tropical g home office makeover Now I know you have been following along with my virtual Project Tropical G! Please tell me you have...pretty please? Must I add with sugar on top? =) Well just in case you haven't, be sure to check out my previous posts - the design plan (Part 1), the making of custom drapes to replace the room's closet doors (Part 2), and custom made roman shades (Part 3). Lisa, my friend, my client, and fellow blogger at Casa Bouquet has written some great posts on how to do parts 1 and 2 yourself. So make sure you stop by her little haven in the blogosphere too!

Project Tropical G Revealed!

A quick reminder of what the space looked liked before. Lisa referred to it as her junk room; the catch all of everybody's things. But the after is nobody's junk room. It is a fully functioning space that feels fresh and a bit stylish.

Tropical G Home Office Makeover

The Overall Vision

Her love for Hawaii and her home being known as the Tropical Cottage directed me to design her space with some white furniture pieces for the cottage feel, mixed with bold colors for the tropical look and feel. Although the room was going to be punched up with color, the overall feeling was to be calm and relaxed - a long way from where we began.

Lisa is one of my virtual clients and we are separated by many, many miles, like over 500! Working with a client virtually is no easy feat - the main reason - because we (the designers) want to get our hands on the space to see everything in person, to touch everything, and to style everything. Luckily for me, all the major items had arrived and she had begun putting things together. I was planning a trip home to my beautiful state, North Carolina, and planned to make a special trip to her home to finish things off as much as I could. My mom, sister, and little baby boy accompanied me and let me just say, were God Sent for this project. Love you mom and sis!

Needs For The Space

Not sure if you remember her needs (Part 1), but here is what we did in the space:

  1. Painted the room with Sherwin-Williams 6715 Lime Granita.
  2. Added Bankable bookshelves and the Guildmaster Waterfront Harmony, a beautifully carved chest, for organization and storage.
  3. Placed an extendable dining table as the work surface.
  4. Added custom drapes using Waverly Peaceful Perch Sherbert fabric.
  5. Hung botanical artwork Lisa photographed herself in Hawaii. I would love to see her fill up the entire wall with botanical prints. The colors work so perfectly in this room.
  6. Added overhead and task lighting.
  7. Added a flat screen tv in place of the old box tube tv to free up the top surface of the chest to house her tv components.

My wonderful client later added a few more items to the room which you may see on her reveal at Casa Bouquet.

More Reveal Photos - Grab your pineapple, your lei, and let's HULA! 

Tropical G Home Office Makeover

Tropical G Home Office Makeover

Tropical G Home Office Makeover

Tropical G Office Makeover


Tropical G Home Office Makeover

Tropical G Home Office Makeover

Tropical G Home Office Makeover

Can't you just feel the tropical vibe?! I absolutely adore this space. Removing the doors literally gave us just about half of the room back, it is packed with storage, and she has a great work surface to lay everything out for her work, crafting, sewing, and the list goes on.

Since this makeover, Lisa has texted me the sweetest messages letting me know how the design of this space and the way she works in this space has changed her life. And, from seeing the fresh flowers styled in the room, her husband also keeps fresh flowers in her office now every single day. How lovely is that?! Nothing warms my heart more than to know that my clients are loving their new spaces, and that the design of the space suits their way of living. My goal as a designer is to help you live your best life in your space while keeping it fresh, functional, and full of style. And I think Lisa would agree!

Lisa, thank you for allowing me into your home! Many Blessings to you and your family!

Have a home office that you made over? I would love to hear about it! Don't forget to head over to Lisa's blog, Casa Bouquet, to see what she has written about this project. Thanks for stopping by!

Making Home, Home!



diy roman shades from casa bouquet For starters, I LOVE the windows in Tropical G's office. They are nicely tucked away in the corner which gives full usage of the walls on both sides. They allow a nice amount of natural light into her space, and the view...OMG...the view is beyond amazing! It looks like a little Hawaiian oasis in her backyard. She has a huge, beautiful palm tree that sits right at her window and takes you away to a place that's all dreamy. Isn't the view all kinds of lovely! GAAH!!!!


