6 easy DIY projects to bring new life into your home

6 easy DIY projects to bring new life into your home

Decorating projects are usually something many of us put off, or happily call in the professionals for.

But in these unprecedented times, lockdown has launched a determined army of DIY enthusiasts ready to tackle a plethora of decorative finishes, get a handle on cabinetry and transform tiles by grouting with gorgeous colours.

Happy Hammer GIF by Hey Duggee - Find & Share on GIPHY

Indeed, being holed up at home has given a whole new meaning to rolling up our sleeves indoors and inspired many of us to explore our creative sides.

Bonus? There are lots of relatively quick and simple home-improvement projects that can instantly breathe new life into a space.

Here’s six ways to put the creative process into practice…

1. Transform with tiling

The right tiling can give your space an instant facelift (Furniture Union/PA)
The right tiling can give your space an instant facelift (Furniture Union/PA)

Sprucing up the kitchen with tiling takes skill but with a little bit of practice, there’s a look for everyone. Tiling just the splashback means you don’t have to go all the way up the wall, so you have impact without being spendy. And depending on the shape and size of the tiles, you only need to build them two or three rows up to get the look.

Natalia Ratajczak, interior designer for The Furniture Union, suggests tiling the splashback with subway tiles, adding a strong red grout colour and framing them with a thick black outline to add graphic detailing.

Tempting as it is, don’t tile over existing tiles. Ratajczak says it’s better to hack off any existing ones to ensure you get a level finish and that your adhesive is fully bonded, etc. If you want to go one step further, add shelving above to tie in finishes and display decorative items.

2. Colour co-ordinate ceilings and corridors

A coloured ceiling draws the eye up and creates interest (The Furniture Union/PA)
A coloured ceiling draws the eye up and creates interest (The Furniture Union/PA)

It may sound a bit matchy-matchy but coordinating a section of your ceiling with a piece of furniture, especially in a long, dark corridor, is a great option to create a boutique hotel-style vibe.

Using a strong colour on the ceiling (Furniture Union recommend matt emulsion finish) teamed with cabinetry in the same colour (a satin finish works well for woodwork, offering a mild sheen) can make a narrow space look utterly revitalised.

3. Update handles and knobs

Buster & Punch brass furniture knobs and plate, from a selection, Nest (Nest/PA)
Buster & Punch brass furniture knobs and plate, from a selection, Nest (Nest/PA)

Depending on your taste, handles are to a chest of drawers what the standing area is to your shower – both need to be functional and stylish – and as they say, it’s all in the detail.

An easy update, industrial-style knobs, statement or drop handles will instantly increase the pulling power of furniture throughout the home and kitchen units, without having to splash out on replacing whole items. And the good news is, many are simple screw and bolt types, so no drilling required.

4. Get the wow factor with wallpaper

Budget allowing, think about making the switch from paint to paper – zooming in on a section of the space, rather than the whole room, makes much lighter work of the task and means you don’t have to worry about clearing everything out of the way.

“As with painting, adding wallpaper to one wall rather than the whole room is a great first-time project,” says Lorna MacPhee, furnishing accessories buyer for John Lewis.

“If this is your first attempt, choose a ditsy or abstract design that’s easier to pattern match, being more forgiving along the joins than a bold geometric design, while a paste-the-wall design is quicker and less messy than traditional paste-the-wallpapers, and you’ll need less in your tool kit.”

5. Change your outlook

John Lewis ready-made curtains and voile, from a selection (John Lewis/PA)
John Lewis ready-made curtains and voile, from a selection (John Lewis/PA)

When it comes to window dressing, we all need a creative outlook – but we don’t necessarily want the world looking in on us – and there’s more to net curtains than meets the eye. Whether you choose lace or voile, they can easily be draped over an existing curtain pole or laced with ribbon and hung on hooks.

An easy update, MacPhee suggests layering ready-made curtains over lightweight sheers. “The voiles give a softer light and privacy for those at-home yoga sessions and moments of calm,” she says. “Hang from net curtain wire or swap your pole for a tension wire.”

6. Customise with chalk paint

Chalk wall paint in Ducky, from a selection, Frenchchic (Frenchchic/PA)
Chalk wall paint in Ducky, from a selection, Frenchchic (Frenchchic/PA)

If you want to paint the town – sorry, home – red (or any other shade for that matter), chalk based paint offers a flat, matt finish and brilliant coverage with one or two coats.

Ideal for painting walls, furniture, indoors and outdoors, it’s especially suited to vintage pieces (think shabby-chic finish) or flea market finds that just need a bit of love and attention.

Al Fresco Apple of My Eye chalk paint, from a selection, Frenchchic (Frenchchic/PA)
Al Fresco Apple of My Eye chalk paint, from a selection, Frenchchic (Frenchchic/PA)

To point you in the right direction, we recommend Frenchchic paint or Annie Sloan who have a range of durable, weatherproof chalk paint that’s suitable for wood, laminate, metal and plastic. A top coat will seal, protect and keep the colour long-lasting, so this is especially good for garden furniture. And thanks to rigorous testing, it’s also certified safe enough (EN 71:3) to use on children’s toys – think an old train set that just needs a lick of paint to bring it back into service.

More on this topic

Queen of clean Mrs Hinch lists her tips on maintaining your homeQueen of clean Mrs Hinch lists her tips on maintaining your home

Wish List: perfect prints and ravishing retro-chicWish List: perfect prints and ravishing retro-chic

Marie Kondo shows us how to work magic on your home office spaceMarie Kondo shows us how to work magic on your home office space

Mother has no 'plan B' for disabled child if she contracts Covid-19Mother has no 'plan B' for disabled child if she contracts Covid-19


More in this Section

90s celebrity power couples who were serious style goals back in the day90s celebrity power couples who were serious style goals back in the day

Inside Out: Irish pop art queen Orla Walsh tells how a moment can change life forever  Inside Out: Irish pop art queen Orla Walsh tells how a moment can change life forever

For Alanis Morrisette, anger is an energyFor Alanis Morrisette, anger is an energy

Culture That Made Me: Conal Creedon on showbands, punk rock and playing the sawCulture That Made Me: Conal Creedon on showbands, punk rock and playing the saw


Latest Showbiz

They reprised their roles for the latest instalment of Reunited Apart.Lord Of The Rings cast re-enact favourite scenes during Zoom reunion

She also encouraged people to vote in the US election in November.Chrissy Teigen pledges $200,000 to bail out protesters

She shared a touching tribute to her partner.Vicky Pattison: Boyfriend Ercan Ramadan taught me to love again

Anna Kendrick and Halsey also joined the protest.Emily Ratajkowski joins Los Angeles protests following the death of George Floyd

More From The Irish Examiner