Office Reveal

Welcome to the Late Show with Katie Bower.  Tonight we are talking about a little room makeover I’ve been working on.  Originally it was an office space…and now….it is still an office space.  just a much prettier one.  Let’s sit down and fill you in on some of the how-we-made-it-happen-details.

This house was a foreclosure. When we moved in, we fully expected to take it slow and steady with room renovations.  To be perfectly honest – it’s because a bigger house = bigger spaces = bigger budget needs.  And this house needs renovating in every single room.  So when Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine approached us to do a room makeover, we were all like take-your-pick.  And they were like no-it’s-your-pick and we were all like then-we-pick-the-office.  So with a $300 giftcard in hand and a room selected, we came up with a plan…

(you can read all about the plan here)

And then I came to realize, oh-yeah-I’m-not-good-with-plans….so I came up with a new idea.  Since this space would be mine-all-mine, I wanted it to be fun and preppy and girly with splashes of color.  I wanted it to be like threw up in my office.  Graphic…yes…but you get the point.  Oh and then we came up with another idea…since we renovate/makeover/redo so much stuff all the time, why don’t we take a portion of the money and invest it in a tool?!  I know.  We are practically genius’ over here.  We could totally solve the energy crisis…and that silly thing called world hunger.  So we budgeted for a paint sprayer.  And it was like the Easter bunny & Santa Claus’ lovechild visited the Bower house in April…we were that excited.

After a bunch of prep work, my darling boyfriend took on the task of painting the poo colored trim and ceiling.  It was like the heavens opened and God said let there be light….and it was good.

A little blueish green paint rolled onto the top half of the walls, we had ourselves a pretty clean slate to decorate.  I was salivating at the thought of the Kate Spade vomit.  You know what I mean.

Next came lighting

and then picking what furniture would be in here (as well as starting the painting process on those)…

Which leads us to the final reveal… (are you firmly gripping your underpants because these before and afters can blow panties off fully sober men and women…consider yourself warned)….before the office was dreary and depressing….

The walls were what I like to call Poo & Eww (a dark brown and a fleshy pink).

Not only did it lack personality – it sucked yours away.

Dirty was it’s middle name.

And the floors and available natural light were overwhelmed with the bad paint job.

and now it is light bright and inspiring for me to work in…

I had big goals for this space.  It had to store most of my craft & sewing stuff…it also had to be a place for my photography editing to take place…and the spot where I could put all my blog work.

First the desk.  I absolutely love the desk now that it is fresh and white with the new paint job.  Apparently you can buy these desks already white at Ikea but five years ago when we purchased this bad boy, it came only in wood tone.  Now, it doesn’t pop out as much – which is good with a floating desk because it makes the space look larger.

Since it has a glass top, I don’t have to worry much about protecting it either.

I tend to be a clutter-er when it comes to my desk top, so I decided that in order to corral the chaos, I would simply have two areas….one for my ‘stuff’ that ends up outta my pockets…

And the other a small tray for papers, notebooks, pens & papers.

The real star of the show is the chair makeover.  It started out black & gold, and now she shines with a new coat of bright red paint and a fun fabric cushion.

I love how the green in the fabric nods to my nearby bookcase with a ‘hey there- how you doin!?”

The green bookcase was probably my most daring makeover.  I bought two sampler cans of Valspar’s Lime Green and it looks so much more youthful now.  Stacked over head are two shelves that used to live in Will’s old nursery – and now they hold my boxes (they have lenses and other equipment inside), a few albums, and my books.

The bookcase does so major storage for me.  The two banana leaf baskets (both from Lowe’s) hold an amazing amount of fabric.  And the box on top is a charging station for my phone, Flip camera, etc.

Gotta love it when you can fold tons of pretties into one space, right?!

I love that picture of Cole too…he used to do this squinty eye thing for photos….it’s very him.

And yes, that is an old photo of Jeremy (he used to do a Katie Appreciation Week when we dated – he’s the cutest)…and I got to place him right next to my stack of House Beautifuls.

I think I am most proud of this bookshelf because it is actually functional and has photos of people…something hard about combining those two.

On top, I moved in my Bowers Mints tin.  Gotta love it when your last name is the same as a vintage candy company!  And the art is just some crazy blue squares I painted during one of our art sessions.

