On the cheap and during the weekend...DIY home decor!
April 15, 2013 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Aside from a few major professional-only renovations for our house, what we can do to make our home the way we would like? (Bonus points for simplicity!)

Inspired by my copy of The Bust Guide to Life and things like this, I would like to find fairly simple but really cool ways to spruce up our house.

We've got some big renovations planned for the future--new front windows, renovated kitchen, new deck, renovated guest bathroom--but what is some neat things we can do now? My husband is pretty decent with woodworking and basic construction; I'm fairly eager to learn to how to make and do new things.

I'm specifically thinking in terms of decoration and storage. Our house is old and fairly cozy. (For example, we have a tiny bedroom and a tinier closet.)

What cool things have you done to your homes you would recommend?
posted by Kitteh to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Shelving (in closets and bathrooms, over the washer and dryer, inside of cabinets). Hanging lots of wall hooks in bathrooms and inside closets. Big storage/hope chest used as coffee table - blankets and linens inside!

Benches for kitchen/hallway seating with storage inside.

Really good shelving in the garage and attic, and then big tupperware bins to put rarely used things in on those shelves.

New towels and bedding, new drapes.

Fresh paint on all trim, walls, and ceilings will make a huge difference.

Updating light fixtures, doorknobs and cabinet knobs are all relatively easy and make a huge difference.
posted by amaire at 12:55 PM on April 15, 2013

A great DIY source is OnePrettyThing.com
It has tons of categories and anything you can imagine from quick DIY to recovering furniture!

One thing I recently did was a scalloped fabric garland (tutorial) and matching covers/placemats for my dining room table.

See my Public URL for my Crafts and Sewing FB Album.

I also recently made a sample embroidery circle which is also featured in that album. (Maybe $10 total for that project).

All of my other ideas and plans for the house have also come from that website - as it sources from tons of other craft blogs. In addition I just added a decorative shelf in the living room to feature my art and other crafts to add color to the living room.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:04 PM on April 15, 2013

I'm in the same mood right now and I love Apartment Therapy. Our house also has small rooms and this site has given me a lot of ideas.
posted by michellenoel at 1:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Things I do/have done to spruce up my decor/make it look nice:

-nice dishtowels (match the color of your wall paint, your tea kettle, spoon rest, etc.)

-nice entry way rug and area rug

-orchids, fresh flowers, and houseplants -- houseplants done well always make things look nice and "decorated"

-colorful artwork

-gallery wall above my couch

-symmetry -- two matching table lamps flanking the couch

-nice bedding makes a world of difference. If you don't already own a nice bedding set, buy one that matches or compliments the paint in your bedroom.

-white towels and white shower curtain in the bathroom

-avoid clutter

-I love Lauri Ward's website. She shows you how to use what you have.
posted by Fairchild at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

A former co-worker of mine has a blog about projects she and her husband have done around her house. In particular she's done a lot of decorative pieces using tornado wood. Have a look.
posted by kindall at 1:22 PM on April 15, 2013

I saw a little diy once on putting (just the quarter round kind) trim up on the top of your walls to separate the walls and the ceiling, and I loved the look of it. like a simple version of crown molding.
posted by euphoria066 at 2:47 PM on April 15, 2013

I just shared this in another thread, but I promise I'm not trying to promote my Pinterest profile.

Lots of great suggestions upthread, but definitely search for keywords of interest on Pinterest. I found a lot of great IKEA hacks there, which are generally really helpful when you're willing to put in a bit of time.
posted by nosila at 10:09 AM on April 16, 2013

I think the thing that I have done in my house that has brought me more joy than anything else is the family tree mural that I painted on my dining room wall. Seen here. That photo doesn't really do justice to it's awesomeness.

I collected old photos of my and my husband's parents/grandparents/siblings. The center photo on the trunk is one of our wedding pictures. Then on the right side branches are photos of my family and on the left photos of his family. It's not a true family tree, as the photos are just spaced around for aesthetic quality, not direct lineage.

It took me about 30 hours to execute the entire thing. I would say the paint (acrylic) cost maybe $25. The frames would have been $120, but I used a 50% off coupon at Michael's to get them for $60. Finding that many matching frames that I liked, that also matched the tree, was a problem. I just bought a whole bunch of different frames and spray-painted them all the same color. To save on the costs of matting the photos, I bought cream colored paper and matted myself.

I honestly think everyone should have something like this in their home. I LOVE eating in the dining room, surrounded by those we love, some of whom are no longer with us. I feel like I can still be with all of these people when I'm in there.
posted by corn_bread at 3:49 PM on April 16, 2013

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