This Renter-Friendly TikTok Hack Transforms a Spot You’d Never Think to DIY

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Philadelphia residence with white walls, lots of wood details: living room with tan leather sofa with sherpa seat, red and white throw, shag cream and black rug, clear acrylic coffee table, lots of plants

I’m a renter, and it works for me: I love the freedom and, let’s be honest, lack of maintenance responsibilities that comes with it. Sometimes, though, I wish I could add more personal touches to my home without permanently altering the space. Thankfully, a wealth of renter-friendly, easy-to-replicate DIY projects are out there.

Case in point? Los Angeles-based TikTok user Marco Zamora (@want.zamora), who’s been documenting his affordable kitchen makeover and recently shared a stylish home project that he built around a somewhat unexpected fixture: a tall, narrow opening that connects his kitchen and dining room. In his TikTok video, he explains that he contemplated creating an archway here, but ultimately decided to DIY wooden trim to jazz up the inside of the opening. 

Zamora first bought pieces of wood and a few different wood stains to test out. After picking the best color to match his countertops and floor tiles, he then cut the wood to size, stained it, and let it dry. From there, he assembled the three internal edges, nailed them together, and slid the structure into place within the inside of the opening. Although flush to the frame perfectly, Zamora secured the trim in place with a few more nails. The video ends with the finished project, where he appears to have added an additional three pieces of stained and ribbed wooden trim to the top and sides of the opening in each room (presumably by also nailing them to the three internal pieces as well as the walls on both sides).

To build a similar custom cased opening in your own home, you’ll only need wood cut to size — three flat pieces to form the inside of the frame, and six ribbed pieces to trim out the opening on either side — plus, wood stain, a saw, nails, and a hammer. This straightforward, affordable DIY project can add texture and dimension to an otherwise simple opening in any room. Plus, even if you’re a renter, you can easily remove the nails from the wall and disassemble the trim before you move out.