One of the most inspiring home DIY-ers we know is the expert herself Cathy Flamingo of Flamingo Interior Design fame. We adore her Instagram, where she posts a constant stream of helpful how-to tips and creative ideas. DIY can be intimidating, but Cathy really breaks it down. We asked her to give us a few top tips in time for some weekend renovation inspiration.
“Decorating your gaff can often be a stressful and costly task. I’m always on the hunt for ideas and solutions that can make this an easier job. To create a space that is truly your own, you need to get a little bit creative and hands-on with the smaller projects so I’m sharing my top five tips and ideas with you for a more unique and stylish gaff.”
Mixing vintage and new – tips for finding vintage/antiques.
First up, let’s chat about finding vintage pieces for your gaff. I’ve been collecting vintage and antique furniture and accessories for my home for years now and people are often asking me where I find such gems. When money is tight but I still need my fix, I head to second-hand or charity shops and make sure I look in every nook and cranny and I’ll usually get lucky. When I don’t find luck on foot, I do a thorough search on DoneDeal.ie, Adverts.ie and Ebay. The reading and music corner in my living room is a perfect example of some lucky finds. The anglepoise lamp was €5 in a second-hand shop, the chair just €40 and I picked up the record player a few years ago on DoneDeal for only €50.
When it comes to decorating and kitting out your gaff with all the essentials, if you’re anything like me, you’ll welcome a hand-me-down with open arms! We were gifted a second-hand fridge freezer when we moved into our new home and although I was delighted that we had one less appliance to purchase, it really let the new kitchen down. And then I heard about appliance paint. I’d never used it before so I tested out a patch on the side that wouldn’t be seen. I chose a stainless steel look spray paint. It takes 2-3 coats (letting each coat to dry for a few hours) and you’ll find appliance spray paint in B&Q or a good builders providers or paint store. As you can see, appliance paint is a winner – no more tired off white hand-me-down fridge freezer. And it looks perfect alongside our new kitchen units.
Wall decals & paint effects
There are a lot of dodgy decals floating around the net but while browsing on Etsy.com one night, I stumbled upon these polka dot wall decals and knew they were meant for my little girl’s feature wall in her bedroom. They involve a little bit of planning – you’ll need a pencil, paper, measuring tape and spirit level to mark out where each polka dot will go but the result is sooo worth the effort! They cost just under €10 (including shipping!) AND they peel off without damaging the paintwork if you decide to remove them or you make a mistake.
DIYing – small project ideas
Never underestimate a bucket of paint and some masking tape. I created a feature wall for Wedding Dates using their brand colours for a truly impressive welcome. This would look amazing in more muted tones in a bedroom or living area. Check out my website for more photos from my portfolio.
Playing with colour
Two toned walls don’t just work with architectural detailing like dado and picture rails. A straight horizontal line separating the two hues adds a bit of drama to a space and placing the lighter colour on the upper half gives the illusion of a high ceiling which our spare bedroom needed as it’s quite small. For a more playful look, maybe in a kid’s room, you could create a zig zag effect (masking tape will help you achieve this!). Maybe something to try out this weekend and celebrate your DIY with some cocktails after.
For more inspiration, follow Cathy on Instagram and check out her work here. Happy DIYing GAFFers!