So, I decided that a room makeover was in order! First order of business was brightening up the room. I painted the cabinetry a nice off-white (an oil-based paint for good coverage), and the walls Wedgewood Grey by Benjamin Moore. As you can see, it took several attempts to find the right blue:
My best tip when it comes to paint color is to simply buy lots of little samples and paint straight onto the wall! The lighting in the paint store is not your lighting. Therefore, be brave, and paint little sample boxes directly on your wall. And then, most importantly, live with it for a few days! It's amazing how some colors really change with the time of day, or just grow on you after a while.
Now here's the most dramatic change -- the white cabinetry:
I love the soothing color of the room. However, my traditional brown chairs looked out of place in my new, more casual home. Thus, the room sat empty for several months with just the two chairs and our piano. A very uninspired space, if I do say so myself.
Then, a few weeks ago, with the impending start of the school year, inspiration hit! I decided we really must have a usable space! This room was sitting empty, yet would be the perfect "command central" for school work, office work, and home organization. So without spending much money at all, I transformed the study in one weekend. I visited World Market, Home Goods and TJ Maxx, with my boys complaining every step of the way. My husband and I started going through our attic, and moved things all around. (Keep in mind that the piano has to stay -- my son loves it!) We moved in an Ikea desk that had been upstairs unused, and moved out the brown armchairs that have seen better days. We brought in these fun new chevron side chairs and the room came to life! We are thoroughly enjoying this fun -- and functional -- space! Now I just need a rug... :)