If you’ve been following along, you know we bought an investment house to live in while we are renovating our main house. You might also recall that it’s a bit of “That 80s Show”, complete with brass door knobs and/or brass builder-grade boob lighting (yes, I said it). But, other than that, and aside from wanting a couple of new bathrooms, it was only in need of some space-defining, some decor, and a few odd tweaks.
This house had a dedicated office in a large room in the basement, and the guest room was in a small room upstairs. I decided that the flow for all would work better if I switched these rooms around. The old guest room was handy to the kitchen, ideal for an office and when one needs cookies to snack on while writing or researching. It’s also close enough to hear pots boiling, kettles whistling, etc. So, with that in mind I set out to turn this:
WARNING: my skeleton Stella is in the next photos
For a couple of reasons, I also wanted to add the perspective from my desk. First, because the window behind the desk is west-facing and the light can be intense in the afternoon, I wanted the light to come in from over my shoulders instead of in my eyes. However, there is a lovely, forest-like outlook through that window and I wanted to enjoy it too. To solve this, a mirror was hung a little higher than the window on the opposite wall in order to allow me to still see out, but hanging it higher does not allow the light directly in my face. Second, the bookshelves were placed along the wall that is shared with the hallway. This is a working office, and placing the books in a pretty manner on the shelves is not practical for me (instead, they are grouped by research area). Just because I love them, I didn’t want everyone walking down the hall to see them. Now when anyone passes by, their quick shot of the room is cohesive with the rest of the house’s decor since my books are tucked around the corner and out of sight. [When we sell the house, they will be boxed, moved, and replaced with pretty objects and decor books.]
Last, what you don’t see in the before picture of this room is that it was a lovely shade of mint green, and the ceiling was dark sage! To update it, and to have it appeal to a broader base of potential buyers when we sell it, this is what we did:
1) we painted the walls the same color as the living room and hall (Home Hardware Beautytone Designer Series paint in a better-than-builder-beige, linen color ($35 on sale), and we painted out the ceiling in a soft white ($60).
2) we removed the original light fixture and replaced it with a new one from Home Depot ($59).
3) we replaced the brass door knob and hinges with brushed nickel hardware (~$50).
4) we layered in our own furniture as well as the additions of the desk (free-a Pottery Barn table one of my son’s co-workers didn’t want), Ikea Billy bookshelves ($50 each), Ikea area carpet ($200), and Ikea drapery ($39).
I think what we ended up with, for under $500, not only reflects our UrbanCountryStyle, but is neutral enough to appeal to others (even with Stella in the room!). I now sit in here happily typing and researching, or just goof off on my blog :). I love that this space is comfortable and quiet; yet, I don’t feel so far removed from the rest of the household. I really hope this encourages you to create your own personal space that reflects your style and inspires you too.
From my house and home to you and yours,