When visiting Annapolis this weekend with friends, we spent a delightful Sunday roaming the various antique and consignment stores in the city. One of my friends admired a piece that needed some TLC, giving me an opportunity to pimp out my favorite wood products- Howard Restor-a-Finish and Feed-n-Wax, a topic on which I am admittedly quite passionate. At the end of my infomercial-like pitch, my friend looked at me (likely suppressing a much-deserved eye-roll) and asked me a question that made me think- "how do you know this stuff?"
It is a question I find easy to answer, though the answer itself is a little complicated. I've always been the one in my family tasked with furniture assembly, especially if the instructions are missing or in another language. I've always been the kid who rearranged my room when bored (ok, I tried to rearrange other rooms too, but my mom put a stop to that!) My interest has always been in all things house related, but my skills and know-how come from all over.
My mom taught me by example how to care for wood floors and furniture. She is also quite handy with a needle which has been invaluable when trying to customize upholstery and accessories. When I first got cable in college, I drove my roommates crazy with HGTV and TLC, and I've been watching ever since. When I want to start a project, or just get a vague idea, I research on the internet- that is in fact how I first found Apartment Therapy lo these many years ago.
In the end, I credit my Mom with being the person who jumpstarted my love of home-related projects, and got me started with the basic knowledge necessary to tackle simple projects. From there, my own needs have driven the knowledge I continue to pick up, little tidbits and DIY hints that I store up and then inflict upon my friends. I would love to know more about what sparked your love of home and DIY- please share your stories in the comments below.