SPRING INTO DIY – Creating the Creative Home





I love entrances to homes.  I’ve always wanted mine to be inviting in such a way that it makes the visitor want to continue on through the rooms, find a comfortable seat and stay a while.  I like that when you enter my home, you can see straight through to the bamboo trees in the back yard.  It pulls you forward.  Everywhere are reflections of my arts and crafts nature, a gallery of creativity, enticing visitors to explore.

Lately, I’ve been in an artistic lull, allowing myself much needed rest.  My art studio has been a quiet jumble, projects and paintings waiting for the muse to awaken from her nap.  Sometime during this lull, spring arrived, turning my thoughts to gardens, flowers, vegetables, weed whacking and digging up the front lawn to accommodate the California drought.  Visions of new house colors and DIY projects began to dance in my head.  DIY spring fever hit hard.  Now I wanted to take my artist beat outside.

A little Paint, Ingenuity and Some Old Stuff ∼ I love utilizing what I have, transforming it to a new use or new beauty. With two broken garden chairs, and some weather beaten side tables, I began a creative and colorful transformation for the front deck.

Broken Lawn Chair

Broken Lawn Chair

Weather Beaten Side Tables

Weather Beaten Side Tables









Taking a cue from the red geranium, I decided on a color scheme that would give me a pop of color for the front deck.  The old webbing was cut off the lawn chairs, except for on the chair arms.  The black frame was in good shape and now ready to be transformed into a comfy, stringy outdoor seating with attitude!  I bought red 1/4″ poly rope and began wrapping.  It was worth the effort.  Next I found my bucket of red and painted the  remaining webbing on the arms; then on to the tables.


image (3)

Rescued Metal Lawn Chair (Amazingly comfortable)

Finished project (almost) below with the little red Geranium that inspired me.  (The second table is in process of being transformed)

Pop of Color Seating

Pop of Color Seating Area

The Stringy Outdoor Seating idea came from Fresh Home Magazine, Summer 2011 – sometimes it pays to keep those old magazines!

This led me to sprucing up a porch corner next to my red pop seating area.  Under a painting on wood of a parrot by my Uncle Bruno, circa 1950’s, I arranged little potted plants on an antique plant stand, which also nicely hides a pipe.  The parrot painting compliments my pop of color scheme.

image (5)

Corner Plant Stand


Parrot – oil on wood, Bruno Giunchi, circa 1950’s










Drought can inspire you to be practical and responsible to the condition of California today, Why not inspire creativity at the same time?  My thoughts turned to how I could creatively become lawn free.  Of course I wanted to do something artsy!  I made it up as I went to see how it would flow.  Like all my artistic approaches, I worked intuitively.  With flow in mind, I combined plants and ground cover to some existing plantings in a pleasing to the eye way. image (7)photo (1)Redwood bark is used as ground cover with an uneven fringe of pea and lava gravel to resemble sea foam retreating from the sand at the beach.  This little side lawn was my practice “canvas” – now on to the bigger main lawn in front of the deck!

Whatever you do, let your home reflect who you are.  Our homes are an extension of the personalities that occupy it.  I love the  DIY craze that has blossomed everywhere–reuse, rethink, re-purpose – there is so much amazing creativity springing from the imaginations of people around us.  Look around your house and instead of throwing out what you think is junk, be inspired!

All this DIY creativity, has lead me to creative writing as well.  Now, I feel the stirrings of the muse coming out of her slumber!  Time to open the curtains of the art studio and let the light in!

“The Artists Pray to Their Gods, While Opening and Preparing Their Canvases”

(Line from a poem “One with Sweetness” by Amy Trussell from her book The Painted Tongue Flowers)

© Maria Doglio, April 13, 2014









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