Home Office Makeover
When I bought my house, there was one room that I knew needed a BIG makeover. The second bedroom was minty green, with checked tiles – and was so stark and narrow that it felt like a medical facility. Let’s just say that the energy was not so hot.
The rest of the house felt perfect – I could see myself in it, I could instantly see the transformation that would take place. The office was the only room where I very strongly felt bad energy, so much so that I didn’t want to go into it for a little while.
For years I’ve dreamed of a home office/open wardrobe, so I knew this room had to be it. And I’d be damned if I couldn’t turn the energy around and make it a dream!
The reality is, when I moved in, rooms I had to live in the most took priority. The kitchen, living room and bedroom got their quick makeovers, followed by the stairs – while the hallway and office and bathrooms sat for a while.
A few people have asked how I have the energy to take on so many projects. The total and honest truth of it is: for a few months, I actually did nothing. I got used to the house. I lived in the reno’d rooms, and stewed over my “home office” which was really a glorified green room that held all my overflow furniture that mismatched. I took to Pinterest and browsed without pressure. I took note of the little things I liked, and how I could tweak to fit my personality.
In my old place, I had a Pax Wardrobe that was a wonderful addition for extra clothes. It was back in my ‘excessive’ stage where I kept buying more because I was still trying to find my personal style and nothing quite worked together. When I brought the wardrobe to the new house (which is 1.5 storey, angled ceilings), it looked like a monster trying to take up all the space! Not exactly a calming presence.
Cue the mad desire to reno.
I need to turn off in order to turn on the reno mindset. So I booked myself vacation to give me full license to tear things apart, make a mess, and see the results by the end of it.
First stage: the closet.
It’s tilted, it’s deep, it’s creepy, but it’s the closest thing this house has to a linen closet. I realized that the angled ceiling of the closet made the back of it absolutely useless to me, so I hiked in a bookshelf that the previous owner left behind. Now, I have a rack of spare bathroom supplies, a rod of dresses, and a shelf with my linens: all in one closet. It was hard to get pictures, but hopefully you can imagine it!
Second stage: painting.
This minty green paint was EVERYWHERE in the house. High gloss, impossible to cover, and positively luminescent. It took about 6 or 7 coats of paint to finally cover it. I got my fair share of sweat and squats.
Third stage: accent wall.
The rest of my house is basically a white canvas, so I wanted something a bit more dramatic and grounded for the home office. I’ve always been a big fan of moody, dark offices, so I opted for Benjamin Moore’s Newburg Green as the accent wall, paired with Distant Grey for the rest of the room. The cool white of Distant Grey meant that it subtly picked up the tone of the accent wall without clashing. When you’re picking your whites, make sure you pay attention to their subtle tone – a warm white accidentally paired with a cool colour can leave you feeling off without knowing why!
Fourth stage: storage & shelving.
This office had to do 2 things for me: allow space for filing, books and art supplies, as well as easy-access clothing display.
I disassembled the Pax wardrobe and instantly the space lit up. I told myself I would NOT get any more IKEA shelves. I was SO determined to stick by it. But you can’t beat the price, and I can’t play around with hundreds of dollars. And I had a feeling I could make small tweaks that would bring them into my style. So, I bit the bullet and bought 2 – one as an extension to the wardrobe, and one as a kind of long media unit holding an old radio and some of my office supplies. It nestles in so nicely to the space under the tilted roof.
I’ve ordered tapered, oblique wooden furniture legs (they’re still on their way!), which I am AMPED for. Adding these onto both shelves will give them a much more refined, Midcentury look.
Oh, and I almost forgot! I definitely did not love the silver knobs that come with Kallax drawers. So I pulled out my brass spraypaint and doused those babies. Just that little touch of brass made a huge difference to the unit looking more put-together, and coordinated with the rest of the space.
I also added a couple wall shelves to complete the reverse wall of the office. It’ll be the home to many plants soon!
Fifth stage: open wardrobe
I have been coveting garment racks for a while. Since making my bedroom capsule closet open, I’ve been itching to try it with my entire wardrobe. I saw an amazing (not to mention sturdy) DIY rack from Kokay, linked here. It was pretty darn foolproof, and offered the perfect amount of space while I’m still in the process of downsizing. Somehow, I don’t mind all the colour in my summer wardrobe anymore now that it’s contributing to the rest of the room.
Now, I just have a couple more tweaks and the office is complete! The energy is so much better, the accent wall makes the room feel wider, and getting rid of the Pax Wardrobe allowed the light to filter right in.
The weird thing? I feel like I have 10x more space, and storage. I guess I can’t fault IKEA for that.
P.S. anyone know where I can get a good white shag rug for a decent price? I feel like that’s missing here… haha!