Before & After: A Kitchen Nook Gets a Creative & Clever DIY Makeover!

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It's not that Pauline was ungrateful for her kitchen nook — it was a convenient corner with a desktop that could be a great place to do work. It's just that it didn't fit her needs (or aesthetics). So she came up with a plan to mold it to be a space she could use, came across some surprises while tearing out the old stuff, and got clever to finish out what turned into a very creative corner! Bonus: There's inspiration (and a link to instructions) for DIY art inside!

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From Pauline:

Before I spout off a list of what was wrong with this “area”, let me express my gratitude for having a roof over our heads. This home was designed and owned by my husband’s grandparents. I appreciate the love and detail that went into it, and I mean no disrespect with any comments that I make. (Like when I express my confusion over the low height of the desk top.) We have owned it and lived here for over 5 years, and the fun in making it “ours” has just begun.

Now, here’s my list of “wha…?” ‘s
  • I had issue with the low desk (previously stated)
  • The overhead cabinets were overly big (great for hiding stuff, but hard to reach and remember what was up there)
  • Cork board (not a fan of it)
  • The floor (that’s actually my fault, because I had the carpet removed a couple years ago)
After removing cabinets and finding a surprise, rewiring some electrical, and patching up some sheet rock, I put this space back together with materials I had on hand. (Minus the light fixture. That was a purchase from a local hardware store, specifically for this project.)

Starting with the top, I used some rusted tin tiles I found a few years ago, and some reclaimed wood shingles to cover the pipes that the old cabinets were hiding.

I decided to do it at an angle instead of a drop down, to keep it feeling airy and spacious. I love vaulted ceilings, and this was a way to bring in a tiny bit of vaulty-ness. (I inherited vaulted ceiling love from my mom.) I installed the $29.00 light fixture, with a repurposed piece of glass below it for a dry erase board.

The art piece consists of different crown moulding and trim that I have collected from various sources over several months. (I never pass up a piece of trim.) The desk top is made up of scraps from a local high end furniture shop. The two desk legs on the right side are salvaged and stacked newel posts.

And finally, I used skinny fabric tape to map out lines on the concrete prior to painting with latex paint. I distressed the paint a little bit with sandpaper, which gave it a slate-like look. I’m sure more paint will wear away with time and traffic, but that’s what I planned on. It might actually end up looking better, after more wear.

Some key features:
  • Tin ceiling tiles
  • Light fixture
  • Crown moulding art
  • Scrap wood desk top
  • Repurposed glass dry-erase board
  • Salvaged newel post legs
  • Painted floor design

I should also point out the extra space on the left side of the desk. After raising the level of the desk top, I took advantage of the space to create a little open shelf perfect for stuffing papers and frustrating my husband. On the right side, I also created a ledge for storing a rusty pulley. Everyone needs a place to store a rusty pulley.

Pretty amazing Pauline! Thank you for sharing. See more photos of this project (plus a funny break-down of what she found after she took the unwanted elements out) on her blog.

(Image credits: Pauline Henderson)

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Adrienne photographs beautiful homes in and around her home base of Austin, Texas. She's a contributor to UPPERCASE Magazine and spends all her free time exploring small town Texas. She watches a lot of Star Trek.

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