Lake Cottage Study Reveal

About a year ago we remodeled our study.

This room is the old master bedroom and actually serves as a pass through to the family room and/or the new master bedroom now.

We spend tons of time in this room.

It  has high ceilings, skylights that fill it with light and the floor to ceiling bookshelves that serve as great storage.

French doors open one side to the family room while another glass door leads to our master.

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When we moved in it really lacked character.

It was painted a icky lavender color and needed to be warmed up for sure.

The old office furniture from our previous home did not work in the space so we sold it before we moved.

We lived in the space a bit to decide what configuration would work for our needs.

Don’t you love the old file cabinet and folding table look with cardboard accessories?

Very Stylish!


First I shopped for furniture.

I settled on the Pottery Barn Bedford corner desk with file cabinet and small desk to form our custom unit.

The reason I chose this was because I could configure the desk specifically for our needs.

We have had it now almost three years….do I love it? It does serve its purpose very nicely but I am a bit disappointed on how it has held up. We are not very hard on furniture and this desk set shows every ding and scratch, which is a bummer.

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We received the desk and then time went on….other things took priority, like the kitchen remodel. For a good year the space looked like this….

But I had plans!

I wanted to  try Board and Batten on the walls and paint the room Navy.

This is a lake cottage and I want to keep it nautical without making it look cheesy.


I chose Starless Night by Behr as my wall color.

With such a dark color we knew we needed to add the Board and Batten to lighten up the room.

Unfortunately, the skylights do get covered with snow in the winter which,  can make the room a bit dark.


So, I researched all sorts of Board and Batten tutorials on the web but, stuck to Thrifty Decor Chick’s advice pretty consistently.

Thank you Thrifty Decor Chick! I absolutely love your blog!

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We bought lots and lots of primed 1×4’s and started constructing a pattern on the wall. The room seemed to come alive with character immediately.

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Then I tackled the huge task of caulking and repainting the built in shelves.

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I could not be happier with the finished product! It’s Nautical with the navy walls and orange accents but could really fit into any space.

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The sisal rug is fluffy enough for us to sit on and play a game. My collection on vintage globes fit in just fine.

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My daughters favorite place to read a book is in the leather chair.

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My husband can be working at the main computer while I work on client projects along side him.

This home office is the busiest room in our house these days and we love to be in it!


Executive Office Project

Before the Holidays I was commissioned to design some executive offices for a manufacturing plant outside Kalamazoo. I am not going to lie, commercial interior design is not always my favorite job. I have always felt more comfortable designing a living space rather than a working space. It is great to get out of your comfort zone occasionally though….you never know where you will find inspiration!

One look at the current design of this office (or lack there of) and I could not refuse!! They had just been updating with the same finishes for the last twenty years or so?? Yikes!!

The offices were actually constructed from some extra space that was not being utilized. My clients were at the drywall phase when I was called to pick flooring, paint, furniture and accessories.

tile at install

First, I chose a durable commercial black slate floor to compliment the other teal green tile in the rest of the building. I was not about to let them carry on the dated tile that they had been paying twice as much for! Once they learned they could get something more attractive at half the cost they were shocked. This is why a good Interior Designer is necessary!! The photo above is during installation before grout. Looking Good!!!

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Next, I chose a warm grey for the walls called Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. It is a pretty basic, common paint color that looks good in all types of lighting. Since we have those standard fluorescent baffles above, I had to make sure I picked a color that would not go pink.  I know the photo below does not do it justice….and looks pink! It is really not in person. There is only so much you can do with a Blackberry Camera!

progress after flooring and paint

The room looked pretty good after some fresh paint! Now, off to order office furniture!!

The client had an account already with West Michigan Office Interiors, so that made my job very easy. I took the floor plans and went to work with their staff to find something in our budget.

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Luckily, they were having a clearance sale on a few floor models and some slightly used furniture. We found Hayworth used side chairs for a third of the regular retail price with the perfect fabric. The desk was also a great deal because it was a floor model that they needed to move quickly.


The only flaw with the desk was the fabric on the cork board. It was not the right colorway and it was beginning to bunch a bit so, their upholsterer got me some new fabric and had it fixed for a few dollars more. We came in thousands under budget because we chose this furniture. Commercial Design is so different than residential when it comes to purchasing furniture. New office furniture can be very pricey. A great way to keep the budget down is to find slightly used high end furniture. It keeps your cost low but you don’t sacrifice quality.

In this application, my client needed enough furniture to seat 4 people in each office because most of the small group meetings take place in the executive offices. We made it work in this small space by choosing a U Shaped desk where side chairs can be pulled up for a common work space. I also added a small work table to place in between two side chairs and an enclosed white board to hang on the wall.


The ergonomics of the desk chairs were also considered because the executives spend hours on end at their desk conducting meetings. This should always be purchased new and specific for the owner because everyone is a little different. The best thing to do is have the clients come, and sit to decide for themselves.


The furniture was delivered over the Christmas holiday and now what this space needs is artwork and some accessories! Stay Tuned!!!

A final view of the Masculine Study project

It has been busy, busy here at Abigail Hayden Interior Design! We made it through the holidays and are ready to keep the momentum going through the New Year! I finally had time to take some photos of the Study Project and update you all on the next few projects I have in the works in my following posts.

The Study Project turned out great…and it always helps to have such great clients! I think we all had a great time working together which is now leading me to other project in their home.


Does anyone remember what it looked like before? Great space with great potential….but really? Just a big empty room and my clients were not sure what to do with it.

We filled it with new furniture, piece by piece….

Jacobs Study in progress after paint

We painted the walls a color called Squirrel Tail by Benjamin Moore and immediately the space warmed up!

Then there was the problem with the window treatments….first we were going to just throw them away…but it was such a shame to do that! They were beautiful silk dupioni custom drapes that the previous homeowners had left. The gold tones were not really in our plan.

