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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
The next project we’re checking off our 2023 project list is the mudroom! This used to be the laundry room until we built out a much bigger, better laundry room upstairs. So, in the meantime, this space has been exclusively Cricket’s room. Cricket will still have a special space here, but we’re transforming this dingy […]
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