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Interior Decorating: Do It Yourself








I'm all for doing it yourself. That's how I started...

It was a beautiful Spring day about 20 years ago. We had lived in our new "used" home for about a year now and as I was sitting on the proverbial 'throne', I decided that my master bathroom made no sense at all and something needed to change. It was a very small space with multiple doors that housed two different mindsets - the dressing area and the poop, shower, shave area. As you walked through the first door, there was a sink/vanity to the right and to the left was a closet. Not an enclosed closet mind you, but a space with countless fabrics of all shapes, color and sizes that incessantly hounded you as you saw its reflection in the mirror. You could never shut away the mess. As you fell through the second door, you were met by the toilet sitting right dab center of the room and a bath/shower combination on the left.

By the time my husband came home, I had the entire bathroom gutted all the way down to the studs. If you can imagine the look on his face as he pulled into the carport and saw me standing proudly next to the heaping mound that was once our master bathroom. I do need to say that I wouldn't recommend that anyone make this impulsive move without consulting a professional first since there are load bearing walls and electrical wiring to consider to name a few. However, it was that stage in life where I now understand why people would often shake their heads and mumble "young and dumb" quite often.

Being married for a relatively short time, and with our first baby, we had very little money - certainly not enough to pay contractors to put this back together. And that's how I became a DIYer, out of want AND need. I did everything myself except the electrical. Thankfully, I wasn't THAT dumb.

The end product was worthy of any home design magazine. I accomplished what most won't, can't and in some instances shouldn't do. It was a success!

So am I a believer of Doing It Yourself? Most definitely!!! DIY, if it is your strength. Hire a professional for things you aren't sure about or things you don't want to do. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of being a Decorating DIYer.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Decorating Your Home Yourself

By all means, if you've already done it once and you were happy with the results, then do it again. It's your work and your story to tell if you Do It Yourself. There's a sense of ownership and pride that is unmatched by anything else.

Decorating your home yourself means you won’t have to pay someone else to do it. Who doesn't love that? However, it doesn't always mean you save money. The DIY approach working for you is dependent on your strengths and stamina. Do you have the ability to visualize? Are you creative? Maybe you have a natural talent but do you have the time and energy? Decorating can be a time-consuming proposition with a steep learning curve. A huge amount of decisions need to be made.

Most folks don't know this but a large percentage of home furnishings are sold to the trade only, so what you see in stores is only a fraction of what is available. Hiring a decorator gives you access to this vast selection of products. Decorators are experts when choosing furnishings not only for their beauty, but for comfort and durability as well. They also have previous experience with craftsmen and trades people, relationships that have been cultivated over the years.

Now let's weigh the risk... There's a decent chance that you could succeed and there's a decent chance you could mess up and you’ll either need to live with that error for years to come or pay to have it fixed. It's just that simple. Imagine if someone came into your place of business and tried to do your job. Maybe they have an overall understanding of what you do but can they really perform all the particulars you do to make that job successful? Sure, we make it look easy but a professional's job is often underestimated.

There is another option... work with a decorator AND Do It Yourself. If you like the idea of working with a decorator but not the cost or loss of full participation, there are alternative working arrangements you could consider. Hire a decorator by the hour. They can help you plan the layout of the space, color selections, hold your hand through selection process, validate your selections and then you can execute the plan yourself.

There's no doubt about it, decorating your home is costly. Whether you do it yourself or hire a decorator, design on a dime or work carte blanche, it all costs money. Having choices is good and whichever option you choose, trust in yourself. If you choose to work with a decorator, be clear about your budget up front, with no apologies and no excuses. It’s extremely important that you like and trust your decorator, and most of all, communicate well with them. They are there to bring joy and comfort to your life.



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About the Author

Tamara Akers, LTB Designs
7 Wagon Shed Lane
Middletown, MD 21769
301-685-6262

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