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Design ideas?
becky S
January 3, 2013
Help! This is my office in my house. I just spent a lot of money re-doing my bathroom and bedroom so I don't want to spend a lot of money right now but want it to look more decorated right now. I was thinking simply doing something different with the walls- both the color and the paintings. This is the only room in my house I am happy to make darker. I use the space to pay bills, read and have happy hour with a friend or two. Would love some advise!!
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House of Holland - TX
How about a gorgeous cadet blue on the walls? I would probably paint the exposed ceiling a dark brown that matches the wood beams to give it a very masculine cozy feel. I'm also thinking that you could go with a larger light fixture but it's hard to tell from the pictures.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 12:12PM
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becky S
Thank you! I like the idea of darker ceiling to match the wood! Blue would look great, but the dining room is a dark blue and the sofa and chair are a deep navy so I worry that could be too much blue. I agree on the light fixture as well. It is small for the room.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 12:33PM
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I think a rich deep gold color on the walls would be pretty. Maybe with blue ceiling? Or, I actually like the blue wall idea, then paint the ceiling (or wallpaper) a metallic gold.

2 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 1:15PM
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I think the notion of a larger ceiling fixture is spot on...you could give the room a fresh feeling with a large drum or do something in iron and crystal for a bit of antique glamour (and of course that goes on a dimmer). But a new fixture will cost money, so maybe leave that for when you feel you have the extra capital. A lamp on the desk would be nice; you could get the cord to the wall by either creating a small cut in the carpet (sounds awful, but it can be re-woven later by a competent carpet cleaning and restoration firm...I've done it before) or by placing the lamp on the side of the desk that you don't use to get to the chair and maybe putting an occasional chair on that side of the desk to block the cord. Two larger floor lamps flanking the sofa would be good...the lamps in the room seem under-scaled to me. The walls could be painted in a wonderful coral, maybe even with a strie finish and the ceiling in a high-gloss gold; The shallow beams are nice and bring the ceiling down a bit, which it seems, at least from your photos, to need. Paint the door casing a deeper tone, maybe brown to resemble the wood beams and cabinetry.

When you feel that you have the money, add some upholstered cornices, perhaps with nailhead trim, into the windows...they need to be softened a bit. See photo of a small library I did for the idea of the cornice.

Put two large patterned pillows on the sofa, soft and squishy. And you need a small table, a drinks table, maybe in gold metal with a glass top, so you can put a glass down at the sofa. You could also tuck a narrow bench/ottoman under the desk and pull it out when you want to relax with your feet up on the sofa. if that's a chair in the corner, pull it around a bit...it can cover the pocket doors a little; add a throw over the back or arm to give some life to the upholstery. It would be nice to go to flea markets or tag sales (whatever you call them in your area) and find nice framed paintings and prints that you love and begin to create a gallery in this room...stack them, and if you find enough, take them to the ceiling! Add some interesting bibelot to the bookcases and make that your "cabinet of curiosities". It's a charming room, just needs "life" and interest. Have the courage of your convictions on this room...it's truly yours and needs to tell a visitor that.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 1:35PM
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House of Holland - TX
OK, I'm new to houzz so I can't figure out how to get the picture over, but if you click on my page and look at my idea book marked "game rooms" there's a picture there (only one actually) that will give you the idea of the ceiling treatment.

Then for lighting, here are a couple of suggestions:

Just suggestions - there are plenty of lower cost options out there if you have time to search.

Then some ideas for wall color that I pulled for you at Home Depot when I was out earlier looking for another client:

Plum Orbit T13-10, Velvety Merlot PMD-43, Estate Vineyard PMD-63 or Black Plum PMD-62

If you go to www.behr.com you can plug these in to see what I'm talking about. I think that will give you the masculine feel you're looking for, yet enough contrast and play for your blue leather couch and oriental rug.

