Doing DIY projects is a great way of improving your home while saving money. Instead of splashing on expensive store-bought goods, you create something truly unique at a fraction of the cost. However, is a DIY project good enough if you can tell it is not store-bought?
Whether you are doing it yourself or paying someone else, home improvement is worthwhile in terms of quality of life and finances. Did you know that home improvements can actually lower your insurance premiums? Any renovations you do that improve the security of your home and make it more resilient to adverse events can get you significant discounts.
The reality is that most of your DIY projects will not look store-bought. But this is not a bad thing. Here are some reasons DIY projects do not have to chase an impossible standard.
What does it mean for something to look store-bought? The main factor people recognize is that it was made exactly to specific standards. In other words, you can tell that it is not a unique piece. Rather, it is something that can be replicated and sold over and over again.
When you can tell that something was bought from a store, all that really tells you is that the person spent money on it. That is why people think that you should strive to achieve store-bought quality. It is valuable, in the most basic sense of the word.
However, that also means it is not unique and can probably be mass produced. This is in contrast to your DIY project, which no one else will have and which is valuable in its own right. Even in the most basic economic sense, it has value based on the materials used and the hours of labor you spent creating it.
While store-bought quality means that money was spent on a product, it also means that it will never be seen as art. If you went to an art exhibition and the pieces looked store-bought, you would be extremely unimpressed. Art is supposed to be messy, in that it does not conform to factory standards. Rather, it is an expression of the artist, which is what makes it so valuable.
Your DIY projects do not need to be art in the strictest sense of the word. They can be primarily practical. Nonetheless, the fact that they don’t look store-bought reveals an artistry. When you look at them, you see your work in them. When others look at them, they see something you created.
This is far superior than looking at something and seeing the mark of the factory on it. You can get beautiful store-bought pieces, but they will never be quite so reflective of their creator.
Even if you buy the most magnificent pieces you can find at an excellent store, this does not mean your home will look great. You could place all these expensive pieces in a room, only for it to look cluttered or unfocused.
On the flipside, you can create an aesthetic for your home which comes through in every piece, whether it comes from a store or was built by your own hands. The best designs do not stand out because of the standard of each piece. Rather, they create an aesthetic, into which different pieces will fit. Those pieces will be elevated by – and at the same time elevate – the look.
Finally, it is important to remember that your home is for you and your family. While we all want people to admire our homes and their interior design, we’re the ones who live in the home. If you love what you have created, it does not matter what other people think regarding how expensive it looks. Money has a tendency to flatten everything. Once something has a price on it, it becomes just another thing to be bought or sold. This leads us to compare the economic value of what we create with the cost of something in a store. In reality, once you disconnect what you’re doing from economic value, all that matters is how it makes you feel.