Friday, December 8, 2023

DIY Home Décor: How Small Changes (& Small $$!) Can Make a Big Difference – Renters and First Home Buyers, This Is For You!

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Renting – or not being flush with cash to afford massive house renos – does NOT mean you can’t inject your personality into your home! Here’s the first in our series of budget and renter-friendly DIY and upcycle projects that anyone – literally – can do!

Capsule x Resene

There’s something magical about making your house your home – and so much of that comes down to personalising your space to reflect who you are.

But guys, let’s be honest – the practicality, time and money that that takes can be beyond us, especially right now in the Cossie Livs crisis (I thought giving it a cute ‘li nickname would help take some of the anxiety away but nope, still there).

Plus if you’re like me and you’re renting, or you’re in a flat with not much ‘you’ space, or maybe you’ve just spent literally all your moolah and managed to buy your first home (um CONGRATS and also please email us with how you did it) or your interest rates have risen so much doing a reno is simply out of the question, it’s time to look at cheap and cheerful DIY projects that’ll do the job.

In our DIY/upcycling journey so far we’ve managed to turn our hand to jazzing up an ugly makeup organiser (yes, even we’re shook with how well this turned out) and in this edition, it’s all about working around the renting rules AND your bank balance to create a vibe that’s all about you, baby!

The goal for this project was to take every day, boring items and transform them by making a small change with a little bit of paint and even a jazzy wallpaper sample from our pals at Resene.

What CAN you do if you’re renting?

To be clear, you can paint entire walls when you’re renting – legislation under the Residential Tenancies Act changed in 2021 to allow ‘minor changes’ to properties, including:

  • Minor fittings – including paint
  • Baby-proofing
  • Garden features
  • Swapping out curtains

This is provided the home is returned to the condition it was in when you first moved in when you eventually move out (and you still need to ask them… but they’re not allowed to say no if it is, indeed, ‘minor’). Check out this list of ideas for some inspiration for some bigger projects!

But for me, it’s all about the little things that don’t need more life admin to complete. I chose a white-framed mirror, A3 photo frame, plant pot and decorative tray to work my magic on – in my head, these items will come together to create a fun, playful vignette that’ll bring some personality to my home office which, at the moment, is more practical than *aesthetic*. (Other items you can DIY include lamps, tables, shelves and anything else that’s lying around!)

But in a very democratic election-year move (two ticks Instagram!) we put the colour palette to a vote on @capsule_nz (give us a follow!) and the resounding winner, as voted by you, was this:

So armed with my elected palette, a caramel macchiato and probably too much confidence, my trip to the Resene ColorShop was very successful!

The project:

The vase: Wanting to bring in the theme of the busy wallpaper (Resene Wallpaper Collection 91170), I chose a simple block colour leaf motif for my vase painting (mostly because leaves seemed SO much easier than flowers) and honestly I’m bloody thrilled with how it turned out.
Hot tips: Plan out where your leaves are going first so you don’t run out of vase, and alternate the stem from coming out of the top of the vase to the bottom if you want a more abstract feel.

The frame: Using wallpaper as art is SUCH an awesome way to bring a pop of colour into your home without going the whole hog and attacking a wall (you can also use it as a test run if you are thinking of making the big commitment!) I painted the stark white frame with the warmer Resene Creme De La Creme to match the palette and to provide a clean base so the pops of yellow in the wallpaper could really shine.
Hot tips: Painter’s tape is your best friend. Do not, I repeat, do NOT, freehand this. You will get paint everywhere and you will curse the day you decided to pick up a paintbrush. Mark off the edges and you’ll be a happy chappy. Also, don’t forget to SAND your frame otherwise the paint won’t stick – I forgot one edge and woke up the next day to peeling paint. Sand, sand, sand, baby. Oh, and wipe off the sanding dust – don’t just paint over it!

The tray: This tray was already a pretty pink but it didn’t work with the palette and vibe I was going for – so I used Resene Sugar Plum Fairy to alternate with the Resene Creme De La Creme to make a fun stripe pattern that’ll still work with the overall theme.
Hot tips: Watch what you’re doing instead of trying to paint wavy lines and watch Criminal Minds at the same time. Also, the more paint you have on your brush, the better chance of getting a smoother line.

The mirror: I SWEAR by mirrors in my rental – they bounce light around dark corners, are easy to hang, lean or place wherever you need a little boost and they look chic. However the boring white frame simply wasn’t going to work, so Resene Sugar Plum Fairy was tasked with being our hero colour to bring a bit of fun and vibrancy to the vignette.
Hot tips: Like we said in our first story, don’t worry about being perfect when it comes to DIY. I needed to do two coats of this and I still needed to go back and do little spot touch ups of places I missed. If you do get spots of paint on the mirror, don’t stress – gently scratch them off.

The result?

A bloody fun little corner of the house that makes me so happy when I look at it (actually it reminds me of both of my Capsule co-founders – Alice is very partial to a palm print, and Emma’s overall colour preferences have been described in the past as ‘flamingo chic’ so this works a treat). It’s nice to have bits of their taste in the Capsule home office and I’m proud of myself (and you, dear reader!) for pulling this gorgeous colour palette together.

And I’m even feeling confident to take the next big step in our DIY/upcycling journey. Pray for me!

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