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Interior Design

DIY with What You Have

Refreshing your home doesn’t have to mean getting bogged down in major projects. These
easy DIY ideas offer serious design
inspiration without the big commitment. 

Paint a pattern

Paint a pattern.

A fresh coat of colorful paint will revive a piece of furniture, but you can take it a step
further by adding a pattern, too. Use paint pens to draw designs on drawer
fronts, tabletops and more.

Embellish with watercolor

Embellish with watercolor.

To give a plain lampshade an artistic makeover,
moisten a large paintbrush with water and sweep a
wavelike pattern around the bottom of the shade. Then, tap wet paint into the
pattern with a soft, round watercolor brush. (Use watercolor paint for paper
lampshades and fabric paint for fabric shades.) The paint will bleed to the
edges of the moistened area. After the paint dries, dot the wave with more
paint in alternating colors. For dots that blend, paint them with edges

Stencil a wall

Stencil a wall.

Give one wall in a room a dose of pattern with a
stencil. It’s less time-consuming than stenciling a whole
room, and you’ll need less paint. For subtle contrast, use a
color for the pattern that is just a few shades lighter than the background.

Redo a hutch

Redo a hutch.

Transform a tired hutch with paint and
wallpaper. First, remove all hardware and lightly sand the hutch to get rid of any flaking varnish and give the surface a texture that
will help the paint adhere. Remove all drawers and doors, and tape off exposed
glass. Paint the inside and outside of the hutch. Next, clean the hardware and
give it a few coats of high-gloss spray paint. Let dry and reattach. For a
finishing touch, trim wallpaper to fit the back of the cabinet. Mount according
to wallpaper packaging or use spray adhesive. After wallpapering, reinstall the

Go from mismatched to unified

Go from mismatched to unified.

This simple project breathes new life into
thrift-store frames. Paint the frames white and insert pretty paper. Choose coordinating
patterns in different scales (small prints and large prints) to create a
balanced look. Let the paper be the star, or top it with a wooden letter, a
photo or any object you love.

Get back to basics

Get back to basics.

Look to everyday items for artistic inspiration.
Take photos of a few interesting objects and adjust the exposure, saturation and color with a
photo-editing program. Create large prints and frame them
on black mats in white frames. A black-and-white display like this looks sleek
against a white wall, but would also look chic hanging on any wall painted a
saturated hue.

Privacy, please

Privacy, please.

To brighten a room without sacrificing privacy,
apply patterned window film to glass-front doors (or windows) to allow in light
from adjoining spaces.

Be artistic with furniture

Be artistic with furniture.

Dress up a dresser by applying a large poster to
it. Remove any hardware and prep the dresser front with a coat of primer and
let dry. Measure the width and height of the chest, including the legs. Trim
the artwork to size, making sure the design falls where you want it to. Cut out
the pieces that will go on the legs (you’ll apply them
separately). Remove drawers and adhere the artwork to the dresser front
using spray adhesive. Press the artwork to the dresser, starting at one edge
and working your way across the piece. Let dry. Trim the paper along the drawer
openings. Spray the drawers with adhesive, and apply the artwork to the drawer
fronts. Trim and place the leg pieces on the dresser. Use a nail to poke small holes in the paper to install decorative

Lend a little shimmer and shine

Lend a little shimmer and shine.

Put a little zing in your powder room with wall
decals. Easy to apply and affordable, these pockets of pattern give this
bathroom just the right amount of shimmer.

Refresh your roller shades

Refresh your roller shades.

Accent plain roller shades with fabric. First,
have a retailer cut the shades to fit your windows. For each shade, remove the
weight from the bottom pocket. Cut fusible web to fit the width of the shade,
and iron it onto the back of your chosen fabric. Cut out the fabric and iron it
into place on the shade. Spray-paint a café curtain rod,
and insert it into the bottom pocket.

Make a family tree

Make a family tree.

Add unique flair to a basic arrangement of photos with a tree motif. Achieve the silhouette with a wall decal, a stencil or freehand painting. Hang family pictures in the “branches” for a whimsical look.