Next to the bookcase is this little topiary.  Since the bookcase is actually not as wide as the shelves above it, I faked it being wider by adding this next door…

Just beyond the book shelf is a little area that I deemed ‘the sewing nook’…

Here’s the wide open shot again –

The sewing nook is really great because I was able to squeeze in more craft stuff (stored in the bottom of the bookshelf), sewing stuff (in the baskets and desk drawers), and another desk and chair (which will be great for when I need a quiet moment & Will can color).

The big bolts of fabric in the corner are also great reminders of projects I have planned.

And yes, I didn’t have the rolls for all my fabric, so I just used yardsticks for easy storage.

More magazines, more paint, more glorious storage…

Now if you turn around in the sewing nook – here’s the view…

To the left is the sitting area…

I love how the homemade watercolor art looks like the jellyfish is sniffing the flowers.

I was able to reuse all the furniture and mix n match some pillows and accessories to make the art tie everything together.

Oh and that basket by the chair is filled to the brim with my ‘to-do’ projects…I figured corraling them in one spot and covering them so they aren’t an eyesore will be great for someone like me who often goes looking for something to do and ends up starting something completely new.

Confession – I faked this pillow cover.  It’s actually just fabric wrapped around a pillow form.  I will get around to sewing it though – now that I have a nook :)

And the last bit of the room has the giant $22 white board.  I have future plans to trim out around the edge but for now, it looks and works just fine.  It’s already halfway full of notes and reminders.


Plus, since you have to enter the room to see it, my messy handwriting won’t be the first thing you see when you come into the space.

Lots more still to do (coughcurtainscough) but for now, I am going to officially call this room done.  for now.

More random shots…

Now – and I know this is like the never-ending makeover post…are you ready for the side-by-side before&afters?


Special thanks again to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine.  They were the ones that provided the motivation and some of the moolah for this makeover.  And special thanks to you guys too.  You all have been so encouraging lately and just to get one little room done is huge for me…so thanks for being patient as we slowly work on this beast of a house.  You rock.

****************UPDATE:  I forgot to post the budget info – so here goes:

Sprayer $250


  • Hardware for hanging shelves, art & white board  $8
  • Rollers  $13
  • Paint pan  $3.50
  • Spraypaint & Spray Primer  $31.50
  • Electrical plates, switches and outlets  $26.50
  • Paper & tape $15
  • White Primer $42
  • White Paint $56
  • Blue Paint $24
  • Pot & Soil $17
  • Green Paint $6
  • 4 woven Baskets $52
  • Deadbolt $18

TOTAL :  $312.50 (plus tax) – and this doesn’t count the paint sprayer but like I said before, we put some of our own money towards that because it was going to be ours forever and because we like new tools :)

ADDITIONAL MONEY SPENT IN THIS SPACE (we did spend a small amount of moolah in this space over the course of decorating it – so I want to be upfront about that as well!)

  • Homegoods woven wall mail holder  $14
  • 2 teal vases from Target $12
  • Homegoods coral decor $9
  • Homegoods white frame $3
  • Fabric for chair $2
  • Fabric for pilllows $2
  • White board $22

TOTAL ADDT:  $64 (plus tax)

NEW OFFICE COST: $376.50 (plus tax without sprayer)   $626.50 (plus tax with sprayer) 




  1. says

    This. Is. Wild. I also have a Palladian Blue home office with white wainscoting and dark floors. I am adding a wire bookcase and could not decide what color to paint it. So I went to Pinterest, found your pin which led me here and …my name is Katie too. :D Great Katies think alike!

    BTW, after seeing your chair, I think I am going with cherry red. :)

  2. says

    WOW, it always amazes me the difference when you throw a little paint (of a different color) on a wall. Just added the two colors opened the room and made it seem larger. Thank you for sharing your transformation.

  3. Laura says

    Hi Katie! That jellyfish is so cool. I am a fairly new reader so I may have missed it, but where did you get that? Or did you make it? Very cool.

    Laura :)

  4. Maryanne says

    Hi! I stumbled upon your blog while doing research for my office and I am so in love! Can you let me know where you purchased your sewing desk? Thank you!

  5. Laurie M. says

    I have seen your wicker/cane chairs in several posts on your blog. Where did you find them? They are great!!

    • says

      Goodwill! I recovered the cushions and gave the wood a weathered look but other than that, they were just a great find!
      xo – kb

  6. Jennifer says

    Sooooooo adorable!! I love the chair color! I painted ours white but I think they need a pop of color too! Where did you fond the white board for $22? I’ ve been looking for a large one just like it.

  7. Jamie says

    i was wondering since there are so many different variations of white, what is the name of the white paint u used?

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