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Spring '24 One Room Challenge (ORC) - My Home Office - Week 4

I'm so excited for this week, the most exciting transformation in the process so far, wallpaper!!! 

It was the wallpaper that inspired this entire space, so I knew it would be the most exciting part to watch come to life. 

Initially, I found the wallpaper on Wallpaper Direct and ordered a sample to make sure I liked the colors and everything in person. As I suspected, it was love at first sight. The problem was, it was quite pricey. I tried finding a discount code and tried seeing if they wanted to do a partnership with me on trade, but no luck! After a lot of searching, I found what appeared to be the exact same Wallpaper on a German site called Wallpaper from the 70's. My hesitation was that, although it was the same photos advertising the paper, it had a different name. And since it was a German site I was worried about fees and if it wasn't the same, I didn't think I'd be able to return it. 

I decided to put my internet sleuthing to the test, and I looked at the tagged photos from Wallpaper from the 70's instagram account, and reached out to a few creators who used it. They were so kind to reply and give me feedback. It was all positive, they loved the product and had a good experience with them. One person had to pay taxees, but with the amount I needed I wouldn't have to. All I ended up paying was a small foreign transaction fee. 

By purchasing from Wallpaper from the 70's, I saved over 50% on the cost of the paper! I highly recommend checking them out if you're planning to add wallpaper to a space in your home. (No, this is not sponsored, but maybe my next project will be)!

I was a bit nervous when the box arrived only a few days after I ordered it, I even waited a little bit to open the box because I was already at max capacity with the paint color saga. Thankfully, the wallpaper was perfect. Although it had a different name on the website, it is still the Morris & Co, Meadow Sweet paper from the same dye lot. Phew! 

Although some people say hanging wallpaper is actually quite simple, I knew this was not a task I could do myself. There are quite a lot of cuts around the window and cabinets, and I just knew with time and the challenge, I wasn't up for the task. My friend had a great experience with her wallpaper installer, so I scheduled with her for the install. For any local folks I am happy to share her contact, she did a fabulous job and was so kind. She even sent me a thank you card afterward! 

To say I am thrilled with the paper is an understatement! I love how it coordinates with the countertop, and I'm excited to see it come together once the cabinets are repainted. It already makes the space feel more cozy and inviting. 

I'm excited to get this space finished and add all the fun details. Our room has been filled with boxes of everything inside my office cabinets for a couple months now, so we're ready to have it all unpacked and back to normal. Thankfully I finally selected the new paint color for the cabinets, and I'm hoping that will be completed next week in time to update you on Wednesday! 

Thanks so much for following along on this wild ride to redecorate my office! I thought this would be an easy "little" project, but it's turned out to be a bit more challenging than I expected. Here's a look at what we still have to accomplish in the space. 


Spring '24 One Room Challenge (ORC) - My Home Office - Week 3

Well, we've only made it to week 3 and there is already a speed bump in my home office makeover! Why is paint SO hard to choose? I agonized over the paint color and felt like I did everything "right," so it was so disappointing seeing the color going on the cabinets. It just wasn't it. 

My goal was to choose a color that was a nice warm, taupey brown that would complement the stem color in the wallpaper. I ordered several samples and hung it around the room to see the color in all times of day and lighting. And I left them up for a week to be sure I had found the right color.  

Day one for painting was prep. Taping off the spapce, removing cabinets, sanding everything, then adding a primer. So by the end of the first day I was still excited and feeling good about everything. But on day two, I snuck upstairs to take a peek after they did the first coat, and I just knew. Immediately, all I could see was purple, or as Andrew called it mauve. I don't think it's necessarily a bad color, but it doesn't work for this space. A little girls nursery or bathroom, maybe.    

I felt so bad because the painter could sense my disappointment when they were finished, but I told him it was my fault with the color choice, his painting looked great. We already had the wallpaper installation scheduled, so there is no time to re-paint it before that gets completed. He assured me that he could paint the edges with a brush and not damage the paper, but I'm so nervous! I'm sure he'll do a better job than I would, but it's still frustrating that I didn't just get the color right in the first place. 

I cannot get a photo of the completed paint to translate the same way it looks in person. In photos, it doesn't look so bad. But in person, all I can see is purple. So now, I have to try and figure out a new color, and quickly! He said he's schedule is filling up quickly. I already had anxiety trying to choose a color, and now it's reached a new level. There are so many options, and I want to make sure I don't make the same mistake again. 

I've been scouring the internet for various brown, but I know photos don't always represent color, I also want to stick to Sherwin Williams, and I feel like the longer I look the more confused I get. There is a designer I follow who I love, and she recently posted a photo of a space she designed that is a nice lighter brown that I love, so I am getting a sample of that. And I've already made one trip to Sherwin Williams for more samples, but I still don't know if I found the right one. 