I knew when we started this project (Part 1) that I wanted to hang roman shades. Because of how tight the windows are in the corner, hanging ceiling to floor drapes was not the best idea. And the fact that I was recommending the removal of the doors from the closet (Part 2) and replacing those doors with drapes was another factor. The roman shades would allow the room to feel a little more fresh and light, and could be easily pulled all the way up to escape to paradise. The fabric I selected paired so beautifully with the peacock fabric for the closet door replacement. It kept the tropical vibe going.

Tip: When selecting fabrics, I like to start with what I call a base fabric. The base fabric is used to pull together the color scheme for your space. It is a sure fire way to select fabrics and hues that complement each other.

Of course, the seamstress herself would have a hand at making the shades, and she is talking all about it today on her blog, Casa Bouquet. So to learn more, hop on over there and check it out. Be sure to come back next week for the final reveal of Project Tropical G!

Excerpt from Casa Bouquet – DIY Roman ShadesLisa Grable, Casa Bouquet

We had a little bobble when Kathleen (of Kathleen Mapson & Company) suggested roman shades for my two corner windows. Too many of the DIY links we found were for non-operational shades. So here’s my version of what works!

Kathleen chose a coral-red fabric with no pattern. So we did not have to worry about a repeat. Other supplies I needed were 1×2 pieces of wood for each window, 2 flat wood pieces for bottom of shade (1 x ¼ inch), 2 L-brackets for each window with screws, electric screwdriver or drill, electric staple gun, blackout curtain lining, roman shade tape with rings, cord for the rings, cord condensers, cord cleats, new size-18 machine needle, and 1 spool of thread to match the fabric. [I just love that the thread for this project was “Flamingo”!]

Don't forget to stop by Casa Bouquet now!

Making Home, Home!




tropical_g_pinch_pleated_diy As you could probably tell from the previous post about Project Tropical G (part 1), the footprint was on the smaller side - 10' x 11'. Because of it's size, I knew that removing one thing in particular in the room - the closet doors - would be a game changer. The doors (as you can see from the photo below) opened into the room. If the doors were left on the closet, they would take up too much floor space when opened, leaving little to no space to get all the furniture we needed into the room.


I proposed to Lisa that we remove the closet doors. At first she was not on board with the idea, but I knew that this was the right change. It took some convincing and the icing on the cake was when she told me that her husband and their daughter (who is a design enthusiast) was on board with the idea and they both totally 'got it' when she shared with them my idea. Don't you just love when that happens? So, what to put in it's place? Custom drapes of course! Adding drapes would not only give her extra space, but also provide the privacy she needs to keep hidden any items in her closet, (with the right fabric) give her some bold color and pattern, and add softness to combat all those hard office lines.

Tip: When working in a small space, consider removing the doors in your room. The swing of the doors can take away too much floor space. You can add drapes to provide closure or if you need something a little more private and you have an appropriate wall length, you could also add a pocket door or barn doors. Doing so can instantly add valuable space back into your room.

Because of her love of all things tropical, I sourced Waverly's Peaceful Perch Sherbert. The fabric boasted a bold print with shades of coral and turquoise, and hints of minty green like that of the walls. It also had a wonderful repeat of peacocks that I knew she would love. And why wouldn't she? This fabric embodied everything she loved!


Lisa has her own design ideas and her strength is at the sewing machine. I initially proposed back side concealed top drapes, but she wanted to modify the design and make pinch pleated drapes. I knew they would look just as swell so she had no arguments from me. And let me tell you, she did an awesome job!

Excerpt from Casa Bouquet - DIY How To Make Pinch Pleat DrapesLisa Grable, Casa Bouquet

The “junk room” in our house was supposed to be my office! I was sewing and working around piles that didn’t have a place to belong. This is Part 2 of the journey from junk room to peaceful tropical office with Kathleen Mapson & Co. [See part 1 here!]

