Hi, I’m Serena Appiah!
Let’s just start with the obvious: how in the world do you say my last name?!
I’ll make it easy for you: it rhymes with IKEA. 🙂 My husband is Ghanaian, and “Appiah” is a very common name, sort of like how “Smith” is very common here in the U.S.
So moving on….
I’m the face behind Thrift Diving, a blog that inspires you to decorate, improve, and maintain your home on a DIY (do-it-yourself) budget.
When I was 6 years old, I wanted to be a cab driver. Yes--a cab driver. I wanted to get paid to “be lazy and drive people around”. This, of course, isn’t to say that I currently think that cab drivers are lazy. My father-in-law drove cabs as one of several jobs when he needed to care for his family of 6. So they’re definitely not lazy. But to my 6-year-old brain, driving a cab meant that I could “make money while not having to do much physical labor.”
My career aspirations evolved into something more creative, which turned into being a professional DIY blogger. (You can read more about my journey in 2015 from working full-time to becoming a full-time blogger).
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about me!
Oh, the home that has given me so much strife…. I still struggle with telling myself it’s an ugly house but after writing a popular post about how we should stop thinking we have an ugly house. I’m slowly learning how to transform my home into a home I love, and not just a home that provides a roof over our heads.
You can watch my Home Tour over on my YouTube channel (be sure to subscribe for more videos!)
My Home Projects
Catch up on what I’ve done in our home so far:
My Pretty Laundry Room Makeover
My Kids’ Unbelievable Bathroom Makeover
My Colorful Basement Home Office Makeover
Master Bedroom Makeover (with DIY Crown Molding! Download the 52-page guide on How to Install Crown Molding Like a Novice)
Master Bathroom Makeover
I don’t think I have a style.
I like whatever I like. (Oh, but I’m obsessed with turquoise and Sherwin Williams Rainwashed and SW Sea Salt)
Sometimes it’s clean lines. Sometimes I like things a bit more ornate. I like modern things. But I also might like something that could fit in Grandma’s plaid kitchen. There’s no rhyme or reason to my tastes. 🙂 I decorate on passion and inspiration, not necessarily what’s popular or “in” at the time. But there is one thing I can guarantee: that whatever I decorate, it’s going to be budget-friendly!
I prefer to spend money on electronics, not expensive furniture!
I used to feel so lost, trying to find my purpose in this world.
Until one day, I asked myself to choose three keywords to describe my life.
“Create. Inspire. Teach.”
This blog (which started in 2010) is built on these three life passions, and I am inspired by these words each time I create a project (check out my furniture makeovers) or watch the videos tutorial on my YouTube channel.
My Love of Thrift Stores
Home should be affordable. That’s my motto. I love splurging on electronics, as I mentioned, but when it comes to decorating, I am frugal and love to create as much as I can by hand. If I can buy it from a thrift store, I will! Plus, there is something so magical about the transformation from ugly to beautiful that inspires me every time.
My Love of Power Tools
Power tools are amazing….to take raw wood or materials and create something functional and beautiful--I thrive on that! I partner with RYOBI Power Tools, so I’m thankful that I get to do public speaking and video tutorials for them! A DIY’ers dream coming true.
I Have a YouTube Channel
If you can’t find me on the blog or in class (I’m currently enrolled in a Carpentry program at my local community college), then you can find me on YouTube doing projects around my house, repurposing things, upcycling…
I Was a Duluth Trading Company Model
It’s hard to believe that I was selected from thousands of women to be a Duluth Woman for their catalogs and national TV commercials!
I was one of nine winners in their Duluth Women model search!
Duluth Trading invited me to be a part of their No-Yank Tank national TV commercial, which you can watch below. I say that I “was a Duluth Trading Company model because I haven’t done any work with them for nearly a year now. So I think I’m in that limbo stage of, “Am I still a Duluth Woman….or am I not?” I’m not sure. 🙂
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to check out Thrift Diving! I’d love to keep in touch with you! I invite you to subscribe by email so that you don’t miss my next post! 🙂
Connect with me on social media, as well: