Office Reveal

Written by Decor, DIY, Featured

Houston, we have a functioning office! Merry Hanukkah to us!

It took us more than a month, but we are finally here. We got all our furniture, were able to compromise on the chair choice of 2016, got our big DIY wall shelf project done, organized, decorated, and Jordan is now going full steam ahead getting ALL the equipment he’s wanted for a long time. Just look at him happily podcasting away!

We are so smitten with this room! You can find us in here most of the day now. With it being the week after Christmas, I broke the room in working from home the whole week. Jordan has also been working from home here, and spending his evenings hosting game streaming sessions. With his sudden onslaught of all new monitors, podcasting stuff, audio equipment and moving the Playstation in here, we still have some work to corral the cords on his side. But there is plenty of storage space for him to put away things when they aren’t being used which is a blessing by itself.

I’m now also thinking of getting an additional monitor for my desk since it’s not really my favorite thing to work on a 13″ screen. I’m seriously jealous of Jordan’s set up. We are thinking of wall mounting all our monitors and will start looking into our options for that. Can’t you just see a wall mount swing arm there with a cinema display?!

For Christmas, I got Jordan a vinyl record player. One hour later, he brought his old, giant speakers and amp upstairs into the office and set them up under our new shelves. So it was a huge hit and I’m so happy I got him a gift he loves! But we will have to find them a forever home eventually… We’ve already started talking about where everything could live in the living room and how to refinish the speakers. I’ve tried to talk him into smaller, newer speakers and amp, but he just kept saying something about ‘older is better,’ and audio quality yada yada. Stuff that I don’t understand. This guy likes his audio stuff… what can I say?

But on to more important things! As you can see… the wall shelves. I LOVE THEM! They add the warmth the room needs with the stained wood and all the storage I could ask for. It holds all our file boxes, storage boxes, a few vintage locker baskets for additional storage, all of our books we can’t part with and a few decorative things. And it wasn’t that hard to do! I just had to practice my patience waiting for the stain and sealer to dry for each of the coats. Also, the screws we used to screw the boards into the brackets were sooooo tiny! Jordan ended up getting me a ratcheting screwdriver for Christmas because of this project and the amount of whining I did. I will be writing a more in depth post about the wall shelves later. So keep an eye out for that.

That cord you see going into the closet… is for my printer in it’s perfect hiding spot! I was so excited when I realized my wide ALEX drawer unit PERFECTLY fit in the sliding doors. We are planning to add an outlet in the closet so we don’t have that tacky cord hanging out of the door. That closet in general… I’m making plans (insert maniacal laugh here).

And yes, the doors are still not painted. That is one of the next projects in the running we are thinking of tackling for the house. We want to upgrade all the interior doors with a fresh coat of paint, add some depth and get new hardware. Our plan has been to work on that project in the winter…. so, I guess we should get on that.

I ate a lot of chocolate late one night and cut black paper to fit the file box slots and labeled everything! Ahhhhhh… my bliss.

I knew from some inspiration photos on Pinterest we wanted to do an L shaped desk that could work for both of us. Again, I wanted to be able to bring my craft stuff in this room and have desk space for that without having to move everything off the desk every time I need to cut paper or sew. While Jordan wanted to bring his gaming stuff in this room as well as be able to set up everything he needed to be able to work from home.

As I’m a lover of IKEA, I found the KALLAX workstations I could put in between two desks that could also work for our needs. The KALLAX also has a ton of options for baskets, doors and drawers you can add to customize it as you need it. Customization is something I always look for when it comes to highly used spaces. You may have one idea in mind now, but find out later a slightly different configuration would work better. So being able to change the furniture for those fluctuating needs is a winner for me. And this would add a ton of storage for us close to our finger tips, as well as add the additional desk space.

When the shelf I got from my parents’ didn’t work out, I found someone selling their KALLAX workstation on craigslist while I was posting mine to sell. I emailed them super fast, and we snagged that whole thing for $75. Also, I really like the waterfall solid “leg” on the end rather than the two pole legs I would have ended up with if I bought it new.

