Before and After: The Girls’ Office Reveal!

October 20, 2020

We believe we should all love where we live.

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Over the last couple months, we’ve been working on the girls’ office/homework/art room and we’re excited to share some after photos with you today!! We get a lot of interesting comments when we say it’s the “kids’ office” because it’s pretty grand of a space. But it’s actually just the home office (very common in our neck of the woods) that we have designated for our girls’ use. When we first bought this home, it looked like this:

And it was one of those nice-to-have spaces at the time, right on the main level of the house, with a wide open doorway, so we could peek in and help when needed. (No, we have no plans to add a door–our office is elsewhere and it does have a door). It was the perfect spot for all of the papers that come with kids and they did their homework in there, too. But it also has become a spot for creating! We keep the cabinets stocked with art supplies and paper and crafty things. But at the end of last school year, when everything went virtual, I realized we hit the lottery with not only having this space, but also being able to dedicate it to the girls for use…but it definitely started with serious serious home office for an executive (??) vibes.

Over the last couple months, we lightened and brightened it up. Added a little whimsy and personality while still making it fit into our modern cottage–it’s one of the first rooms you pass when you walk in the front door and it’s such a delight to see now. Here’s how it looks now!

We mostly worked with the major players in place (with exception of a new window that went along with our exterior renovation and new floors installed last year).

But the cabinets, countertops, molding, coffered ceiling–they just got fresh paint and new hardware in the last couple months. And then, of course, the wallpaper made all the difference!  It brought LIFE into this room.

If you missed part of the process, you can check out these posts:

The Kid Office Mood Board
Progress + Paint in the Girls’ Office
Staining the Countertop from a Dark Cherry to a White Oak Look


As much as I wanted the space to look good and feel good, we also made sure it was filled to the brim with function and functional decor. Instead of art, we went for a big pin board so they could hang their own art!

Hooks in the corner for backpacks!

And as much as I love a good shelfie, these shelves are filled with everything they use often! Below, markers and pins (in the little wooden box) sit atop the girls’ secret stash of collectables. (It’s an old Boll & Branch box they cherish!). And next to a bin of coloring books.

From a lower angle, you can see the box Chris built under the desk for all of the cords and electronics, cables and modems! It’s a hard-working hub.

I corralled notebooks and crayons and a stapler in a pretty and big basket on the right. A basket or tray is the easiest way to make things that would normally look like clutter feel intentional instead.

Let’s do one last walk down memory lane:

Here’s another fun angle:

The girls spend a lot of time in here and we spend a lot of time in here as a family, too! And it’s so nice that it now feels so much lighter and refreshing and like our family and a part of our home! All the sources below!


Paint Color: Accessible Beige by Sherwin Williams
Window: Pella Architect Series
Floors: Ingrid by Stuga Studio
Pom Pom Throw Pillow
Cream/Rust Throw Pillow
Gray Checkered Throw Pillow
Side Table
Floor Lamp
Wall Hook
Office Chair
Cabinet Bin Pulls
Cabinet Knobs
Paper Drawers
Pen Holders
Paper Magazine Holders
Copper Canister
Faux Fig Stems
Woven Tray
Mahogany Candle
ProperTee Mug
Gold Stapler


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What do you think?

  1. Avni says:

    Love this room. How can I use some of these design elements for my girl’s tiny, windowless, basement “office”. Your help/ input would be appreciated. Thanks so much!

  2. Shelby says:

    This space is so inviting! It has totally changed my vision for our front room (currently playroom but wanting to transition over to office, that still can function as a playroom without screaming playroom since it’s the first room anyone sees in our house). I’m curious where the beige couch that was previously in there is from. I’m also looking for new couches for our main living space!

  3. carrie says:

    This turned out beautifully! Totally jealous of your kiddos. :) It would be so fun to work in such a beautiful space. Well done!

  4. mimi says:

    That 4 foot pin board is AWESOME ! Thank you for sharing where you purchased it.
    Where is the vase from that is holding the dried hydrangea??? I looked on the mood board post & it wasn’t listed there either. By chance do you remember where you purchased that lovely round vase? p.s. can’t wait to see what the Marcums are wearing for Halloween this year.