I'm wondering if I should change course and do a darker green that will blend in with the counters a little bit. I could also do a really dark, brown or continue to search for the right, lighter shade of brown. I am getting better at looking for undertones to make sure I don't choose something that leans red/pink/purple, but it's so hard. It's funny, when I first chose Cocoa Whip, I didn't see any pink or purple. It never crossed my mind, but now when I look at the paint sample it is so obvious! I hope I'm at least learning something so I don't make a mistake like this again. 

I would love any input from you on what you think might look nice. One person said to match the stem of the wallpaper, but it's really quite yellow. When I tried matching to samples in the store, it was quite gold and I don't want that, especially with the green countertop. 

I'm hopeful our painter will be able to come back next week to re-paint, so I really need to get this color choice nailed down. My mother in law is in town this weekend, so perhaps she will be able to help me narrow things down too. 

I have so much admiration for interior designers! Color is seriously hard. It made me think of this time at my first job in San Francisco, they hired a color specialist to come in and select the office paint colors. I didn't really get the choices he made and thought it seemed like such a funny expense, but now I have so much respect for that color specialist! Side note: that's a pretty cool job especially in San Francisco, he would help people select colors for the exterior of Victorian homes in the city. 

Anyway, back to the office...HELP! 

Signed, a very stressed out Mom playing interior designer. xo


Spring '24 One Room Challenge (ORC) - My Home Office - Week 2

We're already 2 weeks in to the One Room Challenge. So far, we've cleared everything out so we can get to work on the fun part. I'm also realizing how much stuff I need to purge, and create a organization system after this makeover is complete. The twins were 5 weeks old when we moved into this house and I literally just threw things into cabinets and called it a day. I'm embarrassed to say it hasn't improved, it's probably gotten worse!

This week I wanted to share my design for the space. There is so much potential to create such an inviting and beautiful space for me to work each day, and it's so exciting to imagine it completed! I really hope I can pull it together in the next few weeks. 

When I originally started the design plan for this room, I was only planning to add wallpaper on the window wall for an accent. But, I follow several designers and I remembered a few said that if you're doing paint or wallpaper you have to do the entire space, having only one wall done will look dated. My only struggle was that because my office is a loft, there isn't an obvious stopping point on the larger wall that extends over the entry way. Thus, I figured wallpapering the entire space was just not in the cards, and I'd still be able to achieve the look I wanted with just one wall. But once the idea was in my head, I could not stop thinking about it! I figured that I could eventually add trim to that wall to create a stopping point where the ledge is. Ideally, when budget allows, I would love to create a faux beam and trim work to really define the space a little. Unfortunately, I don't think we have the budget for that now, so it will be phase 2 of this project! 

Ok, back to the inspiration and design for the space! 

The statement for this room is going to be the wallpaper. Originally, I had found this darker floral pattern that I loved (see my original mood board at the end of this post). But once I laid eyes on this room from Caitlin Flemming using Meadow Sweet by William Morris, I knew that was the paper for this space! When I started looking at wallpaper samples, I had to keep in mind the desktop surface. Because the built ins have this nice Corian surface, I didn't plan to change the desktop and needed to select something that would play well with the dark green color. I think Meadow Sweet will do that beautifully.  

When I saw this room on Caitlin's Instagram I stopped immediately. I just love the traditional, cozy feel of the space. It feels lived in and aged in the best way possible. It's exactly what I want my office to feel like. Obviously, it's not an office, but with any luck I think I can capture the same style and feeling here.  Also, the trim in this first photo between the living and dining room is what I imagine to eventually frame out the loft a little bit and define the space. 

The next decision was cabinet color. Originally, I thought I wanted to refinish the cabinets with a darker stain to add some warmth to the room. Our house is painted White Dove throughout, and I'm craving more warmth and color. Unfortunately, I realized the cabinets have a veneer surface, and I thought it would be more time consuming and costly to refinish and stain them. With that decision made, it was time to select a paint color. And as you probably know, that is the MOST difficult task in interior design. So many options! 

I ordered several samples from Samplize to hang around the room and watch in various light. I had considered a taupe/off-white color, or something brown to compliment the flower stems in the paper. The designer who shared the paper originally said that Swiss Coffee was her go-to with this paper. But like I mentioned, we have so much white in the house already I really wanted to warm it up a bit. Finally, I landed on a nice brown called Cocoa Whip by Sherwin Williams. It's very similar to the stem on the flowers and I think it will warm up the space and be neutral enough for the green desktop and wallpaper.  

