3 easy DIY updates for your home

Gallery walls show off creativity. Credit: Apartment Therapy.
Create a themed gallery wall.
Credit: Apartment Therapy

While you’re deep into spring cleaning, why not make a few tweaks to give your home a fresh decorative twist? Don’t worry, we’re not talking about major overhauls — these are things you can do all by yourself.

We spoke with two in-the-know DIYers for tips on how to get crafty with springtime home decor.

Class up the kitchen

Maxwell Ryan is a designer, founder of the wildly popular site ApartmentTherapy.com, and author of three design books, including the New York Times best-selling “Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces.” He gave us a small, cool way to start a DIY endeavor. “Replace your labeled oil and vinegar bottles and transfer your oils to clear glass,” he suggests. Clear containers — either new or vintage — also work well for stashing toiletries in the bathroom.

Create a mini-museum

Instead of hanging one piece, cluster your artwork to make a gallery wall, says Sary Em, owner of boutique furniture store Home in Philadelphia. “It can look organic and collected by mixing frames of different sizes and finishes as well as mixing types of art,” she says. “Or the gallery wall can be more uniform, where images that are framed the same way are hung exactly the same distance apart.”

Ryan told us of an inventively decorated bathroom he recently saw with a similar tactic. “It was a nautical theme. The woman loved Hemingway and that era. She painted one wall black, and then found a whole bunch of beautiful images online. She printed them and framed them all in white uniform frames,” he describes.

Shine on

Brass accents are an easy upgrade to any kitchen. Credit: Home Boutique.
Brass accents are hot right now. Credit: Home

Brass and copper accents are very trendy right now, Em says: “You can find everything from hardware to furniture to lighting available in brass or copper these days, but they can get pricey. An affordable way to add this finish to a space is by spray paint. I always have a bottle of gold spray paint on hand and it can turn something from looking worn and dated to shiny, new and glamorous.”


When to call in the pros

When asked what DIY projects should be avoided because of their size or level of difficulty, Ryan says just go for all of it.

“People should be inspired and try to bite off more than they can chew, then chew really hard. That’s part of the joy,” he says.

There is a caveat, though. “That being said,” he adds, “when people say they’re going to paint one wall or paint a dresser, that’s great. But painting a few rooms? You better hire a painter. They can do it so quickly and so professionally.”


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