Abigail AhernAdviceInterior designLiving room

3 Simple DIY Home Decor Projects

DIY home decor sometimes gets a bad rap, but my plan is to demystify it and give you guys some projects that inspire and that will take your pad to the next level. As everyone knows, style has absolutely noting to do with money so limited funds do not mean limited ideas. I say this a zillion times a day, but I am often at my most creative when budgets are tight. I dip my toe into DIY home decor, by that I mean in a very Sunday afternoon lazy kind of way. I don’t want my projects to take a week to complete (way too impatient) and I want to be able to do everything myself!

DIY home decor

Before we start I should say that DIY goes smoothly when you have a good set of tools. You only need a minimal selection to be able to tackle most jobs – so don’t be tempted to buy that professional 100 piece set – you won’t use half of it!

Many DIY stores sell great value starter kits, here’s a break down of what’s in mine:

  • Selection of screws, nails and wall plugs
  • Scraper/filing knife
  • Variable speed cordless drill
  • Hammer
  • Spirit level
  • Plumb line
  • Small cutting tool
  • Retractable tape measure
  • Pliers
  • Selection of screwdrivers

You might need to buy the odd extra bit for some of these projects like glue or wallpaper paste but that is pretty much it!

Revamp your rollers

DIY crafts

One of the coolest things I’ve done is turn a boring old blind into a fancy pants one fit for a boutique hotel. I was struggling with finding a blind I liked to fit in with my bedroom scheme. I spent hours researching until I hit upon the idea of covering a cheap blind with some amazing print like a cool wallpaper I was coveting from Timorous Beasties.

I went big and bold with pattern but you don’t have to. The only thing I would say is that if you can, try and go for a wallpaper that has been hand blocked rather than machine produced as the colour has way more depth. Since you only need a remnant it won’t cost the earth.

So to begin, roll out your blind to its full length and cut the paper to fit exactly. Aim for a perfect fit as it’s messy to start trimming paper once the gluing is done.

Paste the back of the paper and apply the paper to the blind. I lay the blind on the floor but you could just as easily lay it on a table. Work from one end to the other, smoothing out any bubbles as you go.

Let the paste dry then install your blind. Voila!

Get fancy with faux bois

craft ideas for adults

Next up: how about adding some faux bois to your cabinets? Faux bois is a paint effect that replicates the appearance of wood and I am obsessed. For little money you can totally create a truly luxurious textural effect. You will need two contrasting paints from the same colour family, plus a wood-graining tool. Simply paint the light colour first, wait for it to dry; thin the darker colour with a 3 to 1 water to paint ratio and drag the graining tool through the wet paint. Vary the direction of the tool to up the decorative interest. How cool is that!

Snakeskin lamp

craft ideas for the home

Lastly, but most fabulously, from America you can buy the most amazing duct tape in all different finishes from snakeskin, to leopard, to leather. Amazon sells it for about 5 bucks a roll. If you have a lamp base hanging around your pad devoid of joie de vivre, this will transform it like nothing else I know! Just begin by taping around the lamp base. Stretch the tape firmly, press down and cut with scissors for a clean edge. Repeat the process until you’ve finished. Nothing simpler and nothing cooler!

For further help making over your home’s decor, post a job on Rated People in our Painter / Decorator category to receive quotes from our qualified and trusted tradesmen.

Abigail Ahern

Interior designer and author Abigail Ahern has been hailed as ‘style spotter extraordinaire’, by The Times. Her style is as unique as it is affordable and is characterised by glamour, wit and show-stopping colours.

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  1. Was your bedroom wardrobe project a very difficult DIY job? I’m considering replacing wardrobe doors on an old built-in one. Would love to see more of your photos!

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