Thursday, May 31, 2012

Turning A Closet Into An Office - Part 1

We've decided to work on our living room (I know, I know.  It'll make sense in a moment).  It's a very boring, rectangular space.  There are no architectural elements to work with.  No real charm.  And although I painted it and hung a TV years ago, I sort of left it at that and moved on to other projects.

The TV doesn't get used too much anymore (now that the family room has been renovated).  It was time to make this space into a (somewhat) more formal room.  (This is where I add - we are so not formal.  We are really making this space into a formal living room for resale.)  So, the TV needs to come down.  Which is step one.  Removing the TV means relocating some electronics which were stored in the 'closet' behind the living room wall.

This closet is in our family room - and it is directly behind the TV.  You can see the cables that we ran through the wall to connect the cable box and DVD player.  It's where we've hidden all of this stuff for a couple of years.  We decided to address this little closet.  We want to make it an office space.  A place to keep our printer, modem and router.  Maybe extra office supplies too.  Craig and I both use laptops and we don't really need a dedicated office so this will be perfect. And it will solve the other living room issue - 

My old 'office'.  Yup, it was right in the middle of our formal living room.  Which I never really liked.  But, it's where I set up my old desktop computer years ago.  That computer doesn't get used anymore but that is where the modem and router are still set up.  Relocating the modem and router to the closet makes the most sense for us.

But first let me share a 'closet' before shot.

This closet used to be a wet bar!  Complete with mirrored walls, glass shelves, and a brass sink!  I know, awesome right?  Well, not really my style.  I removed the shelves and mirror a while back.  And I painted the doors when I renovated the family room (I'll share some before and after pics of my family room soon - I had forgotten just how ugly it was seven years ago!).  The wet bar transformation stopped right there because I started on some other projects.  So, now it's time to take it a little further.

We cleaned everything out and got to work.  We shut off the water to the sink (which I didn't even know was on since I had never used this faucet!).  

We disconnected the pipes and out it came - 

We decided to leave the pipes as is just in case the next homeowner wants to turn our office into a wet bar (and the pipes weren't really in our way).

Then we turned our attention to the tile counter/shelf - 

Yay - demo complete!  Next step - building a shelf.  We chose to build the new shelf out of MDF.  We have used it in other projects and it has worked well. It doesn't warp, it is easy to work with, and it looks great painted.  Using the old shelf as a template, we cut the new shelf - 

An improvement already!  We still have a ways to go (it's funny how such a small project can have so many steps!).  What's left?

- fix the paneling
- putty the holes
- caulk the seam where the shelf and paneling meet
- prime everything
- paint the walls 
- paint the trim and doors
- run the cables for the modem and router
- (maybe) add a couple more shelves (not something we need right now so it may have to wait)

And then we can start working on the living room!