Help me Find My Style for my Home Office

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We remodeled our house four years ago, going from 750 square feet to 1,400 square feet. One of the biggest changes was the master bedroom; what used to be a window in our bedroom became a door to a new suite with a small walk-in closet, bathroom, and large bedroom. The old bedroom we decided to make into a much-needed home office.

Karl is a photographer and needs a quiet place to edit photos, make contracts and invoices, and print and cut photographs. I desperately need a place not just to blog, but to sew and work when I have the chance to work from home for my 9-5 job. A home office would be the perfect place, but sadly, the room for the office in our home has become just a passway to the master bedroom, and a junk collector.

When we remodeled the house, we had every room repainted, including this room. However, I was pregnant and on bedrest and paint colors were chosen by me with the few paint chips Karl picked up on his trip to Home Depot. While the current office color is pretty, it is NOT us, and honestly gives a weird sickly feel to the space.

The “home office” has two nice pieces of Danish midcentury furniture that we inherited, Karl’s childhood IKEA desk holding the photo printer, and a bunch of random stuff inherited from when his dad died that we need to sort, properly store, or donate. So when BlogHer and Glidden paint contacted me, asking if I’d like to redo a room in our house, I was thrilled.

The room has stressed me out for so long – it’s a weird shape, the furniture is sort of yellowish wood, there’s one small window with a big tree outside it blocking a lot of natural light and making the actual natural light pretty greenish-yellow in the spring and summer. There are four doors – the one to the hall, the one to our bedroom, the one to the master bath that has two doors, and one to the closet. It has the same leaning fan light that came with the house from the ‘90s.

However, it has good bones thanks to the remodel (hello pretty crown molding!). It has been hard to figure out what color would be best to flatter the gorgeous furniture, make it a good transition from the pale gray hall to the gray-blue bedroom, and give it a positive energy that makes it a place where we would want to work and feel productive.

Collage of home offices with bold wallpaper, wood furniture, and eclectic details

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know I have started a board called “Office Inspiration” where I am pinning anything that appeals to me for this office, including pictures I found online of the furniture we must work with. I’ve also been spending time in the room at different times of day to see how the light affects it, and what I am feeling. This past weekend, my sister (who is a home design genius) came by and we hung out in the room, talking but getting a feel for it. That time was so good because it completely changed my ideas for the room.

Originally, I was imagining a bold and eclectic room. Walls of bright turquoise or magenta, very graphic curtains, possibly a black and white print, a different print rug and a collage wall or giant inspiration board. Some floor pillows or poufs in interesting colors and fabrics, a statement-making light, and maybe a table in place of a desk painted an unusual contrast shade. Sitting in there, surrounded by all the junk we have accumulated made me realize it would just be too busy to be a productive workspace, and it would be too strong of a contrast to the rest of the upstairs.

screenshot of the Glidden site that lets you envision paint colors on the walls of your home before you buy

Now I am thinking the walls should be a bit more serene. Something more of a medium and cool tone, which would balance the yellow light and make the yellowish wood of the furniture and oak floors look clean and modern. I went on Glidden paint's site and used their Virtual Room Painter to check out colors. 

The site is quite intuitive and helpful, and gave me a better feel of how the colors would look on a wall, how much paint I would need for the size of the room, where I could find a local Glidden paint retailer, and I was able to save all the different “rooms” I created.  As you can see above, I'm playing with cool blues and grays and really liking them a lot. 

We have collected quite a lot of concert posters over the years, and they would be perfect in this room – framed all in the same color so it wouldn’t be too busy, but it would have color and be interesting. We already have our album collection and framed concert posters in here, so it’s a perfect fit. I also spent a good amount of an afternoon looking at fabric online, thinking statement curtains would really be the perfect pop to the room.  What do you think?

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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