One Room Challenge- Week 2: The Office Built-Ins are Installed!


It’s week two of the One Room Challenge and while I’m sure not every week will be as successful, I am thrilled with the progress made this week. If you missed the first week, you can catch up on my six-week office makeover HERE. I successfully secured some pieces I was most nervous about and selected my paint, but the most exciting progress by far is that the office built-ins are installed! I’ll save the best for last so forgive me as I get a little ramble-y on my roller coaster week.

*You can find the end result and the full office makeover reveal HERE.



When I first envisioned my office makeover, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a big, oversized, handsome wing back chair. I thought I would do something along the lines of the chairs in my great room (HERE)… and I actually kept thinking that until a few weeks ago. As much as I knew nothing would compete with a glorious statement piece, I started envisioning having to pick the chair up each time I stood up and sat down throughout my long days. Moving furniture 9384578 times a day started sounding not so fun. And, I like to swivel! So began the great desk chair hunt. I wanted something upholstered, preferably tufted, and arms were a must. After my search, I’m pretty sure I should just scrap the whole blogging thing because there is a HUGE gap in affordable, fashionable, comfortable office chairs.

Ballard Designs had a few with arms that looked appealing (and way beyond my budget). We have a nearby outlet I had never been to so I made the trip one Saturday afternoon; they actually had a handful of desk chairs in stock but the chair I was drawn to online did not feel right. They had two Rhodes desk chairs in stock (I would never have picked them out of a catelog, not because they were unattractive but because I had something else in mind), but both were pretty badly stained. I sat down anyways… and I didn’t want to get up. It was the most comfortable desk chair I had ever sat in.

While the chairs retail $700 – $1,000+ depending on fabric, these were marked down to $299, plus an additional 40% off. I asked an associate if they got the chairs in often and she felt confident that they would see another sometime in the next few weeks. Well, I stalked their shipments every day for the next two weeks until I decided to go back in for one of the stained chairs. To my delight, they actually had gotten another chair in; while it did still have marks, it was far less dirty than the two I had previously left behind. It was meant to be and I wasn’t leaving without it. I was confident that I could hire a carpet cleaning company to clean the fabric. Reasonable, right? Wrong…


I hired a carpet cleaner for the sole purpose of cleaning the chair fabric but when I booked the appointment, they told me the chair didn’t meet the minimum visit requirement.

“Ok, I’ll go ahead and get some of my rooms taken care of, also.”

When the carpet cleaner arrived, I immediately led him to the chair. “Oh, I can’t clean that.”


Basically, we were told that fabrics like these have to be steam cleaned by a special upholstery steam cleaner; if he attempted to clean it, he would ruin it. I have yet to find someone who will clean it so I’m still on the hunt. It may just end up being me, sitting in my dirty chair, but at least I know it will be comfortable! And, I now have clean carpet. If you know someone local to metro Atlanta, please send help! haha




After last week’s post and again, some more outlet stalking, I was sweating. I knew I was well past the point of ordering a desk from several companies and I also didn’t want to spend a fortune. My husband was actually on the verge of trying to convince me to go ahead with the “dream desk” from Week 1, but I knew it wouldn’t be worth the guilt I would feel later. Well, I also live near a Restoration Hardware Outlet (I don’t know how I go so lucky- the RH Outlet is actually closer than the closest grocery store which is 15 minutes away!) and knowing they get new shipments on Fridays, we swung by while running errands on Friday night. No, they didn’t have the “dream desk” but if it’s possible, I think I may love what I found even more. After the marked down price and additional 30% off the entire store, I brought home this 17th C. Monastery Dining Table (76″ in Gray Acacia) for around $500.


I don’t mean to be brag-y (ok, maybe a little bit 😉 ), but we are talking MAJOR deals and MAJOR key purchases this week. The two main pieces that I was stressing over are resolved. *insert all the high fives and fist bumps*



The current color in my office is “Versatile Gray” by Sherwin Williams. While I have it throughout most of my house, I wanted to go with something lighter and brighter in the office. I picked up several samples this week (“Creamy” is my trim color but I picked up a swatch for reference).


