10 DIY Home Decor Tricks
Designer Michael Garvey, known for his sophisticated interiors, happens to be a scrappy DIY genius at home. Real Simple popped in for a peek—and for the secrets to his 10 most inventive upgrades. By Danielle Claro
Double the Curtains
In the 120-square-foot dining room, two layers of Ikea linen panels (natural-toned on the glass side, chocolate showing) equal
one well-draped drape—luxe and weighty. Garvey used a thick wooden dowel (from Home Depot) in place of a rod, first staining
it ebony. Get the full effect with brass rings, brass brackets, and brass endcaps.
As in the bedroom, Garvey made the tall cabinets in the dining room (right) look as if they had been permanently installed by tucking them into a tight-fitting space and painting them the same color as the walls. He mounted a desk to the wall in between and added trimboard to the cabinet doors so that they echo the walls architecturally.
“Upholster” a Bench With Pillows and Shoelaces
Backless benches keep a small space from feeling crowded. To soften seating, Garvey bought 14-by-20-inch velvet throw pillows and safety-pinned them together. He anchored the cushions with red shoelaces, wrapped over seams and knotted under the bench. Genius.