Decor, Exterior

Summer DIY Ideas with Kristan Cunningham

As I announced yesterday, I had a chance to speak with Kristan Cunningham last week about summer DIY projects that can be completed in a weekend or less.  You probably know Kristan’s face (just like I do) from HGTV’s Design on a Dime, but she also appears on CBS’s Early Show, Rachel Ray, and more.  As a blogger who rarely gets a chance to speak with true DIY pros, this was a real treat!

For those who can watch, I’ve embedded the video below.  It’s about seven minutes long.  For those who can’t (but can still sneak reading this blog into work somehow), I’ve posted some of her key tips.  Enjoy!

“I think we’ve seen the trend with making our outdoor spaces truly feel like an extension of our interior spaces.”

What to do if you only have an hour

“Figure out where your eye immediately goes to.  What’s your visual destination?  Make something impactful happen there, whether it’s a really beautiful wooden arbor painted in a snappy color like canary yellow or China red, or you take a pedestal and put an urn on it, the most important thing is scale.”

“Everything doesn’t have to be cut or screwed or hung up to necessarily really change a space, especially with the outdoors because they go unconsidered…  Even if you’re not going to completely redecorate your back space, throw down one new area rug, and walking out your back door – it is amazing the kind of impact that can have.”

What to do if you have a day

“If you have a little more time, paint is always going to give you the biggest bang for your buck… There’s very little else that can give you the level or scale of impact that a great paint treatment can.”

This year’s trends:  Chevron

Chevron can be hit or miss, so Kristan had two suggestions for making chevron still look fresh: one stripe done in a trendy accent color like flame orange, or a totally overscaled effect.

This year’s trends:  Ombre

Think ombre is out of your reach?  Think again.  “The tools are what make the treatments happen.”  New, extra-wide feathery brushes can allow you to feather color onto a flat surface.

“Take a great teal, start at the bottom of your wall, feather it out as you go up, and all of a sudden, you’ll have what looks like ombre fabric or the ocean… It’s completely on trend, you can do it in a couple hours, and next year if ombre’s not hot, you change it.  Really, really simple!”

Other ways to make an impact

“The front door is always the most impactful place that you can apply a coat of paint and completely change the personality of your home.”

“Now, there’s all kinds of great outdoor lamps – not hanging fixtures, but actual table lamps.  What a great way to walk outside and still have the space feel intimate and like an extension of the interior space.”

Want more ideas?  Head over to and check out their Creative Ideas section.
Want more from Kristan?  Check out her blog, Live a Little Lovlier.

Disclaimer:  All images courtesy of  Lowes, but I was not paid or provided any perks to do the interview.  Kristan is quoted in several places in this article (hence the quotation marks, duh), but all other opinions here are 100% my own.

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