Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Office Makeover

After a long three months the office is finally done. I’m not even sure I can call it an office anymore, more like an office/sitting room?



Here’s how the office looked before. Yellow walls (not quite as yellow as these photos), turquoise desk, Ikea couch, shag carpet. That’s pretty much it.


The room, as an office, was just fine (well, not terribly stylish) but I really wanted to create more space in these tiny little rooms in the front of my house.

roman shades 2 (8) copy[4]

photo 2

I wanted to move the desk from the main wall to the opposite wall. That way it wouldn’t be the first thing you saw when you walked into my house. The hideous entry way travertine tile was replaced as well as the shag carpet.

photo 1


1) Create a “formal” front room—a place I could visit with guests away from the family room—meaning away from the noisy TV.

2) The room needed to flow into the super tiny piano room adjacent to the foyer. I felt like whenever we played the piano for guests they had to stand right next to you—like a lounge singer. Or sit awkwardly right behind you. That room is the size of a postage stamp. What were the previous owners (who built this house) thinking.

3) The room still needed to have a computer in an open space. I don’t believe in letting children have a computer or internet access in their rooms (too much bad stuff out there) so we still needed a family computer in an open space where I can check up on the kids.

4) A place where Paul and I could get away from the noisy children and be alone to read a good book or visit about our day without eavesdroppers. The doors close in the office so privacy can be created easily.

Those are a lot of goals for a tiny 11 feet x 11 feet room!


Here are some pictures during the remodel—shaggy carpet is still in, walls have been painted white, baseboards are being painted.




Don’t I look cool holding an orbit sander with dust all over my butt. Classy.


My girls have been begging to learn to paint so I figured this was the right project because the carpet was being ripped out. No drop cloths necessary and I didn’t fret over drips. Yes.



Shaggy carpet gone, super dark wood floors are in! It is a small room, only about 11 feet x 11 feet. During the remodel we switched to Google Fiber so I had them put the internet switches (I have no idea what you call those kind of outlets) in the opposite corner of where the desk used to be. That’s why the photo below looks ridiculous with internet wires everywhere.


The wood floors were a real bargain from RC Willey. A really dark stained Hickory. They were $2.99/ft. and with labor I think both rooms (office and adjacent piano room) came to around $1200. What a deal.

Since we went with white walls I wanted to frame the window with some casing otherwise it would be too plain. My father was in town from  California a couple months ago so I enlisted his help. And by help I mean I bought the wood and he did all of the work. He is an amazing carpenter.


Every girl should have a handy dad. (My girls don’t, but I do. Paul has other talents—he’ll be able to do his kids’ taxes.)


Big purchases first. I knew I had a good budget for the sofa and the wingback chair. Once I priced the chair and sofa I realized I would have to bargain shop for everything else. I headed to Alice Lane where everything is luxurious, classy and timeless. If money grew on trees I would have them decorate the entire room floor to ceiling. Ok, they’d decorate my entire house.  A stylist at Alice Lane helped me pick the London Sofa in a gray/taupe velvet. I was giddy when she suggested that sofa because I have had my eye on it ever since I saw it in last year’s Parade of Homes. (Click here to see it in turquoise velvet in that beautiful Parade home.) A note about picking fabrics—this velvet was the cheapest grade of fabric I could get. My first choice was a true gray velvet but that doubled the price of the sofa. So this was a very happy second choice.



Here I am the day the couch arrived a few weeks ago. Slooowly getting there!

office makeover (2)

I love a classic wingback chair but it has to be modernized with simple lines. I went with Kalinda’s Chair in a warm cognac leather. Actually, my husband Paul picked that leather. It’s very manly but I love the crackly-worn finish of it. Timeless.



The cute chrome & glass side table came from Four Chairs furniture. The ottoman is the Klippan footstool from Ikea.  I’ve had it for years but now they’re discontinued. I recovered it once again in this Ikat fabric.


The 5’x8’  navy/white herringbone rug was only $75 at Rugs USA. Love that website.

Finally the desk. I would have loved to have the budget for a fancy desk. Something sleek and modern. But splurging on the couch and leather chair meant going cheap on the desk. For now, this Ikea ensemble works just fine. I first saw it in this office makeover and knew I could make it work too. If it wasn’t for the ugly black printer I think I would like this space better. (Ironically a wireless printer has to be wired to at least one computer. Or at least this one does.)


The Ikea table top is Linnmon, which sits on the Alex cabinet and two silver legs. The file cabinet is Micke which had to be on wheels so we could still close the French doors. The space is a tight space for the desk (and everything that is needed to house a computer) but I am very happy with how this corner looks now, especially considering it was about $120 for everything. Thanks Ikea.


The Janette gray chair is from Overstock. The retro telephone is from Amazon.


The blue bookshelf was dragged from somewhere else in the house. My dad and I sprayed it blue a couple years ago. It was providence to have something fit that space that I didn’t have to pay for. Well, I paid for it years ago, but you know what I mean.



I made a new roman shade for the window.  Don’t forget, I have tutorials on this blog to teach you how to make your own roman shade. See the the sidebar. This is the fabric I used.


The sewing continued by making all the pillows. Below is my favorite pillow for the room. I took blue linen and white linen strips and sewed them together and then made blue/gray piping. Yum.

office makeover (4)

office makeover (1)

All the pillows coordinate but don’t match too much. I hate it when everything is matchy-matchy.  The coral print is Amy Butler. All the fabrics came from


D7K_6527 cropped

Finishing off the pillows are a blue velvet pillow with shell buttons, a plaid men’s suiting pillow, an embroidered pillow with my Triangles Scattered design on linen, and a white linen pillow with my pineapple design also in white.



With white walls (Benjamin Moore White Dove—same as my kitchen cabinets) I knew we had to have lots of colorful artwork.

I’ve been noticing the style right now is a floating frame around a canvas.


I went classic with some Van Gogh prints from Great Big Canvas for the main wall. Make sure you wait until they have a 40-50% coupon. Each canvas framed was $120.


The watercolor is from So Very Happy Art on Etsy. I had it custom framed at Provo Art & Frame with a double mat in navy and white and a bronze-y frame. I always love how they frame my prints.


The watercolor is the perfect modern touch over the very traditional wing chair.



The lamp was purchased at TJ Maxx and was originally white. But I sprayed it orange.


The prints above the desk are from Yao Cheng which I put into cheap frames I’ve had for years. I bought them at Michael’s and love how thick the mats are. The prints are only 8”x10” but with such large frames/mats they look bigger. And custom. You can see in my “before” photos at the beginning of this post that I’ve used these frames for years.


The bookcase needed some art as well but with so much art around the room already I needed something neutral—like a mirror. I found this mirror at Target.

The TJ Maxx silver lamp (dragged from elsewhere in the house) is too short so it is standing on books to give it height. I’m still looking for a better lamp. Most of the accessories are either from TJ Maxx or West Elm. The vintage Brownie camera was found in Nashville last summer at an antique mall. A great score for this amateur hobby photographer.


Finally it’s all done and my family of five can enjoy it for years to come.





DIane Warburton said...

Whoa! That's an epic post. I haven't got time to read it all right now but that's a big 'tiny room'. You'd even get the Grand in there! Enjoy!

Amber Polk said...

Love the sofa and chair and really everything in the room. Great room;!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...