to confirm that you have it down (it can feel like a bit of a brain puzzle sometimes). I would suggest making a few practice cuts on leftover/scrap trim so you can perfect the combo before doing it on your new baseboard or shoe.

Another Rookie Tip: I usually mark my baseboard for size and then draw the angle that I want to cut. This little sketch really helps when I take it to the saw because I have a visual reminder about which angle I need to cut.

3. Nail it to the wall

Before I nail the new baseboard to the wall, I lay it along the wall around the perimeter of the room and make sure it fits like a glove (or as close as possible) before nailing it to the wall.
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-20

When I feel like it’s perfect, it’s time to nail it to the wall using a nail gun.
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-36

You’ll want to nail the baseboard on the top and bottom of the baseboard along the entire piece. I was a little too generous with the nail gun on this piece, but I guess it’s better to have a few too many nails than too few.

4. Repeat Steps #2 – #3 with the shoeHow_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-43

Now that the baseboard is attached, it’s time to attach the shoe. Honestly you follow the exact same baseboard steps to attach the shoe. Getting the perfect mitered edges with the shoe always seems a little bit more confusing to me so I definitely take advantage of a few practice cuts before I attempt the “real” cut. But just like the baseboard, some of the shoe may just require a straight cut… which is by far the easiest!

4. Putty the Nail Holes

How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-45Having too many nail holes is not a huge problem, but it does make this step a little more time-consuming. Take the putty and fill in all of the nail holes on the baseboard and shoe. Once it has dried, you can lightly sand off the excess so it’s a smooth surface and ready for primer/paint.

5. Caulk

How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-49If you’re tackling white baseboard and trim, caulk is your BEST FRIEND because it can help mask some of your less than perfect cuts. I like to use bright white caulk (to match the bright white trim) and caulk that is specifically made for trimwork.

As you can see here the photo on the left is a straight cut that was cut just a hair short. But after caulking the edge, you can hardly see this tiny imperfection. This same idea goes for all of your corners of both the baseboard and the trim! <— caulk makes the finished project look a LOT more professional. 

You’ll also want to caulk the space in between the baseboard and the shoe (if there are any gaps or inconsistencies), where the shoe hits the floor, as well as the seam where the baseboard hits the wall.

6. Prep for Painting

Once the caulk is dried, it’s time to finish this gorgeous new baseboard with a few fresh coats of paint!
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-56I typically tape everything around the trim (floor, walls, outlets, etc.) so that I don’t make a mess.
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-53The tape is especially important on the floor if you are not an experienced painter… no one wants bright white paint on their hardwood floors (or carpets!). #yikes

7. Prime + PaintHow_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-61

Then it’s time to prime and paint. I typically put one coat of primer on the baseboard followed by a light sanding to remove anything left on the baseboard.
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-57After that it’s time for a coat of bright white, semi-gloss paint. I used two coats of this paint just to make sure the baseboard was covered well, but you may only need one.

Rookie Tip: Most trim is painted with semi gloss because it’s the easiest to maintain/clean and it offers a good contrast next to the wall, but honestly this is personal preference!
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-66Much better right?! I love that after the caulk and paint the cuts looks perfect, even if they weren’t exactly perfect (our little secret).How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-60After the trim is painted and dried you can add tape the top of the baseboard and paint the wall that you previously patched. Once the wall is painted (if necessary) then your job is just about over!!

8. Remove Tape and Clean up

Is it already time to clean-up?!
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-70Peel up the tape, fold up the drop cloths, and clean up the area. If you’re left with any paint stains on the hardwood floor I like to use this Goof Off to clean up those little drips. You add a little to a cloth, wipe up the specific area, and it should wipe right up.

DISCLAIMER: Please test this product on your hardwood floors in a place that is not visible (maybe in a closet). Make sure it dries without impacting the finish of your floors before using it throughout the whole room. This product doesn’t have any impact on my floors, but that may not be the case with your floors depending on their finish. <– Better to be safe than sorry!!  How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-71

And just like that, your new baseboards are all done… and most importantly, you DIY-ed them! Replacing all of the baseboard in your entire house may be a little overwhelming at first, but trying this out in one room will help you gain confidence in your skills and prove that you can do this, one step at a time.

