Initially the entire space and spiral stairs up was carpeted in baby blue. The first week we purchased the home I ripped out the carpet and exposed (mostly) hardwood floors. The problem was the color, condition and about 8'x7' of plywood instead of hardwood flooring.
We had the floors patched and refinished staining them a dark walnut/mahogany color to match the flooring I laid on ground level. I then painted the back wall a fantastic shade of turquoise to really contrast the warm wood and white. I placed white gloss wall shelves above four inexpensive wall cabinets from the big box store I re-purposed as rolling storage by adding wheels to the bottom and new hardware. These also serve as the screening TV stand. (and guest TV when needed) A daybed (which opens up to a king size bed) serves double duty as well. I covered the dated (and dangerous for our tiny dogs) wall/railing with a custom walnut paneled wall on the exterior, and white wall on the interior. I used aluminum angles to create a new hand rail for a sleek contrast to the earthy mod wood. This creates a bit more privacy upstairs, is safer, and is beautiful. Lastly I purchased a rolling comfortable chair which can be used for screening viewing as well as work, and a long narrow desk for my workstation which fit perfectly in the recess surrounded by a wall/corner of windows overlooking the Sawkill Creek and meadow with deer. I can watch all the birds at our feeder ad get distracted and inspired all day long!