It’s been almost a year since I started planning a makeover for our home office and two and a half months since I started the install, and I am happy to say that I am finally done!!

I have redone dozens of rooms over the years, but I’ve got to admit that I have NEVER encountered as many setbacks as I did with this room. It was surprising and frustrating!!! But I believe in doing whatever it takes to get the job done correctly, so I spent a lot of time changing parts of the design and redoing projects until they met my standard of quality. I am glad I did because I am happy with how the room turned out!

So let’s get to the photos!

Here are the BEFORE photos…




Can we talk about how dated this room is for a second? From the beige and red color scheme to the silver accents to the damask print to the overabundance of light colored wood, can you tell that the last time I decorated this room was circa 2008? It makes me kind of nauseous.

So let’s look at the AFTER photos then…





Looks much better in my opinion.

Here’s a breakdown of the changes I made…


Years ago, we purchased a new dining room suite that included six dining chairs. I recently decided that I no longer wanted to keep the chairs because they were quite dated looking now, and I wanted to go with more comfortable upholstered chairs for our dining room table instead.

I decided to donate the old dining chairs, and just as I was getting ready to drop them off at the donation center I chose to keep the two end chairs and only donate the four side chairs. As I looked at those end chairs, I was reminded of why I purchased them to begin with so many years ago. I really loved the modern shape! Plus, these were well made solid wood chairs. The fabric had definitely seen better days, but I knew that if I kept these chairs I could likely find a way to repurpose them at some point down the road.

Well, I’ve figured out what to do with one of them. I realized that it would make a great looking desk chair in my new home office, and would also save me the money of having to buy a brand new one.

one of my old dining room end chairs

But in order to make this old dining chair work in my office it was going to need a makeover!


I have been busy gathering items to display in the built-in bookcases we recently installed in our home office. I really wanted to have a couple decorative boxes on the shelves in order to be able to store some small items in a pretty way.

There are some gorgeous decorative boxes out there, but I am big fan of Z Gallerie’s Ming boxes because I love the geometric emblem on the front as it really glams up the look in a modern minimal way. They also come in an aqua color that would match my office.


But, of course, these boxes sell for $59.95. I’m really trying to limit how much I spend on all of the decor for the bookcases since these decorative items are the types of things that are easy to save money on. So $60 was over my desired budget.

I figured I might be able to make something similar to the Ming boxes myself for much less, with emphasis on the word “similar”. The boxes I ended up making are not Ming box knock-offs, but rather they are inspired by the Ming box.

Personally, I think finding a piece of decor you love and using it as inspiration to make your own unique item is a great way to create affordable custom interior design in your home. Knock-offs are nice, but it’s hard to achieve the exact same look and quality as the item you’re trying to copy.

I’ve also learned that simply using something you love as inspiration can allow you to create a product that works better for you than the original item you were shooting for. My “Ming-box-inspired” decorative boxes are a better size and color for my office than the original Ming boxes would have been, and they are also made out of more durable materials.


I’m in the middle of giving my home office a makeover, and one of my biggest priorities for the room has been to add some built-in storage. It’s important to note that our home office sits at the front of our house and is basically the first room you see after entering the foyer. Thus everything in it is very visible… including the messy bookshelves that we had going on in there…


Our office also needs to be a very functional room for us. We store a lot of things in there and use the room for working and printing regularly, so we needed a way to store all of our stuff in a tidy and presentable way.

Enter the built-in bookcase! A built-in wall of shelving just seemed like the best way to contain everything in a neat and orderly fashion, plus built-ins can be a great aesthetic feature in a room.

We have a long alcove along one wall that was just screaming for built-in storage to be placed there. It measured 135” long by about 18” deep. Perfect!

I knew from the beginning that this was going to be a DIY project for me and my hubby because it’s quite expensive to have a contractor or carpenter install custom made built-ins. Honestly, they’re just a bunch of painted wood attached to the wall, so I figured we could build them ourselves.

There was only one problem with that… I really wanted drawers along the bottom of my built-ins. I knew that drawers were the best way to neatly store all of the small functional items we needed to keep in the room. So they really were a necessity, but they would also take a lot of time to build from scratch.

I finally figured that the best solution was Ikea! I could purchase some Ikea bookshelves that had drawers and alter them to become a custom built-in (I’ve noticed other people have done similar things so I’m definitely not the first to think of this). Not only would it save us the challenge of building drawers, but it would also save us lots of construction time and allow me to be able to do some of the construction myself, thus minimizing the amount of time I would need my husband’s help (if you didn’t read my ‘About’ page, my husband is not a big fan of DIY projects).