Office update and the plan

December 29, 2010


I’ve mentioned before that I had only one goal in mind when redecorating my office – making it BRIGHT.

And whooowee, it’s working! :) I’m SO thrilled with the direction it’s going.

Last time I updated, I showed you the difference a coat of primer and a couple coats of white did to the space:


OH my. Night and day. Get it? Dark room = night. Light room = day. Har.

Anyway, next up was to paint the ceiling and the upper third section of the walls. After visiting the paint section at True Value, I found what I just what I was looking for. It took a while though:

photo (2)

Yowza – HUGE selection.

I used my inspiration fabric and found two colors that matched perfectly! The first was the ceiling:


I have to tell you – I hadn’t used Dutch Boy paints till I started this redo. But I am in love. I am SO impressed with how well it covers.

The kind I got had a primer in it, but I still thought I’d have to use two coats. I had only used one coat of white primer over the (red) ceiling, (yes, red), and didn’t think there was any way one coat of blue would completely cover the red/primer:


(YES. The ceiling was red.)

But it covered in in one coat, easy peasy. I painted it at night, (hence the bad night picture) and was sure when daylight came I’d have to do another coat.

NOPE! Love love LOVE!

I chose a beautiful light blue called Purify. Here’s the formula if you’d like to try it out:


(By the way, remember to always use a flat paint on your ceiling!)

I gotta give more props to “my” True Value – every time I get a paint mixed there, they keep record of it under my name. No more looking through the blog to figure out what the color of my walls are!  ;)

Then it was onto the upper part of the walls. I picked a sand color that matched the brown in the fabric exactly. Again, I started painting at night, and right away I knew it was way too dark:


It was a true sand color. I mean, like the beach was on my walls, sand. I stopped at one wall that night so I could see it the next morning. But when I saw it in the light, I was still sure it was too dark.

We had the Bub’s birthday party a couple of days later, and I was completely outvoted – everyone loved the darker tone. :) I tried living with it, but it just wasn’t what I was going for.

A friend suggested maybe I should try the color of our family room:


It’s called Sisal and I big fat puffy fluffy heart love it. It’s my favorite neutral. So I had it color matched, but lightened 25 percent.

Helloooo! It was perfect!

It’s hard to tell in this picture, but the new, lighter color is on the left, the darker version is on the right:


I know the colors don’t look that different in the picture, but trust me. Or it could be just me – very possible. :)

Here it is against the lovely blue ceiling:


Sigh. It’s so PRETTY. (Don’t worry, crown molding will cover that red.)

I love the colors with my DIY pendant light:


Giddy. :) :)

So, here’s the low down on the changes to come in this space…as you’ve seen, I moved my farmhouse desk to this side of the room:


Before it was squished into the other corner. I love this set up -- I can be on the computer or working and still see what’s going on in the family room and kitchen.

This is the plan for the bottom two thirds of the wall:



Be still. my heart. :)

The window corner will get the following:


I’ve tried moving my rattan chair over there, but then I can’t get to the windows to open the shades and let the light in. :) So my dream plan would be to build a set of window seats in that spot.

Not sure how that’s gonna happen.

Dad? Hello?? ;)

Of course, the windows will get treated with this beautiful fabric:


I can’t remember if I got enough of the stripe or the paisley for the windows. It will be a surprise for all of us. :) (By the way, I got the fabric at Joann’s.)

My Pier 1 chair sits where the desk used to sit:


When I bought that chair years and years ago, I wanted the ottoman but didn’t have the money. Guess what I found a year ago at Goodwill? Awww yeah – the matching ottoman! For $10!

Once I get those cushions covered, I think that rattan texture will be perfect in the space.

Finally, the Bub’s old dresser now serves as storage:


And now that it’s up against the white, I know I want some contrast. Just not sure what color it will be.

I did find a gorgeous, stunning dresser on Craigslist, but it’s much wider. If I get it, the chair would have to move to the window corner. It’s a sacrifice I may just have to make, cause it is GORGEOUS. Ack!

That is, if it’s not sold already. Crossing fingers and toes! For now I’m planning on not having it, just in case.

So that’s the plan for the rest of this redo! I put off the painting for eight months, and now I know why. :) It took one coat of primer on four walls and the ceiling, two coats white, and a coat on the ceiling and upper walls. Yikes. That’s a lot for me, who usually does one coat and done. :)

But if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a trillion times – paint absolutely transforms a room! The before:


And now:


Fear not color lovers – there’s plenty coming. I plan on adding punches in the art -- I’m so stinking excited about that part! And I’m thinking about one more accent color…haven’t decided on that yet.

