DIY Tips Anyone Can Master

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Whether you want to soundproof or create the ultimate sports den, DIY Network’s Anitra Mecadon tells all.

DIY Fail–it’s a phrase many internet users are familiar with, having pursued
Pinterest dreams that all too often end up far from the whimsical ease projected online.

But it doesn’t have to be that hard, says interior designer Anitra Mecadon . The host of DIY Network’s “Mega Dens ” and HGTV’s “Behind the Build Dream Home ” told Redfin it all comes down to a willingness to try new things.

“Transforming a home is all about adding your own personality and making the space inviting for you and your family,” she said. “I’m a regular ‘ol girl. I’m not a contractor, I’m an interior designer by trade, but I’ve learned to be handy with tools by trial and error, and daring to get off couch and do it myself.”

Which, inevitably, welcomes a few mishaps, and that’s okay.

“I’m willing to tackle any project. I’ve had some wins and failures, but I can laugh at myself. I’ll walk into any house and tear it up for you, and with you. When my husband and I first bought our home, every time he left the house I would rip out a rug or put a hole in the wall.”

Of course, it also helps to know your limits, and when to ask for help. “I always call the professional for plumbing and electrical,” she said.

Whether you want to refresh your home for a new season, soundproof against noisy neighbors, or prepare to host friends for the next big game, try Anitra’s DIY ideas below. And if you need more design help to sell your home, talk to Redfin Concierge , which makes high-impact stylistic improvements to attract more buyers, and follow our tips to tackle projects like installing shelves or adding statement decor .

1. How to brighten your living space

“To beat the winter blues, add a pop of color. Go shopping in your own home and rethink the items you currently have to liven up a space without spending a ton of money. In winter it’s all about getting cozy and snuggly, so layer pillows, throws, and carpets to create that effect.

Color is trending and people are now much more daring. It’s no longer just about pale taupe and greys. The color blue should be your new friend for home interiors. Consider a light french blue or nice navy, and not just walls, but millwork or cabinetry. Some people still want white and airy, but regardless of what you’re doing, it helps to bring plants in too.”

2. How to secure against sound

“I live in a townhouse community and have neighbors to the side. If you’re hearing noise, you don’t have a noise problem, you have a wall problem. To reduce noise, look for sound dampening drywall. This stuff goes right up on top of existing walls. You don’t even have to put it on all four walls, just the wall where sound is an issue. It’s a great starter DIY project for anyone. If you’re concerned about finishing and are seeing ripples, hang it up yourself but then hire a professional to finish the job.

Beyond walls, pay attention to soft surfaces, area rugs and window treatments. Noise is like water, it trickles through every crack and crevice, so pay attention to details like power outlets, which can be culprits of noise, or windows, which can be solved with noise reducing shades. And don’t forget doors. Not all doors are the same, so swap out hollow core doors for solid ones.”

3. How to create the ultimate sports den

“I just worked on the ultimate man cave for the big game. If you want to do one, it’s all about high tech, so pay attention to the big screen, the sound, but don’t neglect lighting–look for LED lighting. If you’re decorating, don’t keep your sports memorabilia hidden in the closet! Get it out and show what kind of fan you are.

When it comes to setting everything up, the best strategy is to break it up into zones: entertainment zone, bar zone, game zone, so you can create something for everyone. It makes a big difference to think in terms of how everything flows, which also can impact resale value, to make sure everything in one room draws everyone in.”

4. How to prep your home to sell

“When it comes to selling your home, I’m a big believer in paring down. A big part of staging is getting rid of clutter, and taking all your personal items out. It’s actually the antithesis of what I normally think when it comes to decor, which is to personalize. But if you’re looking to sell, take down family photos because potential buyers don’t want to know who’s home they’re buying. And then freshen it up. A coat of paint goes a long way. If I walk in and see old paint or marks on the wall I think, ‘couldn’t they get an eraser and get this off?’ Adding fresh paint is really easy and a good way to incorporate decor trends.”


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