Most of us have spent a lot of time at home over the last two years. Apparently, many of us also embarked on some home improvement projects. Did you know that home improvements exploded during 2020? One Harvard study found that Americans spent nearly $420 billion mostly on do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, during the 2020 year. According to the study, in late March of 2020, about 60% of people said they started at least one project in the previous two to three weeks and by May, that number increased to almost 80%. It will be interesting to see if this continues in the years that follow as many find themselves continuing to work from home, providing more schooling from home for their children, and spending more leisure time at home.
I can count myself in the legions of people who have spent time and money on DIY over the last few years. No one in my household is a pro with DIY projects. DIY is NOT tops on our list of skillsets, though we did embark on several projects during the pandemic with some help along the way. We completed a “pandemic patio” during 2020 which was a major undertaking, though there have been plenty of other projects in the last few years including a bedroom re-do that started in 2021 and finally wrapped up. While the bedroom project was more redecorating vs. remodeling, there was an element of both AND the room was dramatically changed.
I had decided it was time for our 90’s era bedroom to get a make-over when some savvy and talented DIY’ers I met online through an online home décor and DIY group gave me the courage needed to be creative and see what I could do to update the master bedroom including changes with our 90’s behemoth of a bed and its companion dresser and chest. Our own private spaces within our homes can certainly touch our hearts and souls and be a refuge from the woes of the world, so what a great space to make some needed changes. While my space may not be YOUR style, it is mine – and that’s what makes our houses HOMES – and OUR homes unique to us. Also, I think that while there are talented professionals out there with wonderful advice and who are very good at what they do, at the end of the day, we have to choose what makes US happy with our designs and décor (and the good pro’s will tell you that, too ?).
For my project, the most common suggestion from my DIY gang for a first step in this 90’s bedroom re-do was “paint the furniture!” I must add that there were an equal number of comments of “don’t you dare paint that beautiful furniture!” I was already torn! But that’s where I started – painting the bed. Let me offer the disclaimer that I had a lot of help with this project, including the furniture painting which was done by a friend who paints furniture as part of her work (thank you, Stacy!). I was, however, the “designer,” the “idea generator,” the “project manager,” and did all the redecorating of the room pouring over pictures online and in stores. I did start with the bed and thought about what look I wanted to convey – which was “fresh but not trendy” but that kept the functionality of some of the bed’s storage. This bed has two storage “towers” perfect for storing sweaters, linens, socks, etc. through 3 shelves, 3 drawers, and a pull-out “table” for putting phones, wallets, etc. at night. THAT is hard to give up and nothing I saw in furniture stores had anything like this. I felt sure that I could somehow keep the functionality yet also completely change the look of this bed and of the room. But how?
With input from my fabulous, experienced furniture painter and entrepreneur, Stacy, I decided I wanted to go with a basic black color (do you KNOW how many shades of black there are?!?) and more modern-yet-classic knobs and pulls. I wanted the same for the dresser and chest, though wanted to make it less “cookie cutter” (i.e., like the set had all been bought together), so I added a new mirror to the dresser which also brought in a fresher look, and new and more fresh accessories atop. Lastly, because I now had a gaping spot over the bed where the big wall unit used to be, I needed something to fill that space (though some of the online crowd which included some professional decorators encouraged leaving it empty). I self-educated online and learned how to properly determine size-for-space with artwork and frames and bought myself a beautiful canvas of the Nashville skyline which was perfect for this native Nashvillian. The fireplace which was once 90’s blah-colored square tiles was replaced with a beautiful, white marble ledger tile, new rugs were brought in, and a favorite chaise lounge (my first piece of furniture purchased after I graduated from college) was recovered in a beautiful but durable fabric perfect for lazy days reading and for kitties looking for a comfortable place to lounge. I finished it off with soft, white sheers on the wall-length windows. All my ideas after countless hours of planning, research, and experimenting (I saved my receipts and made plenty of exchanges!). A personal masterpiece.
I learned a lot doing this project and am very satisfied with this easy DIY project. It has inspired me to one day have the confidence to do yet another DIY project “almost on my own,” knowing that I am more creative than I give myself credit for AND that when needed, I can call in extra help when I really need it (i.e., an experienced furniture painter). Who knows, I may be bold and one day try painting myself on some smaller items, or even take on some of the other parts of a DIY project I don’t yet have the confidence to do 100% on my own. The pandemic may be over, but I predict my interest in DIY is not.
A special shout out to Stacy King, Platinum Mermaids, Smyrna, TN right outside of Nashville – you can find her on Facebook ?. She has a fabulous shop of vintage furniture, accessories, and treasures.