Weekend Fun: 9 Fabulous DIY Renovations

Whether you’re the kind of woman who enjoys rolling up her flannel sleeves and plunging her hands straight into the mulch, or the kind who prefers to don a lovely apron and whip up something delicious, or maybe a little of both, I believe one facts stands true in all cases: women love to do things with their hands. We start to display signs of creativity from a very early age and, if nurtured properly, develop a wondrous and deep appreciation for the “labor of love.”

However . . .

Reno’s can be exhausting, overwhelming, and sometimes, after all is said and done, — time, money, and energy you will never, ever see again — what you end up with is hours spent in hard labor is a valuable lesson learned. Oh, and a strange, sort-of-looks-like-the-picture restoration that you plan to immediately hide in the back of a drawer or closet because, as hideous as the thing is, you worked tremendously hard on the thing and cannot bear to put it where it really belongs. IE: the trash. I’ve been there, believe me.

Some of us are naturals in the kitchen, garden, home, etc . . . We need do nothing more than think a pretty thought and the idea descends upon us with all the alacrity of a bee to a pollen-plentiful flower. Unfortunately, not ALL of us are born with Martha Stewart’s genes, so we must improvise and cheat a little. A mishap is fine from time to time, but if we are to succeed and improve, we first need a little confidence and ripe opportunity.

In that event, feast your eyes on the pictures below! 

These renovations will satiate the urge to create, without all the dastardly effects of an epic project failure. They range from moderately in-depth, to the fantastically simple, and a few you might even be able to do without ever leaving your home.


*** Courtesy of Country Living

Bring Polish to a Plain Mirror

Even the flimsy dormroom staple graduates to grown-up decor with a stick-on frame, available in 20 styles. (From $107; mirrormate.com)

White Space Allows for Creative Solutions

The secret to this subtle yet super-stylish wall treatment? Ceiling medallions! We installed the ones shown here in a single day using adhesive caulk. A Belgian-linen slipcover by Bemz updates a standard Ikea sofa—and delivers a soft dose of color.

Beautify a Bed Frame—Fast—With an Adhesive

This adhesive vinyl wallcovering creates the illusion of a luxurious, tufted headboard. Complete the look with a mix of linens in graphic prints and cool tones.

Convert a Basic Butcher Block Into an Outstanding Bar

Elevate just about any surface—a cutting board, a serving tray, even a door—with a set of easy-to-install, boldly hued aluminum legs. ($325 for four; 28″H; neoutility.com)

Think Outside the Box

Who wants to display an unsightly carton of safety matches? Instead, pair your candles with this objet d’art: a reclaimed apothecary jar, with a hand-etched bottom for striking. ($20; raredevice.net

Upgrade Fido’s Feeding Station

So long, plastic bowls! Faux bois ceramic dishes and Chilewich’s wood-grain-look mat make a necessity into a visually pleasing vignette. (Bowls, $26 each; thelifeofryley.com. Placemat, $12; momastore.org)

** Adorable hound not included 🙂

Make Rugged-Chic Tiebacks

Interior designer Annie Selke dreamed up this frill- (and drill-) free way to corral drapes: Just combine a swiveleye snap hook, key ring, and cord. (Brass snap hook, $2.37; 1½” ring, 97 cents; 1/8″ cord, $3.92 for 45′; homedepot .com for stores)

Upgrade to Storage with Style

Crate & Barrel’s solid-oak splurge puts the homeback in home office.

** These retail for $799, which, in my opinion is ridiculous. How about using crates instead? Leave them rustic or use a varnish to give them a beautiful patina? Also, trunks works wonderfully for storing the more unsightly office materials.

Redo your dining room for $68!

This witty, stain-resistant slipcover turns a cafeteria-style folding table into a trompe l’oeil take on a fine Chippendale antique. (Cover, $68; 30″W x 6’L; Under Stella’s Umbrella for stores. Table, $75; walmart.com

As much as I wish I could try out all these fabulous ideas, we just don’t have the venue for it! I do promise to post pictures of any I decide to take-on, likely the tie-backs and re-vamping the pet area! Adorable! Please do the same; I would love to see how yours turned out!

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