How Do We Like It Now? Take 4

We do a lot of DIY projects, buy a lot of new products, and make a lot of decorating decisions here on the blog. However, we don’t always take the time to check in on the status of these updates years after living with them with honest home decor reviews.Sharing our home decor reviews of purchases around our spacesDo we still love them? Would we do anything differently? Any advice for next time around?

This is a series that provides us with the chance to take a stroll down memory lane while providing you guys with the real talk on how these purchases are holding up after lots of daily wear and tear.

Rookie Reviews from the Past

Our DIY & Home Decor Reviews

Honest home decor reviews

So let’s get right to it. Our honest home decor reviews of prominent pieces in each of our homes.

Casey’s ReviewsWorking at a marble dining room table

Coffee Table (9 out of 10)The black udan coffee table from crate and barrel

It took me a looooong ass time to find the perfect coffee table for our living room. I wanted a round one without any legs to break up all of the straight lines and legs in this space. I finally landed on this one from Crate + Barrel and I haven’t looked back.How to style a round coffee table

Yes, it was a pricey table but the quality is top notch. I’m giving it a 9 out of 10 because I have gotten a nick or 2 on the base of the table as we’ve used it every single day. Nothing looks horrible, but it’s just from regular wear and tear. And if you’re looking for ideas to style a round table, this post has the scoop and design how-to.

Modern Planter (9 out of 10)

Modern iris and chevron planter from west elm

How have I not included this planter on our list before? It is, by far, one of our most popular items on the blog. People are obsessed with this planter and for good reason. It’s a perfect size (mine is large) and it’s a sleek way to add some greenery to your space.Reading in a living room with built ins and plants

In our planter, we’ve had the same snake plant for about 3 years. And guys…we never take care of it! Maybe I water it once a month when I remember?? But it somehow is still going strong and I love how it requires minimal maintenance. The bottom of the planter has gotten a few dark spots (it must be from the soil marking up the stone? Not totally sure). It certainly doesn’t look bad, but that’s why I’m giving this an 8 out of 10. But if you’re looking for a cool planter to add to any room, I highly recommend this one.

Standing Mirror (9 out of 10)

Black and brass leaning mirror from cb2

Earlier this year, I added a standing mirror to our bedroom and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I use it every day to get ready and to even show off outfits I’m wearing on Insta Stories. It’s still very secure to the wall using this tutorial and I love the black and brass. Sadly, it looks like CB2 no longer sells this mirror but I’m loving this one they offer! The acrylic is too cool. Mirror facing a bed is bad feng shui

I’m giving this a 9 out of 10 because apparently having a mirror facing your bed is bad feng shui?? Eek. It’s a looooong story, but I recently had a friend of a friend of a friend recommend a feng shui consultant to me to help with our fertility journey. At this point, I’m open to absolutely anything if it could somehow improve our chances of getting pregnant (I realize I may sound very desperate right now, but honestly, I am!). I’ve made a few small changes around our house to improve the “energy” and I’m happy to do a post about it if you guys are interested (but I realize it may sound a little “woo woo” to a lot of you!).

Anyways, love the mirror just wish I had a better spot for it!

Bathroom Vanity (10 out of 10)white bathroom vanity from lowe's home improvement

I really should consult Finn on the status of the vanity because he is the one who uses it every single day, but from my point of view, the vanity is as amazing as ever. First, let’s chat about the look. I was a little nervous to go with a white vanity in here because I didn’t want it to look cheap. But because we did the marble top and the black matte faucet, it looks a lot more high-end. Organizing a vanity in a small bathroom

Functionally, Finn is loving this vanity setup way more than our previous one. The drawer on the bottom comes in handy and there is still plenty of room in the cabinets. You can read more about how we organized this vanity over in this blog post.

Kitchen Island Stools (3 out of 10)White mesh stools in a dark kitchen

Yep, here’s my one horrible review of the bunch. I originally purchased these stools a few months after we moved into our condo. And to be honest, we’ve never sat there very often. We usually eat and work at the dining room table and if we have friends over we all stand around the kitchen island.White mesh stools in a dark kitchen However, in the midst of our bathroom renovation our dining room table was covered in supplies and we were forced to sit at the kitchen island. Holy shit, these stools are sooooo uncomfortable. If you’re wearing shorts you will definitely be left with big ol’ marks on your legs and butt from the cutouts on the stool. They’re pretty horrible and I’ve been searching for replacements. Any suggestions? I need to do something pretty light so they don’t clash with the dark kitchen island and I don’t want them to match the dining room chairs. The struggle is real.

Bridget’s Reviewshow do we like specific decor items after living with them for a while

Interior Define Couch (9 out of 10)

interior define sofa reviewedWe’ve had this couch for about ten months and I love it. The color, the legs, the fabric, and the customizable size sold me early on in our couch buying process and these characteristics are what I still love about this couch today. It’s seen food spills, baby spit-up, and its fair share of wear and tear since it arrived. Luckily, the fabric still looks as good!

an honest review of an interior define sofaThe only reason I give this couch a 9 out of 10 is that the back cushions do see more “slouching” than I had hoped. Every time we are having people over, I definitely have to “fluff” the large pillows to make the couch look a little more polished. Other than this minor “inconvenience” (and even that’s a stretch), I love everything about this couch and would recommend it to others… as long as you don’t mind the slouch!

