Fugly to Finished and Fabulous – Our Modern French Country Office Makeover Reveal

ORC Spring ’23 – Week 8

Farewell Fugly and HelloFabulous! I am so excited to share this final One Room Challenge update with you even though it’s a full 3 weeks later than anticipated!! Treating myself as the client in my own renovation was an effective reminder of what it’s like to live through the installation phase of a project. During the last few weeks, I was both excited as final selections started to arrive and dismayed when additional work and alterations were required. We had the option of either meeting the original deadline or meeting the stringent standards we expect from our finished projects. We soldiered through though, choosing the latter, and are grateful to the organizers of the One Room Challenge for accepting late completions. FINALLY, I can share the results of our careful planning and execution with you. Grab a croissant and café-au-lait a la gay Paris and take a visual walk with us through our Modern French Country Office Makeover.

Remember these fugly mustard-looking walls and masculine furniture?

A tremendous thank you to my exceptionally talented husband, Dean, for helping to bring this vision to life, even giving up his men’s golf night on the regular to work painstakingly on my wall-to-wall cabinetry with unparalleled precision. While I am full of grand ideas and can certainly take on furniture refinishing and minor DIYs, true carpentry is well outside of my wheelhouse and I fully believe in letting the experts wield their crafts. Speaking of cabinetry, in weeks 8 through 10 we completed the following:


    • installed the base cabinetry he had built

    • filled and sanded all of the wall cabinet components to prepare for spraying

    • added the necessary base and top panels necessary for the flush mount cremone bolts,

    • added a cabinet top before installing the cabinets and a substantial crown molding

    • planed the 13 1/2 ft. long birch countertop and routered a beautiful edge profile to the 1.5″ thick before staining it, adding an antique glaze and top coat

    • doors, drawers, toe kicks and fillers were sprayed our Sherwin Williams Pacific Fog while I rolled the finish for the cabinet edging

    • glass panels were siliconed into the cabinets and cremone bolts were buffed and affixed

    • door hinges and drawer slides were attached and adjusted

    • cabinet pulls and knobs were installed to the base cabinets

We softened the look of these brass cremone bolts by giving them a buff with Scotch Brite pads to take off the lacquer

On my (and Charlene’s) list:


    • finished the base of our custom desk with a blend of soft blue, green and cream chalk paint to match the feminine vibe of our original Modern French Country Design Concept. Let me tell you, this daring took my breath away!

    • transformed vintage brown frames into lovely warm white inspiration pinboards with subtle blue & pink undertones surrounding the burlap-covered cork.

    • designed a small marble side table after removing the top from a sweet wood one I had purchased and attaching it to the top of a marble lazy-susan Charlene had acquired.

    • sanded and painted with chalk-paint (and sanded and painted some more) our second Facebook Marketplace console table after deciding the first, although pretty, simply did not hold enough fabric books

    • from Week 7 you may recall that we were having challenging time pinning down the right French Country style chairs. At the very last second, I found the-most-perfect antique french provincial chairs and set about ordering the most girly fabric and leather I could get my hands on quickly

    • took said chairs to be refinished by my friend at Chateau Bianca Vintage and discovered they would need to be completely overhauled, springs and all (check out what they looked like on the inside)


    • we printed and framed my travel/design inspiration photos to create a wall gallery with my prized Jennifer Jones and Joelly Cright floral art paintings.

    • installed drapery rods and custom drapes

    • installed our dog-friendly Classic Nouveau wool area rug from Surya.

I think the gorgeous pink leather and complimentary fabric chairs along with the patterned drapes will give me many years of inspired designing.


    • Last, but certainly not least, we installed our two sided desk, Daryn of Rumo Designs has dubbed the Luxe Bureau d’Ecriture. Designed and crafted by Daryn based on our need to work in tandem within a limited space, you can read more about his inspiration and design details below.

DOWNLOAD: Luxe Bureau d’Ecriture – Rumo Designs

I think the gorgeous pink leather and complimentary fabric chairs along with the patterned drapes will give me many years of inspired designing.

Finally, all the elements came together, leaving only roman shades for the windows and lining my hardware drawers with velvet on the list. I’m sure I missed a few steps in this whirlwind description, but it’s safe to say that we have all been tremendously busy.

No wonder we’re exhausted! 😅

On a more serious note, I must express my utmost gratitude to the phenomenal partners who have played a pivotal role in this remarkable project. I want to give a heartfelt thank you to Rumo Designs for crafting the stunning desk for two and to Sherwin Williams for their marvelous palette of colors that adorn my walls, cabinetry, and various DIY creations. They have truly brought the space to life! A special shout-out goes to Surya Rugs, whose gorgeous (and dog friendly) creation lies beneath my feet, adding an extra touch of opulence to the room. It is accurate to say there is no “I” in TEAM. Each trades person played a crucial role in bringing my vision to fruition. Their expertise, craftsmanship, and dedication have truly made a world of difference.

Thank you to Apartment Therapy for sponsoring such an inspired design event and to the ORC organizers for encouraging us and cheering us on. To all my fellow ORC friends, enjoy the gorgeous new spaces you created. I raise a glass to all of you lovely creative beings!

Until next time,

Michelle x