How Do We Like It Now? Take 7

I do a lot of DIY projects, buy a lot of new products, and make a lot of decorating decisions here on the blog. However, I don’t always take the time to give honest home project reviews of the products/DIYs after living with them for a while. Do I still love them? Would I do anything differently? Any advice for next time around?

This is a series that provides me 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.

I haven’t done a post like this for about a year – where I reviewed our couch, living room rug, kitchen stools, and more –  so I figured there were a lot of other items and projects around our house that needed a review.

My Home Office Desk (9 out of 10)2021 blog content and reader feedback

I kicked Finn to the basement in August and I’ve been using our home office full-time ever since. I absolutely love it in here. It’s cozy, calm, and I can spend hours and hours working away. I’m very pleased with the large desk I chose from Article. It’s a great size for my laptop and monitor, plus there is room for snacks, water bottles, my phone, etc., and it’s very stylish. Hidden compartment for cords

My favorite feature is the hidden cord area. I hate messy cords hanging from a desk and with this setup, everything is hidden in the secret area at the front of the desk. It is such a genius idea to avoid cord clutter.

I docked off one point because it doesn’t have any drawers. While that’s not a big deal for me since I have our huge built-ins right next to us – with four drawers and four cabinets – it might not be ideal for someone with less storage. Just a slim drawer in the middle would be nice to stash a few things.Our home decor reviews

Oh, and I pair it with this office chair that I really like. It’s not the cutest chair out there  – and it’s pricey – but it’s incredibly comfortable and is good on my back!

Rory’s Nursery Glider (8 out of 10)Rory's nursery dresser

I had no clue what to buy when it came to Rory’s nursery. To be honest, I was mostly obsessing over the style of each piece instead of the function. Of course, I knew I wanted a comfy glider to rock our baby, but I didn’t know much more than that. Our sage green built-ins in our nursery

We’ve had so many wonderful memories in this glider and I still adore the look of it. (They no longer carry the exact one, but this one is almost identical.) Even after tons of spit-up, spilled milk, and stains, the chair still looks brand new. That performance fabric really does work well! It’s also super comfortable and I still rock Rory in here each night when we read books before bed.

However, I do want to ask you guys if you think a glider/recliner would make sense for our baby boy’s nursery. Don’t worry, it wouldn’t look like a typical recliner, instead, it would look similar to this glider with just the option to recline backward. I’m not even sure if we’ll have the space in the small room, but I do like the idea of being able to recline back when the baby naps on me. Thoughts? Anyone use one and like it or hate it?

Wood Kitchen Table (10 out of 10)Choosing kitchen lighting

I teamed up with the new-to-me brand, Castlery, for the dining room table and chairs in our new kitchen. I didn’t really know what the quality would be like but crossed my fingers that it would work well for us. I’m happy to say that we absolutely love the dining table. It’s walnut wood and still looks pristine even though we use it all day every day. Rory is a messy eater and this table sees tons of action. So the fact that it’s still looking great says a lot.

Stair Runner (3 out of 10)Home decor reviews - how do we like our stair runner a year later?

Ugh, this one makes me sad. In early 2020, we decided to install a stair runner on our wood stairs because they were way too slippery. I shared the entire DIY installation process with all of you and it went really well. Unfortunately, I don’t think we chose the best rug for this project. I think the tutorial and the steps we chose were spot on, and I would do everything exactly the same again, but the material we chose is just not working well for our family.home project reviews our DIY stair runner

First, it’s looking a little fuzzy and pilly which drives me bonkers. Second, the lines on it have never been perfect, and even though I don’t mind an organic look, we probably should have chosen something without a pattern. Third, it’s starting to fray and pull where we had to cut it, as you can see in the above photo. I’ve tried carpet glue, added more staples, and just about everything under the sun, but it doesn’t seem to stay nice for more than a few weeks.

Eventually, we will replace it with a different rug and it should be fine. But if I had a do-over, I would definitely choose a different material for this DIY project. Live and learn!

Solar Fence Lights (8 out of 10)Solar lights in our backyard

I probably get asked about the solar lights on our fence at least weekly on Instagram. I have no idea why the heck this mini-project resonated with so many people, but it did! I didn’t even write a blog post about the project because I figured it was so small and self-explanatory. (In hindsight, I should have written one so it could be a resource for everyone with questions!) I added these solar lights, in warm white, to every fence post in our yard and attached them using this outdoor mounting tape.

I will say that they haven’t budged. Not one light has fallen and they’re all super secure. So the outdoor mounting tape works wonders. The only downside is that the lights don’t emit a ton of light. They just add a nice soft glow to the backyard, which I love. Finn thinks they should emit more light, so that’s his gripe about these. But for the price and ease of install, I think they’re worth it!

Coffee Table (5 out of 10)How we keep our living room tidy with a baby

I’m giving my coffee table a 5 out of 10 and I don’t know if that’s really fair because we’ve had this table for years and have loved it! But because we use our living room so much, it has seen better days and has a lot of nicks and marks on the base. In fact, we even moved it to the basement to give Rory more space to play in our living room for now.Our living room rug

I still love the look and shape of this piece and would highly recommend it if it were to be used in a formal living room or space that doesn’t see as much action as a playroom, since that’s basically what we’ve turned our own family room into! Eventually, I’ll look for a new coffee table for our space, but until then, we’re going without one for a while!

Wood Butcher Block (9 out of 10)Our biggest kitchen renovation regrets

I know many of you were very hesitant when I told you our plans for our wood butcher block in our kitchen. Guys, it’s one of our favorite parts of the space. We use it constantly! We chop everything on here and it’s kinda our home base when cooking or preparing food. It’s also where we serve appetizers or snacks when we have people over. I absolutely adore it!Home decor reviews - how do we like our butcher block 6 months in?

It does see wear and tear and has visible knife marks, but we knew that would happen. We oil it about once a week (following the steps in this blog post) and that always seems to bring it back to life. If you cook a lot and have space in your home, I highly recommend a wood chopping block!

Charging Drawer (10 out of 10)Tips to add a charging drawer

Our charging drawer was another fun addition to our kitchen and I’m happy to say we still love it. Our baby monitor is always charged, we always have extra phone chargers for guests, and our portable sound machine is raring to go for Rory. We don’t keep it nearly as neat as we did in the blog post, but it’s still a great resource for all of our tech supplies.

Other Home Project Reviews?Our hallway from our home tour before and after series

So there you have it! I feel like I’ve tackled home project reviews of most of the big stuff around here. (You can find a whole post about our floors here and the painted tile projects here.) But am I missing anything? Let me know if in the comments below if you want me to review any other pieces I have around here.


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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