One Room Challenge Reveal: The Elegant, Moody Office is Finished — Almost!

This isn’t exactly a “final” reveal, but I’m out of time. This project has been a beast! My little office has gone from generic to statement-making with a rich, moody green hue on the wall, updated cube shelves, a midcentury modern desk, and an attention-getting gallery wall.

It’s Week 8 of the One Room Challenge, and the office is ready for her close up. Well, sort of. I still need to touch up a few places on the bookshelf (hence the painter’s tape), finalize some of the art, and change out the switch plate and outlet.

Still, we’ve come a long way, and I love the way this room has turned out. I’ll share all of the sources in a minute, but first, here are some shots of the new space.

I love this combo of pink and green.
The gallery wall is a combo of photos and art.

I plan to share all the details about how I updated the bookshelves and how I designed the gallery wall. For now, I’ll share the room sources below. Keep in mind that these are affiliate links, and if you shop with them, I might earn a small commission.

I’m linking the art for the gallery wall, but I plan to have some of the items reprinted when I have more time. This is the best I could do with my home printer! Also, I have an exciting giveaway coming soon. I’ll share more next week.

Sources: Chandelier / Rug / Desk Chair / Throw / Love Seat / Abstract Art / Gray art print / Tree print / Black floral print 1 / Black floral print 2 / Faux plant

If you missed any of the Fall One Room Challenge posts, you can check them out below.

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New Moody Green Hues Sparkle with a Crystal Chandelier – Week 6

It’s been a busy week, so I’ll keep this update short and sweet. I am finished painting the walls, baseboards, and window trim. I also installed the chandelier, and it’s beautiful!

It’s Week 6 of the One Room Challenge, and the office project is in full swing. I’ve shared some of the chaos on Instagram in stories. For a behind-the-scenes view, definitely check out the Fall ORC Highlight Reel.

I also made a reel about the experience of installing about 100 crystals. Each piece had to be unscrewed, and then reattached with the crystal. The manufacturer suggested installing the crystals before hanging it, but that would have been too heavy for me to lift. So, up and down the ladder I went.

Bottom line, it’s done! You can watch the reel here. It adds so much sparkle and elegance to the room.

I went with SW Pewter Green on the walls and SW Shade Grown for the bookshelves and doors. The darker green accent was a risky decision, but I think it’s perfect. I left the other trim white mostly because I am tired of painting. I kind of want it green. I may circle back to that if time allows.

Next up, I need to finish the bookshelves, order the desk chair, and put the gallery wall together. It’s coming along, and the finish line will be here soon!

If you missed any of the Fall One Room Challenge posts, you can check them out below.

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Tips on How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color – Week 5 of the Fall ORC

Picking the perfect paint color can be tricky, but I’ve got some tips to help you get it right the first time (usually)! Follow these tips and choose a color with confidence.

1. Find Inspiration & Research Online Images

Before I started the office project, I found this amazing rug and used it as the starting point for the entire design. However, I was all over the map when it came to picking the paint color. I knew I wanted it to be moody, modern, and boho. I found three images of wall colors I liked, and I chose a direction based on those.

The bottom pic won by a landslide. Just seeing the three together, I knew that the merlot wasn’t something I’d love forever (I don’t love red), and the cream would not feel moody enough.

2. Consider the Connecting Colors

When choosing paint colors for your home, always consider what is happening in the adjoining spaces. For example, My kitchen has rustic cypress cabinets with orange undertones, and my wood floors are also a natural wood. To balance all that warmth, I prefer cooler colors or neutrals on the walls. For example, when choosing a gray, I’ll use a warm gray. Gray is technically a “cool” color, but the warm undertones help it work with the room. If I added a terracotta color, it would be too much for my tastes.

I could continue waxing poetic about color selection, but that will have to be in another post. For now, here’s a great tip I learned from Valeria at Rebecca & Genevieve.

3. Create a Home Color Story

When trying to see how colors will work together from room to room, create a color story. First, save a screenshot of each color in your home to your phone. Next, put all those photos in an album. When you go to your albums, you can see how everything flows together.

I definitely have a light neutral theme going. I love how the new green office adds some interest and contrast.

4. Research Pictures of the Color Online

Once I decided on a gray-green color, I started researching color options. I searched color names I liked to see rooms in that color. This isn’t a guarantee of how it will look in your home, but it definitely helped me get a better idea of what I wanted, and didn’t want.

After looking at other rooms, I realized that I didn’t want a lot of blue in my office, and I needed to go darker on the color strip. I didn’t like medium green walls. I also found that I loved rooms where the trim was also painted dark.

