From Closet to Workstation
An empty bedroom doesn’t always make a great office. From a holistic and functional perspective, the main level of the home was redesigned to accommodate the primary living areas. It only made sense to take the only spare bedroom on this level and make it into a space that had been absent from the remainder of the house plans: the office.
A spare closet in an office doesn’t have to be an eye sore, nor does it have to be functionally awkward. A great way to make the most of the space, without tearing down the existing closet structure, is to take off the closet doors, and make it look intentional. Whether it’s integrated shelving, a reading nook, or in this case, a workstation – there are endless ways to take advantage of the closet that once was.
Step 1: Frame-in
The goal here is to close-off the upper portion of the closet to give the effect of a built-in. Depending on the depth of the closet, you may need to install strapping for the drywall. Our closet was narrow enough that the existing framing along with a new back-wall plate would be enough to support the drywall.
A good way to ensure you end-up with a level ceiling is to place a 4-ft level flush with the existing structure – this will allow you to find the best spot for the framing to be installed on the back-wall of the closet. After finding the studs on the back-wall of the closet, nail-in the supporting 2×4 – framing nailers make this part a breeze.
Step 2: Electrical
Options here are limitless – we focused on function and aesthetics. Task lighting made sense for the space, and so did monitor and component outlets to minimize exposed wiring. Our friendly electrician set us up with outlets at monitor height, outlets below table top height, and a switch and wiring for a couple of recessed lights.
Step 3: Box-in
This step was likely the quickest, as we only needed three pieces of drywall to be hung – no tricks here, just hang it and screw it – a good snap off knife, 1/2 inch drywall and 1-1/4 inch drywall screws are all you’ll need for this step. Just make sure if your electrician has left wires hanging for the lights, that they are buried by the new drywall.
Step 4: Fish-out Wiring
The caption explains it – if you’re doing recessed lighting, you’ll need to measure and cut out the supplied template, and fish out the wires to be used for the lighting. Your electrician should also be able to do this step – we’re picky about placement so we did this step ourselves.
Step 5: Mudding & Taping
We really get that mudding is an art… just not an art the Reimagine team has fully mastered yet. We left this part to the pros, but if you’re handy with the knife and trowel, go for it!
Step 6: Prime, Paint, and Finishing Touches
You’ll want to prime the works, and give it a few thick coats of paint. At this point you can also finish up the electrical fixtures, if you’re comfortable with electrical work, you may not need to get your electrician over, but we strongly recommend it anyway. Lights, switches, and outlets installed, as well as any finishing work like baseboard trim should be completed at this stage. As it stands, this project is complete from a structural perspective, and the rest is all about accessorizing.
Step 7: Dress It Up
Go crazy or keep it simple, we recommend adding accessories that make sense for your setup. We added some USB desk grommets from Monoprice to limit exposed wires; these add further functionality as they allow you to connect smaller peripherals on your desk like mobile devices, cameras, external hard drives, etc.