One of my least favorite spaces when we bought our house was the “office.” It’s a small room full of built-ins located on the main level, towards the back of the house, kindof tucked away in the corner but it has no door. Just a gaping hole, meaning it didn’t quite make sense for Adam’s home office (that and the lack of space) so it was decided this would be a good craft and sewing area for me. I quickly realized the dis-functionality of this room while attempting to organize and set up shop. There used to be (!) a whole wall of cabinets reaching up to the 10 foot ceilings that were made even harder to access by the presence of a large L-shaped laminate desk directly below them.
Basically from the day we moved in up until about a month ago, this room unintentionally became the ‘junk room’. It got a little out of hand and was driving me crazy; so naturally, my mind started reeling with possibilities of how we could transform it to make it both more functional and pretty. I have a slightly overactive imagination and I love going into a space (yes, I do this in other people’s houses too…) and just letting my brain take over. I’m kindof proud that I can do this so easily – it’s like I can erase whatever is there and I just start seeing colors and themes and furniture and patterns and accessories and it all just keeps snowballing. I have always loved the casual coziness of mudrooms with cute coat hooks and storage benches; so once I started toying with the idea of this being a multi-functional space of entry/mudroom and craft room I was sold.
I honestly thought this would be one of the last projects we’d ever get to; it just seemed so daunting with all the built-in removal that would be involved. I should also mention that we are probably the two least handy people on the planet…another reason these big projects make me nervous. Not a clue what we’re doing…. But we sure had a lot of motivation – this room is the first thing we get to see when we come home since we enter from the garage instead of the front door. You walk in through the laundry room then there’s a half bath on the right and this little room straight ahead with the rest of the house (living/dining/kitchen/stairs up and down) off to the left and around the corner. Walking through the door and seeing a giant mess was getting old fast. How would you like to come home to this?
Not very welcoming. I don’t know what it was that gave us the kick in the pants to get started – but a couple weeks ago we decided to just go for it and starting tearing stuff down!
Of course we had to clear out the mess first. Here’s another look at what we were dealing with.
After a few hours of unscrewing and prying and yanking and a lot of sweating, it all came out! Naturally we were left with quite a few holes to patch and what fun is a renovation project without a surprise or two? Here’s a nice one…
The ends of that big L-shaped desk used to sit on top of some little cabinets and when we finally got everything out we were left with these lovely holes where they used to be. No carpet, no molding, no matching paint. Awesome. Luckily we have a lot of stuff leftover from the build that the last owners saved, like boxes of extra tiles and a big roll of carpet, and all the paint colors. So all we really had to do was cut some carpet and molding to fit. Yes, patchwork carpet is a little odd and someday we’re hoping to redo the floors in here completely, but my new plan for this room would cover these little corners back up just enough to where our fixes would hardly be noticeable.
Then as we’re rummaging in the basement for this room’s matching paint (which is the main color throughout the entire house), Adam goes and says this will probably be my only chance to repaint this room…ok let’s go for it!! Now, here’s a cool technique I just learned and applied and it worked amazingly! I wish I had known this when painting those stripes in our toilet closet! The concept is that you put your tape up and then take the old color and paint over into the new color space, let it dry, and then paint as usual. What happens is that if there’s any bleeding, it’ll be in the old color and not the new one. This blog gives an awesome and super detailed tutorial.
See how textured our walls are? LOTS of bleeding paint before this genius technique. Ready for the color we picked? I took some advice from Karlie about going a little more bold than I was comfortable with and we LOVE it! The color we chose is Rhythmic Blue by Behr in Semi-Gloss for easy cleaning. Little known fact: interiors are usually painted in flat with the exception of kitchens and bathrooms where walls need to be washed and still hold up. Good to know, huh?
Look how perfect that line is! I love how professional it looks. There was still a little bit of touching up to do but nowhere near as bad as the bathroom project.
This room is so light and airy feeling now. Already so much better, even with nothing in it!
Check out our carpet patch! Good thing there’s a giant bookshelf there now….
For Adam’s office upstairs we had bought one of these with the desk attachment a couple months ago and after some careful measuring it was discovered that it would fit in this room quite nicely. It’s a little crazy how perfect it fits actually, just clearing walls and doorways by a couple inches. And the cool thing is that they have these bookshelves in all different sizes. So back we went to get a skinny one to lay on it’s side to use for a bench under the window. And now we’re on the hunt again for a new desk for Adam’s office. Whoops!
After assembling and turning it sideways, this poor bookshelf bench seemed a bit short and dumpy…so we bought some little wheels at Home Depot and screwed them into the bottom. This is awesome for cleaning too, just wheel the whole thing out of the room to vacuum underneath it. Plus I really think it adds some fun.
Then we needed something to put in the cubbies to hold all our shoes (until now they would just pile up in the laundry room) so I found these crates at JoAnn’s and put a little stain on them and voila! Cute old looking crates!
Now, I bet you’re wondering what we did with all those cabinets…who cares, right?! I was all for throwing them to the curb but we’ve been trying to organize the tandem part of our giant garage without spending hundreds of dollars on fancy storage solutions and my clever husband suggested reusing what we’d just taken down. Some of the parts were a little….destroyed? Again, we’re not handy so we literally ripped some parts off the wall when we couldn’t get the screws out. But the majority of these cabinets were unharmed and look at all the storage we have in here now! And a workbench/table of sorts….
It’s not the most beautiful but it sure is better than the growing mess we had in here before. At least we can pretend to be organized now.
Next up, making a cushion for the top of this bench – big chunky red and white striped fabric with dark grey piping! Can’t wait to share the finished room – it’s almost there. Just a few accessories left to find and some curtains to hang….