THERE is probably one thing that this whole period of isolation has created and that is an army of now seasoned DIYers.
Many of us have started tackling jobs around the house that needed doing for the last few years and we are organising the corners that have been cluttered for months.
I myself am a self-professed DIY addict. I have tried so many things around the house, I am sure much to my poor husband chagrin and most with reasonable success. And by success, I mean a few years later they still look decent.
I have no real skill level of any kind but I am filled with enthusiasm and motivation. I am one of those people who gets a notion, looks up a few tutorials on YouTube and off I go. There are of course varying degrees of DIY project you can take on, some more simple suggestions would be to look on Pinterest or Instagram to give you easy ways of updating the wall décor in a kids room or for creating some pieces of art for a wall that needs a little TLC.
However, if you are looking for a project to really get stuck into here are some of the endeavours I have tackled over the last few years that have worked out really well and, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, didn’t end in divorce.
I adore the really plush look that panelling or wainscoting gives to a room. I find it especially great in large rooms where putting up lots of pictures would make the room look busy, but you still need to break up the wall. There are several different styles of wainscot from a full or half plank wall, dado rails, panels with bevelled edges and beadboard panelling. Now I’m not a carpenter so I didn’t attempt anything overly difficult but armed with some simple wooden beading that is available in most good hardware shops, special glue and a mitre box with a saw I managed to transform one of our bedrooms. I marked out a large rectangle on the top part of the wall and a smaller rectangle below, stuck the beading up and painted over it. With four kids in tow, one of whom was about 3 months old at the time, I managed to finish the project in about two days. I painted the wooden beading the same colour as the wall, but you could make it pop by painting it a different colour or add wallpaper to the inside of the rectangles to add a real contrast.
Upcycling furniture is a favourite pastime of mine. I absolutely adore looking at a piece of furniture that initial presents itself with no potential but with a lick of paint you can take it from old and dated to modern and fun. There are so many different things you can do to revive old or tired furniture from painting it contrasting colours, adding patterns, sticking wallpaper to drawer fronts or adding gold leaf to make edges more dramatic.
If you are looking for guidance, tips and inspiration on painting furniture I would highly recommend Joanne Condon’s self-published book Furniture Crush. She is a wealth of information and her projects are sure to make you want to jump up and paint the nearest piece of furniture to you!
One of my all-time favourite DIY’s has been painting tiles. Replacing tiles is a messy and expensive job. Many of us have bought our homes second hand and often times find tiles in a bathroom or a kitchen that might not be to your liking but time or budget has you stuck looking at them for the foreseeable future. Well, why not paint them and give them a new lease of life!
I have painted tiles in our downstairs bathroom and I have painted an entire en suite from the floor to the ceiling and it completely and utterly changed the room for a fraction of the price and effort involved in putting in new tiles. I have painted wall tiles using an off the shelf tile paint from Johnstones which has held up perfectly but for floors and bathrooms I would advise you to contact your nearest paint specialist for advice on the best paint, primer and cleaning products to make sure the paint holds up to wear and tear.
I do not think I could finish an article on my DIY endeavours without talking about wallpaper. I have a love hate relationship with wallpaper. When I am finished, I think it is absolutely phenomenal, the power it has to completely and utterly transform a room is amazing.
However, there is nothing phenomenal about an amateur trying to hang wallpaper. In my experience it is a messy, tricky, awkward job and every time I start it I swear blind I’ll never do it again.
Perhaps though for me it is like giving birth, I have the most incredible ability to forget the hard part and just want that rewarding end product over and over again!
As hardware and DIY shops re-opened this week, Eimear Hutchinson looks at some simple ways to start a little DIY around the house
I have no real skill level of any kind but I am filled with enthusiasm and motivation. I am one of those people who gets a notion, looks up a few tutorials on YouTube and off I go.