My goal this summer is to replace a lot more old and grungy baseboard in other parts of our home. If you would have told me that I would be replacing baseboard throughout our house a year ago, I would have laughed at this absurd idea. But now that I’ve tackled a few smaller spaces, I feel more than capable of replacing the baseboard throughout the house. And now that I see what a difference this simple upgrade makes, I’m a lot more motivated to do so.bridget_sig

Not sure how to get the old baseboard off and prep your walls for the installation of new baseboard? Check out this DIY Baseboard Tutorial!

 

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4 thoughts on “How to Install New Baseboard – Part 2

  1. Erin

    interesting. our baseboards were actually cut at an angle so they overlap on a straight wall. and they used ceiling shoe molding for the floors (took us a while to find it!) it’s definitely a tedious job with all the little details, but it really does finish a room! now if only i cleaned the baseboards on a regular basis.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Yes, the boards may be cut on a straight wall if the baseboard wasn’t long enough for that wall. It is a tedious job but so worth it. And I’m in the same boat as you… dusting the baseboard is easier said than done! #guilty

  2. Kara D

    I didn’t think you could caulk the shoe molding to the floors – since I always thought you had to leave a little gap to allow for wood contraction/expansion with the different temperatures. I bet that’s why the caulk is made for trimwork, maybe it’s more flexible to allow the motion without cracking. Thanks for the instructions!

    Reply

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4 thoughts on “How to Install New Baseboard – Part 2

  1. Erin

    interesting. our baseboards were actually cut at an angle so they overlap on a straight wall. and they used ceiling shoe molding for the floors (took us a while to find it!) it’s definitely a tedious job with all the little details, but it really does finish a room! now if only i cleaned the baseboards on a regular basis.

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Yes, the boards may be cut on a straight wall if the baseboard wasn’t long enough for that wall. It is a tedious job but so worth it. And I’m in the same boat as you… dusting the baseboard is easier said than done! #guilty

  2. Kara D

    I didn’t think you could caulk the shoe molding to the floors – since I always thought you had to leave a little gap to allow for wood contraction/expansion with the different temperatures. I bet that’s why the caulk is made for trimwork, maybe it’s more flexible to allow the motion without cracking. Thanks for the instructions!

    Reply

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How to Install New Baseboard – Part 1

How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-7

Thanks to our blog survey last month we received several requests for a specific tutorial on how to replace baseboard. We’ve tackled this project a few times (usually in the process of adding wood treatment to a wall) yet never really thought about sharing the tutorial on this DIY project.
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-2

So as obvious as this request seemed, it provided us with a much-needed A-HA moment, which led to today’s tutorial.

Plus this was actually perfect timing because my office really needed new baseboard. I replaced half of the baseboard in this space when I DIY-ed the barn door and am replacing the other half now as I add DIY shiplap to the office (more details on the shiplap coming soon).
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-3How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-4

As you can see from the last three photos, the baseboard in my office was a hot mess and in person it looked even worse. I estimate that this baseboard is over 50 years old and has definitely seen better days.

Some of the paint was chipping, the caulk had condensed with the temperature changes, and some of the wood was actually cracking (how does that happen?!). Painting the baseboard or re-caulking it would’ve only provide a band-aid on an open wound, so I decided to replace the baseboard throughout the entire room.

Step-by-Step Tutorial to Replace Baseboard

Today I’m walking you through all of the steps I took to replace my baseboard, which made SUCH a difference in this room. I was intimidated to tackle a baseboard project the first few times I did it, but after breaking down the daunting task into smaller steps, I feel a lot more confident. And although you may not think so, this is definitely a project you can DIY if you know how to work a nail gun and miter saw. Here’s how…

1. Remove Old Baseboard

Before you put on the new baseboard you need to take the old stuff off. This step may take a little muscle but if my little muscles can handle this step all alone, I KNOW that you can do this too.
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-5Along with some serious muscle you’ll need a hammer and a pry bar to remove the old baseboard.

How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-7Simply hammer the pry bar behind the top of the baseboard and pull it toward you (away from the wall).How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-8

Repeat this step over and over again along the entire baseboard until the whole piece of baseboard can be pulled away from the wall. How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-9Repeat this step around the entire perimeter of the room until all of the old baseboard is off.
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-10

Rookie Tip: Some of the old pieces you rip off may be way too big to stick into an average garbage can. I usually cut these old pieces down using the miter saw so that I can throw the scraps right into the regular garbage cans, but be careful! The old nails that may be sticking out of the wood can be hazardous. <— wear gloves! 

