We all want our spaces to be perfect. We want to have everything in a particular way that meets our dreams and desires of the Pinterest board titled “dream house.” Many people look to online resources to find inspiration to decide what their perfect space looks like in today’s world. We can turn to blogs, TV shows, inspirational sites such as Pinterest, and many more. Personally, my favorite inspirational avenue to take is the route of blogs. Blogs allow us to see what others are taking part in while really seeing the raw experience happening.

When we are completing these renovations and upgrades, we can tend to cost more money than we want to spend. One way to get around the financial issue of upgrading our spaces is to participate in the wonderful world of DIY or by “doing it yourself.” DIY projects are tasks done solely on your own without professional help while 100% expecting trial and error to take place. By taking this route, you can forget about service fees, being overcharged, and even the excessive materials that are ultimately not needed. The blog “The DIY Playbook” has a post that goes over all of the financial aspects and answers questions you may have regarding the financials of DIY projects. All you have to do is get the idea, find the inspiration, do some research, and bring the idea to life.

It’s The Sense of Accomplishment For Me

So the question of “why” is one that we must assess. Why take part in DIY when you can simply pay someone to do it professionally? This answer is simple. We have a vision. We have a certain way we want this project to be executed. There is nobody else that can see the extent of this vision besides ourselves. Additionally, financials, as I previously mentioned, DIY projects tend to be substantially cheaper than if they were done professionally. The aspect of how much we value things in our life also plays a huge part in DIY. I have learned that if I independently complete a project or task in general, it means so much more. I love the finished product so much more since it gives me a sense of accomplishment and an overall reason to be proud of it. DIY gives us more than just an end product. It gives us a sense of pride, value, and a positive outlook on our abilities.

DIY blogs are mainly where I find most of my ideas for projects. These blogs allow creators to connect while sharing their experiences. A huge part of DIY is the trial and error aspect. Since we are essentially not professionals in the projects we are attempting, we won’t automatically know all the answers or the best way to conduct the project. So we try different avenues and figure out what works best. These blogs help avoid this step. If creators all attempt the same project, they can post their findings about what works and what doesn’t for future readers to avoid these issues.

Blogs overall are a way to connect with others, as I previously mentioned. Relationships can be formed while it is known to have common interests. They give us a starting point in the friendship by exhibiting our personality through our posts, showing our creative side. We even have the ability to put our own personal twist on projects to show the symbolism of our likes and dislikes. Collaborations are another huge part of the blogging community. Collaborations are when two or more creators join forces to create one project, combine content, or simply just share ideas.

Some Of My Favorites

As a lover of DIY, I have a few of my favorite creators and my favorite blogs in general. I am most interested in the topic of home decor. The blog that goes by the name of “Life Off Cedar Layne” is all about life in general, home decor, and the story of losing her daughter. The creator’s name is Ashlyn Younkins, and she is actually one of my closest friends. She began her blog back in 2020 after she lost her infant daughter to a horrible disease. She has used her pain from her daughter’s death as motivation to make her life the best she can. In her blog, she gives insight into life issues and her main topic of all of her DIY projects. She explains every aspect of the project she writes about, from what works & what doesn’t, where she found inspiration, and even tips and tricks she discovered along the way.

Ashlyn, the creator of Life Off Cedar Layne, shares a project of a dot wall. I have always loved the idea of having a wall that, in itself, is the center of attention. In this project, she took a blank, white wall in her house and put tons and tons of black polka dots on it. She transformed the entire room from something boring and plain to something immaculate.

The Collective Idea

I think it is important to point out that these blogs, like Ashlyn’s, are part of a collective online community. The idea of a “public sphere” is exactly this collective online community. It is the concept that coins the idea of a platform where individuals with common interests can openly discuss the topic at hand. These digital publics reflect a common interest while also keeping a sense of exclusivity. Public spheres are beneficial for many reasons; in this case, they allow us to express our own self-identity and passions while also being a part of something bigger.

Considering this idea of a public sphere reflects the allowance of a reflection of the term “public.” It connotes ideas of citizenship, commonality, and things not private but accessible and observable by all. (Papacharissi, 2002, pp.10) Group identity, if you will, is wanted by many while not wanted at all. It is this weird idea that we want to be a part of something while also to be totally standing out. When we are involved with these online communities, we tap into the idea that the internet allows individuals to define their own identities and change them. (Poster, 2017)

The DIY blogs give us this sense of community while having our own personality and our identity with our creativity explode. We can come together and share ideas while promoting our own sense of self. We create and customize our content, our projects, and even come up with our own ideas. One specific blog that I love is a collaboration blog. Meaning it’s under one name, with many different contributors. It goes by the name of “Pretty Handy Girl.” The main creator goes by the name Brittany Bailey, who chooses other creators to be featured on the blog itself. You can search the blog by individual creators or by type of project. This is a great example of the idea of a community while expanding on the idea of general self-identity found in the concept of a public sphere.

Blogs open our eyes to so many things about the world around us. In this case, DIY blogs keep money in our pockets, our spaces original, and really allow us to tap into our creative side. Overall, just try it. It’s exhilarating to create something beautiful out of something that could have previously been seen as trash. We are all a part of something bigger than ourselves; you just have to find it.