Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The One with the Office: Part 1

Seems these days there's not much going on around here (I believe we're one of TWO families still in quarantine in our state?), so we keep uncovering projects to keep us busy.

This project was NOT on the docket pre-baby's arrival. I'm not even sure it was even in the realm of possibility at any point in time. Ever.

Regardless, it is LONG overdue.

So we have this office off the main family room. It has a door. I LOVE the door. The door can be closed to hide a multitude of sins. And y'all, there are many multitudes of sins to be hidden in this room!

To be honest, it started as a workout space. It was the home of our treadmill, bench, and weights. We even had the foam floor tiles protecting the carpet.

But it was also kind of an office. It's where the modem and router and printers all lived together in harmony.

And then, because we decided to use our morning room as a morning room and no longer as a homeschool classroom, it also needed to become the staging area for our homeschool books and supplies.

So, if you're following along, it's a gym/office/classroom room. Essentially, another room in our home with no identity.

We were okay with it. The kids pretty much trashed it on the regular. I'd get fed up when I would attempt to get something from the printer after tripping over 1,302 things, and force them in there to clean up: art supplies, papers, craft projects, toys, books... you name it, and it was likely in this room!

I tried to ignore it. That closed door really gave me a lovely sense of joy and allowed my OCD to stay at rest.

Until one day... one of the (cheap) bookshelves BROKE! All of the stuff on that bookshelf had to find a new home. And by new home, I meant piling it up on the desk, or spilling it into the family room on the sofa table, or just tossing it on the floor anywhere.

It was bad. Real bad.

I'm not sure you believe me. Wanna see just how bad it was??


See?? I told you! You can see the blank wall space to the left... that's where to broken bookshelf once resided. And all the stuff that was on that bookshelf? Now on the desk...

...and on/below/around/(insert preposition here) the sofa table in the family room:

I tried cleaning things up a bit, knowing I probably needed to sort through all.the.things. at some point. It started to look a little better, but this wasn't even .087% of what was in that room!

See? Even with all the stuff you saw in the family room above, there was still ALL THIS STUFF in the office. And it ALL would need to come out. But my 9-months-pregnant self was just NOT feeling it. Not even a little bit. So I called in the only reinforcements I was able to call: hubs and the kids.

I excused myself upstairs to take a LONG, hot bath, binged watched a few too many episodes of Home Town, and left hubs and the kids to do all the work. Check out the awesome job they did!

Now, you may be wondering why we felt inclined to empty the ENTIRE room. That's an easy one! Of course we decided to paint the room (our favorite house color: Repose Gray!), but that's not all! We also decided the office needed its own set of built-ins: bookshelves, cabinets, and a desk!

Yep. Not even planned, but here we go!

I started by sketching out the design I wanted for the space. The built-ins would run along the back wall. I wanted the back of the built-ins to be white, so that wall would be painted a semi-gloss white while the other three walls would be gray.

I wanted an open space in the center for a desk, cabinets and drawers for storage, countertops for the printers, and LOTS and LOTS of bookshelves for all.the.books.

It didn't take me too long to put two coats of paint up on these walls since the room is quite smaller than the loft. Hubs has the joyous job of trimming the paint up to the ceilings since 1) I'm terrible at it and 2) I probably shouldn't be on a ladder whilst 9 months pregnant.

It's kind of hard to tell with the terrible lighting, but the back wall is white!

I thought about replacing the faux wood blinds with a custom Roman Shade from Home Depot, but I didn't want to wait 4 weeks for it to get here from Vietnam! 😂

We picked up two unfinished 24" base cabinets, and two unfinished 18" drawer units from Lowe's, and I got to work painting and sanding.

This project spilled over into our dining room since we didn't have the space to work inside the office, and I didn't want this mess in the family room.

Only 3 coats of paint and they are ready for door and drawer pulls!

In the meantime, hubs and I discussed the design of the built-in bookshelves, and ultimately decided we wanted the countertops and desktop to be stained just to break up the white and add a little visual interest. I set up in the garage and got to work staining three 2' x 4' boards Minwax Aged Barrel, the same as we used upstairs in the loft and laundry room. A few coats of stain followed by a few coats of poly, and they were ready!

We also modified our design a bit once we realized our 35" high cabinets would make for a VERY tall desk! We dropped the center desktop board down in our design to about 28" to make it more user-friendly.

So far, the cabinets are all painted, and the countertops and desktops are stained and ready to be installed!

Hubs also added front legs to the desktop. She's looking so pretty! I can't wait to start on the bookshelves! Oh, and have a baby in 15 days. Is it too soon to start packing my hospital bag? 😜

Stay tuned for Part 2 when I share the amazing transformation that will (hopefully) take place over the next several days!

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