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Girly Workspace Makeover

August 10, 2020

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Our home office has this little nook that’s been calling out for some attention. I’ve always had grand plans of tearing out the shelves and wall next to it and creating a two person built-in desk. But it was just something I never got around to. Instead, I took our old IKEA dining table, plopped it in there and called it a day.

I claimed this spot as my desk, but hardly any work actually happened there. What did happen here was a whole lot of junk-holding. My “desk” became the spot where things that needed attention later were tossed. Papers that needed to be filed, clothes that needed to be mended, half finished crafting projects – it was a mess. But when COVID hit, we suddenly needed a space for Emma to be able to sit and concentrate on her school work. I hung up a few of her drawings to try to make it more “her space,” but that was about it. So in an effort to build a little bit of excitement for the upcoming school year – despite having to school at home again – I decided to put some effort into making a cute, functional workspace just for her!

The first (and most important) part of the makeover was the wallpaper. I’d never wallpapered before, but have always wanted to give it a try. I figured that this small, tucked away space was the perfect place to give it a shot. Emma is the girliest of girls, so I knew she’d love a floral print. I also needed the colors to compliment the office’s existing (bold) wall color, but also still had some pink in it (because “girly girl”). I found this beautiful, removable wallpaper on Amazon and Emma loved it! It was also fairly easy to put up. I was done in less than an hour. Just the paper alone made a HUGE impact. Little Miss Charlie walked into the office as I was finishing up and very excitedly announced, “Wow! I love it! I love the flowers!” Emma was just as thrilled when she saw it too. Success!

When formulating my plan, I waffled a bit on whether or not to paint the the desk/table. Ultimately, I decided to give it a shot using another new-to-me product – chalk paint! I first ran into Home Depot to grab a can and their spray/chalk paint section was WIPED OUT! I guess everyone had decided quarantine is a good time to redecorate too. So I ran down the street to ACE Hardware and grabbed a can of the prettiest blush pink chalk paint. What I’d heard about chalk paint is that it’s basically the easiest paint to apply ever, because it takes pretty much no prep. No sanding, no priming – I just gave the desk a good cleaning then whipped out my paintbrush. I gave the desk two quick coats of the pretty pink paint (Emma helped too). Then, to add a fun little detail, I grabbed a can of gold spray paint (that I already had on hand) and gave the legs a cool two-toned, dipped look. The final step was to apply two coats of polyurethane to add some extra protection.

I thought a couple small shelves above the desk would look super cute styled with some pretty trinkets and Emma’s artwork. Aside from wallpaper and chalk paint, I really wanted to try to just use what I had on hand. Thankfully, I had some scrap wood left over from when I built a simple picture ledge for the living room. I had just enough to make two 30-inch shelves. I wanted a lighter shade of wood, but still something a little “beachy.” I layered two stains I already had on hand (Minwax Weathered Oak and Golden Oak). Thankfully, my experimental staining gave me the results I was hoping for.

Once the shelves were up and the desk was dry, it was time to put it all back together and style it. Aside from necessary school supplies, I only spent maybe $20 on accessories for this space ($10 of which was the clock, which is actually useful). Otherwise, I just shopped the house for what I needed.

The results of this makeover are better than I could have hopped for! Emma absolutely adores her new workspace and I am blown away by what a difference a little paint and wallpaper could make. Why did I wait 9 years to do this?? Do you think Emma will mind if I still this space back for myself? (Kidding! . . . Maybe)

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