Home Office, Take Two

By Kate Riley November 4, 2010

Lately I’ve been inspired to bring more color into my life, especially my work space.  I like to be surrounded by girly glamorous sophisticated things in my home office, and the color pairing I’m fixated on lately is raspberry and teal, can’t you tell by the header?  (Designed by Fabulous K Creative, I love it!)

Here’s a peek at a few changes made to my home office in the last few weeks.  The sofa was replaced with a refinished credenza and a few deep pink and plum accessories also made their way into this space.  The lamp was a thrift store find, spray painted last week with Valspar’s ‘Eggplant’ ~ I found it on clearance at Michaels for $0.49 a can!


cg left wall credenza


Above the credenza sits a giant inspiration board and soon it will be covered with more reminders and mementoes.  I’m the type of person if I don’t write something down, or have it staring me in the face, I’ll completely forget about it, so this memo board will be another tool to keeping me sane organized.  Next week, I’ll show you how I made it!


cg office after


These bookshelves I repainted flank the table turned writer’s desk, and provide a TON of storage.  Love that!


office storage cabinets


There’s my revamped swivel chair ~ you’ll notice I removed the round rug that used to sit under the desk.  It was competing with all the other patterns, so I’m liking the white carpet for now.


cg office chair and desk


I like storing office supplies in pretty containers found at antique stores or flea markets ~ it just makes me happy.


office supplies


Usually, I’m not a big fan of pushing furniture up against walls, so I tried turning the desk out into the room.  This is a really narrow space, but I lived with the desk turned for a day.  Then I realized the chair gets blocked behind the desk, and I prefer looking out the window, so I turned it back to where it was.

What do you think?  Do you like the desk placed under the window?  Or turned out into the room? 

cg office desk turned


Either way, anything’s better than the blah brown ‘Before’!

office before and after


Want a peek a few other DIY projects that contributed to the first makeover?  1) repainted closet doors; 2) hanging grasscloth wallpaper; and 3) my reupholstered accent chair

Now I’m back to work reviewing all of the ‘Mom Cave’ submissions and it’s taking a looooong time!  Tell me, have you introduced any new color into your spaces lately?




  1. I think having the desk turned adds some dimension to the room. Though I could see how facing the window would probably be more energizing and refreshing.

    I adore your tape dispenser. Where did you find it?

  2. Wow, what a turnaround from the “before” to the “after!” That is amazing, and I’m loving the teal and raspberry combo. So bold, and so beautiful ( <— wow, didn't intend to do that). Great job!

  3. This is one Centsational Space! (Couldn’t help myself…) Love the credenza! Have you posted about it before, if so I missed it, if not, you must, asap! Love all the lovely colors, very inviting and feminine.

  4. you gave me the courage to paint my ulgy brown laminate desk white. i spray painted my file cabinets black and i am going to re-do my office chair too. i am also going to hang a chandelier in my computer room also. also i am going to make the closet into a package and wrapping space. love your ideas.

  5. Love your office. It looks great with the credenza and lamp and inspiration board additions.

    Ordinarily I’d vote for turning the desk perpendicular to the window, but I’m thinking that the shape of your room just doesn’t quite like that turn. Besides, your shelf to the right of the desk has that cool jut-out for holding your sewing machine–that’s a cool perpendicular twist on things, I think.

    Yes, I have added an additional color to a room recently. My guest room got a bit of thrifty updating. It used to be decorating in all reds and golds. Most of the elements I wanted to keep, but I really wanted to bring in some green and and a few pops of blue (still needed to work with the reds and golds, since there was a chair I didn’t want to re-upholster). I’m pleased with the way the room turned out–very little money spent, but a little updated and a bit more interesting, I think. Of course you are more than welcome to check out my new space if you like (http://www.impartinggrace.com/2010/10/show-us-your-life-guest-bedroom.html), but it sounds like you’ve got all you can do just to read the Mom Cave posts! Hope you’re enjoying it! :)

  6. Hi~
    Your office looks amazing! I love before and afters, they give you a real sense of where the space has come from and yours has come a long ways. Your table looks fine pushed up against the wall. It looks good sticking out into the room, but if it doesn’t work for you, then it isn’t right. It is your office! I love that credenza, it is beautiful!

