The Good, The Bad and Would We Do It Again?

August 11, 2014

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We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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I get frequent emails, comments and facebook messages about certain purchases we’ve made, or how things are holding up that we’ve DIY’d. Sometimes these things we bring in our home, we talk about once and then live with forever and you only ever see it again popping up in photos–so, I get it. You want to know if we still like it after the honeymoon phase. Here are some updates about 7 specific items you’ve asked about with photos snapped just yesterday in their natural (aka untouched and unretouched) state.

1. Crate & Barrel Baxter Indigo Rug (10×14)

the good: We are so happy we upgraded our jute rug to this spacious, cush one. The color is beautiful and adds a big punch to our great room. There’s lots of room for the girls to play, too. It’s so soft and pretty much all of our guests comment on it and/or bend down to touch it.

the bad: I have to vacuum it every day (see below).  Which, honestly, I don’t really mind. Charly sheds a ton and she loves this rug as much as we do, so we knew that when we got the darker rug, we’d be doing a lot of vacuuming. Fortunately, it vacuums up beautifully.

would we do it again: Absolutely yes!


2. Nordic Brown Wood Tile Floors 

the good: Every time Charly comes barreling through the house, sliding to a halt when Chris walks through the front door I am so grateful we went with these floors. They are so durable! I love not having to worry about them getting wet, scratched or damaged.

the bad: Besides the grout color (which I’m still working on), walking on them all day in bare feet can be tiresome on my ankles. Slipping on a pair of house shoes helps.

would we do it again: Do we still have a 150lb dog and small children?  Haha–then yes!! These are truly the best floors for our family right now. In 10-15 years, that might change.


3. Our Painted Cabinets

the good: Painting outdated wood cabinets is always a good idea. It brightened up our kitchen and we got the tuxedo look out of our systems so we can move on to a darker color when we get new cabinets. (I wrote a whole post about that here).

the bad: While we were painting our cabinets (aka getting a closer look at them) we noticed they were in bad shape. Some aspects are more noticeable painted. Where the cabinets don’t fit together well anymore, there’s chaffing. (Chaffing in cabinets? It’s a thing!) And the paint has rubbed off the sides.

would we do it again: Oh yeah. Even with some chaffing, our cabinets look so much better now. It’s definitely going to tide us over until we get new cabinets.


4. Backless Barstools from Wayfair

the good: No doubt, these look good. The white wood and industrial legs combination is right up our alley. Also, the seats are nice and wide and have wiped up very easily.

the bad: They are pretty lightweight and have tipped a few times which is not good for this mama’s heart. Also, I don’t like how they only have a footrest in the front.

would we do it again: No. I could get past the absence of a footrest if they were a little more bottom-heavy. I’d really like something more sturdy when we renovate the kitchen.


5. Crate & Barrel Lounge Sofa

the good: This couch is the comfiest! It has worn well with barely any sagging in the cushions. We’ve cleaned it with just a damp rag and it looks new again. Very happy with this purchase.

the bad: Because it is very deep (the reason we bought it), it can be uncomfortable for some people. We usually stuff at least three pillows behind our moms’ backs when they are over chatting. It truly is for lounging and we plan to move it downstairs to our media room as soon as we get some chairs for the living room that are better for conversing.

would we do it again: In a heartbeat!


6. DIY’d fluffy footstool

the good: This thing cost almost nothing to make and it has held up wonderfully. I use it multiple times a day to prop my feet up but it has also served as extra seating for Greta and Chris and a step stool for Greta.

the bad: Sometimes my feet have to give it up? Haha.

would we do it again: Sure. I like the soft texture it adds to the nursery and it is comfortable. No regrets.


7. DIY Faux Soapstone Countertop

the good: It was cheap to make and has held up really well. Like, surprisingly well. The paste wax we used to seal the surface has done a good job protecting it and there aren’t any scratches or dent to report. None! We’re surprised and thrilled about that.

the bad: As a few of you pointed out, it doesn’t really look like soapstone. Haha. In some lighting you can see the plywood grain underneath, as well.

would we do it again: Sure! It was a fun experiment that has been a great interim countertop until we renovate the kitchen. If we did it again, I might use an mdf or something with less visible grain.


Hope this provides you all with some answers. If you have additional questions about these or other things we’ve added to our home, feel free to ask below!

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What do you think?

