Closet to Office Conversion

As I mention in my Getting Stated post, I’m a stay-at-home-dad as well as a part time lawyer. Living in a 600 square foot apartment requires a little creativity if you expect to fit your whole life in such a little space. Fortunately, we were just crazy enough to convert one of our bedroom closets into my “office” out of this necessity.

Our bedroom has a walk-in closet. It also had this odd closet:

“Before” picture.

At first this closet-stretcher insert seemed like a great idea.  That was until I had clothes that needed hanging up.  That space to the right was basically unusable for anything worth hanging – as they would get dragged through the tight spot repeatedly, damaging the clothes.  It was also before I realized that the bi-fold doors prevented these drawers from opening fully.

Most important, it was before we needed a place that wasn’t our living room/kitchen/dining room to get my work done.  Alas, change was a’brewin.  It was time to make me a “proper” office space.

So first we gutted the whole thing.  Those pain in the rear bi-fold doors?   I got medieval on ‘em with a jig saw, and cut them down to re-use as my desktop and shelves.

Bi-fold doors removed, cut down to length for use as the desktop and shelves. Recycling win.

Then I painted the insides and installed the old bi-fold doors horizontally:

Bi-fold doors as desktop installed.

From there it was no stopping me (aside from the long stretches where our room looked like a bomb went off in it – you know, I could never just do the project from start to finish without a little lag time in there).  I added the other bi-fold doors as the shelves, and it was really starting to come together:

Second set of bi-folds used as shelves.

And then suddenly I had it decorated; got my degrees hanging next to my Maryland bar certification, my files in order, and a few other things that probably should go elsewhere but won’t, because if it’s going to be my office, it should look at least a little chaotic.  And I even added that classic little green desk lamp (which I bought for 15 bucks – bulb included – at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Gaithersburg, MD; if you’ve never been to one of these stores, get thee to one immediately!  They are a renovator’s candy shop).  I might be more proud of that little lamp than I am of the whole project.  Might.

And that was that.  Now if only the boy would stay down for a nap long enough for me to get some work done, this whole ordeal might just have been worth it…

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8 comments

  1. Sugar

    Great office-in-a-box job. I am enjoying reading from a guy’s perspective and admire you for being home with the little guy. Looking forward to more of your posts.

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks Sugar.* The pleasure’s all mine.  Please do keep coming back (and spread the word!).  I’ll do my best to keep it interesting and fresh.  

    *I really have a hard time saying that in my head in a voice other than my Grandmom’s.  “Come ‘ere and gimme some suga, baby.” Always in that great southern accent of hers, formed in years of grease and unfiltered menthols. She was awesome. 

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  4. Anonymous

    Thanks, Kim. The color is Cran Apple. It was leftover from painting the bathroom in our West Virginia place. Outside of the green desk lamp I don’t think I spent a dime on this project.

    Also, I felt inspired to add a post about the headboard I mentioned at your place. It’s at the top of the main page now.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Becky

    Hi there. Found you from TDC.  This is awesome!  What a great use of unusable space.  How are you able to take apart doors and paint walls in an apartment?  You’ve given me a great idea though if I can ever clean out my hall closet!
    Becky @ small-n-simplethings

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