DIY

Time For Some DIY Home Decor

Approaching the wrap up stage of my spring cleaning, and my urge to purge, I was browsing home furnishings online thinking that a little more closed storage in the form of a couple of well-placed bookshelves is what we need, what with my son’s growing book collection. Dusting is such a headache and I really don’t have the time -or inclination – to do it on a daily basis.

Back in July this year, I pledged to give something away every day and have kept it up,  I am thrilled to say. Talk about double benefits: joy of giving and less clutter. While a new home is what I’d really like, I figured the next best thing is to redecorate.

This took me back to the time when we bought our apartment – ah, fond memories of how we completed the purchase on my birthday that year.  While we were richer by an apartment, we were very conscious about being frugal for the next few years with loans to pay off and there was no way we could splurge. So essentially we got the painting done and looked for affordable ways to decorate our new home.

Simple works best

As much as I might dream of exotic stuff, ultimately the utilitarian design is what I always go in for. We have moved cities so many times that I actually love the process of settling in. Before the WWW, we used to do a lot of leg work. Not only was it tiring, but also frustrating when we didn’t find what we wanted.  But thanks to the internet, I realized that it is a good idea to look online for used stuff – what with the tight budget and long wish list. Naturally some trial and error must be factored in…but we put our heads together and found ways to transform our place into a cozy home.

Lessons learned:

  • Never buy big chunky stuff. It is tough to place and tougher to dispose off. Small pieces of furniture that can be stacked or separated and used where necessary work better.
  • Used stuff is fine. I am a DIY fan and enjoy restoring things. And? It is affordable – and a great way to go green!
  • Go in for light furniture. Solid wood is great in small pieces. I personally love cane. It is affordable, easy to maintain and comfortable, besides fitting into practically any décor.  The furnishing options are limitless. I have a few of these and love them. We use them with or without cushions:

  • Extra seating is easily taken care of with these pretty, sturdy, stools that are strong enough to sit on and double up as side tables.
  • Easy to get that revamped look with furnishings and rugs. Just change the curtains and cushions and drape your furniture with new fabric – and get a whole new look.  Print one time. Solid colors next time. I like to mix and match!

  • Quilts are cute, too! Ever since I did a patchwork tablecloth for a crafts project back in Grade 6, I got hooked. I love making patchwork stuff – bedspreads, bags, cushion covers and baby wraps. The one you see here is made from saris. No I didn’t make it. I just coveted it and got it.
  • Since we moved a lot, we have a few massive trunks that serve as storage as well as side-tables or seating, depending on where they are placed.
  • I love to repurpose stuff, so I am always on the lookout for a nice piece of furniture I can adopt. I once found a kitchen shelf that I converted into a shoe shelf by adding doors. When it needed a new coat of paint, I made it into a family project and we had fun sticking a collage of pictures on it. I quite like it. We can always refresh the pictures when we get tired of these.

  • Good to avoid open shelves unless you’re ready to dust. And no, hanging a curtain in lieu of a door doesn’t work because then, you gotta maintain the curtain as well as the shelf. Gah!
  • When you don’t have the time to spruce up, clear the walls of artwork. Put up new ones.  Nothing like displaying the work of an in-house artist!
  • A vase of fresh flowers – so cheery!

  • We use herbal fragrances to create a nice ambiance – jasmine flowers at the altar, frankincense, incense sticks – mmm.

  • And then, finally, my favorite way to decorate is to wear a smile.  Yes, the sun shines brighter when you do that.

Do you have some ideas to share? I would love to hear them!

P.S.: I am considering posting a few simple crafts ideas – What do you think? And what frequency would be a good idea? Once a month? Please let me know.

Love, Vidya

 

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Jodi @ Heal Now
    December 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    A small craft once a month is a great goal. Making candle is always fun, and I love making jewelry. Doesn’t take up much space:). I am with you. I give away thing daily, too and people always wonder why my house is so clean. It is just uncluttered! I love your ideas! You can make your own pillow, too which is fun and easy!
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    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Jodi, I am thrilled you hear that you give away things daily…doesn’t it feel GOOD? I am yet to reach the super-clean stage but am getting there! I love making things for the home and am very handy with a sewing machine, paint and converting waste into wealth. 🙂 I think I will post about one easy DIY craft once a month. Hugs! Glad you came by!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Time For Some DIY Home DecorMy Profile

  • Reply
    Keetha
    December 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Sounds soooo funny (funny odd not funny ha ha) to hear you say “finishing up my spring cleaning” when up here on THIS side of the equator we’re heading full on into winter.
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    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      🙂 Keetha! That’s one of my favorite expressions – funny odd, funny ha ha!

      Fact is, it is winter here – but I always like to refer to deep cleaning as “spring-cleaning”. Hugs to you!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Healthy Child, Happy ChildMy Profile

  • Reply
    obsessivemom
    December 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Loved your post. Please please do post DIY crafts.. I’m a huge fan specially if it’s something to brighten up my home. Once a month is good. I’m not too fond of cane.. catches dust and cobwebs.. too much work there and I’m lazy :-).

