One Room Challenge Week 6: Modern Office Room Reveal!!

Wondering how to transform a living room into a modern office room? Follow along and get all the ideas and motivation you need.

This modern office room is our third time participating in the ORC.  It’s also the most work we’ve done by far in just 6 weeks. 

I didn’t even do a week 5 update post because it’s been that insane.  We’re sleep-deprived and over it but boy was it worth it.

If you’re hopping over from the One Room Challenge website, WELCOME!  I’m so glad you’re here.  A little about me in a sentence.

I’m sarcastic most of the time, I LOVE design and my kids and my husband (not in that order ;)), and I have a slight obsession with art and pillows. 

Enough about me … let’s get to the good part!

We moved into this house just over 5 months ago.  It’s really our dream home and we’re so very happy here.  But, and this is a big but, it has zero styles. 

Maybe even negative style.  I’ve been anxious to get started really personalizing the space.  We’ve started in the dining room and now onto the office!

Catch up on Past Weeks Here:

WEEK 1 | WEEK 2 | WEEK 3 | WEEK 4 | The Big Reveal (you’re here!)

Before pictures

Here’s what the modern office room looked like before:

Converted living room used as an office with a wood accent wall needs ideas to renovate

Back in week 1, I shared the controversial topic of removing the wood feature wall.  Looking at it now I don’t know why I even questioned myself.  It is SO.MUCH.BETTER now.

Design plan

I also shared the design plan to completely transform the space.

A mood board used as inspiration to create a pretty office out of a living room

Modern Office Room Reveal

A modern office room reveal fill with plants and pots and IKEA built-ins to complete a trendy design


Modern office in living room reveal with IKEA cabinets and shelves using a butcher block as a desk top
View of a living room being used as a modern office that is very trendy and pretty

Getting Wallpaper Wall Ready for the Modern Office Room

The first thing we did was take down the wood planks.  It was a controversial choice but I’m SO glad we did it.

With the wood down, we patched and sanded the wall for wallpaper!!! 

Genius TJ decided to write on the wall with SHARPIE so we had to prime the wall 5 times (yes, 5 times) to cover the Sharpie enough for it not to show through the wallpaper.

Decorating IKEA shelves with various pots and plants that create a unique and modern look

Installing wallpaper wasn’t easy, honestly.  But, I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Using IKEA for Built-ins and Modern Office set-up

For most of the semi-custom built-ins, we used IKEA products and then trimmed them out with wood from Home Depot.

The left-hand side was built from an IKEA filing cabinet – probably the most sturdy IKEA product we’ve ever used.

Gold pots are small yet big impact piece to your decor style be sure to include them

We removed the top and used a butcher block kitchen countertop (also from IKEA) as the desk surface.  It rests on top of the filing cabinet. 

We anchored it into the filing cabinet and the other larger cabinets on the right-hand side.

It was too long and too deep so TJ cut it down to fit the space.  You never know what will happen with IKEA products when you cut them but this actually worked perfectly.

Speaking of the right-hand side, we used IKEA SEKTION pantry cabinets to give us a ton of storage.  Not gonna lie, they’re currently filled with scraps from the project that haven’t been cleaned up.  But, someday they’ll be for actual storage.

Using an IKEA pantry for every day items in a living room converted to modern office is a unique storage option

We ordered different doors for the cabinet from Semihandmade.  They have some great pre-finished options that are so, so much better than the standard IKEA brownish black or whatever they offer. 

I chose the DIY slab since I knew we were painting it and IKEA products aren’t the easiest to paint.

Butcherblock makes for a great desktop in a modern office room that provides tons of space for decor and your computer
Tie in your floral wallpaper to your office using pots and plants on your shelves to create a seamless look

IKEA Shelving and What is Left to Finish Office

Last, we used IKEA LACK shelves for the floating shelves.  TJ had to cut the wood down AND the brackets that hold them up, too.  There was a lot of swearing involved.  😉

When designing an office consider the natural light and the impact it has on a workspace

We aren’t 100% finished yet.  We still need to add trim to the top of the built-ins just so it doesn’t look like a box.  And, that piece of baseboard is some random white thing we had in the garage. 

If you look closely you can see electrical wires covered in the tape that needs an outlet.  And some other random wire that is being hidden by a vase.  Don’t cheat!  If you haven’t spotted them yet we did a good job hiding them 😉

Plants and seating in a transformed living room are great ideas for a pretty office with tons of collaborating space

I left the same rug in there that was there before.  I considered a few potential rugs and I actually did order one.  Nothing felt right in the room though.  I’m not 100% sold on this one but it’s staying there for now.

Decorating the Modern Office Room

Seriously in LOVE with the brass handles and knobs on the cabinets.  I’ll be buying them for everything.

My favorite cactus also made an appearance.  I’ve had it for a few years and it’s still my favorite plant.

