Elegant Wallpapered Office Nook

When we moved in our house 4 and 1/2 years ago and I spotted this tiny 6×9′ space outside the laundry room, I quickly claimed it as my own.  I knew that it would be perfect for my own little bitty office space.  I didn’t need a whole room for my office, this tiny area would be just big enough and out of the way for me.  Let’s start with the humble beginnings of this space, right after we moved in. I began making it my own, with a desk from Target online and using shelves that I had already bought from Ballard Designs, this space came together and I have loved my little office space for over 4 years now.  I first shared this space with all of you right after I started blogging in 2007, when I sent it in to our local Birmingham Paper the year before and was lucky enough to get featured.  

I’ve been tweaking it ever since.   It’s been over 2 years ( I know, can you believe that?)  that I added the lime green accent wall (with left over paint, Behr’s Grasscloth, from the laundry room) and trimmed it out with braided trim.  Then I changed out the bulletin board to a snazzy zebra print. Take note of the gold picture frames and the desk chair.  Changing out those things made a big difference too, as well as paring down the stuff.  I had way too much stuff in here and it was feeling cluttered and not calm, like I was looking for.

Check out the clever mouse-over that I learned from my friend, Beth, just in time for this post.  Roll your mouse over the pic for a BEFORE and AFTER:

I really loved it like this too, but when  I fell in love with that wallpaper, it was time for a final revamp.

I finally have it the way I want it now and just a few additions and changes have made a big difference, once again. It’s going to stay like this for a long, long time now.I’ll show you the whole area, so you can see how small this space is and how it all intersects together.  This is looking in from the downstairs den, into the blue bath on the right, small hallway with the new paint color, Dutch Boy Colony Green, and looking through the office nook into the laundry room.  The new color has a lot more yellow than Grasscloth does, but I love how it brightens up the space. This is a really hard color to photograph, especially with not a lot of natural light coming in.  I know some of the pics look yellow/gold, but they are really lime green, so think of that as you are viewing. :) I never showed you this pretty piece that I won in a blog giveaway last year.  Now I need to remember which shop it came from, but isn’t it a cute mirrored shelf?

I don’t worry too much about all of this flowing with the rest of the house upstairs. I figure I can have this space the way I enjoy it from day to day, since it is tucked away by itself.  I wouldn’t use all this color in the main part of the house, but I love it here.  I went ahead and painted this little hallway in the green too, since I didn’t want to break it up.  In the tiny hallway looking to the right, towards the beachy guestroom, this color is pretty accurate on my monitor of the green shade. Just a note about carpet color.  For some reason, this carpet really photographs very pink and it’s not pink in real life(more of a beige/sand color), but definitely has a pinky undertone that photographs always pick up.  I would love to get rid of it and maybe one day that will happen too.  You know how that goes!  Did I mention how much I hate carpet? Here are the 2 yardsale New Orleans prints I picked up this year in the hallway.Turning around in the hall, here’s the office nook.  Tiny, at 6′ x 9′, but very functional.  It wraps me up with warmth when I’m in here.

It all feels very good to me now.  I got everything tweaked that needed it and it flows much better. I also decluttered some things and am determined not to let it get too busy again.  I know the patterns are all busy, but I like them all together.  Some may not, but it works for me.I love the addition of the Graham Brown wallpaper, Cotswold, in case you’re interested.  See, I’m the guinea pig who tried it out first and I do love it.  I think adding an accent wall in a space like this really adds some impact.  But, when I decided to add the paper, I just had to paint out the rest of the walls in a lime green to coordinate with the green in the paper.

The paper is green and a pearly/silver color.  I thought it was white, but when I got it in it definitely has a silver/pearl tint, which ended up working fine for me too.   You’ll notice that I painted the big R with black paint and before I had it a bronze tone.  I think changing out most of the accessories to either black or white works really well in here as a high contrast to the green.  I did away with most everything that reads gold to keep it consistent.  I moved both of my Larson-Juhl framed newspaper prints to the left wall together.  I don’t have a lot of wall space in here, so have to use it wisely.  All the green baskets you see under the desk were all found separately and then spray painted with the same green paint to unite them.  Quick and easy way to get a cohesive look with mismatching pieces. To the right of the desk is my big ole’ bulletin board, made from a $10 yardsale frame and zebra fabric.  I did a post on how to make that here.  Very easy project!  You  just need a huge frame and this one is ginormous.   Painting the frame black was definitely what it needed.  I knew that last time around, but got lazy and didn’t do it.  This board helps keep me organized. I couldn’t make it without my calendar nearby.  This time, I also added a small chalkboard made from a $1 yardsale frame that had plexiglass inside.  Worked perfect for my project and this board will hopefully help keep me more organized as I write my “to do” list on it.

