Lockdown proved to be a boom time for sales of paint, wallpaper, plants and compost, as home-owners found themselves spending more time in their domestic space.
In fact, one big DiY chain reported a like-for-like sales jump of over 20% in the three months to July, and online sales tripled in volume.
So what have people been up to? You might imagine the top jobs would be simple tasks such as re-painting, updating and mending, but it turns out that people have been much more adventurous than that when it came to dusting off their DiY toolkits.
In fact the top online search by a long way, has been for “Make your own table” – quite a sophisticated carpentry job for anyone to tackle! Over 62,000 people wanted to know how to do that – followed in second place by almost 50,000 people wanting help with the equally demanding task of re-upholstering a piece of furniture.
Searches for help with painting came next (31,000) and hanging doors (27,000), while other DiY-ers were after advice on building desks, cabinets and shelves (perhaps to accommodate home-working), laying flooring, making a headboard and running up curtains.
But what about all those tables people have been making? It seems that quirky is definitely the order of the day for many of them: if you’re making your own, you want it to look bespoke, so ideas abound for using such unexpected elements as reclaimed doors, wooden pallets, sheets of glass or slabs of polished concrete as table tops.
It turns out that pallets are one of most popular salvage materials in the DIY world, regularly used to make everything from planters to shelving. Often salvaged from industrial companies or construction sites, they’ve become so popular that they can also be purchased directly. But regardless of where they come from, they can add a modern rough-hewn look as well as a solid structure.
One simple coffee table idea that’s been taken up as a quick-build option is a spray-painted pallet set on casters and topped with a pane of glass.
In other offbeat ideas, table legs are created from metal piping for an edgy, industrial look, or a simple pedestal is created using a drum or barrel.
Who knows – this home-grown ‘Lockdown Period’ furniture might end up being as sought-after as Art Deco, Gothic, or Arts and Crafts, for collectors of the future.