a lighter and brighter oak paneled office

June 12, 2009 at 8:00 am | Posted in Our Home, Our Study | 15 Comments

In addition to destroying and rebuilding the bathroom, and painting the bedroom, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time brightening up the oak-paneled office.  Since I’m currently unemployed working from home, I thought it would be a good idea to take care of the office sooner rather than later.  You know, so that I’ll have a cute place to blog, pay bills, and search for a new job.

Our office was originally a manly cave of wood and green-ness.  Totally not our style.  Also, the valences in the house were driving me nuts.  Our windows are much smaller than the windows in our Minneapolis home, and thanks to the woody wonderland outside of our walls, very little direct sunlight streams through them.  Therefore, covering 1/4 of them with a dark valence is just not working for me.  I’m planning on replacing most of them with drapes that will hang to either side of the window.

Anyways, the office “before”:

And, the newly-painted, but furnishing-less “after”:

To be honest, I’m just not sure about the color.  I wanted a light, subtle yellow, but I’m undecided about the end result.  It took about 50 coats of primer + paint (and I had to cut in with a paintbrush in all of the grooves), so I may furnish the room and then decide whether I should change it.  What do you think about the paint color?  Any alternative suggestions?

The drop ceiling in this room drives me nuts, too.  Any cheap/easy fix suggestions?  Otherwise, we are inclined to leave it until the rest of the house is painted/styled.



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  1. I like the color. Are you planning on keeping the carpet?

    • Nope, eventually, we’re hoping to replace with wood floors!

  2. My little sister and I used to play in a room painted yellow. We fought like wild animals when we played there (usually, coming to brawls over the Nintendo). Later, I learned that yellow rooms foster hostility and anger. So…I suggest a color change, unless you’re going to start a weekly rant feature on the blog. (That might be fun, too.)

    • I like this weekly rant suggestion. I think I’ve got a few things I could go off on now…

  3. I love the paint color. It brightened up the room which was much needed. I’m in favor of keeping it, but I like yellows and golds. 🙂 You’ll know in a day or two if you got the color right. When we had our upstairs bathroom painted (yellow) it bugged me after a while, but I was hesitant to actually admit the color needed to be changed since it was just painted! As soon as we repainted I felt much better!

    Have you ever considered doing some sort of sheers for your windows? It adds a nice touch without making it more dark. The only downside is if you want privacy. However, if I recall you have a ton of privacy so why cover up the windows you don’t need to?! I just convinced my mother-in-law to ditch her heavy, dark drapes in favor of nothing in order to see the view and light. Then in the rooms they wanted/needed some privacy (bedroom and bathroom) they put a high quality roller shade in. They have a secluded property as well. Just a thought!

    • Thanks for the suggestion – we’ve been saying that we don’t really need ANY window treatments since it’s not possible for the neighbors to see in. The fabric that I have is a cotton fabric with bright green and a yellowish-white, so I think I will go for it, but hang them off to the sides. If they don’t work, I can always switch them up easier than repainting! Also, you’ll have to post your old/new yellow from the bathroom – I remember you guys did such a great job with that!

  4. What about painting the window frames/floor trim white?…you might like the yellow more (I love yellow, BTW!!)…What’s under the carpet? Not sure about the ceiling…I would say drywall, but it’s not exactly easy especially up above! Can’t wait to see all of this unfold. It makes me want to re-do rooms in my house!!

  5. OR…you could take off the window trim/floor trim and just put in new unfinished wood that’s lighter…painting over dark wood is really hard!!

    • We thought about painting the wood trim and windows white, but I decided it would take too long. I think you’re right, though. Something must be done about the trim. And I like the white suggestion!

      • I like the thought of white for the windows also. I think you might find that once you remove the carpet and paint the rest of the wood white, you will like the yellow better. Also, what about making roman shades from that cute fabric? I can’t picture drapes hanging to the sides as looking “normal” unless you have a valance across the top also…be sure to find pictures you like of other windows like that before you try it.

  6. To be 100% honest, I’m not loving the yellow either. How about a creamy white instead?? I’ve seen a lot of white-painted panneling, and it seems much easier to disguise when it’s white.

    • Thanks for the honesty! 🙂 I’m blaming Jason for the color choice, currently – I wanted something a little less yellow, but he picked this one out. Maybe I should get him to repaint!?! Ha ha!

  7. It’s hard to see the real color of the walls but it definitely is an improvement. It’s so much brighter. The drop ceiling has to go at some point but Jason said you will probably wait a while until you do the other remodeling, right?
    You’re a busy lady! When do you have time to do your research? We can’t wait to see it although I don’t know when that will be.

    • Thanks, Debbie! (My work gets done here and there… mostly at 9pm, when we arrive back at the apartment after messing around in the house all day!)

  8. I cannot believe you painted over beautiful, stained oak hardwood.

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