Our 2017 Home Goals

Happy 2017 everyone! We’re back from our vacation (more on our trip soon!) & are SO excited to kick off another year here on The DIY Playbook! Get ready for a great week of DIY, blog, & fashion posts to start this the new year off right. And after that, a busy year of lots of projects!  

To us, our homes will never really be “done”. We’re always striving to make them the best that they can be and with that being said, we don’t think “BEST” is a final destination but more of a journey. And this journey means that we’ll probably always be upgrading and changing things around until it’s time to move on to another home, which will come with MORE projects (yay!).bridgets-first-house-fall-mums-3

Currently, we walk around our spaces with a mental to-do list of all of items we want to accomplish in each space. These projects aren’t as big as they were when we first bought our places, but there are still lots of projects to be done.  To start 2017 off on the right foot, we figured we’d outline all of those mental to-dos. That way we can get them out in the open and start to organize our thoughts. Then you guys can hold us accountable to get everything done this year they we want to! Plus, making a list will give us a centralized location to come back to as we schedule our project timelines throughout the year. Sound like a plan?

Let’s dive into the things we want to accomplish around each of our homes in the new year!

Casey’s Home To-Do List

Master Bathroom – New Lightingbathroom-lights-pendants-before

Remember this post when I asked for advice about what to do with our teeny, tiny pendant lights? Well, I still have done absolutely nothing and still have no clue what I want to replace them with. I definitely want to find some larger lights that I adore and get them swapped out in the next few months.

Master Bedroom – New Ceiling Fan & Finalize Style


Moving onto our master bedroom, where things look just about “complete.” Ever since we swapped out the ceiling fan in our Lowe’s fall makeover, I’ve been wanting to replace our old ceiling fan with a sleek black one. I think it will really elevate the look of the room and I’m happy to see that light wood fan go.casey-master-bedroom

I also really want to make a conscious effort to only display the items that I truly love in our bedroom. I feel like my style has evolved since I first decorated this room, and I want to make sure that every item in this space is thoughtfully chosen. That will probably mean replacing some of the pillows, lamps, and accessories.

Guest Room – Closet OrganizationView More: http://ginacristinestudios.pass.us/diy-playbook-guest-bedroompainted-guest-room-closet

Our guest room closet is a hot mess. Seriously, it’s so disorganized and is stuffed to the brim with items. Not only do I want to purge it thoroughly, but I also want to add new closet organizers and shelves, so I can make the best use of this small (but valuable) space.

Family Room – New Coffee Table, Chair, & Accessoriesdining-family-living-room-space-augusta

Guys…we got a new couch! Hooray! It came right before Christmas, and with our trip to Mexico, I haven’t had a chance to photograph it just yet. But don’t worry…the details and lots of photos will be on the blog real soon. But with a new couch comes other new items. Our coffee table is in horrible shape (it’s a DIY project from YEARS ago), and I really want to find a new one that I adore.

Our new sectional opens up to the kitchen, so I think we may have space for a chair to sit right across from it. And maybe some end tables & lamps? Not 100% sure yet, but I’m excited to play around with the new layout.

wide-shot-augusta-built-ins-family-roomI also want to do some more purging in this space (especially on our built-ins) and really make sure it reflects our personal style. The colors, the texture, the accessories…I just want to make thoughtful choices with everything in this space.

Main Room – DIY Closet Doors & Moldingbefore-old-doors

I’m happy to report that 1/2 of this task is already done and I’ll share it with you later this week! Over the holiday break, I replaced all of these doors with new DIY ones and I’m in love! I still want to add trim all the way around the perimeter of the doors, but haven’t gotten around to doing that just yet. I think it’s really going to elevate the look and feel of the entire space and make the large room feel much more high-end.

Guest Bathroom – Renovation (?!?)09-guest-bathroom-wide-shot-augusta-after

Ever since we moved in, we’ve chatted about gutting the guest bathroom and upgrading it. I would love to challenge ourselves to renovate the guest bathroom and do as much of the work ourselves as possible. We’ve never really tackled a project of this size on the blog, so I think it would be a good learning experience for everybody! Still no timeline on this, but just wanted to put it out there!

Bridget’s Home To-Do List

Current Guest Room – Turn into an Officeguest room

We’ve finally decided to take the plunge and swap the current guest room and office this year. The guest room now is such a bright space (it gets the best light almost all day long) and since it’s a guest room, I feel like it’s wasted space 355/365 days a year. Since we have a small house, I don’t want ANY space to be wasted… let alone a whole room! Plus, this space was always a catch-all room & one full of hand-me-down furniture so it’s time to give it the makeover it deserves! Making the current guest room into our new office will be the first project I tackle this year so I’m excited to dive in! Stay tuned for lots more details (and progress) this month!

Family Room – New Coffee Tablebridget-home-tour-wide-shots-family-room-kitchen-dining-5

We get a lot of compliments on this coffee table and it’s not that I don’t like it, I just feel like it does not align with my style. And like Casey mentioned, we both are trying to make everything in our homes reflect our personal style in 2017, so I plan to swap  this one out for something “more me”. If anyone in the Chicagoland area is looking for a coffee table like this one…let me know!

Garage – Organize It!

I know this space is not super photogenic, but I really want to continue to work toward my garage goals that I shared at the end of last fall. I love the storage that our small garage offers (and the updates so far!), but I want to make sure this small space is working as hard as it could be. Hopefully throughout the summer I can tackle some projects out there!

