How To Avoid Costly Mistakes On Your DIY Home Project

How To Avoid Costly Mistakes On Your DIY Home Project


Most of us love to tackle a DIY home project every once in a while.  Maybe we do it to save money or to feel that sense of accomplishment that comes from a job well done.  Maybe we do it because design TV makes it look so easy.  Even though it can be fun (and sometimes stressful), there may come a time when you’ve messed it up and want to know how to avoid costly mistakes on your next DIY project.

As an interior designer, I often get the SOS call to fix it.  You know what I mean.  The sofa from an online store that looked great in the photograph, but feels like a rock when you sit on it.  Or the window shades you ordered without help that don’t fit the window.  These mistakes can be costly, both in money and the time it takes to fix them.

I know because it’s happened to me when I wasn’t paying attention, and then waited to long to examine my purchase.  What started out in my mind as a fun window treatment sewing project soon became an energy vampire, sucking my time.

Because I know how to avoid costly mistakes that can happen on a DIY home project, my ego was more than a little bit battered.  I was embarrassed to admit that I messed up.  And now my goal is to help you prevent it. 

time. price, quality

Rule #1: Have a plan in place before you start…and follow your plan. 

  • Know what you’re goal is and write out all the steps in the process before your begin. 
  • Do your research. What will it cost?  What quality of product are you looking for?  How long will it take?
  • Check all the dimensions before you order anything online.

Rule #2:  Measure twice, cut/buy once

  • Double check all dimensions before you cut/order the wood, fabric, or blinds.
  • Custom orders can not be returned
  • Will the piece of furniture fit through your doorways?  Will it fit in the room?

Rule #3:  Pay attention when making your purchases

  • Watch as fabric is unrolled
  • Read the sales receipt before you commit to the sale.  Don’t assume that the sales associate has written exactly what you asked for.
  • Read the fine print, and be sure everything you’re expecting has been included
  • In the image below, I hate to admit that I was so excited about getting a great price on this normally expensive fabric, that I didn’t follow my own rule.  Notice how the design is printed crooked on the fabric.  Fortunately there was just enough fabric to make the window treatments so the pattern matches all across the windows.

fabric printed crooked

valance progress

finished DIY window treatments

Rule #4:  Have a Designer On Your Team to help you avoid costly mistakes.

  • gives you advice before you make your purchases
  • validates your choices…or guides you in a better direction
  • tells you how much fabric, paint, etc. you need to order, as well as all the parts and pieces
  • can place the orders for you
  • connect you with trusted trade partners

 Costly mistakes seem to be broken down into two categories.  I like to call them the “Oh no! What was I thinking!!!” mistakes.  Let’s take a look…

 Purchases you regret later because you realize you don’t like them:

  •       You had a “love at first site” moment and just HAD to own it
  •       You didn’t really love it, but had a “hole” to fill and thought it would work.  You were in a hurry to just be done with it!
  •       Oops!  You forgot to measure.

  Purchases and decisions you made because you didn’t know better or didn’t think it through:

  • Appliances that will be placed against a wall and the impact that will have on opening and closing doors and drawers.
  • Adding expensive new counter tops and then realizing you should have purchased new cabinets too.
  • Not checking the specifications of appliances to see how they will affect the cabinet.
  • Buying on line,which we all do, and realizing you don’t have all the parts and pieces to finish the job correctly.

Here are just a few examples of DIY home project mistakes (sources unknown):

bathtub at the top of the stairs       

Bathtub at the top of the stairs?

mantle over a sink

                   A mantle over a pedestal sink, complete with a towel ring

door hung upside down

Exterior door hung upside down

off center chandelier

A chandelier not installed in the center of the medallion or tray ceiling.


Your Design Action Steps:

1.  If you’re in the “information gathering” phase of your project, remember to study everything.  That means look over the plans when you have them.

