before & after: corner studio makeover

After seeing Dana’s 3D diamond wall pattern last week, I’ve been brainstorming all the ways to add cool sculptural elements to my walls. I love wood paneled walls, but this awesome studio renovation from Cheryl Andrey is making me seriously appreciate the look of wood alone. I can imagine this looking nice as an all-wood wall, but Cheryl’s made a far better decision in breaking up the wood with stripes of blank white. It provides more light and more interest and takes advantage of the angled wall in an unexpected way. Also — using the wood as a place for pinning images? Genius. Awesome job, Cheryl! — Kate

Read the full post after the jump!

Time: Two weeks (on free nights & weekends)

Cost: $250 (drywall, insulation, primer, paint, lathe for the accent wall and some wood and brackets for the shelves)

Basic Steps: This was the first room that my husband and I have finished completely in our 1920 house after just moving in around Thanksgiving. One of the most rewarding parts of this renovation was pulling down all of the carpet squares that literally covered every inch of the room, ceiling and floor included. Once that was gone, it was apparent that the plaster on the slanted wall was not repairable, so we took our first step into the world of drywall guided by our more experienced friend, Ryan, who has been renovating his own old house. The mudding was tricky, not only because it was my first time, but because I was attempting to match the original curves of the corners. I would say that was the most time consuming element of this project. After that, it was all prepping for painting, sanding, sanding, sanding and filling in the gaps between the molding and the walls.

When we demolished the original plaster wall, I had the idea to use lathe as a sort of pin board in the room. Unfortunately the original lathe that we removed was far too dirty to try and re-use. We completed the whole wall with one bundle of new lathe from the hardware store. I absolutely love the way it looks. It makes the room. I can’t over emphasize the impact made by just painting the room white. Since it’s my studio, it was really important to me to have a light working space. I was worried that we weren’t going to be able to achieve that without installing more lights, but the white really brightened up the room. Our plan for the future is to install a skylight on the slanted wall, but that’s for another day when there isn’t snow in the forecast.

The best tip I can give for a project like this is to not be afraid to try new things. We had never attempted to install drywall before, but we did a great job with it, and I now I feel 100% confident that I could do it again. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, don’t hesitate to check out a book or internet resource. I purchased the 3rd edition of the book Renovation by Michael Litchfield, and it has been an amazing source of information for us as old-home owners. — Cheryl


Love it, nice color and great wall!!! but I think it would be better if you put the desk next to the big window,lots of natural light…


Love this studio. There’s something about being ‘under the eaves’ that makes any studio extra cozy — like Jo’s writing room in Little Women!


Love the wall and the idea of painting the white stripes. Wonderful creative space where she can pin her ideas right in front of her for inspiration.


Yay Cheryl! The studio came out totally awesome, it definitely looks like you! Can’t wait to see what’s next ;)


Such a great space! Loving the neon woodwork and chevron rug, the wood batons as a giant pin board is genius!x

Wendy @ Salt and Wine

I love the touch of bright yellow on the trim and how the wood holds notes, photos and such. Very cozy! I’ll be attempting a drywall project in the near future, this post has calmed my nerves a bit. :)


I need light in my studio too – as well as rotating visual inspirations. Nice work on a budget – good luck with the rest of your home.


I want a little workspace like this! Love the angled ceiling and the way the wood stripes accentuate it. Beautiful!

Jenna at Homeslice

What a beautiful space! I love the wall treatment (and that it’s functional too!!) So bright and happy, I’m sure it’s way more inspiring to work in this new space!


Love it and love the idea of using wood scraps for your bulletin board. I was a bit confused at first, but then figured out the before and after are from different angles?

Beautiful job!


Terrific work – you have a good eye! Can I ask where you got the pouf and the rug?


Such a lovely space, Cheryl! Well done. Would you mind sharing with us where you purchased the rug?


The rug was from and the pouf I bought at Urban Outfitters probably 5 or 6 years ago.


Fabulous! Inspiring. I’m now eyeing every wall in my house, wondering if it could get the lathe treatment.

Kathy Lewallen

It’s so inspiring to read and especially SEE a make-over like this. I also live in old home (1910) and we have an attic that looks similar in size to yours. It would make an ideal office/small studio. Thanks for renewing my inspiration and hope! I’ll begin by taking my “before” pictures.


The wood wall is really cool, but I think the electric green trim is what makes it! It would be so boring otherwise! The choices made in this space are wonderful!


what a great transformation! that green trim is fantastic.. so fun! also, relatively low in price which is something i can appreciate. looks great!


I am finally inspired to get serious about the funny attic kneewall room in my house–just hearing that putting in the drywall wasn’t so bad is encouraging.


Wow, I’m inspired! It’s about time I tackle my spare (junk) room and turn it into my studio I’ve always wanted. Thanks for the details!


My fav color of green and it looks fab on trim. Could you reveal the brand and name?


Wonderful. I hope you will share other rooms in your house reno as you complete them.


Love the design and color and the fun and quirky space. Wish I had a house with bonus areas like that.


I would have expected brand-new lathe from the hardware store to look much less rustic and have no personality, but this looks amazing. Did you distress it somehow to get all that color variation in the wood? Amazing job.


The color is Sherwin Williams “Eye Catching”. Also, I had wanted to put the desk near the larger window but it wasn’t an option because it would have been blocking either the door or the heat vent. The plan is to eventually install a skylight to get more natural light at that end of the room.


Lovely job – I love the use of the lathe — brings a nice, warm feel to the room.


This is one of the best transformations I have seen in quite a while. The mix of whites with bold accents really makes the most of the light in that space – great work!


I was wondering if you could tell me where you purchased the lathe for the wall? I’ve looked it up online and have only been coming up with wood lathe machinery. And did it come with such great color variation, or did you have to do it yourself?


We got our lathe at Home Depot. I’m not sure if it’s something that’s normally in stock everywhere or if it’s specific to ours because the community is so old and nearly everyone has plaster walls. We didn’t do anything to the lathe but cut it to fit. It’s not exactly your typical cut of wood because it’s made to go IN your wall and not be seen. Lathe is very rough, usually warped and uneven, so keep that in mind when you’re looking for it. If you want something that looks more finished you might consider something else.


Your space is much more workable! i.e. the slanting ceiling directly above the head can feel quite oppressive – really nice re-do!


Brilliant! Your design in inspired. Love it! You’ve convinced me to tackle the office space in my house. I’ve been putting it off but after seeing your hard work pay off I’m keen to jump in now. Cheers!


Sweet! The wood looks great with the white contrast. You did a great job!