The world right now is a common heaven for “Do It Yourself” projects. From repairing your car, kitchen projects, landscaping etc. Do it yourself (DIY) is the method of building, modifying, or repairing things without the direct aid of experts or professionals. Academic research describes DIY as behaviors where “individuals engage raw and semi-raw materials and component parts to produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions, including those drawn from the natural environment (e.g. landscaping)”.
DIY behavior can be triggered by various motivations previously categorized as marketplace motivations (economic benefits, lack of product availability, lack of product quality, need for customization), and identity enhancement (craftsmanship, empowerment, community seeking, uniqueness). Depending on where you live for example, if you live in Europe, tools bought on a long term projects are cheaper than labour. While visiting my friend in South of France, I was paid €50 for helping in preparing a summer home, it took me less that thirty minutes to earn it.
I was however very enlightened by the project my friend does together with his wife. Living in a small village called Fitou, they buy old houses and renovate them…..making them new and putting them on market as AirBNB. The interesting thing about all this is that they have mastered this art on DIY, and when they are hard at work, they seem to be having a lot fun. This encouraged me to if not to live like them, to atleast try. The difference between Europe and Africa is that when you talk labour, in many parts of Africa, is very cheap if not affordable. The tools on the other hand, are very expensive and out of reach for most people unless you are profiting on their use.
Dress the bed all you want. For me my first complex project was doing my headboard for my new bed. Don’t get me wrong, being an artist, I have involved myself with projects that are art related which included creating murals on big walls, but those kind of projects are normally easy for me to execute. However working with large wood, …..and i mean not making a picture frame, was very new to me. Everybody can have the same cell phone or furniture anywhere in the world. That’s what the Industrial Age does. But with such mass production, what is lost is the personal aspect of the handmade connection of one human being to another.
It’s not about sets, but about mixing different styles, such as a classic bed frame with a modern table or light and dark woods. My DIY projects have basically focused on reclaimed wood. At any given time, when you look at the back seat of my car, you see this old wood that to you would be destined to the dumpster but luckily for me, its the beginning of a new life, a life that involves creativity. Using reclaimed wood in a renovation requires more legwork than just stopping at a home center for lumber, but home improvement project highlights the unique beauty that used timber can bring to a renovation,….and I love that.
Old timber has it’s strength. Recycling timber has become popular due to its image as an environmentally friendly product. Common belief among consumers is that by purchasing recycled wood, the demand for “green timber” will fall and ultimately benefit the environment. For me, I view, recycled timber as an environmentally friendly product. I have used this kind of timber for a few projects now, and I will not stop today. If this will encourage you to start projects of your own, it will be great for you. You will have fun in the projects you take-up and convert normal space into ideal spaces.