July 30, 2019  

Modern Front Room + Home Office Nook Design Plans


I’m gearing up to take on the most perplexing room in our house–the front room! This room makeover includes a new office nook, flooring, paint, storage, and so much more. Today I’m sharing my initial plans for this space!

emily-counts-iowa-blogger-in-front-of-clare-paint-swatches

Friends, the time has finally come to give our front room a much-needed makeover! I can hardly contain my excitement about this project!

This room has been the land of misfit furniture ever since moving in nearly 2 years ago. An old desk here, a hand-me-down recliner there, and two random shelves plopped against the wall simply because they never found better homes after move-in day.

Our front room is the space that has perplexed me since we first toured the house. It’s right off of the front door and I view it as a bonus room. Some people use theirs for a formal dining room, others use them as an office, others as a second living room, but I wasn’t 100% sure what purpose ours would end up serving.

I think it’s so important to use the spaces in your home the way your family needs them to function, even if that’s not the way they are intended! So no, I’m not creating a formal dining room here because that would just duplicate the dining area we already have in our kitchen. I want to be intentional about using this space to the fullest!

Here’s a photo of how this room as it looks today:

yellow-front-room-messy

Our front door opens up into this room, so it needs to be inviting and make a good first impression. But I also want to create a room that’s functional and maximizes this space. And right now it’s normally just filled with a messy desk, a cluttered bookshelf, and piles of Amazon boxes ;).

Last August, I focused some energy on giving the opposite wall a makeover. Our navy entryway makeover did wonders to add some style and organization to that little wall, and the rest of this room is long overdue for a similar makeover.

navy-blue-entryway-with-board-and-batten-and-brass-decor

So you can get the lay of the land, here’s the floor plan (I highlighted this room in yellow):

front-room-floor-plan

You can tell this room has occupied a lot of my decorating thoughts because I worked with Modsy almost a year ago to create the first design vision for the room. They created a 3D rendering of the room with a couple of different concepts and this is the design I fell in love with:

small-living-room-with-desk-in-corner

I cannot tell you how often I’ve referred back to this picture as I’ve formed my plans for this space!

Although I love the layout they created, I only plan to follow it loosely. One major thing I’ve learned since this design is that closed storage is a priority out here. So I envision a big dresser/console table along the far side of the wall (to the right of the small window).

And because of the added storage, I will probably end up with a pair of smaller armchairs in front of the big window instead of a larger sofa.

The main purpose of this room is my office so I will place a desk in the corner as shown, but I want to be careful that this room doesn’t turn into a messy, cluttered office space since it’s the first thing guests see. So I envision combining a beautiful desk nook with a seating area that can be a multipurpose space used for working, reading, playing, and conversation.

front-room

Front Room WishList

Whenever I start a new design project in our home, I always begin by creating a wishlist. How do I need this space to function? What do I want to change? What do I want to keep the same? How do I want the space to feel?

  • No more yellow walls. it’s a miracle I’ve managed to live with them for almost 2 years
  • Get rid of the gross carpet. This beige carpet drives me crazy because it’s right next to the front door which means it obviously gets dirty. Adding cohesive flooring throughout the room will be a major improvement.
  • An organized office nook. The corner of this room has become my desk area and it needs a little love. I work here quite often, both on my blog and sometimes I work from home for my full-time job. My current desk has zero storage so everything piles up on top. I haven’t taken the time to set up any systems here either. A desk with drawers and a little attention to organizing my desk nook will make a big difference.
  • Closed storage. There’s currently no storage in this room so nothing has a home. Most of my craft supplies found a home in this little organized craft cabinet I worked on last fall, but I still have a few larger craft items and office supplies that need a permanent home.
  • Privacy. These windows had sheer curtains on them when we moved in and we haven’t touched them. This room faces the street and I often work at my desk later in the evenings so it would be nice to have some curtains or blinds to close.
  • Updated lighting. This room has a basic chandelier that’s not only not our style, but also too low to walk under. It’s intended to hang above a dining table and David hits his head on it often. So a flush or semi-flush light fixture with a more modern look is a must!
  • Somewhere to sit. Besides my desk nook and some closed storage, the other main thing I’d like to add in here is some seating. Probably a couple smaller chairs, but we’ll see. I want to see how the room starts shaping up before making any decisions about seating and because of budget that may not be a purchase I make right away anyway.
  • Organization by the front door. The previous owners left that little mirror with hooks hanging by our front door and we use it to hang random jackets and the dog leash. I plan to remove the mirror but need to think about our needs for hooks or a little table or something by the door.
  • A bit of style. As the first thing you see when you walk in our house, it would be nice if this room looked a little nicer. It really won’t take much to completely transform the style of this space. Updating the flooring, wall color, and light fixture will do wonders. I’m excited to see it transformed to complement the modern design of our entryway wall I did a year ago.
  • A pop of color. David’s challenge to me in this house is to incorporate more color (I always gravitate toward blues, grays, blacks and whites). So I’ll be looking for a way to incorporate a pop of color, likely in the form of artwork.

