A Classic Home Office
Just as we start to embark on our next One Room Challenge project, I'm thrilled to be finishing up another space. My home office is a space that took me a few tries to get just right. A few weeks ago, I shared that the office was feeling too colourful . Too cluttered. Too dark. In essence, it was the wrong space for someone who worked best in a calm, neutral, and clean environment.
With careful editing, the addition of traditional details, and a lot of paint, it has been transformed. Welcome into my new classic home office.
Classic Home Office Decor
We are on a roll here with spring projects. First was Chloe's grown up tween bedroom which went from cute to coastal. And if you caught my Instagram stories, you would have seen that last weekend we started another small project, rewallpapering our basement.
I'm not sure about you, but my focus these days has been on smaller, manageable projects. This home office makeover was easy to execute, relatively stress free, and fun. Just what I needed! Let's take a look at what's been done to this room:
Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17
The most impactful change in this room has to be the new paint colour. It went from a moody, mid-tone green (Benjamin Moore Tranquility AF-490) to neutral, serene white (Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17). The room has a coved ceiling above the window so we painted three walls plus the ceiling in White Dove in a matte finish.
Peel and Stick Paint Samples:
Picking just the right paint can be tricky and during the course of this project, I came upon the most ingenious product: peel and stick paint samples. Before you embark on any paint project, I highly suggest that you invest in peel and stick paint samples. These really are a revolutionary and useful product!
Samplize (US company, carries Benjamin Moore, Farrow and Ball, Sherwin Williams, and PPG brands) and Hello Paint (Canadian company, carries Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams) are two sites that sell large format peel and stick paint samples. These samples are reusable, repositionable, and can be saved for your next project. See HERE for a quick video on how I used them in my office.
On the fourth wall, we kept the existing Blythe Blue Toile wallpaper. The traditional, all over pattern is one that I love. It provides the perfect backdrop to these open shelves.
One change I have consciously made is to edit the items I have on display on these shelves. Previously, I treated the shelves as a rotating display of seasonal decor, Chloe's handmade artwork, and odds and ends. Now, I'm showcasing just a few beloved pieces, like the set of small leather-bound books I inherited from my mother in law and the printable art in a vintage frame.
The beautiful landscape artwork adds a peaceful quality and sense of balance to this wall. The pinboard I had here previously was larger and filled up more of the wall but it just added to the visual clutter. Sometimes bigger is not always better!
A mix of classic accessories such as the marble box and linen file organizer add texture and muted colour. I am to keep these shelves and countertop looking this neat and tidy year round
Home Office Lighting
Aside from the large window, this room has three sources of lighting. It's critical to have different light options in a home office where you might be working long hours under various light conditions.
The swing arm sconces on the wall provide accent lighting and highlight the artwork and shelving. The desk lamp provides soft task light, and the hanging pendant provides general or ambient lighting.
The Nyack Pendant is a more modern fixture than I typically use, but I am so glad I used it in this space. I love how the clean brass backplate looks against the ceiling medallion. It's a small detail that really adds character to this space. The opal glass shade diffuses the light beautifully and is like a glowing orb against the perforated metal.
Wondering how I've hidden the lamp cords? Here's a quick look at my cable management set up but I'll talk more about it in depth in my next post ;)
Drapery In The Office
When I first finished this room, the first thing my daughter asked was "Can I move my bed in here?". It feels like a calm and serene bedroom space, mostly owing to the luxurious window coverings.
Let's recall for a moment how this office looked just a few weeks ago:
And this is the same view now. Just because this is a home office doesn't mean you need to skimp on the details and make it feel cold and "office like".
I knew that I wanted to have layered window coverings in this room. It gets beautiful light throughout the day and I didn't want to hide that. An unlined woven blind from Select Blinds Canada (Designer Coastal Woven Wood Shade in Sumba Shell) diffuses the light and casts everything in a warm, fuzzy glow. For times when I need a little less light, privacy, or in the winter to add some warmth, I've layered it with a single drapery panel in striped linen fabric and tassel trim from Calico.
Sewing those double pleats and tassel trim on the leading edge was beyond my amateur sewing abilities so I entrusted the sewing to the ladies at Hemme Custom and they executed it beautifully. Definitely check them out if you're in need of custom sewing in Toronto or the GTA.
Desk Makeover With Jolie Paint
I'm going to give myself a little pat on the back for this next DIY. When I first reimagined this room, I knew I had to change out the desk. While I loved my large modern desk, it was better suited to my daughter's sleek coastal bedroom.
And so I went in search of a new old desk. Something with a traditional profile, a wood top that I could refinish, and preferably straightforward legs. This is what I found on Facebook Marketplace for $70:
Excuse the sad state of our garage and let's focus on that desk ;) I shared the entire desk makeover process in my Instagram Stories and will outline the step by step in a future blog post. There was a mishap when I attempted to whitewash the top, but refinishing this desk turned out to be easier than I thought and I ended up with a beautiful, unique piece.
I used Jolie Paint for this desk makeover and couldn't be more thrilled with the finished product. The body of the desk was a custom mix of Gesso White and Swedish Grey which picks up on the beige and grey tones in the Teagan rug from Loloi. I topped the body with a coat of Clear Jolie Finishing Wax that provides a matte, hard wearing finish. The handles were the original ones that I updated with a few coats of satin black spray paint.
Good thing my attempt at whitewashing the top was a fail, because the natural wood looks stunning. The top is a wood veneer and I had to be very careful not to sand too far down and expose the particleboard underneath. I used Low Luster Jolie Varnish which enhanced the grain and provided just the slightest sheen. My application wasn't as even as I would have liked it to be, but I wouldn't hesitate to use this varnish again on natural wood. It has just the right amount of shine and feels like it will stand up to daily use.
I like to keep my desk clutter-free with just a few small items on top. The boxwood is from one of my favourite decor shops. The photo is one I took of Chloe in our old house on moving day, lying on the window seat we built in her room.
Here's what's inside the closet. I took the opportunity to rearrange in here. This is where I keep files relating to my e-design clients, some decor accessories, photography equipment, and faux florals. I could paint this closet but that's a project for another day.
And here's the view I get to enjoy every day. I love having white walls and just a few art prints to look it. It keeps my mind clear and helps me to focus on the task at hand. The beachscape print helps me relax and the Victorian lady with bubblegum reminds me to laugh. I mounted the print with an extra wide mat which enhances the art in a modern way.
I love this view of the office just as much. I work in my office while Chloe does remote learning next door. Finally, the two rooms complement each other and help make our home feel complete. One last look back:
I hope you've enjoyed this tour of my home office. I truly love the new changes and feel the design is a better reflection of me. It has given me an ideal environment to set new goals and work towards them.
Can I do the same for you? Can I help you design a space in your home to reflect your style and suit your needs? Reach out and let's make your dream home happen!
Thank you to these amazing brands who helped make this room possible!