Great new! My home office is complete! These are words I never thought I would never be able to write.
This project has been a work-in-progress since the summer. I finished the important stuff (installing and painting the desk and painting the back wall) pretty quickly, and then I spent months tinkering around with the details. I am glad to say that after more trips to Ikea, the Container Store, Office Max, and Bed Bath & Beyond than I would like to admit, I am satisfied… for now. Knowing me, I will be tinkering with this space for quite a while!
It all began with two closets in my bedroom. In an effort to minimize, I decided that I only wanted to use one closet for clothing. This left my second closet free… for an office. We don’t have a spare room for me to have a designated home office, so I need to make use of every inch of space available. This means that with some creativity, an extra closet can become a home office.
I started with an all white closet. The nice people at The Home Depot cut a board for me to use as a desk. I measured it to fit just inside the closet, and take up the whole space. I chose this option, instead of using an actual desk, because I wanted to maximize my workspace.
I also lucked out, because there was already a shelf at bar-height in the closet. I removed the shelf, and used the shelf supports already in place to support my new desk.
A friend rounded off the front edge of the board. I then applied wood filler and sanded to make a smooth, rounded edge.
I painted the desk with a high gloss white paint, the back wall above the desk with chalkboard paint (although I haven’t been able to bring myself to write on it yet!), and the wall under the desk with a nice light blue.
I don’t have any more in-progress pictures… Sorry! But here are some close-ups of the details:
I bought white floating shelves from Ikea – one long and one short. They are a bit too narrow to serve as functional storage space. I plan on using them mainly to display crafts and pictures that I enjoy. I think I managed to find enough storage in other areas of the closet!
Under the shelves, I placed little storage boxes between elephant bookends that belonged to my grandparents. I keep little everyday items in these boxes – extra flash drives and electronics accessories, post-it notes, tape, etc.
The painted a craft wood slice with the words “I just want to make beautiful things…” is a project I did a few months ago. Read all about it here.
I have a ton of instagram photos that seem to stay trapped in the internet, and I’ve been trying to do a better job of printing and displaying them. I decided to try and be extra crafty with a cork, and make a picture display. I used a sharp knife to cut a small line into the top of a champagne cork. The instagram picture sits in this indentation perfectly!
One wall is functional and one I saved to be “pretty.”
On the left wall, I mounted a pegboard – cut to size for free at the hardware store. This may seem like a simple task, but for me it was a major feat. This was the first time I had ever used a power tool all by myself – unsupervised. It was just about as thrilling as driving a car by myself for the first time! So I used my new electric drill to mount the pegboard. So far the thing seems level and hasn’t fallen off the wall. Victory!
I bought a cheap set of pegboard hardware from the Home Depot – just a little baggie of basic hardware. Little metal pails hold paintbrushes and pens. The white metal basket holds paint, mod podge, and a jar of colored pencils. I also attached a stack of post-its to a little piece from a burlap banner.
Pegboard and hardware – The Home Depot.
Metal pails – Joann Fabrics.
White metal basket – The Container Store.
Jar and post-its – Target dollar section.
In front of the pegboard is a small brown paper bag from Pakhuis Oost at the Container Store. I use it as a little trash can for paper scraps and thread while working on projects.
On the other wall, I mounted four clipboards from the dollar section at Target.
The two printables are free from other blogs. Here are the links:
Happiness is a Warm Glue Gun from Man Made DIY
Free Feather Printables from Oh So Lovely the Blog
The white branches in the jar are from Ikea (cut down by about a foot – the extra went in another jar on the top shelf in the closet). I collected the stones off the beach while on a trip to Alaska.
And how cute is this fabric-covered notebook?!? My sister made it for me. I haven’t graduated past sewing in a straight line and getting my corners to line up, so I leave the more complicated sewing projects to her!
When you’re working in a small space, you have to utilize every inch – not just horizontal, but vertical too. This means taking advantage of space on the inside of my closet doors.
I bought two magnetic panels from Ikea, and lucky me – the were the perfect size to fit inside the moulding on the door! I didn’t want to drill into the door, so I mounted the panels with 3M adhesives.
Right now, I mainly use the magnetic panels to display pictures, magazine articles that inspire me, or notes to myself. I bought a set of magnets from Ikea as well, but I also made some wooden ones. I just bought a packet of birch discs at the craft store and hot glued magnets to the back of them. Too simple!
Under desk storage
On the left-hand side, I placed a set of clear storage drawers that I already owned. The two different sized drawers are perfect for craft supplies – paint, glue, stickers, and everything else. I haven’t gotten around to truly organizing these drawers, so I’m not going to share pictures of my messy craft supplies.
This is also where my next tip comes in handy: Tape scrapbook paper to the inside of clear plastic storage drawers. You get a great custom look, and the paper hides the disorganized chaos inside the drawers!
On the right-hand side, I used a shelf from Ikea. In an alternate universe, handy Aimee would have build a custom shelf that was flush with the bottom of the desk. But in this universe, a lesser-handy version of Aimee just bough a shelf. I don’t think anyone will judge me for taking a shortcut!
All of the storage boxes on the shelves are from Ikea as well. The larger boxes store my camera equipment and binders, while the smaller boxes store notebooks and office supplies. The plastic white baskets on the top of the shelf are from Office Max. I use them to keep my desk clear. Any paper that I would be inclined to toss on my desk, I throw in one of those two baskets. At least once a week, I go through the baskets and take care of any “action items.”
Top shelf storage & lighting
And last, but not least, don’t forget to look up for extra storage space. Since I’m a bit of a taller gal, I can easily reach anything on this shelf without needing a step stool.
I used more storage boxes from Ikea for craft supplies, extra paper, and cards. The basket on the right has fabric for sewing projects. And my favorite part is this little decorative tin – bought at holiday time – that stores my Sharpie markers.
I also added some lighting. I found these little puck lights from Bed Bath & Beyond that come with a remote control. They were beyond easy to install and run on batteries – so no wiring to worry about!
Whoo! That’s it! Thanks for sticking around to the end of this post – it was a long one. I hope you enjoyed touring this space as much as I have enjoyed creating and using it!
I’m linking up at these great parties!