Home Office Makeover: Color Inspiration

Detective Office noir

I'm a true fan of design in all its manifestations; I might not care for something personally, but I can appreciate it. In the home, I admire everything from mid century modern to Edwardian, goth black, bright and shabby, boho, hobo, nouveau, deco, primitive, modern, industrial, and practically everything in between. About the only deal breaker for me is colonial, which I firmly believe should all be repurposed as firewood. Well, and cutesy country, which often conspires in concert with colonial. To the burn pile, post haste. (Photo source:  ComicVine)

I have this thing for old and grungy, which I suppose could be construed as industrial, but only to a certain extent. And I don't mean consumer hipster industrial, as taken from a page of Restoration Hardware's catalog, but carefully curated crap that actually means something to me.

Some of the happiest memories of childhood were hanging out with my dad in his garage, or visiting his dad who owned a garage and was a mechanic. Long before the days of checkerboard floors and Rubbermaid shelving systems were sketchy fluorescent shop lights, dark and interesting corners, and layers of dirt and grease on old oak and metal shelving. There was a distinctly noir vibe to it, not in any way contrived. This was the kind of authenticity money can't buy.

Given the choice of a light and bright cheerful office space, or dark and moody, I'm choosing dark and moody. I'm calling it Office Noir in homage to old garages and detective movies, and if you don't believe Office Noir is a 'thing,' try googling it. Lest the space becomes the dark and moody Shadowy House of Horrors, I formulated a plan to keep design going in the right direction.

Color Palette: Camel, Black and Cream. That's it, just 3 main colors. It's all very classic, and can include different shades and patinas under that color umbrella. Camel is warm browns and beiges, including brass, bronze and copper. Black covers charcoal, graphite, and midnight hues. Cream is that classy punch of off white that goes with everything.

I think the colors are straight up sexy. Off to Google and Pinterest I went for validation, and hit pay dirt.

OMG, stop the press! Imagine this, but as a room:




Erin Smith is too perfect for words, and she wears the hell out of that vintage Lilli Ann suit. She's a vision. I'm seriously girl crushing on her.

But wait, there's more...

These old lamps set my heart aflutter. They have patina in spades:

Source: Factory 20

If lamp crushing was a thing, I'd be lamp crushing on these. Of course, the DIYer in me is mentally deconstructing them to figure out a way to replicate all those exquisite colors.

Talk about a complementary palette to my lamp crush lamps, here's Marilyn Monroe in her traveling suit from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Brass, warm beige, graphite - it's all there. Scrumptious.


Consider the color decisions for the office makeover in the bag. Now to find corresponding paint colors that give me the same feelgood.


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About Robin D

Robin D. is a regular MacGyver-on-a-budget around the house, on a mission to make everything in life more awesome by Being Awesome, even when the proverbial wheels fall off. A fan of art history, power tools, anti-aging skin care and profanity.

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