  5. Becky H says:

    Love the whimsical feel here, and you actually notice all of the wood detail now! At the beginning of your remodel, you said your trim was SW Accessible Beige at 75 %, is your new trim and these cabinets at 75% now?

  6. Dawn says:

    Gorgeous! Curious…what size is this room? Trying to visualize mine! ????

  7. Deb Daly says:

    Where is the white pot from? So pretty!

  8. Deb Daly says:

    Where is the white flower pot from? So beautiful!

  9. Kari says:

    Love!!! Is the accessible beige at 75% like the trim in the main floor or is it just standard accessible beige?

  10. Abby says:

    I love it finished! Even more, loved watching the bits of progress on stories! What a fun space for your girls. My brain is curious about one little thing – I can’t help but wonder if you could fit two pin boards, side by side, oriented the other way? Just curious how that would fill (or overwhelm?) the space. Seems you could go a little bigger! More art :)

  11. Kate says:

    Somehow every room you do becomes my new favorite room.

  12. jen says:

    Such a stunning transformation! The room is so beautiful, serene and just full of good vibes! What a great space for your girls to be spending so much time in. Well done!

  13. Laura says:

    This room speaks…saying come in, sit down, homework? nap? You are in the right place. That couch tucked under that wallpaper is so inviting. It would not matter to me if there was not a desk chair for me. I would grab a book and park in the corner of that green dandy until there was a me sized dent in the cushion.
    I love your vision. You keep up with the visions and I will continue to live vicariously. (I’ll be in the girls’ office!)

  14. JL says:

    ~SIGH~ this is just so good! From the mix of patterns with the rug, wallpaper and pillows, to the architectural layers of the shiplap and coffered ceiling; this room is so welcoming. I know you’ve said your girls don’t care so much about decor, but you can’t tell me this room doesn’t make them happy when they walk in! I see you got that little side table you were gushing over (so cute!). I think the blinds you’ve installed in your and Greta’s bedrooms would make the perfect window treatment for this space. WELL DONE Julia.

    (P.S. I have my fingers crossed for the addition of a coffered ceiling to the music room as well. It would bring some continuity to your main floor gathering spaces with an architectural feature overhead….)

    • Julia says:

      Yes! They LOVE well designed spaces. They have so much pride in them, they just don’t have much input at this point. They love coming home from school and hanging out in here!

  15. Tracy says:

    Amazing! You have such vision. I didn’t get how it was all going to come together from the mood board, but you did it again :).

  16. Erin says:

    Another amazing space-well done! Would love to know if the girls ever express any desire to give input on the spaces you design for them. My daughter always seems to have ALL the opinions ;) I’m dying to see your home exterior, any chance you will be making an appearance on Dream Home Makeover?!?

    • Julia says:

      Our girls have been really indifferent about designing things themselves, but they LOVE coming home to designed spaces. But they don’t really care to be involved. And we won’t be making an appearance on Dream Home Makeover, but have loved watching!!!!

  17. Tasha says:

    Looks great! Is the wall color at 25 percent?

  18. Christina says:

    This is absolutely darling, Julia!! Can it be my office?!!! I think you did a marvelous job of designing a room that works well with the flow of the rest of the house, but still feels like a special spot. It’s the perfect balance of girly and classic. And there’s no question of form vs function here – Team Both! xo

  19. Lara says:

    Hi Julia – Can you please share the source for the marble tray? Thanks!

  20. Jen says:

    Looks amazing!!!! Is that wall vent cover on upside-down? If you flip it, you should no longer be able to see through it.

  21. Caitlin says:

    This is beautiful! When you showed the mood board I kinda rolled my eyes because it looked bland (is that tmi? woops!). But in my defense, I am not a visualization person so mood boards don’t always inspire me lol. Now that it’s finished it looks so good! I love the plaid with the tree–you’re great at mixing pattern–and I have been drooling over that couch ever since you shared it on your mood board. I like how colorful the whole room is while also being neutral. I would love to do homework in this room!

  22. Karen F says:

    so good. SO. GOOD.