Cactus decor next to a computer in a modern officer room using IKEA for officer furniture and storage

I picked some very budget-friendly chairs and end-tables that are PERFECT for the room.  It’s not a huge space, even with the tall ceilings.  I wanted it to feel like an actual room not just an extension of the open floor plan.

I chatted in a past post about building a divider wall to better define the room.  Honestly, I kind of wish we had done it but time did not allow for that.

A big reveal for one room challenge competition of a converted living room next to stairs

Gotta have the cozy pillows, of course!

Floral pillows on a chair to ad some variety and flare to a living room converted into a modern office room
Extra chairs are a great way to include others in a office setting to collaborate more around a built in desk

We painted the whole room Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies.  It is SO refreshing.  It doesn’t seem like that big of a change until you look at the rest of the house that’s still beige on beige. 

In this photo, you can see the old beige color on the stairs.

Chair with a beige paint against a green pantry used for storage in a living room renovated as an office

It felt SO good to get rid of the heavy curtains that just weren’t doing anything for the room.  Eventually, I’m going to get some roman blinds.  Eventually…

Let in as much natural light into an office space to improve your mood in your one room office design
Completed renovation on a living room conversion with Green and Beige paints with white trim

Styling the Modern Office Open Shelves

I used some art from the old house, a few new decor pieces that I couldn’t resist, and a plant I borrowed from the dining room.  Is it bad that I can actually shop my house for plants?  #plantaddiction

Looking for inspiration on decorating any open shelves in your home use a mix of books, pots and plants to modernize any space
Gold tin on top of books to create contrast on open shelves with a wallpaper background
Hanging plants sized up next to baskets to ad variety to open IKEA shelving in a modern office room
Create flow from shelves to desktop using a mix of decor options and colors that really pop and contrast with each other
Decorative rock book ends are a beautiful way to hold your books and keep them organized on open shelving
Ad pictures in frames on IKEA shelving to get extra options on your overall office decor design

It’s truly an amazing space.  Exactly what I had envisioned.

It’s not perfect.  We still have some work to do to perfect the details.  Maybe actually putting some files in the filing cabinet.

A HUGE thank you to my husband for going absolutely nuts getting this done for me/us.  And to my dad for helping paint, even though I’m pretty sure it took him 20x longer than the average person. 

And to Uncle Peety (as my kids call him haha – his real name is Bob, don’t ask) for helping paint, too.

Modern Office Reveal Photos

This Living room converted into Modern office room is a trendy way to use IKEA Built-ins and make your ideas come to life
This minimal office chair can really be a great addition to any living room or office space around your home to modernize
Open shelving can display many different types of decor and objects that you wouldn't be able to see normally
A pantry can be more than kitchen food storage when used in a living room next to stairs
Adding a rug to hardwood floors in a living room helps protect the surface and beautifies the space
Ad a variety of colors to shelving to contrast a modern office in the living room
Looking for modern office ideas in your home but don't have space? Convert a living room to provide much needed workspace
This pretty and modern office room is sure to provide many ideas and workflow to create more designs to come

This modern office room was a real challenge and we really relied on friends and family to transform this living room but just look at the outcome. Spending time here is truly easy to do and I just love the way it turned out

We love doing the One Room challenge and it’s just that, a HUGE challenge but so worth it.

Remember to check out all the other guest participants!!  There are some AMAZING rooms and tons of inspiration.

Now, we’re going to go enjoy some beers and not work on anything for a bit 🙂

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  1. Love, love, love! (Including the comment about lotsa swearing going on-ha!). Well done….thx for sharing the outcome. Taking the wood down was so correct for what your end idea wanted to be—it would not have fit even painted white, IMHO.

  2. Love it!! Gawgeous! I see that you reused your beautiful rug. Where did you get that? I’m shopping for rugs right now. ?

  3. I love all the built-ins, and what a great use of this little space! So well done. The wallpaper and the color of the cabinetry… luscious. Well done!

  4. Love this DIY! Planning something similar, but did you have issues with painting the Ikea Sektion and Lack shelves? Everytime I paint Ikea furniture it chips even when using a primer made for laminate.

    Beautiful and timeless design!

    1. Thank you! No we haven’t had any problems. I will say that we bought semihandmade doors for the large cabinet – they have “DIY slabs” that are meant for painting, not the laminate stuff from IKEA. The rest of the stuff hasn’t chipped at all. We used Zinsser primer

  5. I’m definitely using this as inspiration for my own build in office space! What paint did you use for the green? I looked back through your posts but couldn’t find the final decision.

  6. I love this, and am going to use it as inspo for my new home office! Question: what paint did you end up using?

  7. Love this so much! Planning to do something similar for our bedroom. Do you know which pantry cabinet from ikea you purchased?

  8. This looks amazing!
    Can I ask for the built in shelves is the side a vertical lack shelf? I was thinking about doing something similar myself!