Friday, March 4, 2011

My Purple Room {Home Office Update}

I've searched high and low for an image of the inspiration room for my purple home office.  I don't know where mine got off to, but it certainly wasn't digital!  It dates back to the '90s when I visited one of the Southern Living Idea Houses with my mother... the year was 1995, because I remember leaving two babies at home with dad and grandad while Mom and I went galavanting around Georgia on a girls' outing. :)  Funny how you file memories away like old the kids were, what your hairstyle was, even what outfit you were wearing.  Anyway, I digress! 

The room in this particular Idea House-- Crabapple Cottage in Alpharetta, GA-- was a mudroom/laundry room:  transitional space between the home office and kitchen with laundry facilities, storage, hooks, even a door to the back deck. 

John Tee, Architect, exclusively for Southern Living

See it tucked in there, between the office and kitchen?  In this case, it also had beautiful brick flooring and vibrant purple walls.  I was sold.  I knew I wanted a purple room.  My mom was tickled, remembering how purple had always been my favorite color... back to kindergarten when I had this marvelous purple dress with smocking that I wore for picture day.  I vowed that someday I would have a purple room like that one.

Fast forward to 1999 when I bought my current home.  There was an wonderful large space off the kitchen with a huge bay window that was called the dining room.  My first project in my new home was to paint this room a vibrant purple.  I had saved my issue of Southern Living magazine and spent hours with various paint chips, trying to approximate that fabulous color.  I think I got pretty darn close with a Behr Paint called Crowning (regal-sounding isn't it?). This room was flooded with light for most of the day and I knew I could get away with that saturated color without closing in the space.  The extensive white moulding in the room made it even more possible.

Flash forward another five years and I realized that my favorite room in the house was also the least used and enjoyed room in the house.  We simply didn't use a dining room-- at least not often.  So I made the radical decision to make that space my home office/study and move the dining room into was a little-used front living/music room.  A couple of factors in my decision to flip flop the spaces:
  • My purple room with the bay window got the best light of any room in the house, with it's southern exposure and big windows.  I wanted to spend time in this lovely space, but I still had things to accomplish-- a household to run, bills to pay, etc.
  • Its location right off the kitchen would keep me in ear-shot of my young kids, who were either in the family room, kitchen, or down in our basement playroom.  I could be in there working and still be in touch.

Home office now... I know-- it's a mess!

I didn't want to be confined to the traditional definition and location of spaces in my house.  I wanted my house to work for me.  Since then, my home office has become our hub.  I work there, write there, read there, run the household from there, and relax there.  My husband and children work and do homework and projects there -- even escape there themselves to watch a favorite tv show from time to time.  What was once the LEAST used space in the house is now the MOST used space in the house.

With regards to my precious purple on the walls, it has stood the test of time.  While my friends and family thought I was bold, capricious, and a little nutty in my choice of wall color, I love it as much today as I did 12 years ago.  Even if the decor and furnishings need some updating, my purple choice has stood the test of time.

Choose colors you love, that speak to you, and don't listen to the nay-sayers when you do.  It's your space, your home-- you should love the space you're in.
Don't let traditional designations of space in your home hem you in. Think about how you and your family will most use the space and make those rooms function accordingly.

Just another example of making our home our personal sanctuary, blazed with our individuality. 

How about you?  Have you repurposed a room to work better for your family?  Or have you bucked the trends and gone with a "crazy" color on your walls that you love?

Don't forget to enter the first Mondays in March giveaway HERE.  You could be the lucky winner of this beauty.

Happy Decorating!


  1. Hello,

    This is my very first time here and I'm so happy I've found your blog. It's beautiful, fun and you seemed to be a great person. I know I'll be spending a lot of time reading your posts.

    By the way, how not to like you? Take a look at this study! :-)

    Have a great weekend!


    Luciane at

    PS: Come take a look at my "Cool or Fool Fridays: Would you live in a "Auto House"? :-)

  2. I love how you show floor plans. I just talked about this today.

    Purple is bold, girl! But I'm sure you'll rock it.

  3. I really love the purple..., or aubergine. I found a few with a coastal theme too..., they're hard to come by though.

    We have the orange room upstairs. It's an office..., has a great view, but the reality is that my laptop sits downstairs on the dining room table, and the office is hardly used, except if I need to make copies, haha!

    My birthday was great! Thanks so much for the wishes!!! I need a sugar break now!

  4. I think you should definitely live with color that you love! I like how Maya calls it aubergine (eggplant)...very elegant.
    Mary Ann


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