Follow these 4 tips to choose the perfect paint color for your room. It's week 5 of the Fall One Room Challenge.
I loved the green in this picture, it’s SW Pewter Green.

5. Choose a Color

At this point, I was looking at two or three colors. This is when I stepped back and looked at the colors side-by-side and against other elements in the room. I liked the grayer tone in SW Pewter Green, and it picked up the olive green in my rug perfectly.

I went to the paint store and grabbed a sample whole gallon, because at this point, I knew I’d love it. If you’re not as reckless confident, a sample size is an inexpensive way to make sure you love the color.

Guess what — I threw a test patch up on the wall when I got home, and I love it! I’ll be painting later this week.

The winner, SW Pewter Green.

I will share more photos soon, including the new light fixture and how I’m tweaking the foyer to work with this new color in the space.

If you missed any of the Fall One Room Challenge posts, you can check them out below.

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DIY Success! Refinishing the Midcentury Modern Table – Week 4 of the Fall ORC

I discovered an exciting product this week that may have saved my sanity during this One Room Challenge, and I’m so excited to share it! I’m not the most experienced DIY-er, but this is up there on one of my favorite updates.

I purchased this midcentury modern dining table on Facebook Marketplace a few months ago for about $200. It was in rough shape — cracked and chipped veneer, missing a center leaf, and extremely wobbly. I couldn’t get over the sleek base and perfect oval shape.

I love this desk/table!

I was DREADING the refinishing process. Last ORC, I refinished this buffet. It was a beast, and I just didn’t have the time or energy to tackle a similar project right now.

I had no idea if this stuff would work.

An Autumn DIY Miracle

I came across Restor-a-finish while waiting for paint at Lowe’s. It claimed to restore color, blend out scratch, remove heat rings, and (most importantly) be EASY. It was worth a shot. The table couldn’t get worse!

I read the instructions and grabbed some extra fine steel wool and walnut-colored wood putty (for the chips in the veneer).

At this point I was getting excited, but I didn’t know if it would stick.

I first gave the entire desk a light sanding with the steel wool. Then, I used my handy, old putty knife to fill the holes in the veneer. I used my fingers to smooth it out – I’m not fancy, y’all.

Once the putty was dry, I went back over it with the steel wool, and also scrubbed out the permanent marker and places with flaking veneer. Next, I used a clean steel wood to wipe on the Restor-A-Finish. I wiped with the grain of the wood. Holy moley! That stuff worked like a charm!

This is before I wiped it off.

I seriously couldn’t believe my eyes. I left it on the desk overnight. I’m not sure if that is too long, but I figured it could use a good soaking.

The next morning, I wiped it off with a microfiber cloth. There are still obvious imperfections, but this is a work table. I am absolutely THRILLED to have saved myself HOURS of time.

The finished product!!!

Indecision strikes

I’m so happy that I was able to refinish the desk so easily, because choosing a paint color hasn’t been so simple. I have three interior color schemes that I love, and I am stuck on which to choose. I turned to my Instagram friends for help.

My desperate appeal on Instagram.

Our home is mostly the middle one, but I think a rich pop of color like the other two options would be seriously amazing.

Until I have a better idea about the direction for color, I’m focusing on the gallery wall and DIY bookshelf. Hopefully I’ll have some updates to share about that next week.

I also had to pivot on my light fixture. The one I loved isn’t available to ship until January, but I found more affordable option that will work. I always look at those situations as opportunities to stretch my interior design style. So, I’m excited to see the new choice in the room.

If you missed any of the Fall One Room Challenge posts, you can check them out below.

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My Moody Bohemian Office Design Board – Week 3 of the Fall One Room Challenge

Warm tones, rich colors and a sprinkle of mid-century modern. The office design board is completed, and I couldn’t be more excited to see this room come to life.

Unfortunately, there is a LOT of work to do to get to that point! Before I dive into the timeline, let’s review the design board.

