DIY ideas for the home – Easy home DIY projects

24 Oct 2019

People doing DIY

So many of us love watching home makeover shows and seeing how a dilapidated or drab home can be transformed into a beautiful, cosy oasis. Inevitably we start thinking about our tired kitchen cabinets, the pictures we promised to hang up soon, and the wall colour that’s never been exactly right. The solution? DIY! While DIY home décor projects can seem daunting on paper, they may be much easier to achieve than anticipated. Here at Hoppy, we know that your home is vital to your wellbeing and happiness. 

Hoppy wants to help you kickstart your home DIY makeover. Whether you’re after a dramatic change or want the maximum return on minimum investment, we’ve got some ideas for you. Read on below and start rolling up those sleeves!


Decluttering probably isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind when it comes to DIY. A thorough decluttering is the essential step all DIYers must undertake before moving onto the more fun or transformative steps. The objectives of DIY are typically focused on creating more space or making a room more peaceful and stylish, neither of which can be achieved if the area in question is overflowing with clutter. Creating extra storage space, by yourself or with the help of a professional, is counter-intuitive if you’ll simply fill it up with the items you’re not even sure you like or want. 

With the above in mind, make decluttering a priority before any DIY task. Depending on the scale of the job, you may be able to accomplish it in a week by doing small bits every day, a weekend, or longer if you’re set on dealing with clutter once and for all. 

A room by room approach is usually the best method; it’s methodical and gratifying to declutter one space at a time. Serious clutter may need to be broken down by area as well as room as it may be too much to tackle an overstuffed wardrobe and chest of drawers at once. There are many approaches to decluttering, with Marie Kondo’s being the most famous one. You can also keep things simple by assessing if you have used an item in the last year and if you’re likely to use it in the next three months. 

Not ready to let go of your things? Temporarily put them into storage and set a date for three- or six months to revisit them; should you find that in the dedicated time period you didn’t think or reach for anything in storage much or at all, then donate it all. And if you did miss a few things then only keep those before letting go of the clutter once and for all. 

Colour refresh

Wall paint is your best friend when it comes to making the maximum impact for a relatively small investment. Giving the walls an update can make all your existing furniture look fresh again, bringing new energy to the room. Plus, you can usually get the task done in one weekend. 

Conventional decorating wisdom says that small and dark rooms benefit from lighter colours, while more expansive spaces can optimise bold colours and patterns. To keep your project simple, and avoid disasters if it’s your first DIY attempt, we recommend following the recommendations. Be sure to read Hoppy’s guide to painting a wall first!

For those feeling brave in the painting and decorating department, rules don’t exist. A small room can look fantastic with a well-chosen bold shade or a combination of contrasting tones. And a big room can get even more experimental by paring texture, colour, and pattern. Spend some time researching paint inspiration on Pinterest, Farrow & Ball, and design blogs to get an idea of what you want to achieve in your room. 

When it comes to shopping for paint, don’t try to save on paint samples – it can really backfire. Purchase a few sample pots, perhaps opting for warm and cool options of the same shade and apply on a few different walls. Observe how the sample colours look throughout the day and in different lights to find the shade most suitable to your room. 

Shelving space

After you declutter, it’s worth looking around to see if your space could use some shelving. New shelving units aren’t too expensive, depending on the style you opt for, and can make a huge style impact on a room. Exposed shelving is very on-trend right now as are single, or floating, shelves. The best part is that once you have shelves, you can style them however you want, with minimum costs. The simplest option will always be the flatpack shelving unit, which doesn’t require a lot to put together. You can also opt for ready-assembled shelves but whichever one you choose, consider securing it to the wall for safety, especially if you have small children. 

Prefer the look of single and floating shelves? Besides buying new ones, you can opt for DIYing the shelves yourself too – it only takes some wood and brackets! There are plenty of online step-by-step tutorials to help you do it. You can upcycle old wood and things like cupboard door or even flooring by transforming them into shelves.

Shelves have long served us all for storage, but recently ‘shelf styling’ has become a thing. We’re sure you can guess what it is – arranging the way items are displayed on shelves with aesthetic principles in mind. For a bookshelf, this may mean arranging it by colour to create a harmonious visual display. Knickknacks, travel souvenirs, candles and the like should also be grouped by colour, texture, and height to best show off your style sensibilities. There’s plenty of styling inspiration to be found online, but some repeated core ideas to keep in mind are to create visual interest through objects’ size and height, add greenery (paying attention to planters’ style), or to try displaying items in one complementary shade. 

Wall Art

The increasingly amazing cameras on our smartphones mean we’re all taking more pictures than ever, but barely any of us get around to printing or displaying them in our home. Prints and wall art can overhaul the look of even the drabbest of rooms, so if your walls are looking a little sad right now, it’s time to rethink your approach. 

Gallery walls (multiple grouped prints and pictures) are having an interiors moment right now. It’s easy to see why – it’s relatively inexpensive to put together, doesn’t take more than a few hours, and makes any room feel instantly styled. 

You can use your own photos, prints, album covers, postcards, or a mixture of any to create a gallery wall that really reflects your personality. First, do your research and collect all the potential pieces you want to hang on the wall. This way, you’ll be able to create a preferred layout, playing around with the pieces before committing. Use Blue Tack to map all the pieces on your wall to start, leaving them up for a few days even, to avoid mistakes you can’t undo. The weight of your print and frame will determine the best hanging method; some prints can be hung with a simple hammered nail or even picture hanging strips while heavy specimens will require the drill anchor approach. 

The kind of pieces you choose for your gallery wall is entirely up to your personal style. You could gather vintage movie posters and album covers for your living room or maybe abstract art are more your style. Always consider how all the pieces will look together, mixing and matching sizes and colours in the process. Keep in mind the principles of complementary and contrasting colours; a black and white gallery wall will always look striking as will one filled with soft tonal pastels. 

When to call in the professionals…

DIY can be a lot of fun, making a quick and inexpensive impact on your home in just a few hours or days. The most successful DIYers know when to put down the hammer and call in the professionals. DIY mistakes do more than bruise one’s ego; they also seriously hurt your wallet. Research from 2016 found that it costs an average of £3,000 to rectify a DIY mistake as more and more people opt for risky tasks that should never be attempted by an untrained enthusiast. 

Calling in the professionals may not work out as the cheapest, but it’s likely to get you the best value if you consider the effect it can have on the price of your property. 

Consider that the average cost of re-doing a garden stands at around £7,500, but it can increase your property’s value by £15,500 – that’s a profit of £8,000! 

Old boilers will put off prospective buyers; if yours is causing you trouble look into replacing. The average replacement cost is £3,000 while it can increase value by up to £11,000. 

Homeowners of older properties with single glazed window and otherwise energy inefficient homes are in a double bind. The cost of rectifying the issues are high while heating and keeping the property warm just adds to the mounting expenses. 

Fitting energy efficient measures like double-glazing and cavity wall insulation costs an average of £11,000, but it’s likely to add up to £29,000 in value increase. There’s another piece of good news: government grants are available for eligible homeowners, which can help with the costs of making your home more energy efficient. Find out more about the grants and check your eligibility here

Whether you’re ready to try your hand at DIY or would instead defer to professionals, Hoppy can help. We have plenty of advice to assist you in getting things done by yourself. We’re also partnered with Rated People, and together we’ll find out the best tradesperson for you and your home in just four easy steps.

Find a tradesperson 

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