Yesterday's Predictions for 2009 over at Apartment Therapy (blush) got me thinking, especially this one offered up in the comments: Designer — Out; DIY — In. These days, I think we're all in agreement, at least about the second half. Now that the holidays are over, whatever changes you've been thinking about making at home, whether it's painting the family room your new favorite color or updating an old chair you found at the flea market, Doing It Yourself will probably mean doing it cheaper, faster and with plenty more personal satisfaction. But why oust the Designer entirely? Why not instead learn from the ones you love why exactly you love them? Is it the mix of furniture they choose? The way they accessorize? Their use of color? Having worked in the magazine business for ten years, styling some of the most to-die-for designer houses around, I have a little secret to tell you: With enough education (books, magazines, blogs!), a good imagination, and the courage just to get right to it, Doing It Yourself can create anything—a chair, a room, a house(!)—as Designer as you want it to be. For ten years, I was in the business of providing inspiration of a certain kind—sometimes accessible, sometimes not so much. Now, I'd like to think it's the kind everyone can use. We may not all have access to designer showrooms for fabric and furniture, but we do all have thrift shops in our neighborhoods, discount retailers down the street and hardware stores around the corner. And if you're lucky, a flea market, big or small, chock-full of potential! Here's a quick look at all your favorites from last year! Do you remember that dusty, old secretary I made over with mirror and a fresh coat of paint?




Or how about those old lampshades from the Salvation Army I spruced up with spray paint and gaffer's tape from the hardware store?




What about the fun, fashionable pillows I made from old silk scarves? 




And here are just a few of the ones we're working on this month! Consider them the Before shots—that is, before you gasp at the transformation!




And so January is DIY month for us, everyone-—and if you'll join us, for
you too! Over the next few weeks, whatever's on our lists of Things To
Do at home—organize, minimize, prime, paint, staple, stack, tape, tack—we're
going to do it all Ourselves. And it's going to be beautiful! Oh…and if you need a little inspiration
along the way, I'll be right here!