This is a reblog from Making It Lovely, a One Room Challenge by designer, Nicole Balch

Nicole says she “wallpapered my heart out” as well as overthought her room layout and furniture choices. She arranged grocery store florals, as she expected that the florist she wanted would conveniently and unexpectedly be closed. She was ready to finally reveal her One Room Challenge.

a before and after shot. On top is an empty room with bare walls. The bottom shows a fully furnished room with a white office chair on the left in front of a dark wooden desk, olive green chairs seated at a table in the middle of the room with flowers on top, a gray sofa on the right with pink pillows and a golden lamp hanging from the ceiling.

A close up shot of center piece of white, pink and red flowers on the table in the middle of the room. In the background is a blurred view of the door. In the foreground you can see the back of one of the olive green chairs

Nicole works from home on the Making It Lovely blog, and she wanted a nice office where she could have her own space. She designs for so many diferent people that she had yet to actually do some interior designing for herself, especially since she has the space to do something really great.

She began with the desk where she sat to write her blog and took a photo of that exact moment.

photo showing the time 3:34PM on the computer monitor that sits on a dark wooden desk. On the right of the desk is an orange lamp with a floral arrangement. To the left are two photos on the wall and in front of the desk is a white chair with a blue and white patterned pillow

Nicole sits in that chair at her desk to write her blog. She keeps a blanket draped over the arm of the chair in case she gets cold.  The pillow is mainly there for posture.

This desk is 5′ wide, giving her plenty of space for a full-sized keyboard and her Wacom tablet. She used a tablet for art many years ago, but now uses it daily. Using tablet instead of a mouse has helped her with some nagging wrist issues.

photo depicts a wide shot of an office desk with an orange lamp on the right and a computer monitor in the middle. In front of the desk is a white chair with a light colored blanker over the left arm. On the right is a small book shelf. On the floor is a tan colored carpet with small pink diamond shapes

Nicole felt that the oversized ceramic lamp was a risk because she had a sloped ceiling. But thanks to 3D rendering to scale it all worked out. It balances the desk with the large monitor. The vase offers something a little reverential and whimsical, and the brass snake is awesome. She likes to keep a pink leather pouf under the desk for when she wants to prop her feet up.

a close up shot of the orange ceramic lamp on the right side of the desk. A flat brass ornamental snake sits next to a black vase with blue print on it and a small arrangement of colorful flowers.

Nicole took various photos with doors open and closed as she wasn’t sure which provide for the best photographs. Just outside the door to the stairway, you can see her vintage mannequins.

Another angle of Nicole's Office showing vintage mannequins just outside the door to the stairway. You can also see her dark wooden desk on the right with a computer monitor on it and an orange ceramic lamp. On the left is a partial view of a table with olive green chairs.

A few prints and paintings can bee seen on the angled wall on the left side of the desk. Nicole loves the Beetles print and chose it specifically for this room. The vintage portrait is from the 1930’s and taken from the library room in the house.

A close up shot of the art on the wall beside the desk. Show is a vintage painting of a woman from the 1930's. Above that is a print design of beetles. To the right of the beetle print is a small oval portrait of a woman. And below that is a gold framed painting of a pink floral bouquet in a blue vase.

Her computer desk has five drawers, which are lined with wallpaper scraps that match the room’s closet. To the right of the desk is a long, low storage unit made of modular craft room furniture that holds the printer, trade catalogs, wallpaper samples, and other items.

pictured is a storage unit made of modular craft room furniture with trade catalogs, wallpaper samples, and other items. On top of the furniture is a round lightbulb lamp.

a wide photo of Nicole Balch's home office. On the left is her computer desk with a white upholstered chair. In the center of the room is a table with a floral arrangement on top with 4 olive green chairs. On the let is a gray sofa with pink pillows

The shallow drawers in the hutch are good for personal and client design work — paint swatches, fabric and wallpaper options, that sort of thing lay on top. She figures it won’t be as neat when juggling more than four projects at a single time, but she also has the shelf area above the drawers and the surface to use as well.

Close up of the right side of the desk. Also with a round light bulb lamp. on the top of the second tier of the shelf is a small pile of fabrics and wallpaper samples. On the lower part of the desk surface is an open book on top of a closed book.

There is more storage space in the closet, what Nicole likes to call “The Rainbow Room.”

A commenter in a previous One Room Challange update suggested naming it The Aviary. She liked the idea but it was a quick ‘no’ from the kids. So, The Rainbow Room, it is. She is thinking of getting some sheepskin or floor pillows for little ones. The kids want to play and hang out in there, and we can see why.  It’s a special little space even though it’s technically just a closet. But with the addition of the wallpaper called Orinthology by Milton & King, this room is simply magical.

a closest with slanted walls and vaulted ceilings with Orinthology wallpaper by Milton & King pasted from floor to ceiling. On the far side of the photo is a half moon stained glass window

These walnut shelves, are lovely and sturdy, and filling with fabric swatches, paint fan decks, equipment, and a nice stack books, magazines, and newspaper articles Nicole has been in over the years.

close up of Orinthology wallpaper by Milton & King with numerous colorful birds. On the right is a walnut shelf stacked with fabric samples, books and magazines

Nicole replaced the bare socket above the door with an inexpensive light with a pull chain, and used a white globe to replace the ribbed glass shade that came with the base.

