Give your home an upscale look, even on a restricted budget, with these clever DIY home decor ideas.
I'm Jeanette, and I'm the DIY enthusiast and writer behind Snazzy Little Things. I love to decorate with industrial elements in a classically-styled backdrop with a little touch of farmhouse thrown in.
My grandfather was an antiques "picker"—he loved to repurpose items back to their original glory. He'd sometimes refer to his creations as "snazzy little things," so naturally I had the perfect name for my blog! I didn't realize then how much influence he had on my ability to see the beauty in what some would consider junk. I'm so honored that Better Homes & Gardens chose one of my projects, the DIY dog crate cover shown above, to feature in the January 2017 "I Did It!" section of the magazine. And my sheltie, Buddy, made his debut as well. What a thrill!
My DIY journey began in 2012—I was a single parent living in a brand new builder-grade home. The housing market had just started to rebound. My circumstances forced me to keep an open mind and improve my home on an extreme budget. My DIY skills were developing at best.
Today I'm sharing affordable high-impact projects that I've tackled to make our home look luxe for less. And the best part? A DIY newbie can do them, too!
I wanted my home to make a good first impression, so I focused on the foyer during my first year of DIY projects. After painting the walls a dark, dramatic color, I craved the classic design elements found in my previous 1930s-era brownstone apartment. When I built this house in 2005, I knew that I would add crown molding and wainscoting one day. The foyer wainscoting project significantly upgraded the overall appearance of my home and it only cost about $750. The alternative would have been to pay a builder thousands! This project is how I got hooked on power tools!
Interior and exterior doors can be used to anchor a color scheme or to create even more drama and contrast. My front door was not immune to change during the foyer upgrade project, and choosing black was such a good decision. Eventually I painted all of my interior doors a darker color as well. If black isn't your preference, go for any color that complements your aesthetic. After all, it's just paint!
In addition to paint, your cabinetry might need a little embellishment to enhance their aesthetic. In my case, I added trim first then painted our oak paneled cabinets. I followed that with more trim at the ceiling and the bottom to close any gaps. Then I added new hardware and even removed some wood panels and replaced them with faux leaded glass. As you can tell, it was a process that evolved over time. Finally, adding wreaths during the holidays made the cabinets look even more luxe for less!
Mixing older collected pieces with new decor is a fun way to add sophistication and character in your home. Many of the antiques I've rescued and repurposed have become my favorite pieces. It takes considerable time to curate a special collection, but the payoff is gorgeous and it demonstrates a well thought-out space.
Being thrifty is great, but being resourceful has saved me thousands of dollars. Honing your painting expertise or learning how to repair broken furniture are both valuable skills. Learning to decoupage has enabled me to create my own art. Although it might not be an expensive masterpiece, it can certainly be made to look that way. It's worth it to push yourself out of your comfort zone to learn a new craft to create decor with a high-end look. The way in which you repurpose a thrift store treasure is important; it can look like a craft or you can make it look elegant. And it's not just about learning how to use power tools.
The question I'm asked most often is, "What color is your wall paint?" I'll let you in on a little secret—it has been the same color for ten years! Wall color was a huge decision for me, and it was a spur-of-the-moment choice when I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Other than a few touch ups, I've had no reason to update it because it works well in our space. It's a warm tone during some seasons and cool in others. I can get funky and add crazy patterns and textures, or I can buy trendy chairs, art, or pillows to give my rooms a new look. It's fun knowing that I can change my rooms simply by swapping out a few accessories.
DIY projects reward those who are patient, and I'm glad that we took this longer road. Tastes and styles change, and I firmly believe you need to live in a space for awhile before your vision becomes clear. We could have hastily made decisions five years ago that we might have regretted later. Each project was done purposefully and was carefully curated to match our current tastes. We now can say that our home has evolved into exactly what we want.
I hope you will visit me at Snazzy Little Things where we share our latest creations, including free art downloads, furniture plans, and DIY tutorials. We are continuing our DIY journey, one small project at a time.