And I am SO looking forward to having such a serene space!

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  1. LOVE the new color scheme. And don't feel bad about the Christmas aftermath bomb that went on in your house is the same...probably a lot of homes are right now.
    Can't wait to see the finished room!

  2. I LOVE it already!!! Great color pics! I also love the messing house pic! :)

  3. Oh my word.... this is going to be a fabulous redo! Love your colour choices and fabric swatches!

    I really like the height you chose for your board and batten treatment too.


  4. love, love, LOVE your fabric! Just beautiful! And love all of your plans for the new office! So excited to see the finished product! :) Not to worry about the Christmas bomb...I had the same one go off at my house!

  5. I am lovin' that you're keeping it real. That bomb which went off? Same here. Only it happened about October and I haven't had the wherewithall to pick up after it. New Year resolution No 1. Sigh. Love that light shade!!!

  6. Oh I completely feel your pain with the mess of toys and too many remotes. My 15 month old son has left the same look in his playroom. It is just craziness. He also does that every day in our family space, I can't be bothered to clean it up until bedtime (and then when we get up it goes back to the same way! haha) About your space- I **heart** your new office. I really want to do my office/craft room space over. Mine is in the basement. Any suggestions on how to make sure I get lots of "light" into it?

  7. I love the fabric and paint color. I am looking to redo a bedroom in my house and am getting inspiration from your redo. I get scared thinking I can't do it but I have learned that I can.

  8. Look forward to seeing the end results. I love the light colors you are using.


  9. You are definitely coming along, Sarah! Just the color change alone has made a big difference. I can't wait to see more! I can't tell visually just how much space you have under the windows, but what about trying sturdy short bookcases there to use as a window seat AND to give you some storage? I wonder if Ikea or some place makes something sturdy enough for you to incorporate that way.

  10. Love, love, love board and batten. Love, love, love blue and light sand colors. your office going to be beautiful!

  11. What a great transformation! The colors are so perfect together with your fabrics. Very, very nice job. Happy New Year!

  12. I see your vision, and I can't wait to see the finished product! It's going to be beautiful!

  13. I think the dresser would look great painted the same color as the ceiling. It would give you a little contrast between the white walls and a pop of color beside the rattan chair. I love your office redo, it looks amazing!

  14. Wow! Those fabrics you picked could not be more perfect! They go so well together & I'm excited to see if you do window seats! That would be so sweet! Would you put one on both or would you do one big one that rounds out the corner in between the windows to join the two?

  15. Can I just tell you how happy I was to see the living room shot? Mine looks similar. ;)

    LOVE this new look. I've seen your fabrics at JoAnns and I think they are lovely! The room is going to be fabulous!

  16. love, love, love it!! the color change is so dramatic! i need some of your motivation! glad i'm not the only one with christmas mess still! :) Happy New Year!

  17. I love the colors you chose, so calm and peaceful and those fabrics are gorgeous!!! I also love the board and batton, I have them in a few of my rooms and it just makes things feel so charming and clean!! Can't wait to see more!!

  18. It's looking great and I love the fabric on the shade. Gorgeous!

  19. The color scheme is SO calming in the new room. Love it!

    And THANK YOU for sharing the real part of life too (ie the chaos in the family room) I feel like de-christmas-ing the house always ends up making everything WAY worse before it gets better!

  20. Oh, that is going to look so nice. I can't wait to see how the trim comes out! It is going to be such a nice place to relax!

  21. Oh it is looking great and I love the colors. It looks like your family had a fun Christmas!

  22. It is looking great! I love the fabric, it looks so much like something I would choose! I actually love the sand color you used, what was the name of it? (I would like to check it out for maybe my dining room or something) I could see why you didn't want it for that room, with that light of a blue and all! The color you used ended up being perfect!

  23. loving. this. room. so excited for the wainscoting!

  24. lol love the last picture. and all the remotes. i definitely agree on a serene (mom) space. i always dream of window seats as well, and always call on my dad for my craft projects! thank goodness for handy fathers :)

  25. I so heart the color scheme. The stripe fabric is a favorite of mine. I've seen it several times and always want to buy some for something. I can't wait to see the finished product!