Front Room Design Plans

This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.

Here’s the mood board I put together for our front room/office nook!

mood-board
Shelves | Rug | Credenza – vintage | Chair (similar) | Desk | Lamp | Flooring

Laminate Flooring

I’m partnering with Select Surfaces to install this beautiful Warm Gray laminate flooring throughout our front room, kitchen, dining area, and powder room (all of our first floor minus the living room). The color I chose is called Warm Gray and it’s the perfect mix of gray and brown.

This is a large project that’s going to drastically change the look of our first floor and I cannot wait to get started! We have never installed flooring before and will be sharing everything we learn on Instagram and here on the blog, so stay tuned!

In addition to new flooring, I also plan to replace all of the baseboards with a chunkier white baseboard to match what I’ve already installed in the entryway and bathroom makeovers.

Neutral Wall Color

I’m currently debating between several beautiful neutral paint colors for the walls. I’m anxious to paint over the yellow so I can start getting a sense of how the room will feel with cooler colors.

I am partnering with Clare Paint to update our wall color and this alone will be enough to change the look of the whole room. I am guessing I’ll end up going with a white or light gray, but I really don’t know!

Organized Office Nook

I’ve been dreaming of an organized office nook in here ever since we moved in! I am partnering with Homemakers Furniture to transform the look of my desk area complete with this gorgeous wood desk and a modern floor lamp.

homemakers-desk

I plan to add some decorative open shelving above it. Then you can bet I will be organizing every shelf and desk drawer and creating a beautiful, organized home office nook.

I have a lot of decisions left to make, but things really are starting to take shape! Be sure to follow along on Instagram for real-time updates and the chance to weigh in with your vote on things as I go.

New Lighting

I haven’t made any lighting decisions yet so I’ll be asking for votes on Instagram in the coming weeks. I’m not sure if I’ll go with a modern-yet-basic flush mount or something a little bit more eye-catching and trendy.

Credenza For Storage

One purchase I’ve already made for this space is this beautiful mid-century modern dresser I bought off of Facebook Marketplace. I stalked it for weeks until the seller lowered the price enough that I could actually afford it. I’m so happy with my purchase and cannot wait to organize every little drawer and shelf in it!

White Curtains, Black Curtain Rods

Why are window treatments so gosh darn expensive?! I’ve decided to go with these basic yet modern black curtain rods from Amazon paired with these white IKEA curtains. I cannot find a better deal on curtains anywhere and these come highly recommended by so many (see this post from Young House Love).

I’m getting double curtain rods so I can keep the existing white sheer curtains in this room with the new white curtains layered in front. The sheer curtains are nice for providing some privacy while still letting in sunlight during the day. They are also handy for diffusing the light in here which is helpful when I photograph smaller blog projects.

New Seating

I will definitely be getting rid of the random recliner that’s currently in the corner of this room. I’m thinking a pair of small armchairs and an ottoman would fit well in this room, but we’ll see! Like I mentioned above, seating is a purchase that may not be feasible with my current budget so that might be something I add later on.

A Fun Rug

The design plans Modsy created for me last year included a large blue area rug that I love. Some sort of large blue rug with a bit of pattern in it would add a nice pop of color and some texture out here. Just like the seating, the rug may be something that gets added later on.

Artwork

I will need to add something to the walls, but I’m not sure what quite yet. I’m currently thinking about a large, colorful DIY painting to hang above the dresser but we’ll see how the room comes together!

front-room

I hope you enjoyed hearing a bit about my thoughts and ideas for this space! Let me know what you think of my plans thus far and be sure to follow me on Instagram so you can help me select all of the items for this room!

Have a wonderful day!

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