How Do We Like it Now?

Over the past 3.5 years, we’ve both documented just about everything that has happened within our homes. From DIY projects to new furniture purchases…you guys have seen it all!planner_bedroom_coffee_flowers

But what happens long after we publish that blog post? How do we really like living with those projects & purchases 24/7/365? Today, we’re giving you updates on some of those popular posts and answering the question, “How do we like it now?”

Bridget’s Church Pew (SCORE: 8 out of 10)Fall Home Tour Pew Family Room

This church pew sits right behind our couch and since I usually take pictures looking at the front of our couch, the pew doesn’t get a lot of attention here on the blog but it really should! I absolutely LOVE this piece of furniture that was given to us by a friend. We got it refinished and this on-of-a-kind piece works perfectly in that odd space behind the couch. Honestly I can’t even think of what piece of furniture would work better there, so I’m even more grateful for the pew. Not only does it offer us somewhere to sit while we put our shoes on to head out the door, it also acts as a super great drop zone for bags and “stuff” as we come home.

Three years later though, if I’m being BRUTALLY honest, there a few minor negatives. The pew is very sensitive so we have to be very cautious when placing bags on it or cleaning it. It dents and chips pretty easily…not necessarily noticeable to guests but noticeable to me. The other minor negative is that my style has evolved over our time in this house, and I’m not sure the pew aligns with my style as closely anymore. It’s definitely not out-of-place (yet) but I often wonder how this piece will fit (style wise and size wise) in our next house. <— but let’s be honest, am I crazy for even thinking that far down the line!?

Casey’s Hardwood Floors (SCORE: 7 out of 10)


When we moved into our home, we spent quite a bit of money sprucing up the floors. We hired a pro to sand and re-stain them to the color “Jacobean” instead of the yellow color they were originally. I’m still absolutely obsessed with the color and love the dark hardwoods. I will say that (much to my dismay) our floors do scratch and dent easily. Obviously, we can’t change that (the wood is a soft, less durable one), so we definitely “baby” them. No stilettos, no dragging things across the floor, and we use rugs when possible. If we move and have the chance to install our own hardwoods, I would definitely go for the most durable one they’ve got!

Bridget’s Blue Front Door (10 out of 10)

Fall Home Tour Family RoomPainting my front door Covington Blue was one of the best things we ever did in our house. Although I’ve gotten away from using this color as much as I used to, I still LOVE the pop of color this door brings both to the inside and outside of our house. The blue door is the first thing I see when I turn onto our block and the blue door just feels like home to me. And not just home, it feels like a happy home! I feel like it captures so much of our home’s story and that happiness is such a huge part of that story.

diy_modern_address_signMatt and I often walk past other houses and chat about what we would do to that house if we lived there. So many times we immediately talk about what color we would paint the front door. Since we love our colorful door so much, I don’t know if we could ever live with a non-painted door again! <— Fun Fact: we’ve decided that as much as we both LOVE our Covington blue door, we wouldn’t want to use that color again on our next home’s front door. We’ve agreed that trying a new color, one that represents our new home’s “personality”, would be our game plan for our next front door. #someday

Casey’s Bedroom Curtains (SCORE: 6 out of 10)


When we moved into our home, I eventually DIY’ed some blackout curtains to cover the large sliding glass doors in our bedroom. While the project was pretty tedious, it wasn’t all that difficult and was definitely budget-friendly. I will say that I still looooove the look of these blackout curtains. The long drapes and simple black rod are perfect for the space. Plus, the blackout panel really does work to keep this room dark. However, since I used hemming tape and didn’t actually sew these curtains, they are coming a part in a couple of areas. Nothing noticeable to a guest, but it’s noticeable to me. Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and take them to a cleaners to have professionally sewn together. It’s on the to-do list…

Bridget’s DIY Desk (6 out of 10)

In terms of functionality and price, my DIY desk should earn a 20 out of 10 because it provides one serious bang for our buck! Each of those cabinets that make up the base of the desk cost me $2 at Goodwill and the wood on the top cost me less than $20. So, I was able to create this DIY desk for like $25 (before paint). Three years later and we still use this desk…Matt literally works on it EVERY SINGLE DAY! The size of the desk is perfect for this small space, the price was RIGHT, and it offers a lot of secret storage making this one heck of a DIY project.

