The making of my home office - part one

This post is part reno, part decor. I was just going to do a decor post but it seemed out of line with my blog to just go straight to the nearly finished part without recounting how it was rehabbed in the first place.

Traveling back to before we started renovating, the very top floor of the house was a separate apartment while the lower two floors was the owners duplex. (I use these terms loosely as I have a hard time truly calling any space without working plumbing a duplex but I digress). The top floor apartment had what some might call a "kitchen" (again, using term loosely).

Since our plan was to reconfigure the space and make the top floor our bedrooms, the "kitchen" had to go. Before the construction really started, Mr. Limestone did some of his own reno by carefully removing the leaded glass doors from the cabinets and removing the disgustng floor to determine if there was hardwood underneath.

Then during the reno, this room became a sort of garage for extra parts. The clawfoot lived in here for a few months as did the marble top for our master bath vanity.

This room doesn't have the same wow transformation as the kitchen or bathrooms but I think it came out pretty well. The things that were done in here: removed cabinets, wallpaper, old lino floors, new window, recessed lights, electrical outlets, crown molding, skim coat, floors sanded and poly, paint.
Office Sanded
My Office

But now that the hard work is over, I feel like I need to do something really fun in here. As you can tell, its a small space and its just for me. So I feel the need to go a little wilder in here (as you probably can tell by the bright color I selected for the wall). So I'm adding to my to-do list a project to make my office a little more pretty and whimsical. I want it to be fun and stylish. I already painted it a bright color but I think it needs something more.

Inspired by this photo found on flickr, I think I want to do a similar treatment.

I originally thought I would do something small in the left space between the window and the wall. But in my search for images, I didn't find anything that would work in a tall narrow space. So I moved my attention to the opposite wall with the door that has more space. More space = more work of course.

Naturally Ive looked at about a thousand pieces of clip art and I haven't found anything that just right so I doctored some scroll work I found. My plan is to use a projector to get the image on the wall, trace with a pencil and then fill in with the same color paint that is on the trim. Here is a photoshopped version of what it might look like:
Wallornamentmockup copy

Disclaimer: I fully reserve the right NOT to do this project if a) I don't have time b) don't feel like it c) can't figure out how to do it without making a mess of it.


  1. I love it, it is gorgeous. Do it do it.

  2. Seeing as to how things like that tend to be of a trendier nature and you might not be all that keen on painting and repainting ad nauseum everytime you get tired of a motif, check into wall decals. There are tons around, both here and from abroad (which tend to be better looking but are pricier due to shipping). (Click on Wall Stickers)

    As you can see, there are a ton out there. Just a suggestion!

  3. Sorry those links aren't clickable. Not sure how to make a clickable link in a comment.

  4. Thanks tara. I'll check them out.

  5. The only way you can use them is to copy them out and put them in google or go to etsy and put them in a search.
    I like it very much but if you want to go wild and more arty it would be nice in the red like in the table matsb in the picture.
    Red is the best colour as l have light walls but use a red sofa and lots of red folk art. I was told that buddists use red to relaxe and to meditate .
    I was so glad to see your wall colour as l have just done a multie coloured wall hanging and its to go on a wall a bit darker than yours and with it being multie coloured l was worried it might be to busy but l could just see it on your wall so it has made me feel happy about it,l will leave you my url but you will have to put my name or the link in a search, the new one isn't there as its going in a show and then traveling fora year but its simular to the home page one.

  6. Anonymous7:14 PM

    i love the room color, what is it called? the decorative motif looks great! so brave!! i totally would have chickened out. it looks a-m-a-z-i-n-g

  7. Anonymous7:15 PM

    oops, i thought you did the one in the room with the ladder...soor, one too many red bulls today!!

  8. I think it'll look amazing...Definitely a must do.

  9. Anonymous8:36 PM

    I love the motif you have in mind. It seems to be the kind of thing you will be able to live with for a while. So, my advice, go for it. Who wants to live with boring walls?

  10. Personally I love the look of painted designs on a wall, decals might be a nightmare to get on right, i thin your idea is probably simplest , cheapest and most creative, as well as giving bragging rights.

  11. Thanks all. Im having a hard time getting a projector that is right for the job. I bought one on ebay and I got it home and it doesn't work!! Im so annoyed now.

    Melissa; The color is called "Waterfall" if I remember correctly (Benjamin Moore). Its more of a teal than true blue but its super fun. I put it in my closet as well.

  12. Anonymous9:58 AM

    I think a the wall motif looks great...any wall motif i think will give your room that touch of whimsy that you want. I say - go for it.

  13. how fun!

    what i would recommend since you have a dark(ish) wall and will be painting with white is instead of a pencil, maybe use chalk or something white that won't show through the paint, even on the first coat.

    i've also seen a ton of wall decals (mostly from british companies, i admit - and the pound to $ ratio isn't so great right now) that could be an option.

  14. Love that color too! Looks great! I wanted to blow up a motif from a piece of fabric for a kitchen wall and project it on to the wall and paint. Nixed that project. Put a pantry cbinet there instead.
    Also have plans for a decal of city rooftops for the wall above the master tub.
    P.S Kudos for use of the word "wonky" in a previous post. I use it often, its so descriptive.Lol.

  15. Definitely do it! I love the color of the walls by the way.

  16. Anonymous11:50 PM

    Hi! Just came across your blog and LOVE your home and the work you are doing on it... particularly love your idea for the office, with the scroll work. You mentioned that you'd doctored the clip art - just wondering if you have a standalone file of that saved?

  17. WOW! Yes it does have a WOW transformation. I am truly inspired by your vision! I would love for you to join my blog.

  18. jen - The original image is from You can buy it for a few dollars:

    lizzie - How do I join?

  19. They sell furniture online at Home Depot in the US as well ,some same mostly different , really nice twill sofa's in the US, great prices.

  20. Chris - Does Home Depot stock the furniture they sell there? I know they have some online but they don't have it in the store. I have trouble buying furniture without feeling it up first :)

  21. It would be hard for me to buy before seeing too, but they have had the blue sofa/chaise in a black and white damask in store and it was really good, and it was $399.00 , so I assume it would be the same quality , they do stock some small things, but mostly assemble yourself stuff.

  22. I think this is a very nice idea (love your little office by the way, just the right size).

  23. Oh, that room is beautiful! I love the color you picked. To have a space just for you is wonderful. I long for my own office space and have been thinking of how in the world I can make a space out of nothing and have bene collecting pictures for quite a while.

  24. Hey Mrs. L, stumbled upon your blog here...
    Have you been to to view their decals? They also do custom orders, but not sure how much $$ you want to spend.
    A friend of mine got a projector at Michaels for $39, I've also seen them at Hobby Lobby. Tracer Jr. is the brand.

  25. It has "wow factor" and I could see doing it freehand to give it a free spirit rather than it looking air-brushed and too tattoo-ish!

  26. I really like this idea. I've Norwegian ancestors and this reminds me of their rosemaling. Have you started painting it yet or did you bag the idea?

  27. Anonymous11:26 AM

    I'm Jeremy Pickett's (Pickett furniture) wife Tera. I have painted my designs on our walls and the best way is to give your file to: Fastsigns 212-779-1027 6 E 30th Street New York NY 10016. The owner is Wendell tell him you want a cut-out so you can paint it on a wall. Trying to trace and free hand this would be really hard and not look as good in the end.


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