Now we just needed our desks. I stuck with IKEA as usual, and found these MICKE desks online that looked really nice and simple, and you can’t beat that price at only $80 per desk! I really liked the two drawers, built in cable management, and that nice solid leg on the one side that would mimic the KALLAX desk we just got. I really wanted to take a look at it and see if I could choose whatever side that solid piece was on or not. I wanted them to be on the outsides, away from the central KALLAX shelf if possible. So we went one evening for our typical IKEA date night: meatballs and furniture shopping!

Only… when we got to the desks in the office section of the store we were sorely disappointed. As soon as I touched it, it wobbled like crazy. The drawers also seemed pretty hokey. So I stood there completely stuck on the idea, trying to think of what we could possibly do to reinforce the desk and make it work. Meanwhile Jordan wandered. And thankfully he did. He pointed out another desk that looked incredibly similar. The ALEX desk. It had the same two drawers and built in cord management, but has soft close hinges on the cord cubby, the drawers are much more sturdy, OVERALL it’s much more sturdy and the drawers match the ALEX drawer unit I already have the printer sitting on. But at $180 per desk, we had to change up our game plan on the spot. So we tested out some of the chairs while discussing our budget. We ended up leaving with two of the ALEX desks that night and a plan to just wait another month to buy chairs. It was well worth getting the nicer desks for us.

Now… those chairs! Or as I like to call it, “As the Office Chairs Turn.” I wanted nice looking office chairs that matched. Jordan wanted pure comfort. He mentioned gaming chairs multiple times. I said absolutely no to that. But hey, I like comfort too so let’s do this! Nope! Not that simple.

I found several on Wayfair I liked the look of that had plenty of good reviews. Like this one, this one and this one. They were all white leather, mmmmm. The first obstacle I encountered was Jordan learning how much decent office chairs cost. He also didn’t like the idea of buying anything without being able to sit in it first, and especially for that kind of money. As annoying as this was, I could totally understand it. We went back and forth several more times with me trying to convince him we could order one, test it out and if he hated it, just return it. Meh… he wasn’t super excited about that idea. We went back and forth about the color: white, no that could look dirty. Black, no then that will be the focus of the room when you walk in. A color? But what color? Arms: do we want arms or no arms? We were on a different page on all of it.

I started looking for stores we could go to near us when we were ready to start looking and sit testing, cause obviously we would have to be mentally prepared for it. But then that same evening we were at IKEA to get our desks, Jordan admitted that he thought the chair I liked was comfortable. Holy crap! Since we got the more expensive desks and were waiting to get chairs a little longer, in the days following he tried to sell me on this other one that has a super tall back. That was a no go for me because, hello! hair clips! That just don’t work!!! I even got someone to back me up for that one because he didn’t believe that was a real issue haha! Hair problems are REAL!

So… what happened? We ended up compromising getting the mid back ALEX chairs I liked that are really comfortable. I must really have a thing for this whole ALEX line. Maybe it’s because the chairs are really classic looking, have a lot of different color fabrics and options. We got the ones with the slightly taller back, all white legs, and Jordan got arms for his chair while I did not. We chose the beige fabric, which honestly seems more white/gray to me than beige. The fabric has darker and lighter variations of thread, so if anything gets dirty it will be harder to see. So I felt more comfortable getting light fabric. They have a really nice ergonomic shape that helps me sit straighter during the day. Since I didn’t get arms on mine, I can sit closer to the desk keeping myself from slouching forward to get closer to the screen like I always do. And now after several days of working and gaming in them, Jordan has admitted they are pretty awesome 🙂 So we both love them and I learned a lot about things I never thought Jordan cared about in this whole process.

And so concludes the saga of our office chairs!

And one more time for good measure, here’s a before and after because those are always fun!

We have a few more things to do in this room and are continuing to set up everything in a way that works for us. I’m sure it will change a few times. But as of now, we are so incredibly happy with how this room has turned out so far.


  • Finish painting the trim (I only got two of the walls done, it takes three coats total)
  • Upgrade the doors
  • Convert some clip lamps into wall sconces to put under the shelves above each of our desks
  • Possibly add wall mounts for monitors
  • Add outlet in closet for printer
  • Upgrade closet to use space more efficiently
  • Add some art work!


Do you guys have any tips or suggestions for wall mounting monitors and hiding cords? How about suggestions for closet systems? Or do you just have any questions about offices or work spaces in general? Let me know and we can figure stuff out together!

Last modified: September 9, 2017