I had been living in my new home for 6 months before I decided what my first project was going to be. An office makeover was the obvious priority due to the colossal amount of time spent working from home. The lack of storage caused my office to be a disorganized mess which made my mind feel just as disorganized – not helpful to anyone! All in, the project cost around $1,200 CAD (including supplies) and took me four weekends to complete after some preparation. Here’s a before and after:
Prep work involved making a design plan using Making Joy and Pretty Things‘ “One Room Makeover Challenge” as inspiration. I was going for a light, airy feel with rose gold and sand-coloured wood accents. Before starting, I also ordered wallpaper and found cabinets.
I scoured craigslist and Facebook marketplace daily to see what kind of deal I could snag on someone’s unwanted kitchen cabinets. I ended up finding mine for $430 CAD without shelves and had to cut IKEA shelf inserts to size. My cabinets encased the previous owners’ fridge with the lower cabinet being above their fridge. I wanted to put the smaller cabinet on the floor so that I could create some cubby space below the tabletop to store paper and craft cutting mats.
With the cabinets sitting in my dining room, I then set out to order two rolls of the chevron-style Birch & Sparrow Wallpaper by Chesapeake in the colour taupe on CanadaDecor.ca. Home RenoVision DIY’s how-to video on wallpapering was super helpful in telling me what I needed for a wallpapering project and how to do it. The prep work concluded with picking up wallpapering supplies.
Weekend #1: Installing Wallpaper and Cabinetry
The first weekend of this project consisted of wallpapering and cabinet installing. Wallpapering took one day with the help of my mom and sister-in-law. Don’t be intimidated by wallpaper – it’s easier than you think!
The next day was our cabinet installing day. Because the lower cabinet was originally above a fridge, I had to pick up stilts for the lower cabinet to sit on, and carefully adjust the height so it matched the stilts of the larger cabinet. The cabinets didn’t come with a footboard either, so I got creative with a pine 1×4 to match the wood accent theme I was going for.
Another challenge was cutting holes in the back of the cabinetry that matched the height of the power outlets. Cable management was going to be difficult, so I made sure that my power bar and any wires would still be accessible once the project was finished.
By the end of the weekend, I had also sourced out the remaining items for installing: floating shelves, a butcherblock tabletop, table legs, and cabinet shelf inserts for the following weekend.
Weekend #2: Shelf Installation and a Trip to IKEA
My sister-in-law and I went to IKEA to pick up floating shelves, a tabletop, table legs, and interior cabinet shelves. This is where I ran into some hiccups after I learned that IKEA had discontinued their fully wooden butcherblocks. The veneered particle board that they now carry wasn’t going to work if I wanted to cut it, so I searched for my next affordable option: Hardwood Reflections 98-inch Unfinished Alder Butcher Block Countertop from Home Depot. This added an extra weekend to my timeline since I would be sealing the unfinished butcherblock before installing it. By the end of the second weekend, I installed the floating shelves and re-took measurements for the new butcherblock.
Weekend #3: Preparing the Tabletop
This weekend was only spent preparing the tabletop. First, I cut 3 inches off the tabletop to set the height of the desk at 27.5 inches from the floor. I used Varathane to seal the tabletop and 3-inch cut that would be used as the cubby-side support.
Weekend #4: Installing the Tabletop and Decorating
The butcherblock was now sealed and ready to install. Support for the tabletop came from the 3-inch cut on the cabinet side, some leftover MDF in the middle, and then IKEA Hilver table legs to support the desk on the window-side.
With the tabletop installed, it was now time to decorate and then stand back to admire my new home office!