Before & After: From Junk Room to Home Office

As I previously posted  in “I’ve Got a Secret…” (read here) I love my home…all except the room I’ve had pegged for my home office. With good southern light and decent wood floors it had the potential to be stylish, but it was greatly hampered by extreme clutter and baby blue walls. I knew if I wanted to use it as a home office I’d need to practice some crowd control and ruthless editing.

My first order of business? Declutter! I made three piles: Donate, Put Away and Yard Sale. Because I started feeling nostalgic while going through it all, it took a lot longer than I anticipated. So many of my things have memories attached–for me, it’s what makes a house a home–but I realized if I was going to make any progress and use this room for its intended purposed I’d need to get moving. I bought large bins and stored the things I wasn’t ready to part with (and maybe never would be). I tucked away beautiful drawings my children made when they were small, sentimental letters and cards I’ve received over the years from loved ones, magazines with stories I’ve written and/or been a part of. I took lamps, mirrors and other accessories and stored them in the attic because periodically I like to switch up my rooms and certain items are keepers. The ones that didn’t tug at my heart will be in my upcoming yard sale.

The only two items from the room that made the cut were my desk from West Elm (for its practicality) and a stained glass window I bought off-season in the Hamptons when my husband and I were dating (because it makes me happy). I pushed them to the center of the room and covered them with some sheets before painting the room in Benjamin Moore’s Calm, a wonderful shade of white that makes me feel at home. To furnish the rest of the room on a budget, I brought in an Ikea bookcase as well as a cozy, charcoal corner chair, creamy white shag rug and green storage baskets, all from Home Goods.

I added a few personal touches like  a family heirloom art deco clock for my desk and some favorite family photos atop the bookshelves…and because I realize the importance of all our senses and I love candles I placed a new favorite, Bath & Body Works Candle in First Bloom. When lit, it fills the whole room with this delicious, “I could be standing in a garden” scent. Amazing!!!


I couldn’t be happier. My home office is clean, organized and best of all, it’s a room I can be productive in. I’m still looking for a few special items to complete the look:

  • a proper pillow for the chair. I’m thinking a green or bright pink.
  • curtains to frame the window. Most likely smoky grey linen panels that hang just shy of the floor.
  • an over-sized, vintage chalkboard for my to-do lists.
  • a comfortable, lived-in looking chair for the desk.


6 Responses to "Before & After: From Junk Room to Home Office"

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  1. Broken Light: A Photography Collective

    April 3, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Looks great! Well done. I have the same book shelf in my studio. It’s held up perfectly. I do love that big old mirror I see in the before. Perhaps it will find another place in your home.

    Enjoy your peaceful new space!

    • Nancy

      April 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks! I have two of them in my family room, too…it just works! I will find a place for that mirror…maybe in Emma’s room. xoxo

  2. Renee

    April 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    how beautiful!! what a transformation!

  3. Margret Avery

    April 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    This room looks so great!!! I LOVE Home Goods because you can get so many great items for the home and make it look great on a limited budget! Love the family photos!

  4. Nancy

    April 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Great job. Now you will feel calm and creative in your new space. Light a candle and enjoy!

  5. Lisa Weinberg- Abramovitz

    April 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Love the room! It definitely looks wonderful.


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