I may or may not have mentioned it before, but I’ve walked through the doors of this office more years than I can count.

Before the internet was a thing.

Before email and phones that snap photos.

Before online meetings.

Before blogs or websites or social media.

Life (and this office) was a little simpler then.

I remember sitting across this desk from my father and pouring out my heart and all of my teenage angst and listening as he righted my world with sage words of wisdom and a sympathetic ear.

And now?

All these years later the office looks like this.

Well…at least it did.

Because now?

The office looks like this.


Please scroll up and then come back here.

This office is my new happy place. 

Are you ready (as promised) for the 360-degree tour?

When you walk through the door you used to see this.

And now?

You see this.

If you turn slightly at the desk, you used to see this.

And now?

And now you see this.

If you continue turning around the room you used to see a fireplace that looked like this.

And now?

You see this.

Don’t worry.

We’ll get to the fireplace later. I have an entire tutorial on how we painted it.

When you continue around the room, you’ll pass the door and there’s a mini bay window on the other side that used to look like this.

And now?

It looks like this.

I’m also working on a tutorial on how to hang curtains in a small alcove like this. (We figured it out, but it definitely took a lot of math.)

And when you turn around from the bay window?

It brings you back to this.


Just taking a tour around the room again makes me so happy. There is so much storage now and tons of seating and the curtains are blackout curtains and the room is not only happier and brighter and full of joy and sunshine…

….but it’s SO FUNCTIONAL.

Let’s unpack the room a little bit and explain the entire design process.


We painted the entire room Pure White SW 7005. Pure White is the prettiest white paint. It has a hint of warm white with a clear, pretty true white tone. I also love the Emerald® paint line from Sherwin-Williams. It goes on so smoothly and the coverage is amazing. When you are painting a room white, it can be a little challenging. I’ve used other paints before and sometimes you need three, even four coats to get complete coverage. Not with Emerald® paint. It glides on and makes the walls look like a professional painted them.

The ceiling was painted with a flat white Eminence® Ceiling Paint from Sherwin-Williams.


And this fireplace?

It was painted with Emerald® Urethane Trim Enamel in Naval SW 6244. We also used Loxon Concrete & Masonry Primer on the brick before painting it. 

Then we added crown molding around the top of the fireplace to make it look more like a piece of furniture and help it stand out from the walls in the room. Lastly, we added quarter-round trim to the bottom of the fireplace to provide a clean line next to the floor.


On both sides of the room we added these bookcase sets from IKEA. There was an original built-in on this side of the room, but it was off-center.

So I designed these bookcases to just go in front of it.

The bookcases take up so much visual space, but the actual room feels bigger because they are so narrow (about 11” deep).

There is SO MUCH storage behind the doors at the bottom. Here are just a few things I’m storing in there:

  • File folders
  • Hole punch
  • Computer paper
  • Magazines
  • Paperwork
  • Records
  • Office supplies

There’s also additional storage in this cabinet in the mini bay window.

Here I store vases and other styling props.

There’s also photography equipment and ring lights and stands in this cabinet.


The rug helps ground the room with a basic pattern in blue and white.

It’s an 8’ x 10’ rug with shades of blue.

It fits perfectly in the space with the bookcases, chairs and desks. 

I also added two spindle chairs in white for extra seating in the space.


And then?

There’s the desk.

Remember the opinion I asked you for?

Should I paint it?

Should I stain it?

Over 350 of you chimed in with wonderful advice and helpful hints and the BEST opinions. So guess what I did?

Absolutely nothing.

You were right my wonderful, amazing, incredible friends.

When the design plan was finished? The desk was perfect just as it is.

I’ve walked through the doors of this office more years than I can count.

Oh, the stories this office could tell.

The feet that have walked on these floors.

The chapters that have unfolded between these four walls.

And now?

There’s a new chapter ready to be written.

And I’m here for every word. 

Disclosure: this post was written in collaboration with Sherwin-Williams. All opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure page for more information.

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  1. Image for Connie Connie

    It’s beautiful KariAnne! Thank you for sharing with us your beautiful home. I too love blue and white and recently went through a whole house paint. I have used many of your recommended products.

