ABM Studio: The Office (Progress!)

A Beautiful Mess Office (progress!)I am SO excited to share some more progress we've made on our studio space! As you can see, it's still far from done, but we've made SO much progress. Here's a little time machine trip to remind you where we were just three months ago… 

The office (before!)

And here's how this same room looks today… (!!!!)

A Beautiful Mess Office (progress!)   After much thought, we decided to go black! I am thrilled with the choice. It honestly does not make the room feel too dark. If anything, I feel like it brings out its best features by highlighting those beautiful bay windows. 

Emma built this awesome (and crazy practical) office table with our dad. We'll share more about that in a separate post soon! We decided to invest in comfy office chairs and boy, are we happy with that choice! 

A Beautiful Mess Office (progress!) As you can see in this photo, we still have a LOT of decorating to do. Our favorite part!! 

A Beautiful Mess Office (progress!)  Isn't our one little light bulb SO sad? We have a light fixture coming soon. I can't wait! 

Here's my favorite upgrade…

The office (before!) (Before) Remember how I said it would be cool to finish this entire wall with bookselves? Well, our contractor (Martin Remodeling) did an in-credible job!!! 

A Beautiful Mess Office shelves(After) Bookshelves for miles, right? I can't wait to fill these up! 

Still on our to-do list: We purchased a black Smeg for this room for our team's lunches and snacks. We're planning a coffee cart area because God knows we love some coffee around here. Styling the shelves, for sure! Some hanging plants? Yes, probably. And that light fixture… We're SO excited for it to arrive. Beyond that, we're feeling at home here already! 

Thanks so much for taking a look at our progress. We'll be sharing more updates soon! xo. Elsie 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Sarah Rhodes

  • Love it! 🙂 Come to think of it, this would look good in my office (maybe I should ask my boss? ;)).

    ps: the Smeg is the smartest move ever, let me assure you

  • The space looks great ladies! I hope to one day have such a stylish office for my business. Continue your inspiring work! xx

  • it’s beautiful! can’t wait for more updates!


  • WOW…this place looks amazing. I would have never had this vision from the way the house looked before. You ladies sure are talented. The office is so simple and beautiful. Love the little succulents on the window sill. The black and green really look great together.


  • Would you mind terribly sharing the link? I have been looking for a chair just like this for my home office!

  • Wow black walls – daring, but it totally works! Also, I have to say that I love the table with the extra space underneath the table top – brilliant! Indeed, your contractor did a truly wonderful job with your bookshelves 🙂

  • Everything is so beautiful ugh, you ladies are so talented. I hope you both go from strength to strength !

  • The book shelves!!!! Gorgeous!!! Can’t wait to see how you girls fill those up.


  • I love that giant desk/table. The black walls look fantastic, I love that it doesn’t look like a cave at all in there. Such a cool workspace!

  • Lovely photos ! Great post ℓα ℒιcσrηe – ℒa vie est ℓa petite ℓicorne.

  • What a great looking workspace! It’s love how bright the room still is even with such a dark wall color! What is that wall color? Is it a true black?

  • Wow, that wall of shelves looks like it was always supposed to be that way. How beautiful, I would not normally consider black for a wall color but it does make everything pop and the table reminds me of kindergarten class when everyone had their cubby in their desk for their stuff. It looks like you can store things out of site in that table, with everything at your fingertips but still neat & clean. I would love to have that in my school room.


  • Wow, it looks great! Very professional and at the same time, very personal! Can’t wait to see the finished look!

    Cx from http://mixedmediumstheatre.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Oh I love love love the black! That table is pretty awesome too! Cant wait to see more as always!

    Lulu xx


  • i’m really digging the progress shots updates. i like that it gives a glimpse of the reality that is the before to the magic that is the after. it makes tackling a big project seem more manageable and that the in between phase is just part of the process!

  • it looks amazing!! I love the shelves and how the bay windows look with the surrounded walls in black… Congrats!!

