When to DIY


To DIY or to not DIY, that is the question... Thanks to Pinterest and DIY television, it seems that everyone you meet is renovating and DIYing their homes these days. Now, don't get us wrong, DIY can save you loads of money and allow you to feel like you are able to put your unique fingerprint on your home, but sometimes DIYing is simply not worth it. 

Often folks assume that as interior designers, Kristina and I love to DIY, I mean why wouldn't we?! You get to be creative and put your skills to the test. This is true in some instances but more often than not, we have found this isn't the case. Yes, there are projects that require us to sew custom curtains or paint that perfect piece of furniture but that doesn't mean every project should include DIY items.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind when deciding to DIY or to not DIY.

1. Time

Anyone who has ever done any DIY project knows DIYing takes time, and often time more time than you originally estimated. In this fast paced world we live in, your time is valuable. The time you are taking to invest in doing something yourself takes you away from time you spent elsewhere. Consider the value of that sacrifice. Ask yourself, will the result of the project be worth the your time given up to be with family, go to coffee with a friend, do laundry, or time spent to keep up with running your clean and organized home? 

2. Cost of Supplies

Few DIY projects stay with in the original budget allotted. You must always account for any mistakes you may make (because you will make them) and what that could cost you in repurchasing supplies or redoing a portion of, if not the entire project. Also there may be unique tools you may have to purchase to do a particular project. Before committing to the project consider if those tools are items you will use in the future enough to make it worth the investment.

3. Quality

Now quality can go both ways with DIY. Sometimes DIYing can result in far better quality than if you purchased the item and in that case, I always vote "YES!" to DIYing. However, when you know the reason you are doing something yourself is to save money and it will most likely mean using materials that sacrifice a bit in quality to make it worth it, then ask yourself, "Will it look DIY'ed?" If you really do need to save the money on a particular item that may look a little DIY'd then be sure that your styling around this item helps mask and balance the DIY'd item to ensure a completed pulled together look.

4. Passion

This is a big one for me personally. If you know you are going to hate every single moment of the project, I can tell you right off the bat it most likely will not be worth it for you. It will probably even make completing the project almost impossible because you will rarely feel inspired or motivated to continue working on the project. The only time I personally will do a project that I know I won't love, is if I know I can do it in one sitting and it will take less than an hour or two. I know for me, I can push through those factors and finish the project even if I don't love the process.

5. DIY Ratio

Finally, always consider your DIY to purchased ratio. Here's what I mean by this. Let's take the image of the DIY industrial shelves above for examples sake. My husband and I loved the look of industrial shelving so we decided we'd simply make our own by purchasing some galvanized piping, spray paint it a flat black and place a salvaged piece of wood on top. If we would've placed a DIY chalkboard sign, painted some mason jars and a DIY'd cake stand to style it, we would have risked a DIY overload and our style could have unintentionally come across as "Homemade Farmhouse". Instead, we balanced our DIY industrial shelves with our dinnerware, cake stand and oversized succulent. By not including DIY'ed accessories it further translated our "Modern, Industrial with a Traditional twist", style. Ultimately if your DIY'd items outnumber your purchased items it could result in a lower quality look than you intended.

We are so thankful for the many resources we all have at our fingertips these days to make home design tangible for all. Often times DIYing is that avenue to get custom home style on a budget but use these tips to know when to purchase an item or hire out work instead. 

Maci Kauffman