‘My home is my castle’, says an old English proverb, but how many solid castles have been left out there? Not many, if we take into account the spread of the DIY frenzy, which is practically transforming British homes into moving castles that never settle down.
Indeed, DIY is a trend that never dies. As a matter of fact, it has become more popular than ever with the advent of online media. Of course, you cannot trust videos claiming they can teach you how to build a spacecraft, but it’s also true that in our times of interactive communication you can use some good advice from a skilled carpenter who lives on the other side of the world. All it takes is a couple of smart changes and a Victorian mansion can be transformed into a trendy hang-out.
Well, ‘old England is dying’, as a popular Waterboys song goes, and it’s taking heavy furniture with it. No more does anybody need huge pieces that do not fit into small rooms. In a way, today it’s more the house owner that fits the furniture than the other way round. You might not know how to use saws, restraint straps, spikes and hammers, but you certainly have an idea of what makes a fabulous living room. That’s all it takes.
Particularly in spring, it’s quite common for restless men and women to start tinkering with every single object they find at home, until there’s nothing left to fix or move. The good part of it is that your castle is today a handmade one. You can scarcely find a household not featuring a handful of DIY elements that an old carpenter would despise. Good design is not missing, and there is much to be proud of in British homes made with modest means and heartfelt gusto.
Now, there are a few things you have to bear in mind before launching a decent DIY project:
A couch is always the centre point of a modern castle, the place where all the great stuff, such as a Manchester United – Liverpool game, takes place. A good idea is to choose a small and bright-colored one. Not only will it brighten up your living room, but it could also fit in other rooms of your house, as well.
Chairs can cause much trouble, as there’s never only one of them. Perhaps it all comes down to a trade-off between convenience and appearance in chairs. But it’s also a big truth that those with a simple design tend to be extremely comfortable.
The holy grail of the DIY concept is of course the perfect bookshelf, which would make you a master in the use of an air compressor. It’s all about size, talent and zest in this case.
Paintings hanging on the wall sound old fashioned, but so does Barbara Windsor, and she is still a national treasure, isn’t she? Besides, you could spice it up a bit by replacing the usual Turner landscape with an inspiring motto, such as ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’…
All in all, it’s an ideal combination of modern flexibility and old-fashioned class that you should be aiming for when sprucing up a flat or a house. It’s not easy, but it is worth trying.
Originally posted 2011-11-03 07:20:09.