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Then I found this pillow! An inspiration! Could we keep the drapes? Could we make it work? We had them cleaned while the room was to be painted…we put them back up after the paint was done and they looked great!!! We saved a ton on the budget by doing this and my clients were happy! I also had the idea to mix in more gold metallics in the lamps I purchased to balance out the gold in the draperies! Perfect!

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 I also had the idea to mix in more gold metallic with the lamps I used on the sideboard and on the desk to balance out the gold in the draperies! Perfect!

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We also decided to keep the chandelier. In the beginning we discussed maybe an antler chandelier because my client was worried the current light fixture was not appropriate for a masculine study. In the end, we decided to keep the light fixture and add a few antler accessories here and there. The chandelier does have a rustic quality that really ended up working towards our goal.

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And I can not forget the lanterns! The funny thing is, one of my clients loves them while the other took some convincing but I think they have grown on him. They add a rustic charm to the space, that’s for sure!!! We just scattered  a few here and there. When the candles are lit it really warms the room.

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We did end up going with the campaign desk, which has sides that can extend out for extra work space if needed. It really has become very functional for my client when he works from home. The dice boxes on the desk top are a fun little accessory because he sells board games for a living. We are still planning on getting him a new desk chair….we just haven’t found the perfect fit for him yet.

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So here is the finished project…..What do you think of it? Could you work from home in this space?

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The masculine study project is coming together!!

Sorry, I have been neglecting my blog the past two weeks. I took a little Fall trip to see my family at our cabin in the Pocono Mountains. It is so beautiful up there in the fall….I came back with some inspiration for sure!

My study project is in a home here on the lake but, very different than my house. The style of my home is more ‘lake cottage’ while, this one is a bit larger, on a heavily wooded channel, and it was built as a custom family suburban home. When designing a room, you have to make sure your are keeping the style of the home in mind. That is why we came up with more of a ‘masculine lodge’ look for the study, but my clients are young and pretty trendy, so we wanted to squeeze in a bit of the ‘Industrial Chic’ style they are drawn to.

Last night I stopped by to see the progress.

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The Chairs and Sofa have arrived but we have a lot more work to do!

Love those chairs by the way!!

 We definitely need to add color with throw pillows, need a new paint color and a new desk and end table…..and artwork!

We need to warm up those walls!

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On our Thursday meeting, I may suggest some of these pillows from Pottery Barn.

I love Pottery Barn pillows because they sell covers and inserts you can change with your mood or seasonally.

Anyone who knows me, knows I have many moods, so changing pillows is a requirement, in my world!

It gives an entire new look to a room.


We have some blank walls that need to be filled up.

I am thinking a antiqued mirror like this one over the console, flanked with some tall candlestick lamps like I specified in the last post.

I am holding out for an antique brass lamp with a black shade, so we haven’t ordered those just yet.

Some nicely framed memorabilia and a map of Gull Lake were also discussed.


We did order this coffee table last night instead of the black ottomans.

The clients had originally wanted one or two large ottomans in the center of the seating area but, we compromised on this table, which I think will look great and add the rustic quality they like.

Imagine some books stacked on top about Sailing and Golf…..after all, that’s what living on Gull Lake is about!


We also talked paint colors.

The common area of their home is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, so we wanted to play on that a bit…..maybe a few shades darker?


We are thinking about going a few shades darker with Benjamin Moore Squirrel Tail, because the room is large, bright and needs a cozy grey to warm it up.

The beige that exists now needs an update and, the trim desperately needs to be white, to give the room some depth.

I also chose a few other similar colors and we will put samples up to make the choice.

This room gets lots of light, and I have found that this is the safe way to choose a color.

Every color is different and the same color can look different in two separate spaces.


The desk that exists now is too deep so we are going to need a smaller desk.

The client has had his eye on this one from World Market, so I am hoping he decides to go with it.

Well, off to shop for lamps, pillows, paint and artwork!

I cant wait to share the next steps in the project with all of you!

Client’s Masculine Study Project….

A few weeks ago I was commissioned for  a Study project.

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This room has great bone structure!

High ceilings and lots of light with new hardwood floors!

It is a blank canvas!

I am so excited to see the transformation!

My client loves a mixture of modern and traditional. He has also expressed some interest in throwing a few industrial looking pieces along with a deer antler or two. I am off and running with ideas.

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These are some of my inspiration photos.

My vision for the space is painting the walls a darker gray or blue color because the room can handle that kind of drama with the ceiling height and large windows. We will take down the formal drapes and move the chandelier to another room to make make room for a new light fixture.


Maybe an Antler chandelier like this one?


We chose a rug from pottery Barn and it came in last week. The clients love it and so do I! Just need a rug pad…Perfect start!

This photo actually makes me think we keep the table as his desk….maybe paint it? Or do a gray wash?

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We ordered a sofa, two chairs and a console. The console is here….I will see it later today. So Excited!

It is all very neutral so we can add color and character with accessories, lamps and pillows.

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Today, I am going to present them with two of these ottomans in the seating area, and a lamp option or two….I am thinking brass….envision a library lamp?? I like these from Ballard Designs because they are 40″ high and give us the height we need but need a better shade, for sure. Gotta love Suzanne Kasler! I used to wait on her quite often when I worked in a high end Interior Design shop in Indianapolis….She has fabulous taste!! OK, back to work,  Maybe an apothecary lamp for some task lighting by the sofa?


We are going to talk desk chairs, today as well. My client has some specific thoughts on what he wants for his desk, so hopefully I can come up with a good fit. Wish me luck!

I know right now it looks very black and neutral, but those are just the basics of the room….color is coming!! I promise!

I can’t wait to show all of you the finished project!