One Room Challenge Week Six: Our Home Office REVEAL!

It’s the final week of the Fall 2020 One Room Challenge! We’ve been pouring our heart and soul into our home office and I’m so excited to show you how it turned out!

Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane, shall we? Two months ago, the room looked like this:

Fluorescent light, barely functional window shades, mismatched storage – yikes. It was a hot mess combination of storage/overflow/office/extra guest bedroom and unfortunately due to the French doors, we saw the room every. single. day. Since the day we moved in, I’ve been dreaming of this being a cozy home office + library and it makes me so happy to see this vision come to life!

After removing all the old trim and beadboard paneling, Justin and I took primed shiplap and ran the planks vertically all around the room and on the ceiling. We put extra effort into making sure the ceiling planks lined up with the wall planks, and I think that effort was definitely worth it! I chose the color Treron by Farrow and Ball and had it color-matched at Lowe’s for all the walls, ceiling, trim, and built-ins.

The olive green color strikes just the right balance for me – not too dark, not too light, not too brown, not too green. It’s a bit of a chameleon color and changes a little depending on the lighting but it’s just a nice warm that makes the room feel so cozy.

Without a doubt, the star of the room is the gorgeous built-in. This showstopper took the room from no storage to tons of storage. The bottom portion is Ikea cabinets with Semihandmade doors and I love them so much. They look custom-made but for a fraction of the price! If you’ve been following along in my Instagram stories, you know that I had two different options for hardware but didn’t feel like either was quite right so I ordered a third set. I’m still waiting on those cabinet pulls and knobs to arrive and I think they’ll be the perfect finishing touch. Stay tuned!

Back in the planning stages, I debated on whether to do a built-in desk or keep it freestanding, then whether to do all cabinet doors or have a section of drawers as well. I’m so happy with my decision to do a freestanding desk and include a section of drawers in the middle. It provides tons of easily accessible and functional storage and with the desk in the middle, the room actually feels perfectly proportioned.

Justin and I worked together to build the bookshelves from scratch and we are both thrilled with how well they turned out. I intentionally tried to pull in other colors and textures throughout the bookshelves, especially with light colors and natural fibers to break up all the olive green throughout the room. In addition to all our books, the shelves are filled with special mementos, heirlooms, family pictures, and artwork from travels, so it very much feels like us.

I also have functional items throughout – closed storage boxes holding office supplies, decorative jars filled with pens and pencils, trays for papers, etc. The shelves strike the perfect blend of meaningful, beautiful, and functional for us.

I think of this room as a home office and library all in one. As I imagined shelves full of books, I also imagined a cozy area to read them in. The bay window area provided the ideal place to add a comfy reading chair. I had been on the hunt for a reading chair in either yellow/gold, rust, burgundy, or something along those lines but everything I found was super expensive. Then a few weeks ago, I saw someone share a post from the thrift store in my hometown. One of the items pictured was a set of vintage yellow chairs circa 1970s (sold separately for $50 each) and my heart immediately leapt. I sent my mom on a mission to the thrift store to see if the chairs were comfortable and in good shape. They were, and I convinced her to buy one for me for Christmas. Score! Here’s the chair when it first arrived – my parents thought I was crazy, but I knew it had potential.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I performed a little cosmetic surgery on the chair to remove the flap of fabric at the bottom and this made a huge impact in making it seem more modern.

I brought down the little side table from Vi’s room, but I eventually plan to replace it with something else (I’m feeling a little round table?) and I’ll also add a floor lamp at some point. For now, I’m happy with this space!

In addition to replacing the baseboards, we also tore off the old window casing and added new trim in a style inspired by Jenni Yolo at ISpyDIY. I also painted the existing window frames and grille inserts Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams.

We had a slight fiasco with the bay window curtain rod because we didn’t realize that the side bars only extended 36″ max and we needed about 42″ but Justin came up with the brilliant idea to buy two cheap telescoping curtain rods and screw them into the angled attachment on the middle window’s curtain rod. This worked like a charm! The curtains are Ikea Ritva. I got them in 118″ length and then used hemming tape to shorten them a bit (I like a little pool at the bottom, but it was originally like 8″ too long). I hung them by attaching pleating hooks to the curtains and then hooking them through the eyelets of curtain rings. Rather than just putting the curtain rod through the loops of the curtain, this gave them a little extra oomph.

