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Category Archives: Design Idea Posts
Are you craving an updated space to work? Or to organize your mom-life? Home offices tend to be one of the last places we “design” (my own office is a testament to that) because they are often out of view so we don’t care how it looks, and it can feel overwhelming because of the organization involved.
I have worked on three offices for friends in the last few months, in fact I am finishing up this one with my friend Jamie Larson from The Snap Society today:
But the makeover I want to showcase today is my friend Kelly’s office. Kelly runs a successful online business out of her home called Directly Successful and needed a functional and inviting place to work. We went to work this fall and we are both so pleased with how it turned out.
Before I show you pictures however, I want to share with you two key areas to focus when redesigning an office space that works for you: FUNCTION and STYLE. Not only does your space need to work for you (organization, room layout, etc) but it needs to be inviting enough that you actually want to “get away” into that space to be productive.
Kelly asked for both of these concepts.
FUNCTION: Kelly films videos for her business and needed a place to sit with an interesting background that was brand consistent. She also expressed that she is someone who needs to “see” all the projects she is working on, so we needed to provide organization of her files, etc but they needed to be visible. I told Kelly that I had her back in that one–I am exactly the same.
STYLE: Kelly’s brand colors were a navy blue, gold and pink. We pulled these colors together into a stylish and inviting room that Kelly LOVES to be in now.
Here are a few Before and Afters (I love this part!)
Let me break it down a little.
- Kelly cleared out a lot of miscellaneous items–chairs, boxes on the ground, shelving that was holding books and files, and other non matching furniture items. Her dining room was a hot mess for a couple of weeks as she sorted and organized.
- We painted three walls a wonderful color called Colonial Grey. We painted the fourth wall behind the couch a deep navy called Calligraphy. This wall serves as the backdrop for Kelly’s videos and displays a eye-catching gallery picture collection.
- We purchased a couch and ottoman because Kelly prefers to work there over working from her desk (here here!)
- We made an Ikea run for storage items and a bookcase.
- After bringing in all of the design and storage elements, Kelly re-organized all of her papers and projects into the new space.
Here are pictures of the finished office:
(Above) We hung wood shelves behind her desk to display some decorative items. To the right of the shelves is a bulletin board and hanging storage for Kelly to easily access work files, etc. The framed dry erase board was something I made for Kelly using a glass poster frame and I just painted the back of the glass with a neutral color. She uses this to jot down work ideas, dates and tasks.
(Above) We purchased this couch and ottoman where Kelly spends most of her time working. I brought in a floor lamp for warmer lighting options, and created the gallery wall behind her couch with her brand colors, inspirational words and warm wood tones.
Kelly found this chair which was the perfect color and accent to the room.
Here is Kelly being all productive…
She had this great phone which we placed on the side table…I just love it.
(Above) One problem that Kelly wanted solved is that when she was filming a video or a webinar, her family would walk by or try to get her attention on the other side of the french doors. She wanted a way to have privacy while she was working and also to have a second backdrop for her videos. To solve this problem we hung curtains on the inside of the french doors…closed they offer privacy and a cute backdrop!
I brought in all sorts of storage options for her desk and she picked the ones that worked best for her.
Finally, this bookcase from Ikea has become one of my favorite office makeover additions. The wood tones warm the space and it just holds so many different items- books (of course), but files and boxes and baskets too.
I am going to be offering a “Make Over Your Office In Five Days” mini course in the near future. I will help you create a space you love in a clear step by step process! To receive information about this in the future and occasional design posts, subscribe HERE!
One more BEFORE and AFTER:
Kelly said she has been more productive in this space than ever before.
Side note, I am TERRIFIED of spiders and for some reason TWO BIG ONES appeared during this design project. There was a lot of screaming and jumping up and down. Here is fearless Kelly getting one of them:
More office makeovers to come, along with simple and inspiring design ideas for your home.
And you can follow me on instagram @amyleehayes.
I think we innately all love the peaceful feeling of a home that is tastefully decorated–just the right amount of wall hangings, little to nothing on the counters except a few decorative items, perfectly coordinated pillows set in just the right spots on the couch, and bedrooms that show no trace of actual living except a well made bed and a matching dresser.
I’ve just described every new builder model home in America.
