Spending a fortune is never on our to-do list. So when it comes to making our houses homes, what better way to put our own stamp on things, than with a good DIY project? Homeowners can fork over a small fortune in labor costs, when hiring a professional for cosmetic work; however, by rolling up our sleeves, we can keep our pockets full, and our house a home.
DIY #1 – Floors, floors, floors!
I know what you’re thinking; this doesn’t sound like a DIY project! Well, we’re here to share a little secret, concrete flooring is in! However, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill major shopping center concrete flooring we’re talking about. There are lots of ways to strip the carpet up, and use that concrete base, as a new showcase of DIY success. Oh, and by the way, you’ll be shocked at the price savings!
Acid Wash (We’re not talking jeans, people)
This is the more complicated of the concrete flooring options, as it requires some chemicals to get the job done. However, the results are fantastic, leaving you with a swirly-marble look, in almost any color of your choosing. Plus, with the wet-look top coat, you’ll be tricking people into thinking your floor is a natural stone, and not a concrete slab.
Paint, and Patterns
Concrete paint isn’t just for outside, anymore. Today, your local home improvement store will carry many options for some indoor concrete painting madness. By picking a neutral color, you can mix up colors and textures by adding new area rugs. A simple off-white can really make any colorful furniture pieces you have pop right out, too. However, if you have more of an eclectic style, we suggest checking out some flooring or wall stencils. These will allow you to add a large pattern mosaic in a spot of your choosing (i.e. entryway), a border around your walls, or even an entire floor of a room in your house. The options are endless, too. And guess what?! When you think you’re sick of one color, all you have to do is paint it over, without trying to reach any high places.
Today, the geniuses of the DIY world, have come up with an easy way to make your concrete floors look natural, organic, and dynamic, with concrete stain. Behr Products, offers a Premium Floor Coating line, with plenty of colors to choose from. With 4 simple steps, you can have new floors. One gallon will cover 250-square feet, so you can do your whole house, or one room, without wasting too much product. All you need is a long weekend, and a pump sprayer. Have some fun and dye your bathroom floors a beautiful blue, while leaving the walls neutral. Check out Behr Premium Concrete Dye, on www.Behr.com
DIY # 2- Finding the Perfect Shade or Texture
Nothing spruces up a space like a fresh coat of paint. However, choosing the right shade can be overwhelming (who has time to go through a WHOLE wall of paint swatches?!). Luckily for us, Sherwin Williams can step in and assist. For $95, an in-store decorator will help steer you in the right direction, for your entire house! They even have some fabulous wallpaper choices, if you’re looking to add a little more texture to your space.
Speaking of texture, the days of simple paint are well behind us. Today, many options from paintable wallpaper, to stick-on wood planks, really help our creativity shine. Here are some of our favorite feature wall options:
- Wood plank wall – Pallets or stick-on, this is a great way to add some depth and nature, to your space. TIP – You can nail laminate wood flooring to your wall. They easily stack together for a seamless look.
- Paintable Wallpaper – yes, it’s a wonderful thing! From a classic linen, to a grass cloth look, you can hang it up, then customize with your own color choice.
- DIY Panel Walls. This is a fun one! Choose a traditional square look, or go wild, with your own creation. Buy some wood boards, cut them into patterns, nail ‘em up, add a fresh coat of paint, and voila!
- Fabric Frames. Fabric on walls, who would of thunk it? Cover large gallery canvases with a fabric of your choice. You can either glue them down, or wrap and staple. Hang them up side by side, and you’ll have a bright, fun focal point, without breaking the bank, or your weekend plans!
DIY # 3– Kitchen Makeover
Yes, you can do a kitchen makeover on a DIY budget. We break it down, project-by-project, to show you just how doable this really can be!
There is such a thing as cabinet makeovers in a box. Rust-Oleum (one of our go-to brands) offers a breakthrough Cabinet Transformation Kit, that can take those old dark cabinets to a fresh white, or some outdated 70’s cabinets to a modern, sleek feel. With a couple coats of paint, you will not recognize your old cabinets. Finish them off with some new hardware, and you’ve got yourself a new kitchen! Check out more about it, on www.Rustoleum.com.
There is no such thing as too much storage. Adding a new kitchen island, can bring your cooking space a whole new life. Our favorite easy DIY island, is actually a lot easier than you think! Head to your favorite thrift shop, and find an old bedroom dresser. Remove as many drawers as you think necessary, for large storage. Give the whole thing a coat of paint, except the top, where you will add a butcher block material (available at Home Depot) or paint a coordinating color. Add some hooks to the side and hardware to match your cabinets, and you’re done! Another fun way to do this, is to purchase some stock cabinets from your local home improvement store. There are 2-door or 3- door cabinet base options. Paint a coordinating color (or use your Rust-Oleum kit from above), and add hardware. The top is your playground. From many in-stock laminate options at your home improvement store to butcher block. Our favorite is a DIY wood-waterfall look. Once your island is in place, surround the entire piece with plank boards, we mean entire! There are several ways to get this done, with nails and brackets. We suggest bringing your dimensions and drawing ideas to your local hardware guy, for best installation ideas.
The world is your oyster! Classic subway tiles are back (did they ever leave?) but there are many other options for your kitchen backsplash, today. Here are some of our fav’s:
- Ceiling Tiles – the perfect vintage look!
- Pebble Tile – bring the river, indoors.
- Large Floor Tiles – for a bold look.
- Bead board – for a country feel.
- Brick – for some real traditional texture.
Callout – Don’t forget the drawer organizers!
If you’re lacking drawers in your kitchen, add them inside your cabinets. Check out the Rev-A-Shelf line at Lowes, which brings organization to a whole new level.
Sidebar- Hardware and Lighting Updates (that won’t break the bank)
Sometimes your home just needs a little lip-stick, a.k.a. the finishing touch that you didn’t know you were missing. By adding some bling to your ceilings or cabinetry, you can really add a dynamic you didn’t know you were missing. Our favorite stores for lighting up your space: West Elm, World Market, and Wayfair.com. For awesome hardware choices, check out Overstock.com
DIY BONUS– Entertainment Wall
You can build a custom wall unit to hide those cords! Ikea has amazing wall-cabinet options, which with some DIY ingenuity, can be made into a masterpiece. We liked hanging the wall cabinets lower to the ground, then stacking stained wood board above it. Make a frame with these boards, by elevating them off the wall, and you can drag all the cords to your wall unit below. Check out how our editor did it, in her own home! (CG PIC IN FILE)