A Furnished Office
It’s been over a month coming, but here it is! Our homestead office is all decorated and usable. Read on to see what our office space looks like right now.
Just a reminder, here’s the first office post about all the construction work we’ve done since we moved into the homestead and started this room update.
Now, let me complain about these interior doors:
The previous owner left the closet doors the original honeyed pine color. The owner had painted (badly) most other doors in the house. You can see the original painted door into the office. Someone had applied one coat of cream-colored latex paint and never bothered to add a second coat so you could see the original door color through the chipping cheap paint. They had also painted over the hinges and parts of the knobs. These doors were a mess:
I didn’t want to spend the money to buy new doors for the entire house so I decided to update all these original hollowcore doors:
Since all the doors in our homestead needed work, I’ve been fixing every interior door as I’ve updated each room. Here is the tutorial I wrote describing how I’ve been adding panels and paint to the old hollowcore doors (tutorial here):
Here are my updated office doors. During the renovation I took them down, added paneling trim, then painted all three doors. I applied two coats of an oil-based primer to cover every inch of the old doors. Then I sanded down any scratchy spots and did a final coat of an oil-based door paint (Sherwin Williams interior door/cabinetry paint tinted to BM Decorator’s White in Satin finish):
You can see how detailed the new paneling trim makes each door look. I primed and spray painted all the door hardware with oil-rubbed bronze:
I added new bright white electrical outlets and light switches (make sure the electrical breaker is OFF before electrical work- trust me!). The previous owner had run a TV coaxial cable into the room. Since we weren’t going to use it but didn’t want to remove it, I just put a white electrical cover over the cable outlet:
After I finished adding all the paneling, trim, and baseboards, I caulked EVERYTHING (this takes forever) and then put a final coat of paint on all the trim. I also touched up all the painted edges that weren’t perfect. After all that room rebuilding I had to spend a long day cleaning up my construction mess. I got my razorblade scraper and used it to carefully remove any paint on the hardwood floors. See how good they look once they’re all cleaned up?
To add some architectural detail to the room, I created this paneling along the entire window wall:
My swivel schoolhouse chair is from a ‘real’ schoolhouse. I purchased the vintage chair from the Washington State University surplus sale while we were living the grad-student life in Pullman, Washington. The schoolhouse chair is solid wood and was originally bleached blonde pine. I painted it white and we’ve used it as a dining chair for a few years. Now it fits our new office:
I set up the desk in front of the window (Jeff requested a view). He has a work laptop and also uses a second monitor. His work setup is not particularly attractive, but it is functional. The bright picture I hung on the wall is a hand-painted canvas of the Hong Kong skyline:
I’m still using my old college pine dining table as our desk. It has been our computer desk for five years in our two previous apartments:
I bought the table for a great price over ten years ago from a college instructor who was desperate to move. Lately I’ve been thinking about painting it or simply using the tabletop to create a new desk…it’s on my never-ending list of projects:
Just to embarrass myself (and Diana, Chris and Mike), here is a photo I found on my computer from Halloween 2005. I was living in a college apartment in Moscow, Idaho and my sister Diana lived right next door. Notice my pine dining table! It’s been with me longer than Jeff!
This is my gallery wall. Finding the right artwork, framing, and hanging it all is still a work in progress. I’ll probably be rearranging this wall forever… proof that a room is never finished. I’ve talked about my gallery wall artwork here and here.
Our large world map is magnetic and has little colored magnets for marking all the places we’ve visited (or dream of visiting). The map was a wedding gift from Aunt Tammy and Uncle Mark (thanks you guys!):
The two wing-back chairs are thrift store finds (of course) from years ago in Moscow, Idaho. I’ve had them in the living room until this summer. Now they are office chairs because they match the wall color so well and they make a perfect place to curl up with a book. I think these chairs are on their way to Craigslist though, it’s time for a change. In the future I’ll probably be adding a second desk here for my computer, or a credenza for Jeff’s paperwork. I’m just watching the thrift stores for the perfect project furniture piece:
I created our version of a built-in bookcase along one wall of the office, you can see how I made the bookcase here:
I beefed up the trim on both sides of the door into the office. I left the original ‘builder basic’ door trim in place and simply added 1″ x 2″ trim boards around the outside of the frame. Finally, I added a simple crown molding along the top edge of the door frame:
The closet doors were too narrow to add more trim to the door frames, so I simply added the crown headers to the top of the existing door trim. I caulked all the added trim to make it look seamless, then painted all the trim with Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White in eggshell finish. The framed pictures are my hand-drawn sketches from architecture studio classes in college:
My great little metal cabinet full of drawers was another find from the Washington State University surplus sale. I bought it there a few years ago for $40. Back then it was a very office-like steel grey color. I spray painted it a creamy white to look more homey in our little Washington apartment. It’s about time for a new color…haven’t decided what to paint it yet, any ideas?
The metal cabinet has been in every spot in the room and will probably be moved many more times. It’s full of computer cords, paper, art supplies, everything a good office needs!
So that is the whole story of how we transformed a dingy electric blue bedroom into a (never completely) finished office!
What do you think of our ‘new’ room?
The next project I’d like to do in here is create a custom desk for both Jeff and I. Anyone have some good advice on creating a useful work space?