The Family Office {Before & After}

As you know, and just may be tired of hearing me rattle on about, work has been under way since February to transform our playroom into a family office. For posterity’s sake, here’s how we started on move in day…

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…here’s the intermediate playroom…

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…here’s the vision…


…and finally, at long last and without further ado, here’s our family office!!!! *cue the choir of angels because this thing is finally done*

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Okay, okay, so y’all are probably thinking that it doesn’t look much like an office. And you would be quite right!!! This is the most versatile space in the house, I think. It is the first room off the foyer and cleans up nicely to look like a sitting room. But most hours of most days it looks a lot more like this…

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Now, I’m really going far back in the coffers to dig up the original bucket list for the room:

  • A neutral, relaxing and elegant space that flows with the rest of the house and looks nice from the foyer – CHECK
  • Use furniture we already have in the attic, including a day bed OR two slipper chairs, a coffee table and a large mirror – CHECK
  • Two custom desk spaces for the littles (and adults alike) that will fit a computer, books and school supplies – CHECK
  • Comfy seating area for reading and studying – CHECK
  • A totally renovated closet space for our office supplies, materials, crafting and party wares – CHECK
  • No TV!- CHECK

We actually did it!! And, in addition to all the pretty stuff, since move in we also replaced the white carpet with the same unstained white oak we have in the rest of the house, painted all of the trim, walls and ceiling, and replaced the rotten exterior wood door with a 15-light door.

Paint Colors – all Benjamin Moore:
Trim – Alabaster
Walls – Pale Oak
Ceiling – Quiet Moments

So how about a super detailed tour now?! Sit back and grab a drink because it’s going to be chocked full of pictures and details. :-)

Let’s start with the sitting area. The rug is from Ballard Designs and, as usual, I stalked the outlet until I found it. I can’t for the life of me recall where I picked up the little needlepoint stool, but it too was up in the attic just waiting to be returned to it’s former glory. (I actually can’t remember where it was at my old house either.)

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The two slipper chairs came out of the baby’s nursery and were originally from Ballard Designs circa 2006ish. They are in a mini diamond matelasse and I adore them. Rescuing them from my attic was pure pleasure. The Shades of Light chandy was a huge splurge, but since I already had the chairs and table I went for it. Speaking of the table, it also came out of my attic and was originally from the living room in our old house.

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Mother made the two throw pillows for me in egret in blue heaven. I carted the same fabric off to the upholsterer to fashion gathered chair cushions for the ghosties. The garden stool was a lucky Home Goods find. Don’t you just love those?!? I really don’t go in there much because when I do I always leave with something I shouldn’t.

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The acrylic tray was from sweet P via HKL Designs. The bottom snaps off to allow you to change out the bottom with paper or fabric. It’s pretty fantastic! The vase is an old find from a Savannah shopping trip and the brass shell turned business card holder was rescued from Mother’s stash (after she gave Sister two brass crabs…no, not bitter at all…)

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The oyster painting is by Amy Fogg and was the first purchase I made with my blog proceeds (after saving for months on end.) The name of it is “And Then There Were Three” and it immediately reminded me of my three boys, including my angel baby. I was her first etsy store sale last year and she cut me a deal that I couldn’t refuse :-)

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I purchased the two ghost chairs on ebay a while back. Both came slightly damaged on the seats and when the seller couldn’t replace them she told me to trash them and returned my money. Well, I obvi didn’t trash them. I just skirted them instead!

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These are lightweight and easy for the littles to move to their desks when in use. When they aren’t being used as desk seats, they turn around to complete a conversation area.

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Moving right along, tucked in the closet is the World Headquarters for my little Dixie Delights operation…

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The other closet door has yet to be hung. Honey says it will require him to install a whole new track and we just haven’t had the time or energy to tackle that yet. It’s the last thing on the list, but really I don’t foresee it being closed all that often.

