Timeless Home Office Makeover

by | Apr 18, 2019 | All Things Home, Decorating, My House, Office, Room Makeovers | 54 comments

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Birch Lane.  I was provided with furnishings for this room makeover in exchange for advertising.  As always, all words and opinions shared are honest and my own.  (The cool thing about this sponsorship is that I had these items in my shopping cart and I’ve just been waiting for the right time to pull the trigger on purchasing them.)

I’m so excited to finally share the full reveal of my office!

During Christmas break, I sat down at my vintage teacher’s desk in this very office and wrote a list of things I wanted and needed in my workspaces.  Both my studio and home office weren’t working as well as I knew they could.  I moved a business that was in a 2500 square foot studio primarily into two rooms in our new house in MN and I was starting to feel it.

For my office, I wrote down a few things…  From a functional perspective, I wanted more storage, file drawers, a larger desk with more surface area, an adjustable and more comfortable desk chair, and pieces that created a better furniture layout.  The room is small and square and a little awkward to furnish.  I needed pieces that would fit perfectly and maximize the space.  From an aesthetic perspective, I wanted furniture that fit the traditional style of the home but also worked with my style.  The pieces needed to function like modern office furniture, but I wanted them to have a timeless look.

So, here is the result…

For the largest wall that is most visible from the entrance of the room, I selected the Amityville Oversized Bookcase.  The width is perfect to fit between the two windows and the height looks much better in our 9′ ceilings.  It just makes better use of the space.

I like that there is closed storage below for things I don’t want to have stored out in the open.

I was very pleased with the quality of this piece, especially given that most other large bookcase units I found online that were similar were at least double the cost.  The bookcase comes in two pieces and they are heavy and well made.   My only nit-picky thing is that I wish there were more holes for the adjustable shelves.  There are only four and they are spaced about 5-6″ apart, so the shelves are either really shallow or really deep.  I had to play with them quite a bit to figure out what would work best for my stuff, particularly taller books and magazines.  I got it figured out, but I was wishing for a few more holes.

The pieces are painted a nice, bright white and I was happy with the finish.  I also like that these could be used as two separate pieces since the top of the bottom cabinet is completely painted and finished.  I plan to use them together for the foreseeable future, but it’s always nice to have that option.

For the desk, I selected the Limon L-Shaped Executive Desk

I have to admit that I was most nervous about the desk.  It was a customer’s photo and review of the desk that ultimately made me comfortable enough to have a desk delivered to my house that I’ve only seen on a computer screen.   The wood looked rich and pretty, the style had a timeless feel, and the size and shape couldn’t be more perfect.  The L-shape of the desk was a much better option for this square room and I loved that it gave me over double the amount of surface area.  It meant I could actually use my large monitor for photo editing.  It’s been sitting in a box for a year, because it took up too much space on my old desk.

And this desk is beautiful!  I was so impressed with the quality.  We did have to do some assembly, but Jeff and I were able to put it all together in about an hour.  It was nice to see the peg and screw construction that showed us it was a well-made piece of furniture.

And the finish is warm and rich without looking too orange.

Just because I like to customize things, I am going to change out the hardware with some brass bin-cup pulls.

Since I have a laptop, I initially thought the keyboard tray was superfluous, but it ended up being an ideal place to put my planner and notebook, so they aren’t taking up desk space.

The drawers are roomy with removable dividers…

(Don’t judge my Sharpie hoard.)

There are even pull-out writing surfaces over each set of drawers…

I love everything about this desk.  The only downside is that Jeff loves it too and I have to remind him that it’s my office.  (Actually, he’s been sitting at the desk in the early morning before I’m even out of bed, so I told him I would share a little bit.)

I kept the styling of the desk simple, so I didn’t clutter up my work surface.  I did add a couple of small plants, though, a lamp, antique marmalade jars for pens and scissors, stacked letter trays, and a few other things.

