office redo: part 1

The last few days have been busy!  First I cleaned the entire upstairs of the house (and my robot mopped the downstairs floor at the same time).  While I was cleaning, I decided on 10,000 projects I wanted to do around the house.  The first of which I decided was to reorganize the office/guest room.  

After much time spent perusing the internets for inspiration and ideas, I decided that I wanted to put a desk in the closet for my sewing machine and various other arsty craftsy supplies.  It would also allow me a space to sew without rearranging the entire desk every time I want to do something (previously my sewing machine, paper cutter, and computer all lived on the same desk, it was like playing tetris any time I wanted to do something).  

I took off the closet doors and decided to paint the inside of the closet a fun color.  The problem was finding a color that didn't look horrible with the color that is already on the walls in that room ("cafe blue").  My inital thought was goldenrod or an obnoxious purple color.  I went to Lowe's and grabbed some paint samples, which is always an overwhelming process.  When I came home I stuck the samples on the wall with some tape to see how they would look.  

paint samples

Surprisingly, I hated all the gold shades, decided the purple was too dark, and went with Orange Mousse.  

closet redo-orange mousse

It reminds me of orange sherbet, and actually looks like melted orange sherbet in the can.  After I convinced John that he really did want to build me a desk in the closet, I dragged him to Lowe's on his first day off all summer to buy the appropriate supplies. Don't worry, I made him pancakes and a smoothie for breakfast before I put him to work.  

We got paint, stain, and wood for the top of the desk as well as supports for the side.  We found a big piece of pine that was the right depth and just had them cut it to the right length.  When we got home, I threw a coat of stain (actually just clear furniture finish) on all the wood and got busy with the painting!  I recoated the desk top twice and then sanded a little bit with fine grain sand paper to make it smooth.  When everything was dry, we put up the supports and then added the top. Simple!

closet redo-desk top

There were already two shelves in the top of the closet, so I didn't have to worry about doing anything with them.  However, we have since decided that it would look a lot nicer to have them made of the same wood the desk is made of, so we will be changing those out sometime soon. 

Next on my office redo list is to find a desk solution.  John's laptop lives on the dining room table downstairs.  Mine on the desk upstairs.  This means we spend a lot of time computing in different room on different floors of the house.  In addtion to causing our herding dog much stress (she likes things organized and is restless when her herd astray), it seems silly for us to be in separate rooms simply because of a logistical issue.  

My initial thought was to find a table of appropriate proportions and position it perpendicular to the wall (parallel to the closet) so we could share the desk (one person on each side).  Then I decided that leaving the desk where it is (along the back wall of the room, perpendicular to the closet) and making it longer might be a better solution.  Then shared things, like the printer, could go in the middle.  

Screen Shot 2013 06 05 at 5 09 23 PMphoto credit: young house love

I doubt ours will look quite like that, but it's definitely the right idea.  The next step is going to be finding all the pieces to make said desk.  Either we will use ClosetMaid shelving units from Target which are the appropriate height, or we will use base cabinets from Lowe's and take the toe kicks off.  The shelves from Target are definitely the most cost effective option, but will require a little more work because they aren't very deep so we would have to put a support leg behind them.  Stay tuned for more adventures in home improving!