Tag Archive | office


After a long absence, we now resume our recap of redesigning an office/writing space.  Last entry I did about this covered removing wallpaper.  What comes after stripping walls?  Why, covering them back up, of course!  In this case, covering them up with purple paint.



And, in the case of the closet, pink!



I felt like I was inside a Pepto-Bismal bottle when I was painting this.

Immediately after painting the walls, I began covering up my lovely purple paint job with cabinets.




Because the office is so small, I’m having a horrible time getting a picture that really captures the cabinets.  I love them.  They’re a simple white laminate from IKEA that was very easy to install.  They have adjustable shelves, which is a MUST for any shelving system I use.  And because they’re so plain, I’m finding it very easy to tape pictures to them, so any wall space I sacrificed, I gained back with usable cabinet doors for decorating.  I’m a bit of a fantasy picture junkie, so they’re getting covered quickly.  I’ll post pictures of those later, since I’m trying to keep my picture posting chronological, even if the posts move back and forth through time.  As you can tell by the dates on the photos, those are all from WAY back.  Right now, my office is 90% completed (just need to have my husband make a window box for plants and for me to paint the doors) and I’m still moving in.  I emptied the LAST BOX (ok, I didn’t find a home for everything, as the mess on the floors and countertops attests, but the boxes that lined the hall and our sitting room WERE OUT AND EMPTIED!  And then the VERY next day I came back from my in-law’s house (we’re getting ready to sell their house and are clearing things out) with three big boxes of fabric and other craft materials.  Oops.   


Digging my way out

So, moving back into the office has taken a lot more time than I anticipated.  I finally have my computer set up the way I want it, and can actually reach the printer without having to get out of my chair.  I just finished my first sewing project (hemming a few things) in my sewing corner.  I’ve owned a sewing machine since 1985 and today marks the FIRST day I’ve used it without knowing I had to move it at some point.  Ahhh.  Bliss!  Not making any progress on writing, alas, but I have started guest blogging occasionally at my friend Marcie Atkins’ “We’re All in This Together” series.  Check it out for some advice from me and some other wonderful writers.

Work In Progress Wednesday: Wallpaper removal and thinking outside the box to increase space inside the closet

The previous owner was obviously a golf fan.  Image

There were even golf tees stuck in patterns of three just above the golf wallpaper.  I used them for hanging flower leis from my bridal shower.


Here you can see my desk view and the end of my nice huge white board.


And here’s a nice “before” picture of the closet (this will be important later).

Since I am most definitely NOT a golfer (I used to like mini-golf, though, until my back problems made it difficult) I was very much looking forward to stripping this wallpaper.  If you ever strip wallpaper, there’s two types.  There’s the fun type that comes off with little effort, and then there’s the wallpaper glue of death.  We weren’t sure what we’d have here, since the wallpaper in our dining room had the glue of death.  I lucked out, though.  With the use of the most fun scoring tool in the world, I was able to just run that little sucker all over the walls (sometimes chanting “Wax on, wax off” like the good child of the 80s that I am).  I then used a steamer to loosen the glue through all the nice little perforations and peel the wallpaper off with minimal effort!  Yay!


No more golf wallpaper!

I was going to post about my color choice, but since I have photos of the closet in the same file as these wallpaper peeling pictures, I’ll talk more about the closet instead.  For years, my husband had wondered about the space just to the right of the closet.  On the other side of the wall was our laundry chute.  However, the chute is about waist-high. So what was above the chute, my husband wondered.  He decided that now that the room was torn apart anyway, it was a good time to find out.


This closet renovation was brought to you by the number 8!

So he drilled an exploration hole.  Like he suspected, there was just dead space both above and in front of the laundry chute!  By knocking out the wall and doing some new drywall work, we could increase the closet size by about 50% (I was going to do the numbers so I could post exactly, but I have no idea now where the original and new dimensions are).  Awesome!


All that raw wood to the right is new closet space!  Yay!  When you’re redoing an office, it’s important to look at the space carefully.  Before we even got into the renovation, we’d added a lot of room to the office just by re-hanging the door so it opened outwards, rather than in (taking up a chunk of floor space).

First act in new office!

Did I critique manuscripts for next week’s SCBWI? Did I tackle a long-unfinished sewing project? Did I begin to bring order to my chaotic work files. Um, no.


I filled itty-bitty salt shakers with glitter and hung them on the pegboard. And I almost never use glitter (one of the containers had a sticker from a store I haven’t visited since I was six years old). But hey, I’ve been waiting over a year to try this!

Ahem. Well, it’s a start. I can’t officially move in until hubby fixes my computer’s wireless problems, but there’s a lot of other things to do. Like hanging spools of ribbon on pant hangers.


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!