Carmin's Journey in Home Renovation



Taking a sledgehammer to the 1947 kitchen sounded like so much fun after my fiancé and I purchased a cute little brick bungalow we thought we'd renovate and move into on our wedding day. I had dreams of taking up the old linoleum flooring, knocking out the hideous formica countertops, adding in an arched dividing wall to retain the original charm of this sweet little house, renovating wood floors, custom cabinets, and tiled walls floor-to-ceiling.


Inch by inch this little home that I thought would only take six months (tops) to renovate, has now become a year and a half project that keeps dragging on and on and on. Truth is, if you want to embark on the ole’ do-it-yourself version of a home reno, I definitely would not suggest you run for the hills.

What I would love to do is share a few tricks-of-the-trade to spare you the aggravation, the constant need to dig deep into your patience arsenal, and at the same time encourage you that doing as we are- paying for this project little by little is a great idea! There are some pros and cons to trying to be the next Chip and Joanna, and I hope to help you decide whether or not a do-it-yourself is right (or wrong) for you.


Carmin's DIY Home Renovation Tips

1. Do lots and lots of google-search research on what you want your home to look and feel like. In doing so, make sure to choose interior and exterior design elements that reflect the era your home was built in. Nothing worse than a 1990’s home decorated in the style of 17th century Versailles. Yikes! Nothing wrong with updating outdated elements but do so tastefully and thoughtfully.

2. The yard can wait. Plain and simple. Do this last. As hard as it is to wait this really should come last, and honestly should happen after you move in so moving trucks can drive right up to the front or back doors to haul items in should they need to.

3. When budgeting you cannot have it all, but DO NOT skimp on things that will make you come home after a long day and go “ahh.” Picture this with me for a moment- you are driving home in a car with a window that won’t roll up, it’s a cold, rainy, windy day. Yes, you’re getting wet. It ain’t fun. A day where everything went wrong at work, you spilled your coffee on your lap right before walking big meeting, your hair is a mess from the cold drive to work, you even went to the gym after your work day but felt cold and “blah.” You noticed on insta some girlfriends had a dinner and didn’t invite you and you forgot to call your mother-in-law on her birthday yesterday. At the end of this kind of a grunt-worthy day you finally get to go home and when you walk in you feel compelled to say “Ahh. I am so thankful that I am ending my day in such a beautiful, thoughtful, and peaceful home like this one.” Whatever will create this for you is what you should have in your home.

4. Think outside the box to add the beautiful (cost-effective) details that make your house a home. Here are some I’ve chosen that I love:

  • Window boxes that are well-kept
  • A dutch door in my kitchen
  • Custom window trim
  • Beautiful, and very eye-catching scenic wallpaper that breaks up the other monochromatic rooms

5. Choose a bathroom tile that can rival any resort you’d want to visit. My goal is to daily get ready in a space that makes me feel inspired and calm. I suggest you do this too.


If you leave this article still wanting to put your safety goggles on to get down to business, more power (tools) to you, friend! I applaud you. Welcome to the club!


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