Have you ever taken on a DIY home project that really excited you? You know, the project you saw on Pintrest or Facebook that motivated you to rush out and purchase all the supplies, and filled your head with visions of how beautiful it would look? You started working on it with enthusiasm and a lot of energy, spent a few days focusing on the end results, and then it happened…..DIY home-project burnout! Has this ever happened to you?
DIY Project Burnout is a state of physical and mental exhaustion when the work demands constantly exceed the amount of energy that you want to give on a daily basis. Complete project burnout usually happens when overwhelm takes over, your productivity declines, and there is a lack of motivation/boredom.
That is exactly what happened to me recently with a project I started this summer. I love chalk painting with Amy Howard Home products. And I hate knowing that nine million tons of furniture goes to landfills each year. So I’m an advocate of either donating or repurposing. But what began as a fun way to repurpose our 25 year old kitchen table and chairs, soon became a daunting task that I wish was finished.
Chair after and Chair before
My first goal was to finish painting and reupholstering one chair a week. We have six chairs, so that should have been an easy goal. Until some problems popped up… along with the boredom! This project has been on my To-Do list for weeks, and I get excited each time I can place an updated chair around our kitchen table. I know it’s going to be beautiful when it’s finished. But I admit that I have DIY home-project burnout.
Stuff that gets in the way:
- not having a step-by-step plan before you begin
tools that aren’t easy to operate
not having enough supplies to complete the project at once
- not having the right supplies to get started
setting unrealistic goals for completing the project
- life, work, family commitments
Re-focus your mindset and your energy
Set an intention to finish it…NOW! Playing energetic music helps.
- Make a step-by-step plan. (ex. do you want to paint all 6 chairs at once, then wax all of them, then cover the seats)
Watch any videos you can that will help you before you start
Purchase all of the items you’ll need before you start so you won’t have any starts and stops
Make an appointment with yourself to work on your project when you know you’ll have the most energy…and keep that appointment
If you feel yourself getting bored or overwhelmed, take some time off to take your mind off of it. Quiet periods aren’t negative. Sometimes stepping back, can lead to fresh ideas and renewed motivation.
Moral to the story:
DIY Home Projects sound great when you start out
Be realistic about the time and cost involved
Be realistic about your skill level
Be honest with yourself about why you really want to do this. For me, it’s the satisfaction of turning something old and outdated into something beautiful and useful. And doing my part to save the environment by re-designing, repurposing and re-using outdated items.
All-white kitchens have certainly been popular for a while, and homeowners still love the crisp look it brings to their home, especially Farmhouse Style. But for the last several years the kitchen with two-toned cabinets has been increasing in popularity. And I love it!
What started out as a tip toe into the “world of two colors” has morphed into multiple ways to bring your favorite colors into the kitchen in a way that works for you.
A lot of color makes me happy! But since we tend to move a lot, my first thoughts are to go neutral with most improvements so that they’re something a future buyer would like. Even before we sold our last home, I remember thinking, “you love bright color, so why aren’t you using it?” And so I did!
With our new 18 year old fixer upper, I stepped totally out of the box (in the end). The entire time I was designing the kitchen I visualized white cabinets around the room with a dark navy blue island. Clean, simple, and uncluttered was the plan for this kitchen. It would still be a kitchen with two-toned cabinets, just a little ordinary. And I needed to have it finished ASAP!
You see, when we moved into our new home, the kitchen was very outdated with a lot of wasted space cabinets. Storage was minimal. The gold cabinets had so much glazing in the corners that they looked dirty. We were anxious to make a change.
MLS image of our original kitchen
But good design needs a well thought out plan, not one that’s rushed. And that’s what we were able to create..once I took a step back and slowed down. Remember, I love color and being a little bit different than everyone else. On my first trip to the cabinet showroom I found exactly what I was looking for, and it wasn’t white and navy blue! This meant taking a leap of faith and stepping out of my “play it safe” comfort zone. I had my happy colors at last!!!