I painted the big R in black this time around and it looks much better.  Remember Mary Tyler Moore and her BIG M in her apartment.  Yes, and her best friend was Rhoda. :)  I loved that show, they just don’t make them like that anymore. You’ll notice the white painted frames on these shelves too.  One thing I’ve learned is to keep things consistent and getting rid of the gold was key in here to pull it together. There’s one more gold plate holder that needs to be painted.  I ran out of black and white paint!   Spray paint, girls!  Such a great way to update. My large bookcase (the Riley) which I found at World Market faces the laundry room door.  It’s been perfect for me to store and organize things in.  That is scrapbook paper on the back of the bookshelves (all from Hobby Lobby) adhered with double-sided tape, from my last tweaking a couple of years ago and these holders are great for keeping the magazine collection at bay.  You can see how I covered these simple cardboard magazine holders here with scrapbook paper and decoupage.

Those 2 striped boxes came from Ikea and hold hanging files.  I’m really trying hard to stay organized.  It’s a constant struggle to keep up with the paper clutter around here!  I’m sure you can relate.   Those 2 lime green boxes on that top shelf are yardsale finds that I painted with lime green spray paint.  When I get more paint, I’ll paint that brown basket, probably black also.  Maybe white. Decorating books and a few family and friends photos round out the top 2 shelves.  I painted the old gold frames white and love the contrast with the bookcase now.  I’m trying not to put too much back in here and am in major purging mode.  That bunny bookend I kept here just because it’s heavy and holds the books.

On the wall right outside the laundry room, I decided to put up some black and white old family photos that I had stored for awhile.  My parents, grandparents, and some of my family when we were growing up.  I love having these close. I have always loved these old pics of my parents back before they got married.  So sweet!  And if you look back at yesterday’s post, these are all the formal gold frames that got a quick spray paint coat of satin black.  Changed them instantly.  That’s my maternal grandparents, Clarence and Kitty.  My mother looks a whole lot like her mother.   I found those damask plates at TJ Maxx a few years ago and you can see they were hanging on the soffit in that BEFORE pic. I thought they would be a nice accent with these black and white photos. This small watercolor to the left of the bookcase is by the fabulous Fifi Flowers, a gift from her after I won one of her giveaways a couple years ago.  I treasure this too, it’s a rendering of my laundry room. Hello, beautiful!  This elegant chair is a find from Homegoods.  Homegoods comes through once again.  The office chair I was using was bought when I worked for Ethan Allen.  It is a pretty gold damask fabric, but it never went with the vibe of this space, so I finally decided to replace it.  It’s served me well for many years, so I don’t mind getting rid of it now.

I love the new sleek pearly white leather one with silver nailhead trim and simple black legs.  Sleek and stylish, it now pulls this space together, just the way I had hoped. And it keeps my back supported really nicely too.  The rug is a find from Pier One several years ago.

And that concludes the final tweaking of the office nook. I could not be happier with it now.  Pure bliss and elegance is how it feels now.  And organized, definitely organized! ;)  It’s amazing what changing out the chair did for the look too, don’t you agree?

One more side by side BEFORE and AFTER and you can compare changes.  Note the new light fixture too that was added last year, an $8 yardsale find.  I think I’m going to add a vinyl saying around the drop down soffit, when I find just the right one:

I adore it and hope you like it too!  For those who loved my old space, I think you will agree that the new one is definitely improved.  I’m learning all the time too.

