How Do We Like It Now? Take 3

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. Do 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 real talk on how these projects and purchases are holding up after lots of daily wear and tear. We have chatted about how our couches and rugs are holding up, how we like our paint choices years later. We even have Part 1 and Part 2 of this “How Do We Like It Now”  and today we have a whole new line-up of items and projects to report back on.


Interior Define Couch (10 out of 10)

It took me awhile to replace our old white couch with this sleek one from Interior Define. And then once we ordered it, we had to wait another 3 months for our custom sofa to arrive. But I must say…it was worth the patience.

We absolutely love our new gray couch. The size is perfect and it’s incredibly comfortable. On any given night you’ll find Finn & I each taking a part of the L-shape to lie down and relax. My brother even purchased this same style and color for his new condo, so I recommend this specific couch (& Interior Define in general) to everyone!

Bedroom Bench (5 out of 10)

I got this navy bench from Lulu & Georgia (which they no longer sell) right when we moved into our condo. While I love having a bench at the end of the bed (because we use it every single day), I’m not loving this particular bench anymore.

My first big critique of this piece is the fact that it’s received some major sun damage. We have large windows to the left of the bench, and the sun really bleached one side of the navy…making it a much lighter blue shade. Once I realized what was happening I sprayed it with a sun shield, but I think the damage was already done.

I’m also not in love with the style anymore. It’s a bit too traditional for our taste. Maybe someday I’ll update it to one that is much more me, but for now, it gets the job done.

DIY Closet Doors (10 out of 10)

I am so happy that I took the time earlier this year to make over the doors in our main room. Since we have one large room in our house, our crappy bi-fold doors were quite the eyesore and really took the entire space down a notch.

After spending a weekend DIY’ing the doors to our laundry and HVAC/hot water heater, the entire space was transformed. The DIY itself was time-consuming, but not difficult. Not only do the doors look good and much more high-end, but they block the noise from the machines, which makes it a heck of a lot easier to watch TV without the volume way up high! Definitely a 10 out of 10 for this DIY project.

Kitchen Pendants (6 out of 10)

Here’s another purchase I made early on in our homeowner days…the pendants above our kitchen island. I was eager to get rid of the dinky lights that were there before, so I chose these shiny and glam replacements.

While they’re definitely the right scale and brighten up the space, I’m not entirely sure they’re my style anymore. If I had to choose again I might go for something a bit more classic, or maybe a matte black light fixture. The silver on top also gets pretty dusty and I rarely find myself cleaning them. So because of those factors, I’m marking this a 6 out of 10.

Cognac Leather Chair (10 out of 10)

This chair is a new addition to our household and it’s a welcome addition. We are both absolutely obsessed with this leather chair. The cognac color is stunning, the leather is buttery, and it’s just about the most comfortable seat in the house. It fits the area well and makes the entire living room better for entertaining and conversating. 10 out of 10 for sure!


Kitchen Stools (9 out of 10)

We recently had a request to include my kitchen stools in our next review so I put this one right at the top of my list! It has been about a year and a half since I bought these and I still LOVE my budget-friendly counter stools. They come in bar stool size and a lot of colors, but I chose the white/counter top height to fit my kitchen island. I still love the classic, clean style… especially knowing they were a steal compared to almost all of the other stools I looked at. They are holding up really well too, which is always good especially with budget-friendly items like this.

The only negative is that one of the stools is slightly uneven when you sit down (so annoying). I think we just didn’t build it perfectly when we put it together. I put two mini felt pads instead of one on the bottom of that leg and the rocking has stopped. The only hard part is keeping those little felt pads secure on chairs that get so much daily use!

Bathroom Shiplap (10 out of 10)

I get a lot of questions regarding how the shiplap in our bathroom is holding up, especially in relation to the moisture that bathrooms experience. I am one to take hot showers and my bathroom does see a lot of condensation, but this has fortunately not impacted the shiplap. It’s still very secure to the wall with no signs of bubbling, warping, or anything of that nature.

Overall I’m still so happy with this $100 project and would do it again and again if given the option. I’m also glad I decided to only go half way up the wall with the shiplap because I love the contrast the dark paint provides in this space.

Office Rug (10 out of 10)

This rug is by far the most affordable one in my house (especially when considering the 8×10 size) and I’m still obsessed with it. The neutral color paired with the subtle design makes it extremely versatile and one that I would recommend in just about any room. I’ve seen this same rug around the blogosphere in dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and even nurseries and honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong! It does not shed, it’s cozy, and the price just can’t be beaten. If you’re looking for a neutral rug for your home… I would highly recommend this one.

Round Coffee Table (9 out of 10)

Remember when I scored this table for less than $150? Well, I’m still really happy with the decision because it has really opened up our family room because of the size and shape. I love the style and colors and the amount of abuse this table can take (aka no coasters needed!). The only reason I didn’t give this table a perfect 10 out of 10 is the white top. I LOVE white but sometimes the white tops seems a little too flat to me. That’s just my personal preference after living with it. As for the table itself, A+ in quality, price, and ease of assembly.

IKEA Vanity (7 out of 10)

I don’t give this tiny corner of my house the spotlight too often and I really should because it is SO hard working. I sit on that Craigslist chair and put on my makeup over that $46 IKEA vanity every single morning. The drawers on the IKEA vanity also hold all of my makeup, so I love the secret storage it offers… especially for a piece that has such a small footprint in the space.

However now that this vanity is going on four years old, it has definitely seen better days. Some of the seams along the drawers are showing some wear and tear, which is why I grade this piece a 7 out of 10. It is from IKEA and it was very affordable, so I feel bad being so hard on it since it has done a great job (and continues to do a great job) for me each day. But it has definitely seen better days so I wanted to keep it real.

Fauxdenza (8 out of 10)

I really love our DIY fauxdenza that I built for the office. The secret storage is unbelievable (this baby hides our printer!) and the ability to customize this piece of furniture was amazing. But there are some minor imperfections that I do notice every time I pull something out or put something away.

It’s not the fauxdenza’s fault, but the wood has some very minor chips from where it was cut, that make it slightly imperfect. Also, one of the pieces of wood is cut a hair short, which causes another tiny imperfection. If you came over you probably wouldn’t be able to see either of these minor imperfections, but since I know they are there I notice them. And those same imperfections are the reason behind the 8 out of 10. Otherwise, this DIY fauxdenza should earn an A+ for the function and an amazing amount of storage it offers.


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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