Before & After: A Big Blank Wall Gets a Very Functional Facelift

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Bruno Florin)

Here’s a lovely dining room that boasts ample natural light, beautiful wood floors, covetable furnishings, a graceful light fixture, and happy plants. It’s nearly perfect! There is, however, the matter of that huge blank wall that somewhat sucks the life out of the room…

(Image credit: Bruno Florin)

This is so fun! It works so well in its current iteration, as an oversized cabinet of curiosities full of fascinating objects, but it could also eventually serve as a wall-to-wall library if the residents’ book collection expands. The variety of compartments is excellent—the unifying white paint keeps it from feeling too busy, but the various sizes and shapes add a playfulness and a feeling of “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

I’m especially intrigued by the placement of the television—is it there for dinnertime TV watching? Is it also viewable from a sofa somewhere? Either way, I love how its position on this wall minimizes its presence; it’s simply another rectangular element, like the framed art.

Another great quality of this new setup is that it could be used to change the entire palette and style of the room. Bruno Florin, who designed this wall with his girlfriend for their home, could fill it with only black and white objets, or embrace the colorful whimsy of Bart Simpson with similar items and bright books.

(Image credit: Bruno Florin)

Here’s how Bruno describes their dining room design and execution:

My girlfriend and I had to buy our first home together. On the advice of our friend Marie Eve Best, we decided that one of the first things we would do in this house would be to build this mural library in the main room. On the other hand we were afraid that it would cost us very dear. So we realized ourselves the plans through basic illustration software, and we asked a friend woodworker to build it. Being a photographer and director myself, I had the reflex to document the project a little to inspire other people!

And document it he did! Check out the timelapse he made on Vimeo, which shows how this came together from the very beginning.

Thanks, Bruno!