Prior to moving in to #thefauxhouse, I’ve always worked in the dining or living room on a cheap, rickety Ikea desk. We moved that rickety desk into the new office and told ourselves we’d put off designing the room for at least a year. I lasted two whole weeks. When I should have been unpacking boxes, I was busy at work in the moodboard file. I wish I had saved all the iterations. There were hundreds. The inspiration for the room solidified when I found the Leather Schoolhouse Chairs from Rejuvenation. Schoolhouse. Schoolhouse! The office needed to be a modern schoolhouse. Warm, vibrant colors with modern, clean lines. Though Hallie always knew that.
Here’s the 100th moodboard—the one we both finally agreed on. It was a holiday weekend. Kev had the day off, so we went to Ikea to buy a sturdy desk. We barely made it home with both of the very substantial butcher block desktops. As with all Ikea purchases, I assembled the furniture immediately. I’d like to be an Ikea furniture assembler in another life. It brings me so much joy. (Sadly, this is not sarcasm.) The desk configuration just so happened to fit the width of the room perfectly. Most people think it’s a built-in. Though nothing is actually affixed—to the wall or eachother. The desktop and bases are super substantial for Ikea! I don’t worry about them shifting. Rejuvenation was having a huge sale that same weekend. I secured the chairs—the inspiration for the room. Next stop, the paint store.
It’s important you know this—I’ve painted so many unsuccessful green walls in my short adult life. It’s nothing short of a miracle that Kev agreed to let me paint yet another wall green. I wanted the color to look like an old green schoolhouse chalkboard, so I decided to start with green chalkboard paint. Second miracle—it turned out right the first time! I lightly seasoned the wall with chalk afterwards to lighten it a bit, then wiped the wall with broad strokes using a ribbed kitchen cloth. It left behind the most beautiful texture. I both love and hate telling people I only spent $20 on the wall. (Note: it’s important to start with a smooth wall for this technique.)
We teamed up with Rejuvenation to finish out the room (from the lighting to the shelf to the rug), and Kim from Yellow Brick Home sent over the dreamiest of beach prints. I’m certain it lets off a little Vitamin D most days. I mostly love the way it disrupts the sea of dark green.
I love the function of a space just about as much as I love the form. We needed this room to act as an office 65% of the time and a playroom 35%. It’s downstairs, right off the kitchen, with plenty of floor space. The cabinets are filled with clear plastic containers to both house the toys and make them visible when needed. This makes cleanup far easier. Though the redundancy of cleaning after a toddler is still mind numbing. (I’m not sure a better design could solve that.) I also wanted a shelf strictly for looks. The office is enclosed by two large glass doors, so the room is always visible. I shopped vintage books around Minneapolis, keeping to a particular color palette, and used a new but vintage clock as a bookend. I like to give each room to have a personal touch without plastering it with all the pictures I forgot to take of us. So I added a vintage jar gifted to me by my grandma and a whittled face that sat on the desk of my late aunt.
The room is calm enough to be creative and spicy enough to feel complete. I’m not sure which room I love more—the kitchen or the office. Lucky for Hal, she doesn’t have to decide.
Do you love the rug? I’m planning on buying it for my living room, but buying rugs without seeing them is tricky.
I feel you! It’s so hard to buy a rug sight unseen. I love it though! We loved it so much we got a similar one for our daughter’s room. It’s not cushy by any means but it’s upper durable and hides a multitude of sins. We put a thick felt pad under both rigs.
Hi, would you mind sharing an update on how the Ikea desk cabinets have held up over time? I want to try this out, but have been burned by Ikea cabinets in the past! 🙂
Your pocket door seems larger in size, which is what I’m looking for! Where did you get it?
I think our builder purchased it from Menards.
Hello, can u recommend a good app to create a mood board?
Hi! I use photoshop and illustrator since it’s what I’m familiar with. I imagine there must be a mood board app out there but don’t know of one off the top of my head I’ll update if I come across one!
I need that fruit print in my life. Where did you get it? You referenced yellow brink home, but not sure if she sells them?
Thank you in advance!
Hi! It’s a digital download from Angela Hardison.
I tried to see where you got the doors for the office but was not able to find it. If you don’t mind sharing I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
I think our builder said they purchased them from Menards of all places and painted them black!
Quick question about the green wall- did you just paint down to where the desk meets the wall and then leave the bottom white? I believe you did but I just wanna make sure because I really like the look! Just wanna makes sure you didnt do anything special. If that even makes sense? Lol
Yep, totally painted just until the top of the desks because I’m cheap (and lazy)!
So my husband and I are planning to recreate something similar to this in our home. I am just so obsessed! I just had one question….is there anyway you could link me to the cabinet that has the door on it? I’ve searched every part of IKEA’s website and cannot find what it seems to be! It looks like it’s the same depth as the other cabinets and all the ones I can find are much more shallow. We are headed to IKEA next weekend and the closest one is 5 hours away (gasp) so I wanted to make sure I know exactly what I need before we go!
Thanks so much!
Oh no, it looks like the quit selling the cabinet base. NO! I’ll keep digging around the site and let you know if I find anything.