Shiloh Cabinetry: taupe stain on alder and aqua stain on alder
Ta-Da! Here is the big reveal of our new kitchen, which we love. Even though the footprint is basically the same, the amount of storage space we gained is amazing. Work areas were arranged to suit the way we like to work in our kitchens. A vent hood was added where a downdraft had been. And a fun backsplash was added in my favorite shades of blues and turquoise.
Are YOU ready for a kitchen renovation? Remember that it doesn’t always need to be a full reno to make a big impact. Making simple changes like painting your island to create your own two-toned cabinet look and installing new cabinet “jewelry” can be a big improvement to a dated kitchen.
And when you’re finished, you might need a break to focus your time, energy, and money on another big project. It’s OK if your kitchen becomes a work in progress as you add the Finishing Touches like window treatments, counter stools, or rugs.
I’m here to help! Email me here: AskADesigner@randidestefano.com
When you’re dreaming of a beautiful kitchen, and know that buying new cabinets is more than your budget will allow, maybe it’s time to consider a makeover that includes new countertops. If your cabinets are in good condition and the the space plan works well for you this might be your perfect solution!
There was a time, in my old EXPO Design Center days, when I was known as the Queen of Countertop Remodels because I helped so many clients with them. And because of that, I learned exactly what to do, so that stress was kept to a minimum.
Let’s take a look at my list of Designer do’s and don’ts that will help you with your own countertop remodel.
Do: One of your first decisions to make is what material do you want to use, because you have a few options. There are natural stone products (granite, marble, quartzite) and there are quartz composite products (Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, etc.)
Do: Know what “look” you want to achieve in the space. The material you choose will help you get there.
Do: Decide if you want a lot of movement (veining) in your countertop material.
Quartzite Mont Blanc
Don’t buy a slab that has a lot of movement and imperfections if you think it will drive you crazy. Stone is a gift of nature, and definitely not perfect. Also, if you need to have a seam because of a large area to be covered, the veins will not match. If that is a problem for you, then choose a slab/pattern that has less movement and a quiet pattern.
Do: Decide on your fabricator (the person who will template, cut and install). They often display granite, marble, and quartzite slabs in their warehouse. But sometimes they’ll send you to look at a larger showroom that has more to offer. These showrooms typically do not sell directly to you, the consumer. So this means they won’t be able to quote you a price. They’ll give the price to your fabricator who will then factor in the additional labor costs before giving you a quote.
Granite Colonial White
Don’t visit a granite showroom without a designer, contractor, or fabricator name. They can call ahead to let the showroom know you’re coming, or they can go with you to help you select. Sometimes a showroom will recommend a fabricator if you don’t know who to use. A few showrooms/warehouses will let consumers come in to look without an appointment. Your fabricator will contact them for pricing.
Do: Find out your fabricator’s price levels before you visit a granite showroom. Since most of them don’t sell directly to the consumer, they won’t give you a price. But they can point you to the slabs that will be in your approximate price point. Many large fabrication companies have enough space to have countertop slabs on display. In that instance, they’ll be able to give you a quote.
Don’t: Assume that the initial quote is the final one. Your fabricator will send someone to make a template, and that will determine the final cost. But before they schedule you, they will need a countertop plan with the shape of all your counters, and the dimensions.
Do: Make sure that you have your sink, and sometimes faucet, when they come to make your template. They will take it with them back to their shop.
Do: Know that some fabricators require you to purchase an entire slab, and some will only charge you for what you use. Be sure to check this out in advance. Quartz composite products seem to require purchase of an entire slab. But this is also at the discretion of the fabricator.
Don’t: Ordering less than 25 square feet is not acceptable to most fabricators. Sometimes they have a scrap yard to choose those pieces. If they do, it’s your luck day!!!
