In this post: Our study is a small dark room with only one window. We completely transformed the look with french style furniture and a soft light color palette.
Today I’m eager to share with you the transformation of our home office/study in our new home. Unlike the dining room which was very similar to our old home, the study is made up of almost completely new elements. It’s a small dark room with only one window, so to lighten it up, I focused on French style furniture and a light color palette.
The challenge for this space was to have it easily function as my office during the day, while offering a spot for hubby to do paperwork in the evenings. For hubby it was essential that the desk faced a TV, yet for me the character of the room needed to mix well with the rest of our home. For that reason it embodies the casual elegance I so often strive for and would best be described as a French Country study.
The “before” shot, above, shows you how small and dark the room looked when we first saw it.
The first thing I had to address was the layout of the tricky space. In order for the desk to be facing the TV, it had to be free floating in the center of the room. For storage I chose to put a large bookcase behind it and a bench for seating across from it, beneath the TV.
The next step was to determine the color scheme of the room, and so I consulted the concept board I had done before we had moved. You’ll notice in my upcoming posts as I reveal the remaining rooms, this is typical of the process I use to decorate a space. I rarely dive in without a roadmap to follow and the concept boards I do serve exactly that purpose. In this room, with my furniture selections concentrated on lighter woods and neutral tones, I opted for a creamy pale yellow called Mannequin Cream from Benjamin Moore.
To add a note of interest and a touch of playful pretty, I decided to add accents in lilac and berry.
The centerpiece of the space is the painted French desk, with curved lines and gilded edging. This lovely desk very much defines the room. (See resource info below.)
Picking up on the gilding, the one aspect of the room that comes right out of my previous library, is the wall hanging vignette comprised of chippy shelf, flourished mirror, acanthus sconces and vintage china pieces.
The generous bookcase captures the essential dichotomy I was going for in this room, just rustic enough to keep it from getting too feminine, with wonderful casement hardware reminiscent of old French window trim.
The French doors in the room allow for private working time, yet invite the light in from the neighboring rooms.
A painted galvanized bucket with French labeling is the perfect container for floral color.
The one small window in the room brings in a bit of light, but its limited use makes the pale walls all the more essential. The cream linen tufted chair lends both comfort and refinement.
None of my rooms would be complete without my beloved teacups. This one adds a cheery hit of color while delivering a nice work day snack.
The placement of the outward-facing desk affords a glimpse into the nearby living room. The color feeling in this part of the house is very much cohesive.
Desk accessories are both functional and lovely, with a vintage china letter holder used to hold business cards taking center stage.
For guest seating I used a white tufted bench with pillows added for comfort. It’s tucked between farmhouse style file cabinets, topped with family photos for a personal touch.
The decor on the shelf imparts the essence of my style ~ chippy wood mixed with refined white linen, delicate painted china reflected through gilt accented mirroring.
As lovely as the room is, it truly is functional. Much of my creative work is done in this space and it very much rises to the challenge.
French Style Furniture Source List
To get the look, click on the items below for direct links to the products. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.
(This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.)
- Painted French desk
- Tufted chair
- Tufted ottoman
- Faux floral
- Casement bookcase
- Farmhouse file cabinets
- Sweater pillow
- China pitchers
- Gilded mirror
- Chippy shelf
- Gilded sconce shelves
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