One of the best rooms in our entire home is the office upstairs. It’s kind of a small space, but it has a big wall of windows that let in a ton of natural light, which more than makes up for the size.
And while I loved the white walls and minimal vibe when we moved in, after being here a few months I was starting to feel like I needed to actually DO something, since I spend so much time in this space. Four months after we moved in, all I had in the entire room was my desk, an office chair, and a second random chair that was basically just being stored.
So, in conjunction with Ace Hardware’s 31 Days of Color campaign, I’ve finally checked that to do off of my list with an office makeover that I absolutely love. I am so happy with how it turned out that I actually enjoy responding to emails now! I’m sure that feeling won’t last forever, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.
More about 31 Days of Color: During the month of March, Ace Hardware will be helping consumers discover a new love for color through a month-long interactive paint experience called 31 Days of Color, which can be found at ThePaintStudio.com.
Everyday, Ace will unveil a new “Color of the Day” selected from their exclusive Valspar and Clark+Kensington paint lines, and will be giving away free samples to the first 1,000 online entrants as well. PLUS you can enter the 31 Days of Color Sweepstakes daily for a chance to win a $10,000 paint makeover and daily $50 gift cards! So, be sure to check out ThePaintStudio.com to enter.
Today’s color of the day is Warm Breezes, which just so happens to be the color that I painted my office. So, let’s get to it and take a look at what my office space looked like before, to give you a better idea of how far it’s come.
Here’s what the space looked like before…
That truly is what it looked like before. The top photo is how the room looked the day before we painted. The second before photo is what it looked like when we moved in. So yeah, not much changed after we moved in, other than adding my desk. Which is why I really needed to get this makeover in gear.
Paint time! To add an interesting design element, I decided to paint a half wall that spanned the entire room, instead of painting all of the walls from floor to ceiling.
I also felt like this would be a good way for me to dip my toes in the color pool while still holding onto the clean white walls in a way. Best of both worlds, kind of thing.
I chose Valspar Optimus Paint (available at Ace Hardware) in Warm Breezes, which is a pretty greyish blue color. I used a flat finish to keep things looking matte and modern.
I absolutely love how the color turned out. I remember being a little nervous about it when I started painting because I’ve always loved white walls. But the blue adds a lot of dimension to the space and painting just the bottom half of the wall makes the room feel more intentional / grounded. Don’t you think?
Once the painting was done, I pulled the room together with some antique finds, artwork, and accessories. I ended up buying a decent amount of new items to bring in. So I could find things that complimented the wall color. Vintage fiberglass mauve chair, I’m talking to you! That was one of my favorite finds for the space.
How much paint did it take? I had originally thought I would need two gallons of paint for the space, just to be on the safe side. Luckily, I mentioned that to the paint guy at Ace Hardware, while I was picking out the color and he assured me I wouldn’t need more than one gallon. So I took his word for it, and I’m so glad I did. I only used about 1/3 of a gallon because it covered so well. One gallon will cover 400 square feet depending on surface porosity.
AND it didn’t have a strong paint smell because it’s a low odor, zero VOC formula. I don’t have any doors in the office that I can close to keep the paint fumes from smelling up the whole house, so I was really pumped about that.
Details! Closest to my desk, I put up a mini inspiration board. I found it easiest to just tape stuff right to the wall, instead of bothering with a cork board, clipboards, etc. But I also have a couple of nails to hang things I use everyday, like scissors and a ruler.
My Nelson desk I’ve had for years (it was a birthday present from Jeff), but I have to say, it’s never fit a space as well as it does this one. I filled every nook and cranny with things I use everyday and/or things I want to look at everyday.
I made that ‘Keep Going’ art piece a few weeks ago (tutorial here) and added a few other decorative pieces that I love, along with a plant and clock to keep me on task.
Next to my desk, is my trash can. I may be completely crazy for this (haven’t decided), but I found that fire hydrant basket at a local store, Paris on Ponce. And yes, I am using it as a trash can, not as a storage container for Luna’s dog toys. Am I crazy for loving this? Let me know if I’ve fallen off the deep end.
I moved my DIY blanket ladder up into the office from the living room because it fills the space a little bit better. And found that mauve fiberglass chair at an antique store right around the corner from my house. The side table / plant stand is a stool from Ikea that I repainted.
A few more details… To cover up a couple of very strangely placed outlets, I strategically added some smaller pieces of artwork. You can see in the before shot before how many outlets there were that needed to be hidden. And the two larger pieces in the space (the horizontal sticks and the vertical abstract piece) are by Katie Ridley Murphy. I bought each piece separately at a different place, only to realize later, they were both from the same artist. So clearly, I love her work.
To finish the wall heading downstairs, I decided to create an abstract arrow, that points toward the artwork. It ended up being a good way to break up the space, defining my office / separating it from the stairway.
So, that’s the makeover in a nutshell. Here are a couple more photos for good measure…
Phew! You made it to the end. Lots of photos to look through. So…what do you think of my new office? Love it or hate it, I’d love to know either way.
After Photos by Kimberly Murray / Styling and Before Photos by Brittni Mehlhoff
This post is in partnership with Valspar… I’m really excited to be working on a series of paint posts with them throughout the year. So expect to see more makeover stories (big and small), DIYs, and more. Can’t wait to share what I’m working on. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.