Meet Vanessa Medina of FirstGenHouse

We sat down with Vanessa Medina, Latina DIYer and blogger for FirstGenHouse, to find out how she got started and what she's currently working on. 

Floral mexican gallery wall

1. How did you get started in DIY?

The first project I can remember was in college. I couldn't afford fancy wall decals like my friends but I found electrical tape and I went to town. My friends recruited me to decorate their dorm rooms too and that scaled to rustic decor DIYs in my apartment and now its a full home remodel passion.

2. What's your favorite tool and why?

Let me get cheesy for a second - my brain. Our brains and our creative culture is unique. I love drawing on my hispanic culture and lived experience to inspire the projects I build.

3. What's in your tool box?

My circular saw is always nearby. It's a perfect tool if you are limited on storage or just starting out with DIY. It’s my traveling tool because I can easily store it and use it on big and small projects.

4. What's your dream DIY project?

Renovating a home for someone in need, alongside my DIY friends. I thrived as a kid, thanks to the help from my community, and I would love to impact another person's life in the same way.

What can't you live without?

Mexican food and margaritas! Even the smallest project can introduce obstacles and learning moments and those small wins are also worth celebrating. I love to close out projects by enjoying a night out with some delicious cold margaritas.

5. Where did you learn your skills?

When I don’t know how to do something, I turn to the people who do. Youtube videos are great but it's more impactful for me to make connections with other professionals who can share their expertise and advise. At the end of the day, you learn A LOT by making mistakes so it's good to be open to messing up.

6. What's your favorite Character product?

The light fixture kit hands down. You can customize your lighting whether you rent or own but the idea of working with electrical can seem overwhelming. I love that this kit lowers the learning curve and makes it accessible for new DIYers to make impactful changes in their home.

7. Share your most recent before & after:

This sunroom renovation was the first big project we tackled in our home. From the moment we bought the house I felt the potential. I set out to transform our sunroom with bold paint, plants, and boho touches.

empty sunroom
blue sunroom with furniture and plants

8. What would be your one piece of advice you'd give to yourself during your first DIY project?

Do more research and anticipate obstacles. My first big project was a ladder shelf and because I didn't have a collection of powertools, I got everything precut at my local Home Depot. I made a total of 8 trips IN TWO DAYS! Since then, I've learned how important it is to write down a plan, explain the details out loud and anticipate where things could go wrong in order to be prepared.

headshot of vanessa medina with pink hair

Meet Vanessa

You can learn more about Vanessa Medina by visiting her website.

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