Monday, July 21, 2014

office update

it's done! construction is done! we started the office project way back in march, and i can finally show you the completed room. (and by completed i mean totally beautifully newly done but not yet decorated. a yummy blank canvas). i'm soooo thrilled with how it turned out. i keep grabbing ryan by the shoulder and shaking him and saying, "i designed this!! with my mind! and you built this!! with your bare hands!!" (seriously, not to brag or anything but we totally nailed it). LOL.

i haven't been good about posting regular updates throughout, mostly because i never really like reading people's posts with just construction pictures. i'm always too confused as to what's actually going on to be excited. (i don't have good spacial reasoning skills). but then, it was a blog fail for sure because isn't having people follow along with your project the whole point of blogging? (sorry peeps, i'll figure it out). i did at least throw up some along-the-way pics on twitter and IG! that counts for something, right?

anyways, it's all here. the progression and the now.

{oh! and i'm definitely working on a tutorial for how we pulled off this built-in bookcase ikea hack, so stay tuned for that!}

here is the concept drawing i did when we started:

and here it is, 5 months later, come to life!

let's take a look at where this room began:

the picture above is from when we were house hunting. it is the view into what was a dining room. it was taken standing in the kitchen. so, when i eat breakfast, this is my view as i'm sitting at the table. shortly after moving in, we turned the room into a school room because i started homeschooling my then kindergartner:

here is what you saw when you came in the front entry of our house and stood in the foyer:

walk through this room to the left and you'll be in our kitchen. does that make sense? here is the view of the corner where my desk will now be (back through that doorway and you'll be in our foyer again):

here are some floor plans for ya. naturally, i laid them on the table in the wrong order for this picture. the one below is how the walls were originally. the one above is how we are changing the walls over the course of this project:

wow, i drew those all the way back in january. that was a long time ago. (and obviously i changed my mind on the office furniture layout)! our first step was to build a new wall, and in doing so, shrink the size of the room on the right by about 5 feet.

ryan was very proud of his new wall. once it was up, we started lining it with bookcases. the short version is, we built cages for the top and bottom out of 2 x 4's and attached the bookcases in between, centering all five of them on the wall. drywall filled in the space around them, and we added trim to the top and bottom, baseboard, and a crown moulding. then the whole thing was painted the same glossy white. and anytime i say "we" and i'm referring to construction, i mean ryan.

in addition to building the bookcase wall, we narrowed the doorway from the foyer to 3' instead of 4. this will give us more wall space in the finished office. we also changed out all the baseboards, beefed up the window trim, added new door trim to both entryways, installed 4" pot lights in the ceiling, added sconces above the bookcase, and wired the ceiling for a center fixture. we aren't sure if we'll use that last one, but it's always good to have the option of adding a statement fixture when you're done. like the one in this original concept option:

ignore the part where i totally can't draw a table in 3D. here are some views as we were adding the doors and finishing touches to the bookcases (because you know i couldn't wait for construction to be done to unpack, at least a little):

ryan pulled off hardwiring those ikea ranarp sconces without a hitch. i'll post a tutorial on that soon too.

i even put my new desk half together just to make sure it fits. it does, yay! the bottom cabinets have tons of wonderful (closed!!) storage. it feels soooooo good to finally have an organized home for all of our school stuff, art stuff, file stuff...and stuff!

i'm planning to get a more sophisticated labeling system soon. that'll be part of the design plan. :)

all of our bins and baskets are from the dollar store. the magazine files are $2 for a 5 pack at ikea. after spending all our money on construction, the last thing i wanted to do was drop a boat load on bins. these couldn't fit more perfectly, and i'm happy with how they look too! espeically now that it's my daughter's turn for kindergarten, it's fun to have a little girly pink organizing the school supplies.

this picture shows you the new window trim and baseboards, and the lovely and oh so fresh white walls:

almost there:

there's my view from the kitchen table as this was finishing up. i always sit in this spot. (do you have "spots" at your house)? i spend a lot of time these days here just staring through that doorway. i love built in cabinets! and soon there will be a table in the office where all this coloring will be taking place.

and here are the final results:

so what do you think?? 

i'm so happy it's finished! we had budgeted $1,000 for this room and it ended up costing $2,000. (honestly that's such a shocking number to me. i can't believe how things add up when it's all said and done). this means i have $0 left to fill it with pretty accessories (and why all my other projects have a $0 budget right now). so that'll be interesting. my office wish list will have to be on hold until santa can bring it, and for now i will be shopping the basement. it also means our mudroom and powder room budgets will take a hit. but hey, i'm all for a creative challenge. makes for more interesting blog posts, right?! 

for now, i kinda don't want to do anything with it...just leave it this bright, empty, uncluttered space. it makes for a great dance floor, and it echoes! 

{update: yes, i'm decorating. you can see a tad bit of progress here}


  1. darlin' this looks awesome! we have those IKEA cabinets in thorsten's office, but they look WAY better with the built-in look ryan gave them...WOW! i love all the white you pretty

    1. hahaha of course you have the same bookcases!! #greatminds ... ;-)

  2. Oh my gosh, this space is amazing! I can't imagine how awesome it feels to know you designed/built it and now get to use it. The best!! xo Laura

    1. thank you so much laura! yes, it is a great feeling. i think our projects always feel extra good at the end because we take soooo long to finish them. hahaha! xoxo!!

  3. The built ins look amazing. And those sconces? LOVE the way they look! I have wall to wall Ikea Expedits in my office. They fit perfectly, but oh what I wouldn't do to have them trimmed out with dry wall and crown moulding!! Can I borrow your husband?! Haha! You guys really did a great job!

    1. kristen, thank you!!! haha, you are too funny. i bet your bookcases look spectacular. your blog always makes me swoon. after seeing your navy office, it was hard to stick with my guns and do the white!!

  4. Kinda dying over your built-ins!! hello, beautiful!

    1. haha, hey beautiful yourself! thanks for the love!

  5. I loved the light idea you used for your bookcase so much I made a pin for pinterest. If you don't want it up please contact me. If you don't mind I would love to see a blog on how you did it so I can post a link. You and your husband are so clever.. I am inspired. Here is the link to my pin...

    1. thank you so much! of course i don't was so sweet of you to create that! ryan and i took photos as he was converting these to hardwire, but i've been procrastinating on posting the tutorial. thank you for the reminder- i will get it up!! stand by!! :)

  6. So, I realize this was 3 years ago for you, but did you ever do that tutorial on hardwiring the ranarp sconce? i'm hoping to do the same, and looking for a little guidance!

    1. Hey! I never did a post. My husband started to explain to me what he did and my eyes immediately glazed over. I knew I could never understand it, let alone try to explain it to others!! I decided I'd end up getting someone electrocuted. :) All that to say, he PROMISES that it was not too complicated of a process, so if you have someone who is familiar with electrical wiring they should be able to do it. Essentially he just had to cut off the plug so that the cord and wires were open-ended, and then wire it in the way a typical hardwired fixture would be. 3 years later and they're still looking great and holding up well, so I'm happy! Good luck!!


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