Nursery Rocker ( 9 out of 10)

buying a cream rocker for a nursery

I got a little slack for buying a light colored nursery rocker, but I’m happy to report that I’m so happy I bought it. I almost solely pumped in this exact spot for the first few months after having Ben and it saw A LOT of splattered breast milk. Drips from the pump, drops from the bottle, spit up from the baby, this rocker has been used and abused these past 8 months.

an honest review of this cream rocking chair in a nurseryAnd yes, the light color showed every single one of those milk stains. BUT the good news is that all these stains wipe up very easily. I spot cleaned these areas with some soap and water and after the material dries, you’d never be able to tell there was previously a milk stain in that spot.

nursery rocker reviewSo for others who really want a light colored rocker, I’d say go for it! I love it in the room. Ours was a little annoying to put together but ever since then, we have never regretted buying the rocker.

reviewing a light colored nursery rockerOh, let’s talk really quickly about its comfort level. Is it a huge plush sofa that I want to curl up in and take a nap? No. It’s firm but cozy. I’ve spent many nights rocking in this chair giving Ben before bedtime and I’ve never regretted this purchase.

Checkered Doormat (2 out of 10)

buying a checkered doormat for the porchI’m so sad about this item on the list because I wanted to love it SO badly, especially now that it’s fall. I bought this checkered doormat a few months ago for our mini patio makeover. I paired it with this 10 minute DIY doormat and was totally digging the look. I left town for a week and when I came back, it was ruined!!

I know it’s not the end of the world (it’s a doormat for goodness sake!) but I couldn’t believe how dirty and gross it got just by getting wet. We weren’t even home to have foot traffic stain it!

black and white checkered doormat

I don’t think this would be a problem if your entrance is covered. If you have a covered entrance, I’d say go for it because the rug is gorgeous. But if you have an uncovered entrance like mine, I would not recommend wasting your money on this indoor/”outdoor” rug.

Nursery Rug (10 out of 10)

an honest review of nursery rugAnother item in the nursery I absolutely love and have no regrets about? The vintage-inspired navy rug. I think I love it more after living it with it for these past few months than I did when I bought it… if that’s even possible.

navy nursery rug reviewedThe price is so amazing, especially for the huge size I ordered (9’x12′). Getting a rug that big for $260 is such a bargain. I also love it because it hides everything. I once brought in a large glass of pink lemonade to drink while I was breastfeeding and accidentally spilled the entire thing on the rug. Eek! I have no clue how, but I still can’t tell where it spilled because the carpet hides it so perfectly. If that doesn’t deserve a 10 out of 10 I just don’t know what does!

Family Room Rug (10 out of 10)

Geometric patterned office rug reviewSpeaking of quality rugs, I have to talk about another rug in my house that I love so much. This light colored rug is SO popular and I can see why. I love the subtle pattern and light colors and especially love the amazing price. I bought the 10×14′ on sale and couldn’t believe I could get a rug that big for $315. Such. A. Steal!

family room rug reviewed

The rug does show a little more than the navy one (bummer, I know), but it’s bound to since it’s a cream color. I do have to say it’s forgiving if whatever you spill isn’t super dark or if you can wipe it up right away. And honestly, I think I like it better after it “wears” a little. The rugs seems a lot softer and a little more worn since we bought it, and I love it.

honest review of cream rug in the family roomPlus, a lot of my friends have purchased it and I’m always so shocked at how this chameleon rug magically matches with everything and looks good in just about any space! Family rooms, offices, nurseries, master bedrooms…. it works!

Dining Room Light Fixture (7 out of 10)

dining room light fixture review after one yearBecause of our dining room setup, I was forced to find a swag light. I knew it was going to be temporary until we tackled the kitchen renovation. I found this one and was super happy about it because it was affordable and I spray painted it the color I wanted it to be. So. Much. Better!

However, over time the light started to slightly shift and getting it back level proved to be much harder than expected. Strike 1.

dining room light fixture a review

Strike 2 is totally on me. I liked the airy look of this fixture inside and really appreciated the bright light it provided in our dining room. BUT, I just wasn’t in love with how small and just “meh” is looked from outside.

I know half of the problem is that our dining room is very stark as we wait to figure out the kitchen, which may be part of the problem here, but I just wasn’t WOW-ed looking in the window like I want to be when looking at the light fixture.

honest review of dining room swag light fixture

Therefore, the plan is to swap it out after the kitchen reno. This was the plan all along and I’m happy this light provided a temporary fix on a budget, but I’m excited about something that will bring a little more WOW factor to this prominent area in our home.

So there you have it our honest home decor reviews of some of the most prominent pieces in each of our homes. Any particular purchase we haven’t reviewed yet that you want to see? Let us know in the comments below!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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