Creating a Space Saving Accent Wall and Workspace

4 Materials
1 Day

Recently, I taught a group of middle and high school students how to renovate and flip a townhouse in Orlando, Florida. As part of the project, we took a small nook and turned it into a great workspace for at home work or learning. It was also a beautiful accent wall, so the space was not only functional, but also fantastic looking!

If you'd like to view more info on the flipping project, please visit my website and view the posts (or sign up and I'll email you when the project is done). I'll be posting the completed projects on my site, along with the expenses and the actual income made on the project.

In the meantime, here's how we created the accent wall workspace:

Choose the right spot

We created our small workspace and accent wall where there was a natural indentation in the wall. As you can see, right when you come up the stairs of this townhome, there’s a small nook. It seemed like an ideal spot to squeeze in a designer space that could be used for online learning, work from home, or even a homework spot.

I measured to make sure that the addition of a desk to this area wouldn’t block the walkway to the stairs or to the rooms, and used a small desk that would help serve this purpose.

Place your first piece of wood at the very bottom. Be sure to level it.

You can decide what material you want to use. Whether it’s wood planks, shiplap, or click and lock style vinyl flooring like we used, you must level your first piece so that your project will come out straight as you travel up the wall.

I started at the very bottom left, leveled the vinyl plank piece, and screwed it in.

If you’re using click and lock vinyl like we did, remember to keep the orientation the same so that the pieces will lock together at every level. For example, we started with the tongue parts of the plank facing up and to the right and we continued with this same pattern all the way up the wall.

Attach it to the wall

For the first pieces, I used a drill and screws to attach our vinyl click and lock pieces to the wall. However, I didn’t like the way the screws looked. They were too big for my taste and I felt like they were going to take away from the finished look.

So, we switched to using liquid nails along the back of the boards and then we secured them using a nail gun with pin head nails. View the video to see how easy this is. My teen daughter and her friend actually did it themselves!

Cut the end piece to size

When you get the to the right edge, you’ll need to cut your material to size. For the vinyl plank flooring pieces, all it took was cutting them with a razor blade. You do have to go over it several times to get it to cut all the way through. The edges didn’t come out as perfectly as I would like, but we took care of this below in step 6.

Continue upward along the wall, making sure to check your level every time

Continue this process up the wall and you’ll see it start to come together. Be sure to continue leveling it, and you can use another piece of vinyl to tap down your pieces as needed. This way you ensure a good seal between planks all the way up. Again, view the video to see how my daughter did this.

Trim the edges if necessary

Since the right edge didn’t go all the way to the wall perfectly, and the top edge was a little short when they finished. We added a piece of white trim along the top and sides and that gave it a great finished look.

Add shelving

Adding shelving helps make this space functional and adds to the look. I like to group my shelves in 3’s because it seems visually pleasing to me.

Add a desk

Now you can add your desk to finish off the space. I used a small desk from IKEA because I didn’t have a lot of room to work with. I paired this with a chair that’s comfortable and nice looking.


I hope you enjoy your space and find it as easy to complete as we did.

On this project, my daughter and her friend worked together. It was part of a larger project in which I was teaching a group of middle and high school aged kids how to fix and flip a townhouse. If you’re interested in viewing more of that project, please visit my website as I’ll be posting the projects and the access to the expenses and actual profit on my site.


Resources for this project:

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Marcia Socas
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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  2 questions
  • Jaye Jaye on Jan 03, 2021

    Love that young people are applying math skills and collaboration on a project. This is a great technique. I will need need to watch the video to get a better sense of the entire flipping process. I am generally excited about most projects on this site, but this one not so much. It is promoted as a potential place to do homework, etc. Has anyone noticed the staircase location will be a major distraction with traffic from others in the home or noise coming from downstairs. I don’t see a light source. Is it possible that the ceiling light will be used for this corner? Finally, there is no evidence of an electrical outlet as a power source for a desk lamp or using/charging a laptop. Could not even use this as a reading corner....sigh. At most, this is a nicely done accent wall. The table can be used to display a group of pictures or other collectibles. I am positive that others will offer more ideas and suggestions.

  • Beverly Burton Beverly Burton on Jan 13, 2021

    That is a great job. Did you ever think of just screwing a piece of wood to that spot and then you could put it down if you didn't want to use it right then. Just a thought.


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