  26. Hi!! We put in bench seating in our dining room and you could do the same thing for window seats. We used uppper unfinished cabinets and put an extra piece of wood along the back to make it the right depth and also built an easy frame on the floor to make it seat height. We then used a piece of plywood covered in thick foam and then used vinyl material to cover it in, we just set that on the cabinets and it turned out very nice. Here is a link to a pic of our project...with all of your experience, it should be very easy for you! Link:
    This is the only photo of it that I have on my blog, if you need more specifics, just let me know.

  27. that fabric is absolutely yumm-o!

  28. Your room is looking fabulous! It makes me want to redo our living room in those colors.

    I was wondering, what was the name of the "sand" color you tried first, the one that was too dark?

  29. I love how your new office is looking already, can't wait to see the finished product. Also, I just read your "didn't" post and can I just say, AMEN sister! I'm glad someone else just soaked up the moments and didn't worry what everything looked like. Thanks for writing it.


  30. So wonderful. The plan is amazing. I have been wondering what progress you have made. The walls be just amazing. And those fabrics are beautiful.

  31. I love, love, love the new colors and that fabric! Can't wait to see the finished room.

  32. I love what you have done so far and your other plans sound awesome. I am in LOVE with your fabric choices. The colors are perfect. Can't wait to see the end result.l

  33. Yea to the board & batten! I have been planning to do that in my dining area (open floor plans make such projects SO complex).

    As for the dresser, you could pull a green out of the striped fabric as inspiration for paint and go either darker or lighter with it, depending on how much weight you want it to have.

  34. It's gonna look FAB!! That wainscoting pic is EXACTLY what we're planning for our son's "big boy" room! :)

    Can't wait to see the final product.

  35. I am loving the plan! Will the picture ledge go all the way around the room?

  36. love love the bright colors! trying to phase the red out of my living room...

  37. OK, so I am now officially addicted to your blog (came upon it a little over a month ago). Our family is in the process of moving into a new home and, thanks to you, I can't make ANY decisions about design until I consult your site for ideas. You're a girl after my own thrifty heart. Keep the good stuff comin'.

  38. The office looks lovely already! Can't wait to see the finished product. Glad you had a nice Christmas (as evidence by the bomb). =)

  39. Love the colors and fabric,the pendant lamp is fantastic.I cant wait to see the finish.

  40. LOVE the fabric. My entire house seems to be in greens, browns and blues. One suggestion for painting the chest of drawers is to antique it. My mother redid a hope chest for her bedroom in the green of your fabrics antiqued white. It turned out beautifully!

    Love your blog and your amazing ideas.

  41. Loving what you've done so far! I adore the lighting and the fabrics you plan to use, too. Can't wait to see it finished...that molding will look SO good!

  42. I love what you have done so far. I am thinking about painting my red office room as well. I am thinking of going gray on the walls but I do like that light tan look. It is looking great!

  43. Your use of color is amazing! You have a great eye.

  44. Thank you for sharing the beautiful in-progress transformation. The office is going to be amazing.

    But thank you even more for showing us the Christmas bomb. It's such a relief to know our home isn't the only one that goes from gorgeous to trashed in 60 seconds. I like to think of it as life being lived well...who wants to live in a museum, right? (Well, maybe for a little while...)

  45. I know it's not done, but that is a gorgeous and amazing difference. It's going to be such a lovely space.

  46. I love the new colors you've chosen. Very soothing indeed. Can't wait to see the final product!

  47. Love the painting -- What a lucky find on the ottoman. I feel for you with your Christmas living room bomb! I piled everything into the bedrooms because I couldn't stand to look at it anymore. :)

  48. Wow your great! I love the scheme!

  49. Everything is coming along! I love it! So, what are the 2 "sandy" colors that you are comparing? :)

  50. I adore the table for your office redo. cute, cute, cute! The size is perfect! And as always I love the detail you include with your projects! Happy New Year! Marie
    (new design, thank God!)

  51. Hey your family room looks like mine! I know just how you feel...Your new space is turning out beautifully! Blessings, Joanne

  52. I love the color transformation! Much more soothing and tranquil. I could work in that room. I vote for the window seats. I think they add so much value and coziness to a room. We added window seats to a room in our home and I am in love with them. I don't think you'd ever regret it over a dresser. You could also make the top of the wooden part of the seat flip up for extra storage inside, which is what we did.
    I love your fabric as well. Can't wait to see it finished!