Kitchen – New Fanbridget-home-tour-wide-shots-family-room-kitchen-dining-11

This is a project that I’ve been wanting to change for … YEARS, but because I never put it on my to-do list, it seems to always get lost in the shuffle! <– I hate when that happens.

bridget-home-tour-wide-shots-family-room-kitchen-dining-9In a perfect world I wish we could eliminate the fan in our kitchen all together and add pendant lights over the island instead, but my better half INSISTS that we have a fan in the kitchen. And since the guy never asks for anything (and does all the work in the kitchen), I feel like I have no choice but to support his wishes. If we’re going to be stuck with a fan, at least it can be less of an eyesore this year.

Kitchen – Over the Fridge

Speaking of an eyesore, let’s chat about the design dilemma I’m having with the space above my refrigerator. I need HELP!! Does anyone have any tips? I’ve thought about adding more cabinets but I don’t necessarily want even MORE dark cabinets in the kitchen and I don’t know how hard it would be to find the exact match to the other cabinets (that the homeowner before us added). Has anyone seen any alternative ideas for what to above a refrigerator?!

Outdoors – Conceal Garbage Cansfront house

*This is an old picture but it’s the only one I could find that doesn’t show everything covered in snow. Usually cans are sitting on the right side of the house and do not help the curb appeal.

We store our recycle bin and garbage can on the side of the house because that’s pretty much our only option without making the garage smell like…. well, garbage. I hate that when you pull up to our home those ugly cans are in sight. I’m hoping to figure out a way to DIY something than will hide them, and maybe even protect them from those pesky raccoons that love to drop by every once in a while.

I also need to resurface our black top driveway. I’m not a huge fan of the black top but putting in a whole concrete driveway isn’t the best choice financially, specifically because this is not our forever house. However our current driveway has seen better days and definitely needs some TLC.

Office – Update to BedroomBridgetGold Office Makeover Trunk

Since we’re basically making the guest room our office, we’ll need to eventually address our current office. I’m still not sure the plan and hope to see this project more clearly once the “new office” is finished. I’ll keep you posted….

Patio – More Seating, Maybe a Pergola? Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-20

I really love our patio but I don’t think it’s my style and I don’t think we currently utilize it to the best of our ability. Matt grills out there a lot over the summer but there’s nowhere to sit and eat.

I’d love to add some seating for dinner parties. And in my DREAM WORLD where my backyard is full of blossoming money trees, I would also love to add a pergola of some kind. The direct sunlight and limited breeze makes this space pretty hot in the summer (especially for pale people like me). I can’t envision exactly what I want, which is why I didn’t take this plunge earlier, but I do think something overhead would really make the space less of a high-risk sunburn zone.


It’s only week two and 2017 is already shaping up to be a busy one around here! But if you know us by now, you know how much we actually LOVE being busy so we’ll take it!builddirect-tile-subway-diy-tile-coffee

How’s your to-do list looking this year? Do you plan your house projects out in advance? Do you sit down and make a DIY wish to-do list to ensure that you get everything you want done?

As much as it can feel a little overwhelming to list everything out in the beginning of the year, we’ve found that having a plan eliminates putting projects off only to realize it’s too late to get them done.


  • Maggie

    Hi Bridget! My husband and I recently bought a house in the southwest suburbs of Chicago! If you do plan to replace Your current coffee table, please reach out! It may go well in our basement family room!

    Thanks for sharing your house renovations! You two always have such great ideas!

    • Thanks so much, Maggie! There is a small scratch on the top of the coffee table but if you’re still interested, feel free to email us at [email protected] and we can chat details…. and I can send you more specific pics!

      Happy New Year!!

  • Summer Hogan

    Can’t wait for a new year of great projects! I’m contemplating my master bathroom which could be a total gut job and it terrifies me lol! Hope the vacay was amazing!

    • So exciting Summer! Can’t wait to follow along.

  • Erin

    welcome back! i think all these things are attainable but it does sound like a busy year!

  • shawnna griffin

    Hey girls- Welcome home! Can’t wait to hear about the trip! Looks like ya’ll have a lot to do this year, have fun doing it! I have a question- What is the best monthly planner (and best price) I can buy and where?

    • Thanks so much Shawnna! It was so much fun.

      We’ve used “Day Designer” & “Erin Condren” planners in the past. They’re both pretty pricey, but have been a worthy expense for us both! We’d definitely recommend them.

    • shawnna griffin

      Ok Thanks! I’ll check it out!

  • Whitney Regeth

    Happy new year! My husband and I are in the process of buying a home and I’ve already made a huge to-do list haha. He thinks I’m crazy because we aren’t even moved in yet but I can’t help it lol. I can’t wait to see all of your amazing projects!

    • Aw, thanks so much Whitney! And congratulations… sounds like a stressful but amazing time!!!!

      Happy New Year =)

  • 4 words for ya – wine rack over fridge


  • Excited to see the results of these!! I LOVE making a (semi) ambitious project list at the beginning of the year and think that these things might (mostly) get done before December. Also, you can totally do the bathroom project!! My husband COMPLETELY (down to the studs and subfloor) redid our only (you can imagine how well that went…) bathroom a few years ago, learning a lot of new skills from YouTube videos. So so glad we (he) took it on! Good luck!!

  • I love the wine rack idea, or vertical shelves for baking sheets? That way you only have to match the wood stain, not the style of cabinetry, which I think would actually make that fridge area more cohesive with the rest of the kitchen!
    I know you’ll come up with something beautiful–you always do. Good luck!
    XO, Jaclyn

    • Thanks for the ideas Jaclyn! I never would have thought of that!