Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Color for The Office

Without any doubt, Ralph Lauren’s “Hopsack” paint color was absolutely gorgeous in our previous home. During the weeks before moving to Salt Lake City neither of us was thinking clearly, and in a frantic attempt to pick a color for the new house, we went with Hopsack again… Craso error, since this house doesn’t have all the white accents that made Hopsack look so rich and nice. In our present home, the accent is a warm wood tone, so Hopsack looks like a boring gray completely out of place, and almost poopish… sickly poopish…

Fortunately for us, tragic circumstances didn’t allow us to paint more than three rooms with Hopsack, one of which we have successfully rescued. The remaining two are Joey’s office, and my office. That’s right: MQStudio’s headquarters, which should be bright and sunny, are boring gray instead. And, although neutral gray walls are actually recommended for design studios, I really want a warmer and more vibrant work environment. So here we go again with some visualization mockups: This time for the office.

A few important facts to guide decisions:

  1. According to Feng Shui, my office falls in the “education and knowledge” area, which corresponds to the earth element. Therefore, if we want Joey to keep the highest grades in his class (which really makes this little nerd happy), we better paint the room in colors that represent earth (yellow), or its producing element: fire (red). This is very convenient, since red and yellow were my preference for the room, and they even match the current colors of the site!
  2. I want to make sure that the room looks great from two angles:
    Coming into the room. Because if this view sucks, my Feng Shui will be ruined every time I come into the office. Also, whenever we sell the house, this is the view that prospective buyers will see first, and the view that will be displayed on the promotional online photo gallery.
    Working in the room. Well, obviously because this is where I spend a lot of my time.

With this in mind, I’ve created a few (flickr contacts can see larger versions). At this point I’m leaning towards the unusual option of two red walls:


A single accent wall may be safer, but it feels boring(?). I’ve added notes to each mockup, and would love to hear your opinions…


  1. On , Joey wrote:

    I like the red on two walls. Good photoshopping!!

  2. On , Joey wrote:

    It is kind of unusual to have 2 accent walls… but I like it. Good thing is that one of the walls has the closet so it is pretty small.

  3. On , Jennifer wrote:

    I like the two red walls :). I dont think it’s unusual at all to have two treatments in a room, but I gre up that way. In my two childhood rooms I had two adjacent walls with the same wallpaper and the other two with another wallpaper; or, I had below the chair rail one pattern and above another.

    I think it gives a sense of depth… AND, if you ever get tired of facing one color, you can turn and view another for a refreshing change.

    Great color choices, btw.

  4. On , Maria wrote:

    Now the peo is finding that specific shade of red. I love it in the mockup and I don’t think it exists, so I spent some time trying to see if colorwashing different shades would be the solution. I won’t go there though…

    But I couldn’t find anything like that in the Sherwin Williams palette, or Ralph Lauren’s, or Behr’s (deep red with more yellow content but not blinding bright). Damn it!

  5. On , Petie wrote:

    You can try taking a picture in of the red you want and see what their machines match it to. I took in a board from our house when we had to repaint and wanted it to match the garage. It matches perfectly – you can’t discern a difference between the house and the garage.

  6. On , Marla wrote:

    Love the colors of course.

    Where’s the gradient wall?

    My eye keeps wanting to put the two red walls together. Something about the deep, rich tone to pull you into that corner of the room instead of pulling you in and then bouncing you back with the yellow. I think the yellow on the other two walls would give more depth by opening that area and cozying the corner you work in.

    Am I blowing bull?:)

  7. On , Maria wrote:

    See largerThe gradient wall… I know… I’d love to do that, but not on TWO walls.

    Your suggestion to paint red the entire corner was the second thing I attempted, but as soon as I “dropped the red paint” on those two adjacent walls, the room shrunk visually. It looked so small.. I figure it’s the darkness. I’m posting the photo so you can see what I’m talking about (or disagree with me).