Hey everyone, I’m Mandy, and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to write for ToolBox Divas. I’m a lifelong ToolBox Diva and an artist who was fortunate to grow up with a “can-do” attitude that has carried me through today. I honestly believe everyone can
accomplish anything with some simple tutorials and some confidence, no need to “call the fix-it guy”. I’m thrilled to be able to share DIY and design ideas, and collaborate with you all on home improvement projects. Together, we can all save some money, create the living spaces we’ve always dreamed of, make some interesting decor pieces, and conquer projects we once thought impossible!
I don’t know about you, but every month when my favorite design and home and garden magazines arrive in my mailbox, I get some serious design envy. Everything seems so perfectly paired, colorful, drool worthy, and worst of all, it seems like something mere mortals could never achieve in their own homes. Right? Gleefully, I get to say—no, proclaim—that this is wrong!
We can turn our design magazine dreams into reality! And, we can do it without sacrificing too much time, money, or patience. How? Honestly, whenever a spread in a magazine speaks to my nesting soul and I know it’s time for a change, I take a moment and follow these steps:
Break it down.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a list person. I make lists on lists, because I’m one of those people who is thinking forty things at once and who has fifty projects in mind at the same time. Without lists, my head might pop off like a bottle rocket. So, I keep a little notepad for my ideas, and I scratch down things that aren’t working for me in my space, but that I imagine would work better from my “design dream”.
Write down inspirations from the photos you’re looking at, impressions, sketches, Pinterest, things that might help you when you’re entering your own design process.
Estate sales, antique stores, eBay, tag sales, yard sales, Craigslist, Goodwill, Salvation Army, your grandma’s
attic… there is potential for the next great design piece everywhere. While
there are some things I need new (see: bedding), I hate to buy something new
and perhaps in lesser quality than something I can find or make myself. The
magazine I’m looking at has great antiqued bureaus? Your probably wondering what is a bureau? Well it’s a fancy way of saying chest of drawers and it looks a little fancier. You can find bureaus off Craigslist and refinish them, and it’s all set. There are knick-knacks of a certain flair filling out bookshelves. Auction sites and tag sales are perfect for that. And most finds can also be painted a solid color or refinished in some way to add a nice twist.
pack so much into a room to really hit the mark, but at that point, your space risks becoming what I call “theme park”. So don’t be afraid to have some blank spaces. They will fill in over time. And also, if you find you have a lot of items you want to include in your redesign, don’t be afraid to swap out items every so often to keep your space fresh and exciting.