DIY Home Improvement Projects Are Within Reach, With A Little Help From The Library

Posted on May 18, 2016

by Kelly P

Don’t shy away from home improvement projects! They may seem tricky, but with a little help from the library, you can do it yourself! As a lover of television shows featuring home improvement projects, I know as well as any how the impact of a Before & After can lure the amateur into visions of grand designs for her own home. Glittering tile, new landscaping, and even plumbing are all projects that are within reach of an adventurous amateur with proper planning, tools, and research.

I recently turned to library resources before deciding if I would attempt a home improvement project myself or hire a professional. I had already painted and refaced my cabinets and painted the walls, but it still needed a backsplash. After combing through images in magazines and on Pinterest, I decided on simple white tile.

A trip to the hardware stores informed me that my decision-making process was not finished yet! Options were plentiful: square, beveled, large, and small. I wanted to avoid trends, while putting a twist on a classic look. I only had one wall to tile, but I wanted it to look special! I had removed some shelving from the cabinets around the windows and framed a scallop feature with some trim to freshen up my dated kitchen. I decided to make the most of that new expanse of wall space by tiling not just the backsplash, but also surrounding the window. After carefully trying out a few patterns (on top of a sponge display in Home Depot), I settled on a pattern of large subway tile, interspersed with square tile for 2 rows, then smaller subway tile above that to surround the window. As I left the tile aisle with a cart full of supplies, I ran into the resident tile expert. He looked at the supplies loaded in my cart, and said – “Oh, so you’ve done this before!” My research had at least helped me successfully shop for supplies!

Once I decided on a pattern, it was time to start my project. Through my library books, I learned what tools I would need (some borrowed, some bought), what type of grout to use, and how to actually do the project. Within a week I had a brand new tile backsplash! I love how it gives my kitchen renovation a finished and unique look.

Take a look at these home improvement resources to help you DIY!

For Inspiration

150 Best New Kitchen Ideas by Manel Gutiérrez Sage Living : decorate for the life you want / Anne Sage Country Living : 500 Kitchen Ideas : style, function & charm / text by Dominique DeVito ; editors of Country Living magazine


The Complete Guide To Tile : ceramic, stone, porcelain, terra cotta, glass, mosaic, resilient Tiling by Josh Garskof and the Editors of Sunset Books The Home Decorator's Tile Bible : a complete guide to using and choosing tiles / Morwenna Brett

Featured Image Credit: DIY Kitchen Renovation – Photos by Kelly Plath.

Did you like this blog post? Keep up to date with all of our posts by subscribing to the Library’s newsletters!

Keep your reading list updated with our book lists. Our staff love to read and they’ll give you the scoop on new tv-series inspired titles, hobbies, educational resources, pop culture, current events, and more!

Looking for more great titles? Get personalized recommendations from our librarians with this simple form.