…my “Happily Ever After”

…my “Happily Ever After”

I needed a “happily ever after” kind of place!


My office was a dingy, cluttered, beige nightmare. Looking back at the “before” pictures, I think my home office and I should have appeared in an episode of “Hoarders”. The “office”, it was where everything went that didn’t have a “home”. For two years it was a classroom while I homeschooled my oldest child in Pre-K and Kindergarten. Unfortunately, I never got around to taking down the classroom posters or storing the teacher’s text books. How in the world did ANY creative ideas come out of this dark cave??

Confession: I did not realize how bad it really was…and frankly, I am embarrassed to show you (but I promised I would.)


I worked from two desks pushed into an “L” shape. One of them I got when I was 9-years-old as part of a bedroom set and the other is my grandmother’s old sewing machine. Clearly neither are ergonomically correct! The office walls were beige. And you know how beige really gets your creative mojo going, right? (um. NO!)


I had two main criteria for what would shape my new workspace:

• Be beautiful, peaceful, and encourage creativity (It has to be my “happy place” if I am going to spend a lot of hours in there!)
• It has to be extremely functional


My new workspace needs to encourage creativity.

What place makes me feel the most happy, relaxed, and creative?

Reveal decor itemsFor me that answer came easily…the ocean! I have many cherished memories at the salty {“saucey” as I used to call it} sea. I have collected scores of seashells in my lifetime (they were all in my attic), and they will be ideal in bringing the beach to my home office. I also dropped a pretty penny at Pottery Barn, but the items they had were exactly what I had in mind. I found ideal storage containers at several stores. And I choose high-quality paints from Sherwin-Williams for the walls, in pleasant ocean hues. I kept the color scheme mostly monochromatic with a few neutrals sprinkled around for variety.



Pictured are a few close ups of items in my new office space. 


Reveal office pics to gether


Did I go a little overboard by insisting all of my office supplies match?

Sure…but it looks so much cleaner and professional.

Reveal white accessory items



I always have a tough time deciding which colors on a swatch to select. Thankfully, in the midst of making the  choice on paint color, I had a creative notion pop into my head. I went with it! I painted a gradient of colors behind the shelving, starting with a very pale ocean green (at the ceiling) down to a bold hue in the same color family at the bottom. And I am quite pleased with the results.

Reveal Gradient

Reveal Bye Bye Blah editted IMG_7794




I also thought about what would be pleasing to my other senses while in my work area. A lightly fragrancedReveal Candle image edited IMG_7692 (2) candle or Wallflower that reminds me of the ocean (Bath and Body Works is my favorite retailer for fragrances). I even purchased relaxing ocean music, for when I really needed to clear my mind and get creative! {I hope it doesn’t make me want to be at the beach all the time!}


REVEAL paper storage photo 

It needed to be efficient and house {hide} a lot of art and office supplies. I wanted my new office to be beautiful, but it still needed to be extremely functional. I needed to have a place for all of my art supplies, papers, and equipment. And most of it needed to be hidden! I kept a running list in my phone of what types of storage containers were needed. I also purchased a few extra, so that if I forgot any items or if my supplies grew a little bit, I would have some growing room.







So, here is what you’ve been waiting for…the Before and After!


Reveal BEFORE pics

 I cringe when I see this before picture.

It is a miracle that any thing productive happened here.


Reveal AFTER pics 2

Now I LOVE coming to my work oasis!

I have started a new habit of cleaning it all up, no matter what time of day or night I am done working. This way the next time I enter it, I get a fresh start.

Read more on my office reno @ 11 Useful Home Office Makeover Tips

Under the white table cloth is my grandmother’s old sewing machine. I just could not get rid of it, so I repurposed it.

And the other desk from my childhood went to MY child, she loves it and feels so grown-up having my old desk.




A few of my fave things about the make-over:

• planning and implementing the design (I am a “strategizer”…so this is right up my alley!)

• Using power equipment – I’ve always been sort of a “Daddy’s Girl”, so getting to use my dad and grandfather’s equipment was very special to me.Reveal Hole cutter parts

• Choosing exactly what I wanted to be surrounded with each day.

• Love the wall colors and the Pottery Barn items

• Sun Tan & White Sand scented candles from Bath and BodyWorks!



  1. Amy
    July 1, 2014 / 2:06 pm

    I love the gradient walls! I just need a child to move out to get a craft room……

    • thedoodleoven@cox.net
      July 1, 2014 / 2:18 pm

      Thank you! 🙂
      It is pretty subtle once everything got in its place, but I really like it! I knew I couldn’t have bold colors everywhere, so this was my compromise.

      It is so relaxing in here! It truly is a small space, so I had to be really creative on where everything is located.

  2. Karen
    July 1, 2014 / 3:25 pm

    Beautiful!!!! I want to see more pics!!!!

    • thedoodleoven@cox.net
      July 1, 2014 / 8:46 pm

      Thank you, Karen! You might just have to come for a visit! 😉
      I will see if I can get some more pictures for you.

  3. July 4, 2014 / 11:08 am

    I love it! You have inspired me to sort out my home office this summer now. I’m in the UK so am not on summer break yet but I definitely have to get on with it. (As I type this I am surrounded by bags of papers and books all piled up – my other half thinks I’m a hoarder it looks that bad!) :0D

    • thedoodleoven@cox.net
      July 4, 2014 / 11:54 am

      Thank you! And I am excited to see your Before and After pictures!

      Keep me posted! 🙂

  4. July 7, 2014 / 11:20 am

    Looks sooooooo goood! I love the gradient walls too!

    • thedoodleoven@cox.net
      July 12, 2014 / 11:02 pm

      Thank you! 🙂 I am so very happy with the results!
      (now where else in my home needs a “face lift”?)

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