Before and After: A Bright, Inviting Redo for a Multi-Use Living Space

published Aug 2, 2020
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About this before & after
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Rental Friendly
Before: Room with navy blue and tan wall paint and a gray couch
Credit: Aften Lane

It can be tricky to find the right balance of style and function when designing a space that has multiple uses. For Aften Lane, who blogs at Living Liesel, the multi-use room in question served as both a play room for her kids and a bedroom for any guests who stayed over (the couch features a pull-out bed). “It was a no-brainer for us to utilize the space as a playroom first and then have it double as a guest room,” says Aften, but she didn’t want the space to feel uninviting or childish for guests.

Aften’s goal: a pretty space that was open to provide plenty of room for play. Because the room is relatively small, she also knew that would play into her designs, since she wanted to make it feel brighter and bigger.

Credit: Aften Lane

The project took a month in total, and involved a floor-to-ceiling update. Aften added new light wood-look laminate flooring in a modern wide-plank style, and created classic board-and-batten on the wall using MDF. If you’re taking on a similar project, “buy pre-cut MDF pieces,” she advises. “They are about the same price as sheets of MDF that you have to strip separately on a table saw.”

Credit: Aften Lane

Aften also wanted a “subtle and flowy wallpaper” for the room, to add some interest over one of the the board and batten walls without making the room feel too heavy or closed-off. A white wallpaper with a subtle gray foliage print from Livette’s Wallpaper was just right—and the removable factor was a major plus for Aften. “When doing wallpaper, go for the removable stuff,” she says. “Have you ever pulled real wallpaper? It’s pretty daunting.”

Credit: Aften Lane

On the opposite wall, Aften added a new console table and mounted the TV for a streamlined look. Now, the room is an elegant and beautiful guest room—but still has plenty of room for Aften’s kids to play with toys (which get tucked away in baskets when not in use). “It’s a beautiful space that is functional for day to day play but also pretty for guests,” Aften says. The ultimate multi-use room goal!

Inspired? Submit your own project here.