5 sources of DIYer inspiration to help you make spaces you love
Posted 9/10/2021 by Amanda Hall
When Marga Melo and her son went swimming in the neighborhood pool at a friend’s house, she asked him if he’d like to move into that same community. He thought it would be great, but only if they could move their entire house with them. Why would that matter, she wondered?
“Because you’ve built stuff in our house,” the boy replied.
Melo isn’t a builder. Nor an interior designer. And she’s no expert with power tools. She’s a mother of two who works as a recruiter by day and unwinds afterhours with projects around the house.
In other words, Melo is a classic DIYer.
She has redone the guest bathroom in her Los Angeles-area home and converted part of her kids’ bedroom into a study nook. Now, she’s updating her kids’ bathroom. And it all looks so good!
You might see Melo’s Instagram and think she’s amazing. But your house could look like that, too. If only you could just get started.
But how do you begin that DIY project you’ve been pondering? Where can you find that inspiration, as Melo did, to turn rooms with old flooring, walls and fixtures into places you just love?
Here are a few suggestions from Melo, a.k.a. wonderwoodmom:
1. Look all around you for ideas
When Melo goes out to eat or on vacation, she makes a note of the surroundings. During a recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, for example, she was blown away by the resort’s interior design. “I love going to nice restaurants and hotels that put a lot of effort and detail into design,” she said. Other people’s amazing projects can be a great starting point, too. Maybe one of Melo’s projects will get your DIY wheels turning!
2. Connect with your friends
Social media is for sharing, so make the most of exchanging ideas on Pinterest and Instagram. Check out these Pinterest boards on interior design and DIY shiplap, for example, or this Instagram story about DIY inspiration. Many of Melo’s projects start here. “We pretty much get inspiration from each other’s work because if you see other people do it, you can probably do it, too,” she said. So, if Marga can do it, so can you!
3. Create a mood board
There are so many creative ideas out in the world that sometimes it can be hard to sort through it all and figure out what makes sense for your space. Creating a mood board is a way to take an idea and give it some legs to see where it might go. You can make a literal board of physical items – think paint splotches and fabrics – or a digital one. Melo simply saves images of things she loves on her phone and then holds it up to visualize what it might look like in a particular room. Either way, a mood board sets a foundation for organizing thoughts into a cohesive vision that helps you take the next step toward turning an idea into reality.
When dreaming up her ideas for her modern farmhouse, Stephanie Wilson, from our project with Palm Grove Farmhouse, created mood boards for her interior spaces. This mood board featuring Timeless shiplap and Charred Wood Ash Gray shiplap was the concept behind her pool house bathroom. Check out how the bathroom turned out below.
4. Build up your courage
Even the best vision for a space eventually confronts the challenge of how to make it happen. DIYers aren’t supposed to be professionals. So, it’s okay if you don’t immediately know how to build your idea into existence. Start by building up your courage via resources such as how-to videoson YouTube. “That’s where I learn pretty much everything,” Melo said. “I’m a true DIYer.”
You can build up courage by starting small. You may start by installing shiplap on a ceiling tray or kitchen island and then build up the courage to installing shiplap on an accent wall or entire ceiling. This home brought Rustic Collection Gray shiplap into the primary bedroom and the bathroom for a fluid look.
Check out our free project plans to help guide you!
5. Just do it
Even with a clear vision for your project and the tools to make it happen, it’s not always easy to overcome the intimidation of making the leap from idea to execution. It’s at this point when you just have to push yourself forward. “Just make that first cut because once you start you get that adrenaline and you just want to complete it,” Melo said. And when you run into a problem – which you will, because “that’s just how it is in DIY” – take a breath, take a break and return to your resources for support. Remember, if Melo can do it, so can you!
As part of her first bathroom project, Melo installed primed shiplap and painted it a bold Cypress Vine color to create an accent wall. Then, when her kids were home doing distance learning during the pandemic, she converted their bedroom closet into a study space by removing the sliding mirror doors and putting up a shiplap accent wall there, too. That time, she used an actual board book from when her kids were babies to create the gaps between the planks.
Now, Melo is updating her kids’ bathroom using Timeless Nickel Gap shiplap for an accent wall behind the sink and around the door. The product she’s installing is prepainted Cavalry Blue and features an interlocking pattern that naturally creates a gap between each board. “Shiplap is very easy to work with, and the way that UFP-Edge designs their product makes it even easier,” Melo said. “It’s just like a puzzle. Pretty much you just connect them and then it’s done.
“I also love that it’s already prepainted to the color of my liking, so it’s efficient to use. It just makes my life a lot easier.”
Go ahead and turn your own idea for a shiplap accent wall into reality. Depending on the size of your wall, you may even be able to do the job for under $500! Just put your measurements into this Coverage Calculator and see how much product you need.