Welcome to the Barbie Kelly Dream House! I’m over-the-moon to finally share my home office remodel with you, in partnership with Crate and Barrel.
While I only started sharing bits of this reno on my Instagram Story about four weeks ago, I’ve been quietly working on this room makeover with Crate and Barrel for the past couple of months. (Surprise!) It’s been so tough to keep this all under wraps…mainly because it’s been the highlight of this current ‘quarantine life’ we’ve been living since March. There is a LOT to dive into here, so I’ll try my best to walk you through my design process and all the details that make up this room that I’ve poured myself into for the better part of this summer.
The star of the room has to be the uber chic slate blue velvet Amalie sofa from Crate and Barrel’s new Trove collection – a modern assortment of products featuring eclectic colors and rich textiles, while catering to smaller spaces (like home offices.) The sofa’s sleek modern silhouette juxtaposed by the feminine velvet fabric is the perfect anchor for a multi-use room that will serve not only as the Kelly Saks HQ, but also as a work space, content studio, and a girl’s lounge for movie nights & more.
Years ago, shortly after moving into our house, I came across this incredible pastel-hued art deco room by Spanish designer Miriam Alia in AD Spain. It was a room she created for Casa Décor Madrid 2017, and I’ve been dreaming of it ever since. The room evokes pure joy and whimsy and inspires creativity through its use of vibrant colors, textures and accessories – which is exactly what I wanted to achieve for my own work space. While Miriam’s vibrant and retro design aesthetic is a stark contrast to my neutral and more transitional style, I definitely wanted the office to be a departure from the rest of my (mostly) monochromatic home. I need my creative workspace to feel like a destination instead of just another room in my home.
When the Crate and Barrel team sent over the Trove collection lookbook, I instantly knew it was a perfect match; the bold color elements and overall mod aesthetic of the pieces were totally in sync with my home office design inspo.
Using Miriam’s Casa Décor room as a starting point, I created an “office” folder on Instagram and began saving images of other interiors that had a similar vibe. What did they all have in common? Lots of pink, pastel hues, velvet, statement light fixtures, and graphic art. Another designer who really inspired me was India Mahdavi, the genius behind the pink dream that is Sketch London (which I was finally able to see IRL at the end of 2019!)
The Design Process
This makeover has been a longtime coming. If you’re an OG reader, you may recall this post when I originally designed this room– and never finished it. Ha. To give you some background, this room was a converted garage when we purchased our home… a poorly done conversion at that, creating more than a couple of design challenges for me.
The biggest obstacle in this room was an awkward niche in the wall where a doorway used to be. Until now, I made the best of the space by creating a clothing rack in the niche (which you probably saw in a lot of my Fashion Fix segments on NBC 6,) but it was never my favorite as it threw off the balance of the room and limited where I could place furniture. When I finally had the opportunity to do this project the right way, the very first design decision I made was to close the niche with drywall. The day that was finished was a glorious one!
When it came time to select my furnishings, the Crate and Barrel Amalie Sofa was the very first piece I chose. My desk is vintage and used to belong to Eric’s grandfather; it’s been with us since we moved in together in 2012. Originally a dark oak finish, I had it repainted in a matte white by Vintage Rose Home a few years ago. I love that I was able to modernize it to fit my current home office decor, while also preserving a family heirloom. I designed the rest of the office around these two pieces.
I went through numerous drafts before settling on the current design. (As I always like to remind myself, good design takes time!) I typically start by visually mapping out my ideas with a simple mood board, and then I move on to a mockup before making any major design decisions. Here’s what the evolution of the design looked like…
As you can see, the Rondure Globe Pendant Lights were added later on in my design process – but OMG, they are probably one of my favorite things about the room. They’re almost like earrings for the sofa, and draw your eye to my new favorite piece of art – this epic vintage Barbie doll portrait that I purchased from photographer David Parise.
Something that ultimately didn’t work? The (faux) leopard rug. I actually ordered it and *loved* it, I just didn’t love it in the room. Even though it worked on “paper”, it was just too much and made the room look cluttered. I guess I’ll just have to get my animal print fix in any other room in my home. Haha.
I had my Barbie print framed locally at I’ve Been Framed South Miami, and I’m so happy that I went the custom route versus purchasing a standard frame. With over 20 years of experience, Jenny of I’ve Been Framed has been recommended to me numerous times over the years. Once I showed her the print, she instinctively knew the exact style of frame, mat and glass that would best compliment the art in my space. She used a special type of glass called “art glass” that has little to no glare, and is nearly invisible, allowing the details of the photograph to shine through.
The walls were destined to be pink.
The walls were destined to be pink; my goal was to match the wall color to my existing velvet curtains to help make the room feel bigger. Seaside Villa by Behr Paint was a near perfect match. I decided to paint the crown moulding and base boards the same color as the walls for two reasons – for a more modern look, and to make the room appear taller. (Since this room was once a garage, the ceiling height is lower than the rest of the house.) The blush pink tone added a much needed warmth to the room without feeling too pepto bismol. It took me a week, but I painted all 100 sq. ft. myself… including the ceiling. Whew! Worth. It.
I’m a huge fan of incorporating plants into all of my rooms, (I have numerous bird of paradise palms and orchids throughout the house,) but green just wasn’t working with my color palette. That said, I still wanted to incorporate a palm tree in some way to play off the subtle beach vibes from the art and accessories. A few years back, I visited a storefront that had these beautiful towering white paper palm trees and I’ve thought of them ever since. Those were custom made, aka not in my budget. Time to DIY! It took me nearly 4 cans of flat white spray paint, but I transformed an old artificial palm tree into a chic piece of modern art.
Paint Color: Seaside Villa by Behr Paint, eggshell finish on walls and semi-gloss on mouldings.
Sofa: Crate and Barrel
Pillows: House of Iri via Etsy
Pendant Lights: Crate and Barrel
Barbie Print: Vintage Barbie & Ken
Framing: c/o I’ve Been Framed SoMi (Ask for Jenny!)
Marble Accent Table: Crate and Barrel
Ceramic Blush Vase: Crate and Barrel
Acrylic Coffee Table: Amazon Home
Rug: Crate and Barrel
Curtain Rods: Bed Bath & Beyond
Mirror: Crate and Barrel
Palm Tree: Amazon, painted by me
Fringe Stool: No longer available. Similar here.
Desk: Vintage, painted by Vintage Rose Home
Desk Chair: Homegoods, painted by me
Media Console: IKEA Besta storage
Bookshelves: Amazon Home
Picture Frames: Target
A special note: As a longtime customer and enthusiast of Crate and Barrel, getting the opportunity to design a room in my home with them has been a truly special moment. Despite the uncertain times we have faced this year, this project has given me renewed optimism; it has provided me with a platform to further explore my passion for interior design and for that I am so grateful. It’s thanks to partners like Crate and Barrel – and you, reader, – that this blog is possible. Thank you for your continued belief in me, and for your support of these projects.
Photography by Jordan Braun