  53. Hey - I saw your note about all the remote controls and wanted to check with my daughter about the remote control they have. It is THE BOMB!!! I'm technically challenged and OLD, so a lot of these new-fangled things are totally over my head. You might wnat to check into one of these. Anyway, I e-mailed her and asked about the awesome remote control they have. Here is what she sent me: We have a Logitech Harmony remote. They have different levels that you can get, but they essentially have control over any electronic device that you use a remote for. We love ours! They're really easy to setup too! After setting it up you hit one button ( i.e. Watch a movie) it will turn on the tv, set it to the appropriate input and turn in the DVD player. No need to hit three buttons on two remotes and try to remember which input the DVD player is plugged into. We even have our Watch a Movie button to go ahead and eject since we almost always have to put in a new movie. They're the best!!!

    We have buttons for:
    Watch TV
    Watch a Movie
    Listen to Radio
    Listen to CDs

    Also, don't know if you would want to mention, but they do work with DVRs. We have a TiVo that ours works through.

  54. I love seeing how you are planning and carrying out the redo. Love all your decorating this year. Your stairs are still my fave but several others are right behind. Had to laugh at the explosion in your family room. Love to read your posts. You are an inspiration!

  55. the office will be so relaxing. i love the picture of the aftermath left by christmas. and no, i think you need a few more remotes. want some of ours? ;)

  56. I LOVE you blog. Decorating is a hobby of mine and I love exploring others' idea's. I look forward to following your blog. Blessings!

  57. Holy cow! It looks GREAT!
    My office is actually painted Sisal. Well, it is for now...but we're ripping down the drywall to expose the wood walls soon! :-D

    I love the way it's all coming together and can't wait to see whatchya do next!

  58. I just found your blog and I'm convinced we are kindred spirits! Love your insights, philosophy about decorating, and style.

    Can't wait to read more.

  59. I love the pendant lamp. Your color scheme is so restful. Nice job.

  60. Hi, Sarah, it's me, Angie. We haven't talked in a while. I've been living the high life. That means that I've had my life overtaken by a new puppy and now all hobbies are dead.

    Anyway, i wanted to drop you a line and say HOT PINK should be a "pop" accent color in your new office!! not kidding. ala "the antonio treatment's" pinkish/purplish painted oversized birdcage in one episode. Or, ala the houzz book about the color of the year... what did they call it? honeysuckle?

    anyway... remember that one time when houzz did an interview with you? and then it was awesome?

    happy new year, friend!


    ps. pink!

  61. Just wanted to say thanks for posting that pic of what you were looking at as you type this. Sometimes when I read such BEAUTIFUL blogs like yours I look around my space and think...I'm so far from that I shouldn't even try.

    Thank you for showing that people are most definitely LIVING at your house, remote controls and all. That really cracked me up! :-)

  62. I love how this is turning out. And I could really tell the difference in the two shade of wall color. I think it would have always bugged you if you stuck with the first shade. Go with your gut and you did! I think if you paint the chest you could go with the ceiling paint but lighter. It will look good with that lamp which I love.

  63. Love your blog! Can you give us the formula for the 25% lighter Sisal paint? I think it may be exactly what I've been looking for!

  64. I just left my local Ace Hardware (in Noblesville). I am a fan of Valspar paint, but just before Thanksgiving I painted our dining room (late night last minute decision) and used a Valspar paint and was very disappointed in the coverage. I decided to go with the Dutch Boy that you liked so much but couldn't find it at the Noblesville store. Would you be willing to let me know which store you went to? Thanks so much-love your blog for the helpful ideas as well as the many smiles you provide.

  65. Ok, I love that blue ceiling. Are you still loving it? My ceilings in my downstairs are currently a golden yellow (almost mustard). I have been changing things up a bit and want to lighten up the ceilings. My walls are green. I have been thinking of adding in some blue accessories in the kitchen area. Maybe I should paint the ceilings all blue. Wonder how that would look with the green walls. I do have white crown and my drapes are natural and black toile. hmmmm. Any thoughts? feel free to email me at if you do.
    ps love you blog!

  66. I LOVE your office so much and can't get it out of my head. Do you know what the name/brand of your fabric you used? I don't have a Joann around me and would have to order online. Thanks in advance!

  67. who makes the sisal paint/ what is the brand?


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