Interiors, workspaces
comments 3

A dark office corner before and after

A dark office corner with Hübsch

*This post includes gifted items

During phase 1 of the renovations at CASA PYLA, I was keen to try out a really dark room for a change.
With the help of Hübsch Interiors and Farrow & Ball, I created this intimate and minimalist workspace in one of the bedrooms.

Just to give you a bit of a background on our house plans, we signed the deed for villa Bagatelles (which I rebranded CASA PYLA) on my birthday in March ’19.
Given our project to rehabilitate this big house, I knew we couldn’t achieve all we wanted to do before Summer ’19. So I broke down the work in several phases.

  • March-June ’19: Freshening up the house to make it welcoming and liveable for Summer ’19.
  • December-June ’20: Tackling the major renovations (new windows, the concrete floor on the ground floor, new bathrooms, etc)
  • September ’20: planning a series of creative workshops.

As soon as we got the keys, I started three months of intensive renovations to create a natural, Summer vibe in this old house.

The bedroom before

The bedroom was initially painted in this very bright blue.
I could have made it work and go for something more costal (obviously these curtains had to go).

However, the electric radiator was rusty and looked like it had been wired in the 70s. There were damp marks on the walls where the mirrors used to be and the floor was really wonky.
In all honesty, the room looked really old, not charming, just old, and neglected. I couldn’t see myself welcoming people in a bedroom like this.

The only way to make something of this room was either to strip it down and leave it raw like I had done for this bedroom or paint in white like this one.

The only charming thing was the original floorboards yet they were really wonky and damaged

Knowing that things would be knocked down in phase 2, this was the perfect timing to experiment with darker colors than my usual all-white scheme.

The inspiration

While I prefer living amongst lighter, natural tones, dark tones are a joy to style.
They add depth and contrast to a room. They feel cozier, more intimate, and are very photogenic.
With the right furniture and lighting, they can also modernize a room.

As I have saved a fair amount of dark rooms and dark bedrooms on my Pinterest boards and painting our bedroom in Down Pipe by Farrow and Ball, I was keen to go fifty shades darker.

We had used Railings by Farrow and Ball on our house front in London and loved it! So I thought it would be interesting to test this really dark hue for a bedroom.dark rooms

A dark office corner before and after

Stylish, modern lighting create a real focal point

We first primed the walls with Farrow and Ball Primers and Undercoats for dark tones. Then applied two coats of Railings in Estate Eggshell finish and here is the result…
A dark office corner before and afterA dark office corner before and after

The oak desk by Hübsch Interior

I had spotted Hübsch’ collection at an interior fair in Germany.
They have a great selection of oak desks, lighting including this stunning marble and glass floor lamp which you can see above.

I also used it for another shoot as a floor lamp in the raw bedroom here.

The desk I chose is model 880704 and I will probably use it in Milas’ bedroom when phase 2 of CASA PYLA is completed.

The natural look of the unvarnished oak desk was perfect to add warmth and texture to this dark room.
I have since found out that it’s best to protect the wood with mat varnish to keep stains at bay.

I’ve recently ordered some specialist products to try to get rid of the stain that occurred last Summer. I will let you know if it works…

A dark office corner before and after

The SMOKIN’ ODE fine art print on the wall is available from my shop.

The Fermob dark metal chair is part of our garden set (you can read our garden makeover here). The dark throw was from here.

A dark office corner before and afterA dark office corner before and after
A dark office corner before and after

I hope you have enjoyed this little makeover. Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment and feel free to ask me any questions.

CASA PYLA is a creative residence available for Summer rentals and shooting/filming. It is located two minutes’ walk from the beach in Pyla-sur-Mer (45 min drive from Bordeaux airport). Facing Cap-Ferret, it is located in a very leafy area and if you go for a walk on the beach, you will get a stunning view of this beauty.

If you wish to book CASA PYLA, for your holidays or for a shooting (from September) feel free to email me at [email protected]

This article is posted in partnership with Hübsch, Farrow and Ball and contains affiliates links. Click HERE to order SMOKIN’ ODE fine art print.


  1. Isabell says

    Hello Karine,

    what a great idea to create a dark workingspace! I love it (even thoung I’m also
    more on the “white” side) … but I guess interiorwise one can switch to the dark side
    for a change ;)

    On a totally different note: I noticed (not just in this post but also in your kitchen renovation posts) that Casa Pyla is well equiped with high ceilings… I wonder how would you “use” this space, what would you make with it? do you have any ideas yet… ?

    Kind regards and (as always) looking forward to you next post :)

    • Thanks Isabell :-)

      Re. CASA PYLA, the original height was 3.35m but we are fitting an under ceiling heating (same as underfloor but above) and will bring down the height to 3m so we don’t have to recut /join plasterboards and save on time and money.

      Personally, I welcome the high ceiling and won’t add anything to them at least in the ground floor area (kitchen and lounge) to maintain that sense of space.
      In the bedrooms, though, wardrobes are likely to go from floor to ceiling to maximize storage space.
      If we had a 4m height, I would have added a mezzanine in the room downstairs but when we looked at it, the height wasn’t big enough to sleep and be confortable (maybe for the next project!)

  2. Phuong Mai says

    Wow that’s a really nice transformation! I’m usually too scared to play with black paint for bedrooms but this project is super cool that it makes me rethink a lot. I love how elegant and chic it is!

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.