re-energized by design: the office/garage challenge

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The second elimination challenge in the Re-Energized by Design competition is here! This time, each team had the option to makeover either the garage or an office. My team, The Bedfords, decided to makeover an office.

This space serves as a multi-purpose room for the Bedfords: an office for Slade, a guest room, and a napping space for the youngest member of the family, Theo. I was overwhelmed by the dark window coverings, multiple desks, and overall cluttered feel of the room. Something struck me immediately though — the giant, vintage pull-down school map of the United States. SO COOL! I decided to let that be the focal point of the space, and pulled all of the room’s inspiration from the color palate and theme. The color, Overjoy by Sherwin Williams, is a nice, warm golden yellow. It’s a perfect counterpoint to grey Seattle skies, and also complements the yellow and golden hues in the map without looking to pastel. This is a man’s office after all, so I wanted an air of distinguished masculinity to permeate the room. That being said, Slade wasn’t too convinced of my bold color choice at first.

Not having tons of money ($500), we scrapped plans for new furniture and instead focused on organizing and styling the space. We got rid of one of the two heavy dark wood desks, immediately making the room feel more open. I took the yellow-brass drawer pulls from the desk and antiqued them, making it look more expensive and more like an actual antique than the 1990’s repro it actually is. We purchased some dark wood shelving, a new set of Nate Berkus curtains from Target, and some nice dark wood blinds to help block out the light when little Theo is taking a siesta. Bonus — those window treatments will help reduce energy costs by blocking out the brutal summer sun through those west facing windows.

Instead of buying a brand new light fixture, we found a vintage one at our local buliding salvage for a song. We paired it with a dimmer switch to allow maximum flexibility for the multi-functioning room. The brassy 70’s feel of the fixture helped tie some of the pre-existing furniture into the new design. In fact, our motto for this room became “embrace the brass” — Kristen scored a few vintage hand-me-down brass lamps that really added some warmth and more focused light around the room. We outfitted everything with new GE LED bulbs, modernizing the vintage fixtures and adding an abundance of more functional light while simultaneously reducing the overall wattage.

Once again, the room was styled mostly with items from the Bedford’s home: an emerald green ceramic stool from the backyard added a touch of the orient, a vintage beer barrel from the basement served as a unique side table, and memorabilia from previous travels became art. My favorite little touch? Those three inexpensive matching clocks echoing the travel vibe. So fun.

I couldn’t be more pleased with how this room turned out. Slade, despite his reservations at first, loves it as well. And most importantly, the judges loved it! They gave me high praise for my color selection this week. Let’s see if this momentum keeps up — the living room challenge is next week!

From our partners

Great work on the office, it’s inspiring to see how different a room can look when you put the work in.

Mary S

Once again, a HUGE improvement. I never get why people select such dark curtains, unless it’s for a bedroom where they want to block out all the light. I thought the judges were a little off in letting the garage people go on to the next round while dissing on of the other couple’s bedroom/office makeover with the little shelves. I thought that one looked great, too, and showed more imagination than a garage (which pleased my OCD side with all the labeled boxes but was, like the one judge said, basically just “they cleaned it up”). The room where they put the desk in the closet was most disappointing to me. It was a great idea and I was hoping they’d go further with it, like more built-ins and make all those banjoes and things on the wall look more cohesive and organized — and more like art!

I think they made the right choice with your re-do, though!! : )

Mary S

PS Not a fan of the giant S as a table — they look Lilliputian next to it! (And I’d personally like a giant S as a wall hanging or something…perhaps for obvious reasons.)

Your renovations are so inspiring. Hopefully this will inspire others to make the same changes for their own spring cleaning.

I really like how you utilized your space. Its tough when you have limited space and need it to be used for so many different reasons. Great work!

Thanks for all the love, everyone! This has been an awesome experience.

You can see a lot of difference in the two. Great job and very inspiring.

I love what you did with that office. It looks so much better now, a lot more open and inviting!

It’s amazing what you can do after you have cleaned up and organized a garage space. I’m always surprised by how much extra stuff that gets collected in our garage.

The shelves you put up in the office are great. They are simple and clean but help store a lot of extra things.