Style Q&A: create-enjoy.com

Home Office: objects–both old and new–come together to create happy “moments”

So many of us learned the value of a functioning home office in 2020. Suzannah Stanley, of create-enjoy.com and co-host of Your Home Story podcast, completed the renovation of her Tudor Revival home office. She used Nostalgic Warehouse’s solid brass switch plates and outlet covers to preserve the historic look and feel.

A functional desk and comfortable office chair won the day.

What attracted you to the colors you chose in your office update?

I’ve been trying to add more color to my home lately and move away from the all-white-walls look of recent years. Rather than go dark in this north-facing room, I chose a pretty midtone for the walls and made it feel more dramatic and intentional by painting the trim the same color of a higher sheen paint. A complimentary color, brass looks so good with this green-grey-aqua! (Sherwin-Williams SW 6205 Comfort Gray)

Can you reiterate what a moment in a room is and how to create one?

Ideally every thing in a room coordinates, but sometimes a few pieces put together just sing. Pretty moments put those great pieces together and when you can see them all in one view it just makes you happy!

Susannah created a “chair moment” with an off-center chair and an unexpected framed-art placement.

What finish would you choose if Antique Brass was not available?

I’m tempted by the Unlacquered Brass, and I’ve seen some process for aging it quickly to give it the look of the other brass pieces in my 80-year-old home.

Do you ever mix different metal tones? When should or shouldn’t someone attempt to mix metal tones?

Absolutely! Mixing metals (well) makes a room feel thoughtfully put together. Our first home was a builder basic new construction and every single metal was brushed nickel—it just felt copy/pasted. I do like to keep base categories pretty consistent, i.e. all door hardware in our home except kitchen and bathroom is antique brass (it’s an old house, so the areas near water were chrome originally). But, black metal goes with everything, so I have a few black light fixtures, and accent pieces like picture frames are a great way to add colors, too.

How do you know when it’s better to replace a furniture item vs. re-cover/re-upholster it?

Older pieces and high-end brand pieces last. Some of the cheap big box pieces these days are probably not worth the time to recover, but a good brand from Facebook Marketplace? If you like the shape and have the skills, it is worth it! A professional custom reupholstery job can be very expensive, but you can find great vintage chairs secondhand for almost nothing sometimes, making the total cost still way less than a custom new chair.

Susannah made the slipcover herself, adding a ruffle for fun.

What advice can you give to people who want to refresh the fabrics in their space (curtains, pillow covers, etc.) but do not own a sewing machine?

If you know how to sew, you can schedule a sewing party with a friend or relative and knock out a few simple projects, or rent time at a fabric shop that has machines for public use. You can also try iron-on tape for something that doesn’t receive a lot of heavy use, like the bottoms of curtains. There are also a ton of DIYs you can do to plain fabrics (I like IKEA cotton canvas pillow covers and curtains) like stamping or stenciling with fabric paint.

– Thank you, Susannah, for sharing the fantastic advice and tips! –

Susannah: I do recommend hiding your internet situation with pretty flowers any time you can.