Designer-Approved DIYs That Are Actually Worth a Try
Nine project the pros have tried—and loved.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:37 AM
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Ask any seasoned DIYer what it’s like to successfully finish an at-home project, and they’ll tell you there’s nothing more satisfying than making your space your own. Whether you’re upholstering an entryway bench or gutting your kitchen, the sense of accomplishment you feel when you complete a daunting DIY all on your own is pure magic. And it’s not just us lowly, design-loving folk who live for a budget-friendly fix. Even the pros take design matters into their own hands every now and again.
Considering not all DIYs are created equal (yes, there are some things you should just not DIY), we asked interior designers for their all-time favorite undertakings. Ahead, nine DIYs that are actually worth a try.
Stained Backyard Fence
For her One Room Challenge, Joanna Hawley decided to turn her drab backyard into the ultimate oasis. Now decked out with brand new pavers, graphic, weather-resistant furniture, and a streamlined fence, her low-key outdoor makeover was the refresh her home needed. “It provides the perfect amount of modernity to our bungalow, but in a way that complements the style of our old home,” she wrote in her reveal post.
Get her full how-to on this backyard project—from replacing rotten fence boards with fresh wood to selecting the perfect stain—here.
Ever look at that one blank wall in your living room and cringe a little inside? Utah-based designer and award-winning blogger Sarah Gibson knows the feeling all too well. Instead of spending a small fortune on a large-scale piece from West Elm or Williams-Sonoma, Gibson opted to paint a creation herself (and it only cost her $100!). Though you would almost never know it, the abstract diptych that now hangs in her living room is actually two works she sourced and painted over from HomeGoods.
Get her full how-to for this DIY canvas art here.
Cement Tile Planter
“We just did a cement tile planter DIY over at Jungalow and I want to put them all over my home!” says bohemian queen and creator of The Jungalow, Justina Blakeney. While it might have been easy to let her kitchen tiles go to waste, Blakeney gave the scraps new life as an inspired home for her favorite greenery. All you need is a little adhesive and colorful, graphic tiles to complete this plant-approved project.
Check out Blakeney’s step-by-step guide here.
$40 Kitchen Counters
“My favorite DIY is thefaux marble contact paper
“] kitchen countertops for under $40,” says SoCal-based blogger and designer Anita Yokota. “I applied this to my kitchen last summer and they have held up extremely well. Not only are they great for renters, they are wonderful for homeowners who want something pretty while saving up for a the real deal.”
Take a peek at her budget-friendly fix here.
A Makeshift Divider
“I have always wanted to stencil an entire wall to make my own wallpaper, but it’s a daunting proposition. My favorite DIY that I’ve done involved taking the cardboard tubes that fabric bolts come on (you can often get these for free at a fabric store), slicing them all into tiny rings and painting them all white. I stacked them to make a divider screen,” explains Kahi Lee, one of the designers on TLC’s “Trading Spaces.”
Want more inspiration? Here are 14 other creative room divider ideas to get you started.
“When we can’t afford wallpaper, paint is our best friend. Armed with a loofah, dust broom, and some guts, we will go Jackson Pollock on a wall,” shares Atlanta-based designer Tavia Forbes of Forbes + Masters.
Board and Batten Walls
“I’m seeing a lot of DIY wall paneling and board and batten wall treatments. They look great and might be another way to save money while adding character,” says Dee Murphy of Murphy Deesign.
Going after a fresh farmhouse look? Designer Danielle Driscoll’s sweet, coastal dwelling (pictured here) proves a little DIY paneling can go a long way in the bedroom.
Shibori might have only hit the DIY world recently, but this boho-approved tie-dying technique, which is accomplished by folding, twisting, and bunching cloth when dipping into indigo dye, has actually been around since the 8th century in Japan.
“Updating tired textiles with shibori is a lovely and easy DIY. Bedding, tea towels, curtains made new again with an ancient and artistic technique. It never gets old,” saysnatalie myers
principal and owner at Veneer Designs.
We’re currently obsessing over fabric designer and print fiend Karen Lewis’s bold creations.
Painted Statement Chair
The simplest way to elevate your favorite vintage finds? Paint.
“I received a pair of mid-century chairs with a unique cutout wood design from my husband’s grandmother’s estate. I painted them white to incorporate them into my home. I love the interest and personality they add to my living area. Every time we see them they remind us of her,” shares interior pro Becki Owens.
Get the DL on her too-cool cutout chairs here.
See more DIYs worth trying:
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