Wednesday, August 1, 2012

$15 Office Makeover

Well, hi!  I have, in fact, NOT fallen off the face of the earth.  Just in case you were wondering. 

Today...just a quickie little "before & after" of a room in our house.  This is the sunroom, otherwise known as the "computer/sewing/whatever-else-we-can-cram-into-it" room.  One half is my sewing area, the other half is DH's office area.  I have a lot of supplies.  HE has a lot of supplies.  Usually this room is an absolute  nightmare to look at.


That's the office side.  My sewing side, when kept clean, is fine.  But this office...there were some inherent problems.

Problem #1: The Hutch.  Otherwise known as the "clutter magnet."  Really, it served no purpose but to provide a place for us to put stuff on, that we didn't know where else to put.

Solution: Get rid of it!
New Problem 1 1/2: Wanna see what 8+ years of sitting by a sunny window will do to a desk?

Yeah.  That's apparently the official place where the "sun doesn't shine."
Solution: Paint, of course!  I resisted the very strong urge to go to Home Depot.  I wanted to spiff up this room for as little money as humanly possible.  So to the basement I went, and much to my surprise and delight, we had almost a full quart of black semi-gloss paint.  AND primer.  AND I even found some little mini foam roller covers down there.  Our basement is a dark and scary place, but you can find good stuff there if you look!

Problem #2: The Big Hulking Chair
Just not fitting for such a teeny tiny room.  Plus, it spins around, so when the kids would get on it and use it like a piece of playground equipment, it put gashes in the front of the desk, making the desk even more unsightly. 

Solution: My $3 flea market chair!  A little paint & fabric, and there ya go.

And here is the new and improved desk, sans hutch, all freshly painted:

OK!  Moving on...
Problem #3: The Corner of Junk


Solution: Shelves...was going to buy some from IKEA, but DH reminded me that we had some shelves down in the basement (see?) that his work was just going to throw away.  They'd been down there for more than a year.

Brought them up, cleaned them off, spent $12 on brackets, and.............

Ho yeah!
And here it is, all together...SO much better now!

I still need to find a solution for all those wires under the desk.  But I'm going to wait, because I have a feeling that the big old computer is about to be forced into retirement, to be replaced by a young ambitious laptop.  We shall see.

Oh and I couldn't resist...I was taking this picture, and I looked up, and this is what I saw :)


  1. Okay - so I was thinking of all the things I could write about your wonderful transformation and how beautiful your space looks. But then I saw the kitty! All I want to do now is talk about him/her. What a great shot you captured.

  2. Space looks great! We are a cat family, so loved the shot of your kitty :)

    1. Thanks! Yeah my cat just loves the camera. ;)


    1. Aren't those shelves great? We didn't buy them, DH brought them home from his work. They were just going to throw them away, otherwise. :)

  4. Hey Rachel, I just a week ago bought a chair to paint for Anna's desk chair. Never did painting on wood before....did you sand first? I have big plans for this chair, but I am a little nervous. It was a flea market find so I guess I don't have a whole lot of $ at risk.

  5. oh, and I forgot to say great job on the office re-do!

    1. Hi Wendy!

      Thanks...and to answer your question, I did sand. I used a medium sanding block (like the size of a magic eraser) and it only took 10 minutes or so. You also want to definitely prime after you sand, or the paint will just slide right off. Here is a great tutorial for painting furniture that I have used several times:
      You will love that blog. :) Be sure to take a "before" picture before you start!!!

  6. SO great! I love that you used so much stuff you already had at home.... and went through the whole "I need a new this... wait I can use this..." process. Great reminder. I can't get over how much that desk faded either. The whole office looks awesome. Way to get it done! AND love the new name & look.... at first I thought it said Gilbert Street Snitches :) Would have been cute too, but stitches is perfect. Love the reading goal update on the side too. You are kicking those out! I'm inspired!

  7. wow, great makeover. So well organized. Nicely done. Thanks for sharing, liz

  8. Thanks very much for a very inspiring post! The pointers and pictures you have shared here can surely inspire more individuals to start planning their own projects.