I'm the "DIY Designer" Contributor On Squidoo
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Do It Yourself because it's a challenge, because you want to save and restore something old, something outdated that still holds a lot of meaning.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.
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.
A great tool box that is lightweight and slim and comes filled with all the basic tools you see.
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.
If you love your tools and you want to make a statement, say it in Pink!
Soft and light tool bag is really pretty sturdy, has lots of room and compartment pockets.
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!
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
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 TogetherClick thumbnail to view full-size
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!
A good size level is a must when planning DIY Home Designs.
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.
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.
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.
Long nose pliers are great for reaching, holding, twisting and these even will cut wires and small cables as well.
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
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.