My favorite way to develop the design of a new home with inherited décor from previous homeowners is to first take things back to basics. I remove and donate old drapes that were left behind, paint walls a crisp neutral white, and swap competing lights or fans for fixtures that match our aesthetic. It might seem silly to paint walls a color that I know I won’t keep, but white helps remove distracting visuals so I can come up with a more intentional plan that suits our long term style.
The next room makeover project on my list is my home office. If you remember, I set this space up as an art studio right when we moved in last November, but I, ultimately, never used it. The room was gathering dust, which is a shame since it gets the most glorious afternoon light. I had no reason to enjoy it, but now that I’ve turned the room into a dedicated office, I can bask in the sunlight much more comfortably, and (better yet) productively!
The only thing is that the room doesn’t feel very “me” in its current state. The walls have a fresh coat of white paint on them (with the exception of the faux wallpaper feature wall, which I did for work and never really planned to keep forever), and we put in a new modern ceiling fan to match the others we installed all throughout the house. I found an inexpensive rug on Amazon that matched the square shape of this room, but it’s not really my favorite color palette or design. Square rugs are apparently hard to find, so my options were extremely limited. Recently, I found myself with a little extra free time in my schedule, so I decided it was time to take a hard look at my office design and give it more solid direction.
The first thing I knew needed to change was the paint color. I wanted to bring some personality to the space, but I also really wanted to avoid the color blue/green since I’ve used it so often in our home. It was time for something a little different, so I decided to go with a shade of pinkish terracotta—actually, the same paint color I used as an accent tone in our entryway makeover from earlier this year. It’s called “Likeable Sand” from Sherwin-Williams, and is the perfect complement to all of the greenish blue tones we have in the rest of the house. It’s a pretty bold color, though, so I plan to take it only part way up the wall, like I did in my home office at the old house, which you can see here.
With the paint color chosen, it was time to consider art. I sold the art I had up in the room previously to make a little money that I could then add to my décor budget, and then I went on the hunt for vintage art. I was hoping to find something really oversized to go behind my desk, and one other piece to go over the small mid-century dresser that I use for pet supplies and linen storage. The latter didn’t have to be big at all, because I also plan to add a floating shelf or two on that same wall, which I’ll use as plant display space (all of my plants have to go up high now because of the kitten!).
Happily, I managed to find my art pretty quickly thanks to repeat visits to my favorite secondhand stores. I decided on a large Asian folding screen with birds flying across it to go up behind my desk, and I found a similar (but much smaller) Asian art piece for just $35 to go on the other wall. That smaller piece has a bird in it, too, so it works well theme-wise with the large screen, and it also has a hint of terracotta-like color in the mat to mimic my new paint color.
That mood board above gives you a general idea of my direction for the space. I want to warm things up by using that new paint color, and I also plan to swap out the gray-toned rug for something more cream-based with flecks of my favorite shade of blue in it. It’s also worth noting that the modular-style rug I’ve chosen can be fully customized to match the odd shape of this room, so, thankfully, there’s no more stress there.
As for the furniture, I’ll keep all of that the same to save money since I used $130 of my overall budget already on art. I just bought the paint, and that, happily, was on sale for just $45. I also want to makeover the one closet in this space to be more functional for our pets (we don’t need it for our own storage), so stay tuned for that before/after soon. I’m so excited to dive into this project, and can’t wait to share the results with you in just a handful of weeks! Let me know what you think of my vision and design direction in the comments below.
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