See that room through the big doorway on the left? That's my home office—bay window, fireplace with exposed brick, original French doors, and all. (I feel so spoiled.) And finally, it's getting a much-deserved makeover.
The boyfriend and I are very much "weekend warriors" when it comes to house projects. But we pace ourselves, too. Because it's really easy to get burned out on peeling wallpaper and repairing plaster. We tackled our kitchen walls over the holidays, decorated it in January, and took a break for February. Now, we're taking on my office. (Dining room—we're looking at you next.)
So here's a before shot. Friday night, we moved all of my office furniture, books, etc. into the adjoining dining room for the time being. It's hard to tell from this photo, but the peachy-pink, rose-printed wallpaper is in not-so-pretty condition. We're talking: visible seems, peeling at the edges, and whole chunks missing in places.
Saturday morning, we hit up a lovely little donut shop before heading to the home improvement store. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but donuts are a must for occasions like moving and house projects. And this fruity-pebble-sprinkled cake donut was just the fuel I needed for this...
Wallpaper peeling! When we did the butler's pantry and kitchen, we dealt with the misfortune of multiple layers of wallpaper. Ugh. Lucky for us, my office only had one layer. And it's the type of wallpaper that you can easily peel off the top, vinyl part of the wallpaper first. Then, we used DIF to saturate the underside of the wallpaper that was left behind. Peeling was a breeze this go-round.
Since it was unsealed plaster underneath the wallpaper and we'd saturated it with DIF, we let the walls dry Saturday evening. And it gave us an excuse to fix a nice supper, sip on wine, and binge-watch Forensic Files on Netflix together.
Sunday, we were at it again. After a couple more donuts and a second thirty-minute journey to Menard's (we always forget something), G taught me to skim coat the plaster walls. I found the actual process of skim coating to be fun, so long as I could "let go" and try not to be a perfectionist. (Perfectionist and 100-year-old plaster don't mix.) After the skim coat dried, we sanded. And sanded. And sanded. Hence my mask selfie above. And yes, I had it on upside down.
Sanding was not as fun as skim coating. The arm fatigue, the dust everywhere—not my cup of tea. But we did it. In half the time it would have taken G to go at it alone. And while I really didn't enjoy it, I did feel a great sense of accomplishment afterward—you know, once I'd had a shower and sat down with an ice, cold beer. :)
What's next? Well, for now we've turned the butler's pantry into a temporary office. It's a little cramped, but the coffee is within easy reach. So that's a perk! Tonight or tomorrow, we'll be doing a little bit more skim coating—just over the places in the plaster that were a little too deep to sand down smooth. Once that's dry, we have a wee bit more sanding to do. Then, we'll seal the plaster, let that dry, and paint!
After much deliberation, I decided on a warm, dark, but not-quite-charcoal gray. I was toying with the idea of dark teal or burnt orange walls, but gray felt right—especially with all the gray furniture and pops of color. Above is an inspiration board that pretty much sums up my #homeofficegoals. Furniture that's either dark wood (to match the original, unpainted trim), gray, or both. Art and folding screens depicting my favorites—Mucha, Botticelli, etc. There will be accent colors of turquoise, seafoam, and metallic gold. And eventually, I'm hoping to build or buy one of those nifty litter box cabinets. (For now, a littler box hides behind a folding screen.)
I can't wait to be done!