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When blandness overwhelms us and dullness smothers us, where do we find the creativity and the inspiration to continue? Well the answer may come in the caring voice of a blog, or a chance encounter with a book or a song. For me, help came from a concert poster. But it also came from Ikea.

Maybe you’re not as creative as you would like, and it comes through in your home decor. You claim to your friends and family it’s your minimalistic modern style, but it’s more like minimalistic boring style. That’s OK. Because it’s easier than you may think to pull off a creative DIY furniture remodel.

So follow the steps below to inspire yourself to transform your space.

Find Your Muse


Look around. Chances are there is something already in your home to gather inspiration from. It could be a picture from your favorite vacation spot, or a favorite article of clothing that has an interesting color palette or pattern. Whatever it is, find something that you like to look at. If there isn’t anything within eyeshot, go to a museum and find some inspiration there. My inspiration came from a screen-printed concert poster I’ve had for a few years. I always really liked how it looked and figured it was about time I spread the design elsewhere.

Fun with Furniture


You might already own a piece of furniture that could use a refresh; if not, you have a couple of other options. Head to a thrift store or a consignment shop. There you can find some unique and reasonably priced furniture. If you want to work with something new, then head somewhere that offers budget furniture, like Ikea or Target. I opted for Ikea to take advantage of their customizable shelving line, Kallax. They offer a bunch of different sizes, and you can even group multiple sections together to create something custom. They also offer doors, shelves and other accessories for additional storage.

Get in Your Element


Now it’s time to revisit your inspirational art piece and break it down. Why did you choose it? What elements can you pull from it and translate onto your furniture? Select some colors and/or design elements to focus on. What I like most about the poster I chose is the metallic copper, but a 4-foot by 4-foot square of it would be a bit much. So I decided the main color would be dark brown and would be accented with the two tones of metallic copper. I also decided to include the beige of the poster.


Color could be the only thing you take from your inspirational piece, but it doesn’t have to be. Look for any aspects of the design that could be implemented on the furniture. You could transform the entire top of a coffee table into an elaborate piece of art, or you could simply add some subtle detail by painting the knobs on a dresser. I like this small X with the arrow so I decided to use that.

Sketch Out a Plan


Figure out a plan of attack. Sketch some ideas of how you want this piece of furniture to look when you’re done. How could the colors and designs that you chose be best implemented? Make another sketch. And another. Your sketches can all be different ideas or an evolution from one to another. Once you have a couple sketches done, finalize a design. Sketching out your idea is a crucial step and will help you save time and money when shopping for supplies. As you can see from my sketch above, your sketch doesn’t have to be any good – it just has to be good enough so you know what to do.

Craftsmen Be Shoppin’


With a sketch down, make a checklist of the materials you need to get at the store. This also might be a good time to check out any tutorials you may need to help you with the project. The preparation of your furniture will vary depending on the material, so be sure to find a good guide online or ask someone at the home improvement store. If you decided to go with Ikea, IkeaHackers.net is a great resource.

Get to Work Enjoy Your New-Found Creativity


You have the inspiration, you have a plan, and you have the supplies – now get to work. You’ll want to rush so you can enjoy your newly inspired space, but being patient will pay off. One wrong swipe of the brushstroke can lead to four hours waiting for it to dry and then another four hours for the cover-up to dry. And if you do make a mistake, don’t worry! Just about any mistake you make can be corrected. Or maybe that “mistake” will inspire you and give you another idea.

Enjoy Your New-Found Creativity

Finished Project

Sit back, relax and revel in your creativeness. It may not have turned out exactly how you planned and you may have had to change your direction if your creativeness outweighed your craftsman skills. The point was to get your creative juices flowing.

You’ll probably look at the world differently with your new creative awareness, looking down on those who buy pre-designed, expensive furniture and scoffing at Grandma’s plain wood dresser. After this project, hopefully you’ll start finding creative inspiration wherever you look. It won’t be long until you are DIY’ing an entire room!

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