See what happens when a boring home office gets a practical, bright & colorful makeover

Jul, 30, 2018

What happens when you crave a stylish home office but you always seem to be last on the list? Well, they say that the shoemaker’s daughter never has any shoes and that’s true for this interior designer and artist. I spend so much time in my office and it has never been a creative colorful space that represented my style. Until now. Come see how my boring home office gets a practical, bright & colorful makeover with the help of my friends at Raymour & Flanigan.

How to decorate a home office, colorful and practical home offices. an artist's home office, decorating with art

Boring Before Home Office 

For someone who loves bright bold patterns and color so much why wasn’t my room filled with creative energy? Here are some scary before pictures where my crafting table was the catch all of all things not put away. The walls were painted linen white and an array of mismatched and thrifted furniture filled the room. After searching on Pinterest for modern home office ideas on a budget I decided it was finally time for a change.

Humble Beginnings

As an art lover growing up surrounded by creative people art has always fueled my soul.

 I began collecting art over 30 years ago. I will never forget walking into a Washington, DC gallery for a Peter Max exposition and falling in love his work. At the time I was making less than $20,000 a year in investing in art wasn’t in the budget. I cut my spending habits in half and saved up enough money for a deposit only to be denied for the gallery’s payment plan. It broke my heart, I was embarrassed and defeated.

Little did I know that getting rejected would ignite a fire in me. I waited tables at night, painted furniture on the weekends in addition to my full time job just to make enough money to walk into that gallery and buy not one but two Peter Max pieces. These pieces are the daily reminders of what tenacity can achieve and became the color inspiration for the room. 

ombre painted turquoise walls

 Picking A Palette 

I chose a light pallet of turquoise and painted the wall in an ombre technique to mimic the background of the print. We used three Sherwin Williams colors; the lightest at the top SW 6756 Crystal Clear, the middle Tame Teal SW 6757 and the darkest Aqueduct SW 6758. The room took me less than 2 hours to paint. For a tutorial on how to paint ombre walls read my post OPERATION OMBRE: DIP DYED WALLS.

white rustic farmhouse desk, distressed white desk with drawers, desks with storage, pretty white desks

 White and Bright

Where to find practical Cottage style office furniture?

I didn’t need to look much further than my friends at Raymour and Flanigan. My office design needed to be clean lined, bright and most importantly functional. I love all the grand home offices with large writing desks but I had a ton of paperwork and art supplies that I needed to file away and keep organized. Storage was KEY and I wanted the main pieces to match. It was a tall order but I found the perfect line called the Artisan Craft Collection. Could there be a better name? I think not! 

white rustic farmhouse desk, distressed white desk with drawers, desks with storage, pretty white desks, orange leather chairs

 Party of Three

I chose three matching pieces from The Artisan Collection. The Artisan Craft Desk for my main workspace, The Artisan Accent Chest for all my files and copier, and The 60 inch Artisan Tv Console to hold art supplies, crafting books, and photography equipment.  These three pieces are finished with a lightly distressed technique. The cottage look and dark oiled rubbed bronze hardware were the perfect canvases for my colorful patterned accents and art.  As my taste and needs change these classic pieces will adapt to any decor style. Everything has a place and I even have a few empty drawers to fill. 

white rustic farmhouse desk, distressed white desk with drawers, desks with storage, pretty white desks, kate spade lamps, desk ideas

 Orange Crush

When it came to picking out a desk chair I again turned to Peter Max for inspiration and found the Probability Dining Chair.  When I saw it’s mid century modern look and orange suede tufted seat fabric I knew I had to have it. It’s curved shape gives me a great big hug when I’m sitting at my desk late night working on blog posts. The metal crossbar braces compliment the black curtain hardware and artwork frames.

mid century modern orange leather chair, raymour and flanigan chair, leather desk chair, orange chairs

Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You

Hanging above the desk I created a gallery wall made up of magnetic memo boards, a Romero Brito butterfly print, inspirational art and a very special painting from my Grandma Hill.