  7. Aesthetically, I like the desk turned. However, it’s a work space, so ultimately, it needs to be set up to best suit your work needs. Plus, it’s all so lovely, that it really doesn’t matter which way the desk faces.

    When we bought our new house in July I had grand ideas for the 3rd bedroom… I would have been so inspired by this room. However, a week later we found out that we were preg with No. 2 so that “extra” rom is no longer. As much as I’m beyond thrilled to have another little one, there’s a tiny piece of me mourning having an extra room to call my own and make into an amazing craft room!

  8. I love the table under the window- more space to move around and the better to daydream! I want to try the desk chair recovering, was ready to get rid of my chair, now I don’t have to! Just need to find the perfect fabric- I get somewhat paralyzed when I go fabric shopping- so many choices, I confuse myself….

  9. Oh my gosh! Gorgeous workspace! I’m inspired … and jealous.

    And I gasped at the “eggplant” lamp. Love it. I’ve gotta hunt down that color for myself.

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Wow what a HUGE difference from before to after! The lighter colors make the room look so light and airy… i love it!

    Can’t wait to read more about the inspiration board! I want to make one so badly but it would involve stealing a cork board from my hubby’s study collection and he might rebel ;)

    P & C

  11. I am totally jealous of your massive inspirational board and can’t wait to see your post on it! I need one desperately. I like the desk facing the window. In the pictures at least, it seems like your space is bigger and besides like you said you get to look out the window, which is key to enjoying the beauty around you. :)

  12. Love this color combo, Kate!! :) I can’t wait to see how you put the memo board together. You have such fabulous style. :) The office is looking wonderful, but I can’t decide which way I like the desk. I think if you’re more comfortable with the desk under the window you should leave it that way. :)

  13. Pantone’s fall color is a teal of some sort…I love watching the evolution of your office, it is inpiring me to find a great credenza now.

  14. I like the desk turned. It gives more of an office feel to it that way. Plus, it breaks up the length of the room, which is nice. Love the color scheme! Wish my room had as much light as yours does.

  15. I seriouly love this space. From the closet doors to the credenza. It’s just lovely. I will for sure look how to pain the closet doors for some inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Love! Love! The desk facing the window is so nice. The sunlight shining and and being able to look out would be so nice. Also love your pops of magenta in the room!

  17. Love the new office makeover, I think the credenza is a great replacement for the couch, but the before picture made me curious. I would love to see the inside of the closet and what you use for your storage and organization.

  18. Hmmm… I like the desk turned a lot, but I think I like it best under the window mainly for spacial reasons – makes the room feel bigger. If you really want the turn that desk sideways, a mirror above the credenza would make the room feel more spacious… Just a thought.


  19. Facing the window! It looks amazing. There is a woman in my small woman’s business networking group that is looking to remodel her office and give it a fresh makeover. We agreed it might help with clarity. I forwarded your link to her so she can find some inspiration from your office makeover! To die for!!!

  20. Kate…love the raspberry and teal together…soo pretty!! I love color and wouldn’t think of living without it! I like a neutral background, with pops of color…my favorites…red, turquoise and a little pink. Your office is beautiful, great job!


  21. It’s beautiful! I don’t blame you for keeping the desk facing the window – it’s always nicer to work with a view. Can’t wait to see how you did your inspiration board – I so want to do one of those!

  22. This room is what drew me to your blog and I every time I see it I think damn that looks good! I agree I’d prefer to look out the window. Perhaps you could put the desk under the notice board and the credenza under the window? So you’d still be looking out but would have your back to the wall.

  23. great shape to the lamp! it could maybe use some kind of glaze to give it a little shine? personally i like the desk turned in the middle of the room so its not a “tunnel effect,” but I think practicality is more important than aesthetic- so if you don’t like it, don’t do it! i remember when you started this project, but WOW, seeing the before and after again is really eye opening!

  24. p.s. we DEFINITELY need a tutorial on your credenza- with the gorgeous design on top! ah it’s gorgeous! i want one in kelley green!

  25. Your office is gorgeous, Kate! Girly, glamorous and sophisticated it is! Stunning colors! When can I hire you do do mine? I like the desk under the window.

