Turning an Awkward Spot into a Focal Point

There’s this weird spot along the brick wall in between my office nook and my kitchen.  It looks like it used to be a doorway, but has since been drywalled over and it has two frames inside of it.  I’ve always thought of it as an eyesore amongst my beautiful white brick.

I think the frames confused me.  Should I hang pictures in there?  Should I wallpaper them?  For months that spot sat empty.  

I’m lying…  

For months that spot collected crap.  It was that awkward spot where I plopped a too-large buffet and dumped all my extra shit on top of it.

And then one day I won my little bar cart at an auction.   I placed the cart in front of the faux-door and started brainstorming.  The light bulb went off when I realized I didn’t need to work around the frames; I could decorate right over them.  So I painted the whole area black to set it apart from the brick and help the frames disappear.   

I hung my art right over the top frame and styled up my bar cart to obscure the bottom frame.

And that, my friends, is how my bar cart vignette was born. 

Funny how something that stumped me for so long could turn into one of my favorite focal points.

Do you have an awkward area that’s plaguing you?  Maybe it’s time to think outside the box.  Or just paint the box black.

bottom two images by Courtney Apple
Painting by Nicole Cohen,
but you already knew that if you read the Design Sponge Sneak Peek.
  1. I have bar cart envy! Completely transformed, bravo that girl!

  2. Your just brilliant!
    It is such a beautiful transformation, I would never guess it was the same place.

  3. thanks for all the comments, guys!

    It was fun to read some of your own solutions.
    @Barbara- love the art wall 🙂

  4. Oh how I adore your nook- so so good! And you know my awkward space- that darn TV wall- working on it this weekend:) Thank you again for the help!!!

  5. This so beautiful. Love the dark wall with the painting and the gold bar cart.

  6. What a great idea! I have a little awkward corner in my house too! This is great inspiration! Thanks!

  7. Love your solution- so inventive! You made a great big plus out of a minus point!! Genius!

  8. My first apartment had beautiful picture moldings, but because of the placement of a radiator, my couch could not be centered beneath a pair of molding frames. It stumped me forever, until, like you, I finally just hung art over the molding borders, and pretended that the wall was just a solid wall!

    In another place, we had a random, huge piece of sheetrock that covered part of an archway. That one we turned into a mural.

    Love the creativity that can come from awkward spaces!


  9. Wow what a transformation! And it’s funny, when I saw that photo I wondered where in the apartment it was since you’ve never shown that. I love it! That bar cart is amazing. I would love get a bar cart but I have no room with two buffets – ha ha!

  10. I think that’s my favorite nook in your place!! And it’s not just because that’s where the alcohol is housed.

  11. Perfect! I just had a similar dilemma in my entry way. For some reason the builder decides to place light switches and an alarm panel not to the edge of the wall but smattered across. I don’t use my alarm {maybe I shouldn’t be sharing this for the world to know!} so last night instead of decorating with Christmas decor I created a gallery wall to cover up those switches-

    Love how you painted the wall dark, really makes that painting, which is to die for, pop! And that bar cart – speechless.

  12. Well done! It looks fantastic. Love how you have styled your bar cart too. We have a super awkward nook in our house where they essentially closed off the hallway. I found a lovely mirror to cover the 80’s style glass blocks at the top of the wall, then scored a dresser that fit PERFECTLY in the space…painted it black, added some brass pulls, did some styling and ta-da, one of my favourite areas of the house 🙂

  13. Mary

    You’re so smart!! I love how you took an eye sore and turned it into something fabulous. Great job. PS – I LOVED your feature on Design Sponge!!!

  14. Huh, I would’ve never guessed it. I could kinda see the bottom frame a little now above your dishes in shelf no. 2.

    I have a problem window. TH says it’s shaped like an upside down homeplate, therefore he likes it. I do not. My issue now is trying to hide its shape with what kind of window treatment.

  15. Dara

    I love this! It looks perfect! I have an awful door in my condo that leads to the mechanical closet, seeing this gives me hope that I will eventually figure out what to do with it.

  16. Erin

    I didn’t even know that frame molding was there!

    Please come to my house and work your magic! The whole living room is an awkward spot.

  17. Abolutely brilliant, my dear! I think it was one of my favorite spots in your home tour. You styled it perfectly!

  18. That looks fab!! I’m totally loving black and gold/brass these days, so this look is a double winner!

    I never thought of placing dishes on my bar cart.. *rearranges bar cart*

  19. I have seen this vignette on Pinterest and thought. Genius!

    So glad to have found the source.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  20. Awesome! Completely changed and beautiful!

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