Friday, July 15, 2016

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Office



View from my tiny office. Sorry so blurry, the camera on my phone
has had some attitude issues lately.

Last October, when we moved out of the camper and into our grain bin house, I asked my husband, "Please make me a desk, any kind of desk, I don't care what it looks like." I was seven weeks into classes and so tired of doing the majority of my work at school. I needed a home base for my course work, and the previous desks we had in our prior home were too large. So, dutiful guy that he is, he grabbed a hollow core door from the decrepit house on our property, propped it up with old file cabinets and pieces of two by fours, and voila! I had a place to do homework.

I made it work but, the door/desk was ugly and I had no desire to put forth the effort to paint it. It had limited space for spreading out my work, and its feng shui was totally kitty wampus. But, we had other projects of more pressing importance like building our kitchen counter top, and securing shelter for our livestock for the winter. So my desk was put on the way, way, back burner.

Until last week.

Keith had been saving a lovely piece of oak veneered plywood for me, and he was happy to rip out my temporary desk and build me a new one. Of course as with all built-ins here, nothing is square or perfectly straight. Here is my professionally done office floor plan. Can you see the challenges?



With Keith as our scale model, he's average height and weight, you can see how cramped the space is,



and yet, he managed to do a fantastic job of cutting out my new desk to fit the curved grain bin wall. We used newspapers taped to the floor to make the template. Since his shop space is very limited, we both did much of the work outside, like sanding and applying a couple coats of polyurethane.




Supported by solid wall braces only, no legs, it gives me tons of storage room underneath. The hole at the top will allow me to thread all my computer/printer wires down to my CPU without cluttering up desktop space, which is now almost twice what it was before.






Meeting my cubby shelves at a right angle, the desk placement allows me to easily turn and grab what I need. I'm now actively seeking some old file cabinets to slide under my desk.


On the opposite side of the office is my built in seating area. We  took a solid bookshelf my father built in the 70's, flipped it over face down on the floor and placed the old futon mattress from the camper on the back of the bookshelf.  It's long enough for a grandchild to sleep on and perfect for sitting with a good read.


The white shelf unit above, also came out of the decrepit house.


After cleaning and white-washing it, it is now a great place for paperbacks and memorabilia. Thus, every piece of furniture in this itsy bitsy teeny weeny office was recycled, reclaimed, or repurposed,  putting it in solid working order for the picky ass writer-wife who felt she was above a hollow core door desk.

Personal standards are so limiting.


20 comments:

  1. I like it. A great use of resources too. That nook looks very cosy and inviting to do work in.

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    1. Since we live on 7 acres and I spend a good amount of time outdoors, this little space feels comforting to me. My reading nook is super comfy!

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  2. Good work. Ingenious, practical, attractive and thrifty! You must be pleased.

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    1. Yes, my husband is all those things! I am more than pleased. :)

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  3. And you still have room to add shelves and storage above the desk. Packed a lot of function into that space!

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    1. Think vertically, that is our motto here. How can we get more up on the walls and still be able to reach it? Shelf by shelf, we are getting there.

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  4. Oh, I do love a small mentality! I once lived in a tiny apartment, tiny tiny, I converted the bedroom closet into my office. Honestly the compact space stimulated my imagination -- it was like being a child again in a tree house or fort -- creating my own world. I'm sure you're going to have lots of fun in there. One question. Lighting? I see no lights. I always needed good lights. My plant-like brain needs lots of bright. (Keith could stand over you. He's seems to be pretty darn bright.)

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    1. P. S. Just sent you an email.

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    2. Kris, that was a great idea you sent me for the bookshelf supporting my keister in the reading nook. Thanks so much!

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    3. And...when I was at NUIG last summer, my little Irish apt was super small too. I so loved it and it well prepared me for the move into our GBH. Yes, there are lights in my office (besides my bright hubbie, thanks so much) There is one just behind my computer monitor, one up high hanging from the ceiling, and one on my large cubby shelf that points down on my reading nook. I too, enjoy being lit up.

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    4. And doesn't every writer need a keister cupboard? ;-D

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  5. Love it! Mike built my desk in our house, but he didn't have challenges like that! It fit very nicely between two square built in bookcases.

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    1. Hi Deborah, we're never done with these houses built by our own hands are we? Oh well, custom builds may be slower but they are SO MUCH BETTER than the pre-fab homes I see that last all of five years.

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  6. I, too, had a hollow core door for a desk - with two of those plastic drawer units holding it up - temporary desk, you understand, for ten years. The door was too wide & too high for comfort so it just gathered plants, cats & junk. I love your angled desktop. It's just enough room for comfort with storage under & over. I mean, who wouldn't love an oak desk in a cozy little nook??? And all of it on the cheap - er, recycled too!!

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    1. Thanks Sharon. It's funny how temporary can last a decade sometimes isn't it?

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  7. You both come up with the most ingenious ideas, well done, it looks great.

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    1. "Ingenious" is a very thin line away from "Insane" some days, but at least we go to bed tired.

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  8. You both are creating such a wonderful space. We enjoy watching the "Tiny House" shows and it's amazing to see the ideas they come up for fitting things into small spaces and making things multipurpose. You could have a show on "round house living". That's a whole other kind of spatial geometry, ha.

    Love your desk!

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  9. We like to think of ourselves as "conical folk" we are after all, part of the whole conehead generation. Oh How I miss Gilda!

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  10. I love your little nook.

    The only thing I would add to your desk (as I added to mine) is a little shelf on legs that follows the contours of the desk top and is against the wall. I have the computer monitor, a row of books and all the bits and pieces that used to be on the desk top on mine. It's amazing how much extra space it frees up and it's only 9 inches wide.

    I love that you have repurposed everything, especially your seating area.

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