Fall 2018 One Room Challenge Week 3: Home Office Redesign

By Susan Young | Decorating on a Budget

One Room Challenge Week 3

Here I am in week 3 of the One Room Challenge Fall 2018 series, sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens. As you know if you've been following along, I'm redecorating my home office. To see my progress, check out my blogs about week 1 and week 2. In The One Room Challenge, 20 featured designers (and guest participants like me) will be transforming a room in six weeks, and blogging about it and sharing on social media. Visit the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge Blog for updates and more fun. Sooooo, this is the halfway point of the challenge! I don't feel halfway done. Let's see what I've accomplished in the One Room Challenge Week 3!

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One Room Challenge Guest Participant

Paint Refresh - One Room Challenge Week 3

So one of the big changes I planned to make in this room was to brighten the dark wall color. Since the room gets only morning light, it made the room look smaller and harder to work in the space. Let's take a quick look at what the wall color looked like before the challenge:

Dark blue office wall color - One Room Challenge Week 3

As you can see, the walls started out as a dark blue. I like the color, but it's just too dark. It's in need of something lighter. In this photo, I've begun patching the holes to prepare for painting.

In order to prepare the walls for painting, I removed all of the artwork and frames and curtain rods, and filled in the holes with spackle. Then I sanded those spots.  I also removed the outlet covers off of the walls with a screwdriver and put them in a baggie so they were out of the way. Luckily, when we installed the new laminate flooring a few years ago, we had to remove and re-paint the trim pieces along the floorboard and windowsills. That will save me a lot of time -- not having to paint the trim pieces -- during this renovation process. 

The next step was to tape off the areas of window and floor trim on which I didn't want to get paint. This was a tedious process and took me about an hour or more! I tried to get my husband to help me but since it was 10 p.m., he didn't feel like it, so I was on my own. Maybe if it was his office he would have been more motivated. I was going to let him use it... To be fair, he did help me unhook the computer and printer. 

Let there be Light: Priming to Paint the New Wall Color

Armed with lots of cans of extra white primer from previous projects, I set to work the next morning on priming the walls. Since I am moving from a darker wall color to a lighter wall color, priming was necessary in order to cover up the old color. In many cases, the new paints on the market have built-in primer and this step is not necessary. To begin, I covered the floors with plastic and canvas sheets to protect from spills. Finally, I also brought up several paper towels and wipes for any unforeseen spills. 

office renovation wall primer - One room challenge week 3

Progress during priming the walls for the new paint color. I opened the windows on this breezy day and used a fan to speed the drying time.

Found a little helper

During the One Room Challenge Week 3, my two girls, Elaina and Evelyn, happened to be on Fall break. This means that they were home with me and bored out of their skulls while I was working on the office renovation. While the thought of moving boxes or files didn't sound fun to my oldest daughter, Elaina, painting the walls sounded like a blast. After several hours of begging, I decided to let her help me prime the walls. I figured she may need the skill someday when she's renovating a room. So after a quick tutorial, she set to work on the walls. I snapped a little picture of her in progress: 

One Room Challenge Week 3 - priming and painting home office

My daughter, Elaina, learning to prime a room. She did a great job for her first attempt. The excitement wore off after about 30 minutes, but I was glad to have the extra help on the room.

Calling in the Reinforcements

The night before, after spending more than an hour taping the room, I had a moment of panic: Our family was going to be leaving for a week's vacation in two days. How on Earth was I going to prime and paint this room in that amount of time, and entertain two kids and a puppy? I hadn't even started packing. My husband was not feeling well, and was dealing with his own, heavy workload prior to our trip. So I did the only thing that I could think to do at the time: I went to Facebook.

Outsourcing the Painting Job 

Then, I searched for recommendations for painters on my local chat pages and messaged a few of them...at 10:30 p.m...desperately hoping that one of them would respond. Luckily, several of them did! After getting a few quotes, I lined up a painter to finish the room, and he came as I was finishing up with the primer coat the next day. Whew! I felt like a weight was lifted off of me, knowing that I could get some things done while the room was in good hands. Sometimes, you have instances where you have to leave it to the professionals. I suck at painting, and would much rather pay someone else to do it. The professionals will definitely do a better job anyway. While it ate into my room budget, I had sold some things, so I did have a little bit of money already, and wasn't worried about the few extra dollars spent.

The Paint Color and New Wall Reveal

Since we have been slowly renovating and updating our whole house, we have been refreshing the paint colors to a more neutral palette. Our upstairs bedrooms and hallway are currently painted in a color called Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams. It's an HGTV Home color found at our local Lowe's Home Improvement Store. I bought two gallons of the paint the afternoon before, bringing the kids and dog along with me. 

Lowes home improvement - paint for home office

It was our puppy's first trip to Lowe's. Did you know that Lowe's is a dog-friendly store? Wilson got lots of attention from the staff and customers, plus a doggie treat as we were checking out.

Repose Gray by HGTV Home - Sherwin Williams

Here is the wall color I chose for the home office - Repose Gray by HGTV Home - Sherwin Williams. This is the color we have used throughout our upstairs bedrooms and hallway.

