Thursday, March 8, 2012

Too much DIY?

A while back, Elle Decor asked a number of designers what trends they thought were on their way out.  Two of the designers referred to DIY projects and painted furniture--the bread and butter of many blogs.  Perhaps it is not surprising that bloggers threw up their hands at these predictions.

I have to say, though: I get it.

While I am all for a good DIY, and feel incredibly inspired by all the creativity that bloggers share with the world, I also believe that doing it yourself should add to the look and feel of your home.  One thing I have noticed is the number of projects that look okay in a styled photograph, but that I absolutely can't imagine living with in my home.

When I opened the most recent Midwest home magazine, I saw an article that really hit this home for me.

This room is darling: the fresh palette, furniture with fun lines, natural rug, and fun fabrics.

In my opinion, the DIY is bringing it way down.  Pine shims as a valance?  Rolls of twine on the wall?  PVC pipe planters?  A washtub filled with birch logs as a coffee table?  I suppose you could say these are clever ideas, and the twine looks kind of fun in the photo, but would you actually want to sit and look at it in your house?  (This was always the big problem with Trading Spaces, too.  Straw on the walls might be fun for the camera, but what a nightmare for homeowners.  I'm talking to you, Hildy.)

The one project that is working for me here is the lamp.  This is a great example of what the most creative bloggers bring to the party: a common item (fence post tops) reimagined into a piece that looks great on its own, like something you might actually covet if you saw it on the shelf in a store. 

If we had more of that, and less of the "random objects tacked to the wall", DIY wouldn't get such a bad rap, and it might just be here to stay. 

What do you think?


  1. Yes! I totally agree. I appreciate DIY - but more when it comes to laying your own tile, or making your own slipcover, but please, if I see another piece of painted furniture. I might barf.

  2. Thank you for saying what i have been thinking!

  3. Couldn't agree more! This ticky-tacky stuff is exactly the type of DIY that needs to go away for good. I appreciate being clever and resourceful because of budget but if it looks cheap and (worse) doesn't stand the test of time, wasn't it a waste of time and money? I still like painted furniture but a piece here and there only please. Natural wood tone is not four-letter word! :)

  4. I tendi to look at things from a livability perspective too. Who wants wall art that requires a special vacuum attachment to clean?

  5. I totally agree. The wall art and table really bug me. Buying a canvas and simply painting on stripes would be better for the artistically impaired.

  6. Wow what a great post. I totally agree with that.

  7. I agree that for one room, there is a DIY overload on that photo. But I think that one of the ideas, like only the lamp in the living room or only the twine balls in the kids' room, would have been fine. I think it's also important to think about budgets and a stage in one's decorating "life." If you want to decorate a dorm room or your first apartment after college, it's fine to DIY. Later, one's tastes get more refined and perhaps one elegant DIY project per room would suffice. I am struggling with something like this right now - not willing to spend money on "real" furnishings or accessories but feeling too grown up for blatant DIYs.


Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!


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