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At Home with Tracy Martin Taylor: To DIY or Not to DIY

Sometimes it's best to leave it up to the professionals.
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Some things are better left to the professionals. This is one of Tracy's fabulous designs.
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At Home with Tracy Martin Taylor: To DIY or Not to DIY

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Tracy Martin Taylor, the decor maven behind Eleven 11 Design, wants to help you beautify your home in 2014. Once a month she’ll be stopping by the D Home world headquarters to share a little interior design insight with us. Today we’re chatting about when to DIY and when to leave your home improvement tasks to the professionals. 

The weekend warrior is a common character in our home. It comes in the form of the hubby or the overly capable lady of the house that either enjoys a wee bit of hands on labor or just can’t justify hiring someone to do something they are certain they can do themselves. But whenever someone asks me “What’s the best way to hang wallpaper?” I cringe a little. There are just some things better left to the professionals.

Here’s a quick list of the stuff that it completely, 100%, totally worth delegating over DIY-ing:

1. Wallpaper: Yes, you can do it but the good stuff needs an experienced hanger. Here’s why: floating a wall to be truly flat enough for wallpaper is not as easy as you think. You discover this after you’ve floated it, hung the wallpaper and see the imperfections. Also, have fun matching a pattern exactly between shelves, over light switches, etc. If you invest in a great pattern, give it some love and let a master install it for you. It is expensive, but worth it.

2. Organizing: Joli, my go-to girl for this, is the master. She has diagnosed me as a fairly organized person with systems that don’t stand the test of time or my lack of focus. So it looks good for a week and then I can’t keep it up. It may seem crazy to hire someone to re-do your closet, garage, pantry, or mudroom when you are here in the home town of The Container Store but I promise you…you don’t know how great life can be after an organizing genius gets a hold of your space. Plus, you won’t have to invest in it regularly when it’s done right the first time.

3. Refinishing/upholstering furniture: Unless you really rock at this and I mean REALLY rock at this, have someone handle redoing your Grandma’s settee. It’s all in the details. When upholstery/refinishing is well done, it will last forever. It’s also not an expensive endeavor if you find the right people.

For other areas like landscaping, the outdoorsy type can handle but consider hiring a master gardener to create the plan. They will help you with plant choices, drainage etc. and you can reduce your cost by DIY-ing the labor.

My philosophy is to embrace your shortcomings! Know what you don’t know and get help on those things. And if your budget can handle it, let a professional handle all of your home needs (and wants). After all, that’s what they do all day right?!

Love your space,

TMT