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Fresh new de-germed walls in the office!

Not that I have ever watched Real Housewives of New Jersey, but “allegedly” there is an episode in one of the first seasons in which Teresa and Joe Guidice are building their new house:

via popcrunch

She says something to the effect of, “We didn’t want to live in a house that someone else already lived in. That’s just gross.”

–Therefore insulting everyone who has ever lived in a space they did not build themselves. Pretty much all of us who can’t have Ryan Homes or Bob Vila build us a new home every time we need to move.

Allegedly that happened in that show. Not that I would know…

However, I do kinda get where she’s coming from on the previous-homeowner-germs. When we bought our stanky ol’ foreclosure, it had some serious grossness that we set about eradicating STAT.

From removing popcorn ceilings to ripping out carpet and installing hardwood floors, we’ve just about cleaned up and replaced every single surface that the previous homeowners touched, except the master bathroom – (which we’ll update soon. Eventually. Someday) – and the walls of the office:
Office before at view along the way
After scraping the ceilings and adding hardwood floors, new windows and crown molding, we left it like this for about three years:

Then we installed custom bookshelves and painted them, but still those walls remained previous-homeownery:

You can even see the line where we used the paint sprayer to paint the new crown molding, but still hadn’t cut in with any new wall color:

I have no plans to replace/remodel the husband.

And while it doesn’t even look that bad in photos, in real life you could see that the walls needed some help:
stained wall around receptacle
But guess what? We finally repainted them and now there are no nasty “Other People surfaces” remaining in our whole downstairs. Check it!
Home Office at View Along the Way
Did you spot our new DIY capiz chandelier? See how we made it right here!

The walls still felt pretty rough to the touch from when we scraped off the popcorn ceilings, so we wiped them down with a wet rag. I got a little help from a certain little helper:

Then Andy sanded them down with a hand sander, creating the most awe-inspiring layer of dust over just about EVERYTHING. We had a little blanket covering this Random Electronic Item That I Cannot Identify. Look how much dust gathered around it:

I was pretty thankful we’d thought to cover the bookshelves before we started sanding!
Bookshelves covered in sheets
Once the walls were washed, sanded and wiped down again, we were ready to get ‘er DONE.

Dutch Boy sent me some of their new Refresh paint, which is low-odor (SCORE!) and zero-VOC so it’s less harmful to the kiddos and the environment. We’ve pretty much completely switched to low- or no-VOC paint in this house, so I was excited to give it a try. Plus it came in this fun handy container which made pouring and storing super easy.
pouring dutch boy refresh paint
I chose the color “Eco Gray,” which I’d hoped would be a nice soft neutral to balance out all the color on the bookshelf wall.
Dutch Boy Eco Gray Home Office
Overall it feels like a warmer gray to me, maybe with the TINIEST undertones of purple, which just add to the warmth. I like it better than a clean gray, which tends to feel cold to me. We still have LOTS to do in this room – including window treatments, but here’s a shot of the new color on the window wall:
Dutch boy Eco gray paint color in home office
One gallon of paint did the job, even covered all the wall stains. And FOR THE RECORD… I did all the painting by my own little self. With zero helps from the husband. (He did sand the walls. Only because sanding sheetrock feels like nails-on-a-chalkboard to me and makes me want to curl up in a ball, cover my ears and cry.) But I painted it.

Okay, ready for a before and after? Before:
Office before at view along the way
Home Office at View Along the Way

Much better, don’t you think? (The chandelier is an improvement over the ol’ hanging-lightbulb-look too!)

How do you feel about the gray? Do you (secretly) watch Real Housewives? Did you get any projects knocked out this weekend?

P.S.: Dutch Boy sent me their new Refresh paint to review, but all opinions belong to lil ol’ me alone. Ryan Homes sponsored this post.

Let's connect


  1. Looks fabulous! I love the grey!

  2. That is one good looking office! And now I’m on the edge of my seat to hear about that gorgeous chandelier. Would NOT have guessed it’s a DIY. (But I should since I know you’re so darn crafty.) Kudos on doing all the painting yourself. I assume that means you get to laze around and be waited on for the rest of week, right?

  3. DIY chandelier? I CAN’T WAIT. I was ready to ask you where had you gotten that cool version of the capiz pendant…

  4. The walls look great, but i got seriously hung up on the “DIY Chandelier” thing. You made that???? You make me feel like such a slacker. I buy my light fixtures.

  5. I always was very shy to use any gray in my home, but can I tell you, I’m hooked now. Not the cool industrial gray, but warm, muddy gray. Your room looks cozy and the color looks great. Good bye other peoples germs and hello home.

  6. I’ve been seeing commercials for a website for blueprints, and they ask you, “Why would you want to live in some one elses USED home when you can build your own?” And they say “used” all disgusted like. Crazy.

    I DID notice your chandelier and it looks sweet. Do share. 🙂

  7. I know just what you mean about previous owner’s grossness. There was plenty of that in our house when we moved in. On the day we completed we met the owners at the property so they could handover the keys to us and as soon as their car drove out of sight we gleefully ripped up the hideous navy carpet in the hall, stairs and landing to reveal the original floorboards beneath. Just as we were standing back to triumphantly admire the transformation we’d made in our first 20 minutes of living there, there was a knock at the door which we realised to our horror was the previous owner back to collect something they’d forgotten. They looked less than impressed at what we’d done. Criiiiinge! I guess it’s best that they didn’t need to use the bathroom otherwise they’d have mourned the loss of the corner shelf they’d put up to proudly display their toilet cleaner and other bleach-based products (always good to make a feature out of the mundane). Glad you have de-grossed your downstairs!

