Is DIYing Dying???

Wow I just came across a post written today by Kristie over at A2D titled  Is DIY Really a "Trend"? She addresses an article in Elle Decor of which 5 top designers spew out what they believe to be dying trends in the world of home decorating. Kate takes a pretty strong stand in her article against the belief that DIYing is one of them.

This is the comment which got Kristie rolling!

The DIY craze has run its course, says decorator Sheila Bridges, who has seen her share of “earthy, handmade concoctions. Just because it can be reclaimed doesn’t mean it should be.”

 All I can say is "You go Kristie!"

For me personally, DIYing has always been a way of life. As a child I grew up in a post WWII built cape cod and in a modest mid-century split level home of which my parents did all renovations in both houses themselves. My father renovated not one but two basements into family rooms along with remodeling both kitchens in the two houses. After we moved into our mid-century split level in 1969 my parents pretty much went on renovating and remodeling just about every room in the house! They took down walls, put in windows, my father not only installed the kitchen counter top...he freaking built it! He also re purposed dozens of items in our home. I remember him creating a captain's rail for above our kitchen cabinets that he made with clothespins of which he had sawed off the bottoms! My mother sewed curtains and bed spreads for the bedrooms, even made drapes. And at the age of 10, I actually drew up the design for the wood soffit between the new bookshelves my father made for our recreation room. Without plans my dad built a beautiful barn-like shed from the ground up and even put in stone walls adjacent to the driveways of both houses we owned.

To be honest...I can't think of one thing my parents didn't do themselves! And if they couldn't buy it they reclaimed something else already in our home to use in its place. I remember it being the 1970's and we were in the middle of a recession and the gas shortage. We had very little money so if my parents wanted to remodel, well they had to do it themselves and from scratch. Now you may think that my father was a carpenter by trade but he wasn't...he was an auto mechanic until he became an Operating Engineer (heavy equipment operator) in 1970. He was a self-taught, out of necessity, if I can't do it then it won't get done carpenter...or if you will, a DIYer!

As far as idea of DIYing being a dying trend or not, well for me it doesn't much matter what these top designers think, doing things myself is ingrained in me as part of who I am. And I also think that it's about time that people begin to do more with their own hands like sewing and crafting and cooking and building...should I go on? Think of how rewarding it is to have spent time working on a project and then to step back and say to yourself...I did that! Studies even have shown that people who work with their hands are overall happier and live a healthier life!

So in my humble opinion DIYing is going nowhere...look at how many blogs exist in this genre alone. And it is probably not even close to representing the number of people out there DIYing and not blogging about it! I think Shelia Bridges is in for one big disappointment with regard to DIYing fading off into the sunset...people have in the past, are doing now and will continue to do for many years to come, practice the art, yes art of doing it yourself.

What do you think?

My parents first home!

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  1. They're so out of touch with how real people live that we shouldn't really consider it "out of touch", more like outer space! These people think that spending 500 dollars on a day dress is normal for us all. Really? That's whacked. Unless people buy the really cheapest furniture, it's NOT meant to be disposable! Reupholster it, paint it, FIX it!!

  2. I agree with the last comment, wholeheartedly!!! In my blog, I even, very recently, started a series entitled "Pretty For Pennies", because I wanted to highlight just that. How you can dress pretty, for pennies! Outfits, which I wear on a daily basis, that come from my thrift shopping. And, I love repurposing furniture and the like. Man alive, I would hate to see the size of the landfills if everyone thought the way the DIY naysayer feels. Wow!

  3. BRAVO!!!! I swear these people kill me! I agree with the first comment, they do live in outer space, Mars perhaps? I'm sorry but wouldn't a painter, sculptor or expert carpenter be considered a D.I.Yer? That is how majority of them start out, is doing it for themselves, family and friends. As long as there are people willing, needing and able to do it, it will not die!

    With that said, there are many people that will read the article and believe what they have to say and in turn spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on something they could have done themselves.

    Great post!!
    Have a wonderful weekend ;o)

  4. I was DIY-ing when DIY-ing wasn't cool! And like you, my dad was totally remodeling our house himself.

    Her statement ain't gonna change nothing there with me. I think the current status of the economy will help us DIY-er's in that argument!

    I think they're just trying to sway people away from it in hopes that they will make us think it's "so last year" and move on to what THEY want you think will be the new thing - expensive.

