The Polish Room “Before”

I’d like to introduce something a little different today. If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, then you know that I recently moved. The most exciting part about my new house is that I’ll have a room dedicated to all things polish…aka “The Polish Room”…or as my husband refers to it “The Mani Cave” (Get it? He’s quite funny.)  I’ll call it the TPR for short. This room will also act as my office (snore) and craft room (yeah). I’m super excited because I’m literally starting from scratch.

Now since my hubby would like to have a dining room table and maybe a new mattress before I start on the TPR (the nerve of him), I’ve agreed this room will be strictly DIY on a low budget. I’ve added a link at the top of the blog which will sort all posts related to the TPR so you can see my progress. I don’t know if it will take me months or years to complete – but I don’t mind. Decorating is the fun part anyway!

Each week, I’ll dedicate one post to the TPR. So to start, I thought I’d show you some “before” shots. Here’s the room (we have a bed in there now). It’s a good sized room with lots of natural light.

The Polish Room "before" Shot (work / play / polish)

The Polish Room "before" Shot (work / play / polish)

We are still in the “unpacking” stage at the new house, so not everything is out. My polish is currently stashed in a corner of the office with a makeshift mani station.

Makeshift Polish Room (work / play / polish)

I’ve outgrown my racks and now have more shoe boxes full of polish than I care to admit. So polish storage will definitely be a priority. I like to have all my polishes out where I can see them, so I have a few ideas for a novel wall system in the new digs.

Miles of polish (work / play / polish)

Boxes of polish (work / play / polish)

And here’s my rigged “lightbox”. I actually really like how this works. It’s very functional.  It’s a large silver domed clamp housing with a daylight bulb. I just clamped it onto the closet rod and draped a white sheet around it to soften the glare. My high end background is a piece of construction paper taped to the wall! I stand when I take my pics. I use a Canon Rebel T3. I’ve also customized all of the camera settings for my setup (pics are too warm using the auto feature…even with the daylight bulb.) Anyway, I plan to recreate this setup in a more permanent way in the TPR closet.

Makeshift Light Box (work / play / polish)

And just so this post isn’t completely colorless and boring…here’s one of the color palettes I’ve been drooling over. What do you think? Maybe with a pop of pink?

Patinaed Teal (design seeds)

[design seeds]

I need help! If you have any awesome pics of your own polish room or a neat idea you’ve seen someone else do…please share them with me! Leave me a comment, email me at or post them to the work / play / polish facebook page.

Please leave a comment. I read every single one!

Comments (49)

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  1. Essie Armed and Ready | work / play / polish | November 7, 2012
  1. This honestly looks like nail heaven!

  2. That looks awesome so far! There is just one thing I miss in the pics. If I remember well (please correct me if I’m wrong) I’ve seen a gorgeous pink chair on a picture a while back. Right? If so, that would go great with the color palette :D

  3. Sara says:

    LOVE the color scheme! Subtle pops of pink would be awesome.

  4. I’m D.Y.I.N.G. and now want my own polish room, too! And, I love the Mani Cave name. Turquoise and pink will be a fabulous look for your personal salon! Let me know when I can make my appointment.

  5. What a room! I am so jealous. My polish is stored on a shelf in my wardrobe and I paint my nails at the kitchen counter and take my pics with my Nokia N8 mobile phone. The bed you have in their at the moment is very very pretty too.

  6. Alley G says:

    Pardon me if I’m a little uncouthed but the room looks great as it stands. Love the large area, loads of space, love the wall color, it has a relaxing feel, like a spa retreat. Great Mani Cave!

    • I’m just glad someone used the word ‘uncouthed’ in a comment…that alone made my day! :) I do love the room…and it will be transplanted “as is” to a smaller room in the house. Perhaps after a mani I can retire to the Spa Room. My hubby might revolt here soon as I take over the house!

