Saturday, February 18, 2012

Office Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

(does anyone else get annoyed by the odd spacing between paragraphs?  I do, but I can't figure out how to fix it.  meh.)

You guys are in for a treat today!  Ok, not really.  But play along with me.  You see, usually my posts suffer from extreme delay, because I'm usually only motivated enough to take photos OR write posts at any given time.  So it takes me a long time to actually download photos to my computer and write up a post to go along with them.  Which would explain why I've had updated guest room photos ready to go for months now without actually showing you the guest room.

But TODAY I am just so super excited about the project I just finished that I'm actually posting in real time!

So, as you may remember, when we moved in to this house almost a year ago (!!) our 3rd bedroom/office had delightful mirrored closet doors.

The rest of the room was also really classy and beautiful.  

Why yes that IS a doorway leading to the garage, which was illegally converted into a bedroom!  And of course the walls are patched with wood putty, what do YOU use to patch holes in plaster walls?

Anyhow, Sean was so impressed with the mirrored closet doors that he tore them out and threw them in our rented dumpster on the first weekend we owned the house.  

Now, I'm not saying I liked the doors, but this would not have been my personal choice.  If I hadn't been off somewhere when Sean was demolishing the doors, I probably would have explained to him that it makes sense to keep the doors in place for now while we figure out how/when we are going to replace them.

Anyway, the doors went bye-bye.  And my closet has remained doorless for approximately 355 days.  

(Brief explanation: since our bedroom closet is teeny tiny and we live by ourselves, Sean took over the guest room closet and I took over the office closet as our personal closets.  It works for now, we can just never have kids if we want closet space)

You see, as it turned out, it wasn't so easy to find replacement closet doors.  The only stock closet doors that the big home improvement stores sell are: (a) mirrored; (b) super super cheapo plastic fake wood; or (c) frosted glass.  None of these were what we wanted.  We had in mind plain white wooden closet doors, which are IMPOSSIBLE to find.

I shopped around for a while, researched a lot, and then a year passed.  We had a few false starts, like when we tried to special order doors from Home Depot only to find out (a week or so after we tried to order them) that they were discontinued.  In the meantime, I hung a curtain in my closet and it was almost as classy as the original mirrored doors.

A few weeks ago, I resolved that I was going to make closet doors.  A few pieces of plywood, some trim pieces, paint, and we're done!  So we headed to Lowes to check out lumber.  And somehow ended up in the interior door aisle.  And it was there we figured out that we could just buy plain interior doors, buy sliding closet door hardware, and rig up out own closet doors.  Durr.  

So, we ordered doors!  They were special order at $120 a pop, which seems a little expensive but who knows, I'm not really in the business of buying doors often.  In contrast, cheapo mirrored doors in the same size would cost about $100 for the set, rather than the $240 for the set that we paid.  But we got solid wood doors that are exactly the style we wanted.  And I had a Lowes gift card from my wonderful and generous Anna Donna which helped.  So I think it was worth it!

Good lord I'm writing a lot about our closet door search.  Hopefully this lets you know what a stress these closet doors (or lack thereof) has been in my life over the past year.  

Once we ordered the closet doors, this was not the end of it.  I won't get into detail, but Lowes totally screwed up our order.  When we went to go pick up the doors (which we had to rent a UHaul to do because these babies are 80" tall and would not fit in my petite Honda Insight) they told us only one of the doors had come in.  Uh, ok.  Then a week later they called us and said oops!  We had the second door all along, come pick it up.  Except no way I was spending another $40 on a UHaul because of their mistake.  So we got them to pay for delivery.  FASCINATING STORY, EH?

Then once they got here, I had to paint them since they only came primed.  This was fun, I guess?  I did three coats of our favorite $5 white paint in satin.  Maybe I should have done semi-gloss.  We'll see.

This morning I had the joy of installation.  I will spare you the gory details but of course this wasn't simple and required drilling and re-drilling about 40 holes, going to Home Depot to get a 1x4 because nothing in our house is standard size or even and I had to kind of rig up the track so that the doors fit.  And I stabbed myself in the pinky with a screwdriver, and stepped on a sharp drill bit.  This project literally involved blood, sweat, and tears.

But now it's done.

And it's beautiful.

Yes, I whipped out my $10 wide angle lens again because this room is teeeeeeeny.

It's shocking how much more this room looks finished now that there's closet doors instead of a cheap curtain nailed to the wall.

Oh, I also re-arranged the office since we spoke last.  And bought a rug (I dig it).  And some shelving.  And let Ernie's hair get way too long.

I also replaced the blinds with the white blinds that were in our bedroom when we moved in.  Except I only had two.  So there's one ugly wood blind in the office.  It's on my to-do list to fix, I promise.

I've just thrown things on the shelves so they don't look pretty.  Sorry.  I also don't know what that mirror is doing there on top but I didn't know where else to put it.

I like this photo because two dogs snuck in to it.  Oh, you'll also notice that there's no door to the office.  That's another project in the works.  Hopefully not one that will take a year.

For some reason this is the only room I hang stuff on the walls in.  This is my map art.  I don't know if I like the black frames, but I was afraid white frames would look weird with the off-white-ness of the antique maps.  Meh.  These are all places that we've lived/have special meaning for us (California on the left, Connecticut in the middle, the UK on the right, and the world on top.  Duh.)

Ernie stares off into space a lot.  Not the sharpest tool in the shed, this one.

I think this covers most angles of this room.  I really like how it's turned out - it's still evolving day by day, but overall it's a really useful space that also (I think) looks pretty.  I actually work from home a fair amount on the weekends and evenings, and it really helps having a nice, bright space like this.

So you don't have to scroll up, and because everyone loves a good before and after...



So, there you have it.  Closet doors.  Woo!


  1. I found my way here - what a great job! I hardly recognized the office - and the desk that you built, you are a goddess! Its a great space, even if Ernie is pretending that he doesn't like it, I do. Well done, daughter!

  2. I found my way here - what a great job! I hardly recognized the office - and the desk that you built, you are a goddess! Its a great space, even if Ernie is pretending that he doesn't like it, I do. Well done, daughter!