Written by Jaymi Naciri

DIY home design can be a fun activity, or it can be bloodsport. So many decisions to be made, so many details to consider. If you’ve got a question, we’ve got an answer. Here are a few popular FAQs.

How do I know if my updates will give me a good ROI?

Before spending a bunch of money to renovate, re-imagine, tear down, or add on, check out the Cost vs. Value Report, Remodeling magazine’s annual look at “36 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 102 U.S. markets.” If you’re not hiring a designer, make sure to familiarize yourself with today’s modern trends so you make smart updates that appeal to your sense of style and the masses—especially if you’re looking to sell your home soon.

Do I need to have matching flooring throughout my home?

Not necessarily. While different wood types and tones from room to room aren’t necessarily recommended, different types of flooring used intelligently in the home can add interest and texture.

“The link between the flooring types is color,” said Home Guides. “Set your interior’s color palette before shopping for flooring. Obey the ‘rule of three,’ meaning you should only see up to three different types of flooring from any one point in your home.


Can I paint every room a different color?

“Good interior design includes a color scheme for the entire house,” said Home Guides. However, the standards for developing that color scheme aren’t as black and white as they used to be (pun intended). The hard and fast rule, said Better Homes and Gardens, is to determine how the sightlines from room to room are impacted by color.


“Linking rooms with color may not seem very important if your rooms can be separated by closing doors. If you can see from one room into another, however, the color relationships between those rooms affect whether your living space feels smoothly harmonious or jarringly chopped up,” they said. “Using unrelated colors in adjoining rooms can make the house feel like a disjointed series of spaces, while colors that relate to each other draw the eye from one room to the next and create a pleasing flow.”

I’m making a few key swaps in my kitchen and there are so many choices my head is spinning. I picked my appliances pretty quickly but am hung up on the kitchen sink. Is there a trick to buying the right one?

If you’re one who tends to leave a few dirty dishes around, consider a sink with a decent depth that will hide your sins. Stainless steel is still the king of materials for kitchens, but solid surface sinks can coordinate nicely with stone countertops. Another popular trend is the farmhouse or apron front sink that helps it stand out as a design element and not just a functional one.


Do my appliances need to match?

The best way to approach appliances is to keep them in the same brand and finish. But, stuff happens. If you need to replace a dishwasher or buy a new fridge and the model match for the old item is no longer available, OR you just want something different, it’s acceptable to mix and match brands as long as you stay within the same finish—and as long as they aren’t directly next to each other.

I need to do some updates before I sell. Where is the best place to put my money?

The old saying goes that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, and that tends to be true. But don’t overlook your curb appeal. You want that first impression to be a strong one. Rake the leaves, pull the weeds, and make a few easy updates like adding a new welcome mat and a pot full of flowers on either side of the door to make the home look inviting.

My 10-year-old washing machine just started acting funny. At what point is it best to just chuck it and get a new one?

According to U.S. News, this is the “life expectancy” of major appliances:

  • Gas range oven: 15 years
  • Refrigerator: 13 years
  • Trash compactor: six years
  • Dishwasher: nine years
  • Microwave oven: nine years
  • Washing machine: 10 years
  • Electric or gas dryer: 13 years
  • Food waste disposer: 12 years

That being said, if you’re looking at spending a couple hundred dollars on a decade-old washing machine, you might want to consider putting that money toward a new one that offers updated technology and cleaning capabilities, not to mention energy efficiency and a warranty.


Does all my furniture need to be the same style?

Matchy matchy can be boring boring. The most balanced spaces today often take a more eclectic approach with furniture and furnishings from many styles and even eras.

“A contrasting mix of elements make a room more interesting and unique,” said The Inspired Room. “Incorporating what you already have and embracing a mixture of styles…is often a braver and more interesting design choice because it requires you to stretch your creativity (and your budget!) in new ways.”

Have a question for us? Sound off in the comments and it might just make our next FAQ post.