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I'm the "DIY Designer" Contributor On Squidoo

Updated on January 13, 2014

DIY Home Design And Decorating

DIY stands for Do It Yourself and I love designing and decorating for my home, family and life. From projects big and small including everything from repairing walls to adding small touches of glamour to old furniture and accessories, there is nothing more satisfying than getting to look at this something special, something you created with some hands on, lots of planning, sometimes a little bit of cursing and most importantly, a tool kit filled with a King Size sense of humor.

DIY to save some money, home decor can get super expensive if you buy items outright or have a contractor do it for you. Or Do It Yourself because you know exactly what you want but can't find it in any store because it comes from your heart and mind.

I remember when my daughters were young and every other little girl had a big Barbie townhouse to play with. That was a little expensive for us in those days but my girls had to have a house too. In no time at all I had purchased some inexpensive thick white plastic shelving three stories high, made some curtains and doors and rugs. Some great doll furniture from local arts and crafts places and before you knew it, they had a palace for their Barbies. Even play time was DIY creative.

Do It Yourself because it's a challenge, because you want to save and restore something old, something outdated that still holds a lot of meaning. We have learned some great tips and tricks now that we have started our DIY journey again and it would be fun to share them with you. Big design jobs like renovating our master bathroom from scratch to installing cabinet handles on our kitchen cabinets, crown moldings, painting, spackling, installing floors, re-doing old photo frames into works of art - and our fun has only just begun - there's lots more DIY to come.

DIY Teamwork

Family DIY Decorating
Family DIY Decorating

Some projects you just work on your own. You buy all your supplies, have your plan in hand, have googled and read every idea out there and you know exactly how you want to do it, step by step.

But some projects are even better with team work. Everyone has a different perspective, a great idea that makes the whole design work. Some people are more patient with the detailed work and others are great at slapping that paint on with a big roller and off you go.

Creativity is my best DIY feature. I come up with ideas that are usually out of the box! The photo in this section is of a project I dreamed up and pieced together with ceramic tiles, stones and arts and crafts items. I had the great idea, kind of knew what I was thinking but it was my daughter Elyse who really got it going and could visualize not only my idea, but how to make it work. It is a beautiful showpiece made of clearance items from Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and the Dollar Store. Most of all, it was hours of working together, learning as we went and sharing in the pride when we hung it on the wall and look at it every single day. It is symbolic to us of the strength of family, time and love that put it all together.

DIY Tool Boxes

No matter what size your DIY home project is, there are some great tools you will always find handy to have around. Mostly I just dig into my husbands tool kit and basement work area, but my daughter has her own pink and black tool box with matching accessories she loves any excuse to pull out and play with. Hanging curtains, painting walls, fastening embellishments or spackling means tools, tarps, mats, mess and hopefully, so new home decor to show off.

If you already have some handy at home DIY experience you probably already have some cool tools like power screwdrivers, drills and saws that make the jobs even easier.

STANLEY 94-248 65 Piece Homeowner's DIY Tool Kit
STANLEY 94-248 65 Piece Homeowner's DIY Tool Kit

A great tool box that is lightweight and slim and comes filled with all the basic tools you see.

 
Plano Molding 1363 Stow N Go Toolbox, Graphite Gray and Sandstone
Plano Molding 1363 Stow N Go Toolbox, Graphite Gray and Sandstone

A toolbox like this is great if you already have some tools and expect to add more. The neat little compartments along with the supply areas really can be an asset.

 
Stanley STST70574 12-Inch Soft Sided Tool Bag
Stanley STST70574 12-Inch Soft Sided Tool Bag

Soft and light tool bag is really pretty sturdy, has lots of room and compartment pockets.

 
Stalwart 75-2050 XO Peak Deluxe Mobile Workshop and Toolbox
Stalwart 75-2050 XO Peak Deluxe Mobile Workshop and Toolbox

For DIY show offs and those already in the know I think, plenty of room for all your tools, equipment and accessories. Perfect for traveling to family to help them too.

 

DIY So Simple Even Grown Ups Can Do It!