The fact of the matter is that most homes have too many wall hangings because we just love our darn family so much we want to display as many pictures as possible, the kitchen counters have practical items like used coffee mugs from the earlier in the day that just didn’t make it to the sink along with the recipe book you will use tonight and the stack of mail that practically needed the most convenient place to be dropped. Oh and the couch pillows? Look behind the couch or on the floor–that’s where ours live 50% of the time.
That is the reality of living (well, hopefully this picture is a slight exaggeration!). So how do we make our homes feel peaceful AND practical?
Both life mess and decorating “overdoo” can cause our home to look cluttered. When we are raising a family, socks, wrappers, homework, laundry, etc. are just going to exist. But we can help reduce the overwhelm feeling by having our homes decorated with classy simplicity.
So how do you know if your home is overdecorated? Take this little quiz (Y/N):
- My home seems mis-matched. I have purchased things over the years like furniture and wall hangings that just don’t go together.
- I have a lot of furniture in most rooms. I don’t know what to get rid of.
- I have something hanging on almost every wall.
- I have several different patterns going on throughout my home.
- I don’t feel peaceful in my home. It seems like my decor is just “off.”
If you answered 3 or more “yes” then this post series is for you!
For most of us, the answer is LESS is MORE. More peace, more style, more happy. But we tend to fill our homes with too much which works against that.
People who have a knack for design are able to put a lot of things on a wall or in a room, but that is because they know how to coordinate scale, color, size and patterns very well, like this picture to the right. If you are feeling unsettled in your home, it feels a little chaotic or busy, or just “not right” it may be because those elements aren’t flowing for you. My word of advice is to pare down. Take things away, at least for now, until you start to feel calm and peaceful in your home.
This post is one of three on a series of de-cluttering your home. In this series I will share tips on how to create that peaceful, welcome feeling in your home by discussing three areas: WALLS, FURNITURE, and COLOR.
Today’s post will be all about our walls!
Re Working Our Walls
Cluttered, busy walls can easily create a feeling of chaos in a home.
I was a home stager for several years and walls tended to be one area where homeowners needed the most help. Here are 5 common mistakes with wall decorations:
2. Hanging pictures/items on too many walls:
There are only few areas in your house where you NEED to have hanging/decorative items on walls: fireplace mantles, above beds, above dressers and over couches.
All of these areas have large visual impact on the bottom half of the wall and if we leave the top half blank it just looks unfinished.
The rest of the walls–well they are negotiable.
In rooms that have 3 or 4 walls, aim to have pictures or hangings on one wall only. Yep. Now, you can have items on more than one wall, but the truth is most people are not sure how to coordinate the items, or size them correctly, so the room looks mis-matched. So, if you think you might struggle with this, just decorate ONE wall. Pick the largest one, and hang away.
3. Too many goupings of pictures throughout house: Replace small groupings of items with a large item–like a mirror, or a large framed print. One large item often feels more simple and eye pleasing.
4. Groupings with incorrect spacing: Hang pictures in a group with about 1.5 inches between the frames. One mistake people commonly make is to hang pictures in a group too far apart from each other.
5. Hang pictures or wall decor at eye level. When pictures are too high they throw off the balance of the room.
My challenge to you would be to go around your house and start taking things down off the walls or adjusting what you currently have based on those tips. Put the extra items on the floor in a back room for now. Live in your house that has less and see how you feel.
If you find yourself feeling lighter when you are in your home, maybe it’s time to give those items away or sell them. Organize photos in an album or in some frames on a table.
Here are some pictures of peaceful, calm rooms:
Just one larger picture above the bed creates a sense of calm.
No picture on dining room wall–allows focus to be on chandelier and front entry table and mirror.
Only decorative items on the counter and some empty wall space in the background.
Picture over fireplace but not on stairwell wall.
One large picture by dining room table. Two coordinating pictures/frames over couch.
No matter what your decorating style, you can always declutter, coordinate and simplify your walls.
Hopefully you are able to give some of these ideas a try! I would love to hear your comments or questions if you do!
Hello! Welcome to a Designed Home post. Have you have ever considered painting your kitchen cabinets? I painted ours a creamy white a couple of years ago and I am hooked:
Recently I was hired by a client to paint her cabinets. She wanted to brighten up her kitchen that felt a little dark.
I am excited to take you along with me as I complete design projects for my clients (who are friends by the end!). On this page I will take you into homes and show you before and after pictures, completed rooms and how to design certain areas of your home. I love to work on a budget so I will share my favorite shopping tips. See you here soon!