It just goes to show that you can definitely get some high-style in a really small space.  Here are some ways to do that and I hope these help you to see the potential in a small area:

  • Keep your color palette to 2 or 3 colors.
  • Wallpaper one wall as an accent.  It will draw the eye into the space and be the first thing that is noticed when someone comes in.  Besides, it’s just so darn pretty and elegant.
  • Go vertical with storage and use that wall area to the fullest.  Those Ballards shelves have been one of the best purchase I have ever made.
  • Use boxes for storage, they are pretty and hide all the ugly paper and mess. Be on the lookout for mismatched baskets and boxes at yardsales that you can update to work for you.
  • Spray paint a lamp if the color is not exactly right. Yep, did that.
  • Spray paint frames to update them for your new look.
  • Chalkboard and bulletin boards are another way to stay organized. You can make them pretty and functional at the same time.
  • Add a rug, even over carpet.  It will further anchor the space with a little color and texture.
  • Get a comfortable and stylish desk chair.

Do you have a small, tucked away space that you could utilize for an office area?

Adding this post to Kate’s Where Do You Blog party!


- Rhoda


Comments

  1. Beautiful job on your office. Looked great before as well, but much more calm now. Enjoy your new space and thanks for sharing.
    Sandy

  2. Rhoda!!! You did it again, I love this space! That chair and paper really softens and changes the entire mood of the space to a more relaxing one. I love all your tweaking and editing. Fantastic job, you are such an inspiration!! Mary

  3. Your office is beautiful! I love that wallpaper you used and that chair, love. Everything looks so fresh. I would be very happy blogging in that space :)

    -Rene

  4. What a perfect use for the wallpaper. I love the richness of it but probably would not love a whole room done in it. Perfect!

    Becky K.

  5. Rhoda, This looks great! So much more sophisticated now. And, that green is a really happy color.

  6. Rhoda, that looks so good. Funny how the pics do look more yellow, but it all looks good none the less. I love how organized you have your office and love that chair.

  7. What a wonderful work space! A great way to use a small space and it is so charming. Bravo!
    ~Lisa

  8. Morning Girlfriend! I so LOVE your office – it is so YOU and the new wallpaper is gorgeous…. I know how much you must love having your own special space to create, work, and play. I also love how your personality radiates here.

    xo,
    Kim

  9. Love your office. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful space to work in!

  10. Inspired, Rhoda! I love the NO prints (lived there for 4 wonderful college years!) and the chandelier. Lots of great ideas here– thanks for sharing!!

  11. Rhoda, you did a fantastic job on your little office nook! I liked it before, but now it has such a lovely elegance to it. I love how you made it a space for your personality instead of going with the latest fads. The family photos add just the perfect touch. I know you will enjoy spending time working there.

    Thanks for the tips to create our own personal space.

    Jennifer

  12. It looks gorgeous! I love the colors and your ideas. I love it all!!
    Is that a skylight up there? It looks like it.
    What a wonderfully calming room. Can you come and do mine? LOL

  13. I like it! It has a feel of sophistication as your first design had more whimsy. You are a great decorator!

  14. It’s beautiful and glamorous. Just perfect! What I really love about this space is that it’s a nook, a sweet little nook that you have turned into something so special.

  15. Sue at Beach Bungalow says:

    Love it! I’d love to work in that space!

    Sue

  16. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing all your wonderful ideas!

  17. Kathy :) says:

    Good Morning…..

    Oh I just LOVE it….it says RHODA everywhere you look…..I liked the before but I LOVE this space…..

    And I love that before and after trick….I have to learn that one….I know Layla does that too….

    Thanks for sharing….have a great week……..

    All the best,
    Kathy :)

    ps Love the name of your bookcase…..LOL

  18. wow, elegant is right! i absolutely love it with that wallpaper, it just looks so classy. love that you did a green rug over your carpet, too. what a great space you’ve got there!

  19. OMG Rhoda, I fell in LOVE with that wallpaper when I saw it in your shop about a month ago. I’m a total sucker for oversized damasks. I’m so glad you bought it and decided to use it in your space! I’ve been mulling over ideas for my workroom (which right now looks like a hurricane blew through), and you have inspired me to go a little more sophisticated than I had been planning. Thanks for the inspiration! Enjoy that new work space of yours–it’s just fantastic!

