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before and after

before & after: colorful modern office redo

by Kate Pruitt

Be prepared for all the yummy candy and sherbert colors you’re about to see in this office/workspace makeover from Sharlene — you may want to grab a snack beforehand to stave off any cravings. I’m usually a dark, moody neutrals kind of gal, but this colorful office is making me feel a bit boring in my tastes. Even if this “before” office had been tidied up, I doubt it would have come close to providing the same jolt of energy and inspiration that this new office does. Sharlene worked with interior designer Elle Uy to make use of some pieces she already had and expanded the little bits of color scattered around into several distinct areas exploding with bright, bold hues. Great work, ladies! — Kate

Time: 4 weeks

Cost: $4–5k

Basic Steps: I have always wanted an industrial, raw, chic space but could not live without color, so we decided to create a white space because I had a lot of stuff purchased prior to the renovation that was all so colorful. Because of the nature of my work as a food stylist, writer and entrepreneur, and my love of collecting all things, my designer, Elle Uy, and I decided on creating an open shelf, which would be the anchor of the entire room. I have always loved and pegged open shelves in magazines. To add the industrial feel, we decided to install a faux brick wall and made lighting fixtures with water pipes and fake exposed it on the ceiling. For my cork and white board, my designer decided on covering the corners with wood edging painted with white to blend in with the design of the room. To add a homey feel, we reupholstered an old sofa I had at home and made a seating area by the door. I also hung my works and made a gallery out of it to add color to the room.

There are many things you can do when renovating. It is like starting with a blank canvas. Knowing what look you want with matching pegs downloaded to your computer or iPad will make the entire process easier to start with. Edit before you start. Second, be ready and be patient. Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you planned and there will be slight delays in the project. Don’t rush things, as they will not make you happy in the end.

Also, think of how you can make use of old pieces to lessen your expenses. For this project, I had a 20-year-old chair reupholstered with a shocking pink fabric and a 10-year-old sofa from my mom. The cork and white boards on the walls were also bought 3 years ago, and we just fixed it up to match the feel of the room. Some of the “art” I had framed was from a catalog I received in the mail with beautiful pictures and printing, and I just thought they would look really nice when framed. Lastly, when shopping for accessories, never go to one place, and don’t think you can buy it all in one day or afternoon. Decorating is an evolving process. You can find lots of nice stuff to add to your room even years after the renovation, so don’t get excited to buy everything right away. — Sharlene

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