A bright board and batten office

April 17, 2014

It’s time for a trip down memory lane! I mentioned earlier this week that I’ll be sharing some of the rooms in our home over the years over the next few weeks. I LOVE before and after pics and I love looking back at this space because I think it’s one of the biggest transformations I’ve ever completed in this house.

This room was decorated and painted before I ever started blogging, like all the other rooms in our house. I painted it a good eight years ago I think? Let’s just say my style was…different. :) I actually quite liked this room for a long while – I loved how cozy it felt. But the color always bugged me, I just couldn’t get it right.

These are total old school before pics – you can tell by the computer monitor. ;) I took these some time in 2007/08, not sure when. I know it was when my baby was actually a baby. :)

Behold the ORANGE:

I was never going for orange – let’s just clarify that right now. I always wanted it to be a rust color. It was not. :) Back then I was really into the dark wood tones and deep colors, as you can see. As I always say, my style then wouldn't be what I would do now, but I am still proud of what I did. It was “me” at the time – who knows what our house will look like ten years from now?

Did I mention I painted the ceiling the same color as the walls? Yeah. I’ve always been a painted ceiling girl, even when it made the room feel like a cave. A comfy cave at least:

A few years later I repainted the room, this time hitting the mark a little better. It was more of rust color color for sure, but it still would get an orangey tone in some light:


We also used this room as the kiddo’s playroom for years. After about three years of not being able to walk in there most days I moved most of the toys to the loft and reclaimed this spot for me.

So about four years ago I started the process of making over this room in a big way! I started with a new “desk” (actually an old farmhouse table I got from a friend), a new light (there is no overhead light in here) and painting the room:

I also painted over the red ceiling with a pale blue, I was SO glad to see that dark color go!!

Then I got the crown molding up and took on the board and batten walls:

My vision was starting to come together!

I recovered the faux leather parsons chair (I’m sitting on it now and I can’t believe how well it’s held up!) and added a dresser from Craigslist for storage. I covered the upper part of the walls in Goodwill frames spray painted white – they are full of photos and art that are near and dear to me. I love it. :)

This room actually gets a TON of natural light, so my hope was to work with that and make it a bright, pretty space.

This is a corner of the darker version of the office before:

And that area now looks like this:

That DIY memo board that was hanging to the right felt too heavy in the room so I took it down. I think it looks so much better without it!

I didn’t completely remove all of the Bub’s things from this space – the dresser is full of craft supplies and the caddy holds his markers, paint and crayons:

Because of a leak that ruined our old laminate floors, we ended up getting new hardwoods and continued them throughout the main floor, including this room. It made a HUGE difference in here as well.

Here’s a shot of the other corner of the room before (check out that sexy monitor!):

That thing weighted at least 30 pounds, no joke.

Now that side looks like this:

The little table was my sister-in-law’s when she was small and she gave me the OK to update it. My boy doesn’t sit at this nearly as much as he used to though. Sniff. :(

You’ll notice the filing cabinet and printer are gone – the cabinet didn’t hold nearly enough files so I sold it. We now use a cheapy metal one and keep it in the basement. The printer is wireless so it’s in my husband’s basement office since he uses it more often.

Here’s what you saw when you walked in to the room before:

And this is that same corner now (well, a few months ago):

Ignore the Charlie Brown trash can, it’s been toned down quite a bit and looks much prettier now. ;)

I finished this space more than two years ago and I absolutely LOVE working in here. Before I worked from the sofa most nights, now I spend my days in here and it is a complete joy to be in this space. It’s quiet, sun-filled and there are usually a few cats laying on the desk as I work. :)

The only change I’m considering right now is the desk – I’d like to have something a little bit smaller. I do love the large surface space but I don’t need it quite this big. We have a couple options that I’m going to try in here to see how they work! (The cats will not be happy though.)

So there’s one of the spaces in our home that’s changed the most over the past ten years. I can’t believe the difference when I look back! My office is easily one of my favorite rooms in our house – it should be since it took me nearly two years to finish. :)

You can see all of my projects and posts about this space here!

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  1. what a huge difference! love the moldings!

