Inspiration Friday: DIY Dreaming

Turquoise Interior Design Custom Vintage Chinese Chippendale Chairs

Even though I own a blog dedicated to budget decorating, I am not a very big DIY-er.  I’m sure it’s because I have this huge perfectionist streak in me that makes me believe I shouldn’t attempt to do anything that I’m not 110% certain I will completely succeed at… and when it comes to power tools, hammers, and putting things back together… well, these have never been my strong points!

Despite that, lately I have had a huge urge to make or remake SOMETHING.  I think it’s because of all the awesome projects I’ve been finding out in blog land lately.  So today’s Inspiration Friday post is all about DIYing… projects that make me salivate and fight the desire to rummage through some discard piles for inspiration!

Turquoise Interior Design Custom Vintage Chinese Chippendale Chairs
Turquoise Interior Design Custom Vintage Chinese Chippendale Chairs

I pulled these lovely chairs from my inspiration file. They are vintage Chinese Chippendale Chairs that were reupholstered and revamped by the talented Vanessa De Vargas, owner of the design firm Turquoise in Los Angeles.  Vanessa has an eye for discovering vintage (read–flea marketed/thrifted/used) pieces with great bones and updating them to fit with modern interiors perfectly.  If you visit her interior design portfolio, you will also see that she has a real talent for mixing the new and old to create delightfully fun and luxurious rooms.  Her work makes me wanna learn how to paint, sew, and reupholster everything!

Milk Carton Vases by P.S. I made this...
Milk Carton Vases by P.S. I made this...

I’m sure that I am probably the LAST person in the world to have discovered the great blog P.S. I made this… but here ya go, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock with me, I had to give Erica Domesek a HUGE shout out for inspiring me to at least TRY my hand at making home accessories. Erika makes EVERYTHING, not just home accessories… and she’s AMAZINGLY creative!  As in I would love to follow her around and discover how she turns her inspiration into such great ideas… and then turns around and makes easy to follow instructions for doing it yourself TOO!  The picture above is from her Milk Carton Vases tutorial… and as you can see… she breaks things down into the easiest steps ever. Besides that tutorial, others I have bookmarked to jumpstart my DIY’ing efforts include:

American Empire Revival Chest via Fine Diving Chicago
American Empire Revival Chest via Fine Diving Chicago (BEFORE)

I have a new DIY blog crush that I discovered just a few weeks ago… it’s the wonderful Diana Durkes whose blog, Fine Diving, features the wonderful before and after details of objects she finds discarded on the side of the road or by a dumpster or under-appreciated at a local garage sale or thrift store.

Diana is talented and, unlike me, not afraid to get her hands dirty really redoing some work.  Like that poor unhappy American Empire Revival Chest you see up there.  That was what it looked like when she dragged it home.  This is what it looks like now:

American Revival Empire Chest by Fine Diving (AFTER)
American Revival Empire Chest by Fine Diving (AFTER)

Do you see why I’m ready to ask Diana to go steady? With my eye for craigslist deals and her skillz… we would be like the dynamic duo of budget decorating!  (Okay, yes I know that I’d be getting the better end of the deal since she obviously has a more than fantastic eye herself! But still… I’d be her BFF for real, if we lived anywhere close to one another!)

Are you feeling the urge to get busy with some DIYing yourself yet?  Then let me share one more wonderful jewel that one of my favorite people shared with me recently via Facebook:

Okay, I have to introduce you to my other major design blog crush Ana White of  She’s beautiful, as you can see… but even more impressive… the woman can make!  I mean, she doesn’t just REMAKE stuff… she designs, draws plans, cuts wood, hammers, power drills… and actually MAKES amazing furniture.  And then, on top of all that, she shares her designs and all the steps online.

Crazy. Amazing.  I am seriously in love (but don’t tell my hubby!).

I know, you think I’m waxing lyrical for no reason– that I’m being overdramatic, right?

Fine… Look at this:

Ana's Bed... made by Ana herself
Ana's Bed... made by Ana herself

Yes, she MADE this. For around $150, in fact. And doesn’t it look amazing?  If that doesn’t inspire you to get DIYing… nothing will!

’til next time, happy budget decorating!

xoxo Shauntelle


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