It wouldn’t be a proper final month of Design*Sponge (I’m not crying, you’re crying!) if we didn’t leave you with one more knock-your-socks-off DIY project. Today I’m thrilled to be sharing the work of one of my favorite collaborators over the years, producer/photographer/podcaster Caroline Lee. You’ll remember Caroline from the fantastic Atwater Village home she shares with photographer husband Jayden, and Light Lab, the vibrant and refreshing multi-purpose studio space the couple shares with author/stylist/blogger, Anne Sage. Caroline and Anne have teamed up multiple times to turn out effervescent spaces, including Caroline’s sister Margaret’s studio (with a superb painted checkered ceiling!).
When the time came to design the studio room of their A-frame home in Palm Springs, CA, Caroline and Jayden knew they wanted to bring big impact while maintaining a neutral, relaxing vibe at the same time. Since the A-frame will eventually be a place where workshops and gatherings are held, much thought went into both the aesthetic and functionality of the room. Caroline tapped Anne once again to help tackle the space — along with a team of handy friends — and pull off this stunning DIY PVC Pipe Wall studio. I’m handing it over to Caroline to take us through the design process and her steps for pulling off a PVC Pipe Wall look in your own home. Take it away, Caroline! —Kelli
This room is the final space we designed at the A-frame, and it is our favorite! We call it the studio. It’s a space separate to the main house, and the vision was a space where relaxing and talking could happen, where people could sleep on the built-in beds if the house’s beds were full, and when workshops start happening at the house, this room can be a space where focused work can happen (think trauma-therapy type work, reiki, massage, etc.). It really depends on what type of workshop is happening, but I love that there’s a private space for quiet, intentional work to happen.
Anne and I got to work brainstorming and Pinning like fiends, trying to come up with something perfect to create here. We were super drawn to the built-in beds of Spain, Morocco and Greece, so that was the first step.
Anne created the design schematic, and then our dear friend Jonathan Gudino whipped together the bed bases (below) in a day’s work. He makes things look effortless.
Now, we had this perfect blank canvas, lots of dreams, and lots of questions. I had seen a lot of rad dowel walls in Australia, and, because Australia wins at all things interior design, of course they have a ready-made dowel paneling product you can buy. I searched high and low in the States — it doesn’t exist yet. (Mark my words, this will be made in the US in two years. We’re about two years behind … always.) I even got a quote from a few timber fabricators here who could make the paneling for me, but the quotes were all $8-10k, and, I’m gonna be honest, the pool at the A-frame drained every last dollar we had in our bank accounts. Oops.
Enter: The Home Depot, and my dear friend Ken (AKA the husband + co-conspirator of my other dear friend, Erin of Design for Mankind.) Ken makes everything. Like, builds entire homes everything — by himself. So I texted him a few photos of the dowel lewk I was trying to create, and he replied with something like, “Oh… that’s easy! If it were me, I’d use PVC, and I’d glue the PVC to boards to make panels, and then I’d screw them into the drywall.”
He made it sound so easy.
I said, “How long do you think it’ll take to do this to one room?”
“About a full week’s work,” he said. My brother, Robert, and I got to work.
I’ve broken down the process into general steps below, and I highly recommend you find someone to cut/slice the PVC pipes in half (lengthwise) for you. If you give this project a try, let us know how it turns out! And please feel free to DM me on Instagram or comment below if you have any questions — I’ll do my best to help. Good luck! —Caroline
- 4" PVC
- 4x8' plywood
- Dap 230 caulk
- Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive
Buy the 4″ PVC and rip/slice it down the center lengthwise. Outsourcing this is a plus!
Sand every single piece of PVC, then wipe it down with acetone (so that it is ready to receive paint).
Cut each piece of plywood to fit each section of wall, and then cut each piece of PVC to fit whatever section of wall/plywood it is going to go on.
Lay each piece of PVC on one of the plywood boards, and then when all pieces designated to fill the plywood are perfectly cut, glue them to the board with Loctite. Let dry for 24 hours.
Screw each panel of plywood to your wall. Each panel should need 4 screws in the 4 corners.
Paint your PVC + enjoy!
Feel free to DM me on Instagram or comment below if you have any questions with your own project :) I’ll try to help if I can! Have fun! xx
Tile – Terrain in White Motif from Fireclay
Built-in Beds – Jonathan Gudino
Cushions on Built-in Sofas – Calico Corners
Bench seat – Kravet x Crypton Design 34971 – 4
Bolster cushion – Crypton Home Suede in Harlow
Coffee Table – Curator Round Cocktail Table from Hayneedle
Chairs – Safavieh Bandelier Off-White Natural Leather Accent Chair from Home Depot
Shelves – Monarch 60” Bookcase in White
PVC Walls – 4” PVC from Home Depot
Paint on PVC – Kyoto Pearl by Behr from Home Depot
Massive Support from: Andrew Grace, Ken Loechner, Robert Ingraham, Michael Newsted