It is not uncommon to find handmade furniture and decorative items in households nowadays. These are items that are now being referred to as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects and they are gaining more popularity with people over time. Ms Brenda Mo Angwenyi, a professional interior design writer and blogger, was able to explain to us what a DIY project is and why it is gaining favor among people. “Kenyans are leaning more into DIY projects because of their need to showcase their individuality/ non-conformity in their personal spaces at home or from time to time, at their workplace. People want to have a hands-on approach in deciding how their spaces look like,” begins Ms Angwenyi. She adds that Kenyans also realize that they can achieve a desired aesthetic without breaking bank. “With thrift sales gaining rage now more than ever, one is able to buy supplies at affordable price and execute a particular style with minimal effort.”
It is also notable that the varieties offered by are of a wide array from which one can choose as opposed to the rigid and common ones. Some of the common DIY projects favored by people include crate/ wooden palette tables in which one simply buys the palettes from a carpentry or hardware store and joins them together using a hand drill then later adds a coat of painting to give it a vibrant look and flower vases made out of wine bottles by tying colored sisal strands around it or simply painting it a desired color.
As much as Kenyans are embracing the DIY approach, it can easily be noted that most of them are unable to fully achieve the outcome they were after. “Examples of the common mistakes people make when carrying out DIY projects include poor planning of the final product while starting a DIY project,” notes the interior design blogger. “It is easy to think that you know how to get the project done but without a clear plan one can easily skip a crucial step which leads to the final product being faulty.” She adds that people also tend to pick a complex DIY activity as their first project and such complexity may become overwhelming thus discouraging them from seeing it to completion.“It is crucial to understand that no DIY project should be rushed,” emphasizes Ms Angwenyi. “You are not obliged to complete the project in one sitting. In fact, it is advisable to take breaks from the project as this allows you to come back and look at it with fresh eyes which could bring about new ideas on how to make it better.”
There is no age or gender limitation to anyone wanting to partake in a DIY activity of their own. “I would advise that anyone planning to embark on this should read and research on what you want to do,” says Ms Angwenyi, suggesting sites like Pintrest and YouTube as valuable sources of information for DIYs. She points out that one could also attend workshops where an expert can teach a thing or two on desired skills such as handling a power drill or how to properly use different types of paints.
Finally, do not limit your creativity when it comes to such projects and aim for your project to come out in the exact way you saw others. Experiment and have fun with what you are doing to allow room for your products to be unique.