Design and DIY

Tony and Abby’s Boston Work Space Reveal!

March 5, 2018

Three weeks ago I embarked on a design challenge to turn Tony and Abby’s spare room into a home office. Oh and did I mention that it was located in their basement? With little to no natural light, I wanted Abby (who was about to start working from home) to feel as if she was walking into an oasis and not a dungeon. After she approved my two design boards, I went out into the world and did what I do best: I shopped until I dropped. Dropped a thousand dollars, that is! That’s right, I came in exactly on budget to bring you this…. (Drumroll, please!)

The Big Reveal



A bright and functional office space that puts my own home office to shame! Because the walls were painted a dark grey, it was important to keep the furniture white for several reasons:

  1. To make the room appear light and airy
  2. For balance and contrast

Notice how the walls makes the furniture pop and vice versa? Nothing is competing. All is calm. All is bright. (Yes, I’m quoting a Christmas song. I thought it was fitting.) To keep the room from seeming too cold, I added natural elements. Woven baskets, fresh flowers, and wooden frames all help to ground the space.



Let’s not forget about that mirror! One of the number one ways to make a small or dark space feel bigger is to add some reflection. The 25-foot string lights were just an added bonus. I’ve been DYING to add some in my own house but for now I’ll have to live vicariously through these photos.

The Finishing Touches

I had an abundance of ideas for this letterboard that was kindly donated from my friends at Retrogram Boards. Witty, charming, sarcastic – the quote possibilities were endless! But when it came down to it, I choked and could only come up with, “Welcome to your new office.” Hey, at least I added a smiley face at the end! In fact, these new letterboards come with all different characters that I’ve never seen before.

Thanks to Grafomap, I was able to offer the newlyweds a personalized gift: a custom map of the town where they got married! Without a window to look out of, a meaningful print to draw inspiration from is always the second best option for a work space.

This Ikea desk hack was one of the best decisions we ever made for this room! I DIY-ed a custom wooden piece to sit on top of these two Alex drawer units. Not only is it sturdier than the particleboard Linnmon option but it also gave me the ability to choose my own dimensions for the desk! How did I get the top to perfectly match the color of the drawers? I have Brian to thank for that! He bought me this Color Muse last Christmas and it sure came in handy for this project. (Comment below if you want a DIY blog post on this!)

All Good Things Must Come to an End

To say the end of this project is bittersweet would be an understatement. It was the first of so many things – my first real design clients, my first time working with someone else’s budget, my first chance at showing you what I can do outside of my own home. In three short weeks, working with Tony and Abby inspired me to start my own interior design business. The thought of the project ending left me feeling void and a little desperate. What would I do with myself once this was over? Sure, I could go back to DIY-ing my own home but I wanted more. So I ordered business cards, added a design services page to my blog, and announced this new component of Emilyeveryday on Instagram. And the positive response has been overwhelming.

So I suppose a thank you is in order:

Tony and Abby – what began as a simple room makeover has grown into so much more. Thank you for giving me the courage to pursue dreams that I didn’t even know existed. For allowing me to come into your home without reservations and design a room that you’d be spending the majority of your time in. Thank you for your patience and for your faith in me. You have given me the confidence to start a business venture! That is irreplaceable and indescribable. Thank you for being my first of many.




More Photos For Your Viewing Pleasure

Desk Calendar from TypebyJ.

Video Walk-Through

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  • Reply Kayla March 5, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    So pretty, Emily!!! I’m so glad you’re offering this service now. As for your Instagram story question. I think you could link the products you use if you want to. The client is paying for personalized help designing her space. You’re putting together pictures and planning it all out for her. Doing the leg work with finding the perfect products for her space. I don’t see anything wrong with linking products- especially since you could use affiliated links and make some money! You work hard. You’re showing us how to use the products. I would be more than happy to give you a portion of my purchase if I decide a product would look good in my home. Just my 2 cents (:

    • Reply emilyeveryday March 5, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks so much for your input Kayla! I totally agree with your statement and of course, this wasn’t via my client’s request! It’s something I had heard about from another designer and wasn’t sure how to continue. I’ve never felt conflicted about revealing sources before and your view has really helped bring light to the situation! You’re so sweet and THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! 🙂

  • Reply Brigit Zdon March 5, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Emily.. what a beautiful room! Your right.. it looks bright and inviting.

    • Reply emilyeveryday March 5, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      Yay Brigit! I couldn’t agree more – it definitely doesn’t feel like a dark, dungeon-ous basement anymore!

  • Reply Leigh March 5, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Can you share what color of paint you used for the top of the desk? I have an ikea desk already but have shelfs I got cut and want those to match when I paint them.

    • Reply emilyeveryday March 5, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Leigh, It’s Snowbound by Sherwin Williams but I’m not sure that all the ikea desks and shelves are the same color!

      • Reply Leigh March 7, 2018 at 3:28 pm

        Okay Thanks!

  • Reply Mimi Hernandez March 5, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Awesome job Em!!! This space rocks. I’m so happy to hear your passion for this stuff is getting bigger and better. I pray to be there one day. Much love and all the best!


    • Reply emilyeveryday March 6, 2018 at 8:48 am

      You’ll totally get there Mimi! Just takes time and perseverance. Thanks for all the love.

  • Reply Swani March 5, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    It’s sbsolutely gorgeous. What a transformation! I’m so proud of and happy for you Emily! Onward and upward from here! xo

    • Reply emilyeveryday March 6, 2018 at 8:48 am

      Yay Swani thank you so much sweet friend. 🙂

  • Reply Abby March 6, 2018 at 11:20 am

    We couldn’t be happier with our new home office! Emily, thank you for all your hard work, professionalism and enthusiasm while working on this project! You exceeded all our expectations for what could be done with this empty space. We’re honored to have been your first client, and so happy you will continue on with your design services!

  • Reply Corco S March 6, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Love your style. ? ? ? Amazing decor.

    • Reply emilyeveryday March 7, 2018 at 10:32 am

      Thanks so much Corco!! Love your maps. 🙂

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