Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Home comforts: Closet office reveal!

(This is part two, to see Part one, the planning, please go here)

Woohoo! I'm so excited to finally reveal this to you all! It was about 6 weeks in the planning and doing. Not bad going when you consider I was sometimes only doing 10 minutes work on it a day. What kept me on track was a lot of late-night online searching for inspiration (no Pinterest, just Google, I kind of hate Pinterest), lots of shopping around online, lots of Filofax lists, and finally just writing into my daily to-do list whatever small task needed doing and ticking them off one by one.

I began it on my own, and my bemused other half spent a lot of time asking "what about the coats?" This little closet was our coat closet, and to be honest I didn't have an answer ready for him. The coats have ended up in our back porch, between the kitchen and the back toilet, not very accessible, but it's nearly summer anyway so we'll worry more about it next winter.

So I started hammering and scraping, plastering and stripping (wallpaper...) baby on my back for the most part. About 3 weeks before my birthday I mentioned I'd love to have it done for my birthday, and that the doing and buying of the wallpaper / shelves etc. could be my present. My husband liked the sound of that and got stuck in helping me out, and eventually took over the building and finished it off as a surprise for me. I got to cut the ribbon to declare it officially open on my birthday morning! So very exciting!

Without further ado, here are the "Before" pictures:
First we got under-stairs storage installed, which obviously shortened the available space, but gave us a better use of it. Previously this was all one space full of toys, coats, shoes, winter items and sporting equipment which had to be excavated every time we wanted to find anything. I hadn't seen a particular pair of flip-flops in two years for example... so these drawers, which push to open, now hold toys, shoes and accessories for us all.

To the right of the drawers in the standing space is what used to be a coat closet. Still with the roughly plastered, lilac painted walls from about the 50s. We wallpapered the inside of the door and hung the mirror when we moved in 10 years ago, and put down some carpet. That's the gas meter on the floor.

Close up of the gas meter and the new partition from the under-stairs storage. I was initially worried when I saw how little space was left, thinking I'd never fit a desk in there...

Close-up of the area directly under the stairs, ancient old nails which we used as coat hooks, woodworm, mmm...

And now the "After" photos...
We removed the old nails, and I filled the wood holes and painted two coats of an off-white colour, then my great husband put in a shelf with gold chains and it fits these plastic baskets perfectly.

I love this wallpaper, it's teal and gold with a little glitter. I plastered the walls and dh hung the wallpaper.

Shelf detail above, I love the hint of gold, also seen in the leg of the desk and the lamp, and the wallpaper. The hooks and chain came from a hardware store and the shelf was an off-cut from something in our garage.

My workstation above: the desktop was an old closet door cut to size, with 2x4 batons holding it underneath. The gas meter got a special box made to fit over it and covered with the matching wallpaper. Lamp was bought used online, IKEA stool and stationery from various places.

This shows the full closet office, with the reflection in the mirror on the right, the shelving is Lack by IKEA and it houses some of my books - I still have a load more in the attic to bring down. The storage box under the shelves is for loose papers, but I need a better system for them. The floor for now is two IKEA cotton mats, but I would love some biscuit coloured carpeting or a large rug which fits perfectly. The whole office is 33 inches by 44 inches, so it just shows you what can be done in a small space. The head height is about 7 foot.

I've been loving it, sitting in there (usually with a baby on/under me) studying or writing. The only thing is it's bloody cold in there! It would have made a great pantry... There was an overhead light, and we (he) wired a double socket off the light switch which is working great for now, you'll see it in more detail in the video linked below.

For the guided (video) tour, please see my Youtube video here

Are you inspired to try something similar?
Even a corner of a family room can be made over into a crafting corner, or a cupboard can open to reveal a workstation, there are lots of ideas online for inspiration.
Thanks for coming along on the journey with me!
Nee x


  1. Love it! Quite jealous, I want one!

    1. Thanks, I bet you can squeeze in a mama corner somewhere!


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