Before & After: Study


When we viewed this house before buying it, what we now call the study was used as a family/TV room by the then owners, and before that it had been their children’s playroom.

As I’ve mentioned before, the room is a thoroughfare from the hallway to the kitchen. This fact, coupled with our kids’ endless capacity for creating toy armageddon wherever they go, and my husband and I wanting a relatively tranquil space to relax in of an evening, meant that using it in this way wasn’t going to work for us.

Before Collage 2

So, it became the study. Whilst this isn’t perfect either (it’s not really a place for calm contemplation, or clandestine Zara shopping), it kind of works for us. In the long term we have grand plans to rejig the downstairs layout and make this room the main entrance hall, but in the interim we wanted to freshen it up, whilst not spending megabucks.

It’s a dark room as the morning sunshine is largely blocked by the porch, so following advice I gleaned at a Farrow & Ball talk last year, I went for something a little darker than usual: F&B’s Old White (which in this light is actually a lovely olive-beige shade).

Study - After (Desk)

The watercolour by my husband’s late godfather ties the colours of the wall and bench together beautifully and also inspired the gorse yellow and dark grey accent colours used on the curtain fabric and the cushions.

Study - After (Bench & Painting)


The end result is a calm and cosy space which offers plenty of storage for all our admin bits and pieces. Admittedly, the curtains and bench pushed the budget up a bit, but the plan is to keep these when the room becomes a proper hallway down the line so we felt that it was justified. I still need to finalise the lighting and hang some more pictures, but, in the spirit of letting the room evolve over time, I’m happy to wait until I find the right thing.

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