Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Great Office Room Make Over: Part One

My office room has been begging for a re-do ever since we moved in. It was a child's bedroom in its previous avatar and so came with a wall border that involved trains and such like and a carpeted floor, which, we were assured by the realtor was covering hardwood floors. 

I remember that my first ever plan was to use a southwest inspired color scheme. I even bought faux suede curtain panels, with leather like detailing on the panels that I still kinda like. Those curtains are now faded, but that makeover never happend. Next I wanted a zen scheme with calming greens and earthy tones. I remember bringing home several test colors not one of which I liked. Those test patches -- actually smears, because those horrible painting sponge-popsicles things are no good for anything-- remained in place for years.

This year I revisited the office room make over with renewed vigor. Eleven years after I first intended to re-do it! This time the theme was to make it into a bright, creativity inspiring place where I would want to spend time. The fundamental thing about this room is that there is not enough sunlight despite having windows on both the exterior walls. They are typical ranch house windows of the '50s and they face the Northeast and Southeast corners with the southeast side overlooking "dense forest" so, there is pretty much no light.

I don't like to spend time anywhere there is no natural light, so I decided that this room needed a solar tube skylight. Finally, after months of planning the solar light was installed in June. Wow! What a difference! The room glowed like an art museum. In fact it reminded me of Monet's home in Giverny, France where his water lily paintings are on display. 

OK. Maybe that is a bit of a stretch, but the fact still remains that art looks the best when viewed in natural white light. Even if it is some cheap art you buy at some department store. 

I tried several yellows and finally settled for Behr's low VOC melted butter, which is a primer and paint in one. All those test patches of color on the wall made me think that I should probably paint the accent wall in the Rothko style. Wouldn't that be awesome? A whole wall as your canvas!

The wall border and the paint samples

I painted the walls without removing the wall border because I remembered what a lot of effort it took to remove the wall paper in my master bath a few years ago. Three coats of paint later, I changed my mind. You could still see a ghost of the wall border through all that paint. So I ended up removing the wall border after all! Tip: removing a painted-on wall border is a lot tougher than removing an unpainted on wall border! Tip2: Using a squirt bottle with very hot water and a wall paper scorer works just as well as a commercial wall paper remover!

Next stop, accent colors! The Rothko style painting with the colors I had on the wall would be too much on the bright side. I wanted a darker, more sophisticated looking wall that would balance all the happy cheeriness of the yellow. (Why??? Why would you want to balance happiness with anything you ask? Well because of yin and yang people. Because of yin and yang. Without both, it just isn't balanced!) 

So I decided it would have to be some form of gray. But what gray? Well, I tried two colors: Behr's Amphibian and Dark Ash and painted squares of these colors on the soon to be accent wall.
Don't paint over wall border. It's simply not worth it. The two grays and the deep orange

So which color will the accent wall be? To find out, click here.

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Ptchgm said...

"VOC melted butter". wow! Not just butter, but melted butter. I would have gone for it too :)

Virtual Offices Florida said...

Good job!Awesome content and great images. Definitely learned a lot from this.