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Home Office Makeover - From Dark and Dreary to Light and Dreamy

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Pretty Handy Girl: Home Office Makeover - From Dark and Dreary to Light and Dreamy

Monday, August 30, 2010

Home Office Makeover - From Dark and Dreary to Light and Dreamy

Why do we wait to remodel the rooms that we spend the most time in?

Our home office had very humble beginnings. No overhead lights meant we had to use a floor lamp and table top lights to see.

The walls were a deep burnt sienna color that didn't bounce much of that light around.

I had a big computer armoire that was dark inside. But, worst of all, Pretty Handsome Guy and I worked together in the room with our backs to one another for 3 years!

I dreaded sitting and working in that room. As a graphic and web designer, I had no inspirations, no creative energy. And being the light obsessed person I am, I was depressed by all the darkness in the room. I took frequent breaks just to escape from the office.

I dreamed of a home office with one wall of built-in bookcases and storage and a work surface that jutted out in the middle. I tried to sell the idea to my better half, but Pretty Handsome Guy just couldn't picture it.

As luck would have it, three months later, Sandra at Sawdust and Paper Scraps just completed my dream office in her home!

Sawdust and Paper Scraps Built-in Dream Office Come to Life

She posted the pictures on Remodelaholic. Hey Sandra, thanks for taking too long to finish it. Just kidding. But, If she had posted her pictures three months ago, our office may have looked very different.

Sometimes fate is a good thing, and in this case I am thrilled with the end result of our home office and it is all thanks to an inspiration I had when I found two of these:

$15 for a pair of solid wood doors with beautiful cherry stain on one side. 

I snatched them up at a church yard sale! You can imagine the look on Pretty Handsome Guy's face when I came home with these hanging out the back of my car. "Um, don't we already have doors on all our doorways?"  I answered with one word, "Potential."

We didn't do a thing to the doors except to remove the hardware and use the hinges in other rooms of our home. The stain color was a perfect match to our existing furniture. 

If you look back at some of our earlier posts you have been privy to some of the changes we made in the office.


Well, we finally put the finishing touches on the room, and I'm ready to show you the results.

New window treatments, and freshly scraped and painted ceilings.

 FIVE! Yes, count them, five ceiling light fixtures.
4 can lights + 1 drum shade pendant = 5 glorious ceiling lights
where there were ZERO, ZIP, NONE before!

A corner bistro table where we can sit and have coffee.
I can meet with graphic design clients. 
But, mostly so the kids can color, work on homework or
someday start a blog called

Enough about those crazy kids. This is where I blog!
So, do you see my inspiration door?

Here is a hint: There is a layer of custom cut glass on top,
and a keyboard tray mounted underneath.

Plus a hole to run the cords through.

 How about now? Do you see it now? The doors are our desktops.
This is where I blog, design, and work! 
So open and airy.

We simply stacked the two doors on top of one another.

 And bought two pedestal file cabinets from Office Depot.
(I had to cut the legs shorter on this one to accommodate for the
difference in height with the two doors stacked.)

And voila! Two desks in an "L" shape.
No more back-to-back working.
Plus, lots of natural light bouncing around.

In the corner under the two doors, is an $8 yard sale bookcase that holds my computer, back up drive, CDs, books, and more supplies. It is hidden underneath, which is a good thing, because it desperately needs a little TLC.

The doors may have been my inspiration then,
but having a view out this window brings me loads of inspiration now!

This room is so special to us. We can sit and work, talk, catch up, and the boys have a great spot in the corner to color or practice reading on

The color paint we used is: Benjamin Moore Aura paint in Hot Spring Stones. It is the perfect warm gray beige color (in my opinion). The rug is from Home Goods. Curtains from And fabric on chair, bistro table, and bookshelf back is called Fermini Sky. The drum shade pendant was from

Curious where other bloggers blog? Check out the "Where do you blog? Party"  at Centsational Girl's site today!

Want to see more amazing Before and After Transformations? Check out the Before & After Competition on the CSI Project today.

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At August 30, 2010 at 5:38 PM , Blogger Stephanie said...

I love how this room turned out! It has space for everyone in your family and is put together so beautifully. You guys did a great job. Just love the door idea and the rug is to die for. Looks awesome.

At August 30, 2010 at 6:49 PM , Blogger Higgs Happenin's said...

Looks so good. Good use of space and I love the doors. Very creative!

At August 30, 2010 at 6:53 PM , Blogger Spencer & Lorilyn Crum said...

I really like this color scheme, very soothing!

At August 30, 2010 at 8:43 PM , Blogger Something Nice and Pretty said...

Love the use of the doors...great idea and inspiration!


At August 30, 2010 at 9:27 PM , Blogger Robin's Nesting Place said...

Beautiful office! What a great idea to use the doors for desk tops!

At August 31, 2010 at 12:21 AM , Blogger Caitlin Campbell said...

