Around the House


I’m a huge fan of all sorts of interior design and DIY shows, videos, magazines, and such. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t take advantage of all sorts of ways to figure out options, consider new colors, contemplate furniture styles, and best of all, file away the best of the best for future use. Because I always knew that I’d have the opportunity to make use of them someday.

I know lots of folks love Pinterest and gather all their ideas from there, but I’ve found that often those ideas are repeats of repeats of repeats. Not always a bad thing but … there is room for change. I appreciate Better Homes & Gardens in Australia, now found on YouTube as Great Home Ideas, as ways to look at things a little differently. Bang on Budget from the UK gives a lot of value in seeing options when it comes to budget driven renovations.

What are my favorite ideas?

Overall, my favorite idea is to make the space your own rather than design for resale. This is important especially because you are living in the space. While you might actually sell the place, or move out, at some later date, you are actually occupying a space that should make you feel comfortable, provide a calm and hopefully peaceful space right now.

This means incorporating colors you like in spaces you will see them often. One of my favorite things is to see colorful tiles in the kitchen or bath. While white is a great option, why not up your game by adding color? It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, in fact it could be quite subtle. The point is to make choices that make you happy. You live there, right?

If you aren’t up to replacing tiles, why not look at options for peel and stick tiles? You can find vinyl options (similar to contact paper) in many spaces. These can be quite useful for renters – just be sure to check to make sure they are easy to apply and remove before you apply to the entire area. Also know that they might not have a long life in the area you use them. Things to consider!

Get creative with items you can find in hardware stores. For example: Engineer Your Space created a papered feature wall in her bedroom using cardboard sheets designed to protect floors during construction. You can see her process on YouTube.

If you are inexperienced with tools – particularly power tools – check to see if your local hardware store offers classes to learn how to use them. Check your local schools or colleges, too. And, before you get too uncomfortable with the idea, contemplate the power tools that probably occupies space in your kitchen: your blender, food processor, Instant Pot, and the like.

Yeah, it is an odd thought to consider them ‘power tools’ but when you get down to it, a power tool is something that requires electricity to run. Sewing machines, irons, electric skillets, etc., etc. 😀

Sometimes the best thing you can do to gather inspiration is to find decorators whose style is close to yours. I love to find those folks who don’t get stuck in one design type (farmhouse, Boho for example) because they can often look at items you wouldn’t necessarily think of in ways that could totally make a space.

In times when money is limited (and really, when it is not?), making use of as many resources to find ways of saving money while creating spaces that enrich our lives is essential. This can also mean learning to reuse and recycle what we already have. It is astounding the impact of a can of paint on pretty much everything. Taking it up a notch, look at refinishing furniture. You don’t have to dive into a huge project, you can keep it simple with an easy to do paint finish. Have a chat with the expert at your local hardware store. You might be shocked to discover just how easy – and inexpensive – the process can be.

Inspiration comes from a variety of sources. We tuck them away on our phones, Pinterest accounts, in binders. Courage to take the steps to try those ideas shouldn’t impede our desires to make our homes our own. Create a home that you want to live in, not the person who buys it years from now. They will redecorate to meet their own preferences anyway. Providing, of course, you actually do sell or move on.

My absolute favorite renovation house project has been Ariel Bissett’s Updated House Tour. Two years in her new home, this tour shows not only her creative side, but also the reality of a reno project. I love her style, her use of color, her courage to learn as she goes, and, of course, the pleasure of the results.


Leave a Reply