Hello, Handmade

Rayan Turner explores the do-it-yourself movement.

The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) movement has made a grand entrance over the course of the last several years, making DIY an acronym everyone is familiar with.

The state of the economy has become the latest, and perhaps greatest, impetus for the DIY craze. Now more than ever, people are turning to a lifestyle that is not only within their control but is completely customizable according to their own needs, desires, and budget. Quite accidentally, the DIY movement has also become the harbinger of healthful living for the average person, drawing attention to the details of those things that surround us, forcing people to understand their environment from a different perspective and helping people make smart yet tough decisions about how their lives should be lived.

As this movement takes hold of more people, many changes are bound to occur. Paying retail will take on an entirely new meaning, and will come to represent the retail price of the parts, rather than the whole. How items are made – and how they should be made – is a topic of interest not only for those who have made a conscious decision to live a green lifestyle, but for everyone, because how something is made dictates its cost, availability, and safety.

Products with dual functionality will become the norm, rather than the pleasant exception. We will all begin to demand more from those who provide for us as their means of business, and in the process will find ourselves turning inward more and more frequently to meet the needs of our families and our lives.

From building your own furniture, to landscape gardening, and growing or raising your own food, the information is out there just begging for you to give it a try.

One aspect of DIY that may alone change the face of retail as we know it lies in the furniture-building industry. No longer are we subject to toxic finishing techniques and the pieces we live with having high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). No longer are we forced to purchase items that are not constructed from sustainable or renewable materials. You can take greater control of your life by deciding to build or rehabilitate your own furniture and in the process determine your own level of cost, the materials you feel comfortable incorporating into your life, and the level of output you may have with a new sense of organization and comfort. You can choose only those pieces that are absolutely necessary and that provide what you need – nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else will do.

Are you in need of furniture that is more fitting for your newly down-sized residence? Does that furniture need to serve multiple purposes to maximize your living space? Is $4000 for a dining table more than you care to spend? No problem. The DIY furniture building industry is flourishing, reverse engineering is prospering, and retail catalogs are increasingly becoming a source of inspiration. DIY is the new design style, and it is anything but generic in appearance or technique. Hello handmade, goodbye toxins.

Here’s a taste (including an estimated cost to build), of The Design Confidential projects you can do yourself: outdoor garden structures, indoor/outdoor furniture, storage and organization, dual functionality, space maximization, and (of course), they’re all budget friendly.

Mitchell Cubby Organizers, $25

Modern Classic Pergola, $250

Outdoor Furniture Plans, $10 – $100

Craft Space Collection,  $25 – $200

Kiddo Collection and Ann Marie Collection, $25 – $125

2 x 2 Collection of Pieces, $10 – $75

The DIY Movement has done nothing if not tear down the wall of carpentry mysticism by showing people they have the power and the skill-set necessary to build their own furniture. The customization possible is truly worthwhile for creating a healthful, and beautiful home.

Dive into DIY by shopping the Visual Plan Index or Project Catalog from The Design Confidential.

Guest author Rayan Turner is a self-proclaimed carpenter, goddess of handmade furniture, and the creative force behind The Design Confidential.