Reveal Time! The Office

Now that you’ve had a chance to freshen up in the powder room, please come step into my office and we can discuss the issue at hand…no, not really, I’ve just always wanted to say that. We can, however, discuss how awesome this room turned out!

But first! The before and after.



Wow…right?! Where do we even start? How about those awesome windows? Or what about those amazing DIY built-ins? Those chiniosier Roman blinds? The library lights? Okay, okay…deep breaths. The windows, let’s start there.

In college, I had this one little corner of the Valley Library at Oregon State that I loved to go to. It was dark, mysterious and allowed me to people watch, take a nap and sometimes, actually study. I wanted my home office to feel the same way. Our 1980s colonial was designed so that one couldn’t properly spy on their neighbors. By that, I mean there were no windows installed on the sides of the house. Not one. Terrible defensive and offensive posturing if this was a castle…wait, it is my castle! Quick! Give me the sawzaw!!

I needed to see out of the south side of my house so that I could ensure no one was going storm my castle from the bottom of my cul-de-sac and be pleasantly distracted when I was supposed to working. Solution? Add two windows! Through out of renovation, we used Anderson 400 series windows. The quality for price is hard to match and the front and back of our house already had the 400-series windows and I wanted them all to match. Oh remember the terrible, no-good, worthless contractor that initially installed them? Well…we discovered that he installed them wrong – failed to put in flashing. So we had to fix that – just more salt in the wound, ouch.

Now, perched from behind my powerful, mahogany, executive desk that I scored off Craigslist for $125, I can watch my people goofing off in my house, the neighbor people up and down the street and all of the people of Instagram on my computer screen. People watching and security patrolling capability, check.

Next, I needed it to be dark. Me and dark colors go together like clotted cream and warm scones. Ocean Storm, by Valspar was the perfect color to envoke deep thinking and a neutral backdrop for beautiful art. I used a satin paint for the walls and semi-gloss for the trim and built-ins to add some more dimension. The monochromatic scheme wraps around me as I ponder what exactly my neighbor is doing with that…I mean, as I ponder what I should be writing about next or where we should vacation next. Dark and mysterious feeling, check.

For those times I needed to feel intelligent and show off my leather-bound book collection – let’s be honest, I have one leather-bound book, but plenty of really cool paperbacks, I needed storage, but it needed to be stylish. Built in bookshelf and cabinets fit the bill. Storage underneath for the ugly parts of the office – printers with that ugly light and all of those random things you can’t get rid of, but will probably need with the tax auditor comes for a visit and lit shelves that could display the books and heirlooms and travel treasures. Hubs and I, were at this point, confident in our abilities to take on another YouTube DIY challenge: DIY Bookshelves. We scoured the local habitat for humanity for two, solid wood, 36″ wide matching cabinets and were sadly disappointed. On a trip to Lowe’s, we saw the Project Source unfinished stock cabinetry. Normally, every part of my body and soul would reject such things, however, the growing pregnant belly and desire to be done with the reno overcame my rejection and we bought two. We built up the cabinets and shelves around the windows, installed two library lights from IKEA and BAM! Storage that is functional and stylish! I’m sure to point out my one leather-bound book to our guests, but more importantly, I tell them that we made these built-ins! Storage and showoff capability, check!

The Ocean Storm needed a punch of pattern and color, I found it in the Robert Kaufman Neo Toile roman shades. The colors of this fabric were perfect with the wall color, mahogany and oak of the piano. Roman shades are some of my favorite things to DIY. So easy and provide such instant impact. I trimmed out the ivory, velvet curtains I bought from IKEA with some beautiful, beaded, velvet trim for just a pinch of glam and wow…wow. I just LOVE how it all came out. We’re still on the hunt for a small cabinet for Hubs’ scotch collection and associated bar treasures – crystal decanters are a weakness of mine and Hubs has like five of them. #meanttobe I also need to the perfect piece of art for the wall opposite of the windows, oh and maybe a dark green velvet chair for lengthy, academic-type discussions.




Desk Chair, HomeGoods, but similar here.

Ivory Linen Curtains, out of stock, similar here.

Library lights, IKEA

Built-ins, Lowe’s

Curtain Rods, Target

Cabinet and Drawer Pulls, Amazon

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