White to Bright: Office Makeover Inspiration

White is so hot right now. 
Sleek, modern, pure, and accented with gold and soft pastels. As much as I admire the Scandinavian look (and Bonnie’s office above is LOVELY) that workspace just doesn’t work for me. I’d feel like I’d always need my nails done, fresh peonies, and a latte in order to work. It’s just not sustainable.
Creativity is messy! However, there’s a big difference between a messy creative process and a messy, chaotic office. Outer calm creates inner calm. You want to be more productive? Clean off your desk. And your husband’s desk? Well, turn your chair so you can’t see it. 
Here’s what our office started with: a recipe for mediocrity. Beige walls – check. Bland shaggy carpet – check. Carpet infested with cat fur – also check. Dog won’t stop peeing on said carpet because of said cat fur – check. Tearing out the carpet first thing – CHECK.
Where to even begin? 

The balance of serenity and warmth is why I tore this photo out of Better Homes and Gardens years ago. I like the productivity boosting color scheme of blues and grays with natural textures – modern, but with warmth.

I’m inspired by this living room styled by Emily Henderson. The patterned chair, gold and brass accents, contrasting colors – it’s exciting, but not overwhelming. 
Apparently, I really like patterned chairs. For my office inspiration boards, I’m going to start there, with a vintage accent chair find from Chairish
I had a hard time choosing just one vintage chair to be the focal point – this one was a close second. With the centerpiece chosen, we can build outward and make it our own. I took my inspiration in two different ways – classic and wildcard.

Style #1: Classic

For this style board, I started with the BHG photo and added the navy gallery wall from HomeDit, but I also made it more bright and colorful with light blue and yellow. 
I like the contrast of the ornate gold frames on the navy background, and the sunny Stockholm rug from Ikea repeats the shape of the mirrors and adds warmth to the floor that’s missing in the inspiration photo. While the desk doesn’t have the weathered look of the metal one, you could always rough it up with sandpaper, if you really wanted. 
The magazine files, storage baskets, and light fixture add color, texture, and well, light, to illuminate your excellent organization. As for the print, my decor philosophy is to always add a little something French. You really can’t go wrong. 

Style #2: Wildcard

Party time! These colors feel so happy. Hot pink accents punch up the energy while the pool blue of the desk chair and curtains and white desk keep things simple. The light, pillow, and table add sparkle, but the patterned chair remains the focal point. In this room, I’d use the chair and side table to make a little reading nook.
I showed both style boards to Brian, and guess which one he liked best? He said the second one doesn’t feel like an office. But maybe that’s the point – if it feels cozy and fun, we’ll want to spend more time there. 
Although I can see the hot pink being a deterrent for one of us. 
I’ll try to post update on what we’ve done since ripping out the carpet soon. 
So, what do you think? Would you pick the classic navy, blue and yellow, or go for the wildcard hot pink? 
Let me know which is your favorite in the comments below, on Instagram, or Facebook. 

DECOR: Bedroom Before and After (So Far)

On Monday, I showed you how I made our book page headboard. Our poor neglected bedroom’s makeover is still very much in progress, but here’s a tour of how it’s coming along.

Before:

As you know,  we got rid of the white bedspread for something more practical, aka, machine washable!
Quilt: Target. Lamp on the left: Walmart. Lamp on the right: Free. 

Before:

On the sofa table under the window: a quilt, a lamp, some “spring” eggs (they’re not Easter eggs, because if they were, I should have put them away by now!), a really neat map bag that’s empty, and a bunch of pictures we havent’ hung up. 


After:

This beautiful French/botanical style box was a gift from my sister. Thanks Elissa!
I also moved my black box full of stationery to this table, kept the spring eggs, and stuffed the map bag with the quilt. 
And we hung some curtains! The sheers don’t keep light out, they diffuse it, which creates a soft ambiance I love. 

Before:

The top of our dresser was a mess: my handmade bulletin board, a painting of mine, Brian’s baseball picture frame with a family photo, and our change collecting box. 

After:

I still don’t like it. But, at least the photos are off of the table under the window, and it’s a little less cluttered.


Before:

The top of the bookshelf: a whiteboard we never wrote on, random cards, black box of stationery, a clock (also from my sister) and Brian’s diploma.

After:

I covered the whiteboard with my vision board! It’s inspiring to look at first thing in the morning. I also added the little wood box and starfish pin, two souvenirs from my trip to Oregon. I’d like to do something with that typewriter photo holder. Any ideas?
I moved my bulletin board into my closet. My side of the closet has several shelves, one of which I turned into my jewelry shelf. All of this stuff used to be on our dresser, so it used to be even more cluttered! I really like it here in the closet, the bulletin board works especially well for holding pins and necklaces.

Before:

This is Brian’s side of the bed, the wall with the door to the closet. The large picture with the tower was a wedding gift from Brian’s parents, depicting a couple outside of the Iowa State campanile, a famous romantic spot. 
And notice the fighter jet calendar. He needed to personalize the space somehow. 

After:

I found this vintage New York City poster in a shop in Cannon Beach, and knew it was perfect for Brian. He lived in NYC for two years, and has always wanted to take me back there. 
I moved the ISU print to the wall between the bookshelf and dresser, and I hung the fighter jet calendar in the closet!
Where there was once blank wall on my side, I hung this vintage French poster, which I also bought in Cannon Beach.

So it’s coming along! I’d like to unify the color scheme more, and do something different with the top of our dresser. Maybe one big piece of art? Or will that be too much with the other large prints and posters? Hm. 

Do you have any tips for decorating problematic spaces? Thanks for reading this little tour of our place!