Tammy Hart, I.D.D.P, CAPS is a graduate and tutor of QC Design School, as well as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist from the National Association of Home Builders. She is the owner and award-winning designer for the Designer Chick Co., and the Past Director on the National Board for DDA (formerly CDECA).

Tammy is a professional speaker at venues such as IIDEXCanada and the Small Business Forum. She’s been featured in East in the City Magazine, as a guest spot on Daytime Durham and Rogers TV, and has won the HOUZZ Service Award 2017.

Tammy places strong focus on working to empower young women to become successful future leaders, and is an advocate supporter of ocean clean-up efforts.

Though COVID-19 has given me the gift of spending more time with my family, it’s also posed its fair share of challenges to design and interior decorating businesses alike. One of the ways I’ve seen it affect my colleagues in the industry?

The ability to shop!

Indeed, because many non-essential businesses are closed, shopping for project-related items has become difficult. Personally, I was redesigning my daughter’s bedroom this past week and went to order décor online. When I did, I discovered that because décor is non-essential, the materials I require won’t be shipped until at least May 20th!

In general, I love shopping online because of how convenient the whole process is. There are a lot of great, reputable online businesses, especially for designers. But because there’s such a high demand for shipping companies right now, we need to find a work-around if we have any hope of completing projects now.

Here’s the good news: all those DIY posts you’ve been pinning in your folder are finally going to come in handy!

Below, I’ve complied 5 of my favorite DIY projects that will help inspire you to reduce, reuse, and restyle items you already have in your home. You can also feel free to recommend these to your clients, too.

These DIY projects are so simple (yet brilliant) that even the most non-crafty decorators can do them with just a bit of direction, guidance, and most importantly, safety!

#1: Build a side table!

Fun fact: you can easily create a new side table by stacking coffee table books on top of one another! All you need to do is measure the height that you want the table to be. Then, with some PL Construction Adhesive, start stacking and gluing each book together until your desired height is achieved!

If you’d like to see an example, I love this makeshift table by Design Sponge. Here’s another awesome article with 43 additional ideas!

#2: Frame it!

On my daughter’s wall, there were originally 3 white square frames. I had leftover fabric from a past client’s pillow project that I really liked, so I repurposed these frames by inserting this fabric inside of them. It’s an easy, yet uniquely stylish alternative to filling the frames with photos!

Pro Tip: Instead of fabric, feel free to use anything you want! Some funky ideas could include filling the frame(s) with vintage shirts, wrapping paper, or magazine clippings.

#3: Refurbish wall plates!

Story time… I gave my daughter a choice of colors for her room. Admittedly, there was one color in particular that I was praying she wouldn’t choose.

Lo and behold, guess which color she went with?

Well, I knew how much she loved it, so the professional designer in me sucked it up. I contacted Sherwin Williams, and placed an order for a gallon of their Holiday Turquoise color. All I needed to do was provide them with my color code, paint type, and payment information.

Within 20 minutes, I was able to go pick it up (using their curbside pick-up option, in order to keep everyone safe and socially distanced, of course). Talk about convenient!

Once I finished giving her room its turquoise makeover, I noticed that the wall switch plate looked a bit off-putting. Unfortunately, all I had on-hand was an ugly, off-white replacement. I didn’t want to use that, but what could I do?

After searching around a bit, I discovered a leftover can of Rustoleum Metallic Gold Spray Paint, as well as some unused glitter from my craft box. Just like that, a light bulb went off in my head!

In just 2 minutes, I was able to convert ugly wall plates into something entirely new, using just a bit of spray paint and glitter magic! My daughter absolutely adores it!

Want more DIY ideas for your wall switch plates? This article has 30 extra suggestions that are fun for the whole family!

#4: Add some florals!

I have the most beautiful peony bush in my garden. Last year, as I was finishing a client’s project and my peony bush was in full bloom, I wanted to give a unique thank-you gift to my client.  I went into my supply of antique tea cups, and cut a single bloom to rest in the cup.

It was so simple, and so gorgeous. Imagine this resting on a fireplace mantle alongside a clear hurricane vase, with a candle and a porcelain white owl… Stunning!  You’d be amazed at how easy it is to breathe new life into your home, just by adding some sort of floral component.

The best part is, it doesn’t need to be anything overly complicated or fancy, either!

For extra inspiration, CountryLiving has a wonderful article with 52 additional (and effortless) DIY floral décor ideas, which you can find here.

#5: Reuse old jars!

I know so many people over the past month who have been busy bees, reorganizing their homes. Let’s face it: we’ve got to do something to keep the days from slowly passing by. Home design projects are the perfect solution! They keep our mind and our body active!

On that note: have you ever noticed that your candles, sauces, pickles, and jams are all stored in lovely glass containers? These jars can easily be restyled from within your home, and without costing an arm or a leg.

Want to get really creative? You can let your imagination run as wild as you want when approaching this type of project! Plus, if you have any little ones, it’s a great way to get them involved and keep them busy for an hour or two.

If you’d prefer to keep things minimal, simply use a little spray paint on the lid, add a drawer pull, and voila! You’ve got perfect storage vessels for bathroom toiletries, baking goods, writing utensils, etc.

DIY projects allow us to use our creative brain and get inspired. They give us the artistic licence to look at an existing object, and recreate it. So, take this time at home right now to find that creative spark inside you!

Challenge yourself to discover new ways for you to reduce, reuse, recycle, and restyle objects already existing around your home (or even your client’s home, once social distancing is lifted). Add a pop of color, a new knob, some tassels, paper, or maybe just some good, old-fashioned glitter. Breathe new life into an “throwaway” object.

These inexpensive, fun DIY projects will not only spice up your living environment, they’ll help keep you in a more positive head-space. As we’ve discussed before, your mental health and overall well-being are important, especially now!

So, take care of yourself… We’re here for you!

Looking for more ways to maximize your time at home? Earn your Interior Decorator certification by enrolling in QC’s leading online Interior Decorating course today!

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