Sometimes the best things come when you don’t plan for them. This is exactly what happened with this home office makeover that turned into a space that I love working in.
It changed the entire vibe of the office to something more vibrant while keeping the neutral backdrop that I have throughout my home.
It’s been about a year now since I made some little changes to my office space. At the time, we did not want to go through a complete makeover since we had other more important projects we wanted to tackle. However, it was important to me to feel good in the space I work in everyday, since I work from home.
Last year, I added a reading nook that I decorated with a Scandi vibe – a few wood slats from ceiling to floor and two shelves with an accent chair. Fast forward to April of this year, we had an unexpected water damage that leaked through the ceiling and wall of my beloved reading nook. And this is what started it all!
This project has taken quite some time because when the water damage happened, we had other ongoing projects we needed to finish and a busy life period that didn’t allow us to tackle it right away. So, the only thing we did for a while was to remove everything that was damaged, clean, disinfect and so on, and think of the design.
Since we were at it, we took time to see how we wanted to re-design the bathroom that is adjacent to the office, which has an impact on the decisions we took for this room. We decided to close a portion of the closet in the office so that we could take this extra space into the bathroom when we get to it.
This also meant that I had a smaller closet for storage that doesn’t fit a lot because it also has the water tank in it, and this led me to add 2 taller bookcases to the small one I had and to create a built-in look.
So, back to what I wanted in this space:
· A spacious desk
· Built-ins with a space for a large piece of art
· A reading nook
· The ability to have a big plant in addition to the small ones
· A space that felt dynamic yet peaceful since I spend a lot of time there
At first, I really did not know what I wanted for this space; I was not expecting to do it so soon so it took time for things to get clear in my head. I saved a few inspo on Pinterest, but knew I wanted to add in some character as well as interest. I was hesitant between wall moulding or slats and between a white space or moody one. Because I felt drawn to both, and I wanted both a relaxing and energizing space, I went for contrast and a bit of both worlds. I kept thongs neutral with a lot of white and the addition of black in the build-ins and on the wall made a sharp contrast which I feel makes the room more energetic. The space is soft yet vibrant, the repetition of the slats close together made it more dynamic than the moulding that would have been softer.
Closing the closet and drywall work
While I did lose storage space in the closet, I gained some extra wall space which allowed me to lengthen the slats wall and give the illusion of a bigger/deeper space. This gave us some extra work in addition to closing the damaged area, but I know we’ll be happy to have that extra space when we redo the bathroom.
The initial bookcase I had was the Billy from Ikea, the shorter version. Last year, I also hacked the Morliden door by painting the edges and putting beadboard and shaker frames on them. While I liked them, I felt they don’t quite fit with the style I was going for. I also wanted to paint the bookcases and add two taller ones on the sides.
To do so, it is important to start by scuff sanding the bookcases to remove the shine and allow the paint to adhere. Then thoroughly clean the surface to be painted and wipe it with a wet rag then let it dry. This is followed by two coats of shellac base primer to prepare the laminate surface to receive the paint. Finally, I did three coats of paint and sealed it all with clear matte varnish.
I used a combo of SW Iron Ore and BM Creamy White for the paint (urethane based), the inside in black. For now, I spray painted the Morliden doors with Rustoleum Matte Black and applied two extra coats of SW Iron Ore on top and a clear protective coat from Krylon. I am not sure I will be keeping the doors like this or if they will last since the paint is on glass, but for the moment I went with a plain look.
Paint colors, wallpaper & slats
An accent wall just like a piece of art! I worked with Belarte Studio to get one of their wall murals and I am in love! What a beautiful accent it provides and gives the space a whole other vibe! It’s the Clay Art mural in warm beige, the clay shapes on the wallpaper are three dimensional so they add a lot of dimension and interest to the office. This is the wall facing the desk and I love being able to see it while I work.
The walls are painted BM Simply White, the slats on the half wall SW Iron Ore and the trims BM Revere Pewter.
For the slats, we opted for an 5/8” thick MDF and 1.5” width with ½” in between each. The length is 32” topped with a 5” trim. This time, I opted for MDF because it is painted and it’s more affordable than wood.
In order to have a seamless look with the slats and the baseboard, we cut the bottom of the slats so they are bevelled.
I found this vintage desk a little while ago on marketplace and bought it knowing I will redo my desk. It’s been in the garage for some time now and finally was able to tackle it. Unfortunately, when I started sanding, it turned out that only the legs were in real wood. While I was aiming for a natural wood look, I had to pivot and paint it. So, I’m not entirely happy with it, but I will probably use it somewhere and will be looking for another one eventually.
Other furniture & decor
And the best part!!
I partnered with GlucksteinHome to add the prettiest accent chair, the Norway Chair. Inspired by mid-century modern Scandinavian design, it fits right in with the office vibe. I love its sleek lines, the curves in the chair and the slanted back that makes it very comfortable. The seat and back are made with bouclé fabric, one of my favorites and adds the perfect touch of coziness and contrast against the black slats! I will sure be using it for some reading time!
I also thrifted a vintage wood console table for $25 a while back. When I got it, I had not idea where to put it and it finally just found its place in the office. I flipped it and left it to its natural wood tone. Love this piece against the wallpapered wall and it gives me a large drawer for storage and more decor space on the top!
For the decor, I went with some of my favorites. Neutrals, textures, antiques… added a bust statue, some decorative items and candles, and of course plants. I went for a few vessels/bowls as well because I use them both for storage and as a decor piece.
Wallpaper: Belarte Studio
Bouclé Accent Chair: GlucksteinHome
Built-ins: Ikea Billy + Morliden doors
Desk & Console: thrift flips from FaceBook Marketplace
Art: DIYed by myself
Curtain Rod: Umbra
Decor Pieces: mix of thrifts, HomeSense and other shops
I’m here to answer any questions you may have on this project. You can leave me a comment below and follow on Instagram for more upcoming updates. If you want to get more details and tips, be sure to sign-up to my newsletter below.