DIY So Simple Even Adults Can Do It!
DIY So Simple Even Adults Can Do It!

Don't be afraid to try some home design and decorating DIY. Start small if you aren't sure. Maybe don't start with electrical re-wiring or changing all of your plumbing at first. Painting, putting up a border, new moldings or try your hand at some new table accessories like decorative baskets and magazine racks. Go shopping at Lowe's and Home Depot, even Walmart has a great supply center for paint and home fixings.

A great source of all things DIY is Pinterest - amazing ideas and photos and blogs. If you get cable or satellite you probably have access to DIY Channel. Everything from Renovation Reality - that show will scare you into reality for those big jobs to Bath Crashers are great fun and terrific ways to learn how to plan for a lot of home jobs. Google and YouTube are a world of information.

And I have some great everyday, real people DIY Home Design tips I know will make you want to try your hand at it too.

Small DIY Projects

Home Decorating Room By Room
Home Decorating Room By Room

Really, there are no small DIY projects! One thing always leads to another. We'll just put a fresh coat of paint on the walls leads to also painting the ceiling and how about we make those moldings really pop - this light fixture sure looks old fashioned now and how about..... new knobs, handles, mirrors and the best part of course, the accessories.

Sometimes you just start out making some great DIY accessories like hair brush holders or magazine racks and the next thing you know you find a great wall border, light switch and cabinet that would really accent that one accessory.

It's great, enjoy your creativity. Don't be afraid to be different. I don't have a particular style or look to my home. I fill my home with what I love. Modern accent pieces and traditional furniture are complimented by DIY accessories and designs that come straight from my own ideas, or even better yet an idea I saw online and adapted to fill my home and appeal to me. Whether you are covering a tissue box to give it a new look or renovating an entire room, details matter!

Do It Yourself Together

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Some projects turn out even better when family lends a hand. Not only is fun but it gives everyone a chance to be creative and learn something new.No matter how great or out of this world my ideas are, it's been my husband Barry that has brought them to life for the last 38 years.Ceramic tiles and my daughter Elyse meshed together on a number of projects and they all came out amazing.Husband Barry is quick with a paint roller but I am the paint tape Queen.  You can't paint right without using the tape so the detail work is my job.Moving furniture and re-arranging rooms can be challenging especially if it doesn't fit through doors or into hallways!
Some projects turn out even better when family lends a hand. Not only is fun but it gives everyone a chance to be creative and learn something new.
Some projects turn out even better when family lends a hand. Not only is fun but it gives everyone a chance to be creative and learn something new.
No matter how great or out of this world my ideas are, it's been my husband Barry that has brought them to life for the last 38 years.
No matter how great or out of this world my ideas are, it's been my husband Barry that has brought them to life for the last 38 years.
Ceramic tiles and my daughter Elyse meshed together on a number of projects and they all came out amazing.
Ceramic tiles and my daughter Elyse meshed together on a number of projects and they all came out amazing.
Husband Barry is quick with a paint roller but I am the paint tape Queen.  You can't paint right without using the tape so the detail work is my job.
Husband Barry is quick with a paint roller but I am the paint tape Queen. You can't paint right without using the tape so the detail work is my job.
Moving furniture and re-arranging rooms can be challenging especially if it doesn't fit through doors or into hallways!
Moving furniture and re-arranging rooms can be challenging especially if it doesn't fit through doors or into hallways!

The Right Tools For The Job

The basics of every good tool box, and by tool box I mean anywhere you store the "go to" stuff you need for so many DIY projects like rulers and measuring tapes, levels, a utility knife, screwdrivers and hammers. Oh and long nose pliers, I use them for so many different projects.

Did I mention a steak knife? Yes really, talk about DIY winging it. Steak knives are perfect for removing painting tape from under moldings, scraping, even turning stubborn screws.

OK, band aids in the tool box aren't a bad idea either for beginners!

Empire EM81.12 True Blue 12-Inch Magnetic Tool Box Level
Empire EM81.12 True Blue 12-Inch Magnetic Tool Box Level

A good size level is a must when planning DIY Home Designs.

