My Office Makeover

January 16, 2014Allison Murray
My Office Makeover Part 1

Tuck in, folks, ’cause this is a long one!


Alrighty, righty… in with both feet! The picture above is my shame. Yup, this is my office before my fantastic makeover. Now in my defense I was actually doing my crafting like a fiend so that I could get away for Christmas with no work to be done as well as dealing with a lot of business-y things so picking up just never happened. The week before I left town for Christmas was a nightmare and I was SO stressed out. I probably worked 12-15 hours each day and I was TIRED.


I had decided to start packing things up into boxes for the upcoming makeover when I realized that didn’t work out so well. I still had work to do with those things in those boxes so I had to start digging in them to get what I needed out. This really slowed things down for me.


And this is a close up of the disaster. I’m probably lucky I didn’t twist an ankle or something.


For Christmas my mother got me two second hand ginormous filing cabinets and my dad drove them up from Houston. Getting them in the house was no fun because these sucker were heavy! My dad tethered them to the studs in my wall because “things happen to you”. I realized that this meant I wouldn’t be crushed to death by my own craft supplies and I understood that this was a good call.


In order to make better use of the space my dad built me some wood shelves to go on top. This entire piece was created with only one sheet of furniture grade plywood!


And he extended the top edge over my door so I could have shelving all away across the room.


And Marla really dug the new stuff, of course!


In my office before I had three Ikea tables that were meant for kitchen use. These were really wide and short so we made long, skinny tables that would give me more floor space for my large projects. In the past I’d wind up doing these types of things in the living room floor and worry about getting something on my nice rug.

He used another sheet of furniture grade plywood and poached the old IKEA legs of of the other tables. Since the room is so small and at the end of the hall in kind of an awkward way, everything was built inside of the room.


We set the tables up where they would be and then I brought in all of my work stuff. My computer monitors, printer, WiFi radio, all of it and marked where would be the most convenient to have cord accesses. Then my dad made holes the appropriate size in those areas.


And now it was time to stain the tables. The stain we both fell in love with was Rust-oleum in Willow. It is really pretty and makes the grain stand out but actually lightens the wood at the same time.


Marla enjoyed this step as well. (actually she didn’t get to come in the room until after the tables were dry :)


We put the tables where they belong and my dad attached them to make one solid L shaped table. To finish, he used some decorative on the edges.

There are also 3 different surge protectors. Each is affixed underneath the table to keep them off of the ground, one in the corner and one on each end.


To make good use of the end of the cabinets my dad put up some peg board that I painted to match the new wall color. He had to use an extension box for the light switch after adding the pegboard so that the switch wouldn’t be sunken into the peg board but flush with it.


And then I had to bring everything back in and get it into its permanent place, so things got super messy again!


My new desks are much longer than before so I have more space to lay things out neatly. I utilized the USB ports on my monitors to keep from having too many cords going running too far.

The area on the left is my computer area and on the right is my crafting area.


And just to the right of where I do my crafts and take my pics is a new double outlet! This is great because I’m not stringing my hot glue gun underneath my desk or using an extension cord that gets all tangled up. It’s also proved helpful when I have my iron out!

Plus one of the outlets has USB ports so I can charge my phone or my Kindle or whatever. You can get the same High Speed USB Receptacle for about $20!


I repurposed the clear drawer systems and put paper in front to keep them from looking so cluttered. My Silhouette Cameo now sits on the far end and is connected to my monitor.


And here you can see how nifty the little cord slots are for my cord management!


And here are my nifty built in filing cabinets! Each drawer holds 12 shoe box sized plastic tubs. To keep track of what is inside until I get the hang of it, I wrote out a little map for each drawer with a whiteboard marker.

On the shelf above are 9 wood crates that hold my shoes for makeovers, glass jars, rolls of freezer paper and all of that good stuff. The cubes of the shelf I’ve just kind of tossed stuff in but will pretty up soon enough!


And here is my peg board in use. I’ve never had peg board so I’m still getting used to using it. Right now there’s not much happening but I figure I’ll have things hanging from it like crazy soon enough! I used an over the door shoe organizer for my other tools, cords and various things I use often but don’t really have a place for (like catnip!)


I haven’t really done much with the closet but we’re going to be taking out the system meant for clothes sometime this year and build in new shelves. But for now I purchased three cardboard paper organizers meant for classrooms. In there I have sorted out my papers, card stock, stencils and felt sheets.


And, well, that’s it for now. The room is really “vanilla” with no decoration just yet but I’ll remedy that soon enough. This project was definitely about function over form, this go at least!


Super big thanks to Daddy who basically did all of this and let me take pictures of the progress!

Comments (12)

  • Jeri

    January 16, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Your first picture looks a lot like my craft/den/office room. I had to take over the bathroom in that room to put up shelves for craft stuff. Oh well!

  • Pat

    January 16, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Looking good Allison! I’m jealous. If your dad comes to Utah and needs something to do, have him give me a call. ;)

  • Amy W

    January 16, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    HOLY MOLY, LADY! You kept saying you were doing so much to that room but I had no idea. Wow. That’s like a crafters dream space. I loved the shelving overtop the file cabinets and the door. Can’t wait to see you decorate it a bit, but even if it stayed just as it is… it’s wonderful!

  • Erica @fortheloveofdecorating

    January 16, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Ahhh…it is soooo much more functional now. i think I need your dad to get over here ASAP! LOL


  • Pat schwab

    January 16, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Wow Allison, what a great space to work in. Can’t wait to see what DIYs you come up with next. Pat

  • Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

    January 17, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    Yay! Dad to the rescue! I’m impressed with all the extra surface and storage space you have now. And the map for your drawers is genius. (I need the same for some of my drawers.) I find that once everything has a place where it “lives,” it’s MUCH less likely to end up a cluttery mess. Way to go!

  • Beth

    January 17, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    How lucky you are to HAVE a Daddy… especially one like yours! Your makeover is fantastic! I live in m 38 foot motorhome full time, so space is really an issue for me! So jealous!

  • RaCh

    January 17, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    It looks wonderful Allison! Way to utilize every bit of space! I’m glad to see all the animals are happy with the new place too. :)

  • Sasha

    January 18, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Aw your dad is so sweet! I love the new desk and the idea of pegboard on the wall! Thank you for inspiring me to get my space organized as well!

  • Leslie

    January 21, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    It looks AWESOME! Go dad, go!

  • Liz Queenlila

    February 12, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    ugh I’m soooo jealous! The room looks amazing, big bravo to you and Daddy! (oh btw can you tell I’m catching up on your posts today?)

  • pippin

    January 17, 2015 at 6:48 AM

    What a transformation! I love the peg board idea, as it keeps tools at a quick reach and organized. I may have to borrow this idea. Thanks for sharing!

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