  1. Jill says:

    Brilliant post – I LOVE the follow up because everything is (usually) great when it’s new – it’s years later you wonder how things are holding up! We are about to paint our kitchen cabinets and we once had the Lounge sofa and had to give it away when we moved because it didn’t fit where we intended it to. BEST COUCH EVER. So comfie! We got a different one from C&B that we hate and are once again getting the Lounge in a spot where it will fit. I can’t wait! Thank yo so much for your tip on the eBay code too, will save $269! xo

  2. Claire Woodham says:

    Hi there

    I love the top left picture above your bed. The statue holding his nose. I think it might be Michaelangelo’s David but not certain. Can you please tell me who it is and/or where you got it?


  3. Jasson says:

    Based on your thoughts on the couch being too big, would you do the petite size if you had to do it over again?

  4. Thank you for going back to the cabinets. I too am about to paint mine as a temp solution to a terribly ugly problem! I can only hope if I treat them like gold they will hold up a little longer :( lol

  5. Callie says:

    I really appreciate posts like this!! I see so many projects on Pinterest that look awesome, but it’s hard to tell how durable it would be or how it would look in real life.

    In our last house I bought a light-weight rechargeable (cordless) vacuum. I LOVED it for picking up pet hair and doing quick sweeps. It is such a chore to pull out a heavy vacuum :)

  6. Great post! I’m somewhat indecisive and go back on purchases I’ve made. It’s nice to know how others feel about their purchases and DIYs, especially those with young kids!

  7. Brooke says:

    What about your Ikea shoe holder? Do you guys use it still? I bought the same one for our house after I saw it on your blog (over a year ago?!) and I like it! Sometimes I wonder if I could find one that’s a little less Ikea-ish.

    • Julia says:

      We actually use it in our closet! It’s large but lacks function and storage and laid out in a way where a dresser wouldn’t fit. So we store underwear in it. Hahaha.

  8. Linda says:

    Thanks so much for these updates! Picking up on the question about vacuums. One home improvement thing you may want to put on your list (I don’t think it’s a DIY thing though), is a whole house central vacuum system. I have neither kids nor pets but I would not do without it. and if I did have kids and/or pets I would not do without it! No hauling heavy vacuums up and down stairs (just the hose – pop it into the vacuum vent. You will be amazed at how much more you will actually vacuum – and dare I say – enjoy it? with a whole house/central system. Highly recommend :-)

    • Julia says:

      I’d LOOOVVVEEE that! My sister in law has one and it does make things seem easier. I actually keep a vacuum upstairs and one downstairs so I don’t have to always carry them up and down.

  9. Marie says:

    I sure hope Miss Greta is getting a room she loves soon! (:

    • Julia says:

      She is! The wallpaper swatch that we ordered arrived and unfortunately the color is way off so we’re going a different direction. Just figuring out some details and then we’ll share. :)

      • Marie says:

        I hope that didn’t sound mean, btw! I realize now that it kind of did. Totally not a blog/mommy basher! I am just excited for her and to see what you come up with. Especially since I loved her old room and Faye’s current room. Please share as soon as you get the time!

  10. Missy G. says:

    I appreciate these kinds of posts! What kind of vacuum cleaner that you use? I should be vacuuming every day also, but our vacuum cleaner is big and bulky and annoying. A Roomba would be awesome, but I doubt that I will ever want to spend that much.

    Also, (and I swear I would not have commented on this normally but since I was already wondering about your vacuum and decided to comment, but) “conversating” is not a word. You’re thinking of “conversing.” :)

    • Julia says:

      We have a Bissell One Pass Pet vacuum and it is just okay. It works but I definitely wouldn’t call it “one pass.” And I am fixing that error right now! #facepalm

  11. I’m glad the rug is still going strong! We have a wool one in our kitchen, which I know was a risk, but it still looks great. I vacuum it every week (should probably do it every 5 days or so, but whatever, haha) and that’s all it needs. Wool rugs forever!

  12. Thanks for revisiting some of your projects with an update on how they’ve held up. I agree about painting the cabinets – it’s a tricky thing but the results are worth it, even if not perfect. We are planning on painting our kitchen cabinets at some point as well – so much more cost effective than getting new ones right away.

  13. Meagan Briggs says:

    The couch is so amazing! I want to take a nap in it!

    I liked this post because I’m always curious how things translate into everyday use and especially with kids if its held up or not.

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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