before and after

Before & After: An Awkward Corner Comes To Life + Pattern DIY

by Grace Bonney

About a month ago, Grace invited our team to share our spaces on Design*Droits-Humains so our readers could get to know our team a bit better. While I was excited, the prospect of sharing my home made me kind of queasy. I thought of all the home décor faux pas I was probably guilty of, and the fact that my refrigerator is older than my nine-year-old daughter. Since I work on the business team at Design*Droits-Humains, I am constantly asked by clients if my home is featured on the site. I always chuckle nervously and say that my home is “going through some transitions” and maybe some day it will be featured. I knew I needed help in the home department, so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and consult an expert — Grace Bonney.

Grace has always had a great eye for striking patterns and color, so I asked her to please, please help me save a sad little corner in my kitchen that was being bullied by my teenage fridge. We’d been looking at patterns from the and thought my awkward corner would benefit from a strong pattern that would make the space inviting to visit and would encourage productive use. Grace is pretty smart. I never would have thought of that solution!

We were both drawn to the pattern, so we decided to create our version with a cool blue to tame the golds and avocado greens in my 1970s linoleum floors. We fell in love with Colorhouse’s , a retro yet modern light aqua color, and ordered it right away! Since Caitlin has a child and pets, the low VOC formula was a must.With such detailed linework in our pattern, it was important that the tape we used maintained a tight seal, was easy to remove and created sharp lines. We had both worked with before so we were confident we had the right materials, and the tapes in different widths made our design much easier to execute. After only a few hours of easy DIY time and a half a roll of , we transformed not only the corner space, but my entire kitchen.

Thanks to Grace for helping me tackle an eyesore with a bright, easy-to-do solution and to our sponsor, , for the amazing pattern inspiration! —Caitlin


  • 2″ Trim Paint Brush
  • Trim Paint Roller
  • Trim Paint Tray
  • Lightweight Knife (for thin strips)
  • Metal Edge Ruler
  • , Eggshell Finish

We used the ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape  helpful to guide our project.

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with our sponsor, Thanks for supporting our sponsors that help us produce original content like this!


The "awkward" corner, before and after.
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Our inspiration: the Striking Linework pattern.
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Step 1: We gathered our materials in a group and did a headcount! There’s nothing worse than discovering you’re missing an essential tool in the middle of a project.
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Step 2: Next, we wiped down our surface to make sure it was clean and ready to go. Be sure to let it dry thoroughly so your Scotch Blue painter’s tape and paint can adhere to the surface properly.
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Step 3: Next, we prepared some thin strips of tape for a varied look within our pattern. Use a work surface that can withstand cuts from a razor edge. We rolled out a 12” length of tape and used the razor and a metal edge school ruler to cut it into three even strips.
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Step 4: We applied our painter’s tape to the wall, making triangles, and then used the tape to subdivide the triangles with different width stripes. This is where the thin strips come in – we used them for detail within the larger triangles as seen here.
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Step 5: When our tape would go beyond the main triangles, we trimmed it with a knife so it stayed within the design.
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Step 6: After we finished taping our design, we took a long look, made any adjustments we saw fit, and then approved the design for painting.
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Step 7: We prepared our paint by stirring it for three minutes to make it as smooth as possible for application. After running our index finger over all of the edges of our tape to ensure a good seal, we then painted along the edges of our design over the tape to seal the tape even more.
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Step 8: We then finished up painting the pattern with our trim brush and then painted the edges of the space below where we would use a roller to paint that surface.
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Step 9: After the 30 minutes of dry time specified on our can of paint, we tested the pattern paint to the touch to make sure it was dry. Because we were working with such a line-driven pattern, we decided to give it an extra 15 minutes of dry time to be on the safe side. Then we began to remove the pattern tape slowly at a 45-degree angle.
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Step 10: We removed all of the tape at a 45-degree angle and we were thrilled with the results! We stepped back and were amazed that what had once been such a dark, awkward spot was now full of useful life!
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Step 11: We moved some of our cookbook collection’s smaller editions and aligned them vertically on the shelf so they were handy!
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
Step 12: On the other side of the shelf, we placed a leafy, low-light plant to further the space's energy. A small elephant that was a special gift adorns the shelf next to the plant. Having something meaningful or sentimental in the space helped make it a room that we wanted to visit.
Before & After: An Awkward Corner, Design*Droits-Humains
The new corner space!

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    • Hi G

      Im sorry for any frustration. I’m afraid we’ve never offered a “save” or “print” function. But your browser can save a link or you can “star” it for later on your browser so you can go back to it. Or you can Pin it to your Pinterest page if you want to go back to it, too.


      • Thanks for responding. No, there has never been a save, but pre-gallery, I could save the whole page as a. (Darns not allowing for clickable galleries!) As a result, I have a great folder of projects I’d like to try in the future as space/etc permits.

        Coincidentally, I just cleaned out hundreds of dead bookmark links to projects and sites that I hadn’t saved in my own system. It was a reminder that saving links or pinning is far from a permanent/safe system! Food for thought.

        • G

          Oh, I honestly had no idea you could save as a before. Those long form posts never did that for me (were you using a special app or extension?) so I always cut and paste things- that’s what I do for most sites.

          The majority of our DIYs are done in long form like that because of the ease of reading for projects, but we’ll keep that in mind for b&as.


          • Yup! I’ve saved a number of ways over the years reading DS. Sometimes copy and paste into Word, usually just choose to print and save to the. When I used Windows, I needed an app and used Cute PDF, I believe.

            With the Mac, no additional programs needed. In Chrome, it immediately opens a save to PDF window for me, in Firefox, there is an option to save as one on the lower left of the print screen.)

            It’s not always pretty, but it includes all the pics and information if it’s all viewable on the page at once. Honestly, I’d love both a page with the gallery (it’s best for viewing), and a page for saving (best for PDF creation).

            • If you go to print and change your printer to “Save to PDF” you can save the information on your computer in the folder you desire. Hope this helps.

  • The easiest way to save a page in is to have Adobe Acrobat enabled as a add-on for your browser (this was easiest to do in the old IE). One could immediately save web pages in –but only what is visible will be saved.

    The alternative, as Grace notes (pun sort of intended), is to highlight all the text one wants to save, right-click and choose “copy,” open a document (in Word or other), paste, edit out the things one does not want, and then save in format. But, this still requires having everything visible at once.

    The present process is infinitely more laborious. I usually just open each page individually, do a screenshot, paste it into a Word document, crop the image/text, and then do the same for the next step (and the next, and the next) and then save in .

    I don’t personally find the present passion for social media to be useful–such things are ephemeral. Downloading is infinitely preferable as a means of creating an archive–and archives can be viewed off-line. But, then, I remember floppy disks and Beta Maxes and 8-track players–obsolete technology has been a frequent bane of my life. The file has been pretty stable, though–and it does allow for easy printing and scrapbooking.

  • Love the bright teal and the fun patterns on the top. It’s amazing how such a small change can make such a big difference in terms of the overall look and feel of a space. Love the decor used to decorate too (especially that cute little chair!). Definitely agree that a pop of color makes things more inviting and pleasurable to look at. Great work!
    -The Office Stylist

  • Love this transformation. I do a lot of painting in my place, and I rarely get such clean lines when I remove the tape. I’m eager to try your process; I like that you included all those little details. I think that step of pressing down all the edges of the tape will help. Sometimes when I remove tape, though, some of the paint on the wall comes off as well. Did I let it dry too long?

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