 
Apollo Tools DT1719 Flashlight Mr. 7-Hands, Patented, 8 in 1 Screwdrivers with Worklight and LED Flashlight
Apollo Tools DT1719 Flashlight Mr. 7-Hands, Patented, 8 in 1 Screwdrivers with Worklight and LED Flashlight

Mutlitool screwdrivers are great tools featuring every common size Philips and flat screwdrivers all in and this one even has a light on the end.

 
Stanley 33-425 Powerlock 25-Foot by 1-Inch Measuring Tape - Original
Stanley 33-425 Powerlock 25-Foot by 1-Inch Measuring Tape - Original

A measuring tape is absolutely necessary in the DIY business, get at least a 25 foot one and be sure it will look into place if you need it to.

 
Stanley 10-099 6 in Classic 99® Retractable Utility Knife, 1-Pack
Stanley 10-099 6 in Classic 99® Retractable Utility Knife, 1-Pack

A good utility knife and extra blades can be important on big jobs like carpeting, new floors and little jobs like re-doing your home decor.

 
Stanley 89-870 8.5-Inch Long Nose Plier with Cutter
Stanley 89-870 8.5-Inch Long Nose Plier with Cutter

Long nose pliers are great for reaching, holding, twisting and these even will cut wires and small cables as well.

 

Firefighter Balance

Firefighter Life
Firefighter Life

I have spent the last 19 years serving as a firefighter, LT and Captain for our Fire Dept. It has kept life very busy, That's me in the center of the photo getting the first attack line ready at a residential fire. I have conquered many challenges, faced many situations and emergencies and my energy level was always on high alert. Between answering the calls, attending and instructing the trainings, raising and enjoying my family and working a full time job, there hasn't always been the time to be creative at home.

Now that my husband is retired full time, my beautiful daughters are grown and my grandchildren love to play and help create I am getting a wonderful chance to once again restore the balance of beauty and creativity in my life. Enjoying the challenge of painting and spackling a wall or adorning a shoe box to become an organizer has become a project of the month that I look forward to now.

It's nice for a change to climb a ladder to hold new molding in place and create something beautiful. Carrying a tool box filled with basic tools, glue, sparkly stones and paintbrushes to put things together instead of breaking stuff apart is a really nice change of pace and a great balance for me. Arranging flower vases and pasting decals may sound way less exciting than crawling through heat and flames and breaking walls apart to search for fire and I'm enjoying every minute of putting things together these days instead of pulling things apart.

DIY Be Creative

Recent and Favorite DIY Projects
Recent and Favorite DIY Projects

If you have been thinking about diving in and doing some of your own DIY - I'm here to encourage you. It's not easy especially if it looks like it will be! But it also isn't as scary as you would think. I would love to have you follow our DIY Home Designs and see if we can get you to share some of your great designs and ideas with us too.

We have recently installed some amazing crown molding in our kitchen, it was not expensive and really gave the room and exciting new look. Over the summer we covered our old and worn looking cement steps with some terrific looking outdoor carpeting and I have some great tips for anyone else who might want to give this a try too. Old planters that looked like they should have been thrown out were updated, painted and now make my backyard look great, you could never tell they weren't bought recently just the way they are.

I love flowers and vases and creating florals for every room and holiday out of lots of different vases, jars, rocks, fabrics and wonderful embellishments. Cute bird houses for the outdoors were a great project the kids were so proud to mount out on their deck.

Beautiful ceramic tile address signs, decorative art and mosaics that will make everyone wonder where you get your unique home decor from. Some of my very favorite things in life are tubs of spackle, cans of spray paint, lots of rollers and paint brushes, a shoebox full of glue and caulk, ribbons and stones and an unending creative imagination always thinking of the next great DIY adventure.

Thank you for stopping in! Are you already a DIY adventurer - if you are we would love to hear about some of your projects, tips, tricks and gasp, I know about frustrations too!

If you aren't already a DIY bug, do you think we could talk you into starting a new home design or decorating adventure. Let us know what you think and we will keep you updated as we keep home designing.

