I love small, organized spaces. They are like their own little worlds, separate from everything else in the world that’s cluttered and bigger than it needs to be. If you follow over on Facebook, you’ve probably seen a few tiny houses, which I just love. I feel like working with a smaller space makes you focus on what’s really important and make it work in an efficient way, while getting creative to add some compact character and style. The same idea is true of the concept that today’s guest is here to share: the closet office. Aimee packed a lot of function and clean style into a small space:
The closet office isn’t really a new concept — we’ve shared several great closet offices over the years and we even picked out 25 great closet offices to get your functional-small-space brain in gear
and Aimee did a great job making an extra closet into a super duty work/craft/study space! Here she is to tell you all about it:
Organized Closet Office and Craft Space
by Aimee of The Crazy Craft Lady
Hey there, Remodelaholic friends! I’m Aimee from over at The Crazy Craft Lady. I’m so excited to be here! I enjoy filling my free time with crafty projects, and I’m here at Remodelaholic today to share with you my favorite closet. Yes, this project is a closet, but not just any closet – a home office/craft room/study space all inside of a closet.
Six months ago, I was in desperate need of some work space, but was sadly lacking a spare room for a designated home office. Lucky for me, my master bedroom has two closets. Also, I’m not much of a clothes hoarder. If I were, this post would be all about how I filled two closets with yoga pants and hoodies.
Alas, I was faced with a blank canvas of sorts – a beautiful 2-foot by 5 1/2-foot closet that would soon become my favorite room in the house. The bare bones of establishing an office took me the better part of a Saturday – trips to The Home Depot and Ikea for supplies, as well as painting.
Step 1 – Build a Desk
Ok, deep breath. This is not nearly as scary as it seems. In order to maximize work space, I had a piece of wood cut to fit the full length of the closet. Then a friend rounded off the front edge of the board, and I filled it in with wood-filler. This made a cheaper piece of plywood seem a bit more like a solid-wood desktop.
I was also a lucky duck, since there was already a shelf mounted at bar-height (I like to stand when I work). I just used the existing shelf supports, and slid my new desktop right into place. If you don’t have supports in place, or want a desk at a lower height, grab some scrap wood, and mount them at the height you want.
Step 2 – Paint
I opted for a soft light blue for the back wall, as well as black chalkboard paint for the small portion of wall above the desk. The shelf and desktop were painted a high-gloss white for extra durability.
Here’s my color guide – I bought all my paint at The Home Depot.
Step 3 – Storage, Storage, Storage
Like I said earlier, this closet had to serve as a home office/craft room/study space all in one. Besides working on crafty projects, I also go to school full-time and do work from home on occasion. This means that I needed lots of open work space on my desk, and a TON of storage space… all in a 2-foot by 5 1/2-foot closet.
I started by buying a bookshelf at Ikea to go under my desk, as well as storage boxes. Ikea bookshelves are a great, economical solution when you don’t feel quite handy enough to build custom shelving.
The larger boxes hold camera equipment and binders, and the smaller boxes hold notebooks and office supplies. On the top of the bookshelf is my secret to a clear desk – woven plastic baskets. See, if I have an ongoing project or pile of “to-do” items, I put everything into a plastic basket. Everything stays together, but isn’t taking up prime real estate on my desk.
This was a nice start for under-desk storage, but I wasn’t done yet. On the other side, I placed a set of clear storage drawers that I already owned. The various-sized drawers are perfect for craft supplies.
In an effort to hide the clutter inside the drawers, I taped scrapbook paper to the inside of the drawers. This hides whatever is in the drawer, and gives a custom look. I picked a black wood-grain patterned paper.
Next, I went from the very bottom of the closet to the very top. Various storage boxes hold extra craft supplies, cards, printer paper, fabric, and sharpies.
Ok, we covered the bottom and the top for storage. Now let’s talk about the prime storage real-estate: eye-level. I tried to limit storage at desk-level to the necessities. I stacked cardboard boxes vertically between bookends to store little everyday items – extra flash drives and electronics accessories, post-it notes, tape, etc.
Finally, on the left-hand wall, I mounted a peg-board. I bought a cheap set of hardware (The Home Depot), tin pails (Joann Fabrics), a white metal basket (The Container Store), and glass jars (Target Dollar Section) for cute storage. Nothing too overwhelming or over-cluttered. Just the supplies I use the most.
Step 4 – It’s All In The Details
After I was satisfied with the amount of storage space, I moved on to the finishing details. After all, I not only want to make a space that I enjoy being in, but that inspires me to be creative. This meant lots of personal details and finishing touches to make a closet feel like a warm and inviting work space.
I wanted to create plenty of vertical display space for pictures and inspirational words.
Above the desk, I installed two small floating shelves from Ikea – one long and one short. I displayed art post cards from a Twin Cities gallery, as well a frame with my favorite picture of the twins.
I included one of my favorite quotes on a painted wood slice craft, and turned to a champagne cork to serve as a picture stand for an instagram picture of me and the twins at the zoo.
Next, I turned to the wall on my right and mounted four clipboards. These ones came from the dollar section at Target towards the end of the summer, but you can also score a great deal on clipboards at the dollar store. The printables came from Man Made DIY and Oh So Lovely, and I plan on rotating through printables, quotes, and pictures that inspire me.
Oh, and that little pile of rocks? I stole them off the beach while on a trip to Alaska years back. A wonderful reminder from one of my favorite trips.
Finally, I turned to the doors. Using 3M adhesives, I mounted magnetic panels from Ikea to the inside of both closet doors. How lucky was I that these panels fit perfectly inside the moulding of the doors!?!
I have mounted pictures, magazine articles, and notes to self using two sets of magnets. One came from Ikea, and the other set I made. I just bought a packet of birch discs at the craft store and hot glued magnets to the back of them.
Step 5 – Lighting
I think a step that is most often overlooked in any space is good lighting. I think I am especially sensitive to a lack of light during our wonderful Minnesota winters. At first I was a bit daunted by the thought of running electric cords and installing track lighting, but then a random purchase at Bed Bath & Beyond saved the day – battery-operated remote-controlled puck lights! They velcro right to the ceiling, and there are no electric issues to deal with!
Here’s a budget breakdown, as well as links to sources when I could find them.
- Cut wood for desktop – $45.00
- Paint – $30.00
- Ikea Bookshelf – $50.00
- Pegboard and hardware – $25.00
- Floating Shelves – $35.00
- Lighting – $40.00
- Storage Boxes and plastic baskets - $115.00
- Magnetic Panels and Magnets – $32.00
- Barstool – $60.00
All-told, I spent just under $450 on this workspace. I spent considerably more on this project than I would on others, simply because I was adamant about getting a cohesive look. Plus, some of the expenses are a business deduction.
Whew! That was a long post. If you’re still here, or if your attention span is like mine and you just look at the pictures and scroll to the end, thanks for reading! I had such a great time putting this space together, and I’m thrilled that Remodelaholic asked me to stop by and share my inspiration with you. Have a fantastic day!
Thanks for stopping by, Aimee! Such a great workspace you’ve created!