Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Closet Chameleon

A messy catchall becomes an organized home office.

Think you don’t have room in your house for a home office? Take a look in unexpected places. This part-time public relations consultant and full-time mother created a smart little office in a guestroom closet that was cluttered with documents and more. “It’s perfect now,” she says of her new, efficient work area. “It’s really all the space I need.” And because she can close up shop with a curtain (tied back using a ribbon secured with a cup hook) the room still can function as a guest bedroom as well.

The homeowner painted a dining chair and added a cushion to raise the seat for the desk height. The custom-built desk is slightly taller than standard height to fit between the existing shelves. The desk legs can be cut to the desired size.

Keep your work life balanced with these suggestions for your home office.
  • Designate two boxes as “In” and “Out” for daily mail.
  • For office spaces without desk drawers, use baskets or bins to store loose items.
  • Organize work baskets in order of priority, so you always have the most important items on hand.
  • Use a separate wastebasket to collect paper for recycling.
  • Small planters and paint cans are hard workers when it comes to holding pencils, pens, and other office supplies.

Work Smarter

1 Shed some light on your office area. The suspended lampshade was created with a swag kit. A desk lamp provides additional task lighting.

2 Embrace dark colors. Using rich shades actually can add warmth to a small space. This cozy chocolate-colored backdrop makes the white shelves and desk pop.

3 Display important notes and reminders. Magnetic primer applied to the back wall creates a giant memo board.

4 Use stackable storage. A three-tier shelving unit houses a printer and office supplies.

5 Build on what you have. The original shelving was a great starting point for adding this desk. A sheet of plywood was mounted to the existing 1 x 2 that’s screwed into the wall. Moulding was affixed to the plywood edges using wood glue and brads. Two table legs were attached to the plywood with mounting brackets.

walls (Valspar Ultra Premium, Deep Walnut 2004-9A, satin)
desk (Valspar Ultra Premium, Bistro White 7006-4, semi-gloss)
magnetic primer (Rust-Oleum, #115535)
spray paint (American Accents, Aqua, #35940)

pendant swag kit (#235340)
lampshade (Portfolio, #235543)
desk lamp (Portfolio, #33105)

Parsons table legs (28-inch, #839)
straight-top mounting plates (#838)
1 (8-foot-long) piece of 3/4- x 1/4-inch screen moulding†
1 (24- x 48-inch) sheet of 3/4-inch plywood††
1 (4-foot-long) 1 x 2††
1 package of (2-inch) screws
1 package of 4d finishing nails
wood glue (Titebond II, #41217)
1 package (#18 x 3/4-inch) brads

3-tier stacker (Shelving by Design, #71485)
fabric drawers (blue, #154859)
wicker baskets (#201836)

tension rod (48- x 84-inch, #86184)
curtain panels (84-inch, Andorra, taupe, #214064)

* Does not include labor costs or applicable taxes, which vary by market.
**Does not include lead time for special-order materials.
Available by special order in some stores.

††Availability varies by market.

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