Have Some Leftover Wallpaper and a Random Wall In Your Home? Create a Cozy Nook for Yourself

published Sep 11, 2021
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Credit: Erin Derby

Those odd narrow nooks in your home, like you’d find at the end of a hallway, for example, can be pretty tricky to decorate. Some people decide to make a statement with neon art, others opt for a built-in bar or extra dining space. No matter how you decided to style this kind of spot though, you can make it useful, beautiful, or a little bit of both. AT’s Home Director, Danielle Blundell, showed off her own cozy little corner project in her recent house tour, and it’s her proudest DIY yet, probably because she happened upon that elusive mix of form and function without spending a fortune.

Blundell considers her style “eclectic, cozy, and personal.” Her 600-square-foot apartment is serving up exactly what you’d expect from someone who’s been a design editor for a decade — modern, stylish, and full of decorating ideas. You can definitely rip a page out of her playbook on how to make something useful out of almost nothing by looking closely at her desk/vanity hybrid DIY area though, which is right off of her bedroom opposite of her bathroom door (pictured above).

Credit: Erin Derby

In the teeny “hallway” between two of her bedroom closets, which Blundell referred to as “wasted space” when she first moved in, she created a tiny nook for getting ready that doubles as a desk when working from home. To add color and texture to define this area as a room within a room, she turned to Tempaper’s Bohemia peel-and-stick wallpaper. “I had the intention of filling the entire wall but just didn’t have enough wallpaper,” Blundell says of the nook. That didn’t stop her though; Blundell was able to cut and install a fairly large, rectangularly-shaped block to use as a backdrop for a small space-friendly vanity, a glass and gold metal design sourced from Urban Outfitters. Though she eventually plans to get another roll of wallpaper to fill the entire wall, this kind of a solution is great when you only have a few square feet of leftover paper from, say, another DIY project. As long as you leave a consistent border around your cut shape of wallpaper, it’ll look intentionally framed out, as it does here. You could also create an arch shape or even a circle from wallpaper, too. It’s best to follow the architecture in your spot to figure out what kind of shape it might be suited for.

She tied the space together by adding a fun feathered light from Amazon overhead and a small Anthropologie area rug underfoot. The star of the show here though just might be the acrylic nail polish shelf she scored secondhand and turned into a place to stash sunglasses. “I’d also say you can always squeeze an open shelf in just about anywhere,” Blundell says. She usually goes for the acrylic ones to keep the look “visually light,” which is key in a small space.

Credit: Erin Derby

If you asked Blundell, she’d tell you decorating should be fun and that your home should evolve over time. It might take you a minute to figure out what to do with certain spaces like a bump-out wall (where she put her bed, as seen in the first image) or a weird little corner, but there’s no need to rush or limit yourself because you’re renting. “It’s all about honing your home — not owning it,” she says. Live in your home for a bit to figure out what you need and like, then start making it happen. Your new favorite space just might be hiding in that spot you’ve been avoiding decorating. It was for Blundell.