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renovation update: the study

I’m a terrible blogger this time of year.  The lack of sunlight means it’s impossible to take good pictures around the house and projects start to languish because I’m ready for bed at 8:30pm, which is stupid early.  When I should be painting the upstairs foyer and hallway, instead I’ll snuggle the kids down in our bed and be like “Who wants to fall asleep next to Mommy while I read a magazine?”  There are always takers and it’s the snuggliest, squishy-cheeked, delicious kid breath bomb.  Yes, I still need to smell my kids faces every day, like a mother seal.

January through May also feels like a wasteland, design-wise.  Maybe that’s because of holiday-based decor on Pinterest and in magazines.  I swear that Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter egg wreaths actually burn their eyes.

Despite my general lack of motivation this time of year and loathing of four-leaf clover themed door decor, we’ve managed to make tons of renovation progress in our “study”…as I’m calling it now.

First, we popped off the scallop trim that was hiding a track system for curtains.

This made a hella mess and we had to go into mudding/sanding mode to smooth it out.  Then we added crown molding around the whole room.  The woodwork is BM White Dove and the doors are BM Mopboard Black.

The zig zag chair is getting a white slipcover next month, if I can fine a fabric gauge thick enough to cover it.

The ceiling fan came down too.  A ridiculous square hole was revealed (what?) so we covered it up with a ceiling medallion from Lowe’s.

The biggest elephant in the room was obviously the built-in.  While the exact design of these shelves wouldn’t have been my first choice, we definitely want some kind of built-in here.  So instead of tearing it out and building something else that looked very similar but with minor tweaks, we decided to keep it and paint them.  The scallop trim came off too and we added a flat fascia board and crown molding.

Initially I wanted to paint the built-in green but after testing a few samples, I realized that a dark blue made the green in the toile wallpaper pop out more (BM Polo Blue).  The blue also butch-es up what could be grandma sweet wallpaper.

Lots of styling to do, lots of books to snag from yard sales but at least it isn’t a pea green monstrosity anymore.

This thing is screaming to have brass picture lights on the fascia up top…but we aren’t dealing with any electrical stuff right now.

I found the vintage faux bamboo (Thomasville?) ottoman on Craigslist for $25.  It needs a tufted chartreuse velvet cushion.  For sure.

Clearly this unit was designed specifically for a ginormous TV.  Notice the gaping TV-shaped hole in the middle there?

But until the day this is a TV room again (we can see that happening down the line)…..that lonely hole needs to be filled.  To break up the big cavern, I’m thinking of leaning a piece of modern art behind the bar tray and adding vintage glasses on those weird half shelves.  Plus the bar tray itself needs to be tricked out.  You know, actual booze and what-not.  Oh and have no fear, I’m steadily murdering that maidenhair fern every day, no matter how much water I give it or sweet-nothings I whisper.

The bar tray is from Container Store.  A frigging steal for the size.


The color of the built-ins, doors and floors are cool tones (black and blue) so I want to warm things up with other elements, like brass, orange-spined books, old issues of Nat Geo, an antique persian throw rug, etc.

The silver peanut I found at Acushnet River Antiques (my go-to spots) is my new favorite and one of the reasons I love thrifting/antiquing/estate sales.  You never know what amazing stuff you’ll give a new home to.  Should this peanut have gone to the landfill and then Pottery Barn mass-produces a replica?  Hell no.

The other side of the study is our/my office

desk // storage cube

Lots to do with the end of the room – hang art, put up a cork board for inspiration tear-outs, etc.

I added mid-century style legs from Lowe’s to the Ikea storage cube.  Stained them in Minwax Special Walnut first.

This room was one of the (many) things that sold me on the house when we first looked at it.  I’m happy that we finally got rid of all the nasty green woodwork.  And all it really took was primer and paint.

What do you think about the color of the built-in?  Was blue a good choice?