I actually went into the store thinking I was going to go with Eider White because the photos in which I had seen it pictured were beautiful; it looked like a very light gray. I’m glad I picked up alternatives because when I brought it home, it did NOT look gray… it actually looked lighter than my trim. See the last test (4) as a reference. If you have a stark white trim, you may be able to use it as a pale gray but I was not.


The winner was “On the Rocks” which is the bottom test on the photo below. Next week, I am hoping to have a fully painted room to share 😉


Here’s a peek at my general color palette.




Ok, so I saved the biggest, most exciting update for last. The night before Darryl at Ponquinette Fine Woodworks arrived with his team, this is what my office looked like. I know… still bad. Really bad. You can see where I taped off the dimensions of my rug and my new desk (and also where the pups attacked it).


We moved my desk and computer into the master bedroom nook for the next few weeks and pushed everything else to the far side of the room. I am committing to getting it cleared out this weekend!


The day of the built-in install, this is what the team was working with.


This was my first experience of having cabinets installed (since our new construction). In my mind, I thought Darryl would bring in (basically boxes) he had built, set them on the carpet, screw them in, and ta-da! Well, that isn’t how it works. The team first took off the baseboards on the far wall and then cut away the carpet. They re-set the carpet tack strip (is that what it’s called?) in front of the built-ins. They had a carpentry station set up outside to cut trim and moulding.


They even relocated some outlets which absolutely blew my mind.


One thing Darryl and Bobby (Heartwood Renovations) noticed in their initial consult was that my window frame was actually installed a little crooked – definitely a possible challenge.


But Darryl built the cabinets so you wouldn’t even be able to tell.



I’m going to wait to show you all the fun features of the cabinets during another week, but the final detail of the project was Darryl installing the file rails in my drawers under the window seat. The blinds aren’t staying either, but I’ll also cover that in the coming weeks.


Dave has a bit of work to do in cleaning up the cords, wires, etc. for all the modem/router/printer/components. *Dave- hi, honey! Happy anniversary! See that bottom-right? That has your name all over it. Can’t wait for dinner tonight 😉 xoxo*


Last week, I gave a little teaser as to which Amerock hardware I had selected. The Sea Grass pulls in Golden Champagne were the ultimate winner because, well… look!


I’m in love.


I used the Sea Grass 160mm on the cabinet doors and 128mm on the drawers. You can find them both HERE. Darryl told me that even though the hardware is the jewelry of the cabinet, in his experience, it is usually an afterthought and overlooked. He loved these.

*tap the photo to shop*


The built-ins aren’t done yet, though! You’ll see what I mean in two weeks 😉


By this time next week, I am hoping to have the room cleared, painted, and maybe even have a new chandelier hanging. Looks like Dave is going to be a little busier than tackling the cords and components! I’m also hoping to finalize some of my art selections. I’m considering ordering two of the gold foil leaf print, one hanging above the other, and flipping one the opposite direction. The other print would be large-scale; I would love to hear your thoughts!


If you missed any progress, get caught up here:

*You can find the end result and the full office makeover reveal HERE.

A special “thank you” to my sponsors this week for making this project possible.
Amerock | Sherwin Williams

*post contains affiliate links*

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  1. 10.13.16

    I can’t believe how much bigger they make the room feel!!! They look amazing Kel!!!

    • 10.13.16

      Randi, why are you up?! But, thank you so much for visiting with me! I am so excited with how they turned out; thank you so much for your encouragement <3

  2. 10.13.16
    Jennifer said:

    Kelley!!! Wow! So much progress! The builtins are gorgeous and I adore the hardware you chose. I must say, you have your work cut out for you with that chair, but I know you will figure it out. And your paint choice…perfect.

    PS: I can’t believe Randi commented before I did! Lol!

    • 10.13.16

      Jen, thank you and right?! She was pretty “on it”; maybe I should ask her if she wants the responsibility of linking for me haha!

