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Before and After: A Home Office Becomes a Cool Kid’s Room in This $400 DIY-Filled Redo

published Aug 12, 2022
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Credit: Jenny Palo

What was on your dream bedroom wishlist when you were a kid? Colorful walls, a desk, maybe a canopy over your bed, a bean bag chair, a secret passageway via the closet? For DIYer and woodworker Jenny Palo’s daughter, the dreamy details include not one but two accent walls in kid-friendly patterns: polka dots and rainbows.

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Credit: Jenny Palo

Jenny (@palo_woodcraft) created the new space for her daughter from their family’s old home office — a space that was nice enough for adults, but not really inspiring for creative kiddos. Over three weeks, Jenny transformed this beige-and-blue space into a cute and colorful room that’s fun but relaxing.

Credit: Jenny Palo

Jenny started by building out a new windowsill and adding new trim to the windows. Next, she removed the existing board-and-batten-style moulding from the window’s wall as well as the far wall. In its place, she created a new accent wall that features a new and improved board-and-batten treatment: This time, it extends higher up the wall and features a second rail for a custom, luxe look. The new seafoam green color ramps up the personality, too. Above the wainscoting, Jenny used a mix of small, medium, and large dot decals to create a polka dot statement wall.

Credit: Jenny Palo

Around the revamped window, Jenny decided to create built-in shelving and a desk space for her daughter. “I tried a lot of new things including shelving, drawers, and making the window seat cushion,” Jenny says. She used pre-made bookcases for the shelving, but built a desk and an MDF window seat; once she added trim around it all, it created a totally seamless look.

Credit: Jenny Palo

“If I could do it again, I would have made the window seat slightly deeper, but other than that, I don’t think there’s much I would change!” Jenny says. Another DIY first for Jenny was building the bed, which she designed after looking at a $500 inspiration bed on Amazon.

“How many people can say they’ve made a bed from scratch?!” Jenny says. (Answer: Probably not many.)

Credit: Jenny Palo

Pink touches help pull the space together, like the DIY pink cushion on the window seat (made from polyfoam, cushioning, and a soft fabric), the pink bedding, pink throw pillows, and pink patterned area rug.

Credit: Jenny Palo

One final hit of pink: the DIY rainbow mural painted by Jenny’s friend, Maxine. In muted pink and terracotta shades, this rainbow can stretch from kid years through pre-teen and teen years, too.

Because Jenny did much of the woodwork (and wall treatment!) herself, her grand total for the room was $400.

“I love everything about it!” Jenny says of the way the room came together. Her DIY advice? “Don’t be limited by what you think you can’t do.” Pursuing new skills and DIYs helped her create a dreamy kid space for a fraction of what it would have cost to hire a pro — and now she has tons more know-how to tap for future projects, too.