I got a new desk chair as well, which was long overdue!  It’s the Soho Swivel Office Chair.  The height of my last one wasn’t quite right, so I found myself taking my computer to work at the kitchen bar often.  Not only is this chair comfortable, but the fabric has a great linen-ish texture and the tufting keeps it from looking too “officey”.  I added a small, feather-filled bolster pillow to provide even more back support.  I can also adjust the chair to the height that works best for whatever task I’m doing.

Adjacent to the bookcase and across from the desk is an antique cabinet, a vintage wall map, a leather chair, and an antique needlepoint ottoman.  Jeff sits in that chair often to work, read, or chat with me when I’m sitting at my desk.  It’s a nice, cozy corner and the cabinet provides some more great storage.

To finish off the office, I got the Syston Braided Beige Area Rug in an 8′ circle pattern.  I really wanted to make the rug I designed work in the space, but the 5 x 8 rectangle was awkward in the square room.  It never really fit properly.  When I got out the measuring tape and started making sketches, I realized an 8′ round rug would work best.

Braided jute rugs are my go-to because they are inexpensive, they wear well (you can hose them off when they get stained), they lay flat, and they are soft underfoot.  I also like that they are neutral.  Patterned, colorful rugs are fun, but they can sometimes be tricky to coordinate.  I’ve learned that I like a quieter rug in most rooms.

And, can I just say how much I love this view of the office?  I see it as I’m walking down the steps in the morning and I am ready to sit at that desk and be productive!

Here is the view from the living room…

There are still a few small finishing details I’ll add over time, like changing out the desk hardware and maybe hanging something over the larger window, but I cannot express how much I am enjoying this room as it is right now.  Not only that, but I think I’ll be loving these pieces and this room for years.

I know I’ve been gushing about my office and studio since February, but I am a hard worker and I love having functional, organized, beautiful spaces to work in.  This office definitely fits that description and then some.

Just for some fun, here is how the room looked when we first moved in…

This is how it looked when we were just getting settled…

A year ago, we had hardwood floors installed in the office and dining room and I painted the walls in Stonington Gray (mixed at 50% strength) and the trim in a bright, custom white.

I bought an antique bookcase off of craigslist and filled the rest of the room with pieces brought from our last house.

…and here is how it looks now!

54 Comments

  1. Jean Bass

    A really nice and creative transition. Bravo!

    Reply
  2. DWF

    Great pieces. I think the rug looks good in cropped photos but once I saw it with the pulled back view I don’t think it really works in there. Not sure what would (I wouldn’t want something in the area where the desk chair needs to roll). Perhaps some vintage runners? Or do they make runners for the rugs you designed?

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, there are certainly other options to try for a space like this. The shape of the room makes it a little tricky. I like how the rug blends in with the floor, but provides a little texture and softness. I also like how it connects all of the furniture pieces and fits with the angled french doors into the room. I have a clear mat for under the chair, so rolling over it isn’t a problem.

      Reply
  3. Leslie

    Really nice. You do everything well. And I like your new full disclosure note. I wish more people used those.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Thanks, Leslie!

      Reply
    • Lisa M

      Where did you get the lamp? I love it!

      Reply
  4. Amy

    This is great! So well put together, and I think a round rug is the perfect option the the shape of the room (you couldn’t do rectangle, and a square would be awkward with the corner of the room clipped off for the doorway. Circle (or no rug, I guess) is definitely the way to go. I also commend you for getting different wood tones and grey to work together. It’s not easy, but you pulled it off. Bravo!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Thanks! Yes, I’m happy with how it all plays together. I even like how my antique oak cabinet works with the new oak desk.

      Reply
  5. judy

    i bought my house about the same time you did. and of course furniture doesnt always work in the new house like it did in the old house so i have been reevaluating my rooms and furniture even my style and making new choices and decisions. it feels more settled and like home when you get it all situated and figured out. both of which you are doing better and faster then i am. everything looks wonderful

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! I thought more of my furniture would work in the house, but the house style and the ceiling height made a bigger difference than I initially thought.

