Work in Progress Wednesday: the Evolution of an Office Floor Plan

After I “gutted” my office (ie, gutted, stripped wallpaper, and removed carpet; we left all but one wall alone; but I’ll get to that later), I had a pretty specific layout in mind.  I’d been using this as my office/craft/writing room since 2007, so I’d had a few years to get used to things in a certain way, as well as build a wish list.  I really liked where my desk was, as it looked out a window to our backyard, which is heavily wooded, so I planned the rest of the office around that.  Since my husband is very handy, I decided I wanted him to built a countertop that would span two walls entirely and take up a bit of a third.  I’d put file cabinets below the counter, and wall cabinets (like those you’d find in a kitchen) above.  Because I’m a sucker for floor planning, I drew this out.  Here is my first go (no idea if it will make sense to anyone but me; I know my husband had trouble figuring out what I meant!):


You’ll notice this is very rough, and I don’t even have dimensions for the table top and bookcase on the right side of the office.  Here was the next revision, after measuring the bookcases (which I’ve owned since college):


In this version I had a more detailed plan on where I was going to put file cabinets.  I found some three-drawer ones for the left wall (those aren’t made by many people, but I found this set on Amazon that, each time I ordered one, came within two days, free shipping (not related to Amazon Prime, either!).  I liked the height of putting a counter above a three drawer file cabinet; it was a good project height to either stand at or get a bar stool of some sort. 

For the lower (ie, standard desk height) countertop, I found these file cabinets, which have a bonus shallow third drawer on top.  My old office had no small desk drawers for pencils, calculators, etc, so I really was glad I found these.  I’ve been using them temporarily in the dining room as part of my temporary office and they’re wonderful!

Don’t know if you can see or make sense of my notes on the left side of the picture, but that’s me calculating my new file drawer space (among other things, like determining what color file folders should be used for what categories).  I had the equivalent of 8 file drawers in my old office.  In the above floor plan, I planned for 5 3-drawer file cabinets and 3 2-drawer file cabinets, for a total of 21 drawers.  YOWZA!!!  🙂  However, I ended up having to scale that back, because of how we needed to build the counter around the left window (and that gave me more sewing space anyway) and also realizing that I, um, need room for my legs under the table, so that’s shaping up to be 3 3-drawer and 2 2-drawer.  That’s still 13 drawers, a 5 drawer increase, nothing to sneeze at!

And here is the last version, very close to the way things look now:


You’ll see this is pretty close to the original, with three major differences.  One is there are two bookcases, rather than one.  The reason for that was very simple.  I already had two bookcases (with glass doors, so I can store my yarn and fabric in them and SEE what I have!) with glass doors and it just seemed odd not to use both of them.  That cut down the counter space along the third wall, but, there was so much counter space as it was, I didn’t think I’d miss it. 

Two: I decided NOT to get a special corner cabinet for the lower left corner floor.  I thought that would give me more space, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked having that as a dedicated sewing space.  I also planned to buy file cabinets to fit under that countertop, and they would be easier to move around than a fixed cabinet.  I did buy cabinets for the walls, the Ikea Akurum.  I decided to go very plain (and cheap!) as possible since, thanks to Pinterest, I plan to modge-podge fabric or scrapbook paper onto all the wall cabinets and file cabinets. 

Three:  This was major.  For a long time I’d had an idea that hubby could build a folding tabletop that would latch to the bottom of the wall cabinets.  Here’s my rendition:


Neat idea, right?  However, the more I thought about it and talked with hubby, it seemed to over-complicate things and would, when unfolded, eat up a lot of floor space in an already small office.  So I sadly abandoned this idea.  So far I’m not sorry, I’m very pleased with how things look now!  Pictures next time, hopefully!


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