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Put a Fork in it: The Study is Officially Finished!

May 30, 2023

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Only two weeks have passed since I wrote this cautionary tale on using high-gloss paint. Which means just two weeks ago, I was in total agony, feeling defeated with the vision I had for the study. The study and I have been on quite the rollercoaster, but I’m beyond pleased and utterly relieved to say that the study is officially finished! Whew. So sit back and let’s take a little journey and visit how the study has progressed in two years’ time.


Before we even moved in, we had the cherry wood flooring replaced with white oak and stained in a custom-mixed medium-light stain throughout the entire house. We also closed up that cased-in doorway on the left side, which led to our primary bedroom, and painted all the walls and trim White Flour by Sherwin Williams.

August 2021

Credenza | ArtCoffee Table | Rug | Sofa | Round Mirror | Swivel Chairs | Chest | Lamp | Tapered Shade | Floral Vase | A Tale of Interiors | Still Coffee Table Book

This was how we initially arranged the study shortly after moving in, with all existing decor and furnishings we brought with us. These are make it work moments and I live for them. Home takes time and it’s nice to put things in A spot even if it might not be THE spot until you get around to it.

January 2022

Rug | Ottoman | Throw Pillow | Upholstered Chair

If you remember from our moving debacle, our piano was held hostage, and at this point, we finally got it back and planned for this room to be the music room. (Since I know you’re curious, there’s no update on that movers situation. The FBI has taken over and we have moved on and feel at peace about that.) The more we adjusted to living here, I imagined this room having more function and purpose to it. It’s also one of the only rooms in the house that’s not a “pass-through” room, which we wanted to take advantage of, making it more tucked away and private. A perfect spot to work from home.

February 2022

Mural | Chandelier | Desk |  Chair | Vase | Peonies | Credenza | Buffet Lamps | Fluted Bowl | Fringe Stool

Here’s what the study looked like after adding wainscoting, painting it a taupey-green, and installing the mural.

June 2022

Mural | Chandelier | Desk | Chair | Fringe Stool | Vase | Peonies | Table Lamp | Credenza (similar) | Mirror | Buffet Lamps | Floor Lamp 

It didn’t take me long before I decided THAT green wasn’t it for me. Just a couple months later, we picked out a blue-gray paint color (Boothbay Gray), and we repainted it, this time painting the ceiling.

November 2022

Mural | Rug | Chandelier | Table | Desk Chair | Ottoman | Sling Chairs | Fringe Stool

The desk we got was too small for the room (and later found a perfect spot in the kitchen–I love a kitchen desk!) and we brought in a table that fits the room a lot better and is more spacious to work at.I love that it’s open, too! Finding a layout for the study was always a struggle. I spent time on my Instagram stories moving furniture around over and over again. It wasn’t until we got his stunning table that it started to click more.


Getting from the blue-painted study, to where we are today involves choosing to repaint it with a dark green color, narrowing the opening, and adding custom built-in cabinetry and pocket doors. Oh, and most importantly, after nightmares and headaches, our painters finally nailed the high-gloss paint, and it looks better than ever!



This angle really captures the transformation of narrowing the opening from 96″ to 60″ to lend more wall space for the built-ins and give us more reasonable dimensions for pocket doors.

Shop our study

Here’s how it looks from the other direction, so you can see the narrowed opening that allowed for so much storage, and even more privacy with pocket doors.



Adding the built-ins to give us some functional yet beautiful storage was absolutely necessary. We used a local cabinet builder and I drew out what we wanted, including depth, number of shelves and what we wanted for the closed storage. I’ve been envisioning styling these shelves for months, and they look even better than I thought they would.

Shop the shelves



I’m in love, I’m in love.

The drawers serve as storage for cords, scissors, pens, pencils, sticky notes, and all things “office.” And the cabinets are actually more than just “cabinets.” One side is a pull-out filing cabinet, and the other has a pull-out for our printer. Up until now, we didn’t have a place to tuck away all those “ugly” but necessary things.

Study Sources

After our painters had quite the journey troubleshooting the high-gloss paint, they eventually sanded, primed, and repainted with an oil-based paint line called Fine Paints of Europe color matched to Topsoil by Benjamin Moore. Rather than spraying, they applied it with a combination of brushing and rolling, and it has incredible self-leveling properties. I would 100% recommend it, but apparently, it can be a bit temperamental, and you have to know what you’re doing. (Definitely a job for the pros!)

The finish is mirror-like, and it feels so incredible to see the vision I had for this room come together. I’m glad we didn’t settle the first time around when I thought it was “good enough.” Cricket thinks so too.

I say this pretty much every time we finish a project, but this is my new favorite view in the entire house. Renovation never comes without bumps and derailments, and despite sometimes having a vulnerability hangover, I love being able to document and share the process with all of you. Thank you for cheering this room on. I couldn’t be happier with every inch.

