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My new light + bright office


    Welcome to my new office!

    I’m completely in love with this space.

    To catch you up on why I moved out of the pretty studio space and what I did to make this office much more pleasant to be in, read this post.

    Now that the room is done and I’ve been using the office for a week or so, I feel so happy with the change. I LOVE working in the house, love having all of my stuff nearby, love being able to pop on or off of my computer in between laundry and errands and homework questions. Also? I love how the room looks and smile every time I walk by.

    You may remember that I tore up the dingy carpet and painted the subfloor with two coats of latex semi-gloss paint (Anew Gray by Sherwin Williams). It is holding up great and I actually really love the simplicity of a painted floor, especially when paired with that great graphic chevron rug (from Target for $129 for a 5×7).

    I just installed that cute basket light (from Pier 1 on sale for for $96) and I like the texture and natural wood tones it adds, and also how it mimics the curves of the arched windows.

    P.S. I didn’t like those arched windows when we first moved in, but they are growing on me. Especially when painted out white.

    Let’s talk about the dressers for a second.

    I pulled them down from the studio where I had previously used three of them as the base with butcher block stretching across to form a great built-in-looking desk (see all the details here). Since there is not a closet in this little office, I wanted to use the dressers as they hold a ton of office/craft supplies that I like to have on hand. All three dressers would not fit in here, so I just used two (and put the third in the entry).

    The dressers are the Hemnes dresser from IKEA. We cut off the legs and switched out the hardware for diy brass pulls which completely changes the look of the dresser. When installed per instructions, the tops overhang on both sides by an inch or so. I didn’t use the tops in the studio (I had a piece of butcher block as the desktop instead) and thankfully I held on to the original dresser tops. To give the look of one big piece, I pushed the two dressers right up next to eachother and just set the tops on. I may attach them, but its not a big deal to me if they are not totally secure.

    Moving over to the side of the room, I installed a diy whiteboard that I’ve been wanting to install for a while. I originally bought all the pieces to use up in the studio but never got around to putting it up. I’m glad that I get to use it in this new office now!

    It is just a sheet of plexiglass with stand-off screws and is such a minimal and modern way to jot down to-do’s and ideas without making a big visual statement.

    I used these standoff screws but spray painted them gold for a brass look.

    I bought a fresh set of wet erase pens with the most perfectly fine tips that make me so happy. My kids came into the office and tried to steal them to write on my board and I was all, “no way, Jose. That’s mama’s fancy whiteboard.”

    Over on the other side of the room is where I set up my desk and computer.

    I found this petite writing desk (from Target for $119) that fits in here perfectly. I love how simple it is and also that it adds some warmth with the wood tones. Also, I like having the little drawers to store pens and paper and random papers that I don’t want left out on the desk.

    Because I just have a thing for open shelves, I pulled two of these from the studio and installed them in here.

    The shelves are from IKEA and even with them screwed into studs, they don’t hold a ton of weight without tipping forward a little. Just an fyi.

    I like open shelves for their functionality, but also because it is fun to style them and then change it up depending on the season. For now, I just popped up a few of my favorite clothbound books (the greens are so pretty!), a basket to hold stationery + envelopes, my scissor collection (why do I have a scissor collection?!) and linen files that hold papers, journals and artwork.

    On my desk is a pretty leather mousepad from the Magnolia line at Target as well as a Magnolia vase I ordered from Pier 1. In order to qualify for free shipping with the light fixture, I needed to add a few more dollars to my order. I added this vase and I’m so glad I did! It’s really well made and the perfect size and shape.

    And that is my new office! It feels so bright and simple, and totally right for me.  SOURCES

    walls, ceiling + trim paint | Shoji White by Sherwin Williams

    floor paint | Anew Gray by Sherwin Williams

    rug | Black/White Chevron Woven Area Rug by Studio 62 for Target

    dressers | Hemnes 3 drawer chest x 2

    pulls | 10 pack from Amazon, diy brass finish (tutorial here)

    black lamps | Column Lamp from Target with a diy finish by me (tutorial here)

    pendant light | Cane Large Gray Wash Pendant Light from Pier 1

    plexi glass | 30 x 36 Acrylic Sheet

    standoff screws | pack of 4 from Amazon with diy finish by me (same process as shown here)

    desk | Writing Desk in Vintage Oak from Target

    chair | Helvetica Leather Office Chair (mine has a tall back which is no longer available, but the low back is equally great)

    mouse pad | Faux Leather Mouse Pad from Hearth & Hand with Magnolia

    vase | Magnolia Home Mini Amphora Ivory Vase

    shelves | Lack Wall Shelf in White

    Did I miss anything? If you have any other source questions, feel free to ask in the comments!

