My Home Office Makeover…A Black & White Affair
As featured in Apartment Therapy
If someone had told me that one day I’d paint two of our rooms black and white, I’m sure I would’ve said, “Not bloody likely!”. That is, until I painted Cassie’s room white with a black feature wall. And I didn’t stop there…
I also painted my office black and white.
Okay, let’s back up the bus a bit here. Obviously, I work from home, and I work from home A LOT, to the tune of 8-10 hrs a day. Since my Online Color Consulting has taken off, I’ve cut back DRASTICALLY on my local work and spend most of my time drinking
wine, coffee, and Bailey’s coffee, talking to myself, and typing.
However, working from home is not always good for ye ole mental health/social life, and adding to that was the fact that I was working in a lovely lil’ bat cave – one small window and three pot lights – dats it.
It took only a few months of twitching and crying in the corner for the hubs to agree that maybe it was time for a bit of a remodel – taking my office to the next level with regard to lighting and layout!
My new office had to be majorly multi-purpose, so when planning the space, I needed to make room for the following:
- Two+ desk spaces for me n’ my homies (the kids). I like company and am happy when they come down and do their homework. Tim also helps me out A LOT with my website, so it’s nice to have him sit down for a while – nice for him that is
- Table and chairs to lay projects out on or for the kids to do crafts on
- Comfy chair to watch TV from
- Murphy bed. OH yes, a Murphy Bed
And I managed to fit it ALL in with room to spare!
The Hallway Leading to the Office & Family Room
When you stood in the entryway and looked down the hallway, you saw a lovely…red…wall (the door to the office ‘was’ on the far right).
Look down the hallway now, and you’ll see a 36″ extra-wide glass door and a 6 1/2′ window. The room used to be smaller with a weee lil window. We had to steal space from the family room (which we definitely don’t miss) so that we could fit that large window in – it was kind of a deal-breaker.
While the above photo makes it look like the wall is on an angle, it’s not – it’s now a perfect 90 degrees.
And this is just a SNIPPET of what you NOW see when looking down the hallway. And yes, the house came with a free garden gnome.
The Lighting Situation
No matter how beautiful your paint colors are, if you don’t have enough lighting, NO paint colour will save you! The lack of natural light and tragic interior lighting pulled the room down, giving it a dark, shadowed look.
This was my office BEFORE being remodeled (again, the red gave me conniptions).
And now, the space is light, bright, and multi-purpose!
And you’d think that black would drain a space, but think again! In the right space, black can add just the right contrast and impact. The combo leaves me feeling inspired…I tried to come up with another gobsmackingly amazing word, but really – that’s all I’ve got.
LET THERE BE LIGHT…and there was.
Before, we had three pot lights and a 2.5′ x 3.4′ window.
NOW we have…
- six-and-a-half-foot window
- 18″ x 42″ foundation windows (x2)
- five pot lights (no, not THOSE kind of pot lights – I may be from Vancouver Island, but wine is my weakness)
- Wall/task light (which you’ll see below)
Of course, the six-foot window adds a ton of light, as well as the interior lighting, but it’s the foundation windows that REALLY jack things up to the next level. They make a HUUUUGE (pronounced HOOOOGE) difference with regard to the flow and vibe of the room, rounding it out nicely.
Look at this corner before…
And look at it now!
AN IKEA DESK HACK THAT FITS TWO
I couldn’t find a desk I loved, so I pieced this together using Ikea Alex drawer units and Linmon table tops. I’m SUPER happy with the function of it, and when I get bored (so like tomorrow), I can switch things around.
THE IKEA DOCKSTA PROJECT TABLE
I bought the Ikea Docksta table as it’s just the right diameter. I would love a marble top version, but money talks.
The accent chairs were on clearance at Scan Designs, so I got the pair for a great price!
This stunning shade of black on the upper part of the foundation wall is Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black – it’s pretty much the most badass colour out there. Paired with fresh white trim and Benjamin Moore Cloud White on the lower foundation walls, it’s a super dynamic combo!
THE MURPHY BED
I’d always wanted a Murphy bed, but it seemed like a luxury item. Luckily I found a local fellow (Creative Wall Beds in Victoria) who does a great job making/assembling these beasties! It’s all wood and painted in Benjamin Moore Cloud White.
I planned it so that when the Murphy bed comes down, all I need to move is my lovely golden chair – everything else can stay where it is.
THE ORGANIZING BITS & PIECES
I bought the mother-of-all corkboards online as I couldn’t find a big enough one locally. At 3 x 5, she’s HOOOGE, and while she was ‘functional,’ she wasn’t very ‘funk-tional,’ so I grabbed my trusty staple gun and wrapped her up in fabric!
You can also see my task light from Wayfair and some smaller corkboards for the wee bits.
I also love clipboards (clearly, I throw my love around a lot). They’re a great way to tackle magazine pages, to-do lists, and more.
THE IKEA RASKOG CART
I’ve showcased the Ikea Raskog cart many times in our home – from the girls’ bedrooms to our homework closet; I can’t get enough of this handy little unit (I say the same thing to Tim on Friday nites).
THE FUN STUFF
Okay, maybe it’s all fun, but I’m particularly jacked up about my décor. And if you’ve ever tried to decorate above a foundation wall, I’m sure you feel my pain. Luckily I know what I’m doing…most of the time, anyway.
THE VIEW FROM THE FAMILY ROOM
With our remodel, we stole square footage from the large family room and reconfigured the wall to use the space better.
The photo below shows how the house was when we first viewed it. Notice that the red wall was about seven feet long and on an angle that SUPER cut into my office space (behind the red wall).
The next photo shows the in-between phase. I did have mad love for my farmhouse barn door, but knowing that trends come and go, I decided to go with something a bit more timeless with the new design.
And now, everything is light, bright, and perfectly homey! I painted the end wall in Benjamin Moore Steel Wool so that it flows off of the entryway seamlessly, along with Sherwin Williams Creamy on the main walls.
Can I tell you how much I love this space? Do I NEED to tell you how much I love this space?????? I’m sure my photos show how happy I am with how our home turned out!
So there you have it – this is where the magic…or at least MOST of the magic happens.
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Originally written in 2017, edited/updated in 2020 to make Google happy!