Amanda Hendrix is the blogger behind Love & Renovations, where she shares inspiring and accessible DIY projects that any homeowner can tackle. We recently checked in with Amanda to find out why she thinks all homeowners should leave their mark on their house and get her advice on home improvement projects for novices. Here’s what she had to say:
How did you come to start Love & Renovations?
When I was newly married and finishing up my undergraduate degree, I was desperately searching for ways to make my tiny, outdated duplex a little more home-y. My husband, Corey, and I started to get creative with some projects around the house and I started to blog about what we were doing. I’ve always used writing as a creative outlet, so combining that with my love of DIY projects was perfect for me!
What’s your background in DIY home improvement?
Officially? I have no background! I grew up with a very creative and handy father (he builds mandolins as a hobby!), so I’ve always been exposed to woodworking and sprucing up homes on a budget. My husband and I have taught ourselves most of what we know, and we have really learned a lot by just diving in and trying things out. We definitely still reach out to my dad every once in a while to help us if we run into a problem that we can’t tackle on our own, but there’s also a lot of Googling and trial and error! I’m a big believer that you don’t have to be a professional to renovate your home, and I’m a huge advocate of finding creative ways to make your home beautiful.
Why do you think it’s important for homeowners to put their mark on their homes?
Your home should be your haven. After a long, hard day at work, I want to know that when I walk through that door I’m going to be walking into a place that feels cozy, beautiful and inviting. I think that if you put a little time and effort into making your home exactly what you want, it will turn into a place that you will value so much more.
What do you think are the easiest home improvement projects for new homeowners to tackle?
Paint, paint, paint! It’s affordable, easy, and it covers a multitude of sins. I’m also big on spending a bit of time just living in a new space and getting comfortable with it before you make any changes – I always recommend focusing on the easy-to-change things like furniture for at least a few months before you do anything you might regret down the road!
What are some of your favorite types of projects for more experienced home owners?
Things like flooring updates and upgrades to fixtures make a big difference. We love to play around with DIY lighting, and we also enjoy getting creative with things like accent walls and bigger furniture makeovers.
What’s been one of the biggest DIY lessons you’ve had to learn?
Don’t rush anything! We used to get so eager to dive into a project that we would make decisions too quickly, or we’d try to skip a step here and there to make it go by faster. We’ve since learned that making your house a home takes a lot of time, and that’s OK. If we’re making a big change now, we always wait at least a few weeks between deciding to do it and actually getting started, and when we’re in the middle of a project we never allow ourselves to rush it or skip steps!
What has been one of your favorite projects that you’ve tackled?
What resources would your recommend to homeowners who want to become more handy?
My biggest tip is to just dive in and get your hands dirty. The best way to learn is by doing, and sometimes that means just getting past your fear of failure and jumping in headfirst. We ask lots of questions of the people at our local home improvement shops, and rely on Google a lot! If I’m looking for inspiration or help on how to take on a project I’m unsure of, I always turn to blogs first (Pinterest is a great way to find what you’re looking for!). Blogs are the best way to find real homeowners tackling real projects, and I find that’s so much more accessible and easy to understand than anything else!