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Home Office: Before

Tomorrow I’m sharing my home office makeover. You’re on pins and needles, right? Well, today I’m showing you the former states of the room.

When we moved into our house in July, 2009 the every room was painted this shade of beige. Here’s my office before we moved in. Blank slate in my opinion.

home office before

I decided to paint my office purple. My inspiration was a photograph I bought at an art fair the spring before we moved into our house. Looking back, I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m going to blame it on being a young, excited, new home owner.

home office before

The room remained in its purple state from July, 2009 until September, 2011. Throughout the months leading up to our June , 2011 wedding, the office became my wedding bunker. I stored all of our wedding related decorations and other materials in the office. After the wedding, I decided to purge and reorganize everything before I painted. That meant putting everything in the center of the room– even the contents of the closet.

Hoard, much? I had so much random crap in the room it was unreal. Yes, you are seeing baby toys. No, I don’t have a child you’re unaware of. I work with toddlers. So toddler toys are a must.

hoarders den

Why did I show you the above photo? I’m trying to keep it real. But notice how I didn’t watermark the photo. I’ll share it with you, but I’m not putting my name on that hot mess.

So I cleaned up the room, sold the computer desk and corner bookshelf, and donated the barely recognizable TV stand. Then I got to painting.

Speaking of painting, most of you know how hard it is to find a perfect gray. Oof. I brought home a few samples to try out on the wall. The one on the far left is Gravity by Valspar. Second to left is Voyage by Valspar. I went with Voyage because I thought Gravity was too light. I should have gone with Gravity. The temptation to repaint the room came over me but I was tired of painting so I accepted the color and moved on.


Voyage is OK, but in color tends to look more blueish gray than gray. Darn tricky grays. At least it’s better than the purple.


My sewing cabinet makeover was the next big thing to hit this room after the new coat of paint on the walls. All of those gray paint samples came in handy. I used one of the samples (Grey Porch by Valspar) for the accent color on the sewing cabinet.

sewing cabinet before and after

white and grey sewing machine cabinet 1

My file cabinet also received a makeover in preparation for the room redo. Again, all of those gray paint samples came in handy. I used the Gravity sample to stencil the file cabinet. Paint samples, people. They’re your friends.

how to stencil furniture

And a few weeks ago I finished my gallery wall. No paint samples were needed for this project.

gallery wall with white frames

Now that I’ve teased you with a few projects I hope you’re excited to come back tomorrow and see the room in its entirety.

Have you ever painted a room a color and later on thought “what was I thinking?”
Do you hoard paint samples so you can use them on future projects?
Plan on coming back tomorrow?

two twenty one

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  1. So far everything looks amazing. Can’t wait to see the finished room. Guess I have to though!

  2. I’m excited to see the final product! In my last apartment I REALLY wanted to have a grey bedroom. Because greys are weird I ended up with a purpleish-grey bedroom. At first I hated it but as time went on it became one of my favorites.
    With Luck

  3. No, I’ve never made a color mistake. Except maybe the time I painted our guest bedroom rose pink. With black and white accessories, it was REALLY classy (gag). Or the time I painted our kitchen yellow. And there was the country green hallway incident of ’05… Okay, I guess I might know where you’re coming from.

  4. We just bought a house in December and had quite the time picking colors. My husband wanted all the walls white and I told him that wasn’t an option. So we compromised on all of the colors. I hate them, but it got him used to color on the wall. I almost have him convinced to let me repaint with my original colors if he doesn’t have to do that work. Almost. And yes, it has only been 3 months. It’s a process. Haha. Can’t wait to see the final outcome!

  5. Oooh, I can’t wait for this room reveal!! And yes, grays are super tricky. I find the same things with the perfect beige. OH, and that before photo is super awesome. Can’t wait to see how you organized everything!

  6. It looks fantastic so far! Can’t wait to see what it all looks like together! Just seeing these photos has actually inspired me to make some changes in my office…like getting rid of the ugly plastic drawer thingy sitting beside me right now.

    LC from the world of ellesee

  7. Yay I can’t wait to see the finished product! My office is suffering from WAY TOO SMALL syndrome right now, and I’m still trying to figure out what to do about it. So far my only solution is to move. 🙂

  8. I bought my first house when I was still in college and painted the master bathroom red. Like, RED red. Like, was someone violently murdered in here red. Oy.