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When The Container Store had their elfa closet systems on sale in February, I bit the bullet and splurged on what is now the nicest, most expensive closet I’ve ever (and might ever) own. But, after working out of it for the last couple of months, it was worth every penny. I emptied out TWO other closets to perfectly put everything in its place in the new space. If you’re wondering, the folks at Container Store were a pure pleasure to work with. I made an appointment in advance and came armed with my measurements and a short list of things I wanted to see in the space. I emailed the plan they sent me home with to two other companies for competitive price quotes and Container Store blew them out of the water. Honey installed everything in a few hours but they do have people that can do it for you. It took about six weeks for everything to come in, but I was in no rush – just be warned.

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I’ve got two complete rows of shelves at the top for baskets. I was able to reuse all of the Pottery Barn Kids Sabrina baskets with scalloped liners from our playroom here and they work perfectly. I have stored all of my party wares (plates, cups, napkins, straws, favor bags and such) on the very top shelf in the larger baskets. The smaller baskets hold craft supplies like paints, glues, tapes, etc. There is room for my printer off to the left as well – this was previously located on the floor of my closet and it was always a pain in the neck to print anything. I adore the versatility of the peg board for keeping things of all shapes and sizes that I use almost every day just an arms reach away. I can’t tell you how much time I spent standing on my head trying to get something out from the bottom of stacked bins in my guest room closet for the last five years.

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I’ve had the best time collecting pretty, preppy desk supplies over the past few months. The gold tape dispenser, file holder, stapler and scissors are all Nate Berkus for Target. The little vase is an upcycled candle holder from Christmas.

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The little canvas was painted by Mother as a Valentine’s gift, and the framed Kate Spade card was a gift from a dear friend after a lovely day spent together.

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The glass jars were Haven swag that I glittered with more Haven swag. You can see the full how-to here. The scalloped holders were something Sister had in her stash. I made the pin board out of a cork board from Target and left over pillow fabric and ribbon. It literally took me two minutes. My kind of project!

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Down below I have SO much storage for all sorts of paper, stationery, ribbons, packing supplies and more party stuff. The schoolhouse bar stool is from World Market and I have had the trash can for eons. Tricia at HKL Designscut the gold monograms for me!

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And one of my favorite features is the roll-out homework cart for the littles (pictured left)! It neatly holds all of our markers, crayons, stickers, papers, scissors, pencils, erasers and notebook paper. Everything has a place, it’s easy to get to and there’s no question where it should go when we are finished with it.

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Thanks to a fantastic reader suggestion, I ordered the capiz hanging lantern from World Market to cover the bare bulb. I found the vintage gold tassel pull at Paris Market in Savannah and it was the perfect finishing touch. (Can’t explain why this pic makes everything look orange…)

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I not only use this space for all of my crafting, but also for the computer. It is SO nice to finally have a home for it. It used to live under my bed for crying out loud. I made the mug, mouse pad and notepad recently and will be adding these items (in different designs) to my etsy store soon.

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I sometimes sit on the stool and use it here, but more often chill in one of the comfy slipper chairs with it in my lap.

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I also love having my littles homecoming gowns framed in this space. When they were sitting in here the other night with me doing homework and studying for a social studies test on maps, I couldn’t help but marvel at how quickly they grow and change. You can see how I framed them here.

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We’ve covered my workspace so it’s finally time to reveal the desks that came from my brain to my office over the course of a year and through the blood, sweat and tears of Dan Hodge (This was a total custom piece and his work was incredible. He can be reached through Creative Interiors and Consignment: (678) 402-8386 / [email protected].)

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I swoon a little every time I look at the hardware on this piece. I originally ordered something much pricier and then exchanged them for these and couldn’t be happier. They are from Lowe’s and I used the Sumner Street 6” pulls for the big doors and the 4” pulls for the upper cabinet.

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Inside, there are two side by side units with closed storage, basket storage, bulletin boards, dry erase boards and computer desks. There is a basket for the week’s homework and projects, a basket for school work to save and a basket for notes home from the school/teacher about events, dates, etc. All of that for EACH child!

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I picked up the square bulletin boards and dry erase calendars at Target. Both are by Board Dudes. The baskets are from Michael’s and you can see how I easily made the chalk tags here.

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We had quite a little collection of old laptops from Honey’s work that have been put to use for the littles.

