50 Words or Less(-ish) Fridays: Taylor F. Corso

This is just what the name implies: On Fridays, I ask someone interesting a question and request that she/he respond in 50 words or less.

Or somewhere in the ballpark of 50 words. Or as long as they’re willing to talk to me, really. That’s why there’s an “-ish.” I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this site isn’t exactly a bastion of rigidity.

That may also explain why I’ve taken almost (*coughs*) a year off from doing these “interviews”—well that, and chasing around #MrBaby, who is now a full-on toddler. Taylor F. Corso

But today, 50 Words is back with one of my favorite people I’ve ever “met” through Twitter, Taylor F. Corso. You may know her simply as Corso or @TheFemKilljoy, the woman with the adorable dingoes who just finished law school and challenges the patriarchy every damn day. But if you don’t know her, my guess is you soon will because she just may be the coolest thing to happen to DIY since HGTV.


Her site, which is like 100 times more attractive than this dump, is feministdrilljoy.com, where you can watch her progress as she transforms her house herself. This blows me away because the fact that I didn’t strangle myself while installing a dog run at our house last weekend is already the stuff of Fox family legend.

Here, Taylor talks about why she’s doing what she’s doing, her favorite transformation in her house so far, and how my wife, Jenny, and I might spruce up a room in our own house.

You just graduated from law school and are one of the best tweeters I know. And now: DIY. Why did you launch Feminist Drilljoy, and where do you hope to take it?

What do you mean every recent law grad doesn’t immediately go onto hosting a DIY site from scratch? Am I doing this wrong?

Really this entire “undertaking” was just a side effect of moving in the middle of my last semester of law school. Oxford being a small, college town, there were very few places available, so I put my name down for the rental property with no intentions of doing any kind of renovation or improvements—I hadn’t even seen the place. (I still think I got really lucky.)

I fell in love with the property—in a sense. It had great bones. The place is somewhere around a hundred years old. I threw myself into its potential. DIY because shockingly enough, as a law student, I don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to throw around by hiring someone. As I tackled projects, I began sharing them on Twitter. Eventually a few folks said to me, “I missed what you were working on today! Where can I go to find all your DIY projects?” And Feminist Drilljoy was born.

I’m still very new to the technological aspect of having a DIY site. It takes significantly longer (and is much more painful) for me to document, upload, and present my projects than completing the projects themselves—but I’m getting there! My hope is that everyone can enjoy getting a peek into how resourceful one woman (on a budget) can be.

Which before-and-after in your house is really speaking to you at the moment?

Corso living room DIY redesign

Click to expand

The living room was really the first area that kind of came together for me. And while I tried to keep it neutral enough for the landlord/other renters, I see me so much in this room—more than any other in the house. Though most of the artwork is mine, the “me” is really in the details. My decor and accessories are almost exclusively secondhand items (if I didn’t make them myself). I like browsing my shelves seeing an accessory that reminds me of a trip I went on! Or remembering that piece I picked up at an estate sale and their loved ones gave me a bit of history on it. The details are what make it home.

We just moved into a new house and plan on turning the dining room into a library/reading room. Based on the photos, do you have any recommendations, particularly with regard to the chandelier and/or how to do cool-ass bookshelves on the cheap? the Foxes'

First of all, this is a great room—great lighting. You’re on the right track focusing in on that chandelier—for the room’s size, making it the eye-catching piece will be perfect.

As for the chandelier itself, immediately I think three options: paint it, add a ceiling medallion, or both. If you decide to paint it, I swear by Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint. Alternatively, a little chalk paint gives a distressed yet elegant finish. Ceiling medallions are an easy and fast way to create a little architectural detail in a home and are not expensive—you can even make your own! chandelier (not affiliated with Sia)

Now for your library—I am a huge fan of “faking” built-ins, and this comes out looking like you spent good money on custom shelving in your home. All you need is a couple of bookcases—but the trick is to remove the baseboards and/or crown moulding from your walls and place them on the front of the bookshelves. It makes all the difference.

Told you she’s awesome.

Huge thanks to Taylor for stopping by this week and helping me reboot the 50 Words franchise. Be sure to go follow her on Twitter and look for her on an upcoming episode of Till the DVR Do Us Part talking DIY, HGTV, and who knows what else with Jenny and me.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a 19-month-old to corral.

Interested in being featured in “50 Words or Less(-ish) Fridays” or know someone who should be? Let me know. Also, feel free to check out the archive of past guests. But no pressure.