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…

the walls

I kept the walls simple because I didn’t feel they needed any special treatment since there was going to be so many other elements happening in the room. My only change was to repaint them a pale cool gray color in order to lighten up the room. Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Gray ended up being the perfect color.

the floor


The hardwood floors—despite not being my current favorite color— certainly worked in the room so they were staying. I knew I wanted to add an area rug in here though, and decided that a round rug would be perfect to highlight the furniture in the middle of the room. I wanted a simple gray and white modern pattern and found this wool rug on Overstock for a good price… and my dog loves it!

the built-in storage


The built-in bookcases that my husband and I created were a major part of this makeover (see more about that here). Not only did they take us a lot of time to install (that sucker is 135 inches long by 9 feet tall!), but they also ended up being the focal point of the room as I had hoped.

This room needed to function for us similar to a commercial office supply room, yet we certainly didn’t want it to look like one! The built-in—and the way I styled it— was the key solution to giving us storage while making it appear more like a beautiful display cabinet rather than a messy supply room.

the furniture


With the built-in as the main piece of furniture, I really only needed to add a desk and desk chair to the room.

I really liked the clean lines of the old desk we had in the room, but I wasn’t a fan of the color. So I painted it white and changed out the hardware to match the built-in, and it was good to go.

The desk chair is an old dining room chair that I gave a makeover (see more about that here).


I decided to keep the two small ottomans that were sitting in front of the desk because I noticed over the years that they really were functional since my kids sat on them regularly, but I also liked the aesthetic advantage they gave me. They allowed me to bring a much needed pop of pattern and color to the middle of the room. You can learn more about my ottoman makeover here.


The corner opposite the desk was empty and needed something there to balance the whole room out. I decided to add a swoop chair and small accent table to fill it out.

the accessories


I tried to limit the accessories on the desk so there would be plenty of clear space to work. I only added a lamp, a decorative storage tray and a pencil cup.


Another reason I didn’t want to over clutter the desk was because I knew there would be a lot of decor on the built-in bookcases nearby. Trying to figure out an arrangement plus a purchase list for all of the accessories in the bookcases was a lot to keep track of in my head, so I planned it all out on the computer. You can learn more about how I styled my built-in here.

the wall decor


I decided to bring a personal touch to the room by highlighting some of our travel photos over the piano which you can learn more about here.


I also wanted to add some wall art in the corner of the room next to the swoop chair. I called on one of my hobbies, graphic design, to create some framed quotes. I designed these and printed them myself (on my mom’s photo printer). My skills and talent as a graphic designer are limited, but I enjoy taking on projects. I highlighted some of my favorite Bible verses that mean a lot to me. I try to remember them every day so it made sense to stick them up on the wall of my office.

the source list
  • WALL COLOR  |  Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray
  • WOOL RUG  |  Overstock
  • ACCENT TABLE  |  At Home
  • DESK LAMP  |  HomeGoods
  • PENCIL CUP  |  Bed Bath & Beyond
  • METAL STORAGE TRAY  |  HomeGoods
  • GRAY STORAGE BOXES  |  Kvarnvik from Ikea
  • DECOR ON BUILT-IN BOOKCASES  |  HomeGoods, At Home, Target, Ikea
  • WALL FRAMES  |  Target and

So that’s it! Let me know what you think of my new home office in the comments!

SHARING AT THE FOLLOWING: Thrifty Decor Chick Before and After, Tatertots & Jello Link Party Palooza


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).