Home Office Progress - My New Vintage Rug, French Chair & My Paint Dilemma


For nearly three weeks I have been sitting in my unfinished office, deliberating over the right shade of grey for my walls. Ideally I envisaged a soft grey with a hint of blue, a simple decision I thought. However, it has turned into a mammoth task of running back and forth buying test pots and brush outs and driving the paint shop assistants, not to mention my friends, crazy! Choosing a light grey for a very small, south facing (southern hemisphere) room is not as easy as I had envisaged and I have determined that grey (spelt gray by my USA readers), is far more difficult than any neutral colour I have used in the past.

My choice of colours are influenced by the beautiful new rug I have recently indulged in. I will be spending most of the day in this space, which is my justification for what I have been told is an extravagant purchase for an office. I don't want my office to have a clinical feel and to be honest don't want it to feel like an office as such. I have abandoned my previous idea of a Hamptons/coastal look, instead inspired by a house on the NZ House & Garden tours, (yet another post) I am wanting to add a French touch. Unfortunately I have already purchased my bookshelf which is definitely coastal, so for now I will somehow have to make it blend in. 

Inspiration is suddenly flowing and I can finally see it coming together. My mothers vintage chandelier has been dusted off and I have found an antique Kauri table which I plan to re-finish in French style with a little decorative painting. I am eager to put together the basics of the room by this weekend, everything is much in place apart from the paint colour which I can't afford to waste any more time over.


My New Inspiration


My new mood board


Above: My colour dilemma - Porters French Grey (maybe too dark for a small room), Resene Quarter Iron (the swatch on my wall in certain lights throws a little lavender), Resene Hint of Grey (a warmer but dirty looking white)

Originally I decided to show before and after images on the day of reveal, however, I have decided to show a few snapshots of some of the pieces that will make up the room.  There will be a paint finish to add to the table, so you will have to envision this.

A sneak peek at my rug, light, table and French chair...

Above: A touch of elegance - my mothers vintage, crystal chandelier 

Above: Detail of my vintage Turkish rug

I fell in love with the amazing vintage rug. Soft smudgy greys combined with darker inky grey and ivory, with just a smidgen of salmon and a little duck egg. The rug has been further aged by removing (stripping back) the wool pile as they do with the over dyed rugs. The light colours of this rug are perfect for my small office and it fits wall to wall in the square part of my odd shaped room.

I can't afford to buy an original French desk after buying my rug. However, I happened to be in the right place, at the right time and found a perfect table at Yvonne Sanders Antiques. I will be re-finishing this piece, adding some French flair with a little decorative painting. I also spotted an amazing old Louis style French chair which I thought would work beautifully and I have the perfect vision of these two paired up in my office.

Above: I love the little cross bar detail on the legs. The turned legs are quite delicate and will look great when re-finished.


My table is old Kauri, the top has been sanded back in preparation for me to whitewash it, toning down the yellow of this wood. I then plan to paint the skirt and legs in probably a mix of Paris Grey and Old White. I may use a darker graphite to add some detail around the legs before I add a final coat of  dark wax. I am waiting until I get my chair home to determine the exact colours I will use. The two small pictures were my mothers and have an interesting story which I will tell you about when I post the final room reveal.


Above: My 1950's original French chair in Louis style. I love the lattice paint detail on the cane back and seat, I thought  maybe I could replicate this detail on the skirt of my desk. It is not exactly 'my' chair yet, but it has 'hold' on it and I am dashing off to secure it the moment I press 'publish' on this post.

Back to the colour of the walls, I would love your views on whether I can get away with painting a cool blue/grey in my room versus a warmer (dirty) grey that has a little umber in it? If any of you have used a pale grey, I would love to know what colour has worked for you? My latest thought is Dulux, Manorburn half which is a soft, warm grey but absolutely no blue more leaning towards grey/beige but I do think it would work wonderfully with the chair above and maybe I will have to re-think my desk colours.



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