Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Home Improvement and DIY Woes

This room has potential
Home improvement/design is so much fun.  I do have a few problems with the advice from the experts though.

Do you ever buy the magazines with the "before and after" pictures?  Mostly, it's a con and I want my money back.

For instance, I bought a well known magazine that was showing "before and after" photos for home decoration.  The "before" picture was a gutted apartment with yucky stuff coming out of the walls.  So really, all I'm getting is the "after" photo. Anything would be an improvement over rotten radiators and falling plaster.  How does this count?  I want tacky awful decoration (so mine doesn't seem so bad) and then a fabulous "after" decor that I can aim for.

They should be comparing apples to apples.  If showing a gutted apartment as the "before" example, they should show a nicer gutted apartment as the "after".

It would also be good to see things the average person can handle.  Coat of paint?  I can do that.  Move the furniture?  I can do that too.  Reupholster the sofa?  No.  Let's be serious.  No matter how good the instructions are, it will look like I did it myself.  The "before" picture of the sofa usually looks like my couch as it is now.  The "after" picture is a couch Marie Antoinette would have liked.  "And all with just a few hours, $9.99 in supplies, and some gold leaf".
A can of paint and new fabric can work wonders!

Things you should not do yourself no matter what the magazines say

  • Pull down walls for the "open" look  (what's a supporting wall)?
  • Install your own recessed lighting (turn off the electricity)?
  • Paint your antiques (I used to like wood)
  • Install a new bathtub (who knew they were so well attached and heavy)!
  • Change your windows (off by 1/2 inch - damn).

From personal experience, I wouldn't even recommend changing your doorbell.  It's not as simple as they say.  Good thing our friends learned how to knock.

I continue to buy the "Before and After" issues.  I guess it's something left over from when I was a kid - the ugly witch turning into a princess and all.  Potential potential potential!

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  1. That was hilarious! Those darn shows just depress me...I want the "after" without having to start at the "before."