Friday, August 5, 2011

Keep it Together

The Renovators, The Block, and Top Design – how many more DIY programs do we need? These shows all specialize in creating architectural masterpieces out of derelict buildings. With so much media dedicated to converting the plain, boring bedroom into a modern, technologically advanced crib, we have forgotten how to do the simplest of things. In a bid to match our skills to the likes of The Block contestants, we seem to have lost our basic training in DIY.
We look at kitchens and bathrooms that are designed, planned and created in the space of a week. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible. But are our renovation expectations too high? We don’t have the resources or the time to commit to a project like the contestants on these shows. Most of us will do the odd paint job on a Saturday afternoon, or assemble the furniture in the evening after work. The important thing is not to rush! Yes, having a paintjob done in a week is possible, but it’s just not feasible. In the mean time, let’s brush up on tips and tricks to help get our (simple) DIY done and dusted:
1. Plan your Project – Is now the right time to start a project? Give yourself enough time (and energy) to finish it. It isn’t a good idea to start painting the guest bedroom a week before the in-laws come to stay! It should be an enjoyable experience, and rushing will only leave you feeling unsatisfied with the outcome.
2. Budget – Don’t just throw money into a project without knowing how much it should cost. Paint, sealing glue, tiles, furniture etc can all add up pretty quickly. Think about how much you would like to spend – do those lamps necessarily need to be purchased if they’re more expensive than the sofa you just bought?
3. Buy a decent toolkit! – This precious bag will take you far with a DIY, and in future ventures. There’s no point digging through that pile in the garage to find a hammer or a monkey wrench, so buy a bag of tools to make you an official handy man/woman. It will allow you easy access and make life a lot easier.
4. Don’t Stress – During a DIY, a lot of things can go wrong and it is important to accept this before you undertake the journey. The trick is not to stress; there is always someone who will be able to help you. A handy option is to have a carpenter, painter, plumber and electrician on speed dial just in case.
5. Enjoy! – This is your vision, your project. Enjoy the ups and downs, and relish in the experience of taking your home into your own hands. This could open the doors to many other DIY projects in the future!

By Caitlin Chander - intern at Luxury Home Design magazine.

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