Before & After: Pete’s Office

Someone asked the other day if Pete was going to have any say in his office decor.

Well of course he does!

It is his office.

And this isn’t really a before & after. It’s a before and during- at best.

Pete’s office is a wee nook off of the playroom on the third floor. And before you roll your eyes at my generosity on giving Pete a large closet off the playroom in the attic to call his own- trust me. This was a major win for Pete and a big loss for me. We both work from home quite a bit, and while our house is lovely, there aren’t many private spaces. With a toddler running around working at the kitchen table is almost as productive as not working at all. So let’s all feel happy for Pete that he got the office.

The owners twice before us used it as a little workout room:

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Not a bad use for the space.
And then the sellers we bought from used it as…



And now.

photo 2-1

It has taken us many arrangements to figure out the best way to make it work.Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 7.57.22 AMWonk.O.Lah.

When I asked Pete what he wanted in there, we looked through my Pinterest to see what struck his fancy.

He liked this space:a7d1bdc54a1dda98df5b49aeff5500bd

j.randall powers

And wanted that to be the inspiration. His dad collects Native American artifacts and I think the gentlemanly vibe with those elements appealed to him.

photo 1-1

When you walk in to the room you have this little nook straight ahead. For now it houses some filing cabinets and a printer/workstation. Not exactly the perfect view to walk in to, but it is kind of nice that it is out of the way from the rest of the room.Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 7.57.26 AM

We tried the desk in all different arrangements, before settling on putting it against the closet doors that lead to no mans land.

photo 3

We are going to get a bulletin board made to fill that space with a great frame around it so that you don’t even see the closet doors any more. Right now he is using a chair from the dining room while we have a vintage desk chair upholstered in a great orange canvas-y number. The desk I found for Pete at a local antique store and is everything.

That bench below the window has to stay because it is an air duct. We decided to build in some shelving around it to give it more purpose. Now I am thinking the trim needs to painted out in a glossy/slightly tweaked version of the walls (Alligator Alley- Benjamin Moore) kind of like this:6479e06919755ea7291a0e1581e33abe

Looking toward the door there is this little wall space. Too wittle for most substantial pieces, but too big for nothing. Pete found a cabinet that fits perfectly on 1stDibs that is on its way.

photo 4

Then over on the other side from the desk I am going to have a chair and a half/loveseat situation made for

We are changing out the light to a flush mount. In the original arrangement it hung over the desk and worked, now it’s like a heat lamp on Pete’s sweet head.

He doesn’t know what he wants to use the dormer space for. At first we thought we would put up a curtain or screen and just use it for storage, but there isn’t a lot of natural light up here and I am not sure we want to lose that.

Then on the walls Pete has collected some fun/special/manly items over the years that he is going to fill it to the brim with.


p.allen smith

Like this. Total more is more.

What do y’all think of the direction we have going on here? Thoughts on “man rooms” in general? Do you like seeing the process or is it unsatisfying seeing the middle steps without the true “after” reveal?


  1. Sarah Greenman March 25, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Oooh… I love the inspiration photos and the green on the walls is awesome. Great job! I’m one of those readers that likes to see the ugly middle stuff – keep it real girl. xo

  2. Stephanie March 25, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I like seeing the in between phases and inspirations, keep em coming! I’m loving the direction home decor is going lately, “man room” is turning more “grown up masculine” and not sports bar, a place that is nice to look at and not a hodge podge of kitchy junk.

  3. Katie March 25, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Where is the light fixture from? It’s beautiful!

  4. Katy March 25, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Love the way this room is heading! It’s a talent to look at those small spaces and turn them into a highly functioning room with plenty of style! And I’m still dying over that carpet…

  5. Lynngweeny March 25, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Yes, diggin’ the evolution of the office and I
    love the inspiration room……yummy!

  6. Samma March 25, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I love seeing the evolution. It also makes me feel better about myself that not everything in your gorgeous home is “done”. Especially with a toddler and a new business.

    I love where the office is going, and I’m glad Pete didn’t get the chartreuse in his space, for his own sake! Ha!

  7. Emilie March 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I am also a fan of the light fixture! Please share :) and I happen to also be in the market for a flush mount light that is clean but fabulous. Is that even possible? Every flush mount light I find reminds me of a boob.

    Pete’s office is Awesome with a capital A! Small spaces are tricky and you, Bailey are an artiste!

  8. ade March 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Agreed. I love the in-between photos, makes me feel like those projects I have that are in those middle stages still have the possibility of becoming super fab at some point!. And it’s nice to see that you have legitimate projects still in the works like us mere design mortals…(whose homes may include some spaces that are done and beautiful, but some that are still a work in progress).

    Thanks for sharing, as usual!

  9. caitlin March 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Yes, I like to see the middle-steps!! It’s fun to see the house transform. And YES! paint out the trim (colored glossy) -all of it including, the bookcase- it will look FABULOUS and make the room look bigger. Love the blog, you’ve got great taste.

  10. smash March 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Pete has excellent taste! I like how it still fits with the rest of your house, but looks masculine and practical. I’m eager to see the “final” version! xo

  11. Lauren March 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    What a cute and enviously private room! I do think that the light fixture is too big for such a small space though….

  12. Angeline March 26, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Love seeing the in progress pics – thank you! Like the tweeked out green idea for the bench, too! What a stylish man you have :)

  13. stephanie March 26, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Bailey – been reading forever but never comment. I’m compelled to comment today to say you need to do a post on flush mount lights! There are so many ugly ones out there – tell us where to find the good ones! Is that the RL Brooksend light in Pete’s office? I’m considering that for my office. And don’t you have the Sophia star flush mount somewhere in your house? Does it get off enough light? Would love your opinion on the best flush mounts out there. xo

  14. stephanie March 26, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Bailey – been reading forever but never comment. I’m compelled to today though to tell you that you NEED to do a post on flush mount light! There are so many ugly ones out there – tell us where to find the good ones!! :) Is that the RL Brooksend light in Pete’s office? I’m considering the flush mount version for my office. and don’t you have the Sophia flush mount somewhere in your house (or your Austin house?). Did it give off much light at all? Would love your opinion on flush mounts! xo

  15. lynne April 1, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Love the in-between, working-through-it photos. keep it real, bailey. your site is a treasure.

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