2. Pluck out old NailsHow_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-11

When you pull the baseboard away from the wall there will most likely be nails that are sticking out of the baseboard, as well as out of the wall. The nails in the old baseboard are no problem as long as you handle the wood carefully. But the nails remaining in the wall need to be removed before you can eventually add the new baseboard.
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-16This step isn’t difficult, it just requires some patience and a little more muscle. I typically use a pair of needle nose pliers and pluck the nails out of the wall until they’re all gone.

3. Scrape off old Caulk

Once the nails are out of the wall it’s time to scrape away the old caulk from both the wall and the floor.
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-12Any size scraper will work for this step along with… you guessed it…more muscle! How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-14

This photo shows the old caulk removed from the floor, but it also shows that the wall is in need of some more scraping. After getting up all the old caulk on the floor, make sure you scrape the seam on the wall where old caulk or paint has built up. Getting that layer of extra paint/caulk is important to remove, so you’re left with a flat wall surface that you’ll eventually patch and repaint.

4. Patch the wallswhite_paint-pink-spackle

Once that wall is smooth it’s time to patch it. I like to use this pink spackle because it’s very easy to see where I patched (it’s bright pink!) and when it dries it turns white.
How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-33You don’t have to patch all the way to the floor, just enough to cover up the original seam. Heck if the old baseboard was removed super carefully you may be able to skip this step entirely! In my case the new baseboard was not going to match up to the old line and some of that grungy old wall was going to show. Patching ensured it would eventually look smooth like the rest of the wall.

5. Sand the Patches & Clean up

How_to_install_Shiplap_Baseboard_Progress-34Once the patches have dried you can lightly sand the excess spackle from the wall until you’re left with a surface that’s smooth and consistent with the rest of the wall.

Rookie Tip: Sanding spackle is SUPER DUSTY so I would definitely suggest closing the door in this room (and all of the other rooms in the house!) while also putting down a drop cloth. Covering anything else in the room that could get dusty is probably a good idea too. I typically do a clean of the area after this step so that my work area is far less dusty when I move onto the installation/painting steps. 

Can you believe we’re already half way done with this DIY!? As much as these steps go pretty quick, I feel like this post is already long-winded. I’m going to continue the last half of the step-by-step tutorial in tomorrow’s post.

I want to provide as many specific details as possible (including lots of pictures) and breaking this process up into two posts is the best way to do that. Plus this is usually a two-day process and this post covers the steps I usually get done during Day 1. So this seems like the perfect place to break until tomorrow. See you then!

DIY Baseboard

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2 thoughts on “How to Install New Baseboard – Part 1

  1. Trang

    I need to put down baseboards in my kitchen, but not having a miter saw has really prevented me from finishing the project. It’s on my next tool purchase list.

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2 thoughts on “How to Install New Baseboard – Part 1

  1. Trang

    I need to put down baseboards in my kitchen, but not having a miter saw has really prevented me from finishing the project. It’s on my next tool purchase list.

    Reply

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Make your Own Wood Planter for your Dining Room Table

DIY_Flower_Box_Cetnerpiece

Last weekend we had the opportunity to showcase some projects on ABC news here in Chicago. We were tasked with displaying DIY’s that could refresh your indoors for the new season. Since we’re all about easy projects that make a big impact, we were excited to brainstorm DIY’s that would work well for spring.

Here’s a link to the full segment if you want to check it out. We had a blast and hope to be back again soon!Hydrangea Centerpiece

One of the projects that we did on the show was a DIY wood planter box. We both struggle with decorating our dining room tables for the everyday, and this planter box solved that problem. You can build this simple box, fill it with mason jars, and then display seasonal flowers right in there. It makes a big visual impact without cluttering up your entire table. Love when that happens!DIY_Wood_Planter_Casey_saw

Plus, this wood planter box is SUPER SIMPLE to build. Seriously only a couple cuts, some staining, and putting it all together!

Wood Planter Box SuppliesDIY_Wood_Planter-3

  • Miter saw
  • Nail gun (or finishing nails & a hammer)
  • Wood stain (or try these Minwax wipes!)
  • Gold corner brackets
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Mason jars
  • Wood: 2 (1×6 pine) & 1 (1×4 pine); Length will depend on the size of your box
  • Safety glasses (or if you forget yours like we did, then sunglasses will also work to protect your eyes!)

Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1

DIY_Wood_PlanterFirst you’ll want to plan out the size of your planter box. We wanted to fit 5 mason jars, so we decided to make it 22 inches long. We then marked 22 inches on each piece of wood for the 2 sides and the bottom. We used pine boards that were 6 inches wide for the sides, and a pine board that was 4 inches wide for the bottom.DIY_Wood_Planter-6

You’ll want to wait to cut the 2 end pieces until you have your other 3 long pieces all cut. This will ensure that you get the right size and they’re not too long or too short.

Step 2DIY_Wood_Planter_Casey_cutting_saw

With your pieces measured, it’s time to make the cuts. We love our miter saw and it gets easier (& less scary!) every time we use it. Just be confident with your cuts and go up and down quickly.

Step 3

DIY_Wood_Planter-8

With your 3 long pieces cut, it’s time to assemble! We used a nail gun so it took no time at all. If you don’t have one, then finishing nails and a hammer will do (although it will take some time to get it all together). Space out your nails accordingly so it looks even and nice. You won’t cover the holes, so you don’t want too many nail holes.

Step 4DIY_Wood_Planter-10

With your base all together, measure the width for the side pieces and cut those. Then take your nail gun again and secure the pieces to the sides. At this point, you can stain the entire box inside and out. You could also stain the pieces before you put it together, but because we were impatient and didn’t want to wait for the dry time to move forward…we decided to do it after the fact. We used our favorite colored stain…dark walnut. DIY_Wood_Planter-9

Rookie Tip: Use Q-tips dipped in stain to get the color into the corners of the box. This will ensure that no spot remains uncovered! 

Step 5DIY_Wood_Planter-14

This step is purely optional, but we think it’s a good one to do if you want to jazz up your wood box a bit. We picked up some gold L-brackets from the hardware store and attached them to the bottom 4 corners of the box. This added some shine & interest to the piece. Just drill a pilot hole first, and then use screws to attach the brackets. Be careful about screwing through to the other side. You don’t want any screws poking through into the middle of the box!

Step 6DIY_Flower_Box_Flowers_Vase

Place the mason jars in your wood box and add your favorite flowers!

DIY_Flower_Box_Kitchen_Tablejpg

We love using hydrangeas because they’re so full and lush, but you can use absolutely anything! Wouldn’t this piece look gorgeous on your table for the holidays? We imagine it filled with branches, greenery, and these mason jars with cranberries and floating candles!

DIY_Flower_Box_HygrangeasDoesn’t it look pretty in the middle of the dining room table? Love the wood against the sleek white marble! Come dinner time, this wood planter box is super easy to pick up and move off the table…which makes it the perfect dining accessory.

DIY_Flower_Box_CetnerpieceWe hope you give this simple DIY a try. All it takes is a few tools to build your own wood planter box.

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10 thoughts on “Make your Own Wood Planter for your Dining Room Table

  1. Kristen Ayotte

    Such a cute DIY! My husband bought a miter saw recently so maybe I’ll be brave and try to use it myself!

    Reply
  2. Kerri Hansen

    Just watched the video, you guys were awesome! Such naturals in front of the camera! You definitely need to incorporate more videos on your blog…I guess the hip kids call that “vlogging”? I am going to try and make that planter box. I have been wanting to make something like it for candles, love the long rectangle shape. I will have to get my local hardware store to cut the wood for me, as I don’t think we own a saw…

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10 thoughts on “Make your Own Wood Planter for your Dining Room Table

  1. Kristen Ayotte

    Such a cute DIY! My husband bought a miter saw recently so maybe I’ll be brave and try to use it myself!

    Reply
  2. Kerri Hansen

    Just watched the video, you guys were awesome! Such naturals in front of the camera! You definitely need to incorporate more videos on your blog…I guess the hip kids call that “vlogging”? I am going to try and make that planter box. I have been wanting to make something like it for candles, love the long rectangle shape. I will have to get my local hardware store to cut the wood for me, as I don’t think we own a saw…

    Reply

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Rookie Mistake: Over-the-door Hangers & Mirrors

Clothes_hanging_on_doorjpg

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

Rookie Mistake – Over-the-door hooks & mirrors

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

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

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

Over-the-door Hook Replacements

hooks

Image + Door Hook via The Container Store 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Over-the-door Mirror Replacements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

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

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

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

  2. Erin

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

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

    Reply
  3. Trang

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

    Reply
  4. Connie

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

    Reply

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

  1. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

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

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

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

  2. Erin

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

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

    Reply
  3. Trang

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

    Reply
  4. Connie

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

    Reply

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