Today, we continue our look at the very best entries in our May 2-4 DIY Contest. The creative response to this HGTV.ca challenge was unprecedented, not to mention inspiring. Our lucky — and deserving! — Grand Prize Winner was Rosalie Luymes, and we chose five runners-up, all of whose work would put me to shame any day.
Still, the entries for our HGTV contest were so consistently inspiring that we could not resist showing you some of our favourites, so here’s Part I of our honourable mentions (Part II tomorrow). Again, these are the DIYs that didn’t win the Grand Prize — hard to believe, after you see them! Also, because we were all so impressed with their work, we simply couldn’t let them go empty handed: Each honourable-mention DIY’er will receive a $25 Canadian Tire gift card for their outstanding efforts!
Honourable Mention: Collin D’Souza (Mississauga, ON)
Approx. cost of DIY project: $1,000 (incl. purchase of router); approx. time invested: 4 months, 3 hours/day (daily)
A recent business-degree graduate, Collin D’Souza DIY’d a customized pine bed, to accommodate a very typical, very limited student-sized room. To complicate matters, Collin points out, “I needed a bed with a lot of storage, and I was on a budget.” He roughed out the bed construction on paper, then used the freeware design program Google SketchUp [sketchup.google.com] to plan it thoroughly, in 3-D. “I have never taken a wood working course,” Collin adds. “I got all my wood-working skills from online research, and any knowledge my dad taught me.”
DIY: Custom pine student bed, with storage drawers and shelf atop headboard, Collin D’Souza.
Honourable Mention: Geneviève Lavoie (Cambridge, ON)
Approx. cost of DIY project: $350 (pre-resale of other table); approx. time invested: 2 weeks
Here’s good advice for any DIY’er or self-made decorator: check recycle- and resale-friendly websites such as Craigslist and Kijiji. When Geneviève Lavoie and her partner, Ashley, needed a formal dining room table but did not want to budget high-hundreds (or more), they visited the latter site, where they found not just an appropriate table but also 6 chairs for the modest sum of $150. “They were in rough shape,” says Geneviève, “but we saw the potential.” They sanded the table and leaf, and all of the chairs; each chair then received three coats of paint, resanding, and two coats of polyurethane yielded an intentional antique “distressed” look (ditto the resand and polyurethane on the tabletop and table legs). All fabric management was also handled by these ambitious DIY’ers, who had never before upholstered. Bonus: They also sold their previous table on Kijiji, and recouped $100!
DIY: Stripped, sanded, painted, "distressed" and reupholstered chair (1 of 6), Geneviève Lavoie.
DIY: Stripped, sanded and "distressed" tabletop, Geneviève Lavoie. Note: Image of full table unavailable, but we’re sure it looks stunning.
Honourable Mention: Ida Marie Kaufman (London, ON)
Approx. cost of DIY project: $1,500; approx. time invested: 33 hours
Here’s a terrific DIY executed single-handedly, in the very same month as our contest. Ida Marie Kaufman redid her living room top to bottom, from replacing baseboards and removing carpet to installing a new floor and painting every wall. “Removing the carpet staples was tedious,” Ida says. “Still, I am a 66 year old female and I love to do projects such as this.” The love of craft is certainly evident in the end result!
DIY: Living room, Ida Marie Kaufman.
Honourable Mention: Jennifer Radke/Dwight Grauman (Lacombe, ALTA)
Approx. cost of DIY project: $115; approx. time invested: 5 weeks (“but 28 days of that was waiting to apply the epoxy!”)
Here’s another inspired DIY executed same month as the contest. Jennifer Radke entered her constantly DIY’ing father, Dwight Grauman, who is replacing their kitchen’s dated blue arborite countertops with concrete ones. Mixing, pouring/moulding, trowelling — you name it, Dwight is doing it all from scratch. He has so far completed the kitchen island — he’s methodical. “He wanted to see how the island turned out before jumping in with both feet,” says Jennifer. Sage advice, but looks like there’s nothing to worry about, in this case. Time to attack those counters in the back of the photo! Particularly impressive is the budget, “The cost of the concrete and frame supplies was about $15.00, and the epoxy was 100.00 (but can be used for the rest of the counter, as well). Overall, much cheaper than granite, but the look is still of a high-end counter.”
DIY: Made-from-scratch concrete island countertop — for not much more than $100!, Jennifer Radke/Dwight Grauman.
Wow, was that ever fun! Keep telling us about your inspired DIYs in the Comments. Remember: You don’t need a contest in order to be creative!