Before and After: A “Dump the Junk” Closet, Turned Super Functional Office

published Feb 9, 2020
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Everyone’s got a space in their home that becomes a dumping ground for extra stuff, whether it’s a drawer in the kitchen or a closet in an out-of-the-way area. Jamala Wallace knows just what that’s like: In her home, a 5-foot-by-3-foot closet became a default storage spot. “This was a pure ‘dump the junk’ closet,” Jamala says. “It was filled with an unused sewing machine, the vacuum cleaner, decor items I no longer wanted, old computers, and other unwanted items that didn’t make to the trash.”

But Jamala wanted an office space to call her own, and she saw the potential in this “dump the junk” space. After all, it was sizable enough to sit in and had plenty of storage opportunities.

She started by cleaning it out, then laid wood floor using materials left over from a different project. Once she painted the walls bright white with black trim, she used a cheetah print stencil and black paint to give the back wall some pop. “The cheetah stencil is my favorite part,” Jamala says. “I’ve been wanting to use it for a while and it gave the room the wow factor. Having the bold pattern on wall actually makes the space appear larger.”

A carpenter friend made the wood shelves on the left side; Jamala painted them gold for a glam effect. She made the already-existing shelves on the other side look way more polished by adding trim to the front edge using scrap wood. Plenty of photos and art—including the stunning portrait on the accent wall—help the little space feel homey and inviting.

“I love how vibrant and refreshing the office looks now,” Jamala says. “I’m so proud of myself for having the vision to carve out and design a creative haven in my home from an area that would otherwise store junk.”

Her best advice? “Don’t overlook a space no matter how small to create functionality.”

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