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      I will, Tulika! 🙂 I simply vacuum the cane. I love that it is sturdy. I’ll begin posting the DIY in Jan. 🙂 Thanks for coming by!
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  • Reply
    Harleena Singh
    December 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Lovely post Vidya!

    Congratulations on your new blog! I guess youv’e been really busy shifting over to WP, and am so very glad you did. 🙂

    I remember the time my Mom used to get down with us and tell us so much we could do with our homes. She was really good at making best use of waste items – be it broken bangles, matchsticks, and even all kinds of paper! She was really creative. But yes, if you give it a real thought you too can do it – isn’t it? Love those ‘modhaas’ 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted…5 Ways to be CourageousMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Welcome, and thanks for your comment Harleena!

      I too fondly remember school days when we constantly created craft work. Sigh. I still make gifts but not as often as before. Love it though! Those modhas are my favorite seating. I have a short one that’s perfect for me, in addition to a baby cane chair.:-)
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Healthy Child, Happy ChildMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sandi Amorim
    December 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I have been feeling the urge to purge building. With the holidays approaching I think it will have to wait till January, but I am so looking forward to it!

    I love the simplicity of your tips Vidya! <3
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    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      :-)Sandi, thank you! I love cleaning and rearranging around the house. And it is very gratifying to decide to give away stuff – and to go out and do it. I’ve made it a year-around practice to do this.

      So many simple ways to feel good in this life! I am glad you stopped by!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Healthy Child, Happy ChildMy Profile

  • Reply
    vanita
    December 15, 2012 at 1:57 am

    sis i wish i knew not to buy chunky furniture when we moved in this apartment 6 years ago. i dream having to move again and find a way to get the couches out of the apartment. the delivery guys has such an awful time getting it in…our apartment is a mishmash of my furniture and hubby’s from before we got married. i wish i could just toss everything and start simple. great post sis! p.s. finished your updates!
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    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      Vani – I learned my lessons the hard way. And? When everyone at home has their own tastes, I swear it can drive the home crazy 😀 When I got married, we also had his + mine. But luckily, he isn’t much of a collector and is somewhat minimalist. Still, we’ve got some mismatched furniture and I learned long ago that it is important to indulge each other. More important to be happy than perfect! 😀 We made some mistakes with chunky stuff – sold them off – and settled down to what we currently have. There are of course, days when I wish I could wave a magic wand and refurnish. 😀
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  • Reply
    Elle
    December 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Love your pics and your tips Vidya.

    Love Elle
    xoxo
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  • Reply
    Zephyr
    December 15, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Loved your ideas and your home. If it sounds and looks so good when written about, how beautiful must it be when seen! Hope to, some day 🙂
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    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      🙂 My decor is very mix and match, Zephyr. 😀 And I am lucky to be blessed with a family that appreciates my penchant for DIY and other crazy ideas. You know what I am happy about? That “some day” can so easily be soon. 😀 Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Healthy Child, Happy ChildMy Profile

  • Reply
    Pattu
    December 15, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Loved your ideas very much. And also am appreciating the amount of work you do! Wonderful dear.
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  • Reply
    Glynis Jolly
    December 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I like using eucalyptus branches in tall vases to make the air smell good. Also, because they come in different colors, it looks pretty good too. Most large hobby stores have them. And, except for during the holiday season, Walmart will have them too.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      That’s a fabulous idea, Glynis! Gosh, to think I visited a massive conservatory of eucalyptus trees last year! 😀 I must look for them. We do not have a Walmart here yet, but I’ll check at the hypermarkets.

      Thank you!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Healthy Child, Happy ChildMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mayura
    December 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Vidya,

    No, I don’t have ideas yet about this all home decorations dear 😉 But I’ve discussed about it with my girlie few times and am sending this one to her now.

    Love the flowers and colors of pillows 😉

    Cheers…
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    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 19, 2012 at 8:12 am

      Yeah, Mayura – I love those cushion covers – such a simple idea with leftover material 😀 Thank you for commenting! I hope your friend likes the post! Love, Vidya
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  • Reply
    Ajith Prasad Edassery
    December 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    That’s a pretty neat cane stool in the middle. I have been in the look out of one in Bangalore but couldn’t find one like that 🙂
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    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Ajith, there is a string of cane shops close to Malleswaram circle, en route to Deviah Park – you’ll find them there. If not, you can choose from their catalog and they’ll make it for you. They are not very pricey, either 🙂

      Thanks for coming by!

  • Reply
    Oluwaseun Babajide
    December 24, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I love the pictures.

  • Reply
    Kevin Hildebrandt
    March 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    What an awesome list of DIY things to do around the home. I am sure I have enough stuff to give something away everyday for a year without missing any of it. This gave me some pretty good ideas that I will be checking into for my home. Thanks!
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