Amazing transformation! You inspired me to find a Habitat ReStore in my area. The closest one is about an hour away but I have a feeling it will be worth it.

At August 31, 2010 at 8:17 AM , Blogger Christine said...

I am so impressed with your space. The use of those great doors is ingenious. You must be so proud of how this room turned out!

Thanks for coming by to see my place too...

At August 31, 2010 at 9:13 AM , Blogger Kristy@MyPretties said...

I love your office overhaul. My office has no ceiling light fixtures either so I can totally relate to that!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm following you now!

At August 31, 2010 at 10:38 AM , Anonymous Rebecca Todd :) said...

I LOOOOVE it!!! You have an amazing eye for design, and talent for making it come to life! Fantastic job! :)

At August 31, 2010 at 12:19 PM , Blogger The Pennington Point said...

Wow! That is a great workspace. It's going to be so nice to get your wok done in a calm, pretty, inspiring space. Lisa~

At August 31, 2010 at 2:29 PM , Blogger Paige (Final Clothes-Out) said...

This is sooooo relaxing.

I've been seeing a lot of doors-as-furniture lately. My sister-in-law has a coffee table made from one. Very cool!

At August 31, 2010 at 8:39 PM , Blogger Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

What a great makeover!! LOVE the chair. Your gray is the look I want to go for in my kitchen. :) Thanks so much for the visit today.

At September 1, 2010 at 1:22 AM , Blogger Delia said...

I think it looks amazing. I especially love the vinyl dandelions on the wall!

At September 1, 2010 at 7:40 PM , Blogger Dani said...

I LOVE the desks! What a perfect solution and so very clever. I'm going to try this and customize it for a nook I have and want to make into my craft area. Just curious, was it difficult to get the glass? And was it a fair price or more on the expensive side? Love your blog! :D

At September 1, 2010 at 8:38 PM , Blogger Moogie said...

Great blog. I'm your newest follower.

At September 1, 2010 at 8:39 PM , Blogger Aspiring Millionaire said...

I just came across your blog and love all the things you have done. Your tutorials are awesome. I can't wait to use these when I move into my house next month. Thanks heaps.

At September 3, 2010 at 12:56 AM , Blogger gail@roomingwithgail said...

Wow! Everything is just beautiful! Great job!

At September 3, 2010 at 7:21 AM , Blogger Debbie said...

That is fantastic! I love the look, and the creativity is flowing in your office. You go girl! Thanks for joining me, and have a wonderful weekend. Debbie

At September 3, 2010 at 11:11 AM , Blogger Herself said...

I especially love the chair!!

At September 3, 2010 at 2:41 PM , Blogger Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

This is a totally fantastic room makeover!! Just the fact that the 2 of you can work in the same room is fantastic to me. Hubby and i would be at each other's throats! LOL!!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you did with the doors!!
Stunning idea!!


At September 3, 2010 at 6:44 PM , Blogger modern jane said...

I love the idea for the doors! My office currently has no desk:) The rooms looks fantastic. I will be back for more DIY inspiration!
Thanks for visiting my blog and for the nice comments on my kitchen renovation!

At September 4, 2010 at 9:31 AM , Blogger Green Willow Pond said...

What a beautiful office. I love the door desks and the fact that your whole family hangs out together there.

At September 5, 2010 at 1:04 AM , Anonymous Jo said...

Great looking room Brittany.
I just found your blog today [I'm a total newbie.. only been blogging two weeks] and I'm already a fan.
Fabulous find with the doors.. what a bargain, and you didn't even have to paint them.
Our own study looks more like what would have been your inspiration room [if she'd finished it earlier] but I had a similar piece of luck with our desk. Not with the top.. that's just trimmed MDF.. but I found the pedestals of an old roll top desk at an auction locally for $40.
Had to take about 30 layers of paint off them and repaint them white but the hard work felt good, especially when I look at them and think.. 'I only paid $40 for those'
Once again great room.. I'm off now to see what else you've posted.
Jo xx

At September 5, 2010 at 1:09 AM , Anonymous Jo said...

Ooh.. btw, I forgot to ask.. The two black flowers on the wall [they look like Alliums but I'm not sure], are they like 'wall talk' or those Benjamin Moore 'Wall Tattoos' and if so.. where did you get them ?? They look great.
Jo xx

At September 30, 2010 at 9:41 AM , Blogger Tammy said...

Gorgeous! I love antique doors and yours were a steal. What a clever use for them. Your room looks 100%more inviting and light and airy. Love the rug and the chair makeover. Nicely done. I am getting so many good ideas from you. I almost feel guilty reading more. lol Just kidding.

At December 31, 2010 at 3:27 PM , Anonymous rosa @ flutterflutter said...

Great job!! Looks so good! Just found you via The Lettered Cottage. Happy New Year! Rosa


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