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John is responsible for maintaining a daily planner as a third grader and this calendar is already helping to reinforce things at home.

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I love to see the little things that they choose to add to their pin boards. Whit has used his for his letter crafts of the day…

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…and John’s has strange things like empty Smartie’s wrappers and some strange list of things he put together with his little pal Jacob.


The last little piece is the wall with the windows. After a lengthy, across the state search, I ended up going with the Santerno dresser from Home Decorators Collection (in grigio carmine). It was about twice what I wanted to spend but went on sale and had free shipping so I carted it and never looked back. When it came I was quite impressed with how heavy, sizeable and well made it was, and in no time flat we had it fit right between the windows!!

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Mother helped me make the curtains this summer on our visit to Savannah. They are a basic white canvas fabric with velvet ribbon trim in a fretwork design. The velvet ribbon is gorgeous and much, much cheaper than actual trim. I ordered it from M&J Trimming with a 25% off coupon (currently still running). The color is light gray. The rods are by Antique Drapery Rod Company.

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I shared the story of the mirror a few weeks back. It came from my late neighbor, Miss J and I truly couldn’t love it more. The lamp came from my attic but is by Pottery Barn and was saved from a dull life at the outlet two years ago (only to find itself in an even worse predicament in my attic.) I kept holding on to, just knowing it would one day fit somewhere. I made the shade for Whit’s nursery eons ago with trims from Lewis & Sheron. It makes me smile to see it back in a room that I use every day.

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I wanted a place to frame inspirational or seasonal word art and we started with a favorite Walt Disney adage in PINK!! My Lilly books finally came off the bookshelf as well. The blue ball is from Home Goods and the brass turtle box is Nate Berkus for Target.

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Not only are these pieces easy on the eyes, but they are functional to boot. We keep a set of coasters brought home from a trip by Honey’s mama in the turtle box, and the drawers offer loads of storage for school work, sports papers and more.

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And in the last little corner, we keep a collection of favorite books AND our current library check-outs on hand. The basket is from Target.

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As for the room itself, we’ve been using it for reading and computers for a few weeks and just really put it to the test with back-to-school homework due on the first day (for both kids…ugh! already?!) I have claimed one chair as my own and we already spend more time in this room that I ever imagined. There’s no TV, it’s comfortable and it’s light and bright. John has been curling up with a book (Choose Your Own Adventure is the latest craze. Remember those!?!?) for his required reading, and Whit sits on the little footstool and colors, draws and cuts to his heart’s content. They both have enjoyed having easy access to the computers and I love being able to monitor just what they are looking at.

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When the littles are around, the space typically looks well-used, well loved and a bit topsy-turvy.

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But it cleans up nicely and can still look great seeing as it’s the first room off of our entry way.

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So that’s the blow-by-blow tour of our finally finished family office!!! I seriously can’t believe that we are down to just the master bathroom as far as room renos go. And that one is going to be a while still :-)

Flattered for the features at House of Turquoise, The 2 Seasons and Elizabeth & Co.!

62 thoughts on “The Family Office {Before & After}

  1. The room is just gorgeous! I can't believe you couldn't find a spot somewhere in the for Big Joe! It would add just the right touch to the room, don't you think?!?!? Lol. LOVE the hidden desk unit :)

  2. Amanda, I've been waiting for this reveal. This might just be my new fave room. You outdid yourself here, my friend. What a fun place to "work"! Miss ya. xo

  3. Girl! It's D-vine!!! And I have been in the space to attest to its magic! You can work a room!!! Oh, and I need a mug, screen saver and mouse pad like stat! Pop me a little text when those are ready for the etsy shop please!!!

  4. It's perfection, Amanda. I devoured every ounce of your post. I don't know what I love the most! It is definitely one of my favorite rooms in your home (I think I say that about all your rooms, don't I?) Love, love, love it! I am also glad to see that I am not the only one who still uses a separate mouse. My husband thinks it's strange that I don't use that annoying little pad on the keyboard… Congrats on another hugely successful room! Cheers! – Shelley

  5. Absolutely beautiful room! Everything is great. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing your source for the white fabric for the curtains. I love them! Thank you.

