Evolution Of Our Home Office

When we first moved into our home, we decided to use one of the bedrooms as a home office. 

We started with nothing, really, other than a computer.  Nice starting point, but that leaves a lot to be purchased!  You've probably already gathered that nothing thrills me more than a good bargain, so putting this room together was a process.  I took the hunter/gatherer approach rather than just turning to a page from a Pottery Barn catalog and saying "I want everything in this photo of an office."

We first started as most people with empty rooms do ... at Ikea!

Desk table? Check!  We went with a frosted glass table top on wrought iron legs.  I also scored that gorgeous rug from Tuesday Morning.

Then we went to work putting together two white bookshelves we also got from Ikea.  I like the look of them, but the shelves slip out so easily.  I definitely wouldn't recommend them, and once we have a tot or two around the house, they will definitely have to go.  A book avalanche would be bound to happen.

Ian has some of his alma mater decor on his shelf.  :)

Next up was a new chair for the corner.  I found this green chair at World Market.  It perfectly matches the green in the rug.

We wanted a way to organize our paperwork, invitations, and bills, so I started piecing together some elements for one of our walls.  I found the hanging wire file system at TJ Maxx, and the old dry-erase board got a coat of black paint to match.

We hung them along with a picture from one of my favorite Etsy sellers, The Wheatfield, of North Carolina.  The frame and mat are from Michaels.

The wrought iron medallion you see below is from Old Time Pottery.

You can also see the paint swatches on the wall ... we were getting an itch to paint!  Boring ivory walls, be gone.

We decided on a color and cleared out the bookshelves, moving everything away from the wall.

We gave the room two coats of paint and went with a greenish-taupe color to make the room feel a little more sophisticated.

Best part is, we didn't have to paint the very top of the room, because we had a very exciting appointment a few days later -- installation for crown moulding!

So we lived with unfinished borders for just a few days and eagerly anticipated the crown to be put up.

And what a huge difference it made!  We splurged on a thicker moulding than necessary.  I just love the look of a molding with a real presence, you know?

So everything was looking great, minus one annoyance.  That fan.

Despite its stubby arms, it put out a heck of a breeze.  Trouble was, we just didn't use the fan that often, the light on it was pretty dang flourescent, and it wasn't very visually appealing.

Down it came.


I found a really awesome light at Lowe's that stole my heart.  At $99, it came home with me immediately.

So here is our current office!  I think it is quite an improvement from how it used to look.  Scroll up if you dare!

Next on our wishlist is something to hang on this small wall above the green chair.  Perhaps a big canvas of a wedding photo?

At some point in the near future, I'll take more "styled" photos of the room ... photos where you don't see the bills waiting to be paid, photos where the lighting is impeccable, photos that hopefully showcase a completed room (if that feeling ever really exists). 

But for now, this is a real-life look at the evolution of our office.  It feels so nice to make progress!


  1. What a gorgeous home office! I love how it is sleek and elegant, but useful :)

  2. Oh my goodness, it looks fantastic! Thank you so much for posting pics from the different steps along the way. Love the cute! Actually, I like everything about the room. Way to go!!

  3. It looks GREAT! Dramatic! We have a fan with a light kit in our living room and I HATE IT!! Men just don't know how to decorate. Brad put that in there before we ever met.
    I prefer white fans that sit close to the ceiling and you never notice them.
    Anyhoo.. our fan is ok but the light? Brad cant get it to come off... so we're stuck with it for now! ugh!!
    Good job though! why not hang your degrees on that other wall? It is an office?

  4. it looks FABULOUS hun! i love the color and the bookshelves :)

  5. I LOVED this post.

    I'm a big fan of before & afters, because I really enjoy seeing the transformations, but I think I like this evolution a bit better! It is much more realistic to the design process -- change doesn't happen overnight.

    I also want to say, I came across your blog about a week ago, and I've spent an embarrassingly large amount of time since then reading every single post! Most of the blogs I follow are very strictly design blogs, but I really like that your blog is a combination of a lot of different things.

    Temporary Living

  6. It looks great! You really put a lot of thought into your selections and it shows in the finshed product.

  7. I love seeing the evolution of projects. You guys did a lot of work, but it looks amazing! Definitely an office that I would want to write and work in. :)

  8. Wow it looks great! Crown molding made a huge difference.

    Not sure how you feel about it but I always feel like if diplomas are in the house, they should be hung in the home office.

    Mine live in my office.

    Just a thought!

  9. Ok, I am obsessed! :-) When can you come to my house??? haha! :-) LOVE the rug!

  10. What a beautiful space- so inviting!

  11. What a great look. Our house has a ton of crown molding and chair rails and we looove them!

  12. April, this looks amazing! The rug is gorgeous, and the paint color and new moulding really add so much to it. :)

  13. Wow that looks fantastic! I cannot wait to have a home office one day, it's a fun area. Your's looks fantastic and that chair is UH-MAZING!

  14. loved this post! such a clever spin on the normal "before & after." that desk is amazing!

  15. Wow! It's looking great. :) I love Ikea; it's my starting place too!

  16. You did such a good job on that room! I am right there with you, I love a good bargain. Tuesday Morning is a hit or miss but on the hit days it's great! Loved the colors you chose as well.

  17. Progress is a wonderful feeling and the office looks great!!

  18. That baby fan just made me LOL. I have never seen one quiteee like that before!

  19. This is so cute! I love the evolution of the office :)

  20. This was an a amazing post! I love that you were able to show us the steps it took to create your now perfect office. The new lamp is amazing, and I love the color you and Ian ended up choosing. I could stay in that cozy room for days!

  21. LOVE IT! The rug is my favorite and I love the addition to crown molding. The molding in my town house was huge and it made everything look so sophisticated - I think you made a great choice. Loving the paint color you chose as well!

  22. I love it!!! I am sure you will really enjoy it! Erica

  23. Love your office! It turned out PERFECT! Now can you come over and help fix up our rooms?? :)

  24. I live for DIY make-over posts and yours was great. It gives me the itch to take control of our office which currently has baby wall paper with maps and now whiteboards all over it. I think the hubby will be seeing your post tonight!

  25. Looks fantastic!! I'm taking all sorts of notes since we move soon, and I love the way everything turned out! Fab!

  26. WOW! this looks totally awesome. really impressive what you've done! totally adore your blog! cannot wait to follow your adventures!

  27. love it. so cute!
    ps i love that your hubby went to ecu. my new father-in-law played football there! so, my hubby grew up cheering for ecu. we have a family beach house not far from the school.... we will have to plan a couples trip and have yall come :)

  28. Looks great! Love the look and use of the space. I need to get that hanging wire filing system. It reminds me of the one at Potterybarn. Everything looks nice, y'all did a good job!

  29. This is completely HGTV worthy! Not to mention you guys made it look effortless! Can't wait to see your other projects to come!

  30. What a beautiful room!! Love how it turned out and LOVE that rug!


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