  20. Oh your office looks lovely…I always want a small office area like that, My friends made fun of me for being the “Corner person”, a small cozy space just makes me feel so relaxed

  21. Hooray for the big reveal! It looks fantastic Rhoda and it’s fun to see how everything is laid out in your home. Thanks for the mini-tour. Your nook looks like a fabulous place to work and be inspired.

  22. Rhoda, I love it! I loved the before too, but this is more elegant and classy! LOVE that wallpaper! The perfect inspiration….

    Lou Cinda :)

  23. Hi Rhoda,
    I must admit that at first I was wondering why you were changing up your office nook because I SO loved it. But you did a fantastic job and I love the understated elegance it imparts……. It reminds me of a Candace Olsen type of space. Great job! LOVE LOVE LOVE that chair!

    • Awwww, Terri! Thank you. I knew that some would question why in the world I wanted to change it up, but now that you see it, I think you know WHY.

  24. It rocks!
    —-and your wording on your drop down?
    SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY
    because that is the central heartbeat
    that produces the final product!

    TAAA DAA !

  25. Oooh, it’s so elegant! :) You did a great job. Love the backing on the book shelf. :)

  26. I love your office space! Your use of accents is to die for!

  27. Merci for the mention!!! That is a FABuLOUS work space… LOVE it! I should rework mine! I already have a green wall like that to start!
    Hope you are ENJOYING your summer!
    Fifi

  28. Oh it looks so elegant! I love the wallpaper and I am inspired to perhaps do that in my mudroom instead of paint! It may just be the answer I have been looking for. Thanks, as always, for the fabulous inspiration!
    Vanessa
    http://southerninmyheart.blogspot.com

  29. I love the way your office turned out. It looks so inviting. I think I will have to break out the spray paint and unify some of my containers. Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. Rhoda, it’s stunning! I loved it before, but wow, what a difference! You have an incredible vision as always. :)

  31. Great job, as always, Rhoda. Quick question: are the brightly bound magazines on the bottom shelf Mary Engelbreit Home Companion? If so, just wanted to share that at one time I was obsessed with those magazines, and then the focus of them changed drastically and I no longer enjoyed them. Just wondering….

    • Hi, Melanie, no, those magazines are just old Traditional Home. I have got to weed them out though, way too many to keep.

  32. Rhoda!! I love it!! I can only imagine how beautiful it looks in person. That wallpaper is ah-mazing!!! and LOVE the new chair!

  33. Loved the old one. Love the new one. You have great style!

  34. Just lovely Rhoda, I am in love with that wallpaper ! What a fantastic space for you to write about your amazing creativity, I just love it!

    Kate

  35. Wow, Rhoda! You are so very talented. This room looks amazing!

  36. Lovely space. Your work is inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  37. It had to be hard to change something that was so perfect to begin with but the result is just, if not more, beautiful.

    Nice to meet you….L.

  38. I concur. It is fabulous, as always. I also like the idea of adding “Southern Hospitality” above the desk.

  39. I so very much love the new look, much more relaxing. The wallpaper is gorgeous and the black accents are perfect! Great job!

  40. I love it! Small spaces are so inviting and cozy and you’ve done such a beautiful job with yours.

  41. GORGEOUS!!! It’s just so incredibly ELEGANT! Happy to see you on HGTV!

  42. Rhoda;
    This is about the best small space use I’ve seen…. ( although I LOVED it’s previous incarnation) and I got so many great ideas from every side of it- spray painting all the baskets to match for starters…. and that new chair… gotta looooooove Home Goods! Simply elegant with the new wallpaper…. truly reflects YOU!
    Add my vote to Southern Hospitality over the desk… and it’s Done!

  43. I’ve always loved your office! Looked incredible before, but I am LOVING that new wallpaper in there now! So fabulous!! :)
    Blessings,
    Stacey

  44. Rhoda, I love, love it!!! The paper is so elegant and the touches of black just pop, great job and you are so quick!! You never cease to amaze me!! Kathysue

  45. Wow. This space is so colourful and filled with vibrant and unique ideas. I especially like your zebra bulletin board. Very cool!