  8. I LOVE the gray!! It is wonderful. I may have watched the Kardashians a few times. I’m not sure.

  9. Love the color! It really does look amazing. And I watch the NJ housewives openly … though, they do make me cringe. Often. And they’ve actually have gotten even more annoying as the years have gone on.

    Can’t wait to learn more about that amazing chandelier too!



  10. I’m a total reality junkie. Oops did I just say that? They make me laugh…as in, laugh at them. 😀 Your new office looks perfect! I love your chandy too!

  11. Me and the gray Dutch Boy go way back. He was recently replaced with Ralph Lauren. And guess what. The gray color was so similar no one could tell we painted. That’ll learn me.


  12. Love the new color! It looks fabulous! And I cannot WAIT to hear (erm, read) all about your chandelier because it is gorgeous!

  13. Um, what? You MADE that chandelier?!

    The new gray looks perfect! We also finished up some loose ends around the house over the past week (like finally putting up the new trim in our living room after having ugly door frames for the past 5 months). Definitely feels good. 🙂

  14. The room looks MUCH better with the gray! Funny gray story for you: I took home 50+ gray paint chips over the weekend to narrow down a color for one of the rooms in our house and ended up going with the little sample pot of paint I grabbed at the last minute! Why are grays so hard to choose?!

  15. I looooove The Real Housewives…all of them {well, I guess the jury’s still out about Miami}. I grew up in New Jersey and the idea that RHONJ is representative is just laughable, but I love to watch! Oh, and that gray is totally fabulous and now that we bought our first “used” house, I totally understand why people would resurface everything in sight.

  16. We also purchased a foreclosure and I totally understand the yukky factor. Our house sat empty for 3 1/2 years and smelled terrible. The funniest thing is we haven’t touched our master bath either. It is so bad – it’s embarrassing. Love your office – its FAB!!

  17. aaah, just as it should be, i can no longer smell your walls from here.
    and i love that rug!

  18. I remember when Teresa said that, and I was all “*itch, please”. Funny how she had to gut that non-previously-lived-in-house of all the tackalicious marble (among other things) when they filed for bankruptcy shortly after building it.

    The room looks awesome! The grey looks great with the white trim. I can’t wait for your post about the DIY chandy. I may have let out an “Oooh!” when I saw it.

  19. Yay. Sounds like a lot of work, but totally worth it.

  20. I do not watch any of the Housewife shows but on an occasional marathon day I have caught my husband completely engulfed in it.

    I love the gray! It is very fresh and clean. I can’t wait to hear about that chandelier. Love it!

  21. I felt the exact same way about replacing all surfaces of our previously-lived-in house. I was sooooo grossed out when we moved in. So grossed out!

    I love paint. It’s amazing how it changes a room, and your room looks great. We (why did I say we when I did it?) just painted our living room walls purple. Well, just the top third because white board and batten will go under. Then in our kitchen/dining we are doing dark dark gray with the same board and batten, and it will look really similar to your dining room! We have awesome taste.

  22. You made that chandelier?! Is it capiz shells – I have a capiz shell chandelier very much like that!

    Love the gray paint – glad you got rid of those other people issues – now you can invite Teresa for dinner. Just hope she doesn’t flip a table!

  23. Looks great; can’t wait to hear more about that chandelier!
    We had (still have) some serious grossness from the previous owners. They had all kinds of animals (birds and rabbits) that they let roam the house (weirdos)…it was horrible when we moved in and I still find gross things a year later!

  24. Ahhhh, so fresh and so clean!
    I’m looking forward to more info on that chandelier.

    When we moved into our current rental, the first order of business was a deep clean. This included cleaning under the gas stove…where we found cat toys and a birthday card. Fire hazard much?

  25. I’ve never seen any Real Housewives shows, but I don’t have a tv, so I’ve never seen, like, anything. So I won’t judge! Well, I won’t judge you if you watched it, but I will totally judge that nasty comment from the lady about other people living there being gross. Rude! I mean, swimming in the ocean is like, well, just think about what all those animals are doing every day in that water.

    But whatever…I love the chandy, though the bare bulb look was sort of Mickey Spillane if you like that sort of thing! Me, I’m more of a chandy type of gal.

    And I DID get a project done this weekend! The 90’s called and wanted their brass back so I painted some knobs and fixtures in my bathroom to go with the vintage pewter towel racks that should arrive ANY DAY.

  26. I will admit to watching a couple of the Housewives series but not a fan of the NJ crowd. Your walls look amazing and I am very intrigued about the diy chandy.

  27. The gray is awesome, Kelly! Very chill but gives the perfect amount of contrast to your trim and that rocking bookcase. Love!
    xo Heidi

  28. You picked the perfect color. Not to cold, not to warm. Perfect.
    That DIY chandy ain’t too shabby either! Looking forward to reading the details.

  29. Gray and I have a “thing” going on… I mean, we have a SERIOUS thing going on. I miss RHONJ. I gave it up for Lent a last year (along with every other reality tv program), and haven’t picked it back up. I know, it’s cray cray, but I can’t stand the constant bickering anymore!!
    Great color choice, Kelly!! And I love love love the DIY chandelier! Can’t wait to see the window treatments!!

  30. Gotta luv that dutch boy! Looks amazing!

  31. Oh I don’t secretly watch it, My hubby and I watch it every weekend. And I remember her saying that as well. And I agree in some ways. When we moved into our house which was also a foreclosure and somewhat icky I replaced all of the toilet seats no one sat on an old one. Narcotic? Just a little.


  1. […] The rooms I’ve done that I like the most, like Mila’s nursery, were a totally different story. They came together a million times more smoothly, and were more fun and less stressful, because the paint color was my LAST decision instead of my first. Same with the office. […]

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