2.  Review the specifications and dimensions of each item you hope to purchase.

3.  Hire an interior designer to be a part of your team.  The peace of mind you’ll get from relying on someone you trust will be well worth the investment.



Cook in style: Consult an Atlanta Kitchen Interior Designer

Home is where everyone eats, prays and stays together. So, the kitchen is the most important place in the house and an area where you want to design and decorate with superfluous attention. Consult the best Atlanta Kitchen Interior Designer to create the cohesive and beautiful look of your kitchen in order to enhance the overall interior appeal of the house. You know you have chosen the right interior décor consultant, when he/she is always open to customizing the major plan by incorporating your ideas. After all, the kitchen is going to be yours for the rest of the days to come and hence you should feel great while cooking your favorite food in it.

You should always be open for the suggestions and ideas whenever you go to an Atlanta Kitchen Interior Designer. Listen to and discuss any feasible ideas for designing your kitchen. Experts in this field will always give you good suggestions and introduce you to the latest trends. They will help you streamline your design preferences. Before you plan to invest a considerable amount of money to bring the experts on board, here are some basic yet most important points that should always be taken care of.

Planning the kitchen storage

A kitchen will look neat and tidy if you have installed the best storage setup of drawers, hangers, sink and utensil counters. Always use a multiple level storage system so that the kitchen looks tidy and not over-loaded with items.

Wall paint

Colors have a major direct and indirect impact on the human brain. Our mind is designed to respond to different colors with different reactions. This makes the process of color selection really important for you. Experts always recommend light colors, especially white, light green or light blue. These shades on the wall not only give you light and positive feeling, but also give you enough freedom to choose internal storage. If you are really impressed by those dark wooden storage setups for kitchen, then you will have plenty of choices to pick from as light colors on walls complement almost every shade of furniture you install.

If you love while furniture, it will also fit perfectly against the light shaded walls of your kitchen.

Expert Tip: Kitchen remodeling and interior designing of a kitchen in a newly built house are two distinct things. Therefore, a different approach is required to obtain best results in each of the cases. Remodeling of the existing room or house is slightly challenging as compared to the newly built place because there are certain limitations that designers and home owners face while renovating the existing houses. Hence, it is always beneficial to hire a reliable Atlanta Kitchen Interior Designer, who can make an effective remodeling strategy followed by a relevant action plan and its successful implementation.

Out of a field of the finest designers, Randi Destefano, ASID is one of the highly recommended Atlanta Kitchen Interior Designers. Her glorious years in the interior designing and home remodeling field clearly reflect her passion for this creative field. To get in touch with Randi, visit www.RandiDestefano.com or call directly at (404)213-8571.

Atlanta Bathroom Interior Designer

Your bathroom might be the smallest of all places in the house, but it certainly is the liveliest one. Ask any passionate Atlanta Bathroom Interior Designer and he or she will delightfully provide you tens of reasons why you should pay additional attention to decorating your bathroom in a beautiful way.

Bathrooms play a major role in your routine lifestyle and therefore designing it should always remain a top priority. There are many people who consider allocating their interior décor budget in such a way that bathroom designing remains on the top of the list. After all, you would want to feel enthusiastic and happy whenever you walk into your washroom. Similarly, no one wants to feel embarrassed in front of the guests by showing them a dull and untidy restroom.

However, the interior designing schema keep changing frequently as designers pour in new and creative ideas. There are vivid options introduced for bathroom styling on regular basis in the home décor stores. But, there is always a basic approach that every Atlanta Bathroom Interior Designer would suggest you follow.

Step 1-Select bathroom design

Consult a famous Atlanta Bathroom Interior Designer or stick to the suggestions offered by top DIY home décor websites. Choosing a bathroom design remains the first step in the process. When you have figured out what kind of design and outlook you want for your bathroom, the rest becomes easier and even more interesting.