  • It looks AMAZING!!! I can already imagine how creativity flows in such an inspiring “ambiente”. Great job and I am so curious abou the progress.
    xx, Sarah

  • This is BEAUTIFUL! I love the black walls too! Is it chalkboard paint? If not, I wonder if it would work similarly with chalk every once in a while. This looks like an incredible think space. I’m so excited for you guys to work in here! I’d die to have a studio space like this one.

    Nicely done!!
    xx. Jillian

  • Wow, such a difference. I love taking chances on things like wall color, and apparently you guys do as well! I love the dark.

  • That table looks great! I’m looking forward to see how you constructed it. I love saving money in the budget by building the larger items-more wiggle room to buy artsy stuff later.

  • I love your black walls. We’ve got one black wall in our kitchen and it looks great:)

  • I love the black so much! Total inspiration. At first I thought it was actually all chalkboard but either way it’ll serve as the perfect high contrast background for beautiful photos.

  • This room is looking SO AWESOME! I’m super excited to see the finished product! I think the black walls + white rolly chairs give the room such a chic vibe!

  • Gorgeous! Those black walls are so stunning, and really draw attention to the bay window. And those chairs! They’re the most rad looking office chairs.

  • I love this!!! And after trying for a long time to convince my husband to paint part of our living room black, I finally showed him these photos, and he got convinced. YESSSSS. So thank you! Looking forward to see more after-shots of the house 🙂
    xo Kat


  • I love a wall of shelving – to me it just shouts “possibility”… for storage, decoration, personal expression, inspiration. The space is looking terrific!!

  • This room is absolutely amazing! Is this black a chalkboard paint? I also love your bookshelves!


  • When I read that you painted your walls black, I was a little surprised and unsure, but I really love the black walls! I do think they make the windows stand out and I also love the contrast, too. Can’t wait to see it all decorated!

  • So excited to learn more about that fantastic table!! Love the black contrast 🙂

  • I am excited to hear more about the table! And those chairs looks amazingly comfortable.

  • The place looks absolutely incredible! For a while now I wanted to paint the walls in my room black, leaving the ceiling white just like you did, and this just made me realise that I have to do it. Thank you. x

  • Everything is looking so good. Love the black walls. And those chairs look amazing.

  • Hey Angela!
    That’s so kind, thank you so much!!

    Don’t worry- we’ll do another planner in the future! 😀 I really appreciate you saying that!

    Thanks for reading!
    xx- Elsie

  • It looks amazing. At first glance I thought you had blackboard painted walls for brain storming.
    Love everything you are doing in the house.

  • The black walls look nice in this space, but they would look very sharp if you went in and fixed some of the wobbly edges between the trim, ceiling, and walls.

    The bookshelves looks great. Maybe some crown molding at the top and around the room to integrate them a bit more?

  • You guys never fail to amaze me! You do so many things well, and design is just one more to add to the list. This house it turning out awesome, I always look so forward to the updates on the progress:)

  • What an amazing office-space! Can’t wait to see how it looks when the decorating is done!

  • Wauw it looks amazing! The black walls sure makes the room sooo pretty and more interesting – you kind of see the light more… I’m a fan of this 😉

  • I love the practicality of that table! I wish my desk at work looked like that. I really like the idea of being able to tuck your paperwork underneath your desk to keep it looking nice and organized. 🙂

  • LOVE that table!! I wish my desk at work looked like that. I love the idea of being able to put paperwork underneath, to keep you desk looking nice and organized. 🙂

  • The black walls really add something to the room!


  • from the first picture, i thought part of the wall was chalkboard! love the room; it looks great 🙂

  • Oh my gosh! The black is brilliant and those bookshelves! I’m dying. Can’t wait to see them styled. What an amazing space to work in.

  • Ya know, I was a tad scared about the black, but I absolutely LOVE it!! I definitely makes the bay windows stand out. You have so much natural light, it’s impossible to make that room look too dark.

    xo Denise

  • wow, i never knew a room with black walls could look so bright!! looks fantastic, ladies!

  • WOW!!! I love it ~ all of it. That’s a kewel table they built…and I love the chairs….book cases ~ all very nice ~ great job!! 🙂

  • How wonderful, I be it’ll look great when you are done with it!
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • elsie, it looks beautiful!
    where is the source for the chairs?
    thanks <3 happy valentines day!