Another issue I ran into was rug size. Because of the bay window and angled doorway, the room is anything from square (don’t even get me started on how hard figuring out the crown molding was!). It left an awkward amount of floor space that I really needed a 6×9 rug for, but many of the rugs I loved only came in 5×7’6″ or 7’6″x9’6″. It was a frustrating search! Finally, I decided to try a layered rug look with a simple jute rug at the 6×9 size I needed and a patterned rug I loved in a 5×7’6″ size on top. This solution ended up working so well and I think it helps give the room a casual and cozy feel.

I am so so happy with how this room turned out! It is the room I was most excited about when we first moved in and it is now without question my favorite room in the house.

And it wouldn’t be a reveal without a few final before-and-afters, right?

I had so much fun participating in the Fall One Room Challenge! You can check out all the other fun projects that happened here.

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And if you missed any of my previous posts on this challenge, you can check them out here:

Week One: The Office Plans

Week Two: The DIY Built-ins!

Week Three: Halfway Point Progress

Week Four: All About Shiplap

Week Five: Cabinet Doors Installed

Sources

Note: Some of these product links are to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means if you purchase something through the Amazon link I provided, I may earn a small commission. None of my recommendations or decisions are based on any commission I might receive from your purchases, they are all things I actually bought for this renovation. The decision to buy something is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy one through the link I provide is completely up to you. Thank you!

Paint Color: Treron by Farrow and Ball (colormatched at Lowe’s) in Eggshell finish (walls + ceiling) and Satin finish (trim + built-ins).

Window Color: Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams in Satin

Base Cabinets: Ikea

Door and Drawer Fronts: Semihandmade DIY Shaker

Sputnik Chandelier

Chandelier Lightbulbs

Shiplap

Baseboards

Crown Molding

Curtain Rod (keep in mind, we changed out the side window rods with a longer telescoping curtain rod!)

Curtains

Pleating Hooks

Curtain Rings

Olive Tree

5’x7’6″ Patterned Rug

6’x9′ Jute Rug

Desk

Desk Chair is old – this one is similar

Black and White Butterfly Print

Letterfolk Board

Stackable Black Paper Trays

White Storage Box

Almost everything else in the room is thrifted, heirloom, or bought a long time ago.

One Room Challenge Week Five: Cabinet Doors are on!

It’s the second-to-last week of the One Room Challenge and now that all the shiplap is finished, things have really picked up!

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One thing that got checked off the list this past week was the completion of the window trim. We had trimmed out each window with a 1×4 and Justin then ripped a board into 1/2 inch strips and nailed it around the edges. This helped hide any gaps left in between the shiplap and the 1×4 and gave everything a nice, finished look.

Other than that, the biggest change that has happened this week has been the addition of our cabinet doors!

When we first started planning out the built-ins, we contemplated DIYing cabinet doors. I’m so glad that we ultimately decided to outsource that project because these Semihandmade door and drawer fronts are perfect and were a breeze to paint and install!

Semihandmade is a company that makes different styles of door and drawer fronts that are fit to the same specifications as an Ikea cabinet door. This means you can purchase the Ikea base cabinet, which is a very inexpensive, and then add different doors to create a more custom look. I’m really impressed with how it elevates the look of the cabinets without breaking the bank!

You can order doors in various colors but I went for the unpainted DIY version so I could paint them the exact same color as the rest of the built-in: Treron by Farrow and Ball that I color-matched at Lowe’s. Before painting, I did rub a fresh tack cloth over the fronts and backs of all the doors, because they shipped from the factory covered in a fine layer of sawdust.

I placed each door face down on top of paint cans (so they would be elevated off the ground) and started painting all the backs. I highly, highly recommend painting the backs first so that when you flip them to paint the other side, the back is the painted side that touches the paint cans – if one side is going to get nicked or scratched or stuck after painting, you definitely want it to be the side that rarely gets seen!

(Apologies for the quality and angles of these pictures – I didn’t take photos of this process so these are just screen grabs from the timelapse videos I posted on Instagram).

I used a paint + primer so I did not do a separate layer of primer. I used an angled brush to trim out the edges of each inset . . .

