Welcome to the Wander Design Co. Office!

Jan 22, 2020

I partnered with Clare paint on this project and blog post! To learn more about Clare, visit clare.com

Friends, do you ever find it hard to find a place to work? Until we built an office and playroom combo in our house, I sure did. 


A little background info here. I quit my full-time job back in 2012 and hopped from coffee shop to coffee shop, working the days away. When I wasn’t at a coffee shop, I was sitting on my couch using my coffee table as a desk while I had a perfectly decent office in my basement. I just couldn’t get myself to actually work down there. 

In 2016 we moved to a new house with a 4th bedroom in the basement that we promptly turned into an office, and once again – I never used it. I was more apt to sitting in our sunroom at an antique table and rickety chair just to get a little vitamin D and be around my houseplants. Throw in two kids who wanted to be playing with their toys upstairs and the basement office idea was just off the table. 

Until that is, we decided we wanted to build a fun playroom and office combo in that 4th bedroom.

A place where the boys could play while we watched movies in the connected family room. Somewhere the toys could be taken out and played with but a door could be shut to hide the mess.

And a place for me to finally work and feel inspired, all with the boys playing by my side. 

This past October, we made it happen. Complete with a rock-climbing wall and a wall-length desk that I’ve always dreamed of. It just so happens that I’m married to a man who can make any vision come to life, whether it’s a gorgeous laundry room or an adorable A-frame playhouse and garden for our backyard. If I dream it (or see it on Pinterest, let’s be honest), he can build it. 

Right around the time we were dreaming up our playroom/office ideas, Clare Paint reached out about partnering on a room project, and the stars aligned. 

Here’s how we redid the space!

Step One: Choosing a Paint Color. 

Clare makes this SO easy and fun. 

As a designer, I seriously value good branding and websites and Clare’s is so clean and modern. Nothing like had seen in a paint company before. I was actually excited to decide on a paint color. 

To start, you take a fun quiz that analyzes your style, preferences and more and gives you some color ideas! Who doesn’t love quizzes? 

It was the perfect way for us to nail down some of our design ideas too, which is something we needed help with. We have a hard time defining our style, so answering these questions really made us dig in and decide what we wanted. 

The quiz came back with three color ideas for us, which we LOVED. If the options can be narrowed down and we can choose from just a few, we’re all about it.

We ended up choosing samples of 3 different colors (which are huge and peel and stick to your wall – amazing!) and decided on CHILL – the perfect light gray with blue tones that compliment the space so well. 

The big box of paint and supplies arrived on our doorstep and I was so excited to dive in! I also loved that every piece they sent us matched their branding – again, something I value. 

Justin started painting while I was upstairs one day and I had no clue – there were no terrible, headache-inducing fumes wafting upstairs and the paint went on so smoothly in just two quick coats, we didn’t even need a primer. He said it was the best paint he had ever used (and with all of our projects, he’s used a lot haha). We were SOLD on Clare.


Step Two: Desk and Shelving! 

Once the paint was up, next came the desk and shelves.

What. a. Dream.

In every room we redo at this house, we use oak wood with the same stain so the whole house is cohesive, so that’s what he did in this room.

The desk is everything I ever wanted, and once we found the perfect chairs from Wayfair, we were in business. 

The desk has three different seats – I envision me working and my boys doing their homework here after school – all in one place where we can spend quality time together. Again, everything I ever wanted. 

Justin also added framed cork boards for inspiration, art projects and more, which keeps our fridge and walls free from the million kid projects that will come home from school. Plus, I have a place to put my design inspiration. It was a perfect idea. 


Step Three: Make it FUN

Since this room was going to be a playroom too, we wanted to make it fun for our boys to play in. A rock-climbing wall was going to hopefully entice them to actually play in here! 

Once the desk was done, we worked hard on the wall. We love the mountains, so we decided on a mountain design and got to work. He found the rock climbing grips on Amazon and built the rest out of pine.

Once it was mounted to the wall, we added a giant floor pillow and a small sofa. We added in lots of pillows and had the start of a space that we all wanted to be in together. 

Step Four: The Special Details

With the big stuff done, next came the details.

Pictures of the boys, vintage pennants from places we want to visit, the original letterboard from my elementary school, a poster from our wedding day and the Blues Brothers tribute band that played, plants, books and vintage pieces – it all found a place in this space. 

As an extra special touch, Justin made a double H branding iron cutout to hang on the wall. When we went to Austin in August, he had a tattoo artist come up with this design to add to his wrist and we loved it so much that he surprised us with a bigger version to hang in here. 

The room has been completed for about 3 months now and honestly, it’s the room I’ve always dreamed about. I look at these photos and can’t believe it’s mine.

I actually work down here daily and love how we use this space. It’s never as clean as it was in these photos, but it’s filled with proof that we actually use this space. The more lived-in, the better. I’ve even taken a little nap or two on that giant pillow.

It’s a perfect mix of function and fun, and I hope we share this space together for years to come. 

Now friend, do you have a room you want to paint?

Hop over to Clare.com and use code MARIAHDANIELSEN5 to get $5 off your first 10 paint samples! You won’t regret it, friends!

Special thanks to Maggie from @ironandlacephoto for taking pictures of this space for us!

I wanna know – do you have an office in your home and do you actually use it? Share in the comments below!

you said:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

LEAVE A COMMENT