    1. Image for Mary Mary

      Beautiful, warm and classy. Your decorating style is so inspirational. I’m glad you didn’t paint the desk it looks perfect the way it is and really grounds the room. Thanks again for sharing. Mary

  2. Image for Tammy Matthews Tammy Matthews

    What a beautiful transformation! The rug and drapes are perfect! And I love how you left the desk stained wood as it is! Such a happy and bright and functional room!

  3. Image for LORRI LORRI

    I'm sure glad you didn't paint or stain the desk.. that desk holds alot of memories for you and your family. I love the flower prints you have selected...give the room pizazz! The white Ikea cabinets are awesome..quite jealous of all the space you have to organize stuff in. Karianne you did a lovely job and enjoy your room.

  4. Image for Tina Matteson Tina Matteson

    It's stunning!! Love it so much. Just wondering if you would sometime show us what's behind the cabinet doors? I sometimes struggle with how to contain my clutter and would love to see your system.

  5. Image for laura laura

    i love it! and the splash of pinks’ love the fireplace! I am moving my desk around today! great job! love it! love that you kept the desk !!! laura

  6. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Beautiful transformation. I know you will enjoy it for years to come. I am sure you have a big smile on your face each time you walk through the door. (So glad you did not paint the desk). Happy Thursday!

  7. Image for Lisa Lisa

    What a fantastic transformation. I love the crisp white and pops of color. You put your signature stamp all over this and it's gorgeous. Happy weekend. xoxo

  8. Image for Mary Ellen Mary Ellen

    Oh! KariAnne! It is stunning! It is so fresh and bright and happy! The desk looks perfect ❤️ Great job!

  9. Image for Brenda Vincent Brenda Vincent

    It's beautiful, classy, cheery, and bright! It's definitely a happy place! As always, thank you for sharing.

  10. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Oh my goodness, friend, this is a STUNNING transformation! Wow. When I looked at the “after” pictures, I took a cleansing breath! So fresh and light and happy! I have an office with one big bare wall. That’s such wasted space and I need storage for my husband’s hundred plus books!!! Thank you for mentioning where you purchased your cabinets. I forget about IKEA because we don’t have one by me in SC. Did you have to put them together? Do they have other colors? And did you adhere/nail them to the wall? Is that one large unit or are there several pieces side by side? Any chance you could provide me a link to that exact piece? Sorry for so many questions. Lol. Thank you so much. I love your office and would spend hours of happiness in it❣️

  11. Image for Judi Vahue Judi Vahue

    Your office looks so fresh and bright! I’m so glad you decided to keep your dad’s desk just as it was. It’s a wonderful focal point and I imagine the contrast draws your eyes to it the minute you walk in the room!

    1. Image for va in NC va in NC

      Hi, Love the office makeover. Could you please share the Ikea link for the tall bookcases. I so need more storage also. Thank you for all the sharing of projects and also the items used. Blessings,

  12. Image for Carol Carol

    Oh, my! It's awesome! Love, love, love the desk intact with your memories n your life engraved into the grain. Do you ever rest? I need a nap after reading all your accomplishments! Lol. Great work!

  13. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Love it!!! Everything is perfect and love how bright and fresh the white and blue makes it. I think you need a new comfortable desk chair:) Because I know you spend a lot of time at your Dad's desk writing this blog. As usual your photos are beautiful- great job!!

  14. Image for Darlene Darlene

    It took my breath away, just looking from before to after. Fantastic job and colour combinations. I am a blue girl as well so, I am in love with what you did.

  15. Image for Vicki @ EntriWays Vicki @ EntriWays

    Karianne it's perfect! The Pure White paint and those blue & white curtains really brighten up the space. I'm so glad to see this today. Just today I was thinking about white paint and new beige curtains in my living room, but seeing how bright your space is I think I should go with a high-contrast color with white. Love it!

  16. Image for Alice Alice

    Absolutely beautiful! I love the curtains in the nook. Having done that in the past I appreciate the precision and effort it took to get them just right. Amazing!

  17. Image for Sharon Sharon

    I thought your office was nice before, but it looks amazing now. So light and bright! I love the Ikea cabinets and I think the desk adds warmth to the room. Great job!

  18. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    I am sure a lot of us have been wondering how it was coming along. Well its finished and could not be more beautiful. I call it Stylish, classy, luxurious, but yet very homey feeling. So pretty. I'm retired and loving it, but even I may not mind going back to work in that office. 😉 Gorgeous. So happy you shared.