  2. Such a huge difference isn't it...I so love all the light and bright things and when you lighten up the walls and ceilings it makes such a wonderful difference, it's like coming out of a cave...amazing what light colors will do for your mood...

  3. Wow! What a huge difference! I can't believe it's even the same room. It's fabulous!

  4. I found (almost) that exact table on the side of the road a year ago. One leg is broken and it needs refinished. But you've just given me the inspiration to get it done! Beautiful space!

  5. I love this room!! The base of the table looks much smaller than the top, how about a new top or cut the existing top down for a smaller desk?

    1. Good idea! I could just try a new top. I can't cut down the top on the table because it's all planks -- I'm not sure they would hold up well. It has a pretty design to it as is too so I'd hate to mess it up.

  6. Love the transformation! I am going to try out a project that I have never tried. We are going to put our house up for sale in the next few years and so updating on a budget has begun. Our handy man complained about my upstairs hall light, saying it was super out dated. I could not find anything I liked at Home Depot but I spied the oil rubbed bronze spray paint and I am going to give it a try. They guy at Home Depot gave me some time and if it does not work I am just out $6 so no biggy.

    1. Ugh should spell check that should be the guy at Home Depot gave me some tips

  7. I am In LOVE with that drapery fabric! I have been scouring the internet and Jo-ann's website but I cant find it. :( Can you save my sanity and tell me the name? I would love ya for.ev.er!
    PS- I have never ever commented on a blog before so I truly have no clue what I'm doing and if you'll actually read this or if you'll respond so I'm just gonna put my crazy straight out there :) here's my people-cant-see-my-name email addy :) foursweetpeaches@hotmail.com Thank ya thank ya!

  8. I am a total internet DUMMY but stumbled across it! Waverly Rustic Retreat in Glacier. Whoop! And found all before this Curious George spring movie is over and my four bundles of energy start tugging on me again! Win win for mom!

    1. You got it! I didn't even know the name of it!! :)

  9. Amazing transformation. Love the new brighter colors and the gallery walls.

  10. Wow, what a transformation! I love this room too. I particularly love all the frames on the upper part of the wall. They add so much personality.

  11. I think this room is the one that led me to your blog in the first place. I love it now as much as I did when I first saw it.

  12. My living room has a dark orange wall like your "before" pictures. The other walls are a soft yellow so their not so bad. I want a change, but I need the money to get the other stuff too. My bedroom, on the other hand, has a very soft pink.

  13. This is still my favorite transformation of yours to date. Watching you change over to lighter colors over the years gave me the courage to tackle the process in my own home, and to accept the fact that our tastes evolve over the years.

  14. I've also had my dining room painted a terracotta color many years ago, I loved it too, but now I prefer lighter colors. It is fun going thru pictures seeing how we and our rooms have changed. I love your new office!

  15. I love the new and brighter office. I so enjoy reading your blog although I rarely take time to comment. Where did you get the 3 tiered cart? I have been hunting for one like that for my indoor plants.

  16. Wow, what a difference! It's amazing how our tastes change over the years. I love your board and batten walls, they look great and add such a nice detail to the whole space. What an awesome room to work in! :)

  17. What a difference! My trajectory has been a lot like this - I still have so much red and sage green I'm working around from my decor style 10 years ago. I do wonder what I'll be loving in another 10 years because right now it's hard to imagine liking anything other than what I do now!

  18. I love this!!! What are the paint colors?

  19. Hi Sarah,
    The room turned out great as always! I was wondering, when you purchase frames from thrift stores, do you buy ones with glass? Also, what is the brand of white spray paint that you use for the picture frames? Kim ~

  20. That was a fun little field trip, even though I've seen them before.
    And may I just say, don't feel like you really need to explain or apologize or anything regarding the (potentially dated) "befores". Styles come and go! You were very "in" at the time, I'm sure. Maybe even the monitor. Haha Seems so weird that the current beautiful office will one day be out of style. It certainly is lovely, made me think of a beach type vibe today. But the before was lovely as well.
    Happy Easter! Chrissy

  21. Love the change especialy the orange...so bright and playful!!

  22. I like your blogs giving me the motivation and inspiration for decorating with confidence. That office decoration is looking really awesome giving brighter look to it. Thanks for sharing some great things here.


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