This reveal is 9 pokey months in the making. (And I still have one more re-reveal planned for it down the road!) So it might be a little long and windy… bear with! The previous owner made the questionable decision to use this wonderful space with a window as a closet…
…and created this claustrophobic space (IN the dining room) as a powder room.
We hope to swap this up in the next few years so we get a windowed bathroom and bathroom-free dining room. But until then, I decided to reclaim this unused closet as an ‘office’ storage space for my crafts, etc. First step: paint. I used Behr Ultra’s Aqua Bay to pick up the green in this curtain panel recycled from Eleanor’s old room in the city. (It’s a twin duvet cover, that I cut in half and sewed back together into panels.)
Next step, stencils. I was a stencil virgin before this project, but there are plenty of pointers out there on the world wide web, so after a little research I felt informed and ready. I used the Acacia Allover Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils. Let’s just say after this project I can’t imagine stenciling a whole wall… 1st mistake? Turns out the spray adhesive I had on hand was permanent vs. ‘repositionable’ so I bagged that (critical) step. My stencils were pretty simple so it worked okay using painters tape, but this meant that I had to wait for each stencil to dry before putting the next piece on top with the painters tape. Fast forward a few hours, and the final product doesn’t look nearly as crazy as the ‘in progress’ shots!
Floor. Our guess is that this is the last remnant of the old kitchen floor. I’m into vintage, but not this. I grabbed some cheapo adhesive vinyl tiles at Home Depot (not a lot of options…) and laid these down on top of the old vinyl to make the floor look a little more contemporary and clean.
The space was already looking better, so time for a desk. I’d like to remind you that this project was done about 3 weeks after we moved out here full time and my DIY-ness was not nearly where it is today. I had an idea in my mind that seemed like it would work flawlessly, but in hindsight I would do the desk differently. Here’s what I did: grabbed some melamine, cut it to fit the “L” shape of the closet and used some metal brackets to hold the 2 pieces together. I used dowels for the legs and these little contraptions to secure the legs onto the table top.
The biggest challenge was getting the whole thing into the space because of the legs and the weird shape. Hindsight lesson? Find the studs, drill boards into the studs and just rest the table top on these boards; get rid of the legs. Once I’d wrestled the desk into the closet, hung the curtain, and finished the floor/ walls, all that was left was actually organizing the space!
These baskets were from the kitchen section at Ikea.
I grabbed the storage compartments on the back of the door at Homegoods and use them for scrap paper, old photos and misc. art supplies.
This little shelf was $3 at Goodwill and painted black, but I gave it a coat of paint (white on the inside, the same wall color on the outside) and use this to hold those little fussy items that we all have in our desk drawers (white out, tape, erasers, staples…).
I have a paper tray for any ideas I tear out of a magazine or catalog.
Remember this post about the terrarium? Still going strong!
Another score from Homegoods and some of these fantastic simple buckets from Ikea and I have a place for all my pens and pencils.
My mother in law gave me these amazing paper chains for my birthday and they look perfect on either side of the door. Aren’t they adorable? How easy would they be to DIY with leftover scrap paper?
I use this simple cork board to hold all the different color swatches from around the house… I can remember how much everything I buy for the house costs, but the names of paint? Completely leaves my brain. I also have a full color swatch book where I’ve marked these colors so I have them handy when I’m out shopping.
The chair is from Ikea and it might have been the reason why I reclaimed this closet… we didn’t need it anywhere else and I fell in love with it! Finally, I keep my wrapping paper in a basket right outside the ‘office.’ Some of it is for wrapping but lots of it is just a fun pattern so I can use it for DIY projects in the future!
Spoiler alert, this is EXACTLY how this space looks without styling, etc. You can see my paperclips and my mismatched cup of pens. I hope to post again a stylized version of this space to see if I can recreate those magazine- like shots that make us all wonder what’s wrong with our lives that our homes don’t have color coordinated thumb tacks. Challenge accepted!
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