Monday, March 30, 2009

Stylish DIY Project Ideas

Kids' Room Window Seat
Here's how to make a comfy hideout complete with built-in storage cubbies and a work surface for coloring or homework.

Furniture Redo
Sometimes all that blah piece of furniture needs is a dose of style CPR. Check out these two easy projects for ideas.

Grid Wall Project
Here's a great way to add storage when you have no space to spare. We used 1x2s for the horizontal bars and 1x3s for the vertical bars and hung artwork, bins, and peg racks to hold toys galore.

Baby Furniture Gets a Redo
See how we turned a baby-changing table into a handy (and stylish!) bar cart.

DIY Urn Table
Create a stately side table out of a metal or resin urn in minutes.

DIY Bracket Beauties
Add an easy embellishment to your kitchen island with these brackets.

DIY Twig Lamp
A lamp kit and a sweep through the backyard to collect twigs are all you need for this natural lamp.

Custom Curtain Rods
Pruners, a relatively straight tree branch, white spray paint -- voila! A nature-inspired, functional work of art. Use tie-top curtains to adjust for the curves of the branch -- no rings or clips needed.

Stylish DIY Project Ideas

Easy Upholstered Headboard
We made a gorgeous tailored headboard from plywood, foam, and a tight-fitting slipcover. Try it yourself with our how-to instructions below.

Dressed-Up Curtain Panels
Cottage-style rooms would look amazing with windows dressed with these flirty curtain panels. Start with purchased panels and add the ruffle yourself.

Restyled Store-Bought Lampshade
Turn discount-store lampshades into style markers in your home. Try this no-sew lampshade slipcover to add elegance and class.

Country-Style Coffee Table
This country-style table is both pretty and practical thanks to a clutter-concealing skirt attached with hook-and-loop tape. To get this weathered look, follow our step-by-step instructions.

Easy No-Sew Bed Skirt
Bring the plushness of terry from bath to bed with an easy layered bed skirt.

Stylish Shelves
Learn how to make this and two other shelves for your entryway, bathroom, or bedroom. All you need are a few supplies and basic woodworking skills.

3-Step Makeover: Breakfast Nook

Step 1: Getting Started
Breakfast rooms are, by definition, sunny, cozy, and inviting. But this one was the opposite: tract-white walls, a predictable chandelier hung too high, bare windows, and a way-long table. The room's architectural features were a bonus -- and a curse. How to make the mismatched windows seem like they belong together? How to soften the harsh angles? Tame the cavernous ceiling?

The Makeover To-Do List
Make the small nook seem larger.
Create a roomy and functional floor plan.
Add character and style.

Step 2: Color and Character

The room's natural focal point -- the tall wall with the arched window -- fell short of its potential. Robin's-egg blue paint and flowing draperies create a dramatic accent wall. Playing off the arched window, a chunky round table and oversize drum shade light fixture add curves to the boxy space. Finally, two slipcovered chairs cover hard ladder-backs, inviting diners to sit a spell.

Step 2 Room Elements

Accent Wall: Leave an area of the accent wall white, creating a floor-to-ceiling arch around the stacked windows and uniting them. The arched window now looks larger.
Window Treatments: Floral panels soften the windows and introduce pattern. Hung just below the top window, they draw the eye up. Dressed with a simple Roman shade, the small window doesn't shout for attention.
Lighting: The large drum shade holds its own against the vaulted ceiling and adds texture and dimension to the room. Cover a plain shade with fabric for a customized look.
New Furniture: The glossy white round table gives the nook breathing room and brightens its center. A simple ribbon boosts the style on the plain slipcovers that camouflage the old chairs.

Step 3: Accessorize

With a few high-impact finishing details, the breakfast nook becomes the welcoming spot it was meant to be. To play off the blue wall, add bright yellow slipcovers and a colorful striped rug in the center of the room. With the scale and balance issues resolved, it's time to focus on the little extras to pull the room together. Piping and two colors of ribbon detail the slipcovers and a scalloped border accents the curtain panels. Potted plants bring texture, color, and softness to bare spots and are longer-lasting alternatives to fresh bouquets.

Step 3 Room Elements

Window Treatments: A scalloped border trims the curtains and breaks up whiteness. The dark blue edging links to the Roman shade.
Artwork: A decorative platter is a fresh alternative to boxy framed art.
New Furniture and Greenery: Plants on a new sideboard add color and texture. Remove the plants and the table is a handy buffet.
Textiles: Coordinating outdoor fabrics that resist staining and fading unite mismatched chairs. New custom slipcovers are short for a kicky look. With the oval rug, the nook's square look is finally history.

3-Step Makeover: Small Living Room

Stage 1: Getting Started
With spartan white walls, bare windows, and mismatched furnishings, this small living room lacks personality and coziness. Pushing the furniture against one wall -- opposite the entertainment center -- is a no-brainer floor plan, but it leaves a runway down the middle, blocks the tall windows, and squeezes access to the adjacent stairs.

Stage 2: Color and a Floor Plan
Begin the living room's transformation with lush green paint, plucking the hues from a fabric you want to add later. Light celery washes the walls and ceiling; a darker shade in a durable lacquer-like gloss makes the simple woodwork pop. The door is no longer in use, so we pulled the seating to the room's center, using a sisal rug to define the area. The new arrangement guides you through the room, making it feel more spacious than its 200 square feet.

Stage 2 Room Elements

Existing Furniture: Dress up the slipcovered sofa and chairs with two-sided fabric pillows and new upholstery.
New Furniture: Multitaskers that fill in the holes and adapt for entertaining are key -- the elegant black tray table folds away when there's a crowd, and the space-saving green demilune table doubles as a mini bar.
Windows: Wood blinds with wide fabric tape give windows a finished look.
Artwork: Banish blank walls with a simple grid of framed vintage prints from old books. Green mats coordinate with the trim color.
Lighting: A pair of celadon lamps draws the eye to the room's focal point, the sofa.

Stage 3: Pile on Pattern
In the final stage, the details make the difference. Take the room from livable to lovable with the addition of a few new pieces, layers of pattern, and a mix of accessories.