  19. Image for Linda VanderWel Linda VanderWel

    It's beautiful! I love the desk in it's new setting and I love the Naval paint color. It's all such a happy look - I love it - thanks for sharing!!

  20. Image for Katie Katie

    Looks great! Love the curtains! Where did you get those? I have a large collection of blue and white plates and I am moving so thinking of doing something with them in my FR/DR. Have you done a posting on that? Katie

  21. Image for Terri Terri

    The Before picture was lovely and serene. The After picture looks as though you turned the lights on! Bright, cheerful and hopeful! Before your dad's desk was a.piece of furniture. Now it is a feature, an anchor that grounds the whole room! I'm so glad you left it as is! Now it really shines! Great job!...again!

  22. Image for Lisa Broussars Lisa Broussars

    The room looks so refreshing. I LOVE the blue accents. I'ts a room that I would want to stay and work in all day. Thanks for sharing your beautiful room!!!!

  23. Image for Kathy Kathy

    This room is beautiful! If just makes me smile looking at your transformation of this space. So glad you did not paint your Daddy’s desk! It grounds the whole room and gives it history and character!

  24. Image for Kris Kris

    This is just what that room needed! Not that it wasn't lovely before, but now there is more energy. The desk looks PERFECT the way it is, and it ties in the wood floor. You may even want to add a few wooden accents on your shelves to bring more of the warm wood tones in (look at me, acting like I know what I'm talking about, haha). A job well done!

  25. Image for DeMarie Ingraham DeMarie Ingraham

    Love, love, love it. It’s bright and cheery, and conducive to inspirational work. So glad you left your daddy’s desk as it was. It’s the star of the show. Bet he’s smiling!!!

  26. Image for Joanne McNevin Joanne McNevin

    WOW! I’m impressed beyond belief! You’ve done it again! It was also great to see that Sherwin Williams paint picture also as it was through one of their emails years ago that directed me to discovering your blog and I’ve not regretted a moment of it! Outstanding job! PS- You’ve also somehow caused me to fall in love with blue again.

  27. Image for KC KC

    Perfection! I would love to see how you organized the Ikea shelves behind the cabinets. I'm thinking of using those in my sewing studio but wasn't sure how much I could fit in with the narrower width.

  28. Image for Lisa W. Lisa W.

    Love everything about this transformation!! 💕 Did I miss links to items other than paint? I’d love to know where to quickly find the IKEA bookcases, those classic chairs, and the curtains, for example. Amazing work! Thanks for sharing your talents with us!

  29. Image for Hannah Reyor Hannah Reyor

    Beautifully done! Blue and white are my soul colors too and you did them to perfection. As an aside, what do you do with the “old” furniture when you redo a room completely? I.e. chairs and cabinet etc.?

  30. Image for Hannah Reyor Hannah Reyor

    Beautifully done! Blue and white are my soul colors too and you did them to perfection. As an aside, what do you do with the “old” furniture when you redo a room completely? I.e. chairs and cabinet etc.?

  31. Image for Rizae Rizae

    GORGEOUS!!! STUNNING!!! Did I say gorgeous? LOL.... Where did you get the spindle chairs? I'm glad you kept the desk as is. Congratulations on a beautiful new room.

  32. Image for Liz Shivel Liz Shivel

    Looks lovely! Glad you left your dad’s desk as it is. Looks great! The whole room is bright and lovely! Two questions about the IKEA bookcases: 1) I’ve read they are not the easiest things to put together! How did they go for you? I want to redo my office/library with those to replace shorter bookcases & add more storage. 2) It looks like you added another row of storage on top of the bookcases? If so, are those IKEA items too?

  33. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    WELL DONE!!!!! It looks absolutely amazing. And oh my gosh i loooooove how you did the woodburning fireplace area! It's perfect. What a great space! It's so light and airy and fresh. Looks great and every bit the effort paid off, KA.

  34. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    WOWSER!!! Wow-wow! KariAnne, it's off the chart gorgeous! What an amazing job done by an amazing gal! And look at all the comments! Outstanding job and so much better with the desk left alone! Just stand in the middle of the room and let it hug you and the memories warm you! You are soooo good at all you do! 🥰

  35. Image for Bonnie Bonnie

    I loved your office before but really enjoyed seeing your new blue & white version because it's so cheery! I really love the IKEA cabinets. I'm so glad that you kept your Dad's desk just the way it was. Your blog & ideas are so much fun to read.

