Monday, October 15, 2012

Cleaning up my office, with a little DIY

I am proud to say I've crossed a GIANT to-do off my home improvement list...finally setting up my office!! Yay!! While I couldn't find any good pictures of what my office originally looked like when I first moved in with Gene, I can tell you that it turned into the dumping ground for furniture from my apartment that we didn't really have a place for on the first floor of our house (our house is pretty small - three bed/one bath, but two of the "bedrooms" are upstairs and are tiny - so we appropriated them for our offices).

Into my office went a small bookshelf, my futon, and my TV.  I eventually sold my bookshelf and futon, but no one wanted my TV, even for free!! My parents upgraded me from my 13 inch TV in 2003 as a grad school graduation present, but unfortunately everyone has flat screen, flat panel TVs today - and my 2003 TV had a flat screen, but a giant back and probably weighed 150 pounds.  After discovering that the city would come pick up my TV if I simply filled out an online request form - bye bye to my old TV!

Here is what I started with in my office - a decent amount of space, just no organization and lots of junk left over from the wedding!

The right wall.  You can see how the sloping ceilings pose a challenge to buying furniture - you can't have anything too tall, or it won't fit.

The back wall with the windows.  I love my snazzy accent walls, even if they were a huge pain to do.

The corner of desk and stuff dumped everywhere.  The small door goes into our attic space, which is huge!

A big apology to my books, stored in sad piles!

Once I bought a new long (in width) and short (in height) bookcase, I knew my storage problems would be solved! And I was right.  However, the bookcase I bought came in a light unfinished pine wood, and I knew I wanted to stain it darker.  The process was surprisingly easy!

The bookcase as I bought it.  I lightly sanded it, and then wiped away the dust with a tack cloth.  I was ready to apply some stain!  

After the first coat of stain.  I just followed the instructions and applied the stain with a cloth, and then wiped away any excess.  I did two coats, and it took me about a half hour to apply each coat.  I then sealed the bookcase with clear polyurethane that I applied with a paintbrush.  Letting the stain and polyurethane dry was probably the longest part of this project - I started it Monday, finished it on Wednesday, and moved it to my office on Thursday.

And...the bookcase in action! I love how it came out to be the same color as our floors!! Totally unintentional, but I really like it.  Also, I need to look for a reading lamp to put by my chair!

Check out that tidy desk!

I'm so glad I finally got my office in order!! Yay!! This was one project that I was dreading, but am so happy I finally got it done.   Did you cross any big projects off your list this weekend?


  1. Wow! This looks awesome!! Also makes me want to get more organized. We are in the process of moving and all the disorganization is making my OCD go crazy!