You've found your perfect home. The location is ideal for many reasons. Close to family, a 20-minute commute to the office which isn't that bad considering the rise in gas prices, and you are close to shopping which is your favorite past-time! The price could have been better, but you truly got a great bargain so complaining will do you no good, and besides, no one is gonna listen anyway. The only thing left to do is start packing to prepare for your grand adventure.
If only it were that easy! In most stories there is often a 'but' somewhere just waiting to jump out and yell, surprise! If 'caption this' was an option it would most certainly be UGH!
Moving into a new home is one of the most exciting adventures. It's a blank canvas for new beginnings, crafty ideas, and a heaping pile of DIY projects that are brewing in your mind. As you begin to visualize your space, both inside and outside of your home, there will be many ideas. Some will allow you to add just the right amount of appeal, however, they might not be too friendly for the budget you have set aside. Other ideas look nice but you aren't quite sold on what you are seeing. Trust me, if you have to look at it more than 5 times to convince yourself this is the one, you won't be happy with the end result. So, back to the drawing board you go in hopes of finding the perfect solution that will not only be easy on the eyes, but allow you to remain inside the boundaries of your budget, and a project that is well within the possibilities of doing it yourself.
TIP: Google is your friend. Search for ideas on what you envision for your space and take notes. You are bound to find what you want and the moment you see it you will know without a shadow of a doubt. Use the idea as your backdrop of inspiration and make it come to life.
When most people see DIY they run for the hills. The fear in doing it yourself is that you will ruin the space or make a few mistakes, and quite honestly that is what makes the process so much fun and worth your while. At the end of the project, you get the honor of stepping back and saying, 'I did that'! You won't be able to stop telling everyone about the time you did that thing. One rule of thumb and something I live by before starting a project is getting plenty of rest! Don't start something that will take you a few hours to a few weeks to complete when you are exhausted both mentally and physically. Not only will it show in the finished result, but it will also feel like some type of weird self-inflicted punishment.
Now, let's get started...
Stepping outside of the box can be very daring. Not all colors will work for some, but this is your space, so get crazy with it, keep it mellow and mild, or play it safe. No matter what you choose, it's your party and you can paint the walls red with a mix of purple and yellow if you like. Color is extremely fun, it adds emphasis to what you are feeling and it speaks without the need for an explanation. I like to call it the silent form of expression.
You've decided to paint over that room with the boring grey walls that kinda feels like chalk to the touch. The new color is a toss-up between Sea Blue or Midnight Blue in a satin finish that will be smooth to the touch. Hearing the names causes an instant visual of both. I see a deep blue sea and the darkest midnight blue of the sky on a clear summer night. There is a moment when you doubt this color, especially once the first stroke of paint hits the wall because it looks absolutely nothing like what you have chosen! Panic sets in but you are no quitter, so by all means, keep going. As the paint dries and you cover more and more space, the true color will begin to show and your panic will begin to fade away.
TIP: If you are not a pro I would suggest taping off the areas you want to keep paint free and covering any space with drop cloths to prevent paint splatter from getting all over the place. If the weather permits crack a window due to the fumes or keep a fan running nearby. Most importantly, invest in higher quality paint. You will find much more vibrant colors and pigmentation than lower-quality paint. Better pigmentation equals even better coverage.
As you look at your freshly painted walls that you did yourself it's time to gloat for a minute. When darker paint colors are chosen it can make a room feel much smaller and sometimes that is the goal. If the space will be used as a bedroom, spruce up your bedding with brighter colors that will accompany the deep colors of the wall beautifully. Too much of the same color all over will cause the room to drown instead of pop. If instead, you want this space to be your relaxation room, add paintings of varying colors. Find furniture that will fit the space without causing a feeling of overcrowding. Last but not least, add a bit of warmth to your space with an area rug. I like to add this piece last after the paintings have been hung and the room has been accessorized. This allows you to pull in several colors from all over the room, creating an oasis of colors that will surely excite you every time you enter your amazing new space. Never be afraid to mix and match. Colors can surprise you if you allow them to be amazing. Take a small break in between projects to give yourself time to recover from the efforts of the last DIY adventure. Once you are ready to move to the next room you are more than ready for a brand-new makeover!
Curb appeal can make a bold statement. It says my thumb is green and my yard looks amazing! If the yard makes you go ooh and ahh and take a few mental notes, the wheels in your brain begin to move in a constant motion, and just like that the DIY madness has begun. The color wheel and possibilities of the outside are just as beautiful as what the inside has to offer, if not more. The time and effort it takes to make your space amazing is back-breaking work. I will not tell you it is easy, however, I will tell you it is rewarding, the effort pays off in the long run and over the years the watering, pruning, and shaping are well worth it for years to come.
TIP: If you plan to plant in the ground, I find it better to stick with perennials that will return year after year. Planting in the ground requires a bit more work to prepare, so you want to make the most of your space and time. Perennials will do very well in planters around your garden as well, however, if you find beautiful annuals that you must have, it's fun to try something different now and then. As your plants grow they will require more and more water. Too much and the plants will drown, too little and the plants will begin to wilt. Educate yourself on the type of plant you have chosen and water accordingly.
Nature is beautiful all by itself. From time to time we attempt to bring those elements closer to our view. If you love the flutter of butterflies or the amazement of hummingbirds, here is a beautiful mix of perennial and annual flowers which will create a happy space for the little creatures to give you a show from late spring to early summer.
While the spaces inside vs. outside are both very similar there are vast differences between the two. The maintenance required for outdoor space will depend on your region, what will work best for your zone and what types of flowers and colors you are going for. If you live in a colder climate you have approximately 5 months of growing and blooming, which in turn requires roughly 7 months of work. This all depends on what Mother Nature has to say!
So playing in the dirt is what's next on your agenda. You have your green thumb ready and pray that you will be blessed with a successful growing season of growing and blooming. As important as it is to choose your plants wisely based on the amount of sun vs. shade your space receives, it's equally important to simply get what you like. At times plants that are labeled part sun or part shade will do well with more or less of either.
By the end of your DIY projects, you have most likely vowed to never do something this crazy again. And then you rest and realize it's not that bad! Decorating and gardening remind me of coloring. It was fun, a great past-time and it required a certain level of focus and commitment. The end goal was to ensure you were coloring in the lines. It was neat and looked so pretty when it was all said and done.
As always, have fun with whatever projects you decide to conquer. Never let the fear of the unknown keep you from exploring the possibilities of your next DIY adventure.
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman