This story category covers chic and easy decor and entertaining projects, plus before and after home renovations.

Socttie-Pug Dudley Rule - Carolann Rule

GOING CLEAR

This DIY acrylic barrier will stop canine escape artists without stopping the eye.

Socttie-Pug Dudley Rule - Carolann Rule

DO IT YOURSELF  | We love our Scottie-pug dog child, Dudley (pictured here), but he does have one annoying, potentially life-threatening habit. When we accidentally leave an outside door open, he bolts. While this is never a good thing, it is particularly troublesome at my husband’s garden design office where Dudley earns his kibble working as a greeter.

To foil this behaviour, senior landscape designer Kim Stuart came up with an inexpensive all-but-invisible system that eliminates the need to install those supremely unattractive but highly effective baby (a.k.a. dog) gates. Read more

ikea-regolit

4 Ways To Dress Up Plain Paper Lanterns

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Tissue Paper Stars
Kate Daudy - NYTimes
ikea-regolit

Peel and Stick Letters - The Swell Life


DIY | While inexpensive paper lanterns used en masse contribute enormously to the festive mood in a room (try imagining the space pictured above without them), a plain pendant lantern used on its own can easily look like an uninspired afterthought.

Of course a single Noguchi Araki light sculpture would be beautiful, but shades like these, which are fashioned from handmade washi paper and authentic bamboo ribbing, are anything but cheap.

If you are going to use a cheap Chinese paper lantern alone in a room, why not personalize it in a way that makes it distinctive? Here are four of our favourite eye-catching ways to embellish paper lanterns, plus a how-to video from Martha Stewart that covers some of the basics. Read more

Painted slingback chair by Brendan Power - Clinton Hussey

How To Paint A Canvas Slingback Patio Chair

Transform this plain canvas beachside staple into a chair with style and presence.

Painted slingback chair by Brendan Power -  Clinton Hussey

 

THE CREATIVE SOLUTION | Being fashionably dressed is expensive enough, but imagine the financial damage you can do creating the “latest look” for your home—which is why most of us play it safe with our furniture by sticking to classics. The trouble with this approach is that sometimes safe can mean boring. Fortunately there are ways to be current without taking a vow of poverty.

I suggest using quick changing accent pieces to modify your décor. Here I put my DIY skills to work transforming a classic—and already attractive—slingback patio chair—into something more topical and unique. Read more

Plant Props - H. Ross

How To Make This Curly Garden Stake

Why settle for pedestrian plant supports when these fanciful ones are super easy to make.

Plant Props - H. Ross

 

CREATIVE SOLUTION | This curlicue cousin of the commercially available metal plant stake is made with 12-gauge T-bar ceiling hanger wire, which comes in a bundle of precut lengths that are perfect for supporting garden smaller plants. Read more

Concrete on Old Planters - Clinton Hussey

Give Old Planters A New Cement Overcoat

Turn old pots and planters from blah to beautiful with a concrete overcoat.

Concrete on Old Planters - Clinton Hussey

 

DO IT YOURSELF | Do you have a hodge-podge of unattractive garden pots and vases collecting dust in the recesses of your storage area, containers you’ve been thinking about shipping off to the Sally Ann? Well, if you like the look of concrete, a binding agent the late, great Canadian architect Arthur Erickson called “precious …. the marble of the 20th century,” you could mix up a batch of the material and paint it on your old planters the way I did on mine. It made me want to keep them. Read more

Radius Design oil lamps

Stylish Oil Lamps Are Super Simple To Make

Here’s how to burn the midnight oil with a gorgeous lamp that’s super simple to make.

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DO IT YOURSELF | Oil lamps are probably never going to replace candles as a readily available ambient light source, but they are a viable and attractive alternative. The oil lamps you see these days, like the stylish ones by the German company Radius Design pictured above, are essentially just a wick threaded through a bead that sits on top of a bottle filled with lamp oil. This kind of decorative oil lamp is very easy to make. Read more

Back Painted Glass Vases - John Sinal

Use Marine Paint To Make Old Vases New

Add rich colour to plain, old clear glass vases by using this simple painting technique.

 Vases - John sinal

 

DO IT YOURSELF | Clear glass vases are the classic and obvious choice for displaying flowers and branches, which is why most of us have probably collected a few extra ones over the years. Many of these are no doubt tucked away in the dark reaches of rarely opened cupboards. Why not bring these dusty specimens back into the light and turn them into something different and original by painting their insides with coloured enamel.

This technique has been a design trick for years on sheet glass (to create lustrous walls) or as ornamental glass insets in furniture. Read more

Brendan Power's Votive Candle Holders - Paul Joseph

How To Make Designer Votive Holders (VIDEO)

These designer votive candle holders are surprisingly simple to make. Brendan Power shows you how. (VIDEO)

Brendan-Powers-Votive-Candle-Holders-Paul-JosephTHE CREATIVE SOLUTION | These decorative votive candleholders are an easy-to-make, inexpensive Christmas gift that is both beautiful and useful. Brendan Power, our D.I.Y. columnist, got the idea after he saw something similar in a high-end gift shop. “The patterns on the votive holders I saw were probably either applied as decals or printed directly onto the glass,” he says. “My adaptation is made with photocopy paper, but the look and the translucence is no different from the original.”  Read more

Candles In The Snow - Martin Tessler

How To Light Snowy Pathways With Candles

 

Make light outdoors on a winter’s night by planting candles in the snow.

CREATIVE SOLUTION | Sometimes the most stunningly beautiful solution to a problem is also the most elementary one—like using candlelight rather than electricity to illuminate a snowy walkway.

Read more