Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jill's Office Reveal [plus an interview]

Do you remember Jill's office? I wrote about it here when I was being a Decorative Meddler (giving other people advice so I didn't have to work on my own projects). 

Her office was dark and she didn't enjoy working in the space. She works from home and needs this area to be functional as well as pleasant. It was far from either of those ideals.

I came up with a few ideas in my virtual makeover:


My main idea was to brighten up the walls with paint, keep the chair rail because I liked it at that height, and add warm touches and use mostly white furniture (again to lighten up the feel). I also thought doing darker on top would make the room seem bigger -- I heard that once from someone who knew they were talking about and have wanted to try it ever since.

I also hoped to convince her to buy a Mac. See my shameless plug I inserted in her virtual room?

I was over-joyed when Jill sent me her "after" pictures.

Not only did she exceed my wildest expectations in her design, but she took lovely pictures of her process and sent them to me to share!

Let's remember the before:

Jill's after:

Gasp! I KNOW. Isn't it absolutely beautiful? I love it. It is calming, full of storage, and has places for her, plus her husband and 4 children, to work, play, and relax.

A major overhaul comes with a lot of work. My virtual plan was super easy (for me) and required no multiple paint coats over red walls. It reminds me why I love virtual makeovers more than the real hard part.

Jill's design incorporates all the neutral shades I love, plus those warm touches of red that ground the space and pull it all together.

Jill has so many genius ideas here, I just have to share them with you. I'm inspired to start my own project. 

(Ikea couch, Pottery Barn rug, Ikea kitchen height counters)

Me to Jill: 
What is your favorite part of your new room?

I think my favorite part would be the taking out of the closet doors and increasing the room's square footage. It's sure not much, but just by having the lighter color couch to look at rather than the dark doors is a delight to the eyes. Also, my kids like to play there while I'm in here, and I like it when we're together, even if we're all doing our own thing. 

Another small thing that I love, is the under cabinet light by my computer. I don't know why it's so exciting, but I love the fact that it is hidden, but still gives off enough light to work with, especially at night. Reminds me of my college days where I'd work under the glow of Christmas lights in our dorm room. 

Oh, and I like the rug, too! (But it sure is rough on the knees!)

(Chicken wire inserted in the back of a free frame that Jill painted white and distressed)

Me to Jill:
What were your best cheap finds?

Most of the decorating pieces came from thrift stores or garage sales. Bulletin board .75, large frame FREE, large plate on shelf .50, dried roses from our wedding(!), chalk board FREE (found in our barn), side table $5, ruler container $1.

(Curtains sewn from an inexpensive painter's drop cloth)

A project that scared me from the beginning was the little table in front of the couch. It scared me because I bought it brand new at TJMaxx (it was black), but knew I was going to paint it. Painting something that comes from a garage sale, or lost in the garage? No problem. Painting something I received a receipt for? Scary! But, it turned out to be a fun and easy project that I really like, and the best part was that Tom thought I bought it that way. Phew!

Print pillow covers: Etsy find, Amy Butler pattern
Burlap pillow: Sewed and stenciled by me (Jill)

Tom's desk: $10 at H2O (It was an ugly pink and blue color), cleaned and painted white.

Cabinet by couch; garage sale find (top was falling off, door not attached)

Cubby hole shelf: garage sale find (covered in stickers), 
painted, Ikea glass jars used for the kid's money jars

The hardest part of the room? Argh. Has to be the counter tops. Because I wanted the corner space open underneath for my chair, I couldn't buy the standard kitchen butcher block counters from Ikea because their corner unit had to come with an actual unit under it complete with doors and shelving and lazy Susan's ($$). So, I found these counters in the office desk section at Ikea, the only problem was they were not the standard depth of the cabinets. I bought the longer length counters, thinking I could cut the extra off and add it to the back. Ha. I should have known. After 6 months of staring at the uncut/unfinished counters (using cardboard for one of the temporary counters in the meantime) I enlisted the help of a cabinet maker. If I knew it would only take him 3 hours to finish the entire project, I would have called him months ago!

(Shelves and pen holder from Ikea)

Inspiring, right?

Beautiful work!

I know she'll have many productive hours spent in your new, well designed space.

What is your next (or current) project?

Mine is, coincidentally, my office which doesn't currently exist -- organizing first, moving rooms second, beautifying third.



Kelleigh @ Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs said...

This is absolutely gorgeous!! I was just wondering if Jill ever did anything with your re-design, and I LOVE the results!!

Great job to both of you!

Season said...

Beautiful! This is the second time I've heard of drop cloth curtains this week. I'm totally using this idea! I also just saw someone turn a huge drop cloth into beautiful flooring. Weird huh?

Jill said...

Alysun - wow! Thank you for taking the time to do this! I can't wait to see how your office turns out - will you give it a virtual makeover too?? I think it is such a great place to start. Thanks so much for the kick start to get this project rolling!!

Applejacks32 said...

I love it Jill! You did an amazing job!! Great article Alysun!

Melanie said...

Sooo cute!! I love the finished product. Alysun, will you come to my house and look at a room I have? ;) Maybe you could do some sightseeing while you are here...

Sara said...

Wow, wow, wow! Maybe I would actually get on top of all my paperwork if I had an office that looked like that! :) This is so beautiful! My favorite part is the old closet area with the couch.

Tawny said...

That is an incredible transformation. Kudos!

Linds and Manda said...

It's amazing...want to come up here and work your magic?

Mark and Mary Lynne McCulloch said...

My sister is quite the artist. Jill, you went nuts on your office! Mary Lynne and I are in shock.