Room Sources:

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Top Soil
Wood Floors
Ceiling Medallion
Velvet Chairs
Pedestal Table
Fringe Stool
Brass Trash Can
Standing Lamp
Stone Vase

Desk Sources:
Desk Chair
Leather Desk Mat
Handled Vase
Marble Bowl
Coffee Table Books

Shelf Sources:
Picture Light
Bin Pulls
Ball Knobs
Hestia Bust
Display Easel
Leather Box
Marble Bookends
Wrapped Lidded Container
Footed Bowl
Ball Objects
Brass Wall Plates

Other posts about the study:

First time we set up the study (formerly known as the music room)
The music room becomes the study + a mood board
DIY custom layered wainscoting
The 5 times we’ve done wainscoting
Deciding on a paint color for the study
The mural is in the study!
The transformation of the study (and what still needs tweaking)
A budget breakdown of the study + look for less
Repainting and rethinking the study
The new table in the study
Transforming the study into a formal dining room
Our plans to add pocket doors and built-in shelves in the study
Third time’s a charm–choosing a paint color for the study again
The study mood board 2.0
Renovation progress in the study
Painting the study a glossy dark green
7 incredible dark green paint colors for interiors
Revealing the high gloss, custom built-in cabinetry in the study
Upgrading the switch plates and outlets
A Cautionary tale about high-gloss paint

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What do you think?

  1. LaDonna Barnhill says:

    So happy to see that you are not afraid of color and classic style! Love that you were brave and used the mural/wallpaper and accessorized boldly! Bravo!

  2. Brittany says:

    Oh Julia! You NAILED it! It’s encouraging to see someone courageous enough to know not to give up when it just doesn’t feel right. I get sick to my stomach when after all the effort, it just isn’t right, so thank you for confidence boost that that’s ok! Each phase of the study was nice, some even lovely, but this is BEYOND.

  3. Donna Kane says:

    Absolutely stunning! I love how you didn’t give up on your dream for that room.

  4. Lorel says:

    Looks amazing. I forgot you used to have the piano in the study. Where did you end up placing the piano? I’m having a hard time finding the right spot for ours. Thanks.

  5. Megan Brugh says:

    Absolutely stunning! Thank you for sharing the process and transformation.

  6. Harriet says:

    From yawn to WOW! The study is fantastic! I am wondering what the height of the room is and how do you find your contractors?

  7. Sydney85 says:

    Sorry for the hassles you went through but the study is really gorgeous!

  8. angela says:

    It’s beautiful! It has so much depth and character!

  9. Tammie McIntire says:

    Wow I have never seen such a beautiful study. I am currently working on building an “office/library” and I need some inspiration. I love the moodiness of the greens and browns. I want to go for a “dark academia” style and have some dark green chairs that have some stains from previous moves and kids… thankfully the last time my carpet cleaners came, they cleaned my furniture as well. I’m curious about the high gloss paint, do you think all colors look better in gloss or should I try matte?

  10. Marie says:

    Beautiful greens and browns that are warm and inviting. The mural is such a stunning statement and focal point too. I love all the small, appointed details.
    Also, (if they’re faux), can you please share where you purchased the dark green hydrangeas in the vase on your desk?

  11. Kayce says:

    In love as always. Now you just need a boss a** b*tch pic in your office chair 😎

  12. Emily says:

    Looks amazing! Just wondering where you ended up moving the piano and the other instruments?

  13. Laurel says:

    Hi Chris & Julia&Cricket! I’m so glad you shared the evolution of this room with us! Your paint team are artists. Can’t wait to see what you do next.

  14. Katy Thompson says:

    This room feels like a hug now!

  15. Alesha Thompson says:

    LOVE IT! Wow, it’s absolutely stunning. And I really appreciate y’all sharing the in-betweens and hiccups along the way.

  16. It turned out absolutely beautiful!!! Loved seeing how your vision took twists and turns, and ultimately where you landed.

  17. Ann Justice says:

    It’s stunning! I’m so glad you kept going with your gut and what felt “right” to you❤️. I really love it!

  18. Jen says:

    We’re considering built ins for our study as well. Curious the dimensions on these here? Love the gloss paint finish!

  19. REK981 says:

    SWOON! I love, Love, LOVE the glossy shine of the paint!

  20. Kala says:

    You have done it again! So so stunning!! It honestly feels so historic and aged (in the best way), but also incredibly sleek and modern! How is that possible?! You are definitely a design genius Julia!! Bravo!

  21. Katy says:

    It’s so gorgeous! I also love seeing all the iterations before it got to where is is. It really looked beautiful in all versions and goes to show that you can make a great space before you get to your final vision.

  22. Susan MacEachern says:

    I love this deep forest, green color the best. It’s rich and historic and goes with all the deep greens outside landscaping. Glad the final journey ended up successfully.

  23. MICHELLE says:

    Where is that tray from?

  24. Kelsey says:

    This is just perfect! I love your style so much. The process was worth the wait

  25. Jessica says:

    I think my favorite part of this room’s whole journey is how you loved it and used it along the way from beginning to where it’s at now. So often I find myself saying “eh that room needs to be redone, I’ll just keep the door closed” etc. What a nice reminder that things can be “good enough for right now” and enjoyed as it is.

  26. Sydney85 says:

    What a joy the study is ! Absolutely stunning. Can I have two favorites? I love the kitchen and the study. This does not include the outside backyard/swimming pool/barbecue area. I guess I have 3 favorites. Very, very well done.

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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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