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As you well know, I’m in the middle of a home renovation, handled by the professionals at McDonald Remodeling. As I’m watching the transformation unfold, I’ve been inspired to transform our home office (yes, another room) with a little paint, extra molding, and some new furniture.
One of the perks of running your own business, is that you have the flexibility to work from home. The biggest challenge I face is the lines between work/play are blurred. When you work at an office, you are able to leave your problems there. Where do you leave them when you work from home? With my current consulting role, I’m constantly working and I need a space where I can tune out the outside world and focus on work, and when I’m done for the day, I can close the door.
When Joe and I purchased the house, one of the “must haves” was a home office as Joe’s position also allows him to work remotely. Here’s what the room looked like when we purchased it:
The space was fine, but we never used it for workspace! We didn’t want to put a TV in our living room, mostly because we didn’t want to drill into the plaster fireplace. So this meant our office became the “family room,” jam-packed with a couch, leather chair, and entertaining unit. The space was so cramped it almost ruined our weekend dedicated to binge-watched House of Cards. Not cool.
So, more often than not, we turned our dining room table into our joint office space. I’m particularly bad at cleaning up after myself, so the kitchen table was always cluttered with receipts, print-outs, and contracts. Thankfully we’re turning our basement into a family room, and our office is free to be the room we intended it to be! Knowing that I had a small window between gigs, I gave myself the weekend to transform the space from meh to a bona fide office.
Starting from the very beginning, I stripped the room bare, took stock of the space and started sketching.
I set out to do two things:
1. Make a space that felt traditional, cozy, and very different from the rest of the house. The small W&D team offices out of a warehouse space, so we already get that urban feeling every day. I wanted our home office to be a retreat, a place we want to go and work for a while, maybe with a nice cup of coffee early on a Saturday morning.
2. Design a workspace that felt gender neutral. Joe will use this space as much as I will. He’s always been a big fan of blue, so we started there.
The majority of my house is light and airy. My home is older and full of small rooms, so light colors tend to make it feel larger and brighter. I knew in order to differentiate the office from the rest of the home, mentally and physically, I needed to use a color that was “heavier” and a bit more “grounded”. I’ve always loved the stately look of dark colors on walls, which led me to consider BEHR Marquee Compass Blue as my final choice. For me, the darker color grounded the room and added a well-needed dose of difference. Darker colors tend to feel heavier/cozier/more serious which in turn, made the space feel real.
Compass Blue is much bolder than where I typically gravitate, so I was a bit nervous about moving forward. As a regular Wit & Delight reader, I’ve already shared the challenges of painting my kitchen, so I was a bit gunshy of repainting an entire room (including the doors!) with such a bold shade. One of the perks of painting light airy colors, was you didn’t need to prime or use multiple coats of paint. I was concerned the rich Compass Blue would require a dark primer, and multiple coats, remember I had a small window of time to transform the space, Joe also threw out his back and wouldn’t be able to help on this project. The Behr Marquee paint applied easily and didn’t require any primer or multiple coats to achieve the final results.
Painting was complete. Hard part over. Now comes the fun part: DECORATING!
You may recognize many pieces of furniture here! I brought our living room rug into the office because I love how it plays with the deep blue on the walls. What’s new? A real, grown-up filing cabinet, chair, and table from Smart Furniture.
While the architectural details are traditional, I think it’s pretty timeless to mix things up with contemporary pieces. This makes the space align with the rest of the house, while still making a statement.
All in all, we’re really happy with this transformation. It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do to transform a space. Now, we just have to wait for the remodel to wrap up….we’re getting really excited to officially move back into our place!
Sources: BEHR Marquee Compass Blue – Paint // Smart Furniture – Filing Cabinet, Chair, Table // McDonald Remodeling – Woodwork // LAX Series – 3x Shelf // CB2 – Globe // Schoolhouse Electric – Tanker Clock // Chair – Vintage // Artwork – Debbie Carlos
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - August 17, 2015
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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
Kate–it looks great! Love the blue.
This color looks absolutely stunning. But what a risk! Were you worried you wouldn’t like it? Was it a rush to paint? I feel like I would chicken out… but I love how you put forth your color process and love how bold the BEHR paints look. Thank you!
I honestly think I didn’t have enough time to chicken out. We just went for it!! It did really help to have big swatches of each paint to hold up in the room. I thought we were going to go with teal, but the blue had all the fun of teal with a more classic look. Thanks for your kind words!
This is a gorgeous update! The windows and structure of the room were beautiful from the start, and I really like the furniture and color choices you made as well as all the accessories! It looks wonderful.
This is PERFECT. One of the prettiest room transformations ever! We painted our master black this spring and it’s easily our favorite room in our entire condo! Just love this.
Thank you Ashley!!
Beautiful space! Are you able to tell me where you found the gorgeous rug?! I’m repainting my kitchen a similar blue and have been searching high and low for something similar! Appreciate a reply!
Thank, Nicole!! We found ours on esalerugs.com via Pinterest. It was a one-of-a-kind and I snatched it up right away…for a pretty penny, however. I really love Frances Loom’s rugs: http://www.francesloom.com/ and ECarpet Gallery is really affordable: http://www.ecarpetgallery.com/
I love it! I really think that the blue is perfect and completely changes the mood of your office. Uber modern 😉
beautiful! I love how glossy the paint is as well…really highlights all the pretty lines in your room and really gives the paint some highs and lows so it feels so rich. lovely room!
Awesome! I’ve been thinking about repainting my room. I really like dark blue, but it doesn’t match my carpet. I do not have enough money to buy a brand new carpet, just the paint. And looking at your newly painted room, I can’t believe how great it looks! I hope mine will look as great as yours does! Keep it up!
I love the room – blue is a favourite colour of mine and I just adore a stately, traditional room with a big leather chair.
Did you use two different finishes when painting the walls, or is that difference in texture between the walls and the woodwork?
Love all the boards that you added to richly define the space! What a beauty!! The color seals the deal ?
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