Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Decorating Meddler Strikes: Jill's Office

I know Jill as a fellow hard working mom from our MOPS group. We were on the steering team together last year. She grew up with my husband in church, so it is fun to connect after all these years. I've been to Jill's house and thought, "Wow, she has great style." Jill knows what she likes and doesn't like, is working with a budget, has a bit more creativity than the average, and enjoys reading/seeing other people's decorating styles and skills. I feel privileged that she would ask my opinion. Seriously, I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to decorating. But I love it and am glad to help if I can.

Here is what she wrote....

  • This is the current state of the 'home office'. We have moved our office to our shop (yippee!) and that leaves me with this old master bedroom, office, wanna-be giant den/craftroom at my disposal.
  • I loved the wall color, but it is very dark, and the room has only one window - thus I complain ALL the time about the dark hole I get to work in. I would love to lighten it up, but I still like color. I may want to leave the dark brown trim around the room for texture and depth, but I would paint it, I think.
  • I love the style of The Lettered Cottage, and I was hoping to incorporate some used furniture pieces for a desk; mixing light colors with dark wood? I have a bunch of old whitewashed fence boards that I thought would be fun to build a desk out of, but I have no idea how that would turn out. I have also fallen keen to the idea of having a desk be kitchen counter height; I could either stand and work at the desk, or sit in a tall chair. A big corner desk would be fun, but I don't like staring at a wall when I work, but I don't like a desk jutting out into the room either (been there, done that).
  • I'm thinking I would like various plain shelves on the wall where the chalk board is; different depths and sizes. The lights are such a hideous excuse for ambience - but what to do differently?
  • I love baskets, warm colors, and anything with a 'twist'. I would love to change out the dark green carpet, but it is glued down, and so is my floor trim.

I love that Jill said, "fallen keen to the idea," and "hideous excuse for ambience." Don't we want this fun person to have an amazing home office?

(this is the before picture when the room was still the office for their business)

(this is the office currently. Hey there, cutie-pie Owen playing in Mommy's things. Jill has 3 girls and 1 boy. They are gorgeous kids.)

After reading Jill's note, I was inspired. There are so many great office ideas out there:

This bulletin board idea is really great. It is from Better Homes and Gardens. They put cork-board, covered in linen into regular frames. I was inspired and began a project involving a six-paned wood window that would function as a bulletin board. It is ALMOST done. I promise pictures to come.

Jill mentioned she likes tall, kitchen counter height tables. I like this one from Country Living. The metal stools are great too.

I like the wire baskets used here, hooked to the wall and on the desk.

I set about virtually decorating the space. It's free! I did try to incorporate things that would be easy enough to build or replicate on a budget.

So here is Jill's office again:


And here is my after:


  • paint the bottoms of the walls a creamy, very pale yellow. The tops, a darker shade with white chair rail in between. I would paint all the moldings in the room white.
  • Put the desk centered between the "hideous excuse for ambience" light fixtures.
  • Change the fixtures to bigger ones in antiqued bronze.
  • Make a bulletin board out of 2 old windows or a french door on its side and center it above the desk. The scale will be big and fill the wall.
  • The desk is from Pottery barn. It is on sale right now for $949. What a steal. I imagine Jill and her crafty husband could come up with something similar for nearly free if they used existing lumber.
  • The rug is a real steal from Overstock.com for less than $150 for an 8x10'. It is indoor/outdoor and will function as a fantastic color piece as well disguise the floor. Dark colored carpets are hard to keep looking clean, so I think a large area rug would be very practical.
  • The chair is red leather and I liked it. It isn't terribly affordable at $300 for 2 at Overstock, but a painted red chair would work too.
  • I also took the shelves from Pottery Barn. I can't help it. I love that place. They have mastered a warm, homey look. Mastered it! The book cases are $799 each. Jill is crafty, I'm sure she can whip out a welder and create the same look with some iron and her distressed fence boards.


As far as the rest of the room, I think there would be space for some more shelves and a small table and chairs for her creative children. So, what do you think? Do you have any more ideas to make Jill's office workable and welcoming?



Dan & Hillary said...

As you know, I have no imagination for this kind of thing. HGTV hosts keep me in awe of their work.

I do like the white/black/red theme:-)

PS- where were your children when you did all this??

Anonymous said...

Alysun, I am grinning from ear to ear right now :) You have out done yourself!!! I love the fact that you didn't hold back - this is SO what I needed to see. A little inspiration can go a long way. I've been thinking of using an old door off the houe for the desk top (covered with glass), but I had no idea what to do for legs. Bingo! Thanks so much for doing this...what fun! Now...excuse me while I go shop for that rug...!!

Anonymous said...

Oops, that comment was from Jill :)

Melanie said...

Nice job, Alysun! I'm no decorator, but I think you did great! With that wide desk, I can actually picture a space where Jill could stand and work if she wanted to. (Hi, Jill!)

Coleson's Blog said...

Love those bulletin boards!

Thank you for the compliment on the blog, means alot coming from a photographer like yourself ;)

Kristal (Sara's friend)

Sara said...

You did great! I love the rug and the book shelves the best.

joyq said...

That is it. I am sending you photos to fix. And I want you to be a guest poster on my sight. Think it over:)

Anonymous said...

I had fun looking at your office ideas! What a great space! Kelsey