March 2, 2018

Refresh Without Renovation – Home Office

Change is good for the soul and oftentimes lends a fresh perspective that allows you to appreciate the things you already have. One of the most beautiful aspects of design is its ever-evolving nature – our tastes and preferences change over time, and the spaces we live in do too. Naturally, your home should serve as a reflection of your current style, but how do you refresh each space without spending months under construction? We saw how much you loved our kitchen refresh tips and decided to tackle another hard-working room: the home office!

Rustic Chic Home Office

BEFORE: My home office as seen on the cover of luxe. Magazine

No matter how lovely your work space might be, it seems we all hit a point where a fresh and exciting new look is in order! Scroll on to see how we refreshed my home office space above without calling in a contractor.

masculine study

AFTER: Marie Flanigan Interiors

Rethink, Reuse, Repurpose

We love how simply rethinking the layout of a space can make a dramatic difference on how it functions and feels. By flipping the position of the desk, we opened up a whole new world of opportunity without even breaking [much of] a sweat!

Study Office Layouts

Marie Flanigan Interiors

We arranged the desk to face the room’s entry, creating quite a powerful and balanced view!

Gracie Wall Panel Pocket Door

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Lay the Groundwork

Area rugs anchor your entire floor plan, and switching them out makes a mighty big impact! We swapped a heavier geometric pattern for a larger, lighter flat weaved rug, which instantly brightened up the entire space.

Layered Rug Study

Loving how the Stripes rug from Nordic Knots brightens up the place!

Flat weaves contribute a casual, relaxed, and approachable base to any area of your home. They’re also cost-effective and a total breeze to roll up and move to a new location. If you are currently rocking the flat weave, you can also reverse this style tip and go for a rug with more weight. A traditional antique oushak or a plush woolen number can make for a dramatic difference underfoot. First, shop around your house and see if you already own a rug that could easily rotate from another room. Then, if you’re in the market for something new, take a look at these beauties:

Texture Trade

Although we kept the color story fairly consistent, we substituted seating in order to bring new textures into my study. A leather campaign chair was replaced by a more upright rich green velvet armchair; the more formal wingback was omitted in favor of a natural woven bench; and finally, the camel-colored desk chair was traded out for a tailored linen option. All of these exchanges add up to a totally different look without breaking the bank (or your back!)

Green velvet office chair

Marie Flanigan Interiors

We also played with pulling in a plush ottoman instead of the woven bench because who isn’t looking for a comfy office space?!

Office Study Seating

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Expert tip: A slip-covered chair with casters gives you the mobility of a traditional desk chair, but the skirt is a clever trick to hide those less-than-appealing wheels. Here are some seating options that we can’t get enough of:

Light It Up

Switching up your lighting quickly changes the energy in any space. We opted for a mercury glass table lamp to replace the original white ceramic one, and couldn’t be happier with the extra dose of sparkle and shine.

Lighting options are endless and can be moved throughout your home in a flash. Metallics and natural earth tones are great because they act as a neutral and typically coordinate with any color story. You can also play around with your lighting style (industrial, mid-century, or traditional) which will subtly change the mood of your room.

Work Hard Play Hard

There’s something so Mad Men about an office bar cart! We decided to lighten things up a bit for spring, trading a metal bar cart out in favor of an acrylic piece that glamorously showcases all the spirits.

Bar Cart Styling Acrylic

Marie Flanigan Interiors

If you don’t have a bar cart, you can always use a small shelf or bookcase. Being able to craft a genius cocktail at the end of a long day is a total treat!

Color Play

A dose of color brightens your day as well as your space! Incorporating vibrant hues through the use of smaller pieces, like art, vases, and accessories will breathe new life into your office. When you’re ready for another change, transferring these items to another room can be done on a whim.

Hunt Slonem Painting

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Art is special and should be treated as such! When traveling, keep your eyes open for locally crafted souvenirs. Or, shop local and support your neighborhood artisans. Each memento will add to your home’s unique story and will serve as a reminder of many precious memories made.

Do you have any tricks or tips for refreshing your home without renovation? Any other spaces you want us to refresh? Drop us a line below!


Join the Conversation

  1. Kyleen says:

    Love this concept, I move a lot with my husband’s job and it’s fun to use my things in a different way.

  2. BW says:

    Where do you hide the computer, printer, etc? The room looks great but I would love to see how you handle some of the more functional items. Thank you!

    • marie says:

      Thank you! You would place the computer on top of the desk per usual and there are some fun ways to hide unsightly cords – we should do a blog post on that 🙂 As far as printers are concerned, opt for wireless so that it can be tucked away in a cabinet!

  3. Meg Ahrens says:

    This is beautiful and I am doing the exact same project to my own office right now. My walls are painted a dark color, that while beautiful, are rather moody. I want to paint them white! I have a dark wood desk and built-in shelves like yours. Can you please share with me the color of white on the walls?

    • marie says:

      I am sure it all looks beautiful but we completely understand wanting to lighten and brighten things up! My office walls are paneled and we painted them Sherwin Williams Snowbound. Thank you for following along and let us know how it all goes!

  4. PoliticsJim says:

    A Very Good Buy! Finishing up a flooring project, taking up all our old carpet and putting down new luxury vinyl plank. Our dog is VERY disappointed to say the least. Needed something for our TV room to tie the room together. Searched all the big box places and any large 810 area rug of any type of decent quality was 3 times the cost of this rug. We really liked the colors and pattern of this rug, so we pulled the trigger and ordered, hoping for the best. We were a little worried about ordering on line

  5. Monica Sophie says:

    Have you ever considered painting your built ins in this room? I am currently struggling with my home office and can’t pull the trigger on painting the stained built ins. I am wondering if for resale value a “man” might prefer the stain vs painted shelves.

    • marie says:

      That’s such a tough call! In situations like that, the right choice is doing what makes you feel the happiest in your home. Resale value is definitely a factor with any refresh or renovation but living in spaces that speak to your heart is priceless, so trust your gut! Thank you so much for following along and let us know what you decide!

  6. Frances says:

    Could you tell me who makes the pendant light in your office? I have been looking for a similar one and have not had much luck. Thanks!

  7. Jc says:

    Can you comment on who made the stooleith the gold base?

  8. Buycialis says:

    Your rugs look sensational in your home. I can’t imagine your home without them. I like the idea of layering rugs but do they present a tripping hazard? My rug has a quality pad that holds it so well that I never trip. But what about layering? Is there a pad under the layered rug as well? Has anyone had a problem of their toe catching the top rug??

    • marie says:

      Such a great point! We’ve never encountered an issue with tripping over layered rugs but we could see that being an issue for some. I would stick to layering thinner rugs so that the height doesn’t become a tripping hazard and always anchor the bottom rug with a rug pad per your comment! Thank you for following along!

  9. ELDREDGE says:

    May I ask where your blinds came from?

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Would you mind sharing the source for the diamond jute/sisal rug under the other rug? I am on the hunt for something similar! Thank you!

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