The only reason I would say that this DIY desk loses points is because my style has changed since we moved in and I’m finally ready to splurge on something a bit more classic… and modern. Don’t get me wrong, this set-up has been amazing throughout our time together but it’s time for something a little more long-term.

Casey’s Navy Guest Room (SCORE: 10 out of 10)

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I was very hesitant to paint the guest room navy, but I am so happy that I made the decision to go bold in this space. I’m still obsessed with the color, and instead of making it feel like a cave (which was one of my main concerns), it makes it feel high-end and comfortable. So this paint color choice gets a 10 out of 10!

Bridget’s Laundry Room (SCORE: 9 out of 10)

Laundry Room Gallery Wall ArtIf you remember the laundry room makeover, you’ve definitely been part of the DIY Playbook team for a while! This room was one of the first large DIY projects I did by myself and three years later I still LOVE it. Beyond painting, I also refinished our home’s original kitchen cabinets so that they were white, bright, and could add some budget-friendly storage to our laundry room. I added new hardware on the cabinets, a colorful gallery wall, and made this ugly space a lot more tolerable. Looking back, I still can’t believe I did this whole project by myself… especially without using a nail gun or a saw!

Because I was tackling the project alone and I didn’t know how to use those tools yet, I was forced to do the best that I could with limited skill/knowledge. It was SUCH a learning experience and one that I’m still very proud of.

The only reason that this project earned a 9 instead of a 10 is because I have changed the gallery wall since then. My style isn’t as bright and colorful anymore, so I swapped this adorable gallery wall (which still makes me smile!) for my Letterfolk sign. And since then, I even added some board and batten to the other wall to finish off this bright and clean look!

Casey’s Built-ins (SCORE: 10 out of 10)augusta-family-room-built-ins

Our built-ins were definitely a large splurge (the largest actually) in our condo, but one that was worth every single penny! I feel like our entire space has changed since hiring out this project, and I honestly love them more and more each day! Other than swapping out the hardware to black, I haven’t done much to these since they were installed (besides arrange & re-arrange the accessories all.the.time.)

Bridget’s Board and Batten (Score: 9 out of 10)

I know, I know… I’ve done board and batten A LOT in my house. Maybe even too much if you ask some people (cough, cough DAD). But I just love it so much so WHY the heck NOT?! It’s definitely become the “vibe” throughout our house and one that makes our space feel lighter, brighter and a little bit more interesting. Would I do it again in this house if I had to do it all over again? Absolutely. Would I rush to do this same look in our next house? Maybe not. But for now, I love the look. Plus, I learned A TON through these projects and was so fortunate to work (and learn!) alongside my dad. So for that, I love our board and batten even more.

One thing to note if you are adding board and batten though…it collects dust! Because it adds a bit more to our cleaning list, I subtracted one from its perfect 10 score but honestly other than that silly quirk, I love all of it!

Casey’s Subway Tile (SCORE: 9 out of 10)


When deciding on a new backsplash, I knew I wanted to go light and I’m so happy that I made the decision to go with classic, white subway tile. It’s kinda hard to ever be mad at a decision that is simple, clean, and won’t ever go out of style. So I’m incredibly pleased that we went with this as our kitchen backsplash. In fact, if we do a guest bathroom remodel (potentially on the 2017 to-do list), I would love to incorporate even more white subway tile into that space. I think it would just unite the rooms and give the home a more cohesive feel. Moral of the story: You can’t go wrong with simple & classic!

Bridget’s Marble Backsplash (SCORE: 9 out of 10)sealed-kitchen-counters

I agree with Casey 100%, you can’t go wrong with simple and classic. Although my DIY marble backsplash was a little less “classic” than white subway tile, I do think it’s pretty darn close and for that I give it a glowing review! Like the board and batten projects, I learned SO much from this project… especially working with my dad (see a theme here?!). I would definitely DIY backsplash again and would probably choose the same exact tile if I did it all over again. And if not this tile, plain white subway tile. I did deduct a point on this tile though because there are a few minor imperfections that I notice because we DIY-ed. I’m sure no one else would ever notice but because they’re there, they count for something, right?!

Built In boxes organization family roomIt’s kinda fun to look back at all of the DIY’s and big purchases we made in our homes. It’s crazy how you put so much time and energy into something, and then once it’s done you really don’t think about it that often. We really enjoyed taking a look back at some of the decisions we’ve made over the last few years in each of our spaces. If anything, this review can help guide our future design decisions so we continue to create homes that we love!


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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