DIY Superstar

Thrifty By Design

Decorate your home with Denise from Thrifty By Design

Denise Corcoran
North Vancouver, BC
author, crafter, upcycler & workshop facilitator

Tell us a bit about your home and what you love about it the most?

I live in a one bedroom suite in a heritage home. It's the first place I've made into a home. I love how it's filled with finds from the dump, thrift stores and garage sales... Treasures from my travels. My walls are decorated with photos of family and friends, inspiring quotes and quirky objects. Most of my furniture is refinished pieces with a bit of personality. It's a home filled with warmth, authenticity and creativity. This is where the crafty, upcycling magic happens! :-)

What was the first DIY project you did to your home or first thing you made for it?

I upcycled a wood pallet I found in a dark alley into a cabinet. I love it! I used table legs I found at the dump and added a triangle pattern to the sides in mustard yellow, robyn's egg blue, grey, black and exposed wood. The base colour is white. It's very me and allowed me to get over my fear of power tools.

Do you have any tips for staying tidy & organised?

For me I've had to invest in Rubbermaid boxes... I give a bunch of Crafternoons (upcycling workshops) throughout Vancouver so I have TONS of craft stuff. I try to stay on top of keeping it organized. That way I'm not living in a craft disaster zone all the time. I also try to purge every few months. I find great stuff at thrift stores but if I don't use it then I gotta pass it on.

If you could tour any celebrities home, who would it be?

Maybe Ellen DeGeneres... She's got great style, she's super funsie and she does good. A winning combo.

If you had three wishes, what changes would you make to your home?

I'd do a bit of updating with the dated cabinets in my kitchen, paint some of the walls and spend some time adding some greenery. My gardening skills are a bit lacking so I'd need to up my green thumb game.

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

I make stuff out of junk... That's what I do outside of work. Or I've started calling it Crafting with 'Crap'. Other than crafting, upcycling and thrifting, I love spending time outdoors hiking, biking and exploring. And adventuring! I love traveling to new spots. It can be the best way to get recharged and inspired. And sometimes the most lovely and unexpected things can happen. I met my husband while on an adventure. Yay for dropping yourself into a strange city and just seeing what happens.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Just thanks for connecting with me. I'm looking forward to sharing some DIYs, meeting new crafty peeps, etc. Crafty peeps are da bomb! :-)

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What's your favorite...

TV Show
Hmmm... Don't have one!
Right now I'm lovin' an eclectic collection of tunes.
Havana, Cuba is a stunning city filled with so much beauty, energy and warm people.
Oh gesh... I have no idea.
I don't tend to buy/read magazines. I have a ton of places I go online for inspiration like
Urban Source (
Craft Tool
Glue gun... Of course!