I want to customize my house without the elbow grease and project disasters.
September 14, 2012 9:55 AM   Subscribe

Are there stores/services that will DIY for me?

I'm a fan of Sarah Richardson's shows on HDTV (Sarah's House and spinoffs) where she takes a house and renovates and decorates it room by room. Every episode she does things like goes to a fabric store and picks a bunch of fabrics that she takes to other people who make buttons and pillow cases and upholster furniture and make drapes and all kinds of fun things for her using her fabric. She also frequently buys antiques and has them repainted and has new hardware installed. She also often takes vases and has them made into lamps.

I have neither time nor skills for much DIY activity, but I would love to be able to do this. Are there stores one can visit to have this sort of thing done (especially in the DC area)? What are they called? I know there's a lamp store in Springfield, VA (near the TJ and Buy Buy Baby) that will do the vase -> lamp trick, and I know about upholsterers, but don't know about the rest.
posted by semacd to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've gone on etsy and found local crafters and artists who make similar items to what I'm looking for and have commissioned them to make custom items.
posted by violetk at 10:06 AM on September 14, 2012

Ask at the local fabric store and/or lumberyard for people who do this. My mom worked at a lumberyard (as a bookkeeper) for years, and knew about 5 people who bought wood for their businesses where they made window treatments.

Upholstery shops probably either do the pillows to match the furniture they reupholster themselves or know people who do, as well.
posted by xingcat at 10:23 AM on September 14, 2012

Ask at the fabric stores as well, especially if you can find a independent fabric shop. In my city a lot of the people who work in our fabric store are also designers and work as stitchers for the local theater companies and have a wide network of artisans that they'd be happy to spread business to. Seconding Etsy as well.
posted by Miss Matheson at 10:39 AM on September 14, 2012

My sister does this as a side business. She does sewing, painting, handy-person stuff. You'd be amazed at what magic she's worked on my house.

Ask friends and neighbors (whose stuff you admire) if they know anyone.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:47 AM on September 14, 2012

Yeah, call and ask around. I got curtains made when I moved into my place (in a pretty small town in Northern Ontario), because none of the box stores fit the basement-sized windows. Just called Fabricland (chain fabric store), asked them who to call. They had a binder full of business cards & phone numbers for various tasks. Random middle-aged woman out of her house, no trouble at all.

Bonus: pink polka-dot bedroom window curtains!
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:11 AM on September 14, 2012

Interior designers do this -- paint, furniture, fabrics, non-structural remodels. That's kind of their thing, actually.
posted by Chris4d at 11:40 AM on September 14, 2012

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