Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ugly House: New Office Reveal

Good Afternoon,

To answer your burning questions, no baby isn't here yet. Also, I have not finished the nursery. However, I did finish my new office area (with much, much help from the husband), so we're getting closer to converting the old office into the nursery. Baby has a schedule induction in a week and a half, so we're going to finish that nursery this weekend!

To give some background, here's my old office after I completed painting, making a new desk, etc. I liked my office quite a lot. There was plenty of room for all my craft stuff and my work related items.

However, to be honest it became the dumping ground of the house. Oh, people are coming over? Grab a laundry basket, pile all the random stuff from around the house and put it in the office. When we started round two of renovations of our upstairs, the office became the storage garage for all the random stuff that we needed to move out of the living room/kitchen/hall closet. So, for a few weeks my office looked like this. It drove me insane.

We had thought about bunking the baby with the sibling of the same sex. After all, my husband roomed with his brother when he was a kid and both of them turned out somewhat okay. The more we thought about it though, the more we realized that especially in the infant stage, we really needed a separate room for all that baby gear. Plus, sleeping babies and crazy loud siblings aren't the greatest mix. I started to think about my different options and decided that creating an office space in a little used play area was the best use of space in our house. The kids never used the area to play. They would just grab toys and take them into their rooms or upstairs. So we downsized the toys, moved around some things and we had a empty(ish) area to build an office.

I have a lot of craft stuff. I use most of it, so I couldn't see myself downsizing my stash too much. (That being said I probably filled over 5 garbage bags when I was moving the stash, so did a fair bit of downsizing) So, having storage options was a must. We also didn't want to break the bank creating the office space since we are in the middle of renovating upstairs. We decided stock cabinets were the best option for my office. So, step 1 was painting the walls of the basement a man cave friendly color, and step two was painting the stock cabinets we picked up at Lowes.

Half of the basement is a family room/man room area for my husband's leather chair and hunting pictures, so I had to pick a color that I liked, meshed with the rest of the house, but still fit in with the wood and leather. My solution for that problem was "Perfect Greige" by Sherwin Williams. I paired with that "Bunglehouse Blue" also from Sherwin Williams for the cabinets. I feel like both colors blend well with his rustic manliness downstairs and my farmhouse feel upstairs.

Using stock cabinets wasn't overly difficult; however, you do quickly realize you get what you pay for. It's worth it to invest in some better screws to reassemble the doors (the ones that come with strip very easily). You will probably need to do quite a bit of sanding to smooth out the rough finish. I removed all the doors and drawers and used my paint sprayer to paint. Then I just painted with a roller on the boxes. During an evening with a two hour tornado warning (!), my husband and I hung all the cabinets.

We priced out getting a regular laminate countertop, but for a bit less, we could make our own. We used plywood as a base and then used poplar in a unique design on top. Once my husband cut all the pieces and wood glued them to the plywood, he sanded the ever living heck out of the top since the pieces didn't all quite sit flush.

Lots of clamps, heavy paint cans and weights to hold down the boards as the glue dried.

Before sanding. You can see the tiny lip that appeared between some pieces.
After sanding everything was nice and level.

I stained the top using "Dark Walnut" from Minwax. We did a very small bit of wood filler in between each board, but I would probably skip that step if I did the project again. The wood filler doesn't take stain well (even the kind that claims you can stain it) so I had to go back through and touch up everywhere that was lighter with some oil based brown paint or more stain.

See that light spot right at the top? That's the wood filler not taking stain.

The final step was a couple coats of Waterlox (just like our countertops, which you can read about here).

I'm quite happy with the final product and it has tons of storage. I organized everything with plastic bins and chalkboard vinyl labels, so I can easily see what I have. My husband rolled his eyes that my office for "work" was 90% cabinets filled with craft supplies. But hey...he's got all that hunting stuff, so I don't feel so bad about my wall of cabinets.



1 comment

MelBrandle said...

That's an amazing job and look at the increase in storage space you've got there after all the cupboards have been put in! You're really going to enjoy working at your new work desk!

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