before & after :: A surprise office makeover
Friday, February 4, 2011 by {darlene}

For hubby’s birthday this year I had a brilliant idea; thanks to this amazing girl, and the fact that hubby had a 3 day business trip on his b-day.

The plan: invade his office, and give it an inexpensive, quick, and happy makeover. This is a new office and a new job. He is thrilled to be working at this wonderful company… so I figured his office should reflect that as well. Besides, he spends a lot of time in the place. It should reflect who he is and bring him happiness.

Here you can see the “lovely” before pictures :

……{I just love that his major form of decor is sweet pictures of our family. And the only picture on his desk? his bride! I know. He really is that wonderful.}

This makeover was completed for around $150; $60 of that was for the two lamps. The rest was reusing, thinking-outside-of the box, and free-flea marketing from my own cellar.


Here are some of the things that I did to bring more peace to this space.

  1. color: first things first, I knew this space needed some color continuity and theme. This office is in a brand new building, and we had picked out the deep brown-purple color together. Now it needed a more decisive color scheme. So I went with greens and browns. I didn’t introduce the brown-purple anywhere else, and that allowed it to become somewhat of a neutral.
  2. the focal point: I moved that, um, not-so-lovely and rather-large metal desk piece to the other side of the office. It crowded the space, but most of all, it is not a beautiful piece of furniture to look at. You should always consider what your main line-of-sight for a space is, and then place the most stunning pieces on that side. In this case, I aimed for bringing symmetry, light, and order to the back wall of his office. That created a focal point that breathes, and is pleasing to the eye.
  3. rearrange: Use what you have. Just use it better. I moved the file cabinets to create height and symmetry at the edges of the office. I moved the small accent table in front of his desk to hide electrical cords and break up the vast metal surface of his desk. I moved the accent chair to make it more of a feature in the room. And, as I stated above, I moved the large metal ‘credenza’ to a less visible spot in the room.
  4. practicality: I also made sure it was useful, hence the baskets everywhere. Two more baskets are to come for the center shelves of the white console.
  5. personal: I made it personal by adding photos of our family, hubby’s football helmets, a collectible football book that we treasure, and a framed diploma is on its way for the back wall.

6. reduce: One of my goals was to cut back on clutter. Here is that ‘credenza’ thing, once home to some clutter. {Can you see the football helmets on top? I love this; what a fun way to enjoy your sports memorabilia}. This mammoth piece of metal furniture was given some breathing room by minimal decor, repetitive photo frames, organized books.

7. fabric: bringing fabric into a space always adds an improvement, even if it is just a small amount. To add fabric, I found 2 cotton shower curtains on discount at T.J. Maxx, for a total of $12. I had two lumbar pillows and one chair cushion made. I still have fabric left over so we can add more fabric as needed, should hubby desire.
8. organize: I did some minor organizing of his desktop, by adding a few desk accessories and wire baskets. These accessories can add peace to your day, amidst a sea of paperwork. 
The best part of all was getting to surprise my honey for his birthday. Love you babe. Happy Birthday. Enjoy every minute in your new office.
- {darlene} 
{this post is linked to The Shabby Nest}

And thank you to everyone who is cheering me on in my dream of Fieldstone Hill Design.Love Fieldstone Hill? thanks. you rock. Would you consider sharing the love by Following {click Follow in the right sidebar}, Liking on Facebook, or linking here from your blog. I just knew you were awesome!
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Labeled: before and after


  • I just love that it still looks masculine and not overdone. The lamps on that purple wall have a huge impact! Did he love the makeover? I can't imagine my husband being very excited about something like that, but he's just not really into decor.

  • The Country Nest

    What a great makeover. You brought personality to such a blah space. The color and balance are perfect.

  • Jill - FNA Photography

    You did a great job Darlene – what an awesome birthday gift! You are a precious bride and wife!

    Love you!

  • Looks awesome Darlene!!!! Can you come to my house now????? What a wonderful gift for your sweet hubby!!!

  • Such a great surprise! I really liked how you used what you already had on hand.

  • FABULOUS! I'm sure that Matt will appreciate every minute thought behind the placement of every item. It's so tranquil though, will he really want to work?

  • Stacy@hiswaynotmine

    Such a great make-over and wonderful surprise for your hubby! Looks awesome.

  • angela | the painted house

    Yea, Darlene!!!! Great transformation! Furniture placement makes such a huge difference. So was he so surprised? I love that chocolatey plum color–I'm having such a purple moment.

    Now he needs to take his designer out on a nice dinner date. ;)

  • Leslie @ goodbye, house! HELLO, HOME!

    i am in the midst of doing the redesign in my hubby's office, he shares with his co-worker, and it isn't a surprise—a gentleman's library/cigar room/steampunk thingy, lol!
    here's some of it:
    i need to finish it, but my wrist injury has set me back a tad.
    i love what you did here in your sweetie's office!
    especially the accent wall and baskets!!
    i hadn't thought of baskets for my hubby's room…thanks for the ideas!
    i thought it was so cool that you, too, worked at his office to redesign it, and i've been in my hubby's!
    was he surprised or what?
    hugs and many blessings,

  • Wow! It is simply perfect Darlene. I adore the two lamps and the wall color. I'm currently searching for a lamp for our home office. You've inspired me to try two. Thank you!

    I highlighted your wonderful blog today! I hope it's okay with you sweet friend.

    Blessings, ~Melissa :)

  • Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend

    visiting from Melissas….so glad to know about your blog… what I have read….will add to my list of daily reads

  • I am over here from Melissa's and I am so glad I dropped by. What a great surprise! The whole thoughtful re-d0 is inspiring. It is beautiful.

  • Liz@

    Some great moves you made in the room. The wall color is calming and the lamps are very attractive. Splitting the filing cabinets was a good idea and centering the book shelf unit made the room feel wider!
    I'm visiting because I was listed on Melissas blog too!

  • what a wonderful gesture! He must have been thrilled.

  • Beautiful home interior designing and interior furnishing!

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