UPDATED July 2020
Other than my kids’ rooms, which have turned from nurseries to teen spaces over the time I’ve been writing this blog, only the office has evolved as much. As you know, I like to start with where I started… the room on move-in day was full of promise, but outdated, the door was cracked in multiple places and the white carpet was just gross.
The room was transformed into a playroom soon after moving in. It was well loved and well used for the years before Whit went to Kindergarten. In addition to the decor, 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.
From that point, I set out to create a family office that would be functional, relaxing and have plenty of storage space. This is what it looked like from 2016 to 2020.
As the kids got older and my job transitioned from part time outside of the home to full time work from home, I finally came to terms with the fact that the pretty little office was no longer working hard enough for us. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on an update, but I desperately needed a formal office space for myself. Here is where we landed!
Paint Colors – all Benjamin Moore:
Trim – Alabaster
Walls – Pale Oak
Ceiling – Quiet Moments
Celine Cheetah Rug in Champagne (Ballard Designs)
Coastal Writing Desk (Amazon)
Emma 3 Door Console (Ballard Designs)
Lucite Side Chairs (Amazon, cushions by local upholsterer)
Chateau Desk Chair in Linen French Blue (Wisteria)
Oyster painting (Amy Fogg)
Garden Stool (old, Home Goods)
Curtains (handmade, fabric and trim in light gray)
Curtain Rods (Antique Drapery Rod Company)
Slipper Chair (old, Ballard Designs)
Dog Bed in Small/Medium Curve White (Amazon)
Chandelier (Shades of Light)
Family Crest and Watercolor Artwork (Simply Jessica Marie)
This continues to be the most versatile space in the house, I think. It is the first room off the foyer and cleans up nicely. But most hours of most days it looks a lot more like this.
There are three different workspaces in the office. The first is my desk, with the others being the craft area and the kid desks. The chairs from the kid desks can also turn around and double as extra seating at the desk. You know, for all of the interviews and in person meetings I conduct. (Totally kidding. LOL)
I love the size and clean lines of my desk. There is a nice long drawer to store my work materials so that in evenings and on weekends it isn’t staring at me. That alone has done wonders for getting back some balance in my life.
I also purchased a credenza at the Ballard Outlet for even more storage. This houses all of my materials on destinations, as well as client files and general office supplies. My desk chair is sturdy and comfy and was from Wisteria. It took me forever to find one I loved!
The oyster painting over my desk is by Amy Fogg and was the first purchase I made with my blog proceeds (after saving for months on end) back in 2016. 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 ever and we have since formed a virtual friendship. The flowers were for my birthday, from Farmgirl Flowers.
The rug is from Ballard Designs and, as usual, I stalked the outlet until I found it. (Tip for locals, if you are looking for something specific you can call and get on a waitlist!) I can’t for the life of me recall where I picked up the little needlepoint stool, but it came from my old house.
My biggest splurge in this round of redesign was a new bed for Elsa (of all things)! After a couple of weeks of carrying her bed from my room down here each morning, I finally decided to get her one to stay here permanently. I wanted something lovely and that she would love and this one fit the bill!
The slipper chair, one of a pair, came out of the Whit’s nursery and was originally from Ballard Designs circa 2006ish. They are in a mini diamond matelasse and I adore them. The match has returned to the attic for now. The garden stool was from Home Goods. Mother made the two throw pillows (desk chair and slipper chair) for me in egret in blue heaven back when I originally designed the family office.
The chest between the windows (no longer available) was also added with the original family office design and it continues to serve us well. Mother helped me make the curtains back in 2016. 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 in light gray. The rods are by Antique Drapery Rod Company.
I shared the story of the mirror a while back. It came from my late neighbor and I 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 it, just knowing it would one day fit somewhere. I made the shade for a floor lamp in Whit’s nursery eons ago with trims from Lewis & Sheron. It makes me smile to see it in a room that I use every day.
I wanted a place to frame inspirational or seasonal word art and rotate through different things at the holidays. However, my every-day art of choice is a painting Mother did of my monogram in pink and gold!! The blue ball is from Home Goods and the brass turtle box was Nate Berkus for Target.
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.
The kid workspace was designed by me and custom built back in 2016 by a local carpenter. As they have grown older, they strangely don’t have as much homework on the computer. They primarily use these as regular desks now, rather than computer desks like they did a few years back.
The doors fully close like an armoire, to hide what’s inside. When open, there are two side by side units with closed storage, basket storage, bulletin boards, dry erase boards and 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!
Here is how they looked when they had laptops inside. 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.
The ghost chairs at the desks have worked great these past four years. I had the cushions made by my local upholsterer.
Moving around the room, I have our family crest and watercolors of Elsa and our front door framed here.
Tucked in the closet are ALL of our craft, party, school and office supplies, as well as things for projects in progress (ie. the cheerios box). When The Container Store had their elfa closet systems on sale, 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 four years, I can say 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.
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 (and originally from Whit’s nursery) 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’ve had the best time collecting pretty, preppy desk supplies. 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. Mother painted the two heart canvases for me at Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago.
The glass jars on the top shelf were craft projects. 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!
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 Designs cut the gold monograms for me! One of my favorite features is still the roll-out homework cart (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.
As for the room itself, we use it every single day. There’s no TV, it’s comfortable and it’s light and bright. The boys do their homework and projects in here and I love having a space with a door to shut at the end of my work day.
Thank you so much for sticking with me to the end! I have appreciated this space MORE THAN EVER this past week having all four of us home 24/7 working and e-learning! Honey has been super jealous of my set-up, as he is temporarily located in the dining room.
I hope y’all enjoyed this little peek into our home and our lives. Our home evolves as we do, and it’s so much fun to bring dreams and ideas to life!!
DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED