Design SOS: simple solutions for updating your space
(ARA) - With the emergence of home improvement design shows, DIY websites and blogs to reflect every style, it's becoming easier than ever to make your home a reflection of your personality. But what if your space is giving off the wrong impression? Whether it's the retro wood paneled basement inherited from previous owners or unsightly pink carpet that might have been a better idea in theory, there are countless ways for well-intentioned design decisions to turn into regrettable rooms. Although updating your space can seem overwhelming, a little organization, creative inspiration and a few simple weekend do-it-yourself ideas can help you take any space from unfortunate to unforgettable.
Here are some tips from popular do-it-yourself bloggers, who chronicle their home improvement journeys online to encourage people to tackle their own projects. With their everyday know-how, you can learn easy ways to transform your space without the stress or added expense of hiring outside help.
Take advantage of the countless home improvement resources available like DIY websites, magazines or even your neighbor's living room. "Some of my most successful project ideas stemmed from photos I saw on another blog or inspiration I found in a friend's house," says Layla Palmer of LetteredCottage (www.theletteredcottage.net ). "Whether it's placing mirrors on the back of your cabinets or trying a new painting technique - take design ideas you like and turn them into your own customized DIY project." It helps to keep a file of ideas you want to try and revisit them when you start new home improvement projects.
Organize a DIY idea swap or home improvement party to share tips and inspiration with your friends. Not only will you get some extra hands to complete a project, but you can have a good time while you're at it. If one of your friends is stuck with a design disaster, lend them a hand and enter them in the True Value Design SOS: Friends to the Rescue contest. This fall, visit www.StartRightStartHere.com to nominate your DIY-challenged friend for a chance to win $2,500 to turn their design dilemma around. Whether it's patchwork carpeting or crumbling concrete steps, friends don't let friends live with disastrous decor!
Map it out
Taking on several DIY projects at once can be overwhelming. "Not having a plan is a sure-fire way to go over budget and get overwhelmed. Creating an outline can help you avoid distractions, stay on task and keep simple projects simple," says popular blogger Kate Bower of AllBowerPower (www.bowerpowerblog.com ). "I recommend writing out a detailed plan including a list of materials needed for each step of your project and a timeline along with personal deadlines. It doesn't have to be fancy - a napkin with the all the info will work just fine. This master plan will help you keep focused and organized, boost your motivation and provide a way for you to celebrate your accomplishments."
Enhancing curb appeal is a popular home improvement job that can include a variety of projects. To avoid feeling overwhelmed by such a large undertaking, start by identifying the smaller improvements you'll make along the way to achieve the bigger result. For example, start by scrubbing dirt off vinyl siding and removing debris from gutters during the first weekend then move on to painting the front door and refreshing the mailbox the next.
Small updates add up
Home improvement projects don't have to be big to have a huge impact; making small changes can be just as effective in updating your space. "Simple tweaks like replacing an outdated rug or painting window trim can really brighten a room," says popular design blogger Gabrielle Blair of DesignMom (www.designmom.com ). "Plus, they can be a great alternative if you don't have a lot of money to set aside for larger home improvement projects."
Renewing a bathroom with a fresh coat of paint is a simple project that can transform the room and make it seem larger. Consider using a monochromatic color scheme, which uses different shades of one color family on different walls for an enlarged appearance. To heighten the effect, paint trim and doors to match the walls and select cool colors that create a receding effect like blue, green or violet. If you're unsure which color to select, check out easy online paint tools like at www.TrueValuePaint.com where you can not only test out paint shades before you buy, but also customize your space according to your mood and design taste.
For even more project tips, inspiration and do-it-yourself advice from these bloggers and more, visit www.StartRightStartHere.com.
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