Canada's Condominium Magazine

DIY Nirvana: beautify and have fun with these nine do-it-yourself projects around the condo

It’s time to make friendly with your tools. You have tools, right? One of the pleasures of home ownership is the do-it-yourself projects. They make your world really your own. They can save you a lot of money. The time you invest can be fulfilling, as with any hobby.


Make friends with drill, ladder and tools and have fun with do-it-yourself condo projects.


Decorating your home goes beyond just filling your home with furniture. If you are anything like me, you enjoy adding some flair and making a statement with your décor. After all, your home is a reflection of your style and personality. Sometimes that means choosing a theme for your decorations or color-coordinating everything. I like to do this, while also getting creative and creating my own masterpieces to place throughout the home for that personal touch. Do-it-yourself projects are easy if you know what you are doing or have tutorials, and they can be fun family projects as well. Below, you will find some examples of easy and enjoyable projects that you can complete by yourself or as a family.


Handy internet references and YouTube videos can help walk you through DIY projects.


#1 — Customized Walls Without Clashing

I have never been a fan of homes where the walls are so drastically different in every room. I have seen homes where the living room walls are blood red, the kitchen is neon green, the hallways are white, and every other room is a different color. In one of my old homes, the walls were all white except for the bathroom, which was electric blue. I prefer more earthy, mild colors throughout the home; but I also like to personalize my home and allow my children the freedom to customize theirs as well. The best way to do this is through the use of murals.

If you have some base drawing skills (or a projector and some chalk) try out this method. If it doesn’t work, you can just “paint over”:

Of course, creating a gorgeous mural for one or more walls is much easier if you are artistic, but you do not have to possess the skills of Da Vinci in order to create a stunning mural that impresses visitors and makes your condo feel that much more like home. Stencils can come in handy when painting murals because you can create error-free paintings quickly and easily. Any slip-ups typically end up on the stencils themselves rather than the walls. A beautiful mural that also doubles as a conversation piece is a family tree. They can anything from simple and charming to elaborate and breathtaking. Paint a tree on a blank wall, and hang portraits of family members on the branches or leaves.

Or, if you’re not so free-hand gifted, try various kits on the market:


#2 — Enhance Your Abode with Custom Shelving

Shelves are excellent do-it-yourself projects because you can create any style shelve for any purpose imaginable. They can be used to hang tchotchkes, photographs, and other décor on walls, or they can be designed for use as room dividers. The fun part is creating unique shelves that draw attention and amaze visitors. You can create custom shelves that are simple and chic, or you can build playful, whimsical shelves.

Some shelving concepts you could try out:


#3 — Convert the Empty Space Under Your Stairs

If you have a condo with multiple storeys, you may have a set of stairs with empty space underneath. You could fill that space with a plant, table, statue, etc. If you are a bookworm like me, then you may enjoy converting that empty space into a reading nook. Add some shelving for your books and a few decorations. Build a bench or seat, and add some cushions and pillows to make your new spot more comfortable.

Here are some smart ways to use under the stairs space. Some may require a high level of skills, but many do not:

If you have children, then they may enjoy converting that empty space into a fun playhouse for themselves and their friends. Build a wall with door and window, paint, add some trimmings, and allow them to decorate their new play area as they please. The more details you can add, the better.

#4 — Upgrade or Restore Your Cabinets

Kitchen and bathroom cabinet restoration can be a fun project as well. Replace old, worn out cabinets with custom-made ones you build yourself. If you like your cabinets but not your countertops, then you can replace the countertops only. Upgrade from a lower-end countertop to one that is more durable and goes well with the rest of the room. Alternately, you could try antiquing if that is your style. The following tutorial shows how to paint and distress furniture.



# 5 — Repair or Upgrade Outdated Features

Repair or upgrade outdated features such as sinks, faucets, appliances, etc. Repair any damages and anything that does not work properly. Sand down and refinish wooden furniture. Frame your mirrors to make them more appealing. Anything you can do to spruce up your home and make it look newer and more modern will be a worthwhile project, especially if you eventually plan to sell your condo.

Build yourself a DIY tool kit that can slip in a closet.


# 6 — Transform Your Kitchen with a New Backsplash

A simple, boring kitchen can be completely rejuvenated with some colorful décor and a new backsplash. A backsplash can give your kitchen just the right amount of contrast and brighten up your kitchen, making it look more charming and elegant. You can go for a rustic look, or you can design a modern look or something more old world style. Whatever your taste, the sky’s the limit. Just let your imagination run wild and create a design that fits your style and your condo.



#7 — Relaxing Patio Retreat

Transform your patio into a relaxing environment. Plants, rocks, and patio furniture can bring any balcony to life. Make a bird house and add some flowering plants and maybe a water fountain to attract hummingbirds. Even the smallest balcony can be completely transformed into a cozy oasis. String lights are the perfect way to illuminate your patio. Relaxing on a balcony like this would be a great way to relieve stress and unwind after a long day.



#8 — Replace Boring Light Switch and Outlet Covers

I once did this when I decorated the break room at work. I had transformed the entire room with a tropical theme, complete with tiki torches. I replace the old, white outlet covers and switch plates with some that matched the theme of the rest of the room. It was great. Regardless of your theme, colour scheme, or decorating style, you can find the right covers for any room. Switching them out is so simple and easy, and you would be surprised at how much they can enhance your room.


Innovative idea for a switch cover.


You can even do this as a child-proofing technique without having to use those rubber or plastic pieces that you plug in and have a hard time taking out when you want to use the outlet. A fun idea is to put miniature doors over the outlets so they swing open when you want to use them. If you can put tiny latches or locks on them, then that will look even more appealing while simultaneously keeping little ones safe.

#9 — Do-it-Yourself Kitchen Island

If you want a kitchen island but not the budget or space for one, you can fake it with a custom island converted from a coffee table or some other surface. Find one that can be used as a kitchen island while fitting in the space allotted. To gain the height needed, you can attach one table to the top of a smaller one. Alternately, you can replace your table’s feet with slightly longer ones.

Or, if you want to start from scratch,here’s a easy “$20” easy-to-build project island concept:






Auberge on the Park-Tridel


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