Well my friends, it’s been far too long since I’ve chatted about our Study renovation here on the blog – I’d say we’re long overdue for an update. Honestly, between our much more major renovation of our primary suite (take a tour of it all here), decorating for the holidays and the many other little projects in between, it’s felt like progress in the Study has been moving at a snail’s pace. Of course, changing my mind about the tile we’d already purchased for the fireplace in there didn’t help either since I found myself with an extra day of tile shopping in the city and another to drive there and back to pick it up. On top of that, Brady made the trip into the city to pick up a fancy new tile saw only to find out after getting all the way home that half of it was missing from the box. Oh well, we all know you can’t plan for everything. Luckily, we were able to exchange the saw for one that does have all of its parts this weekend, so at least we’re another step closer to finally completing this space.
While we’ve had a few hiccups along the way, we have still managed to make some really great progress in here. It’s so easy to loose sight of how far we’ve come when we’ve still got such a long way to go yet, which is why it can be super helpful to pause for a look back at where we started with things and what we’ve managed to accomplish so far along the way. So my friends, let’s take a little walk down memory lane to see how our little Study has evolved.
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? This was how our little Study looked just a few days after moving in last Summer, but, as you can see in the photos below, it didn’t take me long to get rid of that green-yellow-beige paint on the walls and the faux marble columns to match that very bold gray and purple marble fireplace.
I went with a dark and moody almost black and I was head-over-heels in love with it right from the start! I loved the way the dark walls contrasted with the warm honey oak that lined so much of the space. But, the longer I lived with it, the more I found myself struggling with how dark this little room felt. I spend so much of my day working away in this space and it started to feel like those dark walls were closing in on me. I did try painting the ceiling back to white to try to brighten things up (which it did), but I really didn’t like the stark contrast between the dark walls and the light ceiling (read more about that paining saga here if you’re curious), so, back to black it went.
I toyed around with several design palettes for this space (you can see our top contenders here), but in the end, I knew that white walls would be the best choice to brighten things up, while still maintaining that cozy feel I was looking for. And so, I painted the entire space white (including that darn ceiling, which has now seen five separate coats of paint since we moved in!).
Luckily, it’s been several months now since painting it all out white and I’m still so happy with it!
After seeing the white walls, it was SO much easier to envision a design for the rest of the space. I’d struggled for months to put together a design I felt confident in, but with the walls all painted out, it all became so much clearer for me. I chatted all about how our design plans for the space had evolved with that one choice in this post here. And then, I sort of stopped sharing it here on the blog – I think maybe because the steps since then have felt so small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But, looking back, it’s easier to see how much all those little things have added up along the way.
First, we tore out all of the drywall surrounding the fireplace. This room has always had a draft in it that seemed to come from around the fireplace, so we wanted to make sure we dealt with that as best we could before we did any permanent work on top of it. Brady added insulation all around the fireplace and it’s definitely helped to make this space feel more warm and cozy.
Since we had the drywall mud out for the fireplace wall anyway, we decided to take out the little built in desk that was tucked into the back corner. Built before computers were ever really a thing, it wasn’t really a useful space for us, instead, I’d love to add a little cabinet to house our printer and other office supplies that I don’t necessarily want on display.
We also swapped out the lighting all throughout this room. With that little corner desk gone, the wall lamp we’d installed felt a little out of place, so we decided to swap it out for this lovely brass sconce that feels both modern and vintage all at the same time. We also changed out all of the old brass recessed lights for these white LED versions – with no rewiring, it was the easiest swap ever, you can read more about how we did that here.
On top of all of the little renos, we’ve also had some furniture changes along the way too. You can spy our new desk in the photo above. Another beautiful addition with a perfect mix of both modern and vintage vibes. It’s got the most gorgeous green leather inlay on top. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a piece of furniture more than this character filled desk.
We also ordered up a new custom sofa to sit in the bay window nook. It’s extra deep, has a bench cushion, and is covered in the prettiest grey boucle fabric. I can’t wait to see it paired with the new leather chair we ordered (though that’s not set to arrive until after Christmas).
I’ve already chatted about changing my mind about the fireplace tile. While I actually really LOVED the green, the more elements I added into the mix, the more I realized that it just wasn’t going to fit in this space the way that I’d hoped. I was worried that it would play up the dated feel of the honey oak that surrounds this space (which we still plan to keep at this point). Instead, I found a simple, soft black tile that I think will bring a more modern feel.
In keeping with bringing some more modern vibes into the space, I’ve ordered up some custom curtains in a dark, striped fabric (you can see them pictured in the flat-lay below). They actually arrived a few weeks ago, but I think we’ll wait until the new carpet is installed before we hang them (that should be happening in the next few weeks here).
Here’s a little peek at where we’re currently sitting with things.
So, what’s still left to do?
- tile the fireplace surround + hearth
- paint the brass fireplace hardware black
- put the mantel back together
- have new carpet installed
- hang new curtains
- source a cabinet for the old desk nook
- find a side table to tuck between the sofa and chair
- purchase a coffee table (still undecided about this one)
It’s not a lot really. We’re so close, I can taste it. Here’s hoping it won’t be long before I’ve got a finished Study to share my friends!
Wishing you a lovely day!