      I have to encourage you and say that my home makeover is happening so fast because it’s a part of my job! That’s a pretty good incentive to keep it progressing!

      Reply
  6. Addie

    All looks great!!!! Love the round rug and all the furniture.

    Your Sharpie hoard is nothing……I would hate for you to see mine!!!! Think Costco!!!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Ha! Glad I’m not the only one!! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Ann

    Beautiful! Can I ask where you got the leather chair, please?

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      The leather chair is from Arhaus. I liked it because it’s a petite, but comfortable chair.

      Reply
  8. Deborah D

    I really like your office. I can definitely see where working in there would be a joy.
    Can’t wait to see the finished studio.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      It really is a joy! It’s so much more functional than it was and it just looks better, too!

      Reply
  9. Candice

    Love it! Now it is beautiful! And I love Day Designer planners, especially that size hardcover!! I have the same print!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      It is a great planner! I love the way it’s laid out.

      Reply
  10. Nancy

    I’m impressed that you acknowledge you received all of that beautiful office furniture in exchange for a post. Not everyone does that. And not everyone can afford to purchase it either, but you show how the styles can be blended and be functional athe the same time.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you, Nancy.

      Reply
  11. Sue

    Beautiful, beautiful, just love what you choose. I really love this company and some of their pieces. Some are just out of my price range. What a joy to work in that room, don’t blame the husband one bit. Great blog, great talent! Blessings to your family on this Easter season.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I love Birch Lane, too! I have bought many things from them over the years. And yes, some of their pieces are out of my budget, too, but a lot of their pieces are priced very well. When I was looking for large bookcases, some of them were $8,000-$12,000!

      Reply
  12. Leslie C

    Thanks for showing us the day one photo to the final reveal. Excellent, all your hard work has paid off. I really like the picture you show of coming down the stairs and seeing into the office, that’s my favorite. I never thought of mixing the Mission Style desk with the Traditional Bookcase, but it really works so well together. What a great place to work in!!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I was a little unsure about the desk style with everything else as well, but I think it works because the design is based on an antique. It makes it all work.

      The view from the stairs is my favorite, too. It makes me smile every morning.

      Reply
  13. MaryLisa Noyes

    I have your office chair in blue twice as my hubby shares my space. Birch Lane is terrific. Looks great

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      It really is a great chair!

      Reply
  14. Nancy

    My husband and I made a copy of all your information provided on this office. We love it so much we want a set of our own. We live in our dream house but have plans to built our final house soon. (More of a downsize). It is such a pleasure to read your blog. I enjoy what you have to say and love your style. You do know how to decorate to make a room, practical, functional and oh so beautiful!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      So glad to hear this room was an inspiration to you!

      Reply
  15. Brenda

    Love the room! However, my daughter’s sharpie collection makes yours look tiny. This is a no judgement zone! ( or it should be! ) 😉

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Sounds impressive!!

      Reply
  16. Michelle Johnston

    I love your style, it’s always beautiful .

    Reply
  17. Helene

    Love the desk and the way the room came together. Very functional works space with a great mix of furniture.. not so sure about the rug. It doesn’t seem to fit the space when you see the pull back shotof the whole room. Perhaps 2 rectangle rugs would look better. Maybe the rug you designed.

    Reply
  18. Sally

    Beautiful! Love that desk!

    Reply
  19. Sue

    Thanks for sharing. The room turned out beautifully! I disagree with the others… I love the round rug in your space. It really looks nice with the floors and the furniture. I love the texture it brings to the space. It’s a beautiful room!

    Reply
  20. Sue

    I can see why you would be anxious to start working in your office every day, very nice.

    Reply
  21. Holly Binns

    Love this so much! I think the rug is perfect in there. I’m curious whether you’ve had a problem with jute rugs shedding. I was considering one for our great room, but a lot of the reviews online mentioned this problem, no matter the vendor. So, I’ve been hesitant to go that direction. Thx for sharing your home and your process. It’s always so fun to see!

