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Project Dive #2: Moody Study

This post is my second of a mini-series where I dive a bit deeper into recent projects. Now up: the Moody Study project! Feel free to scroll to the end to see a brief project snapshot.

This study is a room in some of my best friends' house. They reached out to me to work on this space, after spending hours in my family's own study - when they saw the power of such a dark + cozy oasis of books for evening down time.

The Problem:

My clients were not using this room at all. Like, not at all! And they needed to - their house was by no means huge, so every room really needed to serve a purpose. As parents of two young children, they were aching for a room that felt grown-up, without kid toys in site. They had boxes and boxes of books being stored in the basement and it was time for them to see the light of day. They wanted a place for them to spend time as a couple in the evening reconnecting or entertaining some friends with a cocktail once the kids went to bed. These clients have big personalities with very full and active lives and this room was nowhere near reflecting any of that. Also, they adore Wes Anderson.

Let's take a look at some before images:

Project Workarounds:

As I've said before, every project has its limitations. It's something I don't mind - as it can pull out creative design solutions. In this case, however, the main limitation was the budget, set at around 7K. With their modest budget, I knew that I would not only need to shop their house for items for the space, but that vintage, which I knew the clients adored, would be our best friend for the space.

Design Solutions:

I started with their layout, really thinking how I could utilize their longest, uninterrupted wall for book storage. I had seen a good number of IKEA bookcase hacks as a way to save money (the cost of wood was sky high at this this time), so I researched and explored ways for use to use IKEA Billy bookcases, but with a built-in look. The clients mentioned wanting to add crown molding to the room, and I knew that would help with that built-in feature.

I also wanted to showcase their fireplace which the clients had completely covered due to not liking it. When they mentioned not liking the white color of the fireplace, I grabbed an extra can of SW Iron Ore they had leftover from their recent kitchen remodel to create a two-tone extra moody effect. I also darkened the grout so that the white tile's grid pattern stood out more, creating a modern pop against the more traditional features of the room.

Another huge impact on the space was adding some dramatic drapes to their window. Installing them much higher and wider than the window itself, the room is instantly elongated and the ceilings feels much taller.

The room is now apparently my clients favorite room in the house. I can't blame them - I think I would spend every evening in here, too!


Project Snapshot

Name: Moody Study

Location: The Tree Streets, an historic neighborhood in Johnson City, TN

Main Problems: Under utilized room, no clear purpose to the space

Furnishing Requests: Clients needed to home hundreds of books, desired seating for 4, wanted to add crown molding to the room, and liked the idea of a sofa that could turn into a bed if needed

Budget: 7K

Key Solutions: Dark color palette, clear seating, IKEA Billy bookshelf hack, lots of vintage touches



Bookcases: IKEA Billy

Rug: Vintage, Locally sourced at West Main Antiques

Chandelier: Poly and Bark

Armchairs: Facebook Marketplace

Coffee Table: West Elm

Sofa: Wayfair

Drapes: West Elm

Mirror, Art, Tables: All previously owned by client

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