  26. Love your space…would I be very bold to say that I think you should give the chandelier a pop of color? After looking at all your photos I think the teal blue or raspberry would look amazing!

  27. Love, love your office you have the perfect amount of color and pattern. It feels feminine but not too feminine. Love the blue console. The desk chair looks amazing. I like the desk in the middle of the room. It looks more unique and unexpected to me. Great job!! Kathysue

  28. What a beautiful room! I prefer the desk looking out the window too… makes the room look more spacious, and you get a great view of the great outdoors!

  29. I think it looks fantastic! Definitely prefer the desk by the window- gives the room a nice open, airy feel to it. Enjoy!

  30. AH! Thanks so much for this post! I have NO IDEA what to do with our home office and needed some inspiration—know I can always find it here! Thanks. :)

  31. I vote for keeping the desk against the window. I’ve struggled with the same dilemma in my office (which seems to be roughly the same size as yours). However, I’ve found that the little people in my house (ages 2 and 4) tend to run into the corners when it juts out. Man, those corners at at eye-level for them. It’s kinda hard to get work done when I’m either deflecting them away from a corner or nursing an injury.

  32. Your study is great. I can’t believe the transformation to the credenza. You are so creative.

    I’ve recently introduced blue and white in the guest room. This is huge for me since I have a red, khaki and block color scheme. I love blue and white and a dear friend remodeled and gave me a lovely duvet cover w/ shams and it was blue and white! I’ve longed to have a blue and white room for some time.


  33. Looks fantastic! Beautiful! I’m in the process of designing my office space and it is a JOB! You pulled it off beautifully and I don’t think it matters which way you turn the desk. At this point it’s all about function…you already completed the form!

  34. JUST love your office transformation and how bright and inspiring this room is. Your blue credenza and new raspberry lamp are to die for ;) I like the desk facing the window because I love a view. BUT I also like it facing out towards the entrance because then you might not get distracted by the view…lol Also I like the practicality of being able to view your inspiration board or your view. Hard call…sorry if I didn’t help. Have a great day, fondly, Roberta

  35. Rules of Fei Shei you should always have a wall behind your chair (for support) and if possible face the doorway. Personally I love the desk facing the window, although for me I would be day dreaming all the time. Love the room and the colors, it is indeed beautiful.

  36. Wow! Now that is a transformation! I like the furniture against the wall, I’m alwasy a fan of looking out the window while I work too. You did a beautiful job!

  37. Love the position of the table turned out into the room–it is much more pleasing to the eye than everything lined up against the walls, in my humble opinion…:) Your taste in decorating is “parfait”!!

  38. the office is amazing! love the light and colors! i’m a sucker for white furniture:) i love the look of the desk pulled out to keep the room from looking like a hallway… but if functionally it doesn’t work you need to go with what fits your work style! so if under the window is better, do it!

    ok now i am going to get all crazy… what if you swap the blue cadenza and the desk? and pull the desk out from the wall so it kinda sits in the middle of the room. Then you have the inspiration board behind you, the window and blue beauty in front of you. Hard to tell if there is even enough room to do that! But thought i would toss it out there as an idea :)

    i love your blog, btw, very inspiring!

  39. I love the pops of raspberry! I’m doing my little girl’s room in aqua with a radish bed…and I’m loving it! How about repainting the chandy in the brighter shade?!

    happy weekend, kate!
    xo, Cass

  40. I kind of like the desk out into the room. It kind of gets rid of that galley look. Maybe you could do a skinnier return desk under the window to give you a something under the window also? Plus it would give you more work space.

  41. LOVE what you’ve done. So practical (storage!!) and yet clean and feminine. You are great at seeing how things will end up. Where will the Tar-Jay round rug go now? I LOVED it! I never found it in the store or on-line. Any hints? Thank you.

  42. This really is beautiful! I love the new credenza..and you have completely inspired me to upgrade my boring old “catch-alls”. Off to the antique store for some amazing silver goblets and bowls!

    have a great weekend!

  43. As an outside observer, I like the desk turned out into the room. However, I know it would drive me nuts to have it like that in my home!

  44. Hi, Kate, is there a Christmas decorating book giveaway that is supposed to take place today? I have it marked on my calendar that today was the day. Thanks!

