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Monday, 11 March 2013

A new office space for under $130

We bought this house in January and other than painting we really haven't had a chance to do much else to it.  Fortunately, the house is in good shape and does not need a lot done. But it did need an office and I did this one for under $130!

Finished office space

It is a three bedroom home.  That Guy and I plus the kids occupy all three of them. With myself running several small businesses we were starting the feel the need for a designated office space.
It didn't have to be big, but it did have to be functional.  Plus, with the long term vision of the children doing their homework there and having a computer in the space, it was very important to us that it not be a closed off room but a central dedicated space.

So we decided to make use of this little nook.  This strange nook is between our entrance way and our kitchen and home to our basement door on the other side. Since moving in it has been used as a catchall, for junk and things that belonged in the basement but no one wanted to take all the way down stairs yet.
The walls were pretty banged up and the space is narrow but since we had no other nooks to work with, this was going to have to make due.
"Before" photo of the nook

We knew we wanted a floating "shelf" as the primary surface.  We figured we could re purpose some old counter tops on the cheap. Down to the ReStore (Habitat for Humanity store of donated and salvaged items for home improvement. They sell everything from paint and doorknobs to entire kitchen cabinets and windows).  But it was for naught since there was only a slab of granite counter top there.  Even if I wanted to pay $150 for a place to set a computer screen on (I did not) I am not a fan of having radioactive stone in my kitchen space- and never would I have it as a surface on which to prepare food.
I took a look on and but found nothing which would be suitable for our needs. I had to buy new. *sigh*

Down at the home improvement store though I was pleasantly surprised that we could pick up an 8ft stretch of plywood for just under $11.  We only have a 6 1/2ft nook, so that would leave us enough left over for a functional shelf below. Win! Add in screws and the lumber needed to build shelf support, and we are at $26.

The previous owners of this house had thoughtfully left us very well labelled cans of the paint colours used in the house. So we filled old picture holes, sanded and repainted all with on hand supplies.

The plywood was functional, but not overly pretty. So I painted it with three coats of chalkboard paint, using up the last of the chalkboard paint I had on hand.

A trip to the dollar store got me all the accessories I would need to be productive in that space (desk organizer, pens, whiteboard eraser, cork board, pushpins ect) Total there was about $12.

At our old house, before Audrey was on her way, our third bedroom was used as an office space. We had a traditional set up with a computer desk, computer tower, monitor, keyboard, mouse and such. When we needed that space for Audrey's bedroom and we attached our computer tower to our TV screen and did away with cable I was strongly in favour of getting rid of all the parts we didn't need anymore (corded keyboard and mouse, monitor, speakers ect) It was a good thing That Guy did not listen to me and held on to them. Now we had them for the office space at no cost to us.  Well, minus the computer tower.(since we are currently using it and have to plans to give it up).... and nothing works without the tower.....
Back on I went and this time found what I was looking for. After bargaining with the seller from his original asking price of $100 to the rock bottom steal of $90 (some suggest I need bargaining practice but I don't know what they are talking about) we had a deal- and a functional office space.

My wall art was self-made. Using on-hand black self-adhesive vinyl and my Cricut cutting machine I cut out all the letters and little corner flourishes. I had That Guy draw faint pencil lines on the wall so I could place my letters- I never would have got them straight trying to eyeball it.

A spare dining chair, some potted flowers given to me by a sweet friend and the space was complete.

1 comment:

  1. That's a very creative way to make use of that strange nook. I also have to say that I'm very impressed that you created an office space on a small budget. I like the long desk space and the possibility that two people can work side by side as well as using the space below the table for storage. Great job!