    And yes, your teasers were enough to make me come back tomorrow! 🙂

  9. I love the color you chose!!! Wow, it makes such a difference. And I’m dying over the stenciled file cabinet!! Seriously. Looks amazing. 🙂

  10. I always regret paint choices. It takes me at least twice to find the right color. Ha! I can’t wait to see the whole room tomorrow!

  11. Oh I can’t wait to see the finished room! #1 reason I don’t paint rooms? I can never pick the perfect paint color and I always regret the color I chose soooo I don’t paint them haha

  12. “But notice how I didn’t watermark the photo. I’ll share it with you, but I’m not putting my name on that hot mess.”
    .LOL I love it! hahaha…
    Can’t wait to see the finished room, it’s looking great!

  13. 1. Thank you for explaining the toys. I thought I was going to have to go back and read to find out how I missed a birth.
    2. I have been known to not watermark photos I don’t want connected with me. I mean if someone wants to steal it, have at it right?
    3. Where did the toddler toys end up? Oh, guess I have to wait till tomorrow to find out.


  14. It looks great so far! I am loving that little pink clock.

  15. I love it!!! The paint color is gorgeous and I love the gallery wall!

  16. Oh you’re such a tease! I definitely had different expectations for visiting you today!

    I guess I’ll come back again to see the whole room finished… 😉

  17. I am so glad you tell us this, I am currently painting my bedroom and it was….get ready….. Mauvey/reddish/purple and I painted the trim pink…..PINK!!!! What in the world was I thinking. This was 5 years ago, I am so embarrassed to admit. One time a friend came over and said “Oh my gosh, whoever lived here before painted this bedroom a terrible color” haha I didnt have the guts to tell her it was me…… I am currently in the process of painting all that hot mess and I am so over it. haha I love your gray! And the stenciling on the cabinet is out of this world beautiful.

    Brittany @ Creating Space for Five

  18. In our last house we had a feature wall in our bedroom and it was BROWN but not a nice brown. I hated it so I talked my husband into painting over it with a lovely purple colour. I live in Australia so our colours are totally different and we don’t have a huge variety but I was happy with the decision. When we’d finished it looked exactly like the packaging colour of a chocolate bar called “Violet Crumble”. It had a metallic look to it and it was sooooooo in your face. We later changed the colour to a pale green just before we sold the house. BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER. I now live in a house with white walls and no colour 🙁

  19. I absolutely love the wall color, but the file cabinet is my favorite. So pretty. I’ve changed my mind quite a few times about my color choices, but that’s mostly because I get tired of color quickly. Can’t wait to see the entire room.

  20. Haha! I have totally made bad color choices before. I wanted to paint my room a soft pink about 10 years ago, so I went to Lowes with my magazine page of a pink room and tried to find something similar. I found one that was kind of close on a purple paint chip. I bought it and painted my room and guess what? It was purple. I don’t know how I thought it would be pink.

  21. Perhaps I’m just a weirdo, but working in a purple office would make me a terribly happy person 😛

  22. Unfortunately I wasn’t blogging when I made some of my worst paint choices…it is actually fun to go back and see what mistakes we made! I love the projects you teased us with…can’t wait to see the reveal!

  23. It looks great so far! Love it can’t wait to see the rest! Love that your keeping it real!

    Zoe @ Turquoisebohemian.com

  24. Brenda B. says:

    I am in awe of your office makeover! It’s just perfect.. I want to drive over 3 hrs. to that same IKEA and get that same storage unit for my wall in a spare bedroom, so that I can store all my yarn.. Thanks for sharing this journey with us on your blog! I look forward to your posts! Blessings..

  25. Super excited to read this post. We are in the process of re-doing our bedroom. We just painted it Voyage a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure about it, but its growing on me. I think I’m starting to love it. Love the office reveal and your blog!!

  26. laura~eye candy event details says:

    Your office looks gorgeous! Mine is slooooowly getting there & buying things from IKEA does help doesn’t it? =) I had NOOOOO idea you were kinda close to me! The IKEA you shop at is like 20 min. from me – I am there at least 2x a month! lol . . . would love to chat with you more if you want. Big fan & glad to know about another blogger in the area! YAY! =)

  27. Purple is surely an interesting choice for home office room color. But it is exciting to be honest.

    Wished my dull looking office to be as fun looking as your room did. My slavery in that cubicle from hell continues however. Maybe you can give us a few interior design ideas 😀

    The grey version…hm I am not sure. Not a big fan of gray as it seems to hit my creativity and imagination hard rather than promote them. It may be different with others though, opinions are welcome.

    For a home office, I would go for something funky as orange or light green – to sooth and inspire at the same time.

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