DIY Home & Décor


May 2, 2016

Welcome to May! Such a beautiful month and time of year which makes me want to add a touch of that beauty to my home with some easy DIY improvements and makeovers.

My idea of adding beauty to a home, be it a house or an apartment, does not require much money or fancy things. It just requires a little eye for design, a small bit of physical effort and some creative courage. It also requires a style that fits you and in my case, that means it must be minimalist. So for the month of May I’ll be sharing some DIY projects I’ve either recently completed or will be taking on to spruce up a few areas of our apartment. But first, some DIY pep talk and tips!

Why DIY?

A lot of people might ask, why bother with DIY? Why not just buy what you need? For me, just because something is new, does not make it better. Wal-Mart, Ikea, Dollorama are all prime examples of places that sell new, but not always great stuff. I would rather makeover a well-made, older piece of furniture or decor, than either buy a cheap item that won’t last long or spend a lot of money on something that I honestly will probably tire of by the time I’ve gotten my money’s worth. There’s reason number one to DIY: sometimes old is better with a little love.

Secondly, DIYs can produce some great outcomes at very affordable costs. I like to consider my whitewashed coffee table as a prime example of this. I bought the once pine coloured table from Kijiji for $50 cash (no tax baby!) and the can of Minwax whitewash for $15 at Home Depot along with some sandpaper for $10 (in this case tax on both, boo!). For a grand total of $78 and 3 hours I had a new coffee table (sadly since then my kitten Moony has decided the legs needed some scratches…). Either way, the end result was a piece that would have cost AT LEAST double that, if not way more based on my research.

Another reason to DIY is you get the item you actually want! You know what I mean…sometimes you just can’t find what you are looking for in stores. Maybe you’re looking for a certain size, shape or colour, but none of these line up when purchasing new. In this situation I love hopping on Kijiji and finding an item that meets most of these desires. Then I start planning on how to make it exactly what I want. Let the scheming begin! But seriously, I also do my research and I don’t get lured into cheap Pinterest gimmicks. I look for reliable sources that tell me how to say whitewash a table…then I just do it! And 9 times out of 10 I’m please with the results and they line up with what I had envisoned.

How to DIY Fearlessly!

A lot of people are afraid to DIY because it is easy to fail. Yes, it is easy to fail, but you can avoid this by following a few tips and mindsets.

  • Think hard on what you want to achieve. I think when you visualize something, it is easier to bring it to life. This might include sketching it out, grabbing colour palettes, fabric swatches, pictures for inspiration, measurements, ripped out pages from magazines…Whatever it takes to make that item as real as possible before you start should help make it happen.
  • Do your research. I think the reason most Pinterest projects fail is because they don’t provide enough detail and evidence that the project works smoothly. I would rather look at other DIY sources where they provide tips on products, step-by-step instructions or even a list of mistakes they made that you can avoid. These sources are less about being cutesy and more practical.
  • Be realistic. Knowing you are on a budget and also not a professional, be realistic in both what you set out to do and what you expect from yourself. Then you really never can be disappointed.
  • Ask for help. If your project requires materials, tools, expertise or advice from others, it’s better to ask before, not after! This could save you a huge headache as maybe they will have some tips to save you time and effort and two pairs of hands can be better than one.
  • Take your time. If you want something to turn out really nice, then you need to take your time. Any time I’ve screwed up a project it’s because I rushed it, or tried to skip some steps. If you want something to be as close to perfect as possible, follow the rule book.
  • Be confident. Once you have everything else down, just be confident in what you are doing. There’s no going back! Sometimes when I decide to do a new project for our apartment, I have to convince Mike it will look good (after all my successes he is still skeptical). What’s funny is that while I’m talking my way through it with Mike I end up boosting my own confidence and end up thinking – damn right this is gonna turn out awesome!

May Makeover DIY Projects

Here are some of the projects I’ll be talking about this month:

  1. Restoring beauty to old wooden furniture
  2. Sprucing up furniture with easy fabric slip covers
  3. Modernizing an outdated lamp
  4. Easy apartment décor fixes!

So I hope you’ll follow along on some of my projects this month and be sure to share any DIY tips you may have! 

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