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The Transformation of the Study (and What Still Needs Tweaking)

February 21, 2022

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There are so many spaces that evolve as you live in your home. Some spaces you know are going to evolve, like a child’s room or a playroom, and some spaces unexpectedly evolve. With the home office is transitioning to a game room, it became necessary for the music room to function as both a music room and a work from home space. We wanted the piano to still be in this front room for piano lessons (plus I’m obsessed with the warm wood against the green), and it seemed like the natural room to have a first-floor desk.

As we started moving in all these furniture pieces, the room was disjointed, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that the furniture was competing. We kept moving things around and actually layering in more pieces! Side note: I just learned that I actually love a room to have a lot of furniture in it. It started feeling more lived in and a space that I could visualize our family in. I’m forever tweaking, but I wanted to share where we landed as of now and what still needs work.


This is how the room looked when we first moved in. There were actually double doors leading into our bedroom that we closed off. So that’s what you’re seeing on the left below.

And After!

I’m in love, I’m in love!

Everything really clicked when I decided to off-center the piano with the wall. I was very focused on having everything centered and it wasn’t flowing at all. This asymmetrical layout feels more balanced, instead of trying to fit everything in the same axis.

Mural | Chandelier | Desk |  Chair | Vase | Peonies | Credenza (similar)Buffet Lamps | Fluted Bowl | Marble Links | Planter

I’m still not sure that this is the right desk. Maybe something lighter or maybe something with more curves could look great, but it functions really well and I’m enjoying it! It has drawers on both the front and back which is really practical for a floating desk. Right now I’m storing things like paint decks and measuring tapes on the backside for easy and quick access walking into the room, and more personal items in the drawers on the side where the chair is. We love, LOVE the chair at the desk! It’s so comfortable, but it doesn’t tuck under the desk because of where the arms are and how low the desk is with the drawers. It doesn’t really bother us because we love sitting in that comfy chair so much, but if it came down to changing either, we would probably swap the desk over the chair. But I don’t even know if we’re doing that!

I originally got two smaller leather chairs for this room, but as we started shifting the furniture around, I realized they weren’t right. The scale wasn’t right and two chairs became too much for this layout. This Ralph Lauren chair from Chairish was originally for the TV room, but now it only seems right here. (plus, I kind of love the two leather chairs in the bonus room!) I’m in love and it’s so comfortable. I found this gorgeous gorgeous floor lamp so we now have a secondary workspace. Sometimes it’s nice to work from a desk, and sometimes it’s nice to cozy up in a chair!

Fringe Stools | Floor Lamp

Vase | Peonies

We tried many rugs in here, but none were the right size unfortunately. This rug, in particular, is too small for this room. I’m actually needing more of a 10×12, square shape-ed rug–which is an abnormal size, so I’m on the hunt!

On top of the piano, my idea is to layer a whole bunch of family photo frames. I’m starting to collect some from around the house, but I’m hoping to find some more! I love displaying these sentimental moments like this.

I wanted to wait for all the furniture to be in and settled before deciding to add sconces to the wall. With the lamps on the credenza, I’m not sure we need sconces! Plus I imagine I’ll continue tweaking this space and I don’t want to do something permanent on the wallpaper! (I can’t put a whole in it yet!!)

Sometimes when something’s new in your house, your eyes just need time to adjust. I feel like our eyes are adjusting and we’re settling right into this space! But I know it will continue to evolve over time. I just wanted to share with you where we are with it now because that is a large part of the process. Moving things around and letting spaces naturally evolve.

Shop The Study


Other Posts About the Study

Music Room Becomes the Study + a Mood Board

DIY Custom Layered Wainscoting

Deciding on a Paint Color

The Mural is In the Study!!

Bubble Light Love Story

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What do you think?

  1. Stephanie says:

    As others have said, thanks for sharing your process! So fun and interesting to see this room coming together. Have you considered a lucite desk? Maybe one with a traditional shape/details, positioned slightly closer to the window wall? I feel like that could be another modern element to the room that would complement the bubble light and let the more traditional elements of the room shine.

  2. Nancy Hood says:

    I would not change one thing!! It has a classic much used loved look and although it’s new, you’d never ER know it. Girl, the wallpaper has me entranced. It’s to die for♥️

  3. Susan says:

    Love everything! I’m curious what you will choose for window coverings now that the shutters are gone. Do you need to control the sunlight for fading? (Especially of that gorgeous mural) Also, any need for privacy at night?

  4. A.B. says:

    Can you cut out the back of the credenza and make it a desk? Yes to sconces!

