Updating the Home Office Area

Last week I mentioned that C and I are very likely going to be going through some major transitions over the next year-ish. Little is set in stone right now, so there's not a whole lot of news to share, but one thing that is set is that I'm starting a new job next month! It's a job that will have me working from home, which I'm pumped about, but that means I need to pull together a real, functioning home office pronto and the only place for it is in a corner of our bedroom in our teeny tiny apartment. It's gonna require some creativity to make it work, but I'm up for the challenge!

I'm going to use a few things I already have, do a few DIY projects I'm sure, and I'll most likely make a few purchases along the way. If I'm going to be working here for 40 hours a week and living here for the rest of the time, I want to love the space. Today I want to show you what I already have in place as well as the floor plan for this little home office area. That way you'll know what I'm dealing with. Tomorrow I'll be back with a few inspirational spaces that have the look I'm going after for this little project (oh how I love a new project!).

You've seen the floor plan of our oddly shaped apartment before on our home tour, but here it is again, this time with an awesome mock up of the placement of some of our furniture in the bedroom. Sweet graphic right? (Note: threw in a bit of sarcasm there...)

floor plan

Anyway, see where it says "desk" up there? That's the home office area. Nothing like working in your bedroom. :) It's really the only place for it in our apartment, so I've gotta make it work! In case you're curious, I DIY'd that desk earlier this year out of sawhorses, plywood, fabric and plexiglass. You can read more about it in this post.

DIY desk made from sawhorses, plywood, fabric and plexiglass

It's the perfect size and we've already put it to good use over the past 10 months or so (Charlie works from home some with his job). There's a slight problem with this desk though - no storage. That was fine before, but now that I'll be working from here full time, I'll need a good place for office supplies, files, books, etc.

Good thing I already have a storage unit right behind that desk - an Expedit from IKEA! We bought three of them (one 2x4 and two 1x5s) for our apartment in Richmond to fashion up an entertainment center in our living room, but downsized to one for this apartment and gifted the other two to my parents. The one we kept is the 2x4 size, and it sits at the end of our bed right now. It gives us such great storage space, but I'm going to have to empty out a few compartments to make it useful for office use. 

Here's an old photo of it (we have a different rug in there now!), but this gives you an idea of how it looks in our room. Since it's right behind the desk, I figure it'll be super accessible. 

expedit unit for office area

My only issue with this particular Expedit is that it's that dark black-brown color IKEA sells. It worked fine in our Richmond apartment, but it looks like a big black hulking thing smack dab in the middle of our bedroom now. Not the most attractive thing for this space. It has also seen better days - there are scratches down the side that you see right when you walk into our bedroom.

So here's my dilemma - do I try and paint this one white (I'm 90% sure I want to go white with it) or do I just buy a white one and Craigslist this one to try and recoup some of my dollars? They're so inexpensive to buy, but it would mean taking a trip to IKEA, which is kind of a pain. Painting one of these is kind of a pain too though, so I'm torn. {UPDATE! Here's how I transformed the Expedit into something I now LOVE!}

I'll be back tomorrow with some ideas on what I'd like to do with this space to make my little office nook a happy work space!

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  1. Congrats on the new job! I'm very jealous that you'll be working from home! What if you just painted the outside white, and put fabric or contact paper (they have so many cute prints on amazon now) on the inside? That way you don't have to paint it all, but you can still update it. I'm all for saving a trip to Ikea. Wears me out!

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