Our Home Office Remodel :: What We Did

It’s time for me to share another remodeling project with you:  the home office that my husband and I share.

This isn’t the prettiest post, but I think you’ll enjoy seeing what we did.    Next up:  The reveal!!!

I don’t have a true “before” photo of the entire room we use as our home office, so I’ll just have to tell you that it’s a square 13′ x 13′ room.   All of the walls were covered in drywall, and the ceiling was covered with bad acoustical tiles — the same ugly squares that were in the kitchen  … and every room in the house.

It had a little walk-in closet in one corner of the room, and I do mean little.   We assumed it was used as a kitchen pantry and maybe a linen closet, but we’ll never be sure.  We bought our home as a foreclosure, and the prior owners were already long gone.

Pantry (or what we assumed was the pantry) was originally in our office - Living Vintage

The first thing we did was tear down all of the drywall to reveal the original pine walls.

removing drywall and old wallpaper - Living Vintage

Tearing out the sheetrock revealed pretty wallpaper.  I regret not keeping and framing a small piece of it.

old wallpaper that was in the closet - Living Vintage

After the drywall was gone and the mess cleaned up, we decided to make some configuration changes to the square footage.

We removed one wall in our office and moved it out about 3 feet.

You see, the room we use as our home office is situated between our living room and kitchen.  We knew the closet could be modified to create a bigger pantry in the kitchen AND a coat/storage closet in the living room.

deconstructing the existing closet, moving the HVAC return, and installing new electrical outlets - Living Vintage

This photo explains it a little better, I think.

demo of the closet - Living Vintage

Sure, we lost a few feet in our office, but we don’t really need a huge office space.

After moving the wall framing out, we reconstructed the wall and cut a doorway for the pantry into the kitchen.

We also had to move the HVAC air return and some of the electrical outlets.

reinstalling the wood to the office wall after expansion - Living Vintage

This photo was taken shortly after we got that project done (which was just a few months after buying our place).  Honestly, I’m embarrassed to show it to you, but it’s the only photo I have of the finished office wall.

The finished office wall after expansion of the kitchen pantry - Living Vintage

(We were still living out of boxes at the time and making due with cheap plastic office tables.)

After that project was done, we concentrated on remodeling our kitchen and bathrooms.  Those rooms were high priority.

The office could wait.    As long as we had internet connectivity and functioning computers, we were fine for a while.  But eventually, we got our more pressing projects done, and we circled back to remodeling our office.

Our first major purchase for the office was an old general store cabinet that we bought at the Marburger Farm Antique Show.  The base of the cabinet is shown below.

You can also see some of our land. We live on 10 acres.  About 4 acres is cleared.  The rest is wooded.

base of blue cabinet before installing beadboard - Living Vintage

When we first brought it home, we decided we wanted to spruce it up a bit.  We had some leftover old, blue beadboard — the same beadboard that we used in our mudroom — and Mark installed it to the back of the cabinet.

installing beadboard to the blue cabinet - Living Vintage

After that, we brought it inside and it sat in our dogtrot for a good while.  Even though we had bought it for our office, I considered using it for our laundry room, but we decided it would be more functional in the office.

Another consideration:  the cabinet is pretty large, and our office is larger than our laundry room.

blue cabinet - use in the office or laundry room - Living Vintage

We moved the cabinet into the office as soon as we could.

Both pieces weigh a ton, and Mark and I had to hire help to get it installed.

installing the blue cabinet in the office - Living Vintage

Of course, I had to paint the room before we installed it.  The finish paint is Sherwin-Williams Wool Skein.

painting the office walls - Living Vintage

busy painting the office walls - Living Vintage

Next, Mark and I built desks out of reclaimed wood.    You can read about that project here and here.

We built desks using reclaimed wood - Living Vintage

This is my desk.  I use the old bucket as a trash can.  The wire in-box is vintage.

My office desk made with reclaimed wood - Living Vintage

Next, we made office shelves for Mark’s desk out of plumbing pipe and reclaimed wood.   Unfortunately, this is “best” photos of that project.

industrial shelves built with plumbing pipe and reclaimed wood - Living Vintage

I know.  It’s both sad and hilarious that’s all I have to show you of that particular project.

I started my blog months later, so taking photos really wasn’t something I thought of too much back then.

I can tell you that the photo below (found on Pinterest) is where we got the idea.  You may recognize it?

Idea for industrial office shelves

While Mark was happy building a cabinet out of reclaimed wood and plumbing pipe (and I really like the industrial look also!), I wanted to hold out and try to find an antique cubby cabinet.

You have to understand:  I truly have this thing for cabinets with small drawers and cubbies.

I got lucky and found one at Warrenton.  The dealer told me it came out of an old general store.  You’ll see it on the reveal.   It’s one of my favorite things.

That’s about all of the WHAT we did (other than decorating).

Like I said, our home office reveal is coming your way next week!  I can’t wait to show it to you!

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  1. can’t wait to see the reveal! You guys have such vision for this old house of yours……thank you for sharing with us out here sippin our morning coffee looking for inspiration in our own homes……

  2. TKraft Art & Interiors says:

    Kim, truly an inspiration of fortitude… and if Mark and you can share this much sweat on a project does the room size really matter in the long run. I love how the office aka work central is open to the food central, both gathering places in your home. Can’t wait to see the office revel and see what you scored at Warrentown. I’m going to scour your blog again and find where that long table in the truck photo landed? Can you give me a clue, I did’t find it yet… maybe it went to a client? TGIF and a long wknd 2 boot – Enjoy!

    • TKraft,

      You and my husband think alike…he would love for the master bedroom to connect to food central too, but that isn’t in the design plans.
      The long table you asked about landed in our dining room aka dogtrot. We haven’t finished that room yet, so I haven’t blogged about it yet.
      Do be patient my friend.

  3. I was suffering withdrawal after not being on the computer all day. Then I came home and saw your blog. Withdrawal symptoms withdrawn now! Love the cabinet and shelving! Can’t wait for reveal!

  4. oh, i can tell i’m gonna love this:)

  5. I just found your blog and LOVE IT! I just recently graduated with my Art degree and am now just making art in our new little house out in the boondocks. I’ve always LOVED all things vintage and historical, and it is what I focus most of my art on. Right now I make some crafty things to supplement our income but hope that one day I can work on houses similar to what you guys are doing!! I would love it if you would come share this on my weekly blog party!!
    So looking forward to get to know you :)

    • Gracie, I’m absolutely, positively delighted that you found my blog and reached out to me. Oh, to be young again and doing what you love! I will definitely be stopping by your blog.

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