Apple + Oak Office Makeover

Chandelier and Pom Basket/Apple & Oak

I am so excited to share the office makeover that we did for our friend Allison at her new shop, Apple & Oak in Nashville. We met while we were working on Kacey’s dining room and she has become one of my best friends. This past summer, as she was renovating her new location, I volunteered to help her design her office because I was in between projects and honestly, I just love being busy!

She told me that her dream office would be themed “’70s Barbie” and I knew it was going to be fun!!!!!

Here’s how it looked before we began …

The before was pretty crazy. The first time I walked through it, it was a dressing room from a shop that was previously renting the building. It’s basically a large closet—concrete floors, patched together walls with a LOT of pipes, and very, very sad lighting. We got right to work designing and had so much fun DIY-ing a ’70s Barbie-themed office for Allison.

I love love love what she did with the door (and this view) because you can see all the patterns at once!

She hired I Saw the Sign in Nashville to gold leaf “maximalist headquarters” on the door— it’s so pretty and obviously the perfect mantra for Allison’s aesthetic.

First, let’s talk about the wallpaper. I LOVE this wallpaper and it has been on my “wallpaper bucket list” (huh, that’s not a thing?) for a few years. It’s incredible! It’s made by Juju Papers. Since it’s a large scale pattern, I wanted to use it on just one wall for maximum impact.

It has a gold finish and is just so pleasing to my eyeballs.

We found a printable Stevie poster on Etsy and had it printed at Office Depot. We made our own frame with this DIY, per usual.

Adding the shoe shelves was a last minute idea—a little extra personality piece for Allison. I mean, you can’t have a ’70s Barbie office without a shoe shelf, can you?

We added these white chairs from Wayfair to each side of the door, facing the desk. They’re the perfect size for the space and both functional and beautiful. I added these orange velvet pillows as well for maximum ’70s effect.

Rattan Mirror/Apple & Oak

And, one of my favorite details is this pink lucite marker board. It was Allison’s biggest ask. She really wanted a giant marker board. I love how it’s beautiful AND functional (and PINK!).

This floor was maybe the most time consuming DIY we have ever done in the history of ABM, but look how magical it is!

We were originally looking at pink ceramic tiles for the space, but when the budget wouldn’t allow, so we decided to do a DIY painted floor instead. It’s SOOOOO pretty! I am really excited about how it turned out. (and yes, we’ll share the DIY in a post here soon!)

For the rug, we used one from Allison’s shop, Apple & Oak.

The desk was a super basic desk we picked up at Target that we DIYed the hell out of (paint, new hardware, etc.) until it felt mid-century glam!

The chair is from Amazon (similar here) and is THE perfect desk chair! It’s gold and white and beautiful (it comes in other colors too!).

Here’s a link to the leather pencil holder.

Picking out details is always my favorite part. The butterfly, the eye, the mod vase, the tray … I love details!

I had so much fun working on this project! I’m so happy for Allison and her new shop. If you ever come to Nashville, you’ll have to visit!

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. xx – Elsie

Credits/Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Amber Ulmer. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • (Im)patiently waiting for that Lucite Calendar DIY! You CRUSHED it! Looks like the perfect place to make some power moves… 70’s Barbie would be proud!

  • I absolutely love it, what an amazing difference! Your hand-painted floor is unbelievable, but yeah, I can imagine it was time-consuming! I really like the juxtaposition of the floor and the rug. Job very well done!

  • I loooove studio/office tours!! Thank you for sharing this one. 😀 What a fun theme. The painted floor is really pretty, and something I would absolutely love to try if I had a suitable floor for it.

  • What a fun and beautiful space. I would love to hear about the light fixture. Is it diy?

  • I loooooove office/studio tours!! :Thank you for sharing another one. 😀 What a cool theme, and also WOW THAT FLOOR!

  • OMG! This is so perfectly Allison. I love everything about it. You ladies are so very talented. Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment ????????????

  • Your office looks amazing! I’m dying over all the details!


  • The quilter in me is obsessed with that floor! DIY painted you say? I can’t wait for that tutorial!!!

  • Hi, I am wondering what hardware you used for the desk (I’m 99.9% sure I have the same one and have been thinking of changing out the drawer pulls.) Thanks!

  • This might sound weird, but I’d love to do something like this in my closet! I want a fun, feminine vibe like this!


  • The office looks amazing, I’m so in love with all the gold details and the wallpaper! And the shoe rack is so cool!

  • I am so excited for all the DIYs this space will bring! What a beautiful office!

  • Love some of these DIY touches! Can’t wait for the calendar DIY! Is the triangle hook rail available somewhere or was that a vintage score?!

    • The triangle hook was exactly why I came to the comments section too! Haha! Already did some sleuthing and found it on World Market’s website!

  • Best theme/inspiration ever!! Can’t wait to see the post for the markerboard DIY ????

  • That wallpaper is SO fun! I also love that gold butterfly on the tray, adorable.

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

  • I saw that lucite board and my heart skipped a beat! I knew if you didn’t offer a DIY, I would be googling for the next two hours instead of working… ha! I will patiently await that one!

  • Gorgeous makeover once again – as with everything you guys show! I love the pink marker board, so cute and practical! Can’t wait for the DIY! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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