teddy roosevelt quotes, inspirational art, chalkboard art, gallery wall ideas

 Green With Envy

OK so I’ve been a big fan of mid century modern for a while now and my office needed a dose of funky MCM style.  This corner has now become my fav place in the house to sit back and work on my laptop or sketch out an idea. There were so many great accent chairs from Raymour & Flanigan to choose from. To see more Raymour And Flanigan‘s accent chairs click here. Each one is prettier than the next and so many choice for every budget.

artist home office, office decorating ideas, ombre painted walls, white office furniture, green mid century modern chairs, Raymour and Flanigan

Rounding out my cozy corner I added the square yellow Penelope Ottoman. Its large square shape is an extra work surface in addition to a comfy place to rest your feet. Nesting up to the MCM chair is the Swirl Ceramic Garden Stool. I pretty much have a garden stool in every room in my house. I kid you not. There’s really not a better multi functional, affordable and stylish piece of furniture like a garden stool. Go get yourself one and you can thank me later. 

artist home office, office decorating ideas, ombre painted walls, white office furniture, green mid century modern chairs, Raymour and Flanigan , black adjustable desk lamp

 Spot ON office lighting

Shining a light on the subject is the Spot On Adjustable Table Lamp. I’m loving how this lamp can be positioned in so many ways.  It tied in the black and has a touch of brass hardware which makes it that more special than your ordinary black adjustable lamp. Also, every room need fresh flowers. My husband Ross picked these daisies from the garden. He arranged  them in a hand thrown clay vase that I purchased at the Ronald McDonald Charities Sale last Spring. I have this thing with vases…. and pillows. But you all know that. What room would be complete with out a shaggy oversized pillow ? Chloe is constantly coming in and snuggling it. It is seriously such a cozy fun whimsical addition to the room. And of course you know how I feel about navy. LOVE. 

artist home office, office decorating ideas, ombre painted walls, white office furniture, green mid century modern chairs, Raymour and Flanigan , monogram pillows

Paint it BLACK

Black painted doors

5 years ago we finished off our attic space and turned the untapped real estate into a working home office for Ross and an additional guest bedroom. For added light upstairs we replaced the solid door with a 15-pane glass door. We never got around to painting it until now.  I wanted the third floor door to have color but I wasn’t quite sure until we embarked on my office remodel. Tricorn Black from Sherwin Williams was a no-brainer. If you haven’t tried their Snap Dry™ line of paints you need to! The paint is my new favorite with it’s thick coat coverage, super fast drying time and easy clean up.  

artist home office, office decorating ideas, ombre painted walls, white office furniture, green mid century modern chairs, Raymour and Flanigan , yellow ottomans, cube ottomans

 Amie’s American Gothic 

On the back wall hangs one of my originals from art school. Our class projects was to take a recognizable piece of art and reinterpret creating a self portrait in your own style.  My mom had this hanging in her own home for years until I decided I needed it back. Ross and I joke that the farmer looks like him… Farmer Brown. 

artist home office, office decorating ideas, ombre painted walls, white office furniture, green mid century modern chairs, Raymour and Flanigan , ombre garden stools, garden stools

 Home Office Ideas for Small Spaces

Design Tip:

There’s never been space for more than one in my office and now I have room for at least 4 visitors. Add in garden stools, ottomans and benches for additional seating, storage, and work space.

artist home office, office decorating ideas, ombre painted walls, white office furniture

I hung another one of my favorite pop art pieces above the Artisan accent chest. The turquoise is a perfect match and I dare you to tell me that art can’t match your walls. 

white office furniture, home office ideas

As I mentioned earlier this corner needed to hold my printer and all my files.The size was perfect and now everything is right within arms reach. I have never been more organized and happy to work at home. 