Pictured is a view out of the closet. On the left wall and ceiling is the Orinthology wallpaper by Milton & King. In front of the wall is walnut shelving with stacks of magazines, books and fabrics. There is a dark wood opened door leading into the office.

pictured is the closet with Orinthology wallpaper by Milton & King featuring birds of various shades of green, blue, yellow and brown among leafy branches. In the center is a half crescent stained glass window with two walnut bookshelves on the right and left side

a close up of the walnut shelving with fabric samples, wallpaper samples and the Orinthology Wallpaper by Milton & King in the background.

Nicole did a decoupage technique where the two halves of the wallpaper met in the center. She ended up trimming around birds and leaves, overlapping the different sides so that the pattern blended together.

A close up shot of the ceiling of Nicole's closet with Orinthology Wallpaper by Milton & King featuring numerous birds among leaves and branches.

Nicole loves how the wallpaper peeks out when the door is open.

a shot of the table in the middle of the office with a flower arrangement in the center. Behind the table you can see a closed dark door and to the left, a brown shelving unitTable with floral arrangement in the center. In the background you can see the open door to the closet where the wallpaper of Orinthology by Milton & King can be seen peeking through.

Nicole fortunately had access to new and vintage rugs from several sponsors but she already had several she had been waiting to use. She considered going with a subtle pink wool, but changed her mind and went with a rug she carried back in her luggage from Morocco. Not only does it have memories attached to it but it was the best fit.

a wide shot of Nicole Balch's office space. You can see a table in the middle with four olive green chairs on top of the rug she brought back from Morocco.

The brass pendant looks beautiful in this space. It replaced a ceiling fan and Nicole wanted the light centered over the table so she added a hook to the ceiling.

a wide shot of Nicole Balch's office. on the left is the gray sofa with pink cushion. In the middle is the table with a brass pendant lamp hanging from the ceiling.

The center marble dining table is proving useful and gorgeous as well. It functions as a desk and a project planning surface. Nicole didn’t want another wood surface in the office since her desk and the modular storage were already filling those shoes. She is not a big fan of glass tops, so that sent her looking for painted, lacquered, or stone tops. She chose the classic parsons shape, and the combination of marble and brass is spot on. Green chairs in a mid-century modern style bring the element of fun to the room.

close up overhead photo of the edge of the marble topped dining table. In the center is an arrangement of florals with pink, white and red flowers.

A dining table with marble top and brass frame and legs. Four olive green mid-century modern style chairs are around the table with a brass pendent lamp hanging from the ceiling. The table sits on top of Moroccan wool rug

Nicole found a traditional but cool blue and white planter to put beside the heater. And above, a cool convex mirror that she grabbed from another room!

on the bottom left is a blue traditional planter with a large green leafy plant. On the wall is a circular convex mirror hanging above a brass wall heater. The marble top dining table is in the foreground

These vintage slipper chairs are from Nicole’s first One Room Challenge.

gray vintage slipper chairs with a salmon colored pillow. on the right is a large leafed plant

The little side table between the two chairs is dainty but sturdy. She wanted sconces that could plug in, which these can do and chose pretty French gray fabric cording. They’re a bit contemporary and a bit Art-Deco and both parts lovely. The lights were previously six inches higher but they didn’t look quite right. So she took them down, patched and painted the holes, and put them back up 5-1/2″ lower. It was an hour’s worth of work for a small change, but some times it’s necessarily to put in that time to avoid later regrets.

gray vintage slip chairs with salmon colored pillow and wall sconce

She took her pale pink linen curtains from a different room, and the embroidered sheers arrived in time for photos.

two vintage gray slip chairs with salmon colour pillows with a picture on the left wall of a blue and white vase with flowers against a green background

Nicole recently created a “Shop Our House” page, where you’ll find sources for everything there, including paint colors and links to the exact items she used. The Home Office section is new and she will continue to populate it. You can also take a look at the design plan from week 2.

wide shot of Nicole Balch's redesigned office space.


Nicole closes her blog with a final note:  “Thank you to all of you for following along! Thank you to Linda of Calling it Home for inviting me back to participate again, and thank you to my ORC sponsors for helping me bring this room to life.  I’m thrilled with my new office, and I hope you enjoyed watching the process as much as I loved bringing the design to life!”

floral arrangement of white, pink and red flowers on top of marble topped dining table. In the background is a blurry image of an opened door with Orinthology wallpaper from Milton & King peeking through

dining table with brass frame and brass legs on top of a Moroccan wool rug. a brass pendent lamp hanging from the ceiling. A convex mirror hangs on the right side wall above the wall heater.

Thanks for sharing your journey, Nicole! It was a lovely read.  For more from her blog as well as a list of sponsors of the One Room Challenge, visit Making It Lovely.


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