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  • Writer's pictureThe Rural Legend

How To make a small Dark Space feel Grand

If you missed what's been happening in our home lately, we have been converting our guest bedroom into my office! This meant my husband, Tim, could spread out and have his own space in the finished basement office we originally shared. I have been so excited for this makeover because Tim absolutely deserves this space refresh!

men's home office, vintage inspired global masculine home office in the basement, gray leather la-z-boy executive chair, wintage artistic weaver's rug, black and white travel photography gallery wall, black writing desk, plants for low light spaces, blue green walls

While, Tim did an amazing job finishing half of our basement, it's still just that - a basement. He works so hard for our family, and his job has been incredibly stressful over the past year, so I wanted to create a space for him that felt cozy and sophisticated - and most importantly didn't feel like a basement office!

basement office

How to make a basement not feel like a basement

1. Rich Moody Color

Tim's main request was to keep the dark blue-green wall color. ( Behr - Ocean Swell ) He originally chose the color when we first painted and it provides a beautifully rich foundation for the space!

behr ocean swell paint

2. Add a rug

In order to warm up the space, I added this stunning rug which immediately made the room feel rich and cozy! Tim's feet are always cold, so having a rug lends warmth both style wise and physically! This rug is also washable, which is perfect for my coffee spilling hubby, lol!

washable vintage rug

3. Be mindful of furniture

Even though this is a small space, I wanted to make sure the desk was plenty wide to accommodate all of the technology he needs. I love the old world feel of this desk. I didn't know it when I chose this writing desk, but it's a great dupe for a very high end desk from Restoration Hardware! Choosing a secretary style desk with a fully open area underneath helps the room to feel more open rather than choosing a boxy desk.

computer desk

When the desk arrived, we realized that the leg clearance wasn't quite enough for a 6'4" guy. We added these 4 inch wooden furniture legs to the bottom of the existing legs for extra height! After I spray painted the legs, Tim screwed them into holes he drilled on the bottom of the existing legs. An easy solution if you ever need to add a little height!

desk leg

4. Use Wall space

One of my absolute favorite space savers in this office is the wall mounts we found for the whopping 3 monitors Tim uses! The desk feels so much more open and clean! Wall mounting the monitors slightly above eye level also helps with proper posture = less neck pain!

home office

5. Open Shelving

The old cabinet we used in this space made the room too dark. I love these open industrial shelves for storage and styling! Pro tip: use decorative storage to tackle the mission of both form AND function! I found beautiful glazed canisters with lids and woven baskets to corral all of Tim's things to keep the space clutter-free and styled.

open industrial shelves

6. Add large art

With the dark, rich tones of the walls and furniture, I chose black and white photos with crisp white mats for the walls. The office has a very global vibe, so I thought it fitting to frame photographs I had taken on our travels together. I simply made them black and white in the Lightroom editing app.

black and white photography gallery wall

7. Add Plants

I believe every room should include plants to warm the space! I made sure to purchase low light loving plants since the 2 windows in the room are very small. I simply placed the grow pots inside woven baskets for an elevated look.

office shelving

Tim comes up from his office every day and tells me how much he loves it! My heart couldn't be happier that he finds joy in the space and that it feels like a retreat to him, even on stressful days!

home office

With Tim's office complete, I'm focusing my attention on my own office makeover! Make sure to subscribe at the bottom of the page to receive email updates when new posts are published! And don't forget to follow along on Instagram for more styling tips and peeks inside our every day life!

xoxo, L

As an affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you! That means, that when you click on a link in this post, I may make a small commission. Thank you for supporting me and the quality items I promote!



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Jan Hess
Jan Hess
Mar 16, 2022

Love the New office

It is amazing and so much bigger. I am sure Tim enjoys less strain on his neck with the comfy chair and mounted monitors. The carpet is a great idea as well as adding plants for the cozy look. Beautiful. ❤️



Mar 16, 2022

such a warm feeling space. I love the rug addition. you made me think that I need one in my little office space. Cold feet and a better vibe, the richness of feeling, the plants, photos, and swap of the long cabinets by the window, truly made a BIG visual difference.


Mar 15, 2022

WOW oh WOW!!! This looks amazing! Do you have a hard time getting Tim to leave his new man cave office! It is beautiful and masculine and I love that the positioning of the monitors is probably going to take additional stress off his neck and shoulders. Way to go, girl! You hit a home run again! Hugs ... Aunt Patti

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