Lorenzo Wallace of Crown Point bought linoleum floor tile from a local home improvement store, but he didn’t use it on his floors. Instead Wallace cut it up and used it to make a backsplash for his kitchen.
“I wanted to try something without the mortar and grout. They have so many versions of floor tile now, this has a stone look to it so most people don’t even know it’s linoleum,” said Wallace. “It was real quick to do, and I wanted to see if it looked cheap or not. I can always spend the money later if I have to, but this will work for the time being.”
Homeowners like Wallace search for quick and easy ways to make changes to their home for various reasons such as time constraints or they simply have the courage to jump into the do-it-yourself trend. Home improvement stores support the DIY market by providing products and services to make quick changes manageable such as 2-in-1 paint, a tile mat set that eliminates mortar all together or online support for renovations.
Kelly Connelly, Public Relations for Lowe’s said, “Many DIY-ers are looking for easy, affordable weekend projects that can transform the look and feel of their home. Lowe's continues to introduce new and innovative products, just like the new mortar-free tile set that make it quicker and easier for DIYers of all skill levels to personalize and refresh their homes.”
In October 2011 Lowes launched MyLowe’s. It’s a home management tool that provides personal customer service by allowing all purchases to be tracked automatically and stored on a customer’s profile. The service has 10 million consumers registered to date.
“We're striving to make home improvement simpler for do-it-yourselfers of all skill levels by providing the right products and services to make their home improvement dreams a reality,” said Connelly.
Connelly said paint is the number one DIY project because of its affordability and instant change.
JoAnn Collins, president of Montage Interiors in Hobart, agrees.
“Start with something simple like paint," Collins said. "Paint is one of the least expensive and powerful ways to change a space."
“Some manufacturers have combined paint with primer to cut down on the number of application coats which saves both time and money. Try painting an accent wall or add a contrasting paint color below a chair rail for a new look. Even if you have never painted before, chances are with a little practice you can learn to color within the lines.”
Painting doesn’t have to only be on walls consider a piece of furniture or other home accessories.
“To give a piece of furniture, a mirror, picture frame a new look, or even kitchen cabinets - think spray paint," Collins said. "Spray paints are available in different colors, finishes and textures including metallic.They are quick drying, affordable and easy to use.”
While painting may be an affordable, quick change, installing hard wood floors, which has its advantages, can be costly and time consuming to install.
“Nothing beats the warm look of a wood floor," Collins said. "Today, there are many ways to achieve the look without using real wood."
“Laminate is very durable and easy to install. It is great for dry areas. For areas such as kitchens and baths where moisture would be a problem for real wood or laminate, think wood look porcelain tile.”
The porcelain tile Collins is referring to is tile decorated with a wood design by ink-jet technology.
Besides painting and flooring, there are smaller projects homeowners can do that can reflect big changes such as replacing doorknobs or cabinetry hardware in the kitchen or bathroom.
“Simply changing the hardware on a cabinet or dresser will change the entire look of the piece," Collins said. "Think of it as jewelry for your furniture."
Collins and Purdue alum Tara Bremer, In Decent Order blogger, agree that gallery walls are also a way to transform and personalize a room.
To date Bremer has four gallery walls throughout her Alabama home and frames anything from downloadable art, family photos, postcards and handkerchiefs to cherished memorabilia.
“All of the gallery walls in my home are different so it doesn’t feel boring," Bremer said. "I can’t believe how it changes a room. It’s simply decorating with artifacts from your life.”
FYI: lowes.com/innovation, montageinteriorsinc.com or indecentorder.com.