In April I shared with you that I was planning a home office makeover. I’ve worked from home since 2009 and this space is my haven. At first it was awesome, having my own office, but the dark colors, inefficient arrangement, and lack of openness really affected my mood and motivaation – especially in the winter months that seem to last forever here in Massachusetts. So, when Olympic Paints asked if I’d like to collaborate on a DIY project, I couldn’t wait to get started. It was quite a task, but I was ready for the challenge.
HOME OFFICE MAKEOVER: BEFORE
My office is actually quite spacious, but the way it was set up made it seem small and cluttered. The aspect that had the most impact on the overall feel of the room was the dark wood and wall color aged over the years. I’m sure it was white at one point, but now it was dingy and sucked all the light out of the room.
I had several furniture and storage items I wanted to keep, but change. Some needed an updated look while others could offer more function if changed around.
Overall, my room’s potential was suffocating under a lot of clutter and dark, outdated colors. A home office makeover was long over due.
After weeks of changing my mind over and over I decided that what I really wanted was a white office. I knew I wanted to bring in as much light and space as possible, and then accent with pops of color. Now, I am SO happy to finally reveal my home office makeover, sponsored by our partner Olympic Paints and Stains.
The Plan & Process
One thing I learned through this process is that choosing a white color isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s more than just white or off white. Did I want a yellow tone? Grey tone? Neutral tone? And then I had to pick a finish. I used the Paint Visualizer to try out different shades on my walls so I could find the perfect color: Delicate White OL107. I used Olympic ONE which gave me primer and color in one – I’m all for easier and faster. I was really impressed with the coverage power. One tip: Olympic ONE is a bit thicker than other paints that don’t contain a primer. I bought the gallons and then added an extra quart to be safe.
Want to know how stained your walls really are? Starting painting a fresh coat of white. Wow…I was shocked.
I also used the Olympic Delicate White to refinish several pieces of furniture. I thought my desk would be a challenge, but it actually turned out very nice with minimal effort. Some sanding, a coat of Kilz, and the paint went on beautifully.
My favorite piece was the 1950s dresser that originally belonged to my husband’s grandmother. I wanted to update it, but preserve the retro feel by replacing the knobs and leaving the legs with their original wood finish.
HOME OFFICE MAKEOVER: AFTER
This project was a 9 day labor of love… and love is absolutely what I feel. The change in my office – and my mood while IN my office – is amazing. From dark and dreary to bright and open. Here’s the final result!
I knew I wanted my desk moved to the middle of the room. I instantly felt better. If your desk faces a wall – move it. Do it now. Trust me.
One of my favorite color pops is my Pink Diamond Paperweight. The sparkle is gorgeous.
One of my favorite design influences is Japanese decor and style. Visiting Kyoto is #1 on my lifetime bucket list (it WILL happen…count on it). So I elevated an IKEA Holmo floor lamp and paired it with hanging paper globe lanterns.
I wanted to let in as much light as possible, so I tossed the heavy thermal drapes that originally covered the windows and picked some airy, light sheers and accented with light gold, embroidered curtains. After searching for tiebacks online, I came up with my own way to pin my curtains for less, plus add in a bit more of the Asian style: book rings and metal chopsticks. The chopsticks I used were a gift to me from my husband after one of his trips overseas, but you can also find them online.
Vanity & Storage
This area was so much fun to update. Not only do I use my office for work, but it’s also my personal space when I’m getting ready to go out. My vanity and beauty products needed their own space.
I created my own vanity lighting with an ordinary bedroom mirror and a cool vanity LED strip I found on Amazon. I also added some white lights to my silk ficus tree and brought it back to life. The frosting on the top was the tractor seat rolling stool. It’s super comfortable, and I can hide it away when not in use.
I found the perfect storage answer with the Trofast combo from IKEA. It’s actually designed to store a child’s toys, but the bin sizes and placement are perfect for all of my beauty and hair products. I can store all different sizes – everything from small smudge pots to large hair styling tools and product bottles.
I really wanted a print gallery but had limited wall space, so I tried to pack as many of my favorites into just a few frames. I followed not only the Japanese decor theme, but also mixed with the 1950s – 1960s retro. I think they blend together very well. You can find the retro camera print HERE and a wide range of vintage prints here.
My spotlight piece was a gift from my mother : a 55 inch framed print of “31 Flavors Invades Japan” by Masami Teraoka
A Dedicated Photography Area
This was as much a necessity as it was a desire. Before this, I was moving everything around each day to make room for photos. And, even then, could never get the right spot for natural light. Now I have a dedicated area that is easily moved in front of my windows as needed.
There is no in-ceiling lighting in my office, so I hung a plug-in pendant lamp over the staging table and used size 4 bulldog clips on the back wall to create a hanging area for my backgrounds. You can grab the “Be a Voice Not An Echo” printable here (I made the ‘love’ printable myself).
I use the vintage dresser for additional storage, everything from desk supplies to photo props. The resin lamp is a favorite of mine. It’s original vintage and I only wish I knew where to find a second one. Other Dresser Accents: Cupcake Stand (my jewelry holder) // Faux Burlap Table Runner
More Space + More Function
The low bookshelf and cabinet were great for storage, but took up too much room when separate. After freshening them up with Olympic Delicate White, I stacked them to create a hutch. I also removed the slide doors on the top level of the cabinet to give me an easy access area for my printer.
Favorites On Display
One of my guilty pleasures is Lady Death comics. I have three signed editions that I wanted to display in a way that matched other areas of the room. Using the bulldog clips again, I was able to hang them in their protective sleeves without affecting the comics themselves. Win win.
White can #BringOnTheColor ? Absolutely!
It’s true, using white as my dominant color in the office really helped me bring out MORE color. Collectibles and special items that used to fade into the background of dark wood and dingy tan can now be easily seen – the colors and details really pop now. Sometimes a blank canvas is the best way to really show what you love.
Color and light truly do bend and shape your mood – especially when you spend hours every day surrounded by them. Now I feel like I can really breathe in this room. I look forward to “clocking in” each day, opening the windows, and enjoying my new office.
Are you ready to #BringOnTheColor ?
Head to your nearest Lowe’s Olympic Paint Center for inspiration, guidance, and tips on how you can transform your home this summer. If you want to see how a paint color would look before you commit, you can upload a photo of your room to the Olympic® Paint Visualizer tool. After a few clicks you can give your room a digital makeover with any Olympic Paint color. Purchase Olympic paint color now through August 9, 2016 and get a 30 day return promise – even if you just decide the color isn’t what you wanted. Click here for more information and terms.