  1. RUG // This affordable Loloi rug is stunning. I was drawn it because of the great combination of colors: rich mahogany, navy, blush, cream, olive, and charcoal. It’s incredibly versatile, and it came in the perfect size for this room. I bought it a couple of months ago when it went on sale. The thought of it selling out in the size I needed was not ok with me, so I snagged it before I was really ready to start this project.
  2. LIGHTING // The lighting in this office is the star of the show. This chandelier is absolutely dreamy. I needed a large fixture with a lot of lights. I love the modern shape and texture. The sconces are budget-friendly options that work well with the
  3. DESK // The desk was a Facebook Marketplace find! This one is a similar style. I love the column base and oval shape. It’s a tight space, so I didn’t want hard corners to bump into. I do have to do some refinishing work on my desk, and it will be quite a project. More details to come on that.
  4. SEATING // This dark gray desk chair and these round stools are the perfect worn velvet. They are quite pricey, so I may try to find a more budget-friendly option.
  5. LOVESEAT // This dreamy loveseat is from Anthropologie, but I love the soft sage velvet. I’d like to get a similar fabric to recover my existing loveseat one day, but for now, I’ll have to stick with the existing ivory canvas to keep my budget in check. Maybe I’ll rent a steam cleaner to freshen it up.
  6. GALLERY WALL // I found this ready-to-go gallery wall. It is perfection. I don’t think it will be in the budget to purchase this exact option, but it’s amazing inspiration. I’ll be scouring local thrift stores and shopping my house to achieve a similar look.
  7. SHELVING // I purchased these cube shelves about a year ago. I would love to install gorgeous built-ins in this office, but I think I can do a DIY on these and make them look so much better. More details to come…
  8. PAINT // The walls will be Benjamin Moore White Dove like the rest of the house. Sherwin Williams’ Uncertain Gray will go on the French doors, and Mount Etna will bring new life to the bookshelves.

Below is a list of the timeline and anticipated budget.

PROJECT TIMELINE / BUDGET

Paint the bookshelves, walls, and French doors (Week 3) $125

Edit the room (Week 3) FREE!

Refinish the desk (Week 4) $50/materials

DIY project on bookshelves (Week 5) $125

Change the light fixture (Week 6) $400

Install sconces and gallery wall (Week 7) $350

New desk chair and stools (Week 8) $250

New planter (Week 8) $25

Organization for desk & cubbies (Week 8) $50

TOTAL $ 1,100

Finally, I’d like a plan for how to keep this bookshelf tidy, including possibly labeling the cubbies in a unique way.

Here is a reminder of where we are now.

If you missed any of the Fall One Room Challenge posts, you can check them out below.

If you’d like to follow along with all of the One Room Challenge participants, click on the logo below.

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Designing an Elegant, Moody Home Office & Library – Weeks 1 & 2 of the One Room Challenge

I cannot believe The One Room Challenge is already underway. I feel like I blinked, and it’s October! Even though I’m a starting a little late, I am jumping in with both feet.

My project for the next 7-ish weeks is to transform my home office/library. This small room is just off our front door. In the chaos called the year 2020, it served as my husband’s home office first. Now that he is back at work, I’m using the space. It is connected to all of the rooms in our open living, kitchen, dining, foyer, and office. Basically, our house is one large room with bedrooms and bathrooms separated.

This is the current state of the office.

Step 1: The Room’s Function/Purpose

The primary purpose of this room is to serve as my office. However, the kids love to come and work at my desk (actually a dining table) with me. They also enjoy reading a book in the cozy seat by the windows.

Right now, the shelves are necessary, holding the majority of our family’s library. While I don’t love the shelves, they are working for us and need to stay. I’m thinking about a fun DIY to make them look more like one unit.

Other considerations would be to add some chairs on the other side of the table, so the kids can easily sit down with me. I’d also like to improve the lighting. This room gets dark in the afternoons. I also need better desk organization, and maybe a little space for files. I know that my desk will get messy at times, but the pile of papers on my desk drives me crazy, and it needs a better place to live.

This is a pic (borrowed from my Instagram stories) of the office back in April when my husband

Before I do anything, I first need to do a massive edit in this space. We need to get rid of all of the books that we no longer read, and I need to clean out the bins. They used to store all of the kids’ materials when they did virtual school. We can find a better home for those items.

Finally, I’d like a plan for how to keep this bookshelf tidy, including possibly labeling the cubbies in a unique way.

It’s already a lot better than it was, but it’s time to finish this room.

Step 2: Inspiration & Color Scheme

I absolutely love this part. Daydreaming about the space is so exciting. I love coming up with style words to guide my decisions about the project. I chose Elegant, Moody, Relaxing, Warm and Inviting. I also know that whatever I do has to flow with the rest of the open floor plan.

Style Words for the Office:
Elegant, Moody, Relaxing, Warm, Inviting

I chose a few inspiration images to get my creativity flowing. I couldn’t find exactly what I have in mind, but I’m ok with that because I want my space to feel unique.

