Artful Decor: Tips for DIY Makeover Projects

Tips for DIY Décor Makeovers

After the lengthy COVID-19 lockdown, I was able to get out last week and catch up with very dear friends. It was especially enjoyable to see old friends while enjoying dinner and much-needed cocktails.

During dinner, my friend shared photos of a recent do-it-yourself home makeover project she completed. She’s quite talented, and I’ve long admired her creativity and courage to try new and bold makeover projects. She’s certainly not afraid to repaint or reconfigure any piece of furniture or wall in her home.

While she was sharing details of her recent project — dry painting her dining room set, which turned out absolutely gorgeous — she made a comment on how these projects can sometimes cross the line from being artful to tacky, makeshift crafts. I’m quite sure I’ve crossed that line many times, like the curtains I tried to make for my bedroom. I don’t sew all that well, so there was never a snowball’s chance in hell those curtains would have ever hung or flowed correctly.

So where is that line and when do you know you’ve crossed it? I’m sure the answer is somewhat subjective; however, here are some tips that you might find helpful.

Choose Wisely

Home improvement shows make every makeover project look so easy, and they often are with the help of how-to videos and blogs. Keep in mind, though, that just because you saw it on HGTV’s Fixer Upper or Property Brothers, doesn’t mean you need to try it. Too many homemade, crafty projects in your home isn’t necessarily a good thing. You risk turning your home into a personal art gallery of all the latest home makeover tips and tricks.

Choose projects that fit within your current style and décor. For example, if you have ultra-contemporary designs in your home, that vintage antiqued armoire has the potential to stand out like a ready-to-pop pimple at the end of your nose on prom night.

Bottom line: choose makeover projects that complement your décor not compete with it. Be selective. Look for projects that will highlight and bring out the best in your home decorating.

Create Balance

A DIY makeover project in your home is an especially effective way to save money and create a living space that is uniquely your own. Carefully styled and crafted accessories can give your home character; however, too many homemade crafty things can look chaotic and sloppy. A houseful of self-made accessories can quickly signal “cheap” no matter how good they look.

Balance the number of makeovers you have in your home. You want to avoid turning a room, or your entire home, into a Tacky-Ville showroom. I recommend the less-is-more approach. Limit the number of DIY accessories you have in a room to one or two at most. Choose an accessory that will make the most impact and finishes the space or décor in that room. Blend in other home décor with your crafted accessory to create a unique and inviting space.

Bottom line: limit the number of homemade accessories you have in your overall décor. Avoid overload. When you have the right balance, your artful creations will stand out and provide an intriguing story for your guests.

Pitch It

Sometime imperfections are perfection; however, there’s a delicate balance when it comes to DIY makeover projects. Some makeovers are easy to screw up no matter how many times and ingenious ways you try to do them. And, if you’re not careful on a “looks easy but really isn’t” project, you can ruin a valuable piece furniture or other item used in the makeover.

There’s nothing worse than showing off a makeover project that’s pretending to be art or, even sadder, looks like it was a third-grade art class project. Your home needs to speak to who you are, and, if you’re like me, elementary school was a long, long time ago.

I suggest you find a new purpose for that ill-fated makeover. Re-do it or hand it off to an unsuspecting friend or relative. Or, better yet, chalk it up as a lesson learned and pitch it for the betterment of all things wholly and pure in décor.

Bottom line: It’s okay to walk away from things you made that just didn’t turn out well. Set yourself free. Get rid of shoddy, amateur-looking makeover accessories and only keep those that help to create a home full of things that stand out and make a statement.

Don’t be shy when it comes to your home décor. Try new things and take on a DIY makeover project if you’re up to the challenge. It may prove to be the ideal, cost effective way to spring new life into your home’s interior design.

My friend has certainly mastered the art by tastefully and beautifully incorporating these makeovers in her home. I invited her to post some of her DIY home décor projects on my blog, so I’m hopeful we can bring you some of her fresh and inspiring ideas in the coming months.

Until then, wishing you good health and happiness.

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Eileen Symonds

Eileen Symonds

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