  5. The statements from this article made me want to laugh out loud! They obviously have never lost a house, gone through bankruptcy etc. We grew up going to garage sales, my mom sewed everything - from winter coats to our swimsuits!! To me its a way of life, oh yeah and I enjoy it!

  6. I hadn't the slightest clue that people were saying this.

    How could they? How out of touch with the economy are they?

    Yes, you still have those that are doing very well and certain cities that seemingly haven't been touched economically, but I think the majority of Americans have a different point of view on that.

    People are looking for a way to still design and decorate without denting the budget. The economy, despite the media spins at times, is not improving. DIYing is here to stay for quite some time.

    It's not even solely about economics with a lot of people, anyways. There is something very soothing and rewarding about making something or working on a project with your own hands.

    I think not only is it therapeutic for the nerves, but it stimulates creativity.

    I agree that DIY'ers are happier people.

  7. I'm not sure how accurate this is, but I have to wonder if designers feel DIY'ing hurts their businesses?

    We don't need their products or services as much because we DIY.

    Maybe that is the reason for their statement?

  8. I so agree with you, my dad built our ranch style home back in the early 60's and without a morgage after he was done, trying doing that today! Mom sewed everything too, that designer needs to come out of her cloud her head is in! I'm not great in somethings but at least I try and my husband does everything too.
    Thanks for a great post!


  9. I think it's wishful thinking on the designers part. If you can do it yourself you wont need them and if you don't need them their bottom line suffers. I also think its partly a little designer elitism. They cant believe that average people who never studied interior design and who don't have "papers" can actually do good design work. I've seen work done by professionals that I wouldn't want in my house that dos not mean all designers are bad at their jobs. Ditto for DIYers. Sheila Bridges is one of my favorite designers, Im dissapointed with her attitide.

  10. Ladies, I AM a designer, and have the credentials to prove it ( Drexel University, BS Design, 1986...) and there ARE plenty of people that I can help (and where I cringe upon entering their houses) but for most people, the service I provide is simply guidance on design and decorating strategies in order to save them from making expensive mistakes. People that 'fell in love with' a red sofa at the showroom and the people that tell me they want their room painted "beige", not knowing there are limitless shades and tones are the ones that need me. Those type of things are why I exist and for the people that have the confidence to ask for advice!
    I don't expect people to have unrealistic budgets nor to do any space all on one day or even at one time, but am willing to do many things asked of me.
    I HAVE refused to do some work like when the homeowner refuses to first fix a leaky roof/ceiling before I begin an extensive bathroom remodel... and then I refused to install beadboard in that same job right up to the *open*/barrier-free shower because I know what happens to it- the homeowner will complain and blame ME and to add insult to injury- want me to redo it free!) and I probably get called pushy, elitist and know-it-all because of it.

    Designers are taught in schools to work in a wide variety of styles, but usually develop an ease in one specific style. Hoity-toity designers either have developed their snobbery because of financial consideration or lack of talent. Remember that (at least at first) designers do all the work themselves! I have made custom matched pillows that cost me about $25, but would have had to charge about $100+, and then clients complain, so I don't bother anymore. Most real-life designers dumpster-dive, shop thrift and eBay; I'm afraid of those that won't.
    As for those homeowners that need help but refuse to get it-- I have learned to shake my head and walk away. They'll have to live with their own poor choices.
    Now who wants MY job? Your friends and family trust you but won't respect your knowledge, strangers will respect your expertise but won't trust you. Oh yeah- after you pay for 4+ years of post-secondary education costing upwards of $100,000+ (along with up to several hundred dollars a week during that time for materials...) then you have to pay several hundred dollars a year for membership in professional organizations and more for continuing education and insurance so you can work.
    Please be careful not to tar all designers with the same brush before you think about all that goes into it. Thanks (*gets down off soapbox*)

  11. I am thinking that DIY has never been a trend. It has always been and will continue to be a personal choice for people. I find a wonderful sense of personal accomplishment each time a project is completed, that doesn't compare to buying something or hiring someone to do the job.

  12. Of course designers say DIY is out! DIYers don't hire designers! They probably sense the trend is on the rise and are protecting their livelihood ;-) My mom was a single-parent DIYer. She built walls and remodeled and everything with very little help from my dad, then on her own after he died. Me, I'm a DIYer because when I have a vision, I want to just go for it, not wait for/pay for some designer/professional to tell me how to get it done better. As a consequence, I sometimes have unfinished projects, but I'll get them all done eventually.


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