Hope this helps!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 2:57PM
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How about farrow & ball 'down pipe'? Great deep rich colour, goes well with guilt pictures etc. Dwell studio would have some good accessories
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 3:03PM
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A couple of lighting ideas. Both from House of Fraser. The chandelier is Shabby Chic.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
That room will look great in any dark color. If it were my office it would be blue or green. Here is a picture I did of a home office for a client.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 3:11PM
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becky S
Here is what the windows and the chair look like
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 6:25PM
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becky S
Chambers, I would love to do a lamp on the desk. Suggestions on style?
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 6:31PM
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Beyond color, have you tried rearranging the furniture? It seems that the desk chair is rather high for the accompanying couch and chair. I am thinking putting chair /desk on wall where couch is now and make bookcases area more intimate with the furniture in front. The white white of the shutters and trim on doorway doesn't seem to fit the heaviness of the wood. Maybe a stain or paint here? In this space, I would stick with lamps with brass or masculine feel to them rather than a ceiling fixture at all.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Melissa Doan - Weidel Realtors - New Hope
I would go with white/ivory walls (if there is a white in your carpet, you could match that one). Choose either plaid curtains and matching pillows (within the same color family as your rug, reds, navys) or choose another pillow/curtain pattern that coordinates with your rug. Hang either a larger art piece on the wall where the current painting hangs or go with a grouping of four. I would bring in a narrow (not deep) black simple side table, sideboard, or cabinet that functions as a dry bar when you need it. Place that below the painting or grouping of paintings and if you have extra budget, try a small vignette with topiaries/stately side lamps or sconces - federal/colonial inspired. Your desk could use a great desklamp with a black linen style shade (moderized colonial style) as well as a desk caddy. If you are going to use the color currently on the walls, i would use it on the ceiling instead.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 10:45PM
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Melissa Doan - Weidel Realtors - New Hope
For curtains go for roman shade or valance and dual pocket panels.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 10:47PM
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My husband would fall over himself if he saw your office furniture - it's just what he wants for his dream office!
As for redecorating, I think the walls definitely need some colour and agree with one of the other comments that it should tie in with the colours in the rug, either the blue or the gold. The gold would have to be a shade that also looks good with the dark wood, though, so I think the cadet blue someone suggested earlier would be a safer option.
I wouldn't worry that you have another room also painted blue, and as for the blue seats, just stick gold or red cushions on them and it won't make the room seem too blue. Blue is my favourite colour, though, so maybe I'm just biased!
I also agree that a bigger ceiling light fixture would look great. I would change the light fixture before the paintings.
I think the idea to paint the ceiling completely brown is another great suggestion (and the door frame and the window shutters). I think it's the neutral walls against the warm shades of your beautiful rug and wood furniture that makes the room feel incomplete.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 12:58AM
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bhobbsdmd: There are a number of ways you could go with a desk lamp. Since you note you use the desk to pay bills you could do a true task lamp like the larger Engraver's Desk Lamp, or the Overseas Table Lamp with black shade or the Spiral Table Lamp. If you wanted to add a touch of 1930s Paris you could consider the Longacre Tall Table and if you want tradition to reign, the NY Public Library tall table lamp (all are available from Visual Comfort). The room seems vaguely Edwardian to me, which is why I made the suggestions I did, and why I think these lamps would work.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 7:27AM
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Mary Koczwara
Briefly read through the comments and don't think I saw anyone mention painting the walls red. Red walls seem to strike fear in most hearts but at the same time many people secretly wish they had red walls in some room in their house. It is amazing how warm and inviting a red room can be and after painting a room red, many find it is their most favorite room in the house.

Work with the red color in your rug and try to find a match. You will need to purchase a few sample pots of different red colors and paint sample squares on the wall. BE SURE to apply two coats to each sample square otherwise you will not get a true sense of the color. Observe the dried samples at different times of day and with the colors of the other furnishings in your room to find the best match.

If painting all walls red is too much for you, consider painting only one - probably the one behind the sofa. Ordinarily, I'd recommend the one behind the desk but that is mostly covered with bookshelves. Consider arranging more of your art on the red well and creating even something like a gallery wall to balance the visual heaviness of the built-in bookshelves on the opposing wall.

If you decide to replace the ceiling fixture or the lamps, consider adding some brass to the room. It's traditional - like the other furnishings in the room - and will add some shine. Gold frames around the paintings would also be something to consider.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 8:23AM
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becky S
I like the living room red posted above. I will definitely look into that. I am leaning towards painting the ceiling brown to match the wood. I could also do the door casings dark brown. I am not sure on the plantation shutters though. I don't love the stark white in this room, but it is a street-facing room in a traditional georgian brick home. All of the other windows have white shutters. I looked up the table lamps- love the longacre lamp! I will put that on a birthday wish list or something for now due to cost. I found a bankers lamp today that is inexpensive and nice looking. I like the suggestions for pillows or throws. If I go with a darker red like the living room michelle posted above what color or patterns would look good on the navy sofas? The fabric on the sofa feels like a velvet- very heavy. THanks so much for all of the great thoughts and help!
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 1:18PM
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becky S
Also- am considering the dark gray posted above. Red might be too much with the mostly red rug, but the dark gray might be too dark next to the navy sofas....??
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 1:23PM
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Carolyn Warnick
the classic features of this room make me drool paint whatever you like but leave the woodwork alone dove grey would work remarkably well. don't worry about dark just layer the lighting and put it on dimmers
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:51AM
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Christina's Interiors
Which way is the room facing? An important aspect when considerin best use of colour and effect. Too dark will mean you need to use artificial light to enhance the room. Or you may create shadows. If this is where you spend time organising your bills etc the room needs to lend itself to arm and light.

Christina's Interiors uk
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Rebeca Savela
Recently, I painted my great room Celery Salt from BM. I thought of Celery Salt for this space because our area rugs and dark trim are similar. From what I've read, it seems like you are gravitating towards dark walls for a small space, but if you want a calm and relaxing colour that looks great with reds, navys and wood trim, consider it! Obviously, I would paint the celing the same colour, paint the white trim out and add some large wall art. You don't have to spend tons of money on large light fixtures. Surf the net for deals and you may find something you like discounted! Good luck
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Go for a dark, dusky green for the walls, and for the ceiling as well. I like Olympic Autumn Gray (D68-5) or Benjamin Moore "Hampshire Gray." Add texture, like a big bulky knitted throw in a big bulky basket. Add some plaid fabric: pillows; upholstered ottoman; valance or drapes; even something as subtle as plaid ribbon tacked to the cloth tapes on the blinds. Accessorize: cut glass whisky decanters, old silver loving cups, leather desk accessories. How about a sizable faux fur rug in front of the sofa. More pictures/paintings--collect them at estate and garage sales. I have an acquaintance who collects oil portraits of women--she has about 30 of them hanging in her powder room, and it's breathtaking! When you're ready to spend money again, attack that ceiling fixture; it's the icing on your cake! Wow! Have fun!
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 6:39PM
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