One Room Challenge

Before and After: A $400 Home Office Redo Features One of 2022’s Trendiest DIYs — and It Looks So Luxe

published Dec 1, 2022
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In almost every home or apartment, unless you’re the never-procrastinating type (does that exist?), there’s a project on your to-do list that gets put on the back burner repeatedly in favor of more pressing things, like work, errands, cooking, or just plain relaxing. And that’s okay! But when do you finally have time to get to that project, it’ll feel even more gratifying.

That was the case for Samantha Kate Herrick (@samanthakatedesign), a graphic designer with an affinity for interior design, who had been wanting to redo this spare bedroom for a long time. “The bare white shelves looked thrown together with no customization or trim,” Samantha says. “And there’s only one window, which was blocked.”

In addition, the room was starting to accumulate clutter — not ideal for virtual meeting backgrounds. “I had collected so much stuff from over the years and wanted to weed out what I no longer needed and actually allow my special pieces to shine,” Samantha says.

She wanted to rework the layout to open up the window, float the desk so the shelves could serve as her meeting background, and still have space for a day bed to pull out for guests — all of which she accomplished during the Fall 2022 One Room Challenge.

The project was spurred by a stain on the carpet that got her re-thinking the whole space. Her best advice for getting started on a project that’s been on the back burner for a while is to “make a plan, but don’t be afraid to pivot.”

In this space, Samantha’s plan was to tackle projects in this order: declutter, paint and complete the shelves, convert a vintage twin bed into a daybed, move the desk, and accessorize. Because she didn’t have any outside help except for an extra set of hands from her husband here and there, her project took eight weeks. “But I had started to collect items for the room a bit before without realizing where some of them would go,” Samantha notes.

For instance, the antique Jenny Lind spindle bed was something Samantha bought because she liked the style. “I didn’t love my old day bed with the trundle, so when I saw this one I could afford, I bought it and sold my other one and used the [old] bottom trundle underneath,” she explains. “Right now it serves as extra guest space, and in the future, I hope it can be our first child’s big kid bed!”

In addition, Samantha added a new checkered rug, striped curtains, and a boho light fixture, which she made herself out of a basket and a light kit. But her biggest labor of love was making the shelves feel a bit more complete.

She did this with vinyl bead board backing, trim for the fronts, some critical thinking about her accessories, and deep green paint (Sherwin-Williams’ Riverway), of course. After all, green built-ins are one of the most popular DIY projects of the year. “I love how moody and luxe it feels,” Samantha says.

One of her proudest moments? She cut down huge sheets of the vinyl bead board into many sizes to fit into each shelf, and they all lined up perfectly. The dream! Samantha thought about adding arched-shaped wood fronts to the cabinets at first, but in the end, she kept it simple; that decision in turn gave her more shelving space to work with.

And the items on the shelves are her favorite parts of the room. “I feel inspired and proud to look at all my decor and mementos, for instance, when I see something my sister gifted me, or my husband’s grandfather’s old camera, or the photo of my grandparents on their wedding day,” Samantha says.

She also loves that she was able to incorporate her old steel desk, which she’s had since her very first apartment, where it once functioned as a dining table. “I love the history and story of vintage pieces, and how sustainable used furniture is,” she adds — not to mention budget-friendly! Her project total was about $400.

Samantha says her new office is a success because she tried new things and blended moody colors with pops of pattern and of course, her pre-owned goodies. Her best advice for home office redos? “Trust yourself and you’ll do great!” she says. “As far as office makeovers go, consider what is important for you to work as efficiently as you can.” Here’s to efficient, eclectic, stylish spaces like hers.

This project was completed for the Fall 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.