One of the many benefits of harnessing your inner DIY enthusiast, besides the cost savings you can make, is the particular pleasure you get from personally creating something attractive or useful, or both, for your home. DIY jobs today have moved on a bit since it was Dad’s role to put up the obligatory shelf, which often ended up having an unwanted wobble or slope. Today there is a whole host of ways in which you can add extra touches to your home and opt for eco-friendly methods of doing this, whether you like to recycle, refurbish or repurpose or whether you want to ensure your materials are from a sustainable source. Here are a few ingenious ideas to help you get started.
Something extra special
Many DIY projects are the result of realising that you, your partner or your children need something in the home. That might be a tool rack, for example, an extra kitchen unit or a play table for the kids. There’s also the situation where you’re not happy with how your home is functioning – maybe there’s not enough storage, doors and windows need better draught proofing or there are underused nooks and crannies that are crying out for attention. Sometimes, of course, you happen on an item that’s worth keeping because it’s decent quality but could easily be converted into something more useful. No matter the reason you decide to do it yourself, there are some fabulous ways to make a real difference in your home.
Look for good guidance
Your first step with any project is to make sure you are equipped with the knowledge, the right tools and sufficient help to carry out the job in hand. One good way to be sure your work will be high quality is to consult with your local suppliers of materials or some of the DIY experts who work for relevant retailers.
To make a major impact on your home consider changing the flooring in one or more rooms. Minimalism has dominated interior fashion and design for several decades now and as a result many people have opted to get rid of traditional wall to wall carpeting in favour of hard floors, usually in ceramic, stone or wood, with or without rugs depending on the room.
If you plan to do this make sure you examine the existing floorboards and note the quality. It may be useful to take a few pictures and to consult with a supplier. Small holes should be filled with wood filler, which can then be stained and varnished to match the rest of the floor. If some floorboards need to be replaced aim to source reclaimed alternatives as this flooring always has the most character.
Doors and windows
It’s always worth paying attention to the openings in your home as this is where heat escapes. This is also the case with the roof. Even windows that are already double glazed can allow noise from outside to penetrate and one good solution is to use shutters to dress your windows, as this provides you with privacy, control of daylight and noise and also maintains the clean lines that designers are so keen on. Before ordering always consult a DIY shutter guide that tells you how to measure to make sure the shutters will fit properly.
Furniture and storage
Great ideas for furniture abound at the moment and a quick search of some of the relevant sites offers clever and sometimes quirky ideas to help you create something unique for your home. An old telephone seat, for example, with a slightly raised table at one end can be very easily converted to a play table for children, complete with storage basket for small toys where the table used to be.
To give your bathroom a makeover look for an old chest or dresser that can be smartened up, then plumb it into the available space, replacing the wooden top with a marbled counter including wash hand basin, taps, etc.
Ad old door makes a great DIY headboard if used horizontally rather than vertically. Once it has been sanded down you can remove any old door furniture, add an attractive trim along one edge and repaint it in the colour of your choice.
It must be said that if you have a good eye and a bit of creative flair you will find a wealth of possibilities when it comes to potential DIY projects. If in doubt, take a look around at other people’s projects and always consult an expert when you need help.