Don’t: Order countertops when you’re in a rush to have it installed. From the time they make the template, until the time it is installed could take anywhere from 5-15 business days.
Don’t: Have your heart set on a slab too early in the process unless you’re prepared to make a deposit so they will hold it. Also, make sure that your fabricator is going to hold onto the unused part of your slab. I have had slab “scraps” sold before projects were installed, only to be upset when they made a mistake cutting. Time was lost while they waited to find another slab to match.
Don’t hang on to a sample that you love and expect it to look the same in 6 months. The look of natural stone is determined by where it’s mined in a mountain. Even though it has the same color name, it can look completely different in pattern and color.
Granite sells quickly in certain markets and new shipments aren’t always cut from the same area of a mountain. Always inspect your slab before purchasing! If you need more than one slab for your countertop, make sure that there are more in the stack. Sometimes they’ll be labeled by the order they’ve been cut.
Do: Know that there are options to choose from for your countertop edges. Standard edges are included in your quote. Non-standard edges are sold by the linear foot.
There are a lot of things to think about when making your countertop selection. And it probably seems like a lot to remember. But Do’s and Don’ts are meant to guide us in the right direction and keep us from making painful or costly mistakes.
If you’re still confused and unsure of what to do next, feel free to leave a comment below, or email me at Randi@RandiDestefano.com with your questions. I’m here to help!
Outdoor living spaces, are becoming more and more popular and are a wonderful way to enjoy nature, relax, and watch the world go by. There was a time when a front porch was the place to greet your neighbors after dinner, or spend a lazy afternoon reading.
Today the nostalgia of the front porch is showing up not only in new in-town homes and walk-able neighborhoods, but in the way we use our backyards, screened porches, patios, and decks. What I’ve noticed is there are 7 key ingredients of a summertime porch that seem to show up again and again. Maybe you’ve discovered this too.
Every spring, as soon as the pollen slows down, I’m craving some time on our porch. You see, until a few years ago, none of the homes we lived in had a covered porch. Now I’m making up for lost time by dreaming, planning, and shopping to make even small improvements to what we have.
The best way to get started is by taking an assessment of what you already have. Do you still love your existing colors or would you love to have a brighter color combination? Ideas are everywhere, including photos of porches in magazines, social media, and websites. And don’t forget visiting decorator show houses!
Ask yourself, “what do I really want”? What do you want your porch to look like, feel like? And then let your imagination kick in.
Let’s get started!
Credit: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Southern Living Magazine
No matter how large or small the space is, seating is the first thing to consider. Whether you prefer a sofa and chairs, or only chairs, it’s your choice. Do you want a private space that’s just for your family? Do you want a cozy romantic area for two?
#2: Accent Tables
We all need a table to place a drink or a book while we’re enjoying our outdoor space. The size and number of tables you need is based on how many people will use the porch…and how much space you have.
Rugs are the anchoring point for any seating group. They pull everything together and create a more inviting space. An added bonus for using a rug is to cover up unsightly decking.
#4 Accessories to Make It Yours
Adding your own accessories will truly make the space your own. They also set the tone for how you want your porch to feel. Pillows, outdoor draperies, and flowers all add to a room that says “Let’s relax here.”
Everyone knows that plants and flowers add beauty to our spaces. But plants add a sense of calm to any space, and outdoor rooms are no exception.
Credit: Laurey W, Glenn; Southern Living Magazine
#6 Dining Table and Chairs
#7 Lighting (and a ceiling fan)
Summers can be hot, humid, and stifling, with no breezes to cool you off. When you include a ceiling fan into your porch design plans, comfort is always just a click away.
If have a fireplace on your porch, consider yourself blessed! Nothing says “cozy” like a roaring fire on a cool evening.
1. Grab a pencil and note pad and make a list of what you have on your porch. Then make a list of what you need.
2. Are you using any of these 7 Essentials in your outdoor living spaces?
2. Look for ways you can add some of these features to your own porch.