Hey there! I’m so happy to have you here, and I hope you’ll find something that inspires you. Crystel Montenegro Home is a website that I started in an effort to show you that creating a beautiful, comfortable and functional home does not have to be an expensive or difficult ordeal, and that YOU CAN DO IT! With my husband attending medical school and being unavailable to help, I have learned that I really can do it myself and it has become such a blessing in disguise! I hope to help you inspire the same confidence in your own abilities, and give you the courage to try new things. Over the course of my DIY journey I’ve taken on small, doable projects that have grown in to bigger doable projects and that’s just how new talents and abilities are developed!
One thing I try to do around here is to keep it real. I’m not afraid of sharing my mistakes because I have realized that those are the most important part of the learning process. The source of my knowledge comes from other blogs, YouTube, and lots and lots of trial and error, and there are lots of things I would never know had I not tried them!
If you’re new around here and would like to get started on some simple DIY projects, check out some of my favorite easy beginner projects below that gave me confidence to keep going!
HOW I GOT STARTED
I started my DIY journey as a stay at home mom of a little girl while my husband was preparing to start his first year of medical school. We were living in my Sister’s basement temporarily and I wanted to find a way to make it a cute space, but with no income I had to figure out a way to do it on a very small budget. I got on Pinterest and decided I was going to build myself some simple nightstands, but my requirement was that they couldn’t be too fancy because the only tool to my name was a drill. When I found the plans I wanted to make I headed to my nearest Home Depot and had them make all the cuts for me so that all I had to do was screw it all together.
When I was finished painting them I felt a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that I had never felt before! It fueled my fire and my confidence to try new things, and helped me tap into my creative side.
We’re still on the medical school path, and will be for a long time but I’ve managed to find ways to keep my projects going. We now have two little girls and a third on the way, and nothing makes me happier to be able to spend time with them in a home that I have poured my heart and soul into to turn into a comfortable and beautiful place!
I would love to connect with you! I’d love to hear from you on my Instagram and facebook pages. There is lots more happening over there!
December 2019: I CAUGHT THE DIY BUG
My sister invited us to live in her basement in exchange for helping them finish it. She let me help with all the design decisions and I realized then how much I loved it!
January 2017: I BUILT MY FIRST PIECE OF FURNITURE
I really wanted a nightstand for the basement we had just helped my sister finish, and couldn’t afford to buy one. So I researched blogs and found the perfect plans. I didn’t own a saw, so I bought the wood and got all the cuts made at Home Depot, then came home and screwed it all together and painted it. I was so proud!
February 2017: I STARTED A BLOG
I didn’t know the first thing about blogging. And truly I don’t even remember what motivated me aside from just wanting to share my projects. I enrolled in a blogging course, read up on google how to start a blog, and went for it!
September 2017: THE HOBBY CONTINUES…
Stuart was accepted into medical school in St George, Utah and we moved to Santa Clara into a rental where the owners were open to me making changes. I painted the kitchen cabinets and walls, and learned how to refinish furniture, and that kept me with enough projects to put on my blog. This is where I finally got the courage to start my instagram account.
June 2019: WE MOVED!
My sister and her husband who lived in nearby Hurricane, Utah purchased an investment home and she and I together convinced our husbands to let us move into it and fix it up in exchange for a lower rent. They relented, and we rejoiced! This home provided ample projects for my blog and instagram, and I had much more freedom here to combine all of my woodworking and design skills.
July 2020: TIME TO MOVE… AGAIN
In the middle of the COVID shutdown, my husband took his medical school boards and was ready to move onto rotations. We were assigned to move to Provo, Utah. We were so sad to be leaving this home! This is where I had accomplished my largest project to date, building a front porch, almost completely solo, as well as the place where I felt my instagram account finally started to gain traction.
October 2020: OUR WORLD WAS ROCKED
Our 6 month old baby Charlotte was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the eyes called Retinoblastoma. This shook us to the core, and we had to begin treatments right away in Phoenix monthly, sometimes even bi-weekly. Thankfully we caught it before it spread to her brain, and thankfully the chemotherapy worked wonders against it. This continued to be a several years-long battle.
January 2021: WE FOUND A PLACE!
After spending some time at a different sister’s house in Salt Lake City, we finally found a place to live where the owner graciously allowed us to fix up the place in exchange for rent. We felt so fortunate! This was the first place we had been where I was given full creative control and virtually no budget limit. It was a dream come true!
May 2022: WE GRADUATED AND FINALLY BOUGHT A HOUSE!
Stuart finally graduated from medical school and was accepted into a residency program in Omaha, Nebraska. For the first time ever we were able to buy a house!! This is where the journey continues… we hope you’ll follow along!