This Blank Box Room Got a $330 Redo That’s a Dark Twist on Cottagecore

published Apr 2, 2024
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If you work from home every day, or even if you need a spot to sit and get work done from time to time, it’s important to have a desk setup that sets you up for success

“As a full-time WFH-er, I’d never had a dedicated office space before and was very much looking forward to making a space that felt intentional and functional,” renter Caroline Lynch says. There was a vacant 100-square-foot room in the townhouse that she shares with her husband, Mark, and the space was perfect for an office. The only problem? The room didn’t feel like a place she wanted to work in.

“The room was bright and sunny, but the peachy color on the walls felt too warm for the floors, and when I tried styling it, it ended up feeling very little kid-ish,” Caroline explains of the “before.” A couple of quick DIYs created a major upgrade.

Credit: Caroline Lynch
Credit: Caroline Lynch

A dark accent wall takes center-stage — and the molding is renter-friendly.

She gave three of the walls a more neutral coat of off-white, and the back wall got a dose of drama. Caroline tested several color options for the wall behind her desk and landed on a deep gray-blue shade. 

“I thought about leaving the space above the molding white, instead of painting the whole wall,” Caroline says. “I might go with that plan if I were doing it again.” (And if you’re a renter who can’t paint, you could do the next part — the molding — using the paint color that’s already on your walls.)

Caroline got her molding strips cut with a table saw at The Home Depot. While the edges were a little jagged, she ended up putting the rough side face-down against the baseboard. “And you really can’t notice now,” she says. 

Caroline adhered her molding in a totally removable, reversible way. “I got the idea from TikTok, seeing a user hang molding with Command Strips, and I thought, I bet I could do that,” she says. 

Credit: Caroline Lynch
Credit: Caroline Lynch

The project cost $330 total. 

A darker desk and the same rug as before both bring more character in the office. Overall, Caroline is very happy with her DIY project, which cost $330. “I love the crispness of the colors and the accomplishment of the molding, which looks great in my Zoom backgrounds!” she adds.

Her best DIY advice is to strike a balance between careful planning and diving in; both are valuable to a DIY project. “Measuring and taping are not my strong suit — I like to skip ahead to the ‘fun parts’ to see the payoff,” she explains. “On this project, I forced myself to take my time and plan out the tools I’d need … and prep the best way I could. Then, on my fourth trip to The Home Depot in one-and-a-half days, I decided to just go for it and get started. Planning is important, but at the end of the day this was meant to be a fun weekend project.”