Much appreciated! If worse comes to worse, I will just get 3 of the Alex cabinets! 🙂
Thanks so much!!
I love the office!! In particular, I love the chair. When I click on the link and it takes me to Rejuvenation, it is not exactly the same chair. It doesn’t have the large criss cross stitching on the top of the back… nor does it have the same frame. The store said it must have been bought at another company? Is that possible? thanks, Caroline
Hey Caroline! We definitely bought it from them, but it’s been about 2 years. Looks like they updated the base of the chair. CB2 sells a similar chair called the Roadhouse Chair. It looks closer to what we have. Target even sells a similar one, without stitching though. Hope this helps! I’ll let you know if I find other similar ones!
Where did you get the sliding glass doors that didn’t need a big track on the floor?
When you say you “seasoned” the wall with chalk and brushed it with a dish towel are you just talking about the way you spread chalk? Or is it a painting technique? I LOVE the effect. Do you think this effect could be achieved with more coats of paint? (I want to actually write on it) thanks!
Hey Martha! After you paint a chalk wall, before writing on it, I read it’s best to season it so that the surface doesn’t permanently hold the first layer of writing (turn a piece of chalk sideways and rub over the whole wall then wipe away). Doing a couple coats of paint will make for the best usable chalkboard! You’ll want to make sure your wall is either pretty flat or sanded first. Layering paint will also help to create a flatter surface.
I love this room! I just read your article in bh&g. I’d love to know which siding door you used for the office, we have a similar room off our entry way and we are trying to find something other than French doors or barn doors.
Could you give the length of the room? I’m planning to do something similar but am trying to visualize how much space there will be for chairs. I’m worried my wall is shorter and the space for chairs won’t be enough. Thank you!
Our room is almost exactly the length of two Gerton desktops. It’s a probably 124″ long.
It looks great! Did you stain the table tops from Ikea? I’m interested in using the Gerton as well but it looks lighter on the Ikea website.
We haven’t done a thing to the top though we need to. I bought mineral oil for my cutting boards. Might be a nice option? The verdict is still out. Will update! The tables vary in color a whole lot. One of ours is significantly lighter than the other.
I found one this weekend in the as-is section at Ikea (40% off!) This one isn’t as light as I expected either, but I’m happy with it.
I just moved and my office is the last room to go! I’m sitting here surrounded my stacks of books, working from a small console. Your desk configuration looks PERFECT for what I want! Question: did you affix the desktop to the drawer units with anything or is it heavy enough not to move around? Thanks for this amazing inspo! xo
I need to update the post to mention this. We didn’t affix at all. The tops are so heavy, I don’t worry about them moving. And the bases we bought came with tiny rubber dome stickers. We placed those on the top of the bases and the seems to help keep the desktop in place too!
Looks so good! I have some similar components going in my own office/playroom but it’s not coming together nearly as well!! I was wondering if you could tell me what kind of roller blinds you have. They look so simple and minimal. Everything in our 1920’s windows looks so chunky. Also, that photo on the wall had me fooled at first for another window!
It’s so hard to combine the functionality of two rooms! We just added more storage in the dining room to accommodate toys. We bought our roller blinds from Home Depot. They were the most affordable, especially when doing the whole house at once. I can’t remember the exact ones we went with. (I’ll have to do some digging.) But the ones downstairs all let light through. They basically diffuse direct sunlight. (Great for shooting pictures.) The fabric looks like a linen material compared to the plastic comparative option. Upstairs we went with blackout shades. In general, all the shades are white so they disappear as much as possible when rolled up.
Love this! It’s so clean–I could get so much work done there!
Perfect. What are the 2 end units you ended up going with for the desk?
Hey Stacey! There should be a link for both the desk cabinets and the drawers in the sources area at the bottom of the post. I’ll post it here too: Desk Cabinets
Oh yes. I see that now. Thanks so much!
For sure! Let me know if any other questions come up.
one last question, how many cans and coats of the green paint did your wall require?
I think I bought 2 cans. They’re pretty small. I did about 1.5 coats. Since I didn’t want my wall to be a usable chalk wall, I skimped. If I wanted to be able to write and erase easily, I would have needed at least two coats to cover and build up a thick enough layer. Thanks for asking this question. Those are important details I should have included!
Hi Melissa, Did you treat your butcher block working surfaces at all with anything (liek mineral oil) or jsut leave as is? And how do you clean them or dust and what not?
We’ve yet to treat them but really need to. I bought some mineral oil but it’s still sitting on the shelf. So far we’ve just wiped it down with a wet cloth. I kinda think we need to do a matte polyurethane coat. There’s a couple toddler scribbles that made it off the edge of the paper she was drawing on.
The architect in me is convinced that you were an architect in a previous life. I love everything about this space Melissa, its just so perfect in every way!
I LOVE ITTTT!!!!! I’m so with you – putting together Ikea furniture (usually) brings me so much joy. When I get home with the stuff I cannot wait to put it all together. When I first moved in with Robert, we spent a solid two weeks putting together furniture after work and I couldn’t have been happier. The look you achieved with the wall in this room is absolutely gorgeous. You’re an inspiration!