DIY Interior Design: Easy Projects for a Fresh Look

DIY is a gratifying way to not only save money, but to truly invest in your home decor. You feel much more connected to the work you have personally carried out and it is a wonderful means of upcycling beautiful old items. It’s your home and you are putting your personal stamp on it so be as creative as you want and really get your hands dirty. And it’s fun! Whether you’re handy with a drill and saw or you are simply keen on managing your own redesign, there are plenty of ways to inject your own unique vision into your home. Let's take a look at some easily achievable DIY interior design ideas that can give your home a fresh and vibrant look.

1. The Power of Paint

You would be amazed at the power of a lick of paint! Don’t be afraid of colour. Different shades will suit different rooms but if you make some small colour connections throughout the house, the sense of cohesion will also instil a sense of balance.

  • Wall accents: There are many rooms that respond well to an accent wall. If you love a colour but feel it may be a little too intense for an entire room, choose an interesting wall, perhaps with a chimney or an angle, and paint it with your accent colour. Pick up the colour in small ways throughout the space in textiles or furniture. An accent wall needs to feel like it belongs in the room.
  • Makeover for furniture: Furniture can respond well to some paint and can even take on a whole new life. A classic wooden dresser or set of drawers can be transformed with a bright modern colour. Perhaps you have an old Victorian armchair? There are upholstery paints and sprays that can modernise an otherwise outdated but beautifully carved chair.
  • DIY Patterns: Get creative. Perhaps a mural in a bedroom or patterns on a living room wall? Or maybe your ceiling or staircase would look well with stripes. Patterns like chevron or herringbone can really lift an otherwise mundane room.

2. Floating Shelves:

These can be so much more than a storage solution. There are many opportunities to create design features from shelves. Think of differing shapes, sizes and heights. Shelves can be a space to exhibit beautiful things as well as books and lamps. Hanging plants and lighting and adding interesting objets d’art can also enhance a shelf while injecting some balance to the walls.

3. Textile Transitions:

Textiles are a designer's friend and should never be underestimated.

  • Reupholstering chairs: This is not as frightening as it seems. There are methods that beginners can easily get their DIY hands on. Begin by reupholstering the seat of a stool or a set of dining chairs. This can truly transform a room and only needs some good quality fabric and a good staple gun. 
  • Throw pillows: Throw pillows can be easily whipped up on a sewing machine or by hand. For a stylish aesthetic, create contrast with your patterns and colours and pick up accent colours from your walls. If you are concerned with textile waste and costs, use fabric scraps from your home or charity shops.
  • Rugs and mats: Many basic rugs can be dyed or painted with textile paint. You can also create your own boho-style rug by patching together fabric samples or once-loved clothing.

4. Ingenious Lighting Ideas:

Lighting is an enormous contributor to the ambience and mood of a space. But it doesn’t need to be expensive or difficult to do yourself. Just remember, don’t approach anything electrical without consulting a professional. Lampshades can be upgraded, restored or redesigned with just some paint or embellishments. Beads, lace or hanging fringe can give an old lampshade a new lease of life. Try lampshades on a stand that you may not normally pair together; you never know, it may just work! There are simple wiring kits that can be purchased online and with some jars or bottles that can withstand heat, you can create some very imaginative industrial style lighting.

5. Upcycled Decor: One person's trash is another person's treasure:

Rather than viewing items as old or broken, look at them as things of potential beauty. Old picture frames can be cleaned up or repurposed and even old artwork or prints can be reworked into a new contemporary piece. Wooden pallets are a great bench or shelf option and flea markets will sometimes have side tables or copper pots that can be a stunning addition to a home. It’s all about a little imagination and some vision.

6. Green Corners - Indoor plants breathe new life into any room

Indoor plants are a stunning way to fill a room with warm greenery and a homely lived-in ambience. Hanging planters can be made from broken bowls, cups, tins or even coconut shells. Even jars and buckets can be repurposed for potted or shelved plants.

7. Wall Art on a Budget:

A wall is a blank canvas just waiting for a creative eye to decorate it.  Wall tapestries can be DIY’d using macramé or scrap fabrics. This will instantly inject a soft warmth to a room as well as texture and sound absorption. Photo prints from the internet are a cheaper alternative to purchasing original prints and with a little artistic flair, you can create your own framed wall art from magazine cuttings or indeed drawings of your own. DIY can be hard work but it is a fun way to ensure you are achieving the desired results of your interior design vision. It also creates a deeper connection to a home as you will have invested so much of your own energy and time into each room. You will feel part of the story of your home and it will be a true reflection of the unique individual who lives inside those hand painted walls. So, let your house be the blank canvas on which your imagination can run riot. And remember, the beauty of DIY often lies in the tiny imperfections.

Discover Your Interior Design Passion at Interior Design Academy of Ireland

While DIY projects are a fantastic way to personalise your space, there's an entire world of interior design waiting to be explored. If reading about DIY ideas makes your imagination spark with ideas of your own, our academy is the place for you. At Interior Design Academy of Ireland, we fan that spark into a crackling flame. We offer comprehensive courses that cover everything from the basics of interior design to more advanced concepts. With seasoned professional tutors, we promise an enriched learning experience. Whether you're considering a career change, looking to enhance your skills, or you are simply driven by a passion for design, Interior Design Academy of Ireland, welcomes you. Let us be that stepping stone to your interior design dreams. Join us, and turn your passion into a profession with one of our courses.


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Written by: Fiona Byrne

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