• Alushia Fitzgerald

One Room Makeover-Real Life Edition


For my birthday this year all I really wanted was to makeover my home office. As it was currently being used as a joint home office with my husband I was given his blessing to move his office space downstairs (which he loves and actually uses now) so that I could take over the room to make it my own. I am so happy with how it turned out and I didn't have to spend a ton of money to do it.

Before we get into the makeover let's go back to the beginning. We bought this 1961 ranch in July 2018. Other than some updated windows and shower this house was original. As you can see from the pictures each room was painted in a popular color of the 60's (teal, pink, yellow....oye!) However, looking past the paint and very outdated kitchen the house had really good bones, original hardwood floors (swoon), a very large in town lot, and it was in a good neighborhood. Plus the price was right! We spent a month doing updates before moving in which included painting, removing some carpet, updating lighting and electrical outlets/switches, relocating the washer/drier from the main bedroom back to the basement, and did a very budget friendly kitchen reno all very much in part to the help of our parents whom we are so thankful for.


As this is the smallest of the 3 rooms at 10' x 10'-8" it was designated as the office space as we have no children (other than our fur babies). We also don't really have to host a pethera of guests all that often. We've set up a make shift bedroom in the basement and there is a pull out sofa in the living area down there as well. Add that to the actual guest room and we can sleep 6 comfortably so using one of the bedrooms as an office made the most sence for us.

Ok so here is the office in all of it's untidied "before" glory. Let's be honest this is how most of our homes look 90% of the time because we actually LIVE in them unlike those perfectly staged images we see in magazines and social media. Not to knock staged spaces I mean that is what I do for a living and it is great for when it is needed, but who has the time and energy to keep that up 24/7? Plus, I want you all to know that even designers/stagers don't live in a picture perfect house all of the time.

I knew I wanted to keep the cost of the makeover as minimal as possible so I reused as much as possible and just updated it to make it work for the new design (total budget ended up being $300). I have been wanting a moody room for awhile now so to start in the office was the perfect . Let me give you a quick tour before we get into some details.


Let's start with the design. I have always wanted a moody office. One with a whole wall of built-in floor to ceiling wood shelves with the library ladder, a bay window, a fireplace, and giant wood pocket doors that you retreat to after dinner to make deals over a short glass of whiskey on the rocks...ok maybe I really just want to be the Godfather, but seeing as how this house has none of those things I still wanted to capture as much of those elements as possible.

Mood is everything to setting the tone and that all starts with paint. I have been obsessed with deep greens since PPG Paints announced Night Watch as it's 2019 color of the year. You might recall me gushing about it here. Sadly, that color read more blue green in the room than I liked (lighting, it's all about lighting people ) so I had to find a color with less blue undertone in it.

I landed on Benjamin Moore's Dollar Bill Green as it gave me more of the dark emerald green I was looking for and made my wood floors and shelves feel very rich while the white trim and doors kept it modern. With dark walls I wanted to balance out the room with lighter furniture and to compliment the wood tones I went with brass accents to warm the space up.


With the color palette set it was time to lay out the floorplan. As much as I love having my desk set up under the window I really needed to have additional storage close to me so I could keep my desk as clear as possible. I knew that I wanted to add some vertical shelving in addition to keeping the current cubbie storage unit so I would have ample space for books, my design library, office supplies, and of course plants and decor. This meant that the desk would sit more in the center of the room with the verticle bookshelves on the wall behind it and the cubbie unit would shift under the window lending itself very nicely as a space to house plants (espcially the ones I need to bring in over winter) and give me additional workspace if needed relatively close to my desk. To tie everything together and add some softness I would need to add a rug under the desk.


The desk itself was a piece we were cycling out of the staging inventory that my mom let me have as a birthday present. We got it from Ashley Furniture. It has three drawers but I really need a few more so the bins I already had now sit under the desk until I figure out a filing cabinet situtation. The cubbie unit got a refresh with some marble peel and stick wallpaper and washi tape to lighten it up so it didn't feel like a dark void against the wall. The vertical shelving is from Target and the backer board was covered with the same marble peel and stick wallpaper to dress it up. The rug was a Wayfair Black Friday deal and helps pull all of the colors together while adding a bit of pattern.

The wood floating shelves I designed and my dad made for me for Christmas for my first aparment out of college like 14 years ago now (omg I am not that old right?) They are pretty great as they can be hung horizontally or vertically and can stack on top of each other to make one unit. They have lived in various rooms over the years and work well for pretty much anything and I just love them (thanks Dad!).


The majority of the accesories in the office are from the At Home Store, Homegoods, Hobby Lobby or are thrifted or gifted items. Like these amazing Pacifica plates from Rosanna out of Seatle, they were a gift from my mother-in-law and I just couldn't bring myself to actually use them as appetizer plates so I found some plate hangers and now they are art.

I have a pretty decent book collection so I was excited to be able to get out more of my favorites to fill some shelving because what is an office without books? If you couldn't tell I may have a slight thing for birds (I mean the first word out of my mouth was bird so...) but I found these bird book ends well before I redid the room and it worked out quite well that they had the brass metal accent so win win. To help orgainize and hide all of the paperwork I got the standard white magazine holders but I also found these super cute dog themed ones on Amazon and I just couldn't help myself.

I still have some organizing to do to eliminate those drawer units under the desk and I'd like to get a pouf and I have a few more pieces of art that need to be framed and hung but all and all I am very happy with how everything looks! It’s my new happy place!






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