This episode of Fixer Upper: Welcome Home was one of my favorites. The client asked for a European Cottage style. I LOVE this look. It’s warm and elegant, perfect for my home. Because I have a lot of brown tones in the kitchen that I need to work around, this style and color scheme works really well in my house. It also works with our French country architecture.

While I’m not sure if I will use this inspiration in the room, I love the look of tone-on-tone walls and trim. I’m also drawn to the pinky-beige trend, as seen in my recently updated Master Bedroom Closet.

This is another color trend that might work better in our open floor plan. I like the putty toned walls and bookcase with the pops of gold and earthy tones. The contrasting modern light fixture is great too.

I like the gallery walls in both of these images. Maybe I can combine them? I also want to add sconces to that wall. I’d prefer to mostly use family photos, but I’m open to adding art as well. We don’t have many walls in the main living area, so I would love to have some fun pieces in this room.

This room is so cozy and inviting. I’d love to recover the sofa in my office with a blush velvet. A wall of book cases like this would be amazing.

I love fall colors all year round. I think I’d be happy with any of these colors on the walls.

Stay tuned for more updates next week, I’ll start putting together a design board, timeline, and budget. I can’t wait to see this room finished! Here is my finished space from last year, in case you missed it.

Click here to read about that challenge.

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How to Plan a Home Project (& Actually Finish It)

When we bought our first home, I had no idea how to go about decorating it. I painted a couple of rooms, added throw pillows, and scoured antique stores for inexpensive pieces. I managed to cobble together an assortment of items, including hand-me-downs, furniture we accumulated through college, and inexpensive finds from Kirkland’s or Pier One. It didn’t look bad, but I found myself perpetually decorating and dissatisfied. It was never quite “right.” I didn’t really love it. One day, I thought, I’ll get to decorate an entire room at a time.

Fast forward 15+ years, and this veteran homeowner was still looking for a cute throw pillow every few months.

That changed when I did a One Room Challenge this spring. I took eight weeks to complete a room from start to finish. Each week had a blog post and a deadline for submissions. I didn’t make a 100%, but I did finish the project on time. I really LOVED the result. It was my first “finished” space.

Very little has changed. I love this room so much!

If you’d like to read more about my foyer and The One Room Challenge, click here.

Then, this summer, I tackled my master bedroom closet. It took MUCH longer than expected, mostly due to the start of school and a major hurricane. However, it is FINISHED. Completely done. That makes two rooms in just a few months.

This was definitely a budget project, but having it completed has definitely made my life better. Read more about this project here.

In the past, I would have told you that finishing projects isn’t really my thing, but if I can do it, you can too. Here is what I’ve learned so far about how to plan and *COMPLETE* a home project. So, grab a notebook and pen, and let’s get started.

1. Consider the Room’s Function and Who Will Use It.

As much as I love a pretty room, my home has to work for the people who live here. For me that includes three rowdy kids with muddy shoes and messy hands. It’s also helpful to think through what works in the room now, and what you might need to make it more functional. Do you need organization or storage? What kind of seating or workspace is best? Daydream for a few minutes about how it might work best for you. This should take a few minutes. Don’t get stuck. Set a timer if you need to!

I love this idea for a child’s room! Source

2. Find Inspiration & Choose a Color Scheme

This is the most fun step, in my opinion at least. However, be careful because you can also get stuck here! Pinterest can easily become a productivity-draining rabbit hole. So many times I’ve started looking for inspiration pics, only to end up on a post about DIY flower arranging an hour later!

Here’s a great place to start! I love the earthy fall colors. Source

Give yourself a time limit and a goal.

For example: I’m going to spend 40 minutes and find 5 inspiration pictures for my office. By doing this you will stay focused on your task and actually produce something to move your project along.

Don’t limit yourself to rooms.

Pin color schemes, floral arrangements, sunsets, or whatever inspires you. All of these will give your room a direction and make the nexts steps easier.

This room by Joanna Gaines clearly shows how repeating a color (these charcoal sofas and white pillows) solidify a “color” scheme, even in a neutral space. Source

Choosing a Color Palette

If color isn’t your thing, look online for color palettes that are already done for you. There are so many out there. A big part to making your color palette work in the room is to repeat the color in multiple places. Another popular option is to mix a variety of neutrals and incorporate texture, rather than color, to create interest.

Whatever you choose, establishing this early will guide your purchases going forward. A good rule of thumb for choosing a room’s color palette is 60-30-10. 60% of the room should be the main color, 30% should be a secondary color, and the last 10% should be an accent.