Office paint color - Repose Gray - Southern Gray Oak flooring by Pergo

And here is what the new wall color - Repose Gray - looks like on my new office walls at night. It's much brighter during the day. It looks great with our flooring: Southern Gray Oak by Pergo.

Next Step in One Room Challenge Week 3: Finding Furniture that Fits

During week 2 of my Fall One Room Challenge blog, I had started the process of selecting furniture for the room. This process has continued during our vacation week, which will continue into week 4 of the One Room Challenge. Some of the finds I have discovered this week or have continued to consider from the previous week include: this sofa bed from Weekends Only

Sofa bed for home office guests

The teal sofa bed I found from Weekends Only will be perfect for the long wall to the left, as you enter my home office.

One Room Challenge Fall 2018 - Wall furniture options

You'll see this nice, big wall will be perfect for the sofa bed, above. The challenge is finding a sofa that will allow for traffic to flow from the door into the room, and also not get in the way of the desk, which I plan to place near the windows to the right.

Choosing a Desk: More than a Challenge

Selecting a desk has been one of the toughest choices so far in the furniture selection process. I would really like to use my desk for multiple purposes. I see myself using it as a computer desk, a crafting station and possibly a sewing station. There are lots of white desks on the market, but most of them don't have adequate storage for my file folders. If you look at the photo below, you'll see that the space I have to work with has two windows. This makes it difficult to place a desk as I need to either center it in front of the window, or the window and the neighboring open space. Also remember that I have my sofa bed to the left that I can't run into. So I have my work cut out for me to find the right piece! I may have to add a separate file folder and use it as a side table or something.

Office paint color - Repose Gray - Southern Gray Oak flooring by Pergo

As you can see, the windows are not centered to the room, making placement of the desk extremely difficult. I am having trouble finding the right solution for this space.

Home office desk furniture - L-shaped desk

For my desk, I am leaning toward this L-shaped desk from Wayfair. And I might place it along its side rather than against the window to open up some space. The display shelves and file cabinet are a bonus.

Media Center Storage Wall

For this wall in the middle of the room, which previously held a bookshelf, I plan on putting a storage console for files and home decor items. Above the console, we are going to install a spare TV on the wall for guests to enjoy, as well as for me to watch in the background while I'm working. I would like the piece to be close to 60 inches, which is the width that the wall is with the door to the closet open. A piece such as this, which mimics the mid-century modern lines of the sofa couch, might work: 

TV console - office storage console

I will be putting a cabinet like this along the old bookshelf wall, which will house the TV accessories, as well as some decor items. Also, I'm hoping to be able to style the middle shelves.

One Room Challenge Week 3  - Fall 2018  Media center office

This is the area where I plan to put the storage media station console, with the TV above it. Do you think I would have room for a bookcase to the right of the closet door? I hope so. 

Now on to something colorful...

I'll end this post with a few, fun accessories I found while shopping for the main furniture pieces. I know that the room I envision has to have some colorful pieces, since my walls are gray and the furniture is mostly white. So I'll be adding in these pieces as accessories. Once I saw this area rug from Wayfair, I fell in love:

Colorful Area rug - office renovation

I just love the colors in this area rug from Wayfair. When I was browsing colorful area rugs, all of them paled in comparison to this one. I just can't resist! It picks up the aqua from the sofa bed and also has lots of other colors to work with.

colorful table lamp; Home office lamp

The fun, confetti colors in this mini table lamp would look great somewhere in my new home office. Image Credit: Wayfair.com

Week 4 To-do List

The One Room Challenge Week 3 was a bit chaotic. Since I'm still on vacation, and limited to time, I'll be forced to work remotely and make some decisions based on dimensions that I've measured prior to leaving. Here are the things I'll be working on during week 4 of the One Room Challenge. 

  • Touching up imperfections on wall paint
  • Installing curtain rods on windows
  • Finalizing big furniture orders - measuring to make sure they fit
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    Selecting and purchasing accessories such as rugs and wall art
  • check-circle-o
    Creating a final mood board with furniture and decor selections
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    Assembling and installing furniture
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    Creating any personalized or hand-crafted pieces for the room
One Room Challenge Guest Participant

What do you think of the wall color? My plans for the room? Leave a comment below. If you're also doing the One Room Challenge, let me know how Week 3 went for you. Then head on over to the One Room Challenge Fall 2018 blog to see all of the other Week 3 participants' progress!

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About the Author

Susan is a Midwest mom of two and lover of all things colorful in the home. She works with homeowners to find their unique style and color palette while keeping their budgets and lifestyles in mind. You can find her hanging out on Instagram at @colorjoyinteriors or Twitter @getcolorjoy, where she shares her latest colorful projects and inspirations.

  • Jerri says:

    I love seeing young green transformation of this Room Susan! The wall color is perfect!

  • This is looking good. It will be so exciting when you can put all the decor in place.

  • Loving all your choices, Susan! The walls look great with that paint color. Can’t go wrong with grey! Can’t wait to see this space all revamped.

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