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Making a Real Estate Office “Pretty”: Part 1

By Lindaleyble @LindaLeyble

A very good friend of mine, Dianne Scalza, just opened up a new real estate company – Exit Realty All Pro in Bay Shore NY.  Dianne is a colorful, dynamic and fearless woman and so when I saw her private office – all beige – I knew I had to feminize it and bring more color and “Dianne” into the space. Luckily, she asked me to help make it her own.

before picture of the real estate office of Dianne Scalza,

Before the transformation

…And we just had to do something about those glass blocks (with no budget to remove them. Tomorrow on the blog I will show you how we transformed the window!).  She needed some extra storage in her office but she didn’t want ugly file cabinets – so she brought along a bombe chest that she had purchased 10 years ago.  A bookcase was also a priority – so I went in search of something that would work in this feminization of a boring real estate office. I found just what was needed on Craigslist – for $60!

an antique bookcase and a bombe chest before a transformation

Before: The antique green bookcase and the bombe chest

Both of these pieces had some nice curves and sex appeal – but the colors were ugly.  So – I got to work.

The Bombe Chest

painting a bombe chest Napoleonic Blue


I used some Annie Sloan Chalk Paints to revive this piece – Napoleonic Blue and Old White.  Dianne loves anything nautical, so these colors really hit the mark. But I had to add some beachy elements to bring in Dianne’s love of shells and the beach.  So – I added this…

a revamped bombe chest done with Annie Sloan Chalk Paints

On my porch, ready to go to her office!

I added this shell and roses design to the middle drawer.  It’s a design called Shell Eloquence from Royal Design Studio - but I did something a little different than just stenciling.  I first stenciled the design in Old White…then I freehanded the rest of the motifs – adding some Dutch Metal Gold and some dark brown for shading. I also touched up the hardware with some Dutch Metal Gold. Here’s a closeup of the drawer…

Royal Design Studio Shell Eloquence with handpainted details on a bombe chest

Closeup of the middle drawer design

I waxed the entire piece with Miss Mustardseed’s wax to make it durable.  Here’s the chest in Dianne’s new office…


a revamped bombe chest done with Annie Sloan Chalk Paints and Miss Mustardseed wax

The Bookcase

Being that it was a deep forest green, you really couldn’t see the lovely scroll work at the top of the piece, so I had to make sure that this was prominent.  You also didn’t really notice the wonderful paneled backing of this bookcase.  I don’t know what year it’s from but the panels had a lot of depth being that every other panel protruded a bit (a staggered bead board effect). I wanted the inset top and the back of the piece to stand out – so I created a custom pale blue paint color for it.  The rest of the bookcase was painted an Off White.

an antique bookcase revamped with off white and pale blue paint

During – right before antiquing

I antiqued the bookcase with some raw umber and dark brown glaze, just to bring back the history of the piece.

a revamped antique bookcase with off white and pale blue paint and antiqued
Much more feminine…don’t you think? So – please come back tomorrow when I show you how we transformed the windows!!!

Let me know what you think in the comment box below!


Making a Real Estate Office “Pretty”: Part 1

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