  • Wow to the beginnings of the makeover (whatta table!), but more so to your growth! I’ve been reading for quite a few years now, and seeing the progression over time has been so exciting.
    (side note: a few years ago, I never bought your diy planner, and I mourn that decision every time I get a new planner.)

  • Oh it’s coming along great! I love the black walls.


  • Love! Would LOVE to see the desk tutorial–we’re planning on building our own desk too!

  • Even now, it looks ready for some awesome creative meetings! I love the table, I cannot wait to hear how Emma and your Dad built it!

  • I love the bookshelves. One day I’ll have a wall-to-wall book shelve like this!!


  • Looks great! The black is a bold move, can’t wait to see how you style this room.


  • love the black walls, and this bookshelves! can i come work with you? pretty please?

  • love the way you ladies dare to frame this door in this bright yellow/grren color!


  • This is looking GREAT!!! I absolutely LOVE that bookshelf wall! It’s been my dream (you know, ever since Beauty and the Beast) to have a whole wall of bookshelves!



  • the desk is my favorite part. wow! so unique and practical!!


  • Gorgeous! With progress like this, you guys are going to end up moving out of your homes and into the ABM house! 😉

  • This room looks so sleek! Upon first look, the main black wall (between the windows and the shelves) looked like it could have been a chalkboard wall. I thought that would be a pretty cool idea, having a wide space to work out ideas.

  • Black/white favourite combo….Have a lovely weekend all. x


  • I love everything about this space: the shelves, the table, the chairs, the yellow door..! I wish I could work in such a cool place 😉 Looking forward to more photos as all your decor come in place 🙂


  • Very jealous of both the bay windows and the table. Looking forward to hearing more about it…

  • What a great space! I LOVE the black! I’d always thought the rooms would feel dark and small. By the looks of it, it doesn’t; the white POPS! Can’t wait to see more!

  • Holy Crap! Those shelves turned out amazing! So often before and afters can be underwhelming, but they really took my breath away!

  • Wow! I LOVE the black and white contrast! Can’t wait to see the light fixture 🙂

  • What a strikingly beautiful space. I feel a creative rush scrolling through these photos. Right on, you guys!

  • Surprisingly the black doesn’t make it look too dark at all!! I love what y’all have done so far… & that window, swoooon! New reader here, can’t wait to read more!!

  • this looks really great. i would have thought that the black is too dark, but the nice lightening and the white furniture make it perfect

  • I’m loving the small pops of color against the dark walls and beautiful floors…the door is my favorite!!

  • Love everything about it from the table (desk like) to the shelves to the colors!! xo

  • This is beyond fantastic! Honestly I had no idea that black can be such a great choice!

  • Oh wow! It looks absolutely amazing so far! Loving the monochrome colour scheme too! x


  • ladies this looks amazing!
    can’t wait to see the bookshelves all filled up.

  • those bookshelves are perfect!! absolutely love this room so far!



  • So awesome! I never imagined such a bright room with black walls! You ladies pulled it off well. Excited to see what you do next. 🙂

  • It looks amazing! I am really enjoying seeing all of your progress!! The table is such a good practical design and I really love the bookcase. Where did you get those chairs from??

  • I love how the black paint turned out! I wouldn’t have ever thought of that but with those gorgeous windows & the fun yellow door it looks amazing!

  • These black walls with white trim…. stunning…. wow wow wow!! This room looks amazing!!

  • LOVE the black walls, especially with those gorgeous windows and white curtains. And the terracotta pots lined up on the windowsill – you’re a girl after my own heart :p

  • I can honestly say I love all of the design elements you’ve brought to your readers through your blog. So inspiring, I can’t wait to start decorating my own place with inspiration from you!

  • It looks so great already! I love the black walls and can’t wait to see the final product.

  • Thanks so much Regina!! We’re way too excited to finally be moved in and using the space!
    xx- Elsie

  • Looks great! Love all the black and white. And those big open windows…so lovely!

  • I am loving how you ladies are reinventing this house, and these black walls look so sharp! Excited to see more progress!

    // Regina


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.