Ch ch ch Changes! In the Office

Written by Decor, DIY

If you follow me on social media, you probably already know Jordan and I have been working on finally setting up our office. I just searched for photos to show a before, but alas, they do not exist. The office room, up until now, has been our ‘catch all’ room. It’s where a lot of stuff got sat that we didn’t know what to do with when we moved in, plus other stuff the last few months we also didn’t have a home for. It was that room you just shut the door and pretend isn’t there. Up until now! Time to reclaim that third room we wanted so badly!

We got the push when my parents finally moved out of their house and into their RV. They gave us whatever furniture we wanted from their house. #itsgoodtobeanonly. I immediately gravitated toward their office furniture which they got from IKEA. They had two ALEX drawer units which match the one I already have, and an EXPEDITE shelf. Only problem was all their pieces were black/brown, when I really want white. But I figured I could just paint them and save ourselves some money.

WARNING! Do your research if you plan to paint IKEA furniture. I started reading a bunch of other blogs (like this one, or this one, or this one) about painting IKEA furniture and actually found out the process is much more intense since most pieces are wax coated laminate. With all the paint, sealer, de-glosser and primer you need to do the job right, price wise it would cost just as much as buying new pieces from IKEA. Let alone save me all that time. So we ended up posting the stuff we got from my parents for sale on Craigslist. While I was there, I found another post with a white version of the EXPEDITE shelf with the desk attachment we wanted. So we snatched that up for $75 and saved a little money there. Then we went to IKEA and got two desks to fit with our new plan. I’ll go over more about the furniture and how we chose our layout when I share the final reveal.

Now that we had the furniture, it was time to move everything else out of the way and build the stuff. What a difference already! It’s starting to look like a room, albeit very bare. I finally emptied a couple more moving boxes with all our office stuff in them into the new desks and cubbies. We never had a real order to things before, so I made a list of small boxes, bins and dividers to buy next time we are at IKEA. So the organizing is not nearly done.

I then decided randomly (like I always do) that I wanted to paint the walls the same light grey I have picked out for the living room down the road, instead of the off white it was currently. I figured it would be easier to do at this point rather than once all the wall shelves are up and everything was in place. So we headed to Lowes and got two gallons of Tempered Grey mixed, came home and started rolling the paint on. I finished a quick second coat and cutting in the next morning. Then gave the baseboards a fresh coat of caulk to seal up the gaps between the wall and baseboard to prep for painting all the trim white. The caulk takes about five to seven days to set fully, so I will finish that up later.

The paint was a very subtle difference, but it really does look so much better to me. I tend to prefer tones on the cooler side of the spectrum. So the off white was really bothering me and made me feel I was back living in a rental apartment. Another fun fact… Tealy already decided her favorite place in this room is under the L desk, thus the dog bed.

While waiting for the caulk to cure, we moved onto our next DIY project for this room. The wall shelves, which will be opposite the desks. Several weeks before we bought all the things we needed to put up four full length shelves across the wall for extra storage and decor. Since the walls are going to remain light and airy, we chose white brackets that won’t show much when we put things on the shelves. The shelves themselves are going to be natural wood. It’s how we are going to bring some warmth into the room along with all the clean white.

So Jordan got his power tool fix the other weekend while also working on our little kitchen shelf addition project. Once cut, I sanded the four pieces down and started the process of staining and sealing everything. I have a folding table set up in the basement (which I could never do before!!! OMG this makes me so excited all by itself!!!) covered it with newspaper and I’m staining two shelves at a time. I’m giving a day for each side to dry. So as of writing this, I have two shelf boards fully done, and will start on the next two soon.

In the meantime, Jordan is spending parts of his evenings between dinner and gaming putting up the brackets on the wall.

He used his handy dandy new laser level to level everything off, and is drilling in anchors on the studs. Here, he placed one of the shelf boards on top the brackets to check his leveling job. He now unlocked a new life achievement – the bubble was DEAD CENTER! Way to go hubs! Only three more to go… on this wall!

So what’s left to do? We need to finish up this wall shelf project by staining the remaining boards and hanging them. I will paint the trim white, making this the first room to be rid of the wood trim. We need to go pick up the chairs we have picked out at IKEA, along with all those small storage solutions I have picked out. And then ORGANIZE LIKE A BEAST!!! We have paper strewn in random drawers all around the house right now, giving me some serious anxiety. None of our office stuff has a place and all my craft stuff will go in here as well, which also has never been truly organized. So I’m incredibly excited to have all this stuff organized and accessible soon. It will be a Christmas miracle! Stay tuned for our big reveal, cost list and links to shop the room.
Do you guys have any big room over hauls you are doing before the holidays? Or maybe just a room refresh? Have you ever tried to save money on hand-me-down furniture or thrift store finds that just didn’t work out? Let me know!

Last modified: September 9, 2017