Tag Archives: home office

The Built-In Bookcase Project

October 25, 2012

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I have a home office in my living room. Because we shoehorn an office, a school room, and a living room all into the tiny 350 square-foot space, so the room has always been a disaster of clutter and mismatched furniture. This year, I was determined to address the problems.

Earlier in the year, we installed new windows, replacing the 1910 Victorian models. After that, we sewed curtains for the room, painted the walls and painted the trim. Then, I got rid of the monstrous 8-foot hand-me-down blue-and-pink couch and got two small, cushy love seats.

For over a month now, we’ve been building and installing two huge built-in bookcase units. One is 6 feet long and the other is 5 feet. I’ve had intentions of adding such a unit to this room for years. Pre-made bookcases (solid wood only, please!) are prohibitively expensive, and I could not hire a carpenter to do it. So I watched a few videos, read a few how-to articles, and decided to tackle it myself. Due to the “eccentricities” of our old home (that’s the understatement of the year), I had to use my noggin and do a bit of creative tinkering. I won’t bore you with the details here, but I had to use pre-made kitchen wall cabinets instead of base cabinets because wall cabs are only 12 inches deep, which is all I had to work with. We had to create a frame upon which the cabinets would sit, to elevate them to “base cab” height. That took a while because we also had to cut through the laminate floor to secure the frame to the subfloor. I have a very inventive son who is now thoroughly skilled with the Dremel tool. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, here’s a pictorial story of how it went.

BEFORE

Living Room before 1

Marking the wall for studs and placement of the cabinets.

Bookshelves2

One cab installed. ….five more to go…

Bookshelves3

The husband would come home from work and wonder what I was ruining now, lol. He has a difficult time […]

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Building My Home Office

January 9, 2012

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I’ve taken the teeniest, tiniest leap into building an official home office here. I’ve been working at home for over 3 years now, with a little desk and bookshelves showhorned into a corner of the living room. It’s so messy and my living room has become engulfed with stuff that I’m desperate to organize.

Well, I finally found some inexpensive kitchen cabinets suited for a home office. They are Aristokraft, in saddle oak. They are very plain, and are made of particleboard. But I don’t care– I don’t need a solid wood desk and the simple style suits me. The cost of the three cabinets with countertop was a fraction of the price of a new desk (one of those cheapo Chinese-made junk desks).

newdesk1

All I’ve got done so far is the bottom half. Eventually, I will build the top hutch portion when I can wrastle up the funds. For now, the base will have to do. Livvy likes it. ๐Ÿ™‚

The area looks quite empty and sterile. Oh, I have plans, though! I am going to build my own hutch. It will have two narrow bookshelves and a pair of cabinets. Eventually, I will create a huge built-in bookshelf along the wall. I intend to convert the room (living room) into a library, with big wall bookshelves and a gas fireplace.

newdesk2

I also plan on installing crown molding along the top of the ceiling and placing LED white lights in the tray. It will give the room lovely ambient lighting.

The garage, once I have renovated it, will become the new family room where we will have sofas and chairs and the family’s huge assortment of musical instruments.

But before I rebuild the garage into living space, I have to build a barn in the backyard, to hold our power tools and auto equipment. Oh yeah, I’ll be busy for a long time. And then , of course, I still have to renovate the upstairs of the house and the downstairs bathroom….

Sheesh, who knows, maybe by the time I’m finally done renovating, I’ll be too old to maintain such a big house. I can then turn around and sell the place for a nice profit. It sure would be nice to enjoy the fruits of my labors here, though. I’ve spent most of my years living in a dumpy house!

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Find the Kitty Friday

December 30, 2011

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My daughter snapped this on her cell phone. Where could that skulking kitty be?! She’s doing it rite! LOL

FTK_12302011

Well, another year is winding down. I haven’t been thinking of any thoughts on renovation lately until about a month ago. It was about that time that I really “let” my desk “go.” I have always been a neatnick with a super-tidy desk, but I’ve been SO SO busy the past few months (since October, really) that my desk is a SHAME. A cryin’ shame. I even took a photo for you to see how bad it is. lol

cryinshame

The desk is actually one of the best ones I’ve ever had, The thing is solid wood, an old teacher’s desk from the 1940s. But it’s not exactly computer-compatible, as you can see. I just juggle way too much stuff on this desk, and with all the paperwork for the home business, I’ve run out of places to put things.

Which leads me back to thinking about renovation again. I’m going to create a built-in bookshelf and desk system in the living room. We have tons of books, most of them in boxes, still! I think my living room will look beautiful with some elegant shelves and a nice tidy area to work. I’ve ordered a few base cabinets and am waiting for them to arrive. Once they finally do, construction begins. I will have to reroute one wall sconce light and make a bit of a mess with the existing furniture, but we can handle it. I think I’ve finally got a vision for the room. It will probably take us about a year to or more to finish it, as it also involves removing an existing gas heater and installing a gas fireplace to a more central part of the room. Because a large portion of this room is my “home office,” I can deduct some of the expenses on my taxes. Thank God.

Anyway, I’ll have more updates about this later. I intend on building my own shelves from wood, so the project will certainly take some time. But when it’s done, it will look and function SO MUCH better. And the new shelves will give Livvy all sorts of amazing new places to hide!

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New York Office Suites- wow!

July 14, 2010

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You can learn a lot from studying office design.

While we’re working on the kitchen and dining room of the house, we are also trying to keep a mind on the future. We have an attached garage that we do not use, so I have intentions of converting it into a Conservatory (a family room with lots of glass windows) for the musicians in the family to play and listen to music, where we can read and pray together, and basically relax. It will have big plants, lots of light, comfortable chairs, and a very sweet audio sound system. NO television, no computer, no radio. It will be our quiet room.

Of course, that leaves me the living room to then tool around with. ๐Ÿ˜€ i work at home, but I have no office. Since I am a writer, I really need a quiet, non-interrupted atmosphere to write. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to do this in the living room– the cat, the bird, the kids, the schoolwork, the phone, the road traffic… UGH! I often stay up very late to do my work because it’s the only time I can THINK.

So I’m planning on building a small home office– I’ll probably get rid of the living room concept all together. We don’t watch TV, we don’t have parties…. if the kids have guests, they can go in the Conservatory. I want the living room to be my office space.

Oooo lala, offices are IN, baby! Home offices, yes, but all kinds of offices. They are making offices more “homey.” There are companies specifically hired to create offices, any kind. I think I would love that! It’s really great to see the cubicle disappearing, isn’t it? Skylights, soft chairs and couches, pretty decor, plants…. it’s all very inspiring.

So… while we restore the kitchen and dining room, here’s hoping the Conservatory and Office are not too far behind. Once we have the electrical and plumbing done, I think the rest of the house will be a breeze!

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