  5. I love the mural so much and the modern chandelier paired with it, makes me wish I could have afforded to mural all the walls in our dining room! We could only do one, but this looks SO much better!

  6. Jocelyn says:

    As you are on the hunt for the awkward size rug, could you please share your finds? For round too! We need both a round and square rug and I would trust your suggestions. They are hard to find. Thanks!

  7. Judith says:

    I love what you’ve done with the space, it has a very English Manor feel to it, but the kind of room that’s been lived in for generations, not the stiff formal kind.

    One thing I’d try is to move the desk over to the right, maybe to where in the picture the sun spot starts. I feel you were totally right with where you put the piano, but also that the room could do with even less centered-ness. Right now, the back/middle part feels a bit heavy, and moving the desk over some might give a little more room to breathe and match the somewhat playful tone you created with the mural, while also balancing the piano on the left. The credenza alone likely is substantial enough to still provide a centered anchor. And with a bigger rug, it will all still feel grounded.

    Could be it doesn’t look good at all of course, but it’s something I’d try for sure.

  8. Dawn says:

    Beautifully cozy – a lovely place to work and contemplate!

  9. Erica says:

    Every time you share a new space in your house I think I cannot possibly love anything more…and then there’s another room that makes my heart stop. This is gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing your process :)

  10. Olivia says:

    😍. Would you post a pic of the view of what the room looks like if you were sitting at your desk? My favorite pics ate the ones showing the chair in the corner and the pic is the corner of the desk. Dreamy

  11. Kristy Henry says:

    Wow, so stunning.

  12. Kelly says:

    I love seeing your process. This room is so warm and cozy feeling! I love how the shades on the lamps on the credenza and calling back to the color of the desk. They look like they should be framing something. A large, metal framed, arch-topped mirror leaned between them would reflect the lovely chandelier and bounce the light around. I think that would counter the heaviness you describe. Can’t wait to see how it evolves as you live in the space.

  13. Lindsey says:

    Love love love how this is coming together!! Wasn’t sure about the bubble light when you first shared but its so perfect!! Thanks for sharing your process :)

  14. Jonelle says:

    Are you going to bring the guitars back or will they be utilized somewhere else in the house? I was so envious of your previous music room with all the instruments and record player etc… This room is stunning, you have such a knack for making any style home feel right and have the Marcum spin. Can’t wait to see things evolve more over time.

  15. Jackie says:

    Hi – where do you keep all of your sheet music and music books? I am looking for a solution for this in our home.

  16. Lindsay says:

    Gorgeous!! I love how you pull from other rooms to make it feel right. Have you considered picture railing for your crown moulding? Won’t work for sconces but it’s an easy way to hang frames without putting holes in your wall. I think it was traditionally used to protect plaster walls but would work perfectly in here. Thanks for sharing your beautiful home!

  17. Jenny B says:

    I love this room. I love that it’s not matchy matchy. It reminds me of A Room with A View

  18. kim weigand says:

    I love it like it is for now…let it settle with you for a bit and I think you will be more able to decide if and what it needs!! LOVE!

  19. Kelly says:

    It’s so stunning already! The mural and green molding are just *chef’s kiss*. And the wood tone of the piano really does pair beautifully with the green!

    Just a small suggestion: I love the floating desk idea, but would switch out the credenza for something longer and maybe less similar in color to the piano. Have you though about building a low built-in bookcase that stops at the bottom of mural and is painted the same green? Not only would it be functional and “study-like”, but would help settle the eye around the desk.

    FABULOUS job! <3

    • Ellen says:

      I agree. The combination desk and credenza makes it a little too ‘dense’ in that area, I think because they’re the same size? I think the whole room looks beautiful! Are you bringing back the guitars in this room or are they going somewhere else?

    • JL says:

      I agree with you and Ellen. It currently feels a bit too busy. But, I don’t think it’s because of the amount of furniture. I love your suggestion of a wall-to-wall, built-in bookcase, painted in a complimentary green; either built to the ground or floating. Perhaps, with a darker wood counter. Those lamps are my favorites, but I don’t think they work in here as well as the entry. I think sconces would be perfect in this space. Whether the desk stays or not, I think the darker wood tone helps to ground the space and is a nice contrast to that glorious chandelier.

  20. Jenni says:

    The piano and the wall mural are my two favorites in this space. I agree the desk feels out of place but works for now. The credenza feels very modern for the room but again I love where you are going with it. It takes time to get an awkward space how you want it.

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