I have a soft spot for blogs and bloggers. When done well, finding a creative blog online can feel a lot like picking up the Fall issue of Vogue or Elle used to feel-like magic unfolding before your very eyes. One of my favorite bloggers, Beckie Farrant, the creator of InfarrantlyCreative.net, was kind of enough recently to share her story about how she got into blogging, why she enjoys DIY projects, and tips to help you make your own projects just that much better. Enjoy!
BA: Where did you get the idea for Infarrantly Creative? What made you decide to create a blog and share your ideas and passions with the world?
IC: I actually started Infarrantly Creative to stay in touch with family after our son was born. We lived on opposite sides of the country but still wanted our family to be a part of our everyday lives as much as possible. I would never have dreamed that blogging would grow into a successful business and provide for our family as it has. It is honestly my dream job. Nothing thrills me more than getting an email or comment from someone saying I have inspired them in some way.
BA: You have so many creative ideas on the blog—Roadkill Rescue, Knock Off—where did you get these ideas—what inspired them?
IC: I think so many people look at stores on the cutting edge of interior design and are discouraged because they love what they see but feel like they can never have it. Knock Off Decor was born from that desire to inspire and empower others to get that same look for less. There are so many amazingly talented bloggers that are gracious enough to share how they recreate high-end designs, and I love having a platform to showcase their talents while inspiring and equipping others.
BA: How do you go about choosing projects for yourself? What makes a project exciting for you?
IC: I am currently in the process of renovating and decorating the outdated, builder-basic home that our family purchased last summer. As I have worked through the house room-by-room, I love considering what will make each space the most functional and enjoyable for our family while, of course, improving the aesthetic and reflecting our personalities. That alone is exciting; however, I also love projects that challenge my DIY skills as well as my ability to think outside the box.
BA: What has been your biggest project to date (can be for your home or another)?
IC: My loft-turned-craft studio in my old house definitely wins the prize for my biggest DIY. I spent four months building two full walls of cabinets from scratch and a craft island with almost 40 square feet of work space. I really poured myself into every inch of the space so it would be functional, beautiful, and inspiring. It pushed my DIY limits, yet in the end, I was able to enjoy a space I loved and was truly proud of.
BA: A lot of our readers are looking for ways to make their fireplace or mantel stand out in a room redesign or update. What is your advice to people who want to “transform” such a big focal point in a household?
IC: I would recommend assessing your space and considering what you already do and do not like about it, finding inspiration pictures, and then making a plan to achieve the desired look. For example, in my new home, our living room completely lacked a focal point. We had a fireplace with a small wood mantel on a huge blank wall. After looking for inspiration, I knew I wanted to create an entire focal wall with a stone surround and built-in bookcases. Of course, you have to consider how much work you are willing and able to take on. For some, a simple coat of paint may do the trick while others may want to delve into a large scale project like I did.
BA: In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing someone when starting a home DIY project?
IC: I would definitely say fear is quite paralysing when it comes to diving into a DIY project. Projects often look so simple in tutorials, but then you’re ready to begin and the panic kicks in…What if I do it wrong? What if it doesn’t turn out? What if it costs more than I anticipated? What if it takes longer than I want it to? Trust me when I say that even seasoned DIYers have been there. I once had a serger sitting in a box for waaay too long simply because I was scared to use it. Because I know fear is such a big deterrent to taking on a home project, I actually wrote an entire post on overcoming DIY fears on Infarrantly Creative.
BA: What are your best tips and advice for people who want to tackle a DIY or home decor project on their own?
IC: Give it a go. Always have a back up plan in case it goes awry. I call this my DIY fund. If you set aside money to help with those projects you always know you have a cushion if you can’t complete it. So far I haven’t had to tap into that fund, but knowing it is there helps me take risks and give it a go.
BA: What is the most frequently asked question you get from your audience at Infarrantly Creative?
IC: It usually starts with…”I have this huge blank wall I don’t know what to do with….”
BA: What is the #1 question your clients, readers, viewers, followers, fans should be asking you?
IC: How can I make money DIYing? I can definitely tell you how to do that.
BA: What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve learned along the way?
IC: That I can do hard things. Blogging and sharing my DIY adventures online have given me bravery and confidence to stretch my skills and try new things.
BA: What room in your house resonates most with you and why?
IC: I absolutely love our family room. It’s the first room I started with when renovating our home because it’s the one our family spends the most time in together. I wanted it to be a place we could enjoy together and that would also reflect our family. I feel like I achieved that. It’s a place for board games, movie nights, and wrestling matches, and it’s also full of meaning. I can look at the gallery wall above our couch and see my daughter’s artwork, a recent family photo, and even an old rusted pulley I snagged at a yard sale. I can’t help but sit there in the morning when the house is quiet with the sunlight streaming in through the windows and feel extremely blessed.
BA: If you were to start all over again from scratch, what would you do differently with Infarrantly Creative? Anything?
IC: I would have learned basic SEO and not have been so prideful and asked for help earlier. I also would have hired on more help the minute I started making money.
Thank you, Beckie! Now I’ve got to run, and give those “5 Ways to Make Holiday Gifts for Teachers” from your latest cover post a try!