before and after: our new office.

As promised, here is the rest of our little office refresh!! Now, I’ve never really shown you the office before, right? The only spot it’s ever popped up on the blog is in this Christmas whole house tour. And as I recall, the image I put up there was the “keepin’ it real” part of the post, also known as “there will always be a messy room in Rebekah’s home.” Here’s what made it into the tour:2011christmashome_9

Yup. That’s pretty much how it’s looked for years. Messy, disorganized, and never really decorated.

But every tale has a beginning, let’s start there, shall we? When we moved in, the room had a large built-in wall of cabinets, green-and-white striped wallpaper, and green carpet. The photos are blurry, but this was it:


We actually ripped out those cabinets and desk, replaced the green formica with a clean white ikea counter top, and they now live (with new hardware) in our studio.

Here’s the wallpaper shot:


We stripped off the wallpaper, pulled up the carpet and installed the walnut floors in here at the same time as the rest of the house. We also put in tall baseboard and painted the room a soft gray-green shade (in keeping with my gray addiction). And we plopped in our furniture. But aside from that? Nothing. It has just sat there, in a mostly disorganized state, even though Matt and I both work in the room almost everyday. Crazy, right?

Until now!! No more procrastination – we’re getting it done!!

Here is the room now!




This is the side of the room that had the built-in cabinets, and for the last five years we’ve had an armoire here:


It was never this clean. That’s the photo I took when we were selling it! It is a lovely piece, but big and bulky for the office and since I’m on the computer a lot, the doors are always open. Kind of negates the point! So we bundled it out and instead I have this:


That is my desk now. Yes, I’ve gone pretty minimal. If you give me more desktop, I would just clutter it up. But I think I’ve finally learned that.


I’m mulling back and forth putting all my greeting cards up on the blank wall for design inspiration, but for now, I am enjoying the empty space.

This is the side of the room that had the striped wallpaper:


And that is Matt’s desk. I’m still working on the set up, but it’s clean and organized.

Remember what it used to look like?




I’d like to spray paint the large white frame on the desk to a navy color, but for now, the layout is functional and is decorated with things meaningful to Matt. (For example, the old abacus we picked up at a flea market in Korea).

Every room has four sides, and this is the last one for this little office:


Ah, but how did it look before? Oh boy, here goes nothing…




Yup. The most time I spent in reworking the office was organizing this little closet of doom. I wanted to take the time (almost two weeks of sorting!) to create an actual system that we could live with easily and not mess up. And purging. Lots of purging.


There it is! Maybe not glamorous or wow, but it’s very filed and everything is in a more practical and easy to reach place, labeled and boxed. Yay!

Another little part I’m super-proud of is that we finally replaced these blinds:


The burgundy straps and broken turn pole has always bugged me, not to mention the fact that the blinds don’t cover the upper arched window, and well, cardboard to keep the sunlight out is just not sexy.

Instead, we installed simple linen drapes. It makes a huge difference. Here are a few of my favorite little bits and pieces:


The brass Llama set is from etsy. The vintage globes are all from etsy also – there are some fun older ones and little tin piggy banks and an old brass cigarette holder. My only qualification in collecting these is I wanted to get a fun variety that were inexpensive to purchase. After about a month of checking listings every day or so, I had nine little beauties that I think are a smashing little collection.


The last fun thing I stumbled into was organizing our books by color. Let’s face it – I didn’t have a library organization system anyway! By color is much more fun!! And easy to keep neat, it turns out. If you’re carrying a red book back to the shelf I’m pretty sure you know what shelf it’s going to go on…



That, my friends, is a wrap on our new office. Yay, for refreshing a room! Funny thing is, if I designed this office from scratch, I’m sure it would look nothing like what we now have here – but I’m very happy with how this turned out, and enjoy working in here every day. Let’s hear it for working with what you have!!


Happy Weekend!





Leave a Comment

  • Love it! I absolutely love what you have done with your home and those hard wood floors are gorgeous! Great job!

  • Colleen says:

    Beautiful, creative and fun…. oh and BTW.. lmk how you do w/ that small desk… I messy my desk up too! love the chairs and the linen curtains and all that light coming thru the window.