    Reply
  22. Diane Meierkort

    Very very nice! I would never have considered a round rug but it seems perfect there.

    Reply
  23. Michele M.

    Oh, what a wonderful awesome bit of luck to be able to get those awesome pricey incredible pieces for your office.

    Well done, all.

    I sooooooooooooooooooooo need to redo my office space – it needs some help. : – )

    Reply
  24. Kathie

    I love the space you’ve created, Marian. It reminds me of the furniture I used to see in doctors offices as a child, where they would buy beautiful, well made pieces and use them throughout their careers. I’m sure you’ll have a long, productive working relationship in this lovely space. I’m curious if you still have your Carona antique typewriter?

    Reply
  25. Liz

    The link to the office chair does not work correctly

    Reply
  26. Cindy

    Omgoodness yiur office space is so lovely!! The new pieces flow so nicley with thw vintage feel of your home! And that rug😍😍😍!! This inspires me to do something about my office/sewing room!!

    Reply
  27. Katarina - Sukhirugs

    I’m head over hills for every detail and corner of your home office! Love your elegant, sophisticated and neat style. The bookcase is gorgeous and offers a great contrast to that lovely desk. And the details on the desk are stunning. Also, I love your rug choice. Beautiful rugs always add so much depth and character to any space and make it cozier and more inviting than ever. I’d definitely spend a lot of time in your home office if given a chance, so I understand your husband so well. 🙂

    Reply
  28. Pam

    Very nice! Stonington grey is from what paint company?

    Reply
  29. Joan

    The transformation of your office is wonderful. I love everything you’ve done. I can understand why Jeff needs to share!! That brings me to one of my favorite parts of your blogs, the fact that you refer to your husband as Jeff. That probably sounds crazy, but I just get irritated reading blogs where women refer to their husbands as “the hubs” or “Mr. Fix It” or any number of ridiculous names that make them sound as if they aren’t real. I’ll get off my soapbox now. Sorry just had to get that off my chest!

    Reply
  30. Sandi

    A beautiful work space very well done!

    Reply
  31. Mary in VA

    Perfectly gorgeous and functional!

    Reply
  32. B Folk

    Marian, great job of coordinating all the various wood tones, the grey, the beige, and the metal finishes. The lines of your new desk are similar enough to the lines of the vintage cabinet to really work. I do notice a more “modern traditional” feel to this room than your previous aesthetic, but it’s a really nice space. My “office” is my living room, kitchen, and spare bedroom:) I’m glad for you to have this lovely and functional space!

    Reply
  33. Susan

    I love the round rug. In a room with hard linear edges it’s a great shape to soften the space while also adding texture and interest but blends enough with the wood so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb . I love the pale wall color, so complimenting with all . The tall bookshelf really brings the eye upward to make the room look larger. Great job ! It’s a great space to create in.

    Reply
  34. Holley

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts & decision making process, you make it sound & look so simple! I was wondering: couldn’t you drill additional holes for the shelving so you could personalize the spacing? Maybe I missed something.

    Reply
  35. Patricia Gibson

    What a lovely room! The colors are so serene – what a wonderful work space. Normally I’m drawn to stronger colors in my living spaces, but seeing how well you’ve made this come together inspires me to consider doing the same in a room I’m converting to a studio in my house. I love the cover of your planner (punch of bright colors!) and of course your palette of your inspiration board – more colors! I’m also a Sharpie hoarder, but mine are COLORS!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I wanted to keep the colors in my studio and office soft, so the rooms felt quiet and conducive to creativity and productivity, but everyone needs a different environment to be at their best!

      Reply
  36. Lillian

    OK, I won’t judge your soft goldy bull clips, either. ALL simple, practical, spacious equipment AGAIN!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Ha, yes. The clips are out of control, too! I love supplies.

      Reply
  37. Lindsey Manning

    This office space is lovely. I’m brainstorming my office makeover now too and you’ve given me an idea with your lovely cabinet (I don’t have a dedicated office area). Thank you!

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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