Before and After: This Awkward Space Gets the Office Glow-Up It Deserves

updated Oct 15, 2020
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It’s hard to get mad at extra space, but sometimes that extra space comes in… awkward packages. In Allisa Jacobs’s home, there were plenty of strangely shaped and angled spaces, including this little wedge-shaped corner with an off-center window that Allisa hoped to use for her home office.

Head-scratching shape aside, it wasn’t exactly a cozy place to hang in. The floors—like those in the rest of the house—were shiny and orange-y, the walls were blah beige, and the overhead fixture a boring flush-mount. Altogether, Allisa says, “it seemed destined to be a wasted, or at least not very functional, space.”

Not content to let the nook languish, Allisa swept it up into her whole-house remodel. The floors, like those in the rest of the house, were replaced with wide-plant white oak; its light finish has a more modern Scandi vibe that instantly updated the area to give it 21st century style.

The dim “boob light” (Allisa’s words!) overhead also got the boot—instead, Allisa installed a semi-flush mount light with a modern brass finish combined with a sleek glass shade. It’s a little farmhouse and a little mid-century, and a lot more stylish. It’s way more functional, too, since the clear shade distributes lots more light than the old frosted one did.

As for paint, fresh white (Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace) on the side walls perked this space right up. For max impact, Allisa chose a high-contrast black (Sherwin-Williams’ Iron Ore) for the back wall. The two-tone paint job helps add depth to the little space and turns the wall into a focal point.

“Painting the wall black gave us a huge bang for our buck and really elevated the space,” says Allisa. “It no longer feels like an awkward afterthought but more of a cool, little nook to work.”

Woven wooden shades on the window add even more polish.

An open metal-and-wood bookshelf underneath the window corrals necessities while letting the black accent wall shine through. Allisa thrifted her desk, then mounted black brackets on the opposite wall to hold a reclaimed barnwood shelf. Practical-yet-stylish matching black hooks make space for hanging bags, sweaters, jackets, and more.

Now, this little nook is a place where Allisa can actually settle in to work—and you’d never say this new space was wasted!

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