Before and After: A Cluttered Workspace Gets a Minimal(ish) Makeover

Continuing on with the studio makeovers, I have another one to share today! I just finished up a part of the main workspace with Ace Hardware and wanted to share the before and after with you.

It’s the first wall you see when you walk into the main space and I really wanted to make an impact. So I went with a darker color but kept the half painted wall design, so there would be some interesting contrast and a little more dimension.

As a refresher, here’s what this part of the space looked like before…

Before and After: A Cluttered Workspace Gets a Minimal, Modern Makeover

I didn’t dislike what I had before (other than the obvious mess/ clutter, which seems to follow me wherever I go). BUT the half painted wall had been that light blue color for almost a year and I was starting to feel like I desperately needed a change. So, one day, I just went for it. It’s just paint, right?! Why not!

I popped over to Ace Hardware and at their Paint Studio, looked through a bunch of paint samples  before narrowing my options to six colors. YEP! SIX. If that seems like too many options, it’s because it totally is. I just couldn’t decide and felt the need to second guess myself until the bitter end. Kidding – I’m just a little indecisive when it comes to paint colors.

A room makeover with Ace Hardware

A room makeover with Ace Hardware

Luckily, an Ace associate (a really sweet man named Tom) came over to help talk me through my options and made sure I had everything else I needed to get this paint job done, all in one trip to the store (paint rollers, paint brushes, painters tape, etc). He was so patient with me, while I tried to whittle down my paint selections for him to mix up. Thanks Tom! You were so helpful and awesome!

Admittedly, I’m an old pro when it comes to paint stuff at this point. BUT I almost always forget to grab something I need for a project and then have to run back and get it before I can start. Not at Ace though! Their Extra Mile Promise means that their associates guarantee they’ll run through a detailed paint project check list with you while you’re shopping, to ensure you have everything you need before you leave the store – no extra trips needed!

How to paint a high contrast half wall like a pro

Paint stuff! Like I mentioned before, the plan was to do something high contrast, that also felt earthy and comfortable. So, I landed on Weathervane (422Q) from Valpsar. I used Valspar Optimus, which is one of my fave paints to use because it covers so well and the paint stands up to anything. 

The painted portion of the wall is 4 ft tall and 21 feet long and I only needed one quart of paint (was able to get two coats on from one quart). So, the total cost of the painting portion of this makeover was about $50! The quart of paint was $26 and the paint roller, paint brush, tape, and tray liner added up to $25 – which puts the grand total at $51.

The color is a rich charcoal grey, but it has a little bit of a brownish undertone (can you see it?), which gives it that earthy vibe that I was hoping for.

Before and After: A Cluttered Workspace Gets a Minimal, Modern Makeover

A minimal, modern workspace with earthy vibes. Click through for the before and after reveal.

From there, it was just a matter of redecorating. I rearranged the pieces of furniture I already had and brought in some new items too, like that vintage wall hanging (my new fave), which is actually a tiny rug that I decided was too pretty to be stepped on. AND my new desk, which I pieced together with some hairpin legs and an old table top who’s legs had gotten lost in our last move when we broke it down to pack up. Whoops! Then, some new (and vintage) accessories and DIY artwork — finished things out.

I tried to keep things as clutter-free as possible for now, since we all know I’ll be filling up those blank areas in a matter of minutes. I’ll share more on sources for everything in another post if anyone’s interested. Just let me know!

A minimal, modern workspace with earthy vibes.

A minimal, modern workspace with earthy vibes. Click through for the before and after reveal.

Planning your own paint project? The end of summer/early fall is the perfect time to give your space a refresh! Visit your local Ace today to get the tips and tools you need to start your next paint project! AND if you’re painting between August 30th – September 4th, you’ll be able to take advantage of Ace’s Labor Day paint promotion too.

Buy two, get one free on all gallons of Clark+Kensington, Royal, Valspar Aspire and Valspar Optimus interior and exterior paint. To find your local Paint Studio at Ace, visit

What do you think of the paint change and rearrange? Let me know what you think.

This post is in partnership with Ace Hardware. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.

16 comments | Click here to reply

I adore this post. I love how easy you make this look. It inspires me to keep a clean and decluttered room and the decor is unreal! Vintage and eclectic vibes with so much creativity makes me look forward to decorating my first home. Thanks for this. It’s posts like this that spark the creativity and allow for ideas to flow… xox

Makayla Bejermi

Looks amazing! Can you come do our place?

Crafty Lumberjacks

Omg! looks beautiful i love this space!!1
New post:

The pink pineapple

Hi Robin. Of course! I’d be happy to include that in the source post. 🙂


Love the way you hung your straw hats! Please include the technique in your sources post. Cute and clever design!

Robin Langston-Jones

Aw, thanks Coco. Appreciate that!


The place looks great! I really like how this is a different twist from other offices I have seen on the internet, I also like how you were able to keep that same colourful style throughout the changes.


Thanks Courtney. Paint always makes such a big difference, right?!


It looks so amazing now. Putting the little black stripe there was such a cool idea.


Hi Shannon.
The bookshelf is from Modernica. I’ll be doing a follow up post that shares all of my sources with links soon. 🙂


Hi! I love the bookshelf you have! I can obviously see it in both the before and after so I’m guessing you’ve had it for awhile but if you happen to remember where you got it from, please share! Or if you have thoughts on where I might be able to pick up something similar. Thanks so much! Beautiful space, love the makeover/redecorate!


Thanks so much Rena and Sharon. 🙂 Happy to hear that.


Nicely done:) I admire your minimalization technique! I struggle with too much stuff.

Sharon Whittington

I must say I really love the result!
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena


Thanks Michelle. I probably need to add some more stuff over the next month or so, but I’m really happy with it.


It looks so beautiful this way, great work!

Leave a reply