  6. Spectacular! I did have a question about the drapes – are they made from canvas material OR from drop clothes? BTW who bur you would think to team it up with velvet to glam it up? Love them!

  7. Gorgeous! I love all the little details. Everything is so well thought out. Kudos for taking the time to think about what you wanted, what you needed, and executing it perfectly!

  8. You never cease to amaze me!! The room is amazing. Pretty, practical, functional. I love that you took a room that in most home goes somewhat unused because it is off the foyer area, and you feel it needs to look "pretty" all the time…and turned it into something that not only does look pretty, cleans up easy, but is so loved and used daily.
    And, I am with P…can't wait for those items to hit your etsy shop!!

  9. You did such a great job! You packed so much into that room and were able to use some of your already owned things in there. Awesome!

  10. Having my coffee, I felt like I just got to peak behind The Wizard's curtain, walk through Walt Disney's studio and perch on a shelf in Santa's workshop! Magical, indeed!

    Thank you for sharing every gorgeous detail. No sooner hadi spotted the Haven glittered jars, you mentioned them! And how very special to have your precious boys represented in the painting…your three beautiful pearls.

    May this special place, that you put your heart and soul into, bring years of laughter, learning, sharing and creativity to your family for years to come.

    My gift list is already drawn up for mugs and mouse pads! Can't wait!!

    Jane ~ San Diego

  11. Perfection!!!!! I have enjoyed reading your blog for a while and finally commenting. I love that you think of every detail… that is so me and now that we are building a new home, my husband gives me quite the time about this. What's the quote I saw on Pinterest lately… "Luxury is in each detail" ? I totally agree. I am also about two hours away from Ballard Outlet in Roswell and stop by on the way to AmericasMart for work. I'd love to know any shopping tips. I've only been a handful of times and have already found so many amazing deals for the new casa! (and I'm all about a good deal :) Great job on the new office. Stunning, just like the rest of your gorgeous home!!

  12. Amanda…this room IS perfection. I love it. There are so many things to love about this room…but I have to say I want those curtains….you and your mom need to sell those in your etsy, pretty please. Can I be the first one to buy????

  13. you have a beautiful home..every room but, I can't help but notice that it's all decorated for you. (even the boys computer screens). I'm not bashing you I just think it would be nice to allow the boys to have their own space decorated the way that they like. it won't be perfect but, it will be "them"

  14. The room is stunning and is your perfect style! I love everything you do – no matter what it is. You have a gift Amanda. I can just imagine all the fun you and your family will have in that room.

  15. UGH – Now I SOOOOO want to build a closet in my master with the built in desks. Think a cabinet maker could build a section just to store the lovely fishing rods my husband insists be in climate control storage (currently our bedroom)? Miss you guys, XOXO

  16. Yay! Your office is amazing!
    My favorite part is that it looks like a sitting room when not in use.
    You did a great job!

  17. Do the areas at the top of the desks open for storage? Do you keep things in there? I am imagining your seasonal door items in there. I love all the storage in this one room.

  18. Such a beautiful room! I love every idea and thought that went into it. The oyster painting is beautiful and really makes a statement in the room, especially with the meaning behind it. So well done!

  19. You really outdid yourself! I'm green over those drapes. Whatever you do please do not post how much those cost to make! They look every inch as professional as the ones I had made a couple of years ago. I almost fainted when I got the bill;) What a treasure you have in that mother of yours! But seriously…that's what I love about your blog. You have really great tips to make your decorating dollar work harder. Now instead of ripping a page out of a magazine and handing it to the seamstress, I know how to source things like fabrics and trims more economically. Thanks!

  20. Wow! I love it all! What size ribbon did you use on the drapery? Just stunning and thanks for sharing!

  21. This room is so functional and BEAUTIFUL, Amanda!! You have such lovely taste and the details in your rooms are what amaze me most. The velvet trim on the curtains is SO pretty, and the built in and all your repurposed furniture combined with the egret fabric and your magic touch makes this room shine!!

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