Join Our DIY Journey

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    • Bonfire Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Bonfire Designs 

      4 years ago

      @GrammieOlivia: Thank you for stopping in to share some sweets

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 

      4 years ago

      Great lens, thanks for all the tips and ideas....

    • Bonfire Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Bonfire Designs 

      4 years ago

      @bead at home mom: Hi teriann thanks for stopping by especially since you are always a DIY lover - it would be great to share some DIY adventures with you

    • bead at home mom profile image

      Teri Hansen 

      4 years ago

      I can see DIY runs in your blood. Congrats on your new title and looking fwd to seeing what's up. I love DIY as well and would enjoy sharing some of my pages with your community. Welcome to the contributors club.

    • Bonfire Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Bonfire Designs 

      4 years ago

      @Adventuretravels: I love the fun of it too, and wow the professionals are expensive - looking forward to having you drop by in between your wonderful travels

    • Bonfire Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Bonfire Designs 

      4 years ago

      @Heidi Vincent: Dabbling is what DIY is all about so that sounds fun - seasoned comes from experience, the more I run into problems the more I learn!

    • Bonfire Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Bonfire Designs 

      4 years ago

      @CherylsArt: A rocking chair, that's awesome and it really worked I love it!

    • Bonfire Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Bonfire Designs 

      4 years ago

      @ColettaTeske: Love your recycling inspiration and your great variety of lenses too!

    • Bonfire Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Bonfire Designs 

      4 years ago

      @jennabee25: It's all fun - your knitting is so creative and hands on what an excellent talent!

    • jennabee25 profile image

      Jenn Dixon 

      4 years ago from PA

      I do a little DIY stuff, mostly if something is too expensive to buy, I'll give a shot myself.

    • profile image

      ColettaTeske 

      4 years ago

      You have some great ideas! I see some awesome inspiration for recycling materials for DIY projects. I'll be watching you!

    • profile image

      angelatvs 

      4 years ago

      I think we have a lot to share with each other, i am the Budget Decorator Contributor and a lot of that involves the DIY Design. Looking forward to exchanging ideas!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 

      4 years ago from West Virginia

      I like DIY. I took a woodworking class once, and made a rocking chair for my daughter when she was little. It wobbled a bit, but still turned out pretty good.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      I dabble here and there, Bonfire46, but not as a 'seasoned' professional like you are :)

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna 

      4 years ago from Perth UK

      I love DIY I get more pleasure out of being creative that from going shopping - that's for sure! Also, needs must - I can't afford to call in the professionals when my home needs a make over! I shall visit you often I'm sure!

    • Bonfire Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Bonfire Designs 

      4 years ago

      @SteveKaye: Hahahahaha as long as the socks are creatively thrown about that would count as DIY! Thanks for stopping by Steve.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 

      4 years ago

      Fantastic ideas. You know for some guys, interior decorating means leaving dirty socks on the floor.

    • Bonfire Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Bonfire Designs 

      4 years ago

      @flycatcherrr: Hi flycatcher - I love your sense of adventure!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 

      4 years ago

      Oh, this is going to be so much fun! :-)

    • Bonfire Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Bonfire Designs 

      4 years ago

      @Sylvestermouse: Thanks for stopping by fellow DIY lover - I'm definitely more of a safety nut because of my firefighter experience and that goes for cutting into walls and structures, re-wiring electrical but also using a mask and ventilation for spray painting, wearing disposable gloves when working with some materials and once you get into the saws and drills and sanding there's always safety goggles. Other than those dangers (LOL) it's all fun and creativity!

    • Bonfire Designs profile imageAUTHOR

      Bonfire Designs 

      4 years ago

      @sousababy: As long as you don't burn the house down, remove structural beams from buildings or drill through plumbing or electrical it's all good LOL! Thank you for stopping by - stay creative!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      4 years ago from United States

      I love DIY projects and I am definitely looking forward to seeing/reading more from you and in this this category. Awesome introduction lens! I bet you have tons of great advice for diy'ers with your firefighter experience.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 

      4 years ago

      I love to invent things - and I've dabbled in the DIY area (some disasters too - but I haven't burned the house down, at least).

    working

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