Before & After: My Writing Room Makeover

by hookedonhouses on January 30, 2008

Lily in my study with white walls before makeover

We built our house in 2003 and moved into a bunch of cold, white, empty rooms that desperately needed attention. This is another such barren space: my writing study, where I spend most of my day working. Fire up the violins–it was just plain sad.

By the look on her face, my daughter Lily (4 in this photo) didn’t mind the shabby conditions in here, but I sure did. My computer monitor was as big as a microwave oven. I had white walls, off-white carpet, and nothing but blinds on the window. Even my desk chair was a cast-off that someone else had deemed dumpster-worthy back in 1995. It was so worn out that I had to keep a quilt over the torn upholstery and a throw pillow on the seat. The wooden arms actually left splinters in my arms if I wasn’t careful. It was bad.

But wait–don’t shed tears for me and my pitiful writing room yet. Last Spring I had a big milestone birthday, and my husband Dave announced that he was giving me a brand new, completely redecorated room. It was one of the best gifts ever.

Here’s how it looks now:

my study after we painted it mossy green

Nice, right? And he did it all for about $2,000.

First, he ripped up the carpet and laid the new hardwood flooring himself. Next, he painted the walls a soothing sage green and installed crown molding around the ceiling. He hung black-and-white striped silk curtains (they look sort of wavy in the photo for some reason, but they’re not). I also got a sleek flat-screen monitor, a chair for visitors (read: children) in the corner, and a new leather desk chair for myself. No more splinters for me!

I almost forgot to mention the chandelier. What a difference a new light fixture makes! He made use of every inch of space in this small room (it’s only 10 x 12), from ceiling to floor.

Here’s a before shot of the room from the opposite angle:

Lily in my study with white walls before makeover 2

And now:

my mossy green study with new hardwoods

I got several nice new bulletin boards (Ballards Designs) where I hang the autographs I have collected over the years of my favorite authors. I’m not only hooked on houses, I’m hooked on books (maybe that’ll be my next blog!). Here’s one of the boards close up:

bulletin board with author autographs

And one final view, of the opposite wall, where I have cubbies for all of the writing projects that I have in progress at any given time (since this picture was taken, I have replaced all the storage boxes with matching black ones, but you’ll just have to use your imagination):

console table in my study

P.S. Visit My House to take the full tour!

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Liz January 31, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Love the color, love the floor, and am again amazed at how a little crown molding polishes up a place. . . . but did you learn NOTHING from “Frankie and Johnny”??? The elephant trunk has to face the window if you want any kind of good luck in your life. (Apparently elephants aren’t happy indoors unless tthey are pointed towards daylight.)

hookedonhouses January 31, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Funny you mentioned that, Liz. That photo was taken right after Dave put the room back together for me. The elephant has since been turned the right away–facing the window–which probably explains all the amazingly good luck in my life!

J-Dawg February 2, 2008 at 9:51 pm

Wow… That’s a great study! I sure wish I lived there.

Melody from ~Pennies In My Pocket~ February 11, 2008 at 3:23 pm

I’m baaaaaack! I feel so behind…just catching up on your blog. OK, I’m amazed by this room! Completely LOVELY! WOW!


hookedonhouses February 11, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Welcome back, Melody! We missed you! :-)

J-Dawg February 12, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Awww… That little girl actually kind of looks like my sister!

snhamlett February 25, 2008 at 1:43 pm

This is a great makeover! Just found your blog and now I have to spend some time reading everything… but I totally LOVE the before and Afters. Maybe I’ll be able to submit something to you when I get to work on my patio for the spring.

hookedonhouses February 25, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Welcome, Snhamlett! I read your blog (A Beautiful Abode–check my Blogroll for it, everyone, or click on her name, above) and would love to showcase one of your before and afters sometime. Hope to see you again soon!

-Julia :-)

catesdaughter March 29, 2008 at 4:45 am

I just found your blog and am enjoying catching up on the posts. What a lucky woman you are to have a husband to treat you with such a lovely gift of your revamped writing room! It’s wonderful! It really showcases what a difference a lovely paint color, crown molding, hardwood flooring, creative lighting and all the other special touches can make. Now I’m wishing I could have a makeover for my art/design studio workroom. I took over the living room, and it’s not quite doing it for me :-/ Anyway, your room gives me hope! I love designing and am currently working on plans for tiling a brick fireplace, and remodeling both a powder room and master bath. The budget is yelling OUCH!

hookedonhouses March 29, 2008 at 8:27 am

I’m glad you found us, Catesdaughter! Good luck with all of your remodeling projects. Hope to see you here again soon. -Julia :-)

Jaime June 16, 2008 at 11:51 am

I found you through The Nester, and I love this room! I’m going to go check out your other posts. It’s going to be a long day if I don’t tear myself off of this computer soon! :)

Bonita June 16, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Oh, oh, oh! I’m in the process of decorating my writing room as well. My mother-in-law lived with us for the past 8 months, but she recently moved out so now I have my office back and I’m going to turn it into the most wonderful writing room you can imagine. Thanks for the inspiration!

Nathan September 8, 2009 at 5:40 pm

It’s really beautiful. I especially love the chandelier. The chair is nice as well. I’m considering purchasing a new chair (and maybe a desk also, lol).

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