I was overcome when Kathleen first said, “You have to take down the closet doors.” She convinced me that drapes would give softness and allow more room in the office. It helped a lot that she found this gorgeous print with flowers and peacocks (Waverly Peaceful Perch Sherbert)! Today I’m sharing what I came up with for covering the closet while also being the accent wall.

Check out the results and read more about how to make your own pinch pleated drapes by visiting Casa Bouquet. You won't be disappointed!

Making Home, Home!




Before - Room and Window Shot, Project Tropical G Working from home can sometimes be a difficult task as there are always things to do to tidy up around the house. But even more difficult than working from home, is working from home in an office that is lackluster. An office that is unorganized, serves as a 'catch all', and where things are not so easy to find and there isn't anything pretty to look at, is not necessarily conducive to an inspiring or functional place to work. Well, this is exactly how my virtual client felt about her home office when she contacted me.

As a retired professor and now an educational consultant and avid DIYer of everything I can think of, she needed a multifunctional space. Let me give you a quick run down of everything she does in this space. She conducts educational research and writes proposals for her clients, and crafts all kinds of scholarly articles and scientific research projects. She sews like nobody's business - drapes, roman shades, dresses, and all kinds of outfits and costumes for her sweet little grand baby, and she crafts and does gift wrapping with all kinds of papers. You can read all about her and what she loves on her colorful and informative blog Casa Bouquet.

So why the list above? I wanted you to know what she has to do in this space, so I had to plan accordingly. I called this project Tropical G because of her love for Hawaii and tropical colors. She and her husband refer to their home as a Tropical Cottage and that it is. Her home is eclectic with a fun mix of furniture and it is FULL of color. And when I say color I don't mean your typical brightly colored floral pillow or painted accent wall. I mean serious color like turquoise bathrooms, Pantone's color of the year for 2014 - Radiant Orchid in the dining room with black floral print drapes, a citrusy lime kitchen with parrot wall paper, and a raspberry pink family room. I know I just made your eyes pop! =) But although each room has a different palette, the colors beautifully and unexpectedly blend. So taking cues from the rest of her home, the office needed to be colorful also.

A few more before shots.

Before - TV Wall, Project Tropical G

Before - Office Desk, Project Tropical G

Before - Office Doors, Project Tropical G


What we needed to do to create a colorful, yet serene place to work:

  1. Paint - She had her heart set on a calm turquoisey green for the wall color by the time she contacted me. I actually tried to change her mind a bit, but in the end she won. Even as a designer you have to know which battles to fight. =)
  2. Organization - Files and folders, bookshelves, a cabinet of some sort, and baskets for odds and ends.
  3. A Work Surface - Ample space for spreading out client paperwork and sewing and crafting projects.
  4. Drapes - Privacy was not needed, but drapes would soften those hard lines and add some well needed color.
  5. Artwork - She has loads of pictures from Hawaii and lots of awards and college degrees. She is actually Dr. G! They needed to be showcased.
  6. Lighting - The space receives a nice amount of natural light, but can be a little dark at night. We needed to include general lighting and task lighting.
  7. Flat Screen TV - Possibly. The TV was an old box TV and took up too much space.


The Plan - Design Board

Since this was a virtual project - she was located in North Carolina and I in Georgia - our communications were virtual. From planning to almost execution, we met through Google Hangouts and all correspondences were through email and text. It was such a great experience working with her this way.

Option 1

Tropical G - Office Plan 2


Option 2

Tropical G - Office Plan 1

This in general was the overall plan. Don't you  just love all the coral and turquoise paired with the crispness of the white. Ohhh...La...Laaaa....There were other detailed items, but this gives you an idea about our direction. The dresser in the plan was the jumping off point. She found this while on a trip to Morehead City, North Carolina. She texted me photos and expressed her undying love for this piece. I mean, undying love! It was a great fit for the look we were going for, it was scaled appropriately, and the color and carvings were lovely. So why not!

After approval, the plan was in motion! Stay tuned for the reveal and a few upcoming posts about how my client used her sewing skills for this project. She will be posting those over on her blog Casa Bouquet. You don't want to miss it!

To see more before photos also visit her blog. Thanks for reading!

Making Home, Home!