For many, the first couple of months of a new year are synonymous with resolutions: saving money, spending more time with friends and family, scoring that promotion etc. 2021 is shaping up to be a bit different. Hunkered down and (still) social distancing, many homeowners and renters say this year is about getting their hands dirty—and keeping their minds occupied—by focusing on the four walls around them.
Beau Ciolino and his fiancé Matthew Armato are no exception. Since moving into their New Orleans, LA Victorian a year ago, the couple has been decorating against the grain—and sharing the process with the followers of their popular Instagram and blog Probably This. Their latest über modern addition? A DIY fluted table made from PVC pipe and birch plywood that’s been drenched in limewash to help it resemble stone.
Ahead, we crack open our little black book of DIYers to highlight the projects, minor and major, that are helping them usher their homes into the new year. Bonus: They’ve laid out the full tutorials so we can all give our spaces a zhuzh.
“A DIY project is about creating an escape, a place to find peace,” begins Caitlyn Everett, founder of Australia’s Sunday Lane. “This hanging ceramic is about adding a sweet detail to any space. After all, it's the small things that instill a room with soul.” All you need to recreate the piece for yourself is some clay, water, string, and a knife. Pro tip: Wet hands will make manipulating the clay much easier.
The dead giveaway that a piece of art is a print, and not an original, is its texture. Meet, Impasto gel. Make like me and paint it over an existing piece (store bought or of your own making) and watch as its thick consistency gives your piece a rough, raised texture. Simply follow along the existing paint strokes to pull off the trompe l’oeil.
No matter the material—wood, marble, rattan—decorative chains are having a moment. Unsurprisingly, this means you’ll likely pay top dollar for one at your local boutique. Enter: Cat Meschia whose site ctrl + curate helps readers recreate modern design trends on a budget. For just $22 she created a faux marble chain for her coffee table out of aluminum foil and newspaper. “The aluminum foil worked so crazy well. It’s surprisingly hefty and durable,” she adds.
When Nahyun Arnal began redecorating the living area in her Winnipeg, Canada home, she quickly realized her existing rectangular coffee wasn’t going to work: “It was too small and cut our living room in half.” With an eye towards saving some cash, Arnal ended up fashioning its circular replacement by hand using $80 worth of plaster of Paris and plywood. “Making a table sounds scary, but once things start falling into place, it’s so satisfying and empowering!” she says of the two-day project.
We are huge fans of IKEA hacks, and so are Jouel Tiu and Marcel Sanderse of Delft, The Netherlands. In just half an hour the pair made the nook created by their PLATSA shelving unit feel purposeful by filling it in with ceramic tile designed by Koh Liang Ie for Mosa. They didn’t adhere it directly to the wall, though. Instead, the couple attached the tile—grout and all—to a removable wooden panel so they can switch up the look down the line. This project may seem unique to the pair’s situation, but it can work for anyone, really. Maybe your powder room needs a mini backsplash, or the walls near your kids’ craft table need a little extra protection?
You can read about the project on the pair’s Instagram Bousquet Boys.
Turn One Room Into Two
When faced with the challenge of having to work from her kids’ playroom, the wheels in Amaryllis' head started turning. In one afternoon, she bisected the space by constructing a simple wall divider using plywood and a few hinges. “It’s easily customizable with wallpaper or paint if you like something more personal,” she adds.
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