You know how they say that when a woman gives birth, afterward she sort of mentally blocks out the actual pushing of the baby because it is pretty traumatic? The memory of the pain kind of fades away. You remember that you were in pain, and a LOT of it, but not how it actually felt. Apparently this is very useful when tempted to procreate yet again. Otherwise, who the heck would sign up for that torture twice!? It makes sense though, in order to keep going, your mind forgets the bad stuff and focuses on the silver lining, the new baby in the case of the birth. Or in our case, the improvements we have made on the house. It wasn’t until I looked back at pictures of us sleeping in the closet/office that I remembered just how miserable that was. It is so easy to forget now since I have a nice new shiny office with pretty things in it. Let me show you 🙂
So after we stopped sleeping in the office, we were basically just using it as storage because the upstairs was still torn apart. And by storage, I mean it was the room that collected all the crap that we didn’t know what to do with. It was a mess. And it wasn’t like we could just close it off and forget about it. The door to the bathroom is in the office, so we had to see it multiple times a day, and every person who dared visit our humble abode (or commode… hehe) saw it as well. It was an eyesore. So finally one weekend during the busy school year, we decided to take a stab at it. With not much of a plan, we decided that the first thing we had to do was get everything out, and then rearrange the odd floor plan.
As you can see, there were built-in shelves on one side of the wall and perpendicular to that was a wall with randomly-placed kitchen style cabinets and a high counter-top that jutted out into the walkway to the room. We decided that we would keep the open shelving, but that the cabinets and countertop needed to go.
Getting the random kitchen furnishings out of there would surely free up some space to actually work, in said office.
After we moved the cabinets and counter, we were so relieved. It was so much more open. Now the idea of sleeping in there wasn’t actually that bad! The downside was that I guess the previous owner didn’t move them when he refinished the floors so now there are marks haunting the floor where the cabinets once were. Whatever, easily ignored for now!
We decided that we were going to make a desk in the middle of the room instead of along the perimeter. This way we could both sit and work facing each other and have our own little space. Plus, I am one of those weirdos who hates having my back to the doorway (like it literally gives me anxiety and a feeling of impending doom), so this way I could have my back to the wall and face the door. The problem was that with the built-in shelving and then chairs on either side of the desk, we would need to have a very narrow desk surface. A little bit of creativity and up-cycling, and we were able to turn an old handmade door from a closet upstairs into a desk! We just took off the hardware, put a coat of poly on, anchored it to the deep window sill, and propped up the other end with a hand-me-down file cabinet from my mama! Voila, a desk for two.
While we were getting this done, we were also forging ahead with the bathroom & laundry room plumbing upstairs. We hired our brother-in-law for a day to come and get the plumbing for the upstairs shower and the washer set up. This unfortunately meant that we had to have some pipes sticking out of the ceiling in our office. Definitely not feng shui. So Seth got busy building a box around it. We would just hide those ugly pipes with some sheetrock and paint!
While seth was busy spackling and sanding (repeat, repeat, repeat), I had some fun ordering fabric to make a pretty cabinet door fabric-backing. Part of the built-in shelves had a big corner cabinet with an open door. I am not sure if there was glass there at one point but there wasn’t anymore and it was not ideal for storage. So I got online and ordered some fabric. Using command strips, I tightly adhered the fabric to the back of the door and now it not only looks pretty, but it hides anything we need to store!
I also had some fun using scrapbook paper, gold sharpies and gift labels to make our office storage supply boxes (plastic sterilite containers) look nicer. There are perfect sized cubby holes for them in the built-ins.
Obviously I was going for a gold and white theme, but what you can’t see yet is the pretty wall color we picked out. I decided teals and blues would go perfectly with the gold and white, and accent the dark stained wood of the room rather nicely. Luckily my husband just has blind faith in my decorating and usually doesn’t even ask questions about it. I was really pleased with how everything was coming together but that filing cabinet… the wood…. it didn’t match! Can’t have that. So I decided to paint it using chalk paint. First, I sanded it and removed the hardware.
Then, I did a few coats of the paint, letting it dry fully in between. After that I reinstalled the gold hardware and it was good to go!
I know, I know… I kept you in suspense with the pretty paint color…
Paint color is always hard to tell in photos but trust me, it’s nice! Next up were some decorations, and I admit, I had a little too much fun at hobby lobby with this. We decided the office would be the perfect place for my karate belt rack (still need to unpack all my belts, I swear I am a black belt) so between that and a few other pieces I already had in my collection, most of the wall space was taken up! I got a few blue/white/teal frames that I plan on putting some paintings in.
My favorite part of the office though, without a doubt, is the open book shelf. Most people that have been to my house know that I like my little tchotchkes (ˈCHäCHkə, noun, a small object that is decorative rather than strictly functional; a trinket). And apparently displaying them randomly on a bookshelf is the new best thing (according to pinterest and the decorating magazines I see in the check-out line at Shop Rite). So this was pretty awesome for me, I admit.
When all the hard work was done, we finally had a nice (and pretty) office. We could sit at the desk, look out the window at our yard, and get some work done. No longer did this room contain a beat up mattress and an entire wardrobe’s worth of clothes for two people. And we didn’t even have to be embarrassed to show people where the bathroom was anymore. So just like that, the memories of the cramped spaces, tears, and pushing each other out of the way to find underwear had faded away and we were able to admire our new, shiny baby. We named her Office.
Costs this week:
I plead the 5th. But if there happens to be a spike in the stock value of home goods or hobby lobby, you’re welcome.