Office / Second Bedroom: The final layer

Oh, the office. I’ll be honest with you. For awhile the changes I was making didn’t feel right to me. I’m not sure what was bothering me about it. Are the walls too dark? Did I make a mistake painting the trim dark? Is there enough color? The other thing that was grating on me was the fact that we weren’t using the room as an actual office. It was a gift wrapping station. It was a dumping ground. It was a giant laundry basket. It was really everything but an office! We didn’t spend time in there, which was so discouraging. So I walked away for a bit.

And while I wasn’t physically working on the office, the room was always on my mind. How can I make it better? What’s missing? And then *DING* I got hit with the obvious stick. It was missing its final layer! That’s why it wasn’t looking right! Sure, there was paint on the walls and furniture in each corner… but it hadn’t been “dressed” in any sort of way. And I’m not talking styling here. I’m talking functional stuff to make it a real office. So of course we didn’t use it as an office… it’s not even equipped to handle any sort of office activity.

I know this all sounds very obvious and derp but it’s a perfect example of being a little too close to a problem to effectively problem solve…

Here is the office as of a few hours ago.

Look! There’s task lighting, a printer, under-desk storage with a drawer full of PENS! It’s an actual functioning office! *bangs head against wall*

Here’s where we were pre-final layer. Yep, it looked OK, but unless “working in the office” equals “napping on the daybed” it really wasn’t functional. Ok, napping does equal work some of the time, but you know what I mean…

During our two week break around Christmas, things really started to fall into place with this room. Everything I tried seemed to work well. We were spending time in there. I remember a certain weekend we spent both days in there. I was working on invitations and Aaron was working on his website. It was glorious.

The biggest difference was the addition of storage. We had a place to hide our tools, paper and supplies, thanks to the ALEX from IKEA. I added these adhesive bookplates to make it look a little more unique. I will add writing to the labels when I have a better sense of what works best where.

The inside of the drawers are organized too, thanks to the cut-to-size SUMMERA. Suddenly everything on the desk had a place to live.

On top of the desk we added two task lamps (IKEA again… RANARP) and a printer (a Canon PIXMA). This is the first time I’ve had a printer at home in awhile and it makes crafting so much easier. 

The focused light the two desk lamps provide have also turned out to be a huge help. Dark walls = dark room, despite the loads of light the overhead pendant gives out. The lamps provide a “comfy glow” (can that be a thing?) in the evening, making working (especially work work) somewhat bearable.

So yea, we’re thrilled with how this room turned out. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a “final reveal”… there are a few things we’d still love to do (like getting those chairs upholstered) but that won’t happen for awhile I am sure. We’re lucky the existing upholstery tends to blend in…

Before I sign off, here is the official “before” picture from this post.

And here is where we are today… oh you know, only 1.5 years later.

And for the record… it doesn’t normally take me 1.5 years to complete a project. A year? Probably!

To recap this project, here are all of the related posts in chronological (start to finish) order.

The official before picture and why I’m switching the room from my bedroom to an office.

The design plan (which I didn’t follow).

My thought process for picking the dark paint color.

The walls, painted.

The carpet, replaced.

A BIG update! The new desk and ceiling light.

The closet trim, painted (small space eye trick!)

The raw pine desktop, stained to match the other wood tones in the house.

Caulking and re-painting the window sills and installing fancy closet door pulls.

Posters hung on the walls.

New daybed.

$50 rug found!

Phew! It feels good to have this space in a good place. It also feels good to have this post done… ’twas a doozy!

What’s next? Well… I’ve got a living room with a few changes underway and a kitchen that’s barely been touched. Should be fun!



28 thoughts on “Office / Second Bedroom: The final layer

  1. angela

    Love this room! The dark walls and desks are fantastic along with all your décor. I find an office to be so difficult. I’ve been struggling with that here as well, I want something functional, but not over the top office with supplies and things everywhere. Such a tough balance!

