Guest Post: DIY Home Renovation Ideas Your Whole Family Will Enjoy

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Contrary to popular belief, redecorating your home does not need to drain your bank account. Often the least expensive home renovations can be done by you. Do-it-yourself renovations add the greatest amount of character and personal flare to your home. It is not necessary to be adept in artistry or interior design to create a beautifully unique home. A number of simple DIY renovation ideas can leave your home looking and feeling wonderful at a painless price.

These days, 
shabby chic homes are all the rage due to the quaint, cottage-like atmosphere they provide. This style of interior design intentionally relies on a worn-out or antique look. Furniture may have chipped paint or a style that is perceived as outdated. The point is to contradict the stiff feeling that you may find in homes that are too fancy. The main characteristic of such a style is worn furniture. Renovations are especially easy because people often throw away old, antique-like furniture. Scour garage sales and curbside furniture to find free or inexpensive “new” furniture for your home.

If shabby chic is not your personal taste, you can still make use of old furniture. A coat of paint or lacquer is far cheaper than buying an entire new set of furniture. Before painting old furniture, you will want to run your hand over the surface to see if it is naturally sleek and glossy, such as varnished wood. If so, a gentle sanding will provide the foundation for beautiful results. Then apply a coat of primer, followed by two thin coats of latex paint. Depending on the ages of you children, I’m sure they would be happy to help—there is nothing quite as thrilling as painting on the furniture! Although optional, a water-based finishing coat adds lasting protection and a glossy appearance. To avoid paint chips, wait at least 3 days before using any newly painted furniture. It may take a couple days longer in humid conditions.

Frosting windows is another simple DIY renovation that can add an entirely new look and a brighter feel to your home. While curtains can certainly be chic, they can also inhibit sunlight and give your home a gloomy feel. Plus, replacement costs can run steep. Purging the curtains does not need to jeopardize privacy if the windows are properly frosted. Frosting film is only about $20 for a large tube and film application spray is about $4 per bottle. After taking measurements, spray both the windows and frosting film with the applicator. Then stick the film onto the window, using a credit card to smooth out the air bubbles. Use an exactor knife to remove any excess film. You may also frost patio or shower doors.

Nothing makes a home feel emptier than bare walls. While hanging extravagant art may be picturesque, sentimental wall hangings yield the happiest vibes. Family photos are wonderful, but perhaps you want a creative alternative. You can create your own DIY “landmark map” that showcases all your family trips and vacations with four inexpensive materials: a large cheap picture frame, corkboard, vintage map, and pins. First, pin the map onto the corkboard. Then place a pin in every state and/or country where your family vacationed. Place the corkboard map in the picture frame, but remove the glass. Continue adding pins as your family experiences more of the world.

About the Author: Amanda Riwak is a stay-at-home mommy who loves her kids and also has a passion for interior design—and lots of creative ideas for combining both! She enjoys taking on fun decorating projects that her kids can help with as well, and together they have managed to design every room of the house. When she is not covered in paint and wallpaper, Amanda enjoys spending hours on the beach with her family and eating peanut butter ice cream.