The office gets a face lift

I have found there are some things in life that, try as I might, are more-or-less inevitable. It goes without saying that at some point throughout the year I will:

  1. Get a sunburn
  2. Eat too many girl scout cookies
  3. Buy a gallon of blue paint with which to makeover a room in House Doodle.

While there is currently an empty box of Samoas (formerly Caramel DeLites, formerly Samoas) sitting in my recycling bin, I am writing today about Inevitable Life Event Number Three: Blue Re-Do!

This time, the office would be the victim of The Doodle House Blues. It was, after all, the only room in the house that still boasted the same bland beige color chosen by the previous owners. Yes, a renovation was clearly in order.



Our office gets a lot of use. A studious history teacher, Heath uses the space to prep (mentally and academically) for his lectures, and as a frequent work-from-home gal, I wanted a place where I would feel productive and comfortable. There were two inspiration rooms that I chose to emulate for our new work space.

From Elle Decore, John Robshaw’s New York City Home:


And from Houzz, this sophisticated and cozy work space:


Heath has always longed for a stately, near presidential, library in which to pour over his history texts, while I tend to prefer a more eclectic atmosphere. I liked that both of these spaces found a way to mix textures, color and patterns to create areas that feel both formal and welcoming. Common elements were the vintage oriental rugs, tufted seating, dark wall colors and minimalist desks. We could work with that.

In an attempt to create a home library, also on the wish list for the new space was a wall of books. Inspired by a bracketed bookshelf some of our pals recently installed in their new rental, we figured we could  try something similar in our home office.

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We are both pretty pleased with how things turned out.

doodle house office before

doodle house office makeover


Aside from the paint job and shelving, here’s what we did to update the space:

  • Replaced the pink day bed with a green chesterfield sofa, picked up for an extremely affordable price thanks to the always great Room Service Vintage
  • Exchanged the flimsy plastic blinds for bamboo Roman shades
  • Added an oriental rug (formerly from our living room)
  • Spray painted the file cabinets white
  •  Added hair pin legs to the desktop
  • Added an Eames-inspired desk chair
  • Exchanged Stella in the photo for Wyatt (Stella will have nothing to do with the new office, she is deathly afraid of the sheep skin throw…that’s a whole other deal.)

I’d still like to switch out the ’70s ceiling fan at some point, but all-in-all we’re both head over heels for the new space.

comfy eclectic home officechesterfield couch office blue home officeeclectic blue home office

kilim rug home office

Working from home has never been more enjoyable.







40 Comments on “The office gets a face lift”

  1. Wow it looks amazing. I love the colors.

  2. salpal1 says:

    wow – amazing what you can do with a gallon of blue paint!

  3. kmom says:

    Having actually seen the re-do in person, I must say it is much more stylish and commodious than before. It has had several tweaks, but this is the best by far.

  4. I’m so impressed this looks amazing! I LOVE your home library. I wish I could see it in personal, it looks like such an eclectic space. xoxo, Sam

  5. I’m so impressed this looks amazing! I LOVE your home library. I wish I could see it in personal, it looks like such an eclectic space. xoxo, Sam

  6. craftyordie says:

    I love the redo! Blue with red accents is so full of life. The dog on the couch is also a must.

  7. Melissa says:

    Keep the doodle house posts coming, please!

  8. mrothwarren says:

    The redone office looks great! I was thinking “and the dog looks pretty happy with it too” until you mentioned it’s a different dog in the “after” pictures. I have a skittish dog who well might be afraid of a sheepskin rug, and it made me laugh.

  9. DUDE! SOOOO Different. So open. Love it 🙂

  10. That couch is exactly what I’ve been wanting for my living room. Love what you did with the room! The shelving is a great idea and the colors work really well. 🙂 enjoy your new room!

    • We came upon it completely by happenstance! We were driving down the street and it was sitting on the sidewalk in front of one of my favorite Austin vintage shops. Timing was perfect!

  11. deefordana says:

    Nice mix and match!

    • Thanks! I always forget that the mixing can sometimes look better than a room where everything is matching. This project was a good reminder to embrace a mixture of patterns and textures.

  12. The funschool mom says:

    That is beyond incredible.

  13. friederike0 says:

    Amazing transformation!!

  14. jessandtonic says:

    I LOVE that chesterfield sofa. I’ve been putting off some DIY projects around the house but this inspired me to pick up some and just start doing it!

  15. juliarichey says:

    It looks amazing! When I saw the before photo I thought it looked good but the transformatiaon looks INCREDIBLE! I soooo wish I wasn’t renting so I could give my space a makeover. Love this!
    x Julia
    Peyton McKee

  16. oliboden says:

    That looks so sumptuous! I love the blue and the way it shows off the amazing, amazing rug. You’ve given me lots of food for thought on my humble rental.

  17. Grasping for words says:

    I just stumbled across your blog and I’m glad I did. I just redid my office (in AUSTIN) but I was a little disappointed with it. I almost picked up an oriental rug but wasn’t sure about it (kicking myself now) and I actually have a newspaper article about landing on the moon hanging on the wall. Ha! Looks like you have one on your wall as well. I ended up doing a gray accent and white the rest of the way around as I was afraid too much color would be distracting but after seeing your office I don’t think so at all. Thanks! So glad paint is about $30. It’s much easier to try again than other house projects. Good luck on the reno’s! Are you in E Austin? I’m in SW.

  18. allison h says:

    It turned out just lovely Kelsey!! Good job! so many things to love about this space!!

  19. Wow! I gotta say, the transformation is FANTASTIC! I LOVE IT!

  20. I’m so glad I found a good blog with some good ideas for DIY projects. Not to mention y’all live in Texas too!!
    I don’t know why but I love the ceiling fan! Maybe because I have a weird fascination with them.

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