    Have a great week!
    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      I hear you! It is such a balance. My first inclination is to buy accessories to finish the space but from a work standpoint, it turns in to clutter when I’m trying to get something done! I’m sure I’ll add / subtract over time but for right now, it seems like the right balance.

    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      Thanks Cassie! The trim was a departure for me. I want to go all the way with the monochromatic trim in another room!

  2. caroline [the diy nurse]

    It looks amazing! And I love those dark walls. Also I have printer jealousy. I have the same one in black and as soon as you clean it, its dusty again which drives me insane. It’s kind of funny if you look at our floor you’d never know I was bothered by such a thing.

    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      Oh, don’t worry. The dust is live and in action on that printer. It’s like a suction for dust! I tried to rub it with a dryer sheet and it seemed to help a bit but still….

  3. Kenz @ Interiors By Kenz

    Your office is one of my favorite rooms! The dark walls are so rich and perfect. I LOVE the rug choice in there. And I know what you mean about needing an office to FUNCTION. Me and Aaron had the same problem at our house. We weren’t using our office at all, and that’s because we didn’t have what we needed to make it work. I’m glad yours is working well for you. It’s such a great room, it NEEDS to be used :)

    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      You have an Aaron too!? Aren’t they great!? Hee hee. Yes, function has been huge for us. Without function we would rather close the door. I’m sitting in the office just as I type this! And thanks for the nice words… super appreciative!

      1. Amanda

        I have an Aaron, too! ;) I’m trying to do a similar project, except my room is a guest room/sewing room. I’ve been planning on using Ikea parts for the built in desk/sewing surface as well. Where did you get the pine table tops??

  4. stef

    Seriously impressed by the IKEA task lamps. I’ve always found the lighting section in IKEA to be pretty lacking… lots of dorm-ish stuff, but these look awesome and high end. Nice find!

    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      I agree with you… I’ve always passed the lighting section in a huff. I saw these in the 2014 catalog and loved them… I’m glad they found a way into my home. I am thinking about getting another one plus the floor lamp for my office at work!

  5. Shavonda@AHomeFullOfColor

    This is probably one of my favorite spaces ever. It so seriously rocks! I loooove that you painted out the trim and the closet door too. It’s amazing how such a simple thing as pens and a light make such a huge difference, right? I love it Emily.

    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      Thank you Shavonda! And yes, had I known the pens and lights would make such a difference I might have done it a lot sooner. :) Haha!! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Katja @ Shift Ctrl Art

    I just love your office. It’s so pretty. As soon as I saw that new Ranarp lamp at Ikea’s in November I just had to have the floor model and did you see they have a wall hung version too. So fab. Unfortunately they don’t sell them here in my Ikea. sniffle.
    I love the blue office chairs. They look so great in the space!!

    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      They don’t sell them at your IKEA? So strange! I didn’t know that inventory varied across stores. I’ve always thought that the reason I couldn’t find something was because it was sold out… but now I know! And I did see the Ranarp wall version! They have a pendant and a floor lamp too! The series is so pretty! The striped cord is my favorite part.

  7. Tasneem

    I have enjoyed watching this room transform in the last yearish. Yay for slow decorating. Your finished product gives me some inspiration for my guest room (which currently looks like a disaster area). Fingers crossed I will be able to get my butt in gear and sort it our before my mother in law visits us in April.

  8. Staci @ My Friend Staci

    Love the final touches, and the sleek printer. My printer lives on the kitchen counter… but at least it blends in with the white walls, white cabinets and white counter ;)
    Let me know how you like the ALEX unit! I am desperately in need of something like that to go under my desk. ALEX is on the short list, but in a perfect world it would have a file drawer pull-out on the bottom and little drawers on top (like the CB2 one which is twice as expensive).

    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      Oo, I know which one you are talking about! IKEA has some file drawer pull-out options. I felt like I saw much better options in store than what existed online. CB2 will have some good sales here in the next month or so too… happy hunting!

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