The marketplace is loaded with a wide range of sanitary ware and you need to know the range of choices before you attempt to pick the best one for you. When you finally know what décor you want in your dream bathroom, then and only then will you be able to pick the finest and best suitable collection in terms of wall paint, vanity closets, rugs, curtains and more.

Step 2-Pick decorative accessories accordingly

The most common mistake people make while selecting their bathroom designing accessories is that they get carried away with every beautiful option available in the marketplace. Whereas, the right method to select style accessories for your bathroom is to understand what exactly suits the interior look and feel of the rest room. For example, if you have decided to make your bathroom look like a replica of a beach and natural surroundings then choosing a vanity drawer having antique appeal is not a good idea.

Step 3-Organize bathroom storage

Bathrooms look beautiful and comfortable when they are roomy. To make sure that there is enough room in the bathing area, you need to plan the bathroom storage smartly. Install drawers, closets and vanity counters to keep towels, soap, cosmetics and more out of sight but within easy reach.

If you find this part difficult, then you can always consider consulting with a reliable Atlanta Bathroom Interior Designer who has experience in decorating smaller bathrooms to make them look more spacious.

Randi Destefano, ASID is a reliable name in interior designing and home remodeling. Her active presence in this industry for more than two and half decades showcases through her creative and brilliant home décor ideas. If you are looking for an experienced Atlanta Bathroom Interior Designer then Randi is a perfect choice for you. Call now at (404)213-8571 to book an appointment. You can also visit www.RandiDestefano.com for more info.

7 Layers of Comfort and Joy For Your Guest Bed, Pt. 3

Bringing comfort and joy to your bed is a wonderful, welcoming way to let your guests feel at home this holiday season.  So far we’ve covered the mattress pad, feather bed, sheets, and bed pillows.  Let’s finish with the layers that keep us warm and cozy…


Did you know that for every degree a thermostat is lowered, you can save around 3% on your energy bill? A great way to realize a great savings is by paying attention to the next 3 layers.

5.  The Blanket: Blankets come in a many different weights and fibers, and should be chosen based on your needs.  Cotton blankets usually have a textured weave that allow it to breathe while still providing a light layer of warmth.  Bamboo blankets are relatively new, have a silky feel, and provide a medium amount of warmth.  Microfiber filled and down filled blankets usually have a grid stitching to keep the fiber from shifting.  They’re usually thin and light weight, but you can expect a medium warmth from this blanket.  Some blankets are plush, feeling soft and cozy.  Others are made of wool, sometimes scratchy, but always bringing warmth.


6.  Comforter: “Fill” is the best insulator and keeps you warm by trapping heat.  Comforters can be found with fiber fill, down, feathers, or silk.  The tighter the fill is compressed, the warmer the comforter.  You’ll find that a good comforter is described by it’s weight.  The heavier it is, the warmer it is…and the more expensive it is.  I’ve found that some down/feather comforters trap in too much heat during the night.  So I’ve discovered that a silk filled comforter is a fiber and weight that works best on my bed.  When it comes to sizes, it pays to read the label.  Just because it’s labeled as a king comforter doesn’t mean that it will fit your king sized bed.  In some instances, you’ll need to check with a linen store or an interior designer to locate the correct size for your bed.  To get the proper dimensions, measure your bed from top to bottom and then from the mattress top to the bottom of the foundation (referred to as the “drop”).  Next measure from side to side, and the desired drop on each side.  That will give you the correct dimensions for your comforter.


7.  Duvet Cover: These are designed to be decorative covers for your comforter.  Before making your purchase, decide how you plan to use it.  Will it be used nightly for warmth, or taken off the bed?  This will help you in your fabric selection.  Some people like to use a light weight upholstery fabric as their duvet cover because it is the perfect fabric to complete their design look.  But if you plan to use the duvet on a daily/nightly basis you’ll want to make sure that the insert is fixed and stable inside.  So check that your duvet has a way to attach the comforter inside.  This should be snaps or ties in each corner and the center of each side.