  36. Image for Anita Kelly Anita Kelly

    I must admit KariAnne that I didn't think I would like it more because it was so lovely the way it was but YOU DID IT. I love the blue and white its so fresh and vibrant and much more you❤️

  37. Image for Kathryn Kathryn

    Karianne…I was distracted by that adorable hot pink tiered dress! I must have it in my life! Where can I get one? Your office looks more like you now. Love it…fresh and crisp!

  38. Image for Holly Holly

    Karianne What a transformation. So light & bright Have you considered styling your desk to include a pretty Lamp and maybe a tray? Possibly some family photos in bright color frames ?


    KariAnne, your office is absolutely beautiful! I just love all the changes you have made! Your dear Dad's desk looks amazing in its original state. How nice to sit at your Dad's antique desk and look around your room and see all the beauty you have created. The pink pictures on the wall behind your desk are beautiful -- such a great choice. I know you will just enjoy each moment you spend in your office. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures with us!

  40. Image for Janette Janette

    It looks so pretty, so fresh and clean. Just love the whole room. You have made me re-think what I was going to do in my lounge, now I am not so sure....oh dear, I love a good mystery.xx

  41. Image for Sara Sara

    A. MAZ.ING! It's so fresh and vibrant. The fireplace is so unexpected, but works beautifully! I'm curious to know what the metal object is in the bay window between the lamp and books?

  42. Image for Mary Brasher Mary Brasher

    Love the introduction of blue into the office. Looks like a wonderful palette of color that will make working in the room very productive and enjoyable. Good choices!

  43. Image for Maureen Gail Pettigrew Maureen Gail Pettigrew

    Ok, your new room is gorgeous. Not sure how you improved a room that was already beautiful...but great job!

  44. Image for Sandra Warthen Sandra Warthen

    The room came out beautiful. I am so glad you did not paint your father's desk. It is fabulous sitting on that rug.

  45. Image for Susan Sikes Susan Sikes

    I love it! It is so crisp and beautiful! I’m so glad you decided to leave the desk as it was. Besides the sentimental value, it really makes it the focal point.

  46. Image for Mich Mich

    Hi K.A. You did it again, another beautiful room. I’m in need of bookcases and office storage. Would you please be brave and show us how you store paper files? Thanks for being you!

  47. Image for Tammy Tammy

    What a gorgeous transformation, KariAnne. It is bright, light and airy. I would want to work in this space everyday. Love that you painted the fireplace navy blue. The rug has just enough pattern to pull everything together. The show stopper are the beautiful blue and white draperies.

  48. Image for Toby Toby

    Love the new office, but the old one isn't bad either. The bright blue & pink colors really make the new room so vibrant & cheery. I really like the Ikea bookcases, too. Good job! I'm going to check into those bookcases for a room in my home.

  49. Image for Lizette P Lizette P

    Great story. Love the shelves. Thanks for explaining where we can purchase similar items. Love your design style!

  50. Image for Debra Graham Debra Graham

    This room is absolutely beautiful. Just like the rest of your house. I have a question though. Do you have a post about where to start decorating an empty room? I get overwhelmed and don’t know what to start with! And as you add each piece, what thought process drives the choice of lamps and pillows and stuff like that? Do you pick the furniture first or the rug? Haha it would be nice to have a guide for that process if you have such a thing! Btw thanks for sharing your lovely house and decorating tips with us!

  51. Image for Sharon Sharon

    As usual, your room is just "right". I particularly like the curtains. I do want to give a "shout out" to our local Sherwin Williams store. The manager is Gregg and he and his staff are always helpful and never rush me when I have picked out 10 different colors and trying to figure out which one I should use. Our little town in southern Indiana is Washington, Indiana and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else!

  52. Image for Lisa Mingrone Lisa Mingrone

    This is so fresh, bright, and cheerful! It's the perfect balance with the soothing vibe from the mostly white with blue pallet. Add those few fun pops of pink and it makes for a great workspace!. Definitely putting that white on my next project. Could you tell me more about the rug? I really love it!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      So glad you like it! It's so cute!!!! Layers of blue and the prettiest pattern that goes with everything! I linked it here (affiliate): https://bit.ly/3LUBkqK happy day! KariAnne

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