  3. 10.13.16

    OMG those built ins look amazing! And the hardware?! Swoooon!

    • 10.13.16

      Colette, thank you! I love the hardware so much; I keep looking around the house in total disbelief of how much “too basic” of hardware I have. I need to do some more upgrades! Such a simple change that makes such a big difference.

  4. 10.13.16

    Those built ins are fabulous, can’t wait to see the rest come together!

    • 10.13.16

      Maggie, thank you! I am so pleased and had no idea what kind of work went into them. I can’t stop looking 😉

  5. 10.13.16
    yuni said:

    Kelley!! The built-ins are incredible and I think the large scale gold art will look awesome in there. Your story with the carpet cleaning was so funny but I’m so glad you found your chair and table! I should’ve met you at the outlets! haha. Great job, friend!

    • 10.13.16

      Yuni, thank you for your input and I don’t know if my heart can take it! Let me know if you know of anyone haha! And, we MUST plan to meet up! We must!

  6. 10.13.16

    Wow. At first I thought the built ins were going to be my favorite part. But then I got to the bottom and saw that art. And I may be ordering it stat. I have the WORST time with art because I hate most traditional things. But these? They are perfection. I am redoing my spare bedroom and these may work perfectly. Ahhhh you are the best.

    • 10.13.16

      Art is a tricky thing, for sure Lindsay. Thank you so much for your approval; I need to decide for sure in the next few days!

  7. 10.13.16
    Sara said:

    Those built ins are amazing!!!!! I LOVE the pulls!!! The art you are considering is gorgeous, too!! Love how it’s coming together!

    • 10.13.16

      Sara, thank you so much!! I am so glad I went with the gold. I keep going in there to look! haha

  8. 10.13.16
    Bree said:

    Kelly! I love it all and I’m so excited for you!! The hardware is perfect and the built ins are fabulous!!! I hope you get your chair cleaned somehow but if not, you can always reupholster it and add that tufting you want in the process! I’m jealous of your prices at the outlet too…lucky you!!! Can’t wait for next week! Xoxo

    • 10.13.16

      Bree, I’ll be on the phone making calls, begging for a solution today! haha Thank you so much for visiting me and checking in on my progress! xo

  9. 10.13.16

    OH MY WORD Kelley! I can not wait to see this before and after! It’s going to be so dramatic. Ok and that Restoration table for $500…um, AMAZING find. So excited to see next week’s progress!

    • 10.13.16

      Carissa, thank you! I can’t believe that deal either- still on a sale high!

  10. 10.13.16

    Love the progress. The built ins looks amazing. Love that you added file drawers under the window seat.
    Not sure if it will work, but there is a product called Incredible (red white and blue bottle) sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond. For the most part it takes EVERYTHING out of fabric! We’ve used it on clothing, rugs and upholstery. My youngest uses it on her slipcovers from Ikea to spot clean them (they are a similar fabric to your chair, she has white ones and gray ones). Less than $10 a bottle, especially with their 20% off coupons. Might be worth trying in an inconspicuous spot.

  11. 10.13.16

    Kelley! I wish you lived in Boston because I have the BEST upholestery steam cleaning guy!! He cleans my couches & fabric dining room chairs every other month (because I have a filthy toddler, apparently!). Hopefully you find someone soon because that chair was a great find!

    Your built ins are friggin amazing. They were perfect enough until you added the hardware. OH EM GEE. Stunning 🙂

  12. 10.13.16
    Daraka said:

    It’s looking amazing already!! Love the hardware on the built ins! Looking forward to following along.

  13. 10.13.16

    Kelley!!! Please excuse all the exclamation points, but I am just in awe of you! I don’t know what I’m MOST excited about:
    1) the fact that you live in Atlanta (I’m up in Chattanooga and visit ATL all the time!),
    2) just how STUNNING your built-ins look (I am literally already thinking of where I “need” some built-ins myself)
    3) that I’ve been completely oblivious of so many amazing furniture outlets that are practically down the street!

