This Designer Saved Major Money in Her Playroom Thanks to DIY Cabinetry

Playroom with large nature mural.

Courtesy of Jenna Sue Design

Jenna LeBlanc of Jenna Sue Design is no stranger to DIY. The Tampa-based interior designer recently completed her upstairs playroom, which doubles as a TV room and office, and incorporated some clever DIYs into the space. 

The home, which she calls a blend between “a modern French Tudor and country cottage” drew overall inspiration from European architecture and is the family’s first custom build.

“I’ve remodeled, but I never designed from the ground up like with this home,” she says. “We were remodeling a house on the lot when it caught on fire, so it made the most sense to demolish and start over.”

She, her husband, and now 19-month-old daughter moved in the summer of 2019, and she began work on the upstairs bonus room in June 2020. “After having the baby, I decided to make it an all-purpose family room,” she says.

The nearly 400-square-foot attic will be able to grow with the family, which is just what she dreamed of. 

Green coffered wall with hanging rattan chair.

Courtesy of Jenna Sue Design

When it came to the feel of the room, she wanted it to be equally as dynamic as its usage. “We wanted to make it more unique and playful than the rest of the house,” she details. The launching point was when she came across a stunning forest mural from Walls Republic, which adds a whimsical feel to the room and drove the overall color palette

Then there’s the built-in desk, window seat, Samsung TV purchased on Black Friday that she framed as a DIY for just $15, cozy Sixpenny sectional, DIY’d feather chandelier, and the piece de resistance, the IKEA Sektion cabinetry with DIY fluted fronts. 

IKEA cabinets DIYed.

Courtesy of Jenna Sue Design

“This was my second time doing fluting,” she says. “I saw it pop up on Instagram and knew I had to try it.”

After adding fluting to the front of a plain IKEA dresser, she knew it would work beautifully on the Semihandmade DIY Shaker doors in the bonus room. To achieve custom built-in fluted cabinetry, she used three 80-inch-tall IKEA Sektion cabinets, two 24-inch base cabinets, and two 24-by-30 wall cabinets, plus 20 Shaker doors, 20 pieces of Ekena Millwork Fluted Panel Moulding and Gliderite Antique Brass hardware. While she’s unsure of what the project would’ve cost if she had hired a contractor, the DIY’d fluting only cost $25 per panel and was a straightforward installation. 

This was definitely one of our more involved projects, but I think it’s my favorite IKEA hack yet.

IKEA cabinets holding books.

Courtesy of Jenna Sue Design

“It’s not difficult, but is time-consuming, and you have to be extremely precise,” she says. “This was definitely one of our more involved projects, but I think it’s my favorite IKEA hack yet.”

The room is now the ideal space to get work done, sneak away for some quiet time, or enjoy family movie nights.

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