Our poor office. It has been more than neglected since we moved in. After gratefully being painted a soft grey-blue from its previous shocking orange and blue hues back in March, it’s largely been left untouched.
Move it day (where, under that primer, those bold and awful colours are still peeking through!)
To a couple months later….
Well… Untouched might not quite be accurate. A dumping zone is more like it! A dumping zone for boxes we hadn’t yet unpacked, to storage before the wedding, to post-wedding storage, to holding room for extra furniture we don’t need.
I was stuck for a long time in this room. Every time I tried to find order, something new would swoop in, messing it up again. It didn’t help of course that we didn’t have a proper office previously, therefore lacking any real office furniture to make use of the space. The real issue, though, was that this was the result of the dysfunction of the rest of the space. It wasn’t the office that was the problem, it was all the stuff that ended up here. Tackling the office was a band-aid solution.
To put our office in order, I realized I needed to tackle the real problem- the extra stuff. If you’ve been following me for a little while, you’ll know that I used KonMari, and it worked so well! I have gone through everything I own (with the slight exception of the storage shed downstairs, which is largely Shaun’s stuff) and kept only the things that spark joy, or which are useful, and as a result spark joy as well.
I set aside this whole weekend to finally get my office together. Here’s where it was at the beginning of the weekend,
and here is how it looks like now, at a much more manageable place.
It’s by no means complete, but here’s where I’m at. This my to do list for this room, including what I tackled this weekend:
Clear out excess stuff, KonMari style Buy bookcases Buy and hang doors for bookcases
Sell extra furniture (almost done! We just sold the blue piece and have someone coming by on Wednesday for the white one)
Replace closet doors with curtains
Buy a rug
(Possibly replace the desk?)
Add accessories and style
To begin, I wanted to finish off our bookcase with crisp doors for concealed storage. I contemplated making my own, but when I realize 20% of the cost of the Oxberg Ikea doors that match the Billy bookcase were for hinges alone, I opted against it and went the easy route.
Or so I thought!
I happily found a pair of Billy bookcases on Craigslist at the depth I was looking for 15″- at my local store, they are sold at a much shallower 11″. However, they didn’t come with pre-drilled holes to easily install the doors.
It was a bit tricky at first, but once I had a system, it went smoothly! Scroll down to see how I did it.
Hang IKEA doors on furniture without the pre-drilled holes
If I can do it, you can too!
Here are my bookcases before doors.
(Pardon the iPhone pics. So much easier when drilling at the same time to hold on to!)
1. To start, I measured how far away the other pre-drilled holes were in the existing bookcase, that matched up with the hinges- 1.5″. If you’re using Oxberg doors, this distance should work with your hinges, but double check to make sure.
From there, I drew a line parallel to the edge of the bookcase so I knew how far in my holes would need to be drilled.
2. From there, I held up my door at the height I wanted, and noted how far the hinge (the movable piece) on the door was to the nearest shelf. I found it was easiest to start at the top, and work my way down.
In this photo, we see that it’s 2.5″ away, and will eventually be in line with the piece of the hinge that attaches to the cabinet.
Similarly, keeping the hinge on, I noted where the indent of the hinge height met the drawn line, which ended up being 2.25″ away from the top shelf. This is where you can drill your hole, so drill directly or mark with a pencil and drill from there. Since there is extra vertical space, don’t worry if it’s not completely perfect at this point, since Ikea gave you extra wiggle room.
3. Then, I drilled a hole (and used a piece of painter’s tape on the bit to see how far I would need to drill in each time) and drilled in the top screw, into the “B” section. (You’re drilling the round ones here, not the flat-topped ones). Tada!
5. Gently connect your door and double check your height before screwing it fully in place and adding the bottom screw. If it doesn’t match up, unscrew it slightly, toggle the hinge and retry. I had a few tries, but I only needed to re-drill twice, and both times the hinge covered up the hole.
6. From there, repeat the same steps with the middle hinge.
With your doors screwed in both top hinges where you’d like your door to be, you can gently place the bottom hinge on and drill directly from there, without bothering to measure.
With your next few doors, follow the same measurements as you used for the first, double checking as you go that they line up. Don’t stress too much if you have to re-drill- your hinge will most likely cover up the hole anyway!
Don’t they look lovely? And they’re not even styled, and are missing hardware! Just wait until my next update. I love them already!
And the corner view before bookcases,
I also swapped out our clunky, dysfunctional and often-falling-off-their-tracks sliding closet doors with some airier and soft curtains, hung high and wide (inspired by House*Tweaking). Our closet doors before:
This photo doesn’t do them justice. Just wait until the whole space is freshened up! I do think I’ll have to hem them slightly so that they just “puddle” on the ground. Right now they look a tad unfinished.
On the opposite side, it’s looking less than inspiring. But now that that blue piece is gone and our storage is in check, I have a blank slate, and big plans!
(Yes, you may spy a ninja turtle lamp in the corner. I humour my husband until we have something better, that is clearly sorely needed!)
As much as it’s not my favourite, there is one piece on this side that I truly love. In the first shot you saw a peek- our vintage office chair.
For only $5, it’s perfect! I thought I might have to reupholster it when I bought it, but it ended up being the perfect shade of teal. I was originally envisioning hits of gold in this room, but that shiny silver stand has made me go the in the opposite direction.
And there you have it! It’s definitely not close to done, but I feel so much lighter now that it’s functional and on its way!
Do you have an extra room? Have you made good use of it, or has it not quite yet reached its potential?