  46. Charlotte says:

    I love the colors…..the room looks so much larger than before….and the wallpaper if beautiful…. As always, you did a great job.

  47. Hey I love your blog!! I just stumbled up on it. I will be back for updates!! thanks for the posts.

  48. Rhoda, You have created and elegant and beautiful space out of this nook. I love the changes and the new chair and wallpaper are fabulous. Hugs, Sherry

  49. I have always loved seeing that cute office space and the new change is perfect!!

  50. Hi Rhoda –

    What I love most about this space is that even after you tweaked it for an updated modern look – your style is still so evident in all the changes you made. It looks lovely.
    My best- Diane

  51. Carol Adams says:

    Love your office space. I too loved the Mary Tyler Show…. awesome!
    I don’t mean to sound stupid, but just exactly what kind of spray paint do you use for repainting picture frames, baskets etc…I have never done this but I am so motivated now…Just give me a little hint…
    Hugs
    Carol in Indy

    • Hi, Carol, Sure I can give you more than a hint. I just use whatever spray paint I can find. Lowes has a Valspar brand, Rusteoleum is great, as well as Krylon. Walmart has their own brand too.

      I try to use Satin finish spray paint most of the time. I just like that finish the best. There are some off whites that are really good, like Porcelain and Heirloom White. Not quite as bright white as the Glossy Whites are, but any of them will work. Just depends on what you are going for. Look at my post from yesterday and you can see some of these frames in the process of getting painted. I just spread them out & spray. So easy to change things.

      • Also, there are SO many new colors out there now, so just go and browse & take a look at more than black and white even. Walmart has a big selection of spray paints & so does Hobby Lobby, Lowes & Home Depot. Check them out! Lots of fun colors.

  52. When I saw the first I thought your room looked lovely (not knowing it was the before) and when I moused over it it transformed into an even lovelier space. Who wouldn’t like to work in that space.

  53. I love the new wallpaper, chair and chandelier. Those make a huge impact. Love the space and love your blog.

  54. That tiny little space is so amazing, Rhoda. I know you love working there. Love all the new updates. Love & blessings from NC!

  55. Beautiful! Just perfect. I love how the whole space came together and now instead of an empty odd little cubby you have a functional space! Very Nice!

  56. Judy Clark says:

    Beautiful Rhoda as always.
    Judy

  57. That is simply beautiful. I recently moved and am still trying to get my home office organized. Thank you for sharing. The wallpaper is awesome.

  58. Love the office nook! I can’t wait to borrow some of the ideas for my areas! Thanks for the inspiration.

  59. Wow. I loved it before, but I do think I love it even more now. The chandelier and wallpaper give it a different vibe. You’ve inspired me to get to work on my boring old office!

  60. super impresssed with this office redo. i love the bulletin board and all the spray painting that you did to accomplish your goals. really nice!

  61. Wow! It looks fabulous! I am just see having a cup of coffee in your one hand the other other wrapped around it and walk into that space and just take it in before you pull the chair back and start your day. Loved the details, that is what I am missing in my world. Small details.

    I have made the mistake of buying “small” items instead of the small details. Thank you for having me realize that. So, I am now looking at my house and my spaces with a different eye.

  62. I love the “new” office redo. Of course, I loved the old one too! That chair was a fabulous find. I’m always scouting my local Home Goods for just such a chair. Lucky you!

  63. I think your redo makes the area look much larger. Very nice!

  64. Great job. I also have a green office, Behr lemongrass.

  65. I liked it before but I like it much better now. It looks great, Rhoda! And it was nice seeing the surrounding rooms too.

  66. I so enjoyed looking at your new office nook. It truly has inpired me to finish mine. You have done an excellent job. I always look for the DETAILS, you have perfected them all! Just lovely!!
    Beautiful Blessings~Kelly Maria

  67. Rhoda, this is a wonderful post! I liked your office nook before–it was so cute and obviously cozy and functional. But now it really shines! It looks so elegant and classy. It seems that this space is really an extension of your personality. I love the way you mostly used things you already had, but you pulled them together differently. Changing the color on a few things really made a big difference. You’re absolutely right about spray paint, and now you’ve inspired me to pull out the spray paint again. Thanks for sharing all the great details!