    84 thoughts on “My new light + bright office”

    1. Ii thought I saw a post of you moving furniture with some sort of pads under the legs/bottom of each piece. I am in the process of redoing a couple bedrooms and need to move king sized beds around the room by myself. Please let me know what you used to move the furniture. Thanks Debi

    2. Looks soooo peaceful and inspiring, Emily! Perfect! When I look at your designs, I realize how much you have influenced my tastes over the years. Thank you! ;)

    3. I love it all, Emily! You have such great taste. Please come style my home in FL. :)

      One thought to dress up your window would be to possibly hang a simple wood shelf across it where there is that separation of the arch from the rest of the window and put some potted plants along it. What do you think?

    4. We tried to use floating IKEA shelves to hold books over our guest bed and quickly realized they don’t hold a ton of weigh well! We had to quickly take them down before our guests came to visit! Great to look at, terrible for holding lots of books LOL

      1. It is an antique frame I’ve had for years and years. I covered a piece of foam core with linen fabric and fit it inside. It is not a perfect pin board, but it works!

    5. What is that fabulous framed, dare I say, bulletin board? Looks like the kind of thing I would try to DIY, then after too many trips to Home Depot, tears, and vodka, give up on, and spend way too much for.

    6. Curious about all the stuff in the drawers if you don’t have any space to lay stuff out for projects. Aren’t you still going to be doing those in the studio?

      1. I didn’t find that I used the table much for projects so it wasn’t really a concern moving to a smaller space. If I need to lay something out, I can use the kitchen or dining room tables.

      1. Ryan used a regular drill bit for the plexiglass. We kept the protective film on it to resist cracking or splitting – you could also use a piece of painters tape to put on the plexi before drilling.

    7. Very pretty office with a better location. Love everything and was wondering about how you clean the painted floor. I think the painted floors are genius. I could go crazy with a stencil for a different look when bored.

      1. I have just swept them at this point but I think they will be fine to wipe with a cloth if needed. Most of the floor is covered by the rug, so I’m anticipating that it holds up well .

    8. The new office is drop dead beautiful ! I noticed the french doors you also painted black . Do you have any tips on how that was done ? Once I figure that out , they are the last doors in our house to paint black . Can’t wait to get them done !!

        1. I’ve watched Martha Stewart paint French doors without using painters tape by just scraping the paint off of the glass after semi-carefully painting the wood part. It looked pretty easy although I haven’t actually tried it.

    9. The acrylic board is brilliant. Definitely going to steal your idea. Thank you. And you’re a painting machine. You do it so fast. I wish I could be the same lol.

    10. Beauty! It must have been tough to give up all that space though – that centre console for laying out big creative projects had me drooling! But I love the simplicity of this space. And I adore the arched windows – so charming! My office (I also work from home) is in a big, bright addition that we built and I love it – but it has no way of being closed off to the rest of the house when I need some space and quiet to work (I have three 6 and unders running around!). Your french doors are perfect for that!

    11. Great redo! Looks great. I also like the curved windows and hope they stay! The whiteboard plexiglass is a great idea. Mine would have been the whole wall! Lol.

    12. I’m curious about how you organize your office supplies, where do you keep family/business files, and does this suffice as your crafting space? I’m wondering if I’m trying to make it too multifunctional. We live an 1940s home and my office has 2 entries. One from the main hallway and one from our master bedroom. Later, an additional closet was built into the room (now it has 2 closets) so I’m using it as my master closet, dressing room, home office, and craft space. I used my time off during the hurricane to paint over the chocolate brown (its a small room) with shoji white.

    13. I love everything about it! I’m totally pinning this to steal your ideas for when I update my home office–a project I’ve been putting off because I haven’t felt inspired by anything yet. Thanks, Emily!

    14. Lovely space! I’m happy to hear the curved windows are growing on you. Hopefully they stay :) And look, now your chair is the right height for the desk you’re using!! Very pretty and inspiring. I might need to revamp my home office area now…

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