Here’s another Joanna Gaines room. Here the primary color is green, secondary is pink, and the accent is the warm wood and brass tones.

The Color Palette Rule of Thumb: 60% of the room should be the main color, 30% should be a secondary color, and the last 10% should be an accent.

3. Look for Items to Repurpose or DIY

Even rooms with huge budgets can benefit from a little ingenuity. Think about items you already own or could refinish or repaint to work in the new space. Another option is to purchase things from second-hand stores or Facebook Marketplace. Not only are these items budget-savers, but they also add personality and originality to a room.

How cute is this DIY dresser by Addison’s Wonderland? Source

Make a List of Everything You’ll Need

Create a quick list of everything you can think of to go in the room. Include paint, materials, furniture, fixtures, accessories, etc. Now, look at that list and brainstorm things you already own, could DIY, or purchase second-hand.

Avoid creating a room that looks like it was purchased at one time. Instead, aim to create a room that evolved over time. Think of items that you can add to give the room more character, helping it better reflect the people who live there.

4. Find a “WOW” Moment

The bookshelves in this room are amazing! The velvet settee balances the visual impact. Source

You could also call this a focal point. Decide what element, view, or feature is most important. It could be a gorgeous light fixture, the perfect wallpaper, a colorful rug or piece of art, etc. By deciding this in advance, you will better be able to do the next step. Also, keep in mind that the “WOW” could be a DIY project. It doesn’t have to be expensive.

5. Decide on a Budget & Timeline

This is so important because having a budget and timeline will really keep your project on track. It may be that your timeline dictates your budget, or vice-versa.

The light fixture in this room is definitely pricey, but the moldings and color are definitely a doable DIY. Source

Budgeting Tips

It’s true that decorating takes money, and I have experienced the frustration of not having much of it. You can still make it better! Look for things at yard sales, thrift stores, or the dollar store. Reach out to friends on Facebook or family members. I’ve even been known to grab a table, chair, or even an old drawer off the side of the road. (True story– It made the cutest book holder, in my daughter’s nursery when she was little, after it had been given new life with a coat of cheap craft paint!)

This living room from Addison’s Wonderland has always been a favorite of mine. The color scheme of cream, blues, and kelly green are bold, but flow together.

Don’t Avoid the Issue

The budget and timeline are valuable tools. Be realistic about them from the jump. For example: If you know that the baby is due in February, the nursery needs to be finished mid-January. That might limit your design decisions. In the same way, if you really want to keep the total cost to about $1,500, an $800 light fixture is out of the question. If the budget is $500. You can work with that, but it may take longer to track down items and complete more DIY projects.

For larger projects, you may also want to allocate extra funds for unexpected costs. Don’t forget about taxes, and delivery fees.

Another beautiful space. For me, this is all about the contrasting colors and modern elements. Source

Setting an Attainable Timeline

Setting the timeline of your project can be hard, especially when you’re just starting out. You might not know how long something will take. My advice: Use your best judgement. Just do it. Write it down.

Maybe painting the room takes longer than expected, or you encounter shipping delays that set you back. However, just setting the goal gives you something to work toward. You will be so much more motivated to stay on track. It also gives you a realistic idea of what to expect. Once I started planning my timeline for the One Room Challenge, I realized that even small projects take time. I had to set realistic goals for each week and set aside time to work on them.

If you’re hiring people to complete some of the work, you may need to wait until they are available to start. Now is also the time to think about shipping times. The lead time on furniture can be months. Knowing this ahead of time allows you to make decisions early in the process, rather than when it’s time for the installation, pushing your finish date back.

The steps above may seem obvious, but once you start in a project, it’s easy to forget these “simple” things.

There is so much to love about this room, but the wallpaper is my favorite detail. Talk about a WOW Factor. Source

Thought about Limitations

There have been times that I’ve considered limitations to be a negative thing. For example, having orange-colored cabinets can limit color choices, or a small budget doesn’t give the option to purchase designer items. Instead of seeing those limitations as negatives, try to see them as opportunities to let your creativity shine.

This is one project where the budget determined design. This painted tile project improved this entire area for very little money. One day we would love to replace them, but for now this is much better. See more info about this project here.

Remember: Necessity is the mother of invention. Get those creative juices flowing, and come up with an innovative solution. Don’t let limitations stop you from creating a home you love. It’s not about creating a perfect home, but a home that serves you and your family well.

I hope you are having a wonderful week and that this information is helpful to you. Thanks for stopping by today.

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