Certain parts of the house are coming along. (You can check out the master bedroom and bath, downstairs bathroom, dining room, foyer, and living room in this post.) While other rooms still feel disheveled and hardly unpacked.
My office was one of the first rooms to get set up with furniture since I needed to have a place to work. But style-wise, it's not as colorful or inspiring of a creative space as I'd like. It needs to function as a motivating office for working from home, as an inspiring space for the creative writing and blogging I do as a hobby, and as a pretty room since it's on the main level and will definitely be seen by guests.
^Here's the room. We have a double parlor, and this is the back parlor. It was originally going to be our living room – with the fireplace and all. But the front parlor is friendlier for arranging a sofa, television, and additional seating. So I ended up with the fireplace in my office! (Not complaining.)
As you can tell, it's a large room. Besides the fireplace, it boasts a bay window and French doors that lead into the living room. To avoid closing off our space, the French doors will stay open at all times.
My desk is made up of two wooden file cabinets and an antique door. I love that it's long and spacious, but I'm not down with the colors. I want to paint the cabinets and door, but I need to decide on a color.
The fireplace is gorgeous. Just try to ignore the masking tape on the woodburner – I was trying to keep the bees out. ;) It's hard to tell in the photo, but the tiles around the hearth are a very light grayish blue. I'm still figuring out how the heck I want to decorate the mantle, so for now it's cluttered with objects I'm not sure where to go with.
This velvet desk chair is one of the best purchases I've ever made. It's attractive and comfortable. I keep a little ottoman nearby so my cat Cotton and easily jump up onto the desk and into the bay window – she loves to sunbathe/nap there.
I like my gray and white rug, but it's a bit small for the room. I want something bigger and more eye-catching.
This stretch of wall next to the fireplace is perfectly sized for my Mucha reproduction oil painting. I needed somewhere big, but away from direct sunlight – to keep its colors as vibrant as possible for as long as possible. I painstakingly narrowed down my book collection before moving, so this is what's left. I'm not in love with the cubbie shelf, but it'll do for now. This little antique chair was found in our basement. I cleaned it up and brought it into the office.
It's difficult to see, but the wallpaper in this room is kind of hideous. It's a pale, creamy peachy pink floral with a subtle metallic. And thanks to years of Iowa humidity or poor installation, it's peeling at some edges and bubbling in places. Removing the wallpaper and repainting the space (with its ten-foot ceilings) will be a chore, but it will be so worth it.
So what do I want my office to look like?
I'm really inspired by this office from The Inspired Room. The placement of the desk in front of the windows mimics my space. I love the balance of dark colors, bright hues, and lighter neutrals. I like the eye-catching pattern and long, spacious desk. And the chandelier is so lovely!
But I want light, airy curtains on the windows... and bright, bold pattern on the floor. And while the chandelier will be added to my wish list, for now I want to integrate the cage pendants I already have. While her office blends the exotic with the feminine, I want to blend the feminine with some industrial touches. And I want some majorly artistic elements – Mucha's muse and Botticelli's Venus.
So this is what I'm thinking:
I'm in love with this rug I ordered. It pulls colors from my large-scale Mucha and Botticelli artwork – seafoam green, sky blue, golden orange, and bright coral. It also has a bit of plum worked in, which matches my purple cabinet. And there's some cream and gray in there – two neutrals that I really want to play up equally in the room.
I've got two decisions to make.
The first needs to be made soon: What color should I paint the file cabinets and door that comprise my desk? Right now, I'm considering:
- A deep dark plum to add more purple and match the nearby cabinet.
- A bright, bold coral to pickup from the rug and artwork – and add some fun, feminine flair.
- A cool shade of bluish-green somewhere between seafoam and sky blue... like, a really light turquoise. But I have so much turquoise around the house already that this might be overkill... or it might tie everything together.
- Black. Because it's classic and never goes out of style.
The second question will need to be made by the time we decide to peel wallpaper and paint the walls. What color should I paint this room? Right now, I'm leaning toward:
- A very pale grayish blue that matches the tiles around the fireplace.
- A nice medium gray
- A dark charcoal gray
- A creamy ivory that matches the curtains
What do you think? I'd love some paint color suggestions!
J E S S I C A H A N S E N