  45. I’m not a “pink” person but you have me drooling over your newly designed office space! It seriously looks fantastic!

  46. You should def leave the table turned outward. Are you able to push the table back towards the window a bit – so that you can still see outside?

    Also, I’d put the chair (w/ the pink pillow on it) on the other side of the table (the side closest to the door), so it seems more like an inviting office. This way, you can have people sit at your desk with you and visit (if that’s what you want, of course).

    Overall: Lookin’ Good!!! 1,000,000 thumbs up.

  47. I like the desk turned to the window personally. :)

    Love the punches of color, too! Sometimes I think I have too much color, which I never thought would be possible, but now just maybe. I love color so much, it’s hard for me sometimes to narrow it down.

  48. Love it! Love it! Love it! The pops of pink add such a beautiful splash of color as your eye travel around the room. Simply beautiful.

  49. As always, I am in LOVE with everything that you do! I tried doing teal and raspberry in my room, and it DOES NOT look as amazing as yours!!! I’m so glad that I have your blog for inspiration now! ha ha. I was wondering about those curtains, where did you get those? I LOVE them! Thank you for your fun/awesome/creative blog!

  50. The credenza is FABULOUS!! So is the color palette… my master is dusty blue and brown with pops of raspberry/magenta.

  51. Love the new office :-) Thanks for sharing!
    is that wallpaper or paint on the wall? What color is it? I love it!
    Also any instructions on how you made the mood board?

  52. I wish this is what my office looked like. Painting the shelving white makes such a huge difference. I feel guily painting wood but this brightened up the space since the shelves were such substantial pieces.

  53. I just adore your website. I always get so inspired! :)

    My new favorite color-combination is forest green (you know a bit darker green) along with a berry purple (plumpurple on swedish, doesn’t sound so thrilling in english thought)

    And your office is amazing. Great colors and everything, I have to say, I’m a bit jealous.

  54. your office is amazing! i love your desk against the wall though. it looks spacious that way. but what else can i say? pure love!

  55. I love your home office! I love your taste! Did you paint the greek pattern on the blue dresser? I love the blue color too! Which type of blue paint did you use?

  56. Office keeps getting better and better Kate!

    I’m currently working on a project to finish my office as well. I’m painting two bookshelves with the help of your laminate & particleboard tutorial; I linked to it on my blog post at http://www.windycitynest.blogspot.com.

    Love your site. Keep up the great work.

  57. Where did you get the office storage cabinet? or is this somethin you did yourself?

    Thanks!! :)

  58. @candance – im a christian so i usually dont “go” with feng shui, BUT, i LOVE what you said, about having wall behind chair, or table facing door, etc… makes PERFECT human sense, even if in fact, it comes from ‘feng shui’, which im not supposed to be involved in actually (i apologise if i offend) BUT AGAIN, attention back to interiors and decor, YES.. i LOVE it you said it’s impt to have wall behind chair and i think it makes PERFECT SENSE. thanks for putting it up, makes it easier for people like me to argue next times if others just insist “no! i dont wanna place the table+chair there”, i could quote you and say “see, one other sane person said so too. relent!” *grin* i DO think it’s impt to place table and chair in a comfy spot cos aft all, i do my most intense thinking there, i do need the ‘support’/privacy, etc…

    …good day! happy new year!! =)

  59. oops.. i realised i didn addres the post or centsastional-girl: that having said, to candace, i must say i LOVE the table facing the window too (aft all you mentioned the room being narrow, so it cant be too much of a space bw chair and end of wall-facing-window..hence in THIS CASE it is O-K to place table facing window) I feel that the space looks great-great great great great =)=) very inspiring.

  60. I love seeing that all of your “before” pictures look just like everyday “average people” spaces. Ya know, just ordinary rooms, serving a purpose but having no real zest to them (aka, almost every room in my house right now). It makes me feel like I can one day produce an “after” room as gorgeous as yours. I just need a little more energy and a LOT more elbow grease! Thanks for the inspiration and for keeping your blog so real. I get overwhelmed when I only see the gorgeous after pictures. I love seeing those befores!

  61. I am so enthralled with your beautiful gift of design! It makes me feel good to look at the room. I just wish you lived next door to me!

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