. . . and then I used this six inch foam roller on the rest of the doors to create a really smooth finish.

I painted all the backs of the doors, waited about 3 hours, and then painted a second coat. I let them dry overnight and then flipped them over to paint the fronts. I did the exact same process of two coats, this time also rolling the door sides, and let them dry again overnight. The next morning (probably about 18 hours later), we attached them to the cabinets using the hardware we bought from Ikea. They were very simple to install!

Yesterday, I spent time in the afternoon playing around with arranging the shelves. I’m definitely not done with them, but it was fun to get started with different placements. As you can see, we still need to finish assembling the drawers in the middle, but so far, I’m really pleased with the look!

Other things we need to accomplish this week:

-add the final trim pieces around the door frame

-add thin piece of trim between cabinets and the wall

-paint + install crown molding

-paint + install baseboards

-install cabinet hardware

-paint countertop (while I like the natural wood look, up close it looks silly because we had to use two boards to achieve the length and it’s just too obvious to leave natural)

-paint outlet covers and duct vent to match wall color

-paint the inside of the window frames

-install curtain rod + hang curtains

-move in the rugs, desk, chair, and finishing touches!

Can we get all this done in one week? We’ll see! In the meantime, you can check out all the other guest participants in the One Room Challenge here.

Our “New” Dining Table + Chairs!

Justin and I have always envisioned our basement as a space for guests and entertaining. We’ve been slowly addressing various areas of the basement (like our guest bedroom and bathroom, living area, kitchen, and entryway) but the space in between the living space and the kitchen has been neglected . . . until now! We’ve both been putting in work to create a dining area for food + game nights and it’s finally finished!

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As a refresher, up until a few weeks ago, it looked like this:

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I still cringe looking at this combination workout + collection area for things to sell/donate right in the middle of the basement. It was time for a change!

Justin actually made the table entirely out of old scrap wood that the previous owners of our home left behind when they moved out. He worked so hard on it and I’m so impressed – not only is it gorgeous and full of character but it perfectly fits our needs. I was able to give him the exact dimensions I wanted: large enough for 6-8 people to sit comfortably and linger over good food or a game night.  It’s perfect!

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The chairs were an absolute steal. I had been scouring websites for inexpensive dining chairs but I just couldn’t find anything under $60 per chair that fit our needs (not a barstool or folding chair) and I was not about to spend $300-400 on six chairs for a free table. I started browsing Facebook marketplace and one day I came across these chairs being sold for $2 a chair and I jumped on them! They obviously needed some TLC but I loved their size and shape and knew with a little work they could shine.

Chairs

My preference would have been to reupholster them, and we could have reupholstered the seats no problem, but the backs were attached in a more complicated way that would have been really difficult to reupholster well. So I started looking at other options and discovered a fabric and vinyl spray paint that I decided to give a try. The nice thing about $2 chairs is that it makes you willing to try a few things that you maybe wouldn’t risk on a more expensive piece.

Chairs w Painted Upholstery

The fabric and vinyl spray paint worked…okay. It took 3 light coats to cover the fabric, and while it’s not perfect, it does look a lot better. I actually think the black over the old striped and floral print makes it look like a cool Victorian-y fabric now. But the spray paint did cause the fabric to have a scratchier feel, which is not ideal. I think I will eventually get some thin black seat covers to help improve the feel of the seat (even if the fabric wasn’t scratchy, I would want to do this because there is very little cushion in the seat’s upholstery and they’re not super comfortable to sit in for a long time).

Chairs with Table

After spray painting the seats, I decided I needed to also paint the wood black. I actually really liked the look of dark upholstery and lighter stain, but I did not like it for this particular space. It just didn’t work with all the other wood tones of the table, half wall ledge, and other wood tones throughout the open concept basement. I tried out two different methods for changing the wood look: spray paint and Polyshades. Polyshades is a product I hadn’t heard of before, but it’s essentially a stain that you can apply over another stain to achieve a different look without having to sand off all the previous stain. I tested both on an inconspicuous part of the chair and found that spray paint’s coverage was much better. Polyshades would be an excellent candidate over raw wood or stained wood that isn’t glossy, but these chairs were glossy and it just didn’t look that great. I could have sanded the chairs down to remove all the gloss, but since every surface of the chairs was rounded, it just felt like a lot of work ha. I’m all about keeping things simple!

