Problem Spaces Episode #6 Recap: Upscale DIY

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Problem Spaces Episode #6 Recap_ Upscale DIY

When you think of a nook, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the small, built-in bench in your bay window where you drink your morning coffee and watch the sunrise, or is it the shallow, indented area in the wall that’s just big enough to hold a few of your favorite literary reads? What about the large yet small, unused space tucked away in the back of your room? You know, a sight for sore eyes that you can never figure out what to do with. 

Nooks come in different shapes and sizes and can be the source of many headaches when determining how to use this extra square footage. But with some thought, creativity, and determination, you can transform these awkward spaces into picturesque areas where you’ll want to spend time. 

In this episode of Problem Spaces, I turned two different bedroom nooks into beautiful seating areas meant for reading, relaxing, and rejuvenating. There’s no master bedroom layout that I can’t handle—and my clients’ priceless reactions to their new spaces are just the confirmation I need! 

Turning an Elevated Platform Into an Elegant Reading Space: Meet the Parker Family 

Problem Spaces Hannah Parker Before

Hannah Parker is an English teacher living in east Houston. She bought her dream house three years ago and absolutely loves the natural light that shines throughout the home. There’s only one problem—the nook in her master bedroom that makes the space look nothing like the cozy and welcoming oasis it should be. After a long day at school, Hannah wants nothing more than to sit down with a good book (maybe a glass of wine) and unwind!  

Problem Spaces Hannah Parker Before 3

I must admit, the bedroom nook was one for the books (pun intended!). Not only was it an elevated platform in the corner of the room with steps jutting into the main living space, but the odd angles of the walls made it look like a design choice gone wrong. Although it had a large window that lit up the space, the dividers created uneven panes that weren’t very aesthetically pleasing (nothing that some solar shades couldn’t fix).   

Some of Hannah’s fondest childhood memories are of her sitting in her local library with all her favorite books at the tips of her fingers. I knew I wanted to turn this unused space into something that would spark joy and a sense of nostalgia—this was the perfect place to build Hannah her very own miniature library.  

The Solution 

So as not to look like an afterthought, I needed to make the elevated space look intentional. I had Carlos, my trusted carpenter, build screen doors that I would eventually line with a beautiful translucent fabric that allowed light to filter into the bedroom without compromising the privacy of the nook. We used maple-stained, shaker-style framing to create a clean and simple look. Installing doors that fell short of reaching the ceiling was the perfect way to prevent the space from feeling cramped and enclosed. 

I wanted to turn this unconventional space into a creative masterpiece. To achieve this, I went with custom wall designs that would serve as a beautiful focal point. A chair rail with a mid-tone brown stain was just what I had in mind! To top it all off, I chose a blue, two-toned color scheme that was stunning against the natural light. I just knew Hannah would love the ambiance and welcoming feel. 

Floating Shelves with Storage

Searching for some small home library ideas, I landed on floating shelves with hidden storage and a large gallery wall full of greens, blues, and other earthy tones.

Problem Spaces Episode 6 Recap Project 1

Modern artwork mixed with traditional landscapes and a half-moon dresser added taste and elegance to the small space. With an oversized reading chair, the room was now an absolute dream! With an all-in budget of $4,000, Hannah can enjoy her new nook for years to come! 

Primary Bedroom Nook Before + After

No Door, No Problem: Meet the Mann Family 

Problem Spaces Lindsay Mann Before

What do you do when you have two disconnected areas in a room? The most logical answer would be to add a door to create two separate spaces—but what if that’s not feasible? Lindsay Mann found herself facing this problem. Her master bedroom had a small area tucked away from the rest. It was currently a waste of space, just begging for some attention. Without a physical divider, I needed to create a cohesive flow between the different areas! 

Knowing that Lindsay couldn’t fully enjoy everything this gorgeous room offered was disheartening. Her bedroom nook had the potential to be something great. Drawing from her calm and collected vibe, I designed a multi-purpose seating and storage area. This was just what the room and Lindsay needed! 

The Solution 

Installing Custom Box Molding and Trim

Because there was no door to distinguish between the two spaces, I decided to use custom wall designs to help the nook stand out. Leaning on Carlos’ expert carpentry skills, we added a chair rail throughout the space and box molding across the top and bottom sections of the walls. This was a fun and easy task! Trim work is one of the easiest DIY projects you can do, and it makes a room feel elegant and elevated.     

Mantle with Hidden Storage

To help add some dimension to the space, I used a large (size appropriate!) mantle with hidden storage (aka a roll-out vanity for makeup, nail polish, and other essentials).

Replicating a cement or Roman clay texture was a must! Mixing whitewash paint with a paint color like the wall and throwing in some baking soda did the trick. I got the subtle yet sophisticated look that I was going for.  

Functional Bedroom Nook Redesign

When designing the space, I wanted to ensure that I incorporated both the old and the new. Repurposing Lindsay’s antique desk and pairing it with a new, modern chair helped mix different tones and styles. Adding a large carpet in the center of the room, some drapery, and a gallery wall pulled the remainder together. To create a statement, I hung pictures between the box molding (this is a picture-perfect way to add your spin to the design). 

Problem Spaces Episode 6 Recap Project 2

Lindsay now had a functional space she could be proud of! And I must say, it’s a project I enjoyed doing! 

Do You Have a Bedroom That Needs Some TLC? 

Whether it’s a bedroom nook, angled ceiling, or dysfunctional layout, using the right DIY tricks can turn problem spaces into complete showpieces. With some hidden storage, custom wall designs, and more, the sky is the limit! 

If you’re looking for some fun DIY projects, make sure to follow me on Instagram. And if you need a right-hand woman to help take the heavy lifting off your plate, so you can focus on the fun of making it come to life, feel free to review my E-interior Design Packages and send me a message! I can’t wait to show you what I have up my sleeve! 

This post contains affiliate links to products that I used or recommend. If you purchase something through an affiliate link, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. I really appreciate your support!
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