10 DIY Home Decor Tricks
Designer Michael Garvey, known for his sophisticated interiors, happens to be a scrappy DIY genius at home. His cozy Brooklyn digs are a showcase of clever solutions that bring a ridiculous amount of elegance for the buck. Real Simple popped in for a peek—and for the secrets to Garvey’s 10 most inventive upgrades.
Draw on the Furniture
Make a Pro-Style Gallery
Buy frames with precut mats first, then print out favorite images to fill them at whatever size you need. “Look at the wall. It has only two kinds of frames: black frames with white paper mats and silver frames with linen mats,” says Garvey. “No matter what you put inside, it feels cohesive.” Target and West Elm are Garvey’s sources for inexpensive narrow frames like these. He warmed up his arrangement with a dash of Americana: two lanterns that hang on hooks and plug in below.
Glam Up Open Storage
Max Out an Alcove
Create a Gilded Chamber
Double the Curtains
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.