I lightly sanded each chair with a piece of sandpaper, taped off the fabric seats, and then applied black spray paint in a satin finish using repetitive light strokes. It took just about 3 full cans of spray paint to cover all six chairs.  Then all I needed to do was wait for them to dry and bring them inside!

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The chairs are definitely not perfect, but I think they work really well in this space and I love their look. And the total cost for this project was under $50, meaning this set of 6 chairs cost less than just one brand new chair in all the places I was looking beforehand. Win win!

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I finished out this little dining area by shopping my home for decor, although I did buy one new thing for it: that gorgeous arched mirror in the corner. It was another Facebook marketplace find – a brand new (still in the original packaging!) Project 62 arched black mirror for $30?? Definite score.

Overall I’m so happy with this space and how it makes the room flow from the lounge area to the dining space to the kitchen. It feels just right!

Sources

Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Repose Gray

Chairs: $2 x 6 = $12

Fabric and Vinyl Spray Paint: $18.60 (total for 3 cans)

Black Spray Paint: $19.20 (total for 3 cans)

Total cost of chair project: $49.80

The Completed Secret Nook!

The tiniest room in our house just got a dramatic makeover! Welcome to our little secret nook under the staircase.

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My goal was to make a big impact with a tiny budget, and I am absolutely thrilled with how it turned out.

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As a refresher, here is where this room started. Seven square feet of potential!

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Since it’s so small, it just made sense to go through paint that I already had to find something that would work rather than buy more. After trying out a few colors on the wall, I settled on the leftover paint from our guest bathroom renovation: Benjamin Moore Smoky Mountain (color matched at Lowe’s). I painted both the walls and the trim the same color and I love the effect that had.

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About a month ago, Justin and I had a DIY Date Night and built these cute little book ledges using scrap wood from our garage and stain we already had. This project was so fun (and free!) and I think they look great in this space!

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I really wanted to trick out this space as best I could and have some little secret surprises that you can only see if you’re inside. I’ve always pictured it as a Harry-Potter-style cupboard under the stairs, so I wanted to make it seem a little magical without actually being Harry Potter themed. One thing that kept coming back to me was stars on the ceiling – when I found these metallic gold constellation decals on Etsy, they really stood out to me as the perfect option!

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The set I bought came with nine constellations and then a bunch of extra stars. I may have gone full nerd and actually looked up online to see how each constellation should be oriented and where they appear in general relation to one another if you look outside in our specific geographic location…is my type-A showing? Once I figured out where I wanted everything, these decals were super quick and easy to apply!

Another thing I’ve always wanted to do in here is make a chalkboard wall – the triangular wall above the door was the perfect space for it. A friend of mine had some chalkboard paint she was willing to let me use so I didn’t have to buy another jar and I picked it up off her porch. I primed and painted 2 coats and voila!

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Justin used a scrap piece of wood and a router to create a ledge for chalk to sit above the door frame and it worked perfectly. We initially thought we’d have to glue it to the frame but he made the wall-to-wall size so precise that we were able to just push it in and it’s very securely wedged.

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The last thing this space really needed was a light source. There is no plug and we didn’t want to spend the money to hardwire lighting, so I came up with a plan for a DIY sconce using a 79 cent plastic bowl, scrap wood, black spray paint, and a puck light. Justin and I (ok, mostly Justin haha) created this in another DIY Date Night – it turned out so well and works perfectly for providing a little light to read or play.

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Such a big difference just having a light source!

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I wanted the space to feel cozy and comfortable, so I finished it off with a microfiber floor mat that had a little extra squishy padding and a cute textured pillow that was 30% off at Target.

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Because of all the DIY projects using leftover materials from other rooms and projects, the total cost of this entire room makeover was right at $75. I’m so pleased with what a huge difference it makes and imagine our kids will spend many hours entertained in this space!

Secret Nook 3-4

Sources

Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Smoky Mountain (color matched at Lowe’s)

Chalkboard Paint: Benjamin Moore Chalkboard Latex Paint

DIY Bookshelves: Tutorial here

Constellation Decals

Pillow

Floor Mat