  7. Walks in room. Sounds of Angels Singing…Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Heaven indeed. I bet that’s gonna be so gorgeous when it’s complete! Luv your lightbox by the way..LOL. I never used one for my nail photos, but I created a one out of Foam board & clip lights I bought from a drug store, for product photos (hey as long as the photos look good who cares right?). I think this storage idea from your polish storage pinterest board would look great in there

  8. i wish my husband would let me do a TPR in our house. We have a entertainment room, and i have 2 boxes full of polishes on the corner. We’ve been lazy and we haven’t decorated our house yet..! I moved like 3 months ago and some stuff is still in boxes LOL. I hate to unpack.

  9. joybrewed says:

    oh my goodness!! what a dreamy collection!! I’ll be patiently and eagerly waiting to see your final design for the room! ;-)

  10. What a great post. I love the color palette — maybe for a little more zing, make the light gray a metallic silver? Whatever you decide. And I LOVE the term “The Mani Cave” and seriously think you should copyright it ASAP!

    • Susan, you are like the smartest blogger I know. And you are exactly right…metallic silver will give it a zing! I’m thinking about painting metallic silver chevrons on one wall. Is that wrong? Oh…and you are about the 10th person to tell me to copyright “the mani cave”. So I’m going to make it official! Ladies, if you don’t follow Susan already…DO!

  11. Wow! I want a dressing/make-up room. A girl can dream…

  12. I love this, I will be living through these posts! I don’t have my own house yet, we plan to buy one after our wedding next year but I am already fantasizing about my own ‘mani cave’ !!!

  13. polisherself says:

    I love that you keep all your polish out like that, I definitely prefer it that way too!

  14. Cynthia says:

    I’m insanely jealous of you tpr. I’ve been dreaming of kicking out my brother so I can convert his room into my very own tpr but I guess that wouldn’t be very nice of me, huh? lol

  15. Cindi says:

    Wow, I’m jealous. I wish I had a polish room of my own too. Like you, I do have the shoe boxes full of polish. How exciting getting to start fresh and decorate a brand new room! I really like the colors you already have in there. The blue and yellow look good together with the gray furniture.

  16. acetonehuffingcougar says:

    This is going to be awesome! I’ll live vicariously through your Polish Room until I can liberate my stash into their own space. One question: with all that natural light, do you worry about your polishes fading over time? I’ve seen sunlight do weird things to nail polish.

  17. You know, I’ve never heard of that. I guess my polish has always been in the dark. I was planning to put the polish on the walls opposite the window. But I’m still going to research this. I’d hate to put those little polishes’ lives at stake!

  18. tmvikholt says:

    Oh my, I am officially jealous! We only have a small apartment and I always do my nail at our living room table. I would love having a combined nail polish/craft room though, because my husband gets tired of all my stuff lying around :P Btw, where did you get those plastic racks?

    • I think my hubby is looking forward to The Mani Cave…then all my stuff won’t be strewn around the house! I bought the plastic racks off ebay. Just search for “acrylic polish racks.” I think I paid about $30/each.

  19. I’m moving too! We got a 4 bedroom, because we just got married and hope to have kids… but I’m like hey, its just us for now, I want a nail polish room! I got a lot of rolling eyes, so I think I at least worked out a “Craft Room” – where I will have all my nail polish? :)

    • ha ha. My euphemism for the polish room is the “office”. That makes it seem so much more functional. But we all know that any business accomplished in there will be nail polish business!

  20. I adore the colour palette you are looking at, and not at all jealous about a polish room. Not a bit *grits teeth* ;)

    • I’ve switched up the color palette. I decided I needed something a little more family friendly (i.e., my husband wouldn’t feel silly in there) in case we repurpose the room later. Check back Wednesday and you can see it. :)

  21. Pinky says:

    Congrats! Looking forward to watching this progress! I love the idea and especially the name ‘ the Mani Cave’ tee-hee! Have a wonderful weekend, be safe, God bless! Pinky

  22. am1ec says:

    Love TPR name “the mani cave”. I have one 2… Took over my daughters play room early this year. It is def my happy place. Can’t wait to watch ur progress. ;)

  23. kiyominails says:

    I´ve nominated you for Very Inspiring Blogger Award, read more here:

  24. Thanks for stopping by my blog – it made me discover yours :-). And I love it! Just seeing your collection of nail polishes, wow! A lot of inspiration for me to draw :-)

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