    By the time I read through everything you’ve accomplished this week, I had already forgotten about the chair fiasco. Have you considered fabric paint? I’ve never tried it myself, but a few people recommended it when I got my hands on a set of vintage Cesca chairs that were terribly stained.

  14. 10.13.16
    Mysha said:

    Kelley I love the larger scale print option but both are beautiful and your built ins are???

  15. 10.13.16

    God bless Daryl, those built-ins are gorgeous! I’m cracking up that the walls in your office look super similar to mine covered in swatches. I tried 7 versions of white yesterday, and when none of them worked for me, I added Repose Gray to the mix. I THINK it’s going to be a winner, but if it’s too dark in the morning, I might have to grab a sample of On the Rocks tomorrow! It looks perfect in your space. And holy shopping. I’m beyond jealous of your outlet situation!

  16. 10.13.16
    Keila said:

    Oh I’m sooo obsessed with the gold handles!! I love the built ins Kel! Looking forward to next week!!!

  17. 10.13.16
    Gretchen Thomas said:

    Oh my…I am so appreciative of good craftsmanship, and that cabinetry is superb! It makes me so happy that your dream is coming true. Love the progress and can’t wait to see what’s next!

  18. 10.14.16

    The cabinets look A-mazing! The detail on the cabinet doors plus the hardware is just right! I love using dining tables as desk so will love to see the table you chose here. And you are so brave to buy that chair!

  19. 10.14.16
    Eileen said:

    Love it!! The built-ins are fabulous.

    It might be worth getting someone to reupholster your chair (a lot of big antique shops have reupholster-ers) vs. trying to get some of those serious looking stains out.

  20. 10.14.16
    Shauna said:

    You’ve made a ton of progress Kel! The built ins look fabulous!!

  21. 10.14.16
    Tammy said:

    Beautiful built ins! Love the hardware 🙂 I vote for the large scale art work – it really stands out. There is definitely a way to clean that chair – I wouldn’t give up! And I definitely would not re-upholster it until I had exhausted every other option.

  22. 10.14.16
    Michelle said:

    A couple of thoughts, your cabinet guys are AMAZING! you can tell they love what they do! I am curious why you didn’t paint before installing the built-ins…, was it just a time thing? The chair looks super comfy, but I think you aren’t going to be happy with the stains…. I really think you need to consider reupholstering…. I know it is another expense, but in the long run, you don’t want to look at the room and love everything and end up focusing on the stains…. The room is going to be beautiful! I love the direction you are going…. The only problem for me is once a week updates aren’t enough for me!

  23. 10.14.16
    Valerie said:

    The built-ins are perfect and the hardware is amazing! My choice would be the gold foil print…it would really tie the whole room together! Can’t wait to see the completed project!!!

  24. 10.14.16
    Linda Manuel said:

    Everything is looking so good! I have a maybe “tip” for you. At walmart they have a 9.7 oz blue bottle of SHOUT Advanced – it has an orange top and inside it is a small scrubber. I have not found ANYTHING that this produce does not get out, including grease and paint! It does NOT harm material of any sort that I’ve tried it on and I’m thinking perhaps you could try it on your dirty chair. Especially is there is an area that you could test on. When I did a piece of upholstery I simply used a damp rag to sort of clean up after using the scrubber/solution. Couldn’t believe my eyes.

    Hope this might be of some help. (it’s really inexpensive too!)

  25. 10.14.16
    Linda Manuel said:

    The little bottle of Shout also says “set-in stain remover” and believe me, it is just that!

  26. 10.14.16
    Bethany said:

    Those built ins are amazing Kelly!!!!

    They make your space look gigantic!

    Cant wait to see what you add to them in two weeks! 😉

  27. 10.14.16
    Laura said:

    I’ve seen people paint upholstered chairs — yes, PAINT!! See if you can find something on Pinterest or Youtube — Maybe if you chose a color that matches the upholstery??

    And those built-ins are TO-DIE-FOR!!!

