Diane DeMasi

Freelance Writer & Author
Designing A Home Office

Designing A Home Office

First Steps First

This whole designing a bedroom/ game room into a home office remodel is exciting and scary.

This is my first attempt at tackling a full design for a room of any kind. When we moved into our home we brought our old furniture with us. We didn’t plan a layout, we worked the furniture we had into the space we just bought. We kept things, like wall paint, or furniture upgrades over the years, fairly neutral to prevent clashing. I guess our style would be considered eclectic, or maybe just cheap.

Now, I want a cohesive look, but I also have to mind a tiny budget. So here’s what I’ve done what I’ve learned so far, and what I’m planning.

First, I learned I should clean out the space. Don’t buy containers or shelves or anything until you get the room cleaned out. Step one, for me, is almost complete. I’m waiting patiently for my husband to help me disassemble the loft bed. He has projects he needs to accomplish around the house and I’ve made the office my main project. So, last weekend we didn’t work on our projects. Instead, we worked on projects for others by offering up muscle to move furniture and do yard work. Because, that’s how life works.

I have cleared out most of the games and equipment left behind. I purchased new containers to put the games in so they would fit under the bunk beds in the boys’ room. So I messed up on Rule 1. I bought storage bins first, but I didn’t have nice bins to store under the bed, so it was kind of necessary. Wal-mart (no, this is not a sponsored or affiliated post) had the perfect size bins for $4.5? each and six of them fit perfectly under a normal twin-size bunk bed.

Draw the Room to Scale

Side Note: I have not consulted a designer, nor have I followed one person’s design tips online. I’m pulling from the most common tips I’ve come across from websites and blogs to YouTube videos. My head is spinning.

Now, I’m not an architect, nor am I a math whiz, so my “to scale” drawing isn’t exactly a perfect scale. However, I’m pretty proud of it. I’m so proud, I made it the featured image.

Two Squares = 1 foot (approximately – which means I drew it as if there weren’t any inches accounted for because the lines didn’t match up and, quite frankly, I have no idea how to get inches to scale with feet).

I did learn a rather surprising detail once my husband and I measured the bedroom turned home office. The builders didn’t utilize the space well. If you look at the layout picture, between the closet and the wall that the door opens onto, there’s a gap. Outside the room, there’s a wall. So there are a couple of feet of wasted space there. And don’t get me started on all the weird angles around the door, I think the builders were drunk.

Decide on Room Color Palette

I’ve decided on a few shades of blue, from a deep navy to a lighter semi-smokey blue. My idea is that the floors will have a dark wood tone and so will the desk. I’ll bring in a small pattern on the curtains. I’m not a big pattern person, but I know it’ll look a bit dull without at least one pattern. So I picked a deep blue and white herringbone set of curtain panels. Just enough of a pattern to break up the monotony, but not so much that it’s chaotic.

I really like the Navy and Bracing Blue (paint strips from Sherwin Williams – again no sponsorship or affiliations), but I think the Anchor’s Aweigh (the one I’m holding) is a better dark blue match. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

The main wall color will be Bracing Blue and I’d like to do an accent wall, but I’m not sure if I should do the window nook in such a dark color as the Navy or Anchor’s Aweigh. The file cabinets that will make up my desktop support system will be one of the darker blue tones.

Rip Out the Carpet and Paint

The next step, once we get the loft bed and dresser out, will be to rip out the carpet. It’s nasty. It’s worn by the door area and there are stains galore. Eventually, we’ll carpet the whole upstairs (possibly in a few years) so I don’t want to do anything expensive with the floor yet. What I’m thinking is either painting the plywood subfloor or staining it in a dark wood tone. If I stain it, I’m not shellacking it. That’s too much work for a floor that will get taken care of in a few years.

Once I’ve stained or painted the floor, I will get an area rug for the center of the room. It won’t have a pattern, maybe a few different colors speckled in.

If you have ever painted or stained an area where you’ve ripped out the carpet, what were the pros and cons of your choice? And if you have other cheap ideas for dealing with the floor, please, let me know in the comments.

The Process is Not easy

Designing a home office is overwhelming. I know I need to go slow, but even still, I’m wavering on some of my decisions, like the desktop.

I really want my husband to make me a long desktop out of wood. However, I’m afraid it might warp or get too many divets in it and then it won’t be a smooth surface. I know I don’t want glass on top of it, because I’m just not fond of glass-topped tables, but maybe a sheet of acrylic? I don’t know.

If you’ve done a hardwood desktop what are the pros and cons?

Thanks for reading and I would love to hear your ideas and what’s worked for you or what didn’t work.

If you’d like to see the room I’m working with, I did a small video (well, 8 min.) before I began to remove the remnants. You can watch it here on YouTube:

At least I taught my oldest to be frugal, most of his games came from second-hand stores and garage sales.