Blog Education A New Golden Age Of DIY Home Improvement

A New Golden Age Of DIY Home Improvement

By Andy Meeks, April 8, 2020

Are we entering a golden age of DIY home improvement, home organization, and yard and garden projects due to our new realities of working, eating, entertaining and staying at home 24/7? With so much time being spent in the same place, we’re seeing an increased desire in assessing and improving all aspects of our physical spaces. Of course our homes provide safety and shelter, but they also provide us with comfort and inspiration, and can be the perfect canvas to express our unique life experiences and tastes.

I’ve always been a homebody and love to tinker and work on projects around the house, and I’ve always loved making things better and more organized in my home space. In fact, I have a hard time sitting still if there is work that can be done. (It’s a blessing and a curse.)

So, rather than feel sad about the lack of options outside of our home, let’s embrace the opportunities that lie right in front of us. It’s the beginning of spring, and a perfect time to get into it.


If you’re thinking about some easy, low-cost projects with big impacts, think about paint! A little pop of color, or a new color, can reset our expectations about a space and provide a refreshed point of view. This can be repainting a full room, some trim, simply an accent wall or just a small space. You could also consider tackling your kitchen cabinets if you want a slightly more in-depth project. Here’s a good article about navigating new color trends, and local paint supply companies like Miller Paint and Rodda Paint are great resources for consultation and ideas, as well as custom paint and supplies.

My favorite color? It’s blue. Always has been and always will be. So I was really happy to see ‘Classic Blue’ chosen for Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year. Pantone describes the color in this way: “Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era. […] Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge.” We could all use a little more peace, tranquility, stability, confidence, connection and refuge these days, couldn’t we?

Image via


Home organization has received a lot more attention in the past year, with the success of Marie Kondo and her hit Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and her series of books, as well as fellow organizing enthusiasts trimming down their life’s ‘stuff’ to only the things that spark joy. Of course, you don’t have to go to an extreme to enjoy the benefits of small, incremental improvements to your desk, kitchen, clothes closet, kitchen, toys, tools, books and other personal belongings. The possibilities are literally endless.

One good space I look to for inspiration is the website Lifehacker for all sorts of fun and useful shortcuts, repurposing projects, or other forms of staying tidy. IKEA is renown for their organizational supplies and styles, and other good resources include The Container Store, or the super unique Portland-specific store Hand-Eye Supply. Even a good old-fashioned home cleaning can work wonders for a refreshed perspective and feeling of lightness. When’s the last time you cleaned your refrigerator shelves, or cleaned your windows?

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash


Other low input, high return projects include plants – both indoor and out. House plants help clean indoor air, provide for reflective moments and a connection to the natural world, and an opportunity to watch something grow and respond to light, water and care. Terrariums are a fun twist on the average house plant project. Check out Portland’s own Roosevelt’s Terrariums for some inspiration, education and supplies.

We’re fortunate in the Pacific Northwest to have access to incredible nurseries, supportive organizations, and a broad community of native plant enthusiasts. Consider turning your yard into a Certified Backyard Habitat with the Portland Audubon Society and the Columbia Land Trust to support pollinators like bees, butterflies and birds. It’s amazing to see wildlife visit your yard simply by planting and supporting a small space filled with native flowers, plants and shrubs.

Gardening projects can include hardscaping, as well as new plantings. A new gravel path or defined edges along a walkway or driveway can really make a space stand out and look sharp. Some great local resources for plants and hardscaping would be Portland Nursery, Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply, Dean’s Innovations, Mt. Scott Fuel Co. and Sustainable Northwest Wood.

I love seeing and hearing what kinds of things people are getting excited about and getting inspiration from. What do you think is on your DIY list in the coming weeks and months?



Living Room Realty

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Andy Meeks



My clients are always my top priority, and my singular focus is to help them achieve their goals efficiently and effectively. This is the intention I set every day, and how I define success. As a trained and licensed (MA) attorney, I lead with a sharp attention to detail, a keen ear and focused voice, and an unwavering commitment to integrity, transparency and responsiveness. I’m a passionate advocate and I thrive when helping others succeed, and I’m always available to connect over a cup of coffee to learn how I can help make good things happen. Read my client reviews here. The choice to become a real estate broker was a joyful combination of two very different careers. Prior to moving to Portland in 2008, I was an environmental and title closing attorney in Massachustts. Since then, I've served as a program manager and fundraising professional for Portland-based non-profit organizations Friends of Trees, The Freshwater Trust and Ecotrust. While not scouting homes and helping clients, you can find me riding and racing bicycles, digging in the garden, practicing yoga, experimenting in the kitchen, and exploring the stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Please let me know how I can help you or someone you know. Thank you!
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