Before and After: A $900 Redo Turns an Awkward Nook into a Functional Desk Space

published Aug 29, 2020
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About this before & after
Before: Awkward empty nook with wood floors and blank wall

Sometimes awkward home features allow for the most clever space-maximizing solutions. That was certainly the case at Tiffany DeLangie’s home, where an awkwardly shaped nook just past the home’s entrance left her scratching her head. “It had an unfinished feel as if the builder cheaped out at the last moment and decided not to add kitchen cabinetry,” says Tiffany, who blogs at Pretty Real. “Although it bugged us, we didn’t know what to put there or how to fix it. For years we had a too-small buffet and it was great for kitchen storage but aesthetics were certainly lacking.”

But once Tiffany’s 10-year-old daughter requested a computer, Tiffany had an idea. “We needed a space for a family computer and a place for me to work,” she says. Plus, this year brought a need for desk space to accomodate remote learning, too. “A desk nook would really feed three birds with one scone,” Tiffany says—not to mention, it would fulfill her dream of having some open shelving for creative displays. “So make that four birds.”

Tiffany started by installing the vertical wood paneling on the back wall. She hired a contractor to custom-build the floating desk, which is made with two pieces of white oak joined together to achieve the 17-inch depth. Tiffany did the rest, including sealing the desk, and making and installing the open shelves. She also added plug-in sconces to the walls to provide some much-needed task light. The total cost for the nook, excluding the decor, came to about $900.

“We really love this space! It feels like we added an entire room and changed the feel when you walk into our home,” Tiffany says. “I love styling open shelving—it’s such a fun challenge to make it useful and beautiful! And the kids now have a place to work and game. I also appreciate that it feels kid-friendly but completely fits the vibe of the rest of our home.”

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