Keith Haring art, colorful home offices., getting organized,

 Live A Colorful Life

I’m am not serious about myself but I sure am serious about good design. As my motto says … “Life is too short for white walls”  

peace sign sculptures, living a colorful life, office furniture ideas

Art and Organization

Colorful Collections: A love for all thing ART

Storage and a space for display. This Artisan Craft TV console had both and came in three sizes! I had a few of my favorite art books that were just to pretty to keep behind doors. They now can be displayed on the shelves or stacked upright using my new bulldog iron bookends. These little guys are just the cutest and look at them. They are working super hard to hold things together. 

raymour flanigan tv console, tv cabinets, yellow lamps, cool artwork, peter Max

 Did you know that the color yellow encourages creativity?

Color theory suggest that kids that grow up in yellow room are more creative. Take a guess at what color room I had growing up? The walls in my office are not yellow but I sure needed a pop of this sunny color. 

lucite art easels, beth kushnick art

Beth Kushnick is a celebrity set decorator for CBS’s hit drama, The Good Wife and spinoff The Good Fight, watched by millions of Americans for nearly a decade. Her style is so fresh and glam. To the right are two of five of Beth Kushnick’s canvas art. I am giving away to one reader this set of 6.5 by 6.5 canvas art valued at $100.  Each piece comes with it’s own easel.    To enter to win this set simply leave a comment below and you will be entered. I will pay for shipping and all! All entrants must reside in the US. GOOD luck! Giveaway will end 9 AM EST 8/6/18.  THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.

art studio, artist's home office, home office ideas

Arranging the art and styling the console was the best part fo me. Anchoring the corner of the room is my yellow Kinley Ceramic Table lamp with my favorite lucite base. The lamp is so high quality and even come with a high efficiency bulb.  I have ordered this lamp in green from Raymour and Flanigan for the cottage. Did you get a change to read that post? If not you can read about My Summer Home Tour here

hello lamps, pretty yellow lamps, kindly table lamp

East Coast Girls are Hip

bulldog book ends, bulldog art, bulldog sculpture, art studio

Here’s a close up of these adorable bulldog book ends. I am a sucker for anything dog related. What we won’t do for our dogs, right?

bulldog bookends, color coding books

Time to Paint the Town

Now I can officially say that I am organized and LOVE spending time in my home office. No more beige walls, mismatched thrifted furniture and piles of supplies all over. My artwork now has complementing pieces and I have room to spread out and exercise my creativity.  I look around and can’t imagine why I didn’t do this earlier! I’m ready for the new school year and ready to be more productive. What projects lie ahead for you? I have a very exciting one that I will be sharing in a future blog post. Make sure you sign up for my mailing list and as always your comments are great appreciated. If there is a design topic you’d like me to cover. Let me know! 

how to decorate your home office, peter max art, cool lamps

 Sharing is Caring!

Pin, tweet and share this blog post

home office ideas, decorating a home office, art at home

*I have received products from Raymour & Flanigan in exchange for this post. All expressed opinions are 100% mine.

inspirational quotes, paperweights, heart artwork, using books to decorate


  1. Reply


    July 30, 2018

    Absolutely perfect Amie!! I loved reading about the art, love the ombré walls and that furniture is perfect!! Love the MCM feel and all your great color combinations!! I can’t wait to see what else you create in there! Love the black door too!!

    • Reply


      July 31, 2018

      Thanks Aim! I am taking after you. You have been so busy you lighted a fire going in me together organized! Love you and see you soon. xox Amie

  2. Reply

    Gabby Anderson

    July 31, 2018

    I love the colors you choose in your space super bold

    • Reply


      July 31, 2018

      Thank you so much Gabby! I am certainly not afraid of color. Thanks for stopping by. Amie

  3. Reply


    August 1, 2018

    Love the ombré walls! What a great look!

  4. Reply


    August 6, 2018

    It’s so colorful! It will be nice to work out n your office in the winter. My sister is a big Peter Max fan. She’s always doing ceramics in his style. Our big project coming up is a stamped concrete patio for our backyard.

  5. Reply


    August 30, 2018

    Love this article! I am so inspired and got some great ideas. Thanks and keep sharing.

Leave a comment

Related Posts

Never Miss a Post

Never Miss A Post

Sign up for new post notifications