I️ started working from home in 2016 when we moved to Memphis from Virginia, and have been dreaming of having my own office ever since. For the majority of my WFH experience, I️’ve sat at the kitchen table, counter or even on the sofa with my laptop to get work done – which probably explains why my posture leaves a lot to be desired!
Finding the Perfect Home Office
When we were looking at houses in North Carolina last summer, I️ noticed quite a few had a home office, but it wasn’t one of my must-haves at the time. The house that we ended up loving and buying coincidentally had a very nice home office, with a bay window and built-ins already installed.
When we moved in, the office was very BEIGE. It had tan walls, wood floors and wood built-ins. I️ decided I️ wanted to transform the space and make it fun and inspirational. As I️ mentioned before, I️ made the decision to be bolder with this house when it came to home decor – and the home office was a great place to start.
Home Office Design and Decor
One of my sources of inspiration was Natasha of Hello Happiness Blog – I️ loved her home updates with bold pops of color and decor. I️ also scoured Pinterest for built-in ideas and fell in love with painted shades of blue and green. Despite going darker with the built-ins, I️ wanted to keep the room bright and airy, so we went with a whitish-gray color for the walls. I️ love how much natural light this room has during the day – as a bonus, it’s a great spot for taking photos!
Since the majority of the built-ins are just open shelves, I️ needed to find creative storage solutions for all of our paperwork, files and office supplies. I️ ended up finding everything I️ needed from The Container Store and love how much better the room looks with loose papers neatly stored away. I️ had several pieces of artwork that I️ hadn’t found a spot for yet, and decided I️ liked how they looked on the office built-ins. I️ had a few decor pieces for the shelves, but I️’m still on the hunt for a few other things to complete the room.
Three homes later, we finally had a dedicated office to hang our college diplomas in the way overpriced frames we got after graduation. My parents found an old Virginia Tech print at a yard sale and had given it to us several years ago. I️ would love to get a new matte and frame, but went ahead and hung it up for now. The chair has been with us since we got married and has been used in so many different spots around the house, but it fit best in the office for now. Eventually, I️ want to change out all of the furniture, as I️ want a more cohesive style for this space – but for now, we’re using the pieces we already had.
DIY Home Office Built-Ins
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As a quick note, I️ wanted to share a few things about painting the built-ins. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you may know we painted all of our kitchen cabinets in our last home. For the most part, I️ liked the process and products we used for this project – you can read all about it here. For the built-ins in our new house, I️ was looking for something a little less intense and discussed the project with someone in the paint department at Lowe’s. We had been looking at furniture paint, which I️ think is a little bit stronger and holds up to wear and tear. He suggested a high gloss enamel, since we weren’t going to be using the built-ins for our computers and they were mainly for decoration.
After a few months, I️ will say that I️ wish we’d gone with something a bit tougher because this paint scratches quite easily. I’ve accidentally hit it with my laptop charger when unplugging and hit the bottom of the shelving when vacuuming and mopping, so it already needs a touch-up. With that said, I️ would suggest following my kitchen cabinet tutorial if you intend to paint built-ins.
Also, we chose our paint colors at Sherwin Williams, but had Lowe’s color match to save a little bit of money (because we literally painted our whole house when we moved in!). Also, not sure if SW does this, but Lowe’s allows you to return unopened paint (even if it’s already color-mixed), so we were able to return a few cans we didn’t need after all of our projects were complete. I️ also spray painted the knobs on the cabinet a soft gold color (similar to how I️ did our interior doorknobs)…I️ want to replace these with pretty gold knobs, but haven’t found what I️ want yet!
Home Office Details
Built-Ins: SW Moscow Midnight
Walls: SW Elder White
Spray Paint for Knobs: Rust-Oleum Pure Gold
Rug // Desk // Chair // Storage Basket // Charlotte Print // Memphis Print // Gray Storage Boxes // Gray File Box // Cell Phone Holder // Mail Holder // Wicker Baskets // Glass Orb // Orchid // Desk Organizer // Pencil Cup
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