Why DIY?

A DIY project is a chance to create something custom, to be in full control of the aesthetic, and–in the end–to own something one-of-a-kind. For many of us, the draw is too strong to resist.

I’m one of those folks, particularly when it comes to refinishing furniture. I’ll see an old chair, table, or cabinet with good bones a small price tag and DIY ideas (paint colors, fabrics, faux finishes) immediately start running through my head. If the piece itself doesn’t whisper aspirations of how it wants to look, there’s always some outrageously expensive furnishing I saw online or in a magazine that I start to wonder if I can duplicate or at least riff off of. Often times, I can and at a fraction of the price! Happily, this compulsion has resulted in a few pieces I display proudly in my home and vow never to part with. Of course, that’s the best case scenario–not the only possible outcome.

DIY Challenges

Then there are the failed and indefinitely delayed DIY projects that accumulate in the garage, backyard, and closets. For me, more often than not, the culprit is indecision. I can’t quite decide on the right DIY treatment for my newly acquired gem, so I’m hesitant to commit to a look and begin work. In more hopeless cases, inspiration eludes me all together. Then there is the frustration factor: I find out it’s not as easy I originally thought or I don’t have the necessary skills or tools. And, of course, good old fashioned procrastination also rears its head from time to time.

So how do we (as DIY enthusiasts) overcome these obstacles?

First off, we can be more selective about the DIY projects we take on.  Here are some questions to consider:

Do I have room for this in my home?
Do I have time to commit to a new DIY adventure?
What will it cost to complete this project? How easy are the materials and tools to procure?
Can I truly do it myself? Or will I need help?
And perhaps most importantly: if I choose not to do this, will it haunt me? Because there’s nothing more regretful than a missed opportunity–especially when it comes to DIY fun!

Then, there’s indecision…

How do we combat it? I think research is the best remedy. Go online (hopefully to this site) and see what other DIY enthusiasts have done with similar projects. If you’re having trouble deciding, perhaps it’s because you haven’t found the right solution yet. When you do, you’ll know it.

Lack of Inspiration

The same remedy applies when your inspiration wanes. Research! You don’t have to limit yourself to the work of other DIY-ers. Take your cue from the trends emerging in furniture industry or your favorite interior designer.


Admittedly, is a tough nut to crack. Ultimately, you may have to seek out help, hire professional help, or cut your losses and try to sell the remnants of your project on craigslist or ebay.

When it comes to procrastination…

I think the best cure is inspiration found (again) through research. If you’re excited about how your DIY project will turn out, you will commit the time and energy to finish it. If not, maybe it’s not the right undertaking for you. This may be another instance where you cut your losses and liquidate through a second-hand market or even donate your item.

My sincere hope is that you’ll find ideas that inspire and motivate you to embark on–and complete–DIY projects of your own on Motley Decor. So, please, browse around!