How Do We Like It Now? Take 6

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 reviews of the products after living with them for awhile. 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. Here are past reviews that both Bridget and I did over the years of items in both of our homes…

Since we’ve now been in our home for a year, I figured it was time to give you some furniture reviews, decor and DIY updates, and more. So let’s get to it.

Living Room Couch (8.5 out of 10)Living room couch

The couch in our living room was the first purchase I made for this house (you can read all about it here). It really set the tone for the rest of the living room and the vibes for the remainder of the house. First, I absolutely love the look and comfort of the couch. I would have chosen the same style over and over again. It’s the coziest spot in the house and snuggling on here is the best thing ever.Furniture reviews of our living room couch If you remember this blog post, we ended up choosing a super durable fabric. It has held up really well to stains (we’ve spilled lots of things on here) and even though it’s a cream color, we still don’t have any spots. However, the fabric does pill a bit in the spots where we sit most often. That can definitely happen with fabric when other items rub on it, but I was disappointed because we got the most durable fabric they offered.

However, I use this fabric defuzzer every other month or so and it keeps the couch looking brand new. So overall, I would give it an 8.5 out of 10.Adding pillows to a neutral ottoman

Oh, and up until very recently, we rarely used the ottoman. It was tucked in the corner behind the couch and was actually a great spot to sit down and put on shoes. Now with Rory, we use it alllll the time. It has storage inside, so we keep extra diapers, wipes, blankets, burp cloths, etc. in here. Then, at the end of the night, I put them all back in and the living room doesn’t have baby stuff everywhere!

Table & Chairs (8 out of 10)Our new living room gallery wall

More furniture reviews for ya! We added this round oak table and these black chairs to the living room back in the fall (you can read more about them in this post). I was a little hesitant about putting a table in here (Did we really need one when we had a dining table in the kitchen?), but this ended up being the best use for the space. In fact, I’m sitting at that table as I type this!Our new living room gallery wall

I spend a lot of time sitting at this table on my computer working (since Finn is now in the home office). It’s an ideal spot because I can watch the morning news, keep my eye on Rory in her bouncer, and quickly head to the kitchen for a snack. For the oak table, I would give it a 10 out of 10. The color, the quality, the size…it’s all perfect. The chairs are also really good, although they’re not the most comfortable to sit in all day long. If you’re just using them when you eat a meal, I think they’re great, but when I am sitting and working for over six hours at a time, I can get a little stiff. I ended up swapping one of the four chairs with this office chair and my back thanks me.

Leather Kitchen Stools (10 out of 10)Our leather kitchen stools

I got these kitchen stools after our old ones got filthy during our renovation. These are the best and totally deserve a 10 out of 10. They’re comfortable, the price is right, and I adore the look. Plus, they’re super easy to wipe down and keep clean. Perfect score!

Living Room Rug (10 out of 10)Our living room rug

Another perfect score is our living room rug! We have a 9×12 in the olive/charcoal color in here and it works beautifully in this space. The colors go really well with our couch and the dark green curtains we have. It isn’t a “real” Persian rug, so that’s something to keep in mind. It’s more of a screen print onto the fabric, but I still love it (and for that price, you know you’re not getting the “real deal.”) I recommend this rug pad underneath it to make it extra cushy.

Drying Rack (7 out of 10)Laundry room organization

When we did the laundry room, I knew we had to have a drying rack in here. We went with this one and I love the look of it. However, I wish we would have gone with the bigger size. I find that I often use every single row of the rack to hang my bras, leggings, etc to air dry. Drying rack from Ballard DesignsSo, while I’m so happy we have the drying rack, bigger would be much more functional for us!

Stained Deck (5 out of 10)Wagner paint sprayer

The first DIY project I tackled at our Finn Fixer Upper was staining the deck. It was raw wood when we bought the house, so we knew we would have to stain and seal it before the winter. While my contractor worked on the big renovations inside, I used a sprayer to stain the deck. It was a lot of work, but actually pretty fun. So how does it look now? Well, not perfect. There are a few spots that are looking pretty worn down and it’s faded in some areas. I don’t believe I stained it incorrectly, I just think that wood decks see a lot of wear and tear when you live in Chicago and they constantly need maintenance.Deck before and after renovation

Next summer, we’re planning to rip out the deck and do a large area with brick pavers. Our deck is an awkwardly small size and we would rather have more space between the house and garage for an outdoor dining table, couch area, and firepit! That’s a project for down the line, but we are dreaming and scheming over here…

Garage Floor Tiles (10 out of 10)Enjoying our new clean garage

Another project that we did as soon as we moved in was lay down these garage floor tiles. I remember so many of you were skeptical at the time. Why add these to your garage floor? Guys, this was 100% worth it. Not only does our garage look better, but it stays a lot cleaner and less dusty. Plus, it’s been great for DIY projects because we’re not standing on a concrete floor (more padding is always better!). Finn laying garage floor tiles

We haven’t given them a good deep clean yet, but we periodically use the leaf blower to get out any debris. We’ll have to hose things down this summer and get them looking sparkly new again!

Outdoor Rug (2 out of 10)Large outdoor sectional from Walmart

Now, for the worst score of this post…our outdoor rug. Yep, this rug totally sucked. I got it last August and tossed it by October. Not only did it stain horribly, but it retained so much water. When it would rain it would stay wet for days! Not exactly the best quality in an OUTDOOR rug. I ended up replacing it with this outdoor rug this year and it’s already 100% better.Our home office makeover

It’s always fun to do these decor, DIY, and furniture reviews for you guys! Any other pieces around my home that you want me to review next time around? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll add it to the editorial calendar.


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.