Best 10 Affordable DIY Tips for Millennial Homeowners
Shiplap may be the biggest design trend of the last decade. I’ve always been a fan of painted, paneled walls. I remember shopping for my first home and my realtor would joke that I was her only client that was actually looking for a house with those wood paneled walls that you would find in your grandma’s basement. I knew that with a coat of white paint, the house could easily be transformed into a lovely cozy farmhouse cottage. Joanna Gaines brought the term “shiplap” into every DIY lover’s household across America and started a craze! I love shiplap not only for the look but also because it is an easy and affordable project. You can buy thin cheap plywood from your local hardware store, have it cut into 6” or 8” strips, nail it up on your wall, paint it and transform a room in a quick weekend’s time! Here is one of my favorites from Farmhouse on Boone.
Chalk Painting Brass Chandeliers
I’m a big BIG fan of chandeliers. I’ve scored a few great vintage crystal chandeliers on Craigslist and thrift stores for under $100. This is a pretty great steal because usually these babies run anywhere from $200-$500 depending on the size you want. I knew I wanted a big chandelier for my master bedroom but did NOT want to spend that kind of money on it. A friend’s mother gifted me a huge (and very ugly) brass chandelier. A few coats of chalk paint, some brown wax to distress, a few strings of Mardi Gras beads painted to match and I had a gorgeous large focal point for my bedroom. Here is a similar one on Pinterest.
Paint is still the biggest bang for your design buck. Call me boring, but I will always prefer white walls. Whether your look is modern farmhouse or mid-century modern, white walls give you a beautiful clean slate along with making the space feel large and soothing. When I moved into my little cottage, I painted all the walls and kitchen cabinets white. Paint is the easiest, cheapest, and quickest way to put your spin on a new space. If you’re looking to spice up your furniture, then chalk painting is the way to go. Chalk painting is an amazing technique because you don’t have to sand or prime which saves SO much time! You can buy chalk paint in the store, but it gets pretty pricey. So I make it on my own. Here is a quick Youtube video I did of chair painting.
Chalk Paint Recipe:
- Mix 1/3 cup of plaster of Paris + 1/3 cup of cool water
- Stir until completely smooth
- Mix that with 1 cup of latex paint and stir thoroughly.
Drop Cloths are amazing because they are big, cheap and can look like expensive linen! I used drop cloths to make no sew curtains for my house. I’ve also upholstered chairs and made bed linens with them! They are SO versatile.
Wallpaper is NOT just for your great aunt’s dining room! It’s making a huge comeback in some really bold ways. One of the cool things about this modern take on an old fashioned trend is they make removable wallpaper now. Perfect for those of us with commitment issues! You can wallpaper anything: an accent wall, the inside of a bookshelf, the front of a dresser, even a refrigerator! (That’s gonna be one of my next fall DIY projects in my house!) Side note on wallpapering kitchen appliances: they even make a stainless steel wallpaper/contact paper that you can cover your old appliances in! It’s pretty sweet. You can find different wallpaper patterns here.
Ugh don’t we all wish we could afford one of those gorgeous modern farmhouses as our starter home? I know I do! I dream of Carrara tile, wide plank pine floors and rustic beams. But… I also buy my curtain hardware at the dollar store to save a buck so a girl’s gotta be realistic. This faux beam DIY project is definitely one people comment on the most when the see my house. Best part is, it was also one of the easiest! When I bought my sweet little cottage fixer upper there was no trim… like anywhere. Ok so most of the rooms had old baseboards and cheap crown (ish) molding, but I’m talking big openings from the kitchen into the living room with no trim. Just squared off textured wall. It was… strange. Then luckily one day on Pinterest I ran into a DIY for fake beams! I called my buddy Danny and about $100 of materials later I had a BEAUTIFUL rustic beam opening. This totally changed the look of the house. Not to mention it was very easy. We simply squared up the lumber to make a box around the opening, nailed them into placed and stained them dark. Presto! Here and here are some DIY lovin folks who did something similar!
Do you have a giant white wall at your house screaming to have some art hung but you don’t know what to do? No need to fret, getchu that gallery wall life! (You’ll be living your best life, I promise.) There are so many ways to create a gallery wall. Vintage frames, modern art, mixed media materials, I love them all. It’s a great way to show off collections that are meaningful, sentimental, or that you just think are cool! Girlfriend Is Better have some awesome ones.
So unless you’re one of those lucky ducks who moved into a brand new build or renovated house with all the fixin’s, you’re probably wondering about how you can change up your countertops. Are dreams of granite keeping you up at night? Definitely not in this gal’s budget on my first go around. There are so many beautiful DIY options that will have you loving on your countertops in no time. Butcher block countertops are a great and a relatively cheap option. I absolutely LOVE the look of reclaimed wood countertops. I have a wood countertop on my kitchen island and bar top that are both DIY’d. There are also many methods for painting, contact papering or other DIY techniques to jazz up dated countertops. These are great for your kitchen countertops OR your bathrooms. Here are great faux marble countertops and these are great granite ones.
Another cheap way to make a BIG impact in your home is by changing out your hardware. This may seem obvious but new cabinet pulls can make a huge different in an outdated kitchen or bath. Other examples of changing out hardware are door knobs, or towel hangers in your bathroom. And did you know you can spray paint these guys with oil rubbed bronze spray paint (or whatever color you want) so that your hardware will all match? It’s pretty much a game changer. (By the way… it’s totally ok to mix and match hardware finishes these days. Think mixed metal media and then say that ten times fast. Just try to keep it to two different metals or it starts getting crazy!) Create and Babble and Blesser House have some of my favs. You could also take advantage of cut to size plastic sheets to save money and add personality!
Is your backyard less than HGTV Dream Home 2017 standards? I know mine is. This tip might seem like a duh moment but do not overlook these babes. I have literally hung these up in the last four houses I’ve lived in. String lights can take the drabbest outdoor area and instantly transform it into a chic Italian backyard villa vibe. Promise. Pass the charcuterie please. Some of my favorites are these Edison style ones and these outdoor ones.
While you’re working on all these awesome projects you’ll definitely need some cool jams to keep you motivated so check out some tracks of my upcoming album, “Get Drunk And Cry” and “Getting Out There.”
Guest Post by Ruthie Collins