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
DESK LAMP  |  HomeGoods
PENCIL CUP  |  Bed Bath & Beyond
GRAY STORAGE BOXES  |  Kvarnvik from Ikea
DECOR ON BUILT-IN BOOKCASES  |  HomeGoods, At Home, Target, Ikea
WALL FRAMES  |  Target, Wayfair

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


  1. Avatar Talitha Brooks

    So…I hope you don’t mind me asking…but, we were wondering where you got the vase that’s at the top center of the built-in?

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      I don’t mind you asking at all! Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I got it though. It was about 12 years ago that I bought it so it’s been awhile. If I had to guess it was probably somewhere like HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx or Marshalls. But that’s just a guess. Sorry!!

  2. Avatar Nicole Niebauer

    Do you have a printer in your office, and if so, where is it hidden?

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      No, our printers are currently in another room in our house (my husband’s former home office). Eventually I’d like to move them in here though.

  3. Avatar dee

    What ikea bookcases were used on the remake of the office?billie? Or something else?

  4. Avatar irisnacoleatwh

    This is a beautiful makeover! That built-in is amazing, and really does make the room that much more stunning. It’s wonderful that it doubles as beautiful storage too!

  5. Avatar Bertie DeWane

    This is the most beautiful office makeover I’ve ever seen! I love EVERYTHING about it!

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Thanks so much! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Avatar houseupdated

    Stephanie – it looks so so great! Those built-ins are ridiculously awesome. I’ve been debating what color to paint my (currently very ugly) office built-ins and you are convincing me to go white…

    Great job!!

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      I went with white in the office because I wanted to brighten up the room. But I really do love color on furniture and built-ins. The room I’m working on now will have furniture painted with color… and maybe some brass hardware if I can get up the nerve 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Avatar Nickesha

    This space is beautiful! Visiting for the first time…came over from Thrifty Decor Chick.

    Great job. 😀

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Thanks so much! I appreciate the love!

  8. Avatar Dan

    Please, don’t ask Dan. The only reason this looks great is because of the designer! She has great style and an eye for details that I will never ever see.

  9. Avatar The other Stephanie

    Congratulations on the big reveal! Looks fantastic. You’ll have to introduce us to your capenter. Oh, wait….

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Thanks! If you need some carpentry work done just ask Dan. He loves it! lol

  10. Avatar Melanie Brockman

    I love it–the art work is perfect (photos and verse prints). It’s personal but clutter free. The color scheme seems soothing. I foresee lots of good work going on in here. Well done!

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Thanks! Hopefully I’ll get lots of work done there!

  11. Avatar Judy Saunders

    Looks great!! I couldn’t image it at the start, but it looks awesome. It all came together so well. A lot of hard work!!!

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