My oh my….how life can change so drastically within the course of just a few days.
Settling from the aftermath of fear and panic that spontaneously ensued last Thursday- beginning with the sudden announcement of my children’s school closures- I am now trying to get into the groove of society’s new “normal”.
Staring blankly into my computer screen while my children run amok, my efforts to put the proverbial “one foot in front of the other” by writing this blog post feels like some sort of autonomic shock response.
After all, website traffic is down, business partnerships are dissolving, normalcy is gone and I doubt any of you give a damn about topics as frivolous as paint colors or throw pillows.
Having not left my home for five days now, I find myself running through a gamut of emotions.
And while I have certainly had plenty of freak-out moments over the past few days, ultimately, I realize that staying in a fear-based frequency will only make matters worse- not only clouding my judgement, but wrecking my immune system.
With all of my years of self-help, I know I cannot lay around self-soothing with wine and television for much longer. At some point, I am going to have to pull myself out of shock mode and carry on in the healthiest, most conscious way possible.
Already feeling the overwhelm of my newfound role as “home-school teacher” (almost ironic as I have been very candid about my struggles with depression as it relates to stay-at-home parenting), I know I will have to drastically re-calibrate my priorities. Yet unlike my husband or parents, I realize just how blessed I am to even have the option of riding all of this out in the comfort of my home.
So as you probably can assume, the well-being of children are my first priority. I will do my best to continue to provide free, helpful content on this website as best as I can, but I am already on the parenting “struggle bus”. Please bear with me as I find my new cadence.
Ok… Deep f**king breathe…
Now that the elephant in the room has been addressed, lets move on to the meat of this DIY post.
DIY Home Improvement as a Healthy Outlet…
Given the physical distancing precautions set in place, I am sure many of you will now be spending more time at home.
If there ever was a time to make your home your haven, now is certainly the time- if not to simply lift your spirits, than to give your mind a break from the constant bombardment of fear and dread.
Instead of inundating yourself with fear-based content for hours on end, I recommend taking a step away from the screen to do things that make you happy. In addition to meditation, exercise and nature, I find home improvement projects to be a therapeutic use of my time.
Not only can DIY projects provide a rewarding “high”, they can be a great outlet for frantic, anxious energy.
Even better? All of the projects I am sharing today involve supplies which can be purchased online- without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. Simply revise the required products by purchasing from online retailers such as Amazon, Target and Hobby Lobby (yes, Hobby Lobby has an online storefront!).
In addition to giving you a little ounce of normalcy, I hope this post provides a little distraction during these unprecedented times.
And now…here are some super manageable projects you can tackle while you are hunkering down at home…
*For your online shopping convenience, I have included affiliate links in this post. That means if you click on one of those links and buy something, I may receive a small commission, but you won’t pay a dime more. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases*
- DIY Woven Art Work– While it isn’t the best idea to be out shopping for home decor right now (please don’t be an a$$hole), you can certainly make your own. Using a dowel rod (or even a small tree branch/stick from your yard) and an assortment of yarn which you can order on Amazon, beautify your space with this easy-to-make woven wall piece. Click here for the full tutorial.
2. Deep Clean Your Filthy Tile Floors– Before I was able to install new kitchen flooring in my fixer upper home, I lived with filthy, ceramic tile flooring holding years of dirt and grime embedded in the grout and crevices. Using some elbow grease and a super-effective tile cleaner I found on Amazon, I was able to make the neglected flooring look brand new. Click here for the full tutorial.
3. DIY Gallery Wall for under $100– Take a stroll down memory lane while also creating a beautiful focal point on your walls. In this tutorial, I show you how to make a modern gallery wall on the cheap. Click here for the tutorial.
4. Update Your Kitchen Cabinets or Bathroom Vanity on a Budget– Since discovering Milk Paint, my life has never been the same. With a super fast dry-time, forgiving finish and impressive durability, you don’t have to be a professional painter to transform outdated cabinetry. Unlike traditional methods of painting, this product requires minimal prep. Click here for the milk paint tutorial and here for my review of the actual product. You can conveniently purchase milk paint on Amazon here.
5. Update Door Knobs and Hinges- While I haven’t written a dedicated post for this particular project yet, I just recently traded my 1980’s brass door hardware for a modern, matte black variety (transformation pictured above). This simple endeavor has drastically elevated the feel of my home. Who knew Amazon had so many fabulous yet affordable door handle options? Click here for the exact door knobs I used.
6. Paint Your Outdated Counter-tops – Before I was able to invest thousands of dollars into new counter-tops for my fixer upper home, I decided to paint my 1980’s cultured marble surfaces with an epoxy paint kit. This hack actually proved as a viable solution for the two years I was saving for quartz . Click here for the DIY tutorial and here for the two-year product follow up review.
7. Apply a Peel and Stick Back-Splash- Believe it or not, the Moroccan-inspired back-splash in my powder room (pictured above), is actually peel and stick vinyl. While I wouldn’t consider wallpaper (or peel and stick back-splash for that matter) to be the easiest project to complete, this removable method is still way more approachable than your traditional tile job. Here is where I bought my vinyl back-splash. Also, to read my review on the actual product, click here.
8. Paint Your Outdated Bathroom Hardware– In my recent bathroom remodel, I was able to avoid extensive plumbing costs (my faucet was hardwired into the main water line of my house), by simply applying this special paint onto my faucet and knobs. You can read the full tutorial here. (And for any of you wondering…the finish has held up beautifully so far.)
9. Update Your Front Door with Gel Stain– Weather permitting, you can instantly update the appearance of your front door using my DIY gel stain tutorial. With spring just around the corner, it is time to start shifting our focus on outdoor, curb-appeal projects.
10. Spray Paint Dated Decor Matte Black- If you haven’t noticed by now, matte black finishes are all the freakin’ rage. Why not update existing decor you already own with a can of matte black spray paint? A few weeks ago, I updated some of my older, coastal-inspired decor with this trending texture to provide more of a Modern Farmhouse vibe. I am super happy with the results (pictured above). Here is a link where you can purchase the spray paint.
So there you have it, my friends. This is my best effort to provide you with a bit of distraction in the midst of what seems like a world gone mad.
This is also your friendly reminder to step away from the news, put your hands over your heart and take a deep breathe.
Allow yourself to feel your feelings, but constantly pivot back to a place of trust and love. After all, panic isn’t going to do any of us any good.
Sending you all a big, virtual hug. We are in this together.
Continue to design good vibes along with a fabulous life, my friends.
PS> I would greatly appreciate your continued support. By sharing this with a friend or on social media, you are helping a small business out during tough times. Thank you so much!