  68. Rhoda your office turned out fabulous! I love the wallpaper too. And your chair….Swoon!

    You are making me wish I would have kept my closet office;-)

    Have a great weekend!

  69. Love love love the new look of the nook! I wish I had a space of my own, but for now I sit on a stool in my kitchen next to the microwave which is a constant source of creative inspiration combined with a fragrance of eau de bacon’. I agree with the person who suggested that your vinyl words on the soffit be Southern Hospitality.

  70. Hey Gal!

    That.Chair.Is.Hot.

    Amazing transformation, as usual :)

  71. What a chic and creative space…. great job!!

  72. I love the space! I’m swooning. What did you use to back your bookcase? I have three in my family room that need some “life” to them. I’m in search of something that is budget friendly.

  73. Hi Rhoda,

    I came to your site for the strawberry cake recipe (which i’m super excited about) and found this page. Great job on the office! May I ask, where did you find that desk?

  74. Love your space & the tips are awesome! Thanks:)

    Blessings,
    Jen

  75. Rhoda! I love the wallpaper…it is simply fabulous! Your space looks amazing!

  76. Rhoda, I’m so glad you reposted this at Kate’s. I missed the update!

    Stunning! Yes, I like it better too. Just the trend on the lightness of all the tones really speaks to me. I always did love the green variation as well (and actually thought of that room while visiting Kate’s before you linked up) so it was memorable for a good reason. :)

    And that chair? It looks like a well dressed gal going out on the town. In leather no less! ‘She’s’ fabulous!

    Thanks for the eye candy. :)

    Donna
    http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/

  77. I’ve seen this nook a number of times, but I never remember focusing on the before. What a remarkable transition!

  78. As I’ve said before. THIS PLACE IS SO FUN AND FABULOUS AND SO YOU!!!

  79. What a perfect little place you created, Rhoda. It looks so together and so elegant. I love the wall paper. Every detail is just beautiful…Christine

  80. Well, I admit, I was waiting for you link today, your office nook is so fabulous. This party is so much fun today, thanks my friend for linking up.
    Hugs
    Kate

  81. OMG I LOVE your office nook i love the before and after its just amazing what little changes can do to a room.

    Thanks for sharing and i love the fact that you gave advice too subscribe :)

  82. sue at Beach Bungalow says:

    Cute, specially the big R!

    Sue
    xo

  83. This is wonderful!! I love the tour:-)

  84. Roxanna Morgan says:

    Love your office space! I am currently redoing a small office/bedroom space in my home. I currently have black & white toile bedding in this room & want to add a spash of color. This is my office space & bedroom for my 10 year old granddaughter who spends most weekends with me. We saw your office space & we both love the green accent color you have used. What color of spray paint did you use on your mismatched storage baskets? We are going to do this project together & we love the cardboard magazine holders that you have recovered using scrapbook paper. Planing a shopping trip soon for accessories for my office space, wall pictures & hopefully a accent pillow for the bed. We are both exicted to get this project started now that we have discovered your inspiration room. Thanks for any input.

  85. I love this space! I remember seeing it in the Bham News. I saved it. I liked the big inital so much that I had to get some big initials to use in my home. I dont have a space I could use for this purpose. Love your blogs too!

  86. I have a tiny sunroom I plan on turning into a study nook…..this is exactly what I’m looking to do. Thanks for the inspiration!

  87. I know this is an old post for you, but it popped up on a google search I did for “office nook decorating.” I love that you went around the space and explained how you updated each little box and frame. It gave me some really neat ideas!

    • Thanks, Kiya for dropping by! Glad you found me. I loved my office nook too, but now I’m renovating a new house & have plans for a home office in a bedroom, so that will be a fun new project too. Just started painting today….green! I love green.

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dreamy Nest? and Rhoda, Houseblogs.net. Houseblogs.net said: [Southern Hospitality] Elegant Wallpapered Office Nook http://bit.ly/cbCRr0 [...]

  2. [...] cabinets.   She is also a huge fan of white dishes which I love.  Another great post is her recent office makeover.  It is such a fun place to dream up your next blog post.  Her design style is wonderful.  She [...]

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