Before: Will Work for StyleHomeowners Julie and Ryan Rusin love their comfy townhouse. Julie is starting her own public relations business and wants to turn her extra room into a functional home office. She realizes that her home office has significant limitations. Her desk is too small and isn't adequate for computer work. Julie would like more closed storage space to minimize the clutter of necessary office supplies.
Right now, the small room has a sofa that is too big for the space. Vertical blinds on the windows provide privacy but aren't very stylish. The Design on a Dime team brings in a lively vibe with rich wood panels and bright blue paint. A massive workstation, seating areas and creative organization give this home office a professional edge.
For all available product information, click on the After photo of the room.
After: Business SavvyWith a chocolate brown/robin's egg blue color palette taken from Rusin's business card, the home office now looks sleek, sophisticated and feminine. A built-in desk with large cabinets provides plenty of space for work and storage. Two new chairs and table create a seating area that fits the scale of the space. Everything about this office sets a professional, pulled-together tone.
Paint and supplies — $105
- wall paint, Behr, Appalachian Brown 2115-10, Marlboro Blue HC-153 — JC Licht
Desk — $150
- file cabinets, $28.74 — Wal-Mart
Calendar — $85
- pinstripes, $9.99 — Pep Boys
Window treatment — $34
- curtains, $17.99 — Ikea
Ceiling lights — $75
Panels and molding — $130
- materials for wall panels and desk — The Home Depot
Chairs — $150
- white chairs, 20099849 – Ikea
Clock redo — $20
- paint and glaze for clock – Utrecht Art Supply
Accessories — $250
- magnetic boards, 10059071, $12.99 — Ikea
- blue pillow forms, $4.99 — Hancock Fabrics
- blue pillow cases, 70072215, $0.99 — Ikea
- blue vase, 50102911, $1.99 — Ikea
- desk lamp, 00052659, $19.99 — Ikea
- wall shelf, 56690305, $6.99 — Ikea
- hurricane candle, $13.28 — Target
- storage boxes, $19.98 — Target
- framed mirrors, MALMA, $1.99 — Ikea
Total — $999
Private MattersThe homeowners want to keep their vertical blinds for privacy in the ground level room. Design coordinator Kelly Edwards figures out a way to keep the blinds while adding window treatments that complement the room's decor. She sews a couple of dark brown vertical fabric stripes onto a set of basic cream-colored curtains. To top it off, she builds a cornice box out of MDF (medium density fiberboard) and paints it brown to match the other woodwork. To mirror the curtains, she adds geometric shapes made from wood trim that she paints the cream accent color.
Wall of FameWith carefully measured use of a 4- by 8-foot sheet of MDF, interior designer Frank Fontana creates 34 panels, all the chair rails and crown molding for the entire room. To make it look like real wood paneling, Frank paints the MDF with long strokes of a dark brown paint to create the illusion of wood grain. He lightens the color by brushing on glaze while the paint is still wet. Then he uses a dry-brush technique to add more texture. Once the paint is dry, he protects the paint with a sprayed-on coat of clear polyurethane gloss.
The clock's antique finish is done with a simple mix of paint and acrylic medium-gloss varnish. Edwards uses a flat brush to apply the thinned paint to the surface in vertical strokes. Then she applies another layer of the paint mixture in horizontal strokes. This technique creates a classic, antiqued linen texture.
Constructive WorksiteDesign coordinator Ali Azhar uses MDF to create a custom, built-in desk that spans the entire wall. A few details like a half-moon cutout and beveled edge make the desk more functional and stylish. Since the desktop is so large, the cutout makes it easier to reach all areas of the desk. For continuity, Azhar paints the desktop with the same chocolate brown paint, glaze and dry brush technique that Fontana uses on the wall panels. Large cabinets provide plenty of hidden storage.
Calendar Command CenterAli mounts four dry erase boards onto a piece of plywood and frames them in a decorative trim to create a large-scale wall calendar. He uses automotive pin striping to create the grid lines. The pin striping can be moved or removed easily to convert the calendar to a project board or other organizational tool.