Emma’s Home Office Refresh

I am super excited to share my home office refresh with you all today! I think an alternative title to this post could be something like, “The Power of Paint,” as the majority of what I did to refresh this space is paint it. But wow, what a difference!

For this project, I worked with The Home Depot. I checked out the Behr 2020 Popular paint colors and actually considered three different ones before I landed on the paint color for my space—Battleship Gray. I used Behr Marquee paint in a satin finish for my walls. And I highly recommend talking to the folks at the paint counter when you are working on a paint project. I’ve always found everyone at my local Home Depot to be super friendly and helpful. I actually asked them a few questions around painting my office desk and shelves, so I’ll share more of what they recommended to me (which I followed) below. I’ll also show you the other paint colors I was deciding between.

Before we dive into painting tips and tricks, let me share a few of my goals for this refresh. First, I wanted to go ahead and take down my faux living wall. I had it up for about a year and a half, and this past autumn I actually added fall color leaves to the mix too (which was really fun!). But I was ready for a change to something that was way more visually minimal and streamlined. We are also (casually) looking for a new home and although I don’t necessarily think we’ll move anytime soon, we are looking and for us it’s just a matter of finding THE house we both fall in love with. Anyway, with that in mind, I knew my faux living wall was something I would probably want to take down before we try to sell this current home (as even though I loved it, I could see other potential buyers finding it strange or off-putting).

Other goals:
-more storage, preferably open storage
-minimal and clean feeling
-space for a large calendar and small bulletin board
-space for my painting easel
-I wanted this space (which has no door or fourth wall) to feel like its own space/separate
-something that shows off my black and white floral file cabinets

Here are the three colors I was considering: Battleship Gray, Graphic Charcoal, and Back to Nature. Most of our home is decorated with black, white, grays, and greens. Of course we have other various pops of color like photos and throw pillows, but these colors make up the majority of our home and I wanted to stick to that general color palette. In the end, I decided on the gray because I thought it would show off accents, go with my cabinets and some other things I owned (like my office chair).

When you’re considering multiple colors for a paint project, it’s great to tape the paint chips up in the space so you can see them alongside any furniture and also with the light in the space. Another option is to buy small sample amounts of the paint you’re considering and paint small swatches on the wall. I think it’s definitely worth the extra effort either way to make sure you are happy with a paint selection before you buy your paint.

Painting projects are usually 50% painting and 50% prep and clean up work. Or at least that’s how it seems to go for me. Ha. If you are planning to paint interior walls in your home, here are some things to consider:

-Remove any outlet or switch covers.
-Tape off any seams or trim you don’t want to get paint on.
-Cover floors and any nearby furniture you can’t move away.
-Remove any wall anchors or screws and fill the holes.
-Prime! You may not need to depending on the color before and the type of paint, but ask the folks at the paint counter if you aren’t sure (show them pictures of your room from cell phone pics if needed).

I also decided to paint a few furniture items in my home office. We painted my desk as well as two floating shelves. Since one of my goals was for my space to feel very minimal and streamlined, I wanted the desk and shelves to feel almost built in or like they disappear in the space.

We talked to the folks at the paint counter about painting this desk and shelves. They suggested giving the surfaces a light sanding and then either painting two to three coats or sealing the paint once dry to give it some extra durability. I just completed this space about a week ago, so I’ll have to update you all how the desk holds up over time.

I am LOVE with how my home office feels. It feels a lot less cluttered and I think a big part of this is the open shelving unit I added. I still plan to regularly clean and donate anything I’m not using, but I do often have a random influx of supplies. So it’s nice to have storage that I can quickly access but doesn’t feel super cluttered.

Thanks for letting me share! And thank you to The Home Depot for sponsoring this post. Do YOU have any painting projects in your future? xo. Emma

Room Details: Paint/Behr “Battleship Gray,” floating shelves, metal shelf unit, grey storage baskets, black storage baskets, rug, file cabinets from Poppin that I covered with removable wallpaper. In case you’re curious, my sweatshirt is from Ban.do.

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Janae Hardy, Emma Chapman, and Ethan Randolph. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop. Project assistance: Ethan Randolph.

  • Hi Emma, love the office refresh. I’m gifting my sister a new desk chair, can you please let me know where you got yours from? Thank you!

  • Wow. The place looks so serene and calm. I wonder how you get any work done there? I’d step into that oasis of calmness and instant doze off due to its tranquility! Awesome job 🙂

  • I love how the wall paint colour added calm yet elegant vibe. Thanks for sharing 😉

  • What a great working space – I’d be so productive if I were to work there every day! Haha! Well done! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Is this where the plant wall used to be? The plant wall was a lot of fun and I’m sure you enjoyed it immensely, but this redesign looks easier to keep and more functional as you get some wall real estate back. Looks great!

  • The vibe is great. I love the organization Al baskets because I feel I could achieve this in my own office.

    How did you do the floral image on the front of the small cabinet drawers?

  • Beautiful makeover! The rug linked looks slightly different. Is it the same one?

  • This space is amazing! I love how it turned out!


  • Do you like the easel you have? If so, can you link to the one you have? I’ve been on the hunt and would love your opinion.


  • This space is so calming! It looks like a perfect space to actually accomplish things.

  • Love this, and I love that you painted the trim, shelves, and desk the same color. I’m thinking of doing something similar with a kind of blue grey color.

  • I love sneaking a peak into people’s office areas! I have one desk in my bedroom, which is my office and art studio, too. I’m looking for ideas on how to better organize my space. Thank you for this great post!

  • Love the space! I’d love to know where the wood easel is from, looking to upgrade mine.

  • The space looks great! Would you share the model of the white Canon printer you’re using?

    • I believe it is this one – I have the same one in my office and love it!

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