before and after

Before & After: Jill’s Office Makeover

by Grace Bonney

If I had to choose an absolute favorite paint color it would be, without a doubt, grey. I prefer Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray to all others (it’s got such a rich green base), but I tend to love most rooms when they’re made over in a predominantly grey color palette. It always feels like such a great neutral base that lets everything else shine around it. So when Jill Danyelle sent over this office makeover she recently completed I was excited to see her primary makeover tool was a deep grey paint. While the “before” on this space wasn’t hideous, it definitely needed some love and attention- and I think Jill’s changes (wall-length shelving, warmer colors, vintage details) turned it from an empty little nook into a sophisticated home office space. You can read more about her changes here or view the full home tour (this room isn’t included) right here, too. Thanks, Jill! xo, grace

More pictures after the jump…

Jill matched the room’s grey paint color (Benjamin Moore’s Stone) to the metal door in the room. She removed the “too high” shelving and replaced it with warm wooden shelves that ran the full length of the room- adding more functional storage and a better visual fit for the space. The walls and desk were painted the same color and stools were added to the table ($99 for the pair from Overstock.com). Bamboo blinds were added to bring some more warmth into the room and little navy and orange accents were added to bring in more color.

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  • But what happened to all the booze? I’m hoping it’s now hidden in her bottom desk drawer.

    (beautiful re-do, btw. I love the natural wood shelves against the cool blue.)

  • Victoria – the door had already been stripped of paint. Both the client and I loved it. We matched the gray paint to the tones in the door, which just gives it a softer look from the main space of the apartment. The whole apartment can be seen here…


    Small changes really went a long way in this room. Thanks for sharing Grace!

  • the gray all over + bamboo blinds is very reminiscent of John Cusack’s pad in High Fidelity…

  • Could we get some more details about the shelves, please? Love them & want to mimic them in my bedroom.

  • Looks great – love the color, I know it says gray with a green undertone but the shots make it look like blue.. love the shelving too. Sharing it over at Armchair Exchange so I can read it again later.

  • Re: the color. It is Benjamin Moore Stone, Grace was referring to her favorite gray, Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray, as having green undertones. I too love gray! Stone is really a pleasant, rather neutral gray with more of a taupe feeling. I think some of the images just feel blue because of the lighting. I’d say the best representation of the actual color, when seen in person is the second image down here…


    However, wtmontana, we painted the bedroom Dior Gray, which definitely has purple undertones, especially when the daylight starts to fade. With photo editing, lighting and computer monitors, I’d say always go to the manufacturer website and a paint swatch for the best accuracy.

    Re: the shelves. I had the contractor custom make them to fit the existing brackets, which were lowered, and to run the width of the wall above the desk.

    Re: the chair in the last image. Emily, I am guessing you are referring to the one in the foreground. I wish I knew where to find more! If anyone else out there knows the origin, please fill me in. I bought four of them from a Canadian dealer via eBay for the dining area. I recently was watching the movie Mona Lisa’s Smile and gasped when I saw a restaurant filled with them, all painted white. You can see a screen grab here…


    Thanks so much DS readers for all the questions and the nice comments.


  • Very, very, nice. I went to Jill’s website and checked out the other pics as well. What a great aesthetic! She uses cool colors effortlessly creating airy spaces–but with warmth. Also, refreshingly unique.

  • Hi Emily and Jill, I have the same chairs in the last picure which I bought off Gumtree and revamped. Somewhere along the way the armrest piece had been removed and two of the back slats – I had no idea it had an armrest piece until I saw this picture. It’s definately the same chair. As far as I know they are from the former Czechoslovakia. Mine have a label underneath “Drevounia Czechoslovakia”. Oh I wish mine still had the armrest now!!

  • The chair is Drevounia Ligna. There are 2 designs of this particular slatted back version. One without arm rests and the other style is the carver (with arm rests).
    They came in 3 colours that I am aware of. Teak colour, blondewood (almost like a limed whiteish wood and the walnut colour pictured.
    Hope that helps.
    I’m lucky enought to have just aquired 6 of these with the arms and am currently reupholstering them. They are the honey teak colour and are in perfect condition. Gorgeous and what a find!