The Three Keys to Successful DIY Design

Decorating & DIY

You might be surprised to know that in my work as an interior designer, some of my clients are do-it-yourselfers. While I most often provide turn-key design and implementation, some of my clients just want a little advice and guidance. Whether it’s for budget or personal reasons, they are happy to do the legwork themselves. For me it’s exciting to be part of their design journey and see the results of their efforts! I think great spaces are within the reach of just about anyone. Here are three keys to getting DIY results you will be proud of:

DIY package

1. Start with a plan

It sounds obvious, but this this the step most people skip. They jump right to furniture shopping and that’s when poor decision making happens. Some of my DIY clients hire me to develop the initial design plan for them, but it’s something you can do for yourself. Your plan should include a to-scale measured drawing showing your furniture arrangement, as well as sketches that show focal walls containing art or window treatments. Be sure to note critical room information like door size openings, windowsill heights, and outlet locations. Your initial planning should also include some time spent collecting images of spaces and furnishings you like, and an idea of the color palette for the room(s). Have paint color samples and any existing fabric or material swatches ready to take with you when you go shopping.


2. Execute the plan

The second most common problem I see are spaces that are half-finished. If your great ideas are still just ideas waiting to be realized, figure out what’s stopping you. If it’s budget, what can you do to scale back and achieve the same effect for less cost? If it’s not knowing where to find certain resources, check out local magazines, blogs or If it’s time or ability to execute, that brings me to my next point…

coming soon!

coming soon!

3. Know when to hire help

Maybe you counted on doing all the painting yourself. Except you haven’t had a free weekend in six months. Be honest about your limitations, and plan to hire professionals to help with the parts of the design you know you can’t (or won’t) complete successfully on your own. Doesn’t mean you don’t totally get DIY cred!

In upcoming posts I’ll be sharing the results of some of my DIY design consultations,where I provided the design and my clients handled the execution. I’m always amazed and very proud of my clients and what they’re able to achieve!