  28. 10.14.16
    Laura said:

    our comment is awaiting moderation.

    I’ve seen people paint upholstered chairs — yes, PAINT!! See if you can find something on Pinterest or Youtube — Maybe if you chose a color that matches the upholstery??

    And those built-ins are TO-DIE-FOR!

  29. 10.15.16

    Looks great!!!

  30. 10.15.16
    Denise said:

    I’m loving it. Those pulls are fabulous.

  31. 10.15.16
    Deb said:

    Once some carpet installers got black greasey handprints on some upholstered chairs in my bedroom. I called the carpet store and they said they would send the installers back to fix it. They came back with a bottle of Resolve upholstery cleaner which I was sure would not work, but they wiped it a few times with a clean cloth and the stains were gone with no residue. I still can’t believe it. Love your whole room plan. The built ins are simply a thing of beauty.

  32. 10.15.16

    Wow! Those built-ins are totally fab! And I really love the touches of gold in the art that you’re looking at. Our office needs some serious love, and you’re really making me want to tackle it for the next ORC!

  33. 10.15.16
    Tamara said:

    Kelley this transformation is just amazing! Those cabinets are perfect and the hardware, even more perfect! I can’t wait to see the next phase of your office!! You are so good! xoxo

    • 10.16.16
      Susan McInnis said:

      This is just stunning already!!!!!!

  34. 10.15.16
    lakbir said:

    Kelly, the inbuilt looks great but absolutely in love with those pulls…what a statement.

  35. 10.18.16

    Kelley!! So much happening! This is going to be so good! I can’t believe all the progress you have made this week! Looking forward to Thursday’s post. xox

  36. 10.20.16

    Kelley, I can’t get over all those built ins and the hardware! You go girl! Loving the paint colors too! XOXO, Sarah

    • 10.20.16

      Sarah, thank you! I want gold everywhere now!

  37. 10.20.16
    Angela Wilson-Vanmeter said:

    I love your style and the chandelier for week 3 is amazing! Built ins look incredible!

  38. 1.23.18

    Hi Kelley! I’m a little late on your post but found it when searching for built-in inspiration. Funny enough, we’re in Atlanta too. Having a new build done in Woodstock and in April we’ll be moving in from Denver. Were you happy with the woodworking company? We have a contractor but I’m thinking about calling this company about doing our master closet. Would love to hear your feedback! We also might ask them to install the cabinet hardware that we ordered for the whole house (we didn’t like the builders). Thanks!

  39. 7.18.18

    Beautiful transformation!! I’m wondering if the built ins cabinets are white or off white (sorry, I couldn’t find this info anywhere in the post). I’m working on our kitchen design and I love the hardware you choice but I am wondering if it will look just as good with pure white cabinets.

    Thank you!

    • 7.23.18

      Hi! They are “Creamy” by Sherwin Williams. And the gold finish on the hardware looks GORGEOUS against stark white (I’ve seen it in pure white kitchens 😉 ).

  40. 3.25.21
    Ivory said:

    I absolutely love this diy, and somehow plans to have one built in our home. I have the exact spot. I wish I had your contact in our area, because I would, for sure, use them

    • 3.30.21

      Ivory, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. I was so fortunate to have a great resource for the built ins. I wish you the best in your new home project!

  41. 1.24.22
    Angie hines said:

    Hello, I’ve searched high and low trying to find the color of your living room and trim in the living room. Do you mind sharing? I love them so much! Thanks

  42. 4.20.22
    Janae said:

    Hi! May I ask a personal question? I am looking to hire someone to create built ins for a space. Curious what the price point was for a project like this?

    • 4.21.22

      Hi Janae, As you know, I had these done several years ago and at that time, I paid $2,000 for the project. I know my contractor was doing me a huge favor! As the cost of labor and materials has increased substantially since that time, I image the same project would cost much much more today. I would suggest you show the pics of my built ins to several of your local contractors and request that they provide you with a quote. I wish you the best in your search and would love to see the result.