How Do We Like It Now? Take 8

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. It also provides you 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 my office desk, our dining room table, stair runner, and more –  so I figured there were a lot of other items and projects around our house that needed a review.

Our Outdoor Dining Table (6 out of 10)

Our new dining table from yardbird
Summer 2021

We got this table at the end of last summer and I immediately used this teak protector to protect the pretty golden color. You can see the full steps in this blog post. It looked amazing at the time. Fast forward through winter, where snow was piled high on this table all season long. By spring, the protector had come off on the top and it looked dirty and scratched up.

how do we like it now
Summer 2022

To bring the table back to life, I bought this teak cleaner and spent about twenty minutes giving it a good clean.

Teak outdoor table

That definitely helped get things looking nice again, but the golden color from the protector was now gone. I know that if I use that protector, it will look 100% again, but I just haven’t quite gotten around to it.

Our outdoor dining room table

So, here’s my lesson in teak. It’s beautiful, it’s durable, and it will last forever. However, you absolutely have to maintain it! My plan will be to buy an outdoor cover for the table before next winter. Then, I’ll still plan to clean and seal it again come spring. Teak can last with proper care, but it does take some work!

Ellis’ Rug (10 out of 10)

Come take a look at our baby boy nursery reveal

I haven’t shown you much of Ellis’ room since I revealed it last fall. It pretty much looks exactly the same in here. We don’t spend that much time in this room, except when I’m changing him or getting him ready for bed. He will occasionally play on the rug in here (it’s the color moss/salmon) while I’m putting his laundry away and it really is such a soft and beautiful rug.

Ellis' nursery reveal

I give his rug a perfect score because it hides any dirt or spit-up and it is soft underfoot. It also still looks brand new!

Our Platform Bed (10 out of 10)

Celebrating 9 years of blogging

Here’s another item with a perfect score! We’ve had our new king bed for over a year and a half now and I could never ever go back to a queen. For so long, Finn didn’t want to upgrade to a bigger size and now he is eating his words! The mattress we got is still great and I absolutely adore our platform bed frame. It’s one of the most popular products from the blog and I can see why. It often goes on sale (be sure to wait for one if you’re looking to buy it!) and isn’t that hard to put together. I love the cream color of the fabric on this bed too.

I often get asked if you need a box spring. Yes, you do. I went with this 7-inch box spring because our mattress is 11 inches deep and the gap between to fill beneath the headboard is 18 inches. If you go with this bed frame, I recommend measuring your mattress depth so you buy the correct box spring.

Office Futon (4 out of 10)

the futon in our home office

With Ellis taking over our former guest room, we needed a place for guests to sleep. I ended up buying this futon for our office so guests would have a place to sleep when they visit. The look of the futon is fine. I mean, it’s a futon, so it’s not the most beautiful piece of furniture out there. It fits the space nicely and I often sit on it throughout the day when I’m working.

As for sleeping on it, yeesh…not my fave. One night, Finn was snoring extra loudly and I just couldn’t sleep, so I came into my office and slept on the futon. I only lasted on it for a few hours. My back was killing me. I feel so bad for all of the guests who have slept on it so far. I had no idea! Now, we’ve just been setting any guests up in the basement on this blow-up mattress. It’s actually super comfortable (we’ve tested it) and we make a mini apartment down there for them. So all in all, I’m not the biggest fan of the new futon, but it will be staying as an office couch.

Frame TV In Our Bedroom (9 out of 10)

Finding art for the frame TV

When we worked on our main bedroom, I added this Frame TV to the wall near our bed. I absolutely love it! It looks like art when it’s off and you would never know that it’s a television. This post shows you how to install it so no wires show! I often lay in bed at night and watch TV shows and it’s been a nice way to relax at the end of the day. I’m deducting one point because I do think I’m going to bed a tad later because of it! I’m not used to having a TV in the bedroom, so I need to set some ground rules for myself!

Painted Outlet Covers (10 out of 10)

How to paint outlet covers so they don't chip

Last year, I shared this tutorial to paint your outlet covers the same color as your wall, so they don’t stick out like a sore thumb! I’m happy to report that all of the covers I painted still look great. No scratches or marks! I ended up painting the covers in our new bathrooms too, following that same method. I definitely recommend painting yours, especially if you have dark walls!

Outdoor String Lights (10 out of 10)

Our cozy patio at night

We added these string lights from our house to our garage last summer and wow, they truly are magical! The best part? Not one bulb has gone out and the lights are as sturdy as ever. Even with lots of high winds and storms, they’ve stayed looking great. I highly recommend our tutorial to get them up there the right way.

Outdoor TV (8 out of 10)

Answering questions about our outdoor TV

Every single time I showcase our backyard, I’m bound to get a direct message asking how we have a TV outside! We added this TV last summer and it has been such a wonderful addition to the backyard. You can read more about it right here.

Finn puts games on while grilling; we’ll play movies here for date night; and sometimes we’ll even put a kids’ movie on while the kiddos play in the grass. It’s been a nice addition for the entire family. The TV was a big purchase and we don’t use it as much as we should for the price tag – hence, the two-point deduction. But, I will say that it is incredibly durable. It still looks brand new and we kept it out all winter long and through many big thunderstorms. That thing is indestructible.

On my phone

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 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.