Monday, March 12, 2012

My Home Office Saga

Can I vent for a moment? About my home office? Because I'm about to embark on a seventh coat of paint and a fifth design scheme and I need some support.

I posted about this room over a year ago, and let me tell you that the proposed scheme went nowhere. Nowhere. I find that when I have a design plan and it feels right, I get it done. No dilly-dallying - I pull triggers with a big smile on my face and my rooms can come together VERY quickly. And that is how most of my home has been...except for this dreaded guest bedroom which will also double as my home office.

I think that's the issue too. Because this space is uniquely mine...a place where I will design and create...I feel extra pressure that it should be very representative of me and an inspiring nook for me to work in. And I think I need to chill on that because it's creating design roadblocks.

About a month ago, I was visiting a favorite fabric shop and found a small remnant of China Seas' Turtle Batik in the orange colorway. Took it home with no plan for its use until a flash of brilliance suggested that it was the perfect new inspiration for my home office. If you follow me on Twitter, you saw me post this photo hinting at my idea...

Pelmet boxes would be replaced with the fabric, showcasing my signature color of orange. A Cowtan & Tout ikat that I love and haven't used would grace the bed. Walls would be painted a sophisticated tan. And gold accents would abound. Sounds glorious, right?

Well, I executed that plan and it was all wrong. ALL WRONG. The room, with paint and pelmet boxes, turned out completely dark and very heavy-traditional (since it also doubles as a guest bedroom, I have a beautiful dark wood four-poster bed). I am likely exaggerating because the combination wasn't all that bad, but it was nothing like what I want my office to be.

I have now painted the room five or six times. It's not a huge room, but a paint job for a full room can still suck a weekend from you. And I've done it five or six times. And I'm about to do it again.

Since my Turtle Batik disaster, I launched a search for a new fabric that would truly create the space I want...even though I have no idea what I'm looking for. After a couple of weeks of eBay hunting, I came across ten yards of a pretty vintage Waverly Schumacher (were they merged at one point?) floral with a mint-jade background and all of my favorite colors as accents (except no orange, which is a bummer).

Pictures from the eBay listing (excuse the blurriness and the china set - apparently this fabric has a matching china pattern):

I was actually staying away from florals, but something about this fabric caught my attention. I think the bounty of colors makes it feel special. And I've been slightly obsessed with the color mint as of late, so it spoke to my inner mint-lover.

I'm going to paint the walls the same color as the fabric's background - the minty jade tone. Very pretty. I have a pair of vintage lamps that I picked up from Jenny's sale a long time ago that I have always slated for use in this room. They will get pagoda lampshades.

I'm going to pick up a large, modern desk from IKEA (it's actually the one I use at my office at WeddingWire, and I love it) and use a vintage desk chair that I've had for a while, covered in a new fabric.

We'll see y'all. I'm a little jaded, pun intended. I have high hopes for this plan, but something about this room seems to ruin all of my best intentions. I'll keep you posted.

Do you have a room that has been the bane of your decorating existence? Do share.


  1. I think it sounds beautiful. And since the mint flora is a lot smaller pattern, maybe you could still use the big-scale orange floral as a pillow or something? Can't wait to see the room. I'm having the same trouble with my bedroom. I can sympathize! :)

  2. I am the same way....I posted a while back about a Suzani I was going to use in our guest room. I even had a commenter email me and say to wait for something I loved b/c she knew it wasn't my style. I was the same.....waited and waited and when I finally found what I knew was right I jumped all over it. The fabric came off backorder last week and I was so excited to get my cfa. I am sure you will get it need to rush and be unhappy, right? Good luck!

  3. The fabric has a De Gournay feel to it. I love this. I am so curious as to the Ikea desk you chose?

  4. I am struggling with a Master Bedroom - finding a fabric that is the perfect color. I think the folks at Quadrille are sick of seeing me. That being said, have you considered any other quadrille or china seas patterns? Often they can really move more traditional furniture away from being traditional and into something more modern. Might fix your bed scenario!

  5. Hate it when a project goes south.... Lovely print you have chosen ~ flirty + feminine = perfect for your personal space. Sidebar ~ Schumacher does own Waverly (they created it in 20's to have an affordable brand) & the Kaufmann group has spruced up the design decidedly over the past couple of years.

  6. Daniella: I have a suggestion - maybe the bed is tripping you up a little...I have a four poster and have taken off the posts at the end of the bed opened up the room immensely (and less vertical dark wood jutting up in the middle of space). I haven't seen any word about the amount of natural light you have, but it could have a lot of impact. Both of your fabrics/schemes are lovely - you have to stick with the one that takes your breath away. Best of luck - looking forward to the results.

  7. I think I have been in that place way too many times...I buy a fabric that catches my eye and then when I incorporate it into my space it just does not hold that "ahh" power that it did when I bought it. The good thing is that I truly believe when you buy what you "love" you will always be able to use it at some point, somewhere in your house. I love both fabrics you picked. I think a desk done in that beautiful bright pink would be great in the room. Good luck- I bet it will turn out beautiful!

  8. I have been there all too often when it concern my spaces. What is that cautionary rule about a lawyer representing themselves? Well, you know as well as I that we design folk are far too controlling to let someone else take the reins. Maybe that is the answer. Perhaps, if you work the gas and the brakes, so to speak, a trusted design pal could help steer.

  9. Soft grayish lavender walls to keep it soothing for guests, orange fabric to keep you energized and motivated to work

  10. Anonymous3/12/2012

    I love the orange print, it's too bad that it didn't work out! Maybe if you add a geometric print to the orange floral, it would make it less traditional looking?

    The green floral, definitely makes a lighter impact on the space but I fear that it may look to "grandma'ish" and not insprirational for your office...but maybe it's the teacups that are throwing me off - what do I know! lol!!

    Whatever you choose, as long as YOU LOVE IT - that is the most important thing. Go for what you love and you can't go wrong.

  11. Love your post - feeling your pain! In the middle of my home office make over. Linked your post in my post tonight:

    Hope that is OK with you. Have a great day!

  12. Anonymous3/13/2012

    Daniela, I was looking at your lead-in blue room and wondered why you didn't go for something in that vein. Looking at that color I feel a fresh breeze blowing through the room. I have found too much pattern weighs down the thought process, especially earth tones. Mint green would work too, but in a geometric, easy on the floral for the office. I never use beige/grey in a thinking area; it tends to cloud the mind. My two cents.

  13. I know exactly how you feel. My office is the one area of our house that is MINE, and everything in there looks the way it does because I love it. It's no great shakes, and I'm still working on it, but it is my getaway room, my haven. So imagine my delight (NOT) when I got home on Thursday to find that my dear husband had ransacked it looking for "baby photos and wrapping paper"!!! The entire closet was all over the room and every surface was covered in piles of stuff he unearthed from somewhere, rifled through, and left out. I wanted to vomit. On him.

    For what it's worth, I love the latest fabric and have been lusting after those lamps (no joke) since you first posted about them. If they ever disappear, I had nothing to do with it ;)

    Good luck!! Everyone needs a "room of one's own," right?



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