  23. Traci says:

    Beautiful! Can you share if this is regular old accessible beige or the changed formula that everyone seems to be doing these days? Thanks

  24. Meredith says:

    What a wonderful space for your girls!! Love the wallpaper so much :)

    Down the road is there room for a third chair for Polly, or do you think Greta might move to studying in her room as she gets older?

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Julia says:

      I think we’ll just be flexible. Growing up, we had 1 computer and there were 5 of us. I do know times are different and technology is a more integral part of learning but when that time comes, we’ll be sure to share how we adjust if we do.

  25. Alesha says:

    I am IN LOVE with this! And how great that y’all have a perfect space to corral all the school things: Papers, projects, etc… it’s SO GOOD!

  26. Amber Wallace says:

    I seriously love how you made the existing parts of the room shine! Such a functional and happy family space. And the stain is SO good!

  27. Cristina says:

    Beautiful as always! The details of this room are so well-done. What a sweet space for your girls. <3

  28. Brooke bullard says:

    It’s so good! The mix of patterns, the colors, the coziness and utility. Such a great space to grow with your girls too!

  29. Cristen Voorhies says:

    This room looks amazing! Great Job! Question about the sofa.. Do you find you have to fluff the seat cushion? I love the look of this sofa for our new build but do want a cushion that is structured and doesn’t require fluffing. Thank in advance!

  30. Alisa says:

    That shelf under the countertop is GENIUS!

  31. Susan says:

    So, do the girls fight over the fact that there are only 2 chairs? My 3 would…do you have plans for 3 stations or are you assuming the oldest will soon migrate to a different spot? I realize the youngest isn’t likely using a computer but if it’s also a craft station I imagine she must

  32. Sarah says:

    Gorgeous transformation! Will you end up replacing the current furnace grill cover with a custom sized one up near the ceiling?

  33. I love this room. I love that other than the window, it’s all cosmetic changes. The proof of how paint and some wallpaper can completely change a room!

  34. Mary says:

    I LOVE this room! I have 3 kids myself and we have an office space dedicated for kids homework, etc. Any tips on keeping it tidy and what to do with all the art they create? Papers everywhere in our house!!

    • Jennifer says:

      I only kept my absolutely favorite art. Its hard to choose,I know. But pick the worthy ones & discard the other.Its really the only way to control it.
      Each child gets a plastic container with a lid for “keepsakes” that fits on a shelf. Make it small enough that it makes you think about what you really ‘think’is worthy of keeping. Think of it as prime real estate.????

      Once you get in a rhythm of this, it will get easier. I use to keep school papers & then I was like, this is crazy???? It got out of hand quick!!Got rid of it. Kept the special art from school and any momento type thing.
      This has help me a lot. Im a mom to 2 girls.

  35. Christina says:

    Stunning! Can this be my office, please?
    Do you think you’ll eventually add another desk so all three girls have a spot to work, or can you squeeze in a third chair in the middle?
    Congrats on a great job!!

  36. Maggie says:

    Wow wow wow. I love the overall feel so much. So functional. Thanks for the inspiration.

  37. Christine Lema says:

    Great mix of pattern!

  38. Emily says:

    I love the couch (it’s perfect!) and that wallpaper is ????. Such a gorgeous transformation!!

  39. Evelyn says:

    Love how you tackled this space in stages! You have such a vision and it’s inspiring. What an awesome room to have!

  40. Cori says:

    What a nice bright workspace for the girls! I love it. ☺️

  41. Mel says:

    It’s absolutely beautiful Julia! I’m in love. Do you think you’ll add window treatments?

  42. Ashley says:

    Beautiful! I was hoping you would explain the reason and logic behind spray painting the cabinets with the doors on and closed? I’ve never seen that method! Did I miss the explanation somewhere?

  43. Jeanne says:

    Oh this transformation is amazing! The wall paper is perfection and I just love all the details. So functional but so pretty! I bet the girls love it in here ????

  44. Tracy says:

    Soooo gorgeous. ???????????? It reminds me of a modern tree house with all the wallpaper and green sofa. Fantastic job as always CLJ ????

  45. cait :) says:

    its amazing!!! ???????? ugh that couch is SOO good!! was the shiplap behind the desk area the big box store premade shiplap painted or is it planks of wood. again, obsessed! thank you for your brilliant design!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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