The Office/Den Makeover

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Bla, brown, dark, depressing office may be okay for some people (apparently it was for the previous homeowner), but for me, paying my bills and doing some work in this dark space was just dragging me down. I makeover rooms to feel something different and be inspired. I definitely wanted the Den to be a place I could feel relaxed and be and ADULT space (No kids ALLOWED).


My inspiration: Traditional wainscoting with a blue, calm, color.

My husband started by measuring, which turned out to be the hardest part:
  • He made the wainscoting 39" tall from floor to chair rail.
  • Between each frame was 3". Of course this could differ in your room.
First we painted the Sage Gray on the walls.

2. We marked with pencil on the walls where each frame and chair rail should go. Measuring with a level.
3. Then my cute husband got to work! (I couldn't resist adding a picture of him in total concentration). He is out in the garage using that OLD nasty office desk as his work desk.

3. After nailing (with a nail gun) all the wainscot to the wall came the finish work.... UGH! I HATE finish work! But it has to be done.

I didn't have to Spackle the small square frames, those nail holes were pretty disguised. But it was the chair rail that took some work spackling, sanding, smoothing and then painting. See my bead board tutorial for the finish work, it was just about the same.

TIP: I used a foam, 2 inch roller for the chair rail and all around the framing. Again, "brush strokes" or "roller marks" are a BAD WORD in our house!

Remember the BEFORE??? So forgetful isn't it?

This office was done in a day and a half for under $100, and as my husband said "it was a BREEEEEZE compared to the bead board in the half bath" (mainly because we couldn't move sinks and toilets in that room).

Hey, don't stop reading, I am not done yet.

A room isn't a room without the DETAILS! That is what makes it all yummy and personable, isn't it? So let's get to the FUN part!

  • Lamps I got from HOME GOODS (a Ross for your home) under $40 for each ( love that store).
  • The little ballerina was a find at Ross for under $5. And can you believe my husband found it for me? so funny.
  • The glass bowl is a gift from Italy from a friend with a cute little German heart (from my mom) I put inside.
  • The blue "grass" is from Target marked down HUGE for under $5
  • The picture is an authentic map of the Philippines where my husband spent 2 years serving a mission for our church. Got that on Ebay for about $15.
  • The fan and the little car my husband brought back from the Philippines. This is his space too so I wanted to pull from a place he fell in love with to make it home for him.
    • The Tiki man is from Hawaii, the globes are from Home Goods (under $5) and I always have to add pictures of my adorable offspring :)
  • The Desk is from Craigslist.... still looking to replace that BIG clunky office chair that I got for free years ago.

Guess what we did with the old nasty desk (that my husband found on a construction job site years ago.) He was supposedly going to "restore" it way back when..... well, we let nothing go to waste around here.
It became our garage shelving for shoes and other nick knacks. (the twins follow me around as I take pictures. I have a feeling they will show up on this blog quite often..)

Leave a Comment

  1. Wow! Your transformation is gorgeous! I love the wainscotting! Great tutorial. The entire room looks gorgeous! What a difference!

    I'm really enjoying your posts and look forward to seeing more!


  2. Very cute! I love the blue and white. My husband has a bunch of stuff from his mission in Paraguay that I want to be able to display somehow. One of these days. We rent our house now and decorating is sort of restricted. One of these days when we become proud homeowners I will be having a ball I think! Thanks for the ideas.

  3. I remember renting, it was hard not to be able to paint. Be creative with curtains, pictures, furniture. The last apartment I had I just painted anyway (sneaky sneaky...), I was so tired of WHITE!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Hello! The room turned out great! I've been toying with the idea of doing the same thing in our spare bedroom/game room, but I was afraid it would make the room look smaller. The grey paint is lovely too. It looks much lighter on the walls than it does in the swatch.

    Great job!

  6. I love this room. I want a similar shade on my walls. My furniture is painted a creamy white and the wall are currently pale yellow. I'm sure a pale gray green will be perfect. Love your room. :)

  7. Hi -- I saw your post on the Board Walk Blotter. We just moved into our home too! I would love to do this and I would never think that I could, but thanks for the great instructions. I'll definitely try it and be back to let you know how it worked. Wish me luck. If it turns out half as good as yours, I'll be happy!

  8. Linked over from Better After to your half bath and ended up here ;) Great job on both! I wish I had a hubby that did wood projects for me - how much easier would that be? But less fun too...

    Great job!
    (from another mormon mommy)

  9. Wow! You guys did a pretty good job! Yeah, the color and design of the room can really affect the way we work. My wife used to get a little cranky when the bills come in. But when she decorated our home office, her mood is always good. Your choice of color is perfect, as blue is scientifically proven to calm the nerves. Your office looks way better than before.

  10. was the wainscot applied straight to the wall? or is there a panel of wood between the drywall and the squares? also are your walls smooth or do they have a texture? eitherl way, great idea and easy way to give a room quick sophistication!

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