And now for the fun part, the details! I want to add a bit of interest with a subtle pattern valence above the window, similar to the curtains in my inspiration photo. I hope to DIY (with my Mom's help). I also want to create a cork board area under the cabinets to put my vision board each year. On the wall adjacent to the window that you see from our bedroom and the hallway, I plan to do a gallery wall of family photos. For the hardware, I'm planning unlacquered brass with a combination of bin pulls and knobs. I'll also need a new desk chair, light fixture, and fun decor. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for an antique cabinet for added storage as well. 

I need to be better about sharing progress in stories on Instagram, I'll post some videos I took so far later today and get you caught up! I imagine once we really get started with the work I will share updates more regularly. So far it's mostly just been planning what I want to do for the space and scouring over paint colors. I have such anxiety about choosing the wrong color! But the painter is scheduled and there is no turning back now!

I have a whole new appreciation for all the designers who are participating in the challenge. And just designers and DIY enthusiasts in general. Especially those who are working full time or have young families! I already have decision fatigue. 

Be sure to check out what everyone else is working on over at the ORC link up page! Next week, I'll be able to share a cabinet painting update!! Fingers crossed it all turns out as expected. I decided to hire it out because I can't imagine how long it would take me to do myself in little bits of time after the kids are asleep or during nap on weekends. My entry table project literally took me an entire year to complete. So, it's in everyone's best interest, ha! 

Be sure to follow along on Instagram to catch the progress in real time!

Here's a look at my original design board for this room, before I found the Meadow Sweet wallpaper! 


Spring '24 One Room Challenge (ORC) - My Home Office

The One Room Challenge has been around since way back when I was first blogging (it started in 2011)! Before everyone even really knew what a blog was, and long before the term 'influencer' was coined. I've always wanted to participate. I love the concept of community coming together to celebrate each other and cheer one another on during a project. It reminds me of two challenges I participated in back in my early blogging days, Blog Everyday In May and the Pinterest Challenge. In the old days of blogging, these types of challenges were pretty common, and the blogging world in general was more about building community and friendship than anything else. Lately, I have sensed a shift back towards that mentality and I am here for it!

While I've always wanted to participate in the challenge, I generally make excuses like; I am too busy, I don't have time, the project is too expensive, etc. But, I'm done with excuses and would rather lean into the fear and put myself out there anyway. So here we are! 

I'm excited to officially be a part of the Spring '24 One Room Challenge "ORC." I've decided to tackle my office space. It's a small and manageable space to overhaul in 8 weeks, and I think it will have the greatest impact. I spend the majority of my time in this room, and it's generally a complete disaster and catch all/drop space. This disorganized mess makes me feel overwhelmed and unproductive, not ideal for the room I spend the majority of my time. Not to mention it's attached to our primary bedroom so that sense of disorder and chaos spills over into that room. You may remember, I had planned to join the Fall '23 challenge, but the timing with my Motherhood Retreat and busy fall season, life got in the way. And as I learned in my 'Doing Things I've Been Avoiding' series on Instagram last week, there is no time like the present to tackle these projects, a little bit at a time adds up. I'm excited for what we'll accomplish over the next 8 weeks! 

My office space was actually a really big selling point to this house. Since Andrew and I both work from home, we needed a dedicated place for us both to work. My office is a loft space above the entryway that you access from our primary bedroom. It has a window overlooking the front of the house, and has a really nice built in desk and shelving. It's just enough space for an office and because of the window and loft space, it's bright and airy. Because Andrew has so many meetings and needs a quiet space to focus, he uses the extra bedroom. I don't spend too much of my day on the phone or WebEx video calls, so the loft works well for me. 

While the bones of my office area great, it is definitely uninspiring and boring. I need to add a little character and warmth to make it someplace I want to spend my time and inspires me to be productive. Plus, if it's beautiful it will motivate me to keep it clean and organized! Right?

So without further ado, here are the before photos of my office! The only changes we made to the space since purchasing the home was painting the interior Benjamin Moore White Dove and replacing the carpet as well. The countertops, although not what I would choose, are a nice Corian material. The dark green is definitely a statement and will be tricky to work with, but it's so nice to have this quality built in work space!

I have so many ideas for this space and I think within these 8 weeks, we can make a big impact! I'm excited to take you along for the transformation! I hope you come back next week for the inspiration photos and mood board I created so you can visualize the direction I hope to take this cute little space. Here is a list of some of the items I hope to tackle with this project! 

  • Clean out office cabinets and organize
  • Hang new shelf 
  • Vision board
  • Wallpaper
  • Valence 
  • Gallery wall with motherhood photos
  • New light fixture
  • Paint cabinets and add hardware
  • Hardwire internet 
  • Style desk top
  • Vintage pine or oak cabinet for storage 
  • New office chair
Also be sure to head over to the ORC page to look at what other creatives are working on this time! There are so many inspiring folks out there, I'm excited to be inspired and cheer them on!

Be sure to follow along on Instagram where I'll be sharing in real time on stories as well as posting there. 

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