August 29, 2016

Office Shed Makeover

Did you know I won a contest?

Not sure how many people I specifically told or not... but yeah it's true! A while back I saw some posts and emails about a contest that the Container Store was running. All you had to do to enter was read a few of their Container Stories blog posts about space makeovers they had done for other people and comment on your favorite one, mentioning your own organization challenges. Container Store turned my makeover into a blog post as well! Check it out by clicking here to see their full story and more pictures!

One of the reasons we bought our house was for the amazing outbuilding which was half finished into an office. As I work from home most days, it was amazing to have a full room to dedicate to my craft supplies, yarn tubs, desk and chair and office supplies. As with most people, the furniture items in there were a mish-mash of Ikea, Walmart stuff, hand me downs, dumpster dive shelves, and old stuff that didn't fit anywhere else.
My original office. A bit cluttered but functional.
So of course I commented on a post, as I often thought about getting better shelving for my shed office space. It's not that it didn't function ok, but it was suboptimal. And then I got an email saying congratulations for winning! At first I was sure it was a scam, but I did enter, so maybe not? The email wasn't shady or anything, I just was so unbelieving that I might have won something. I called up customer service and verified that the person who sent the email did indeed work for them, so at that point I figured it was legit. I had won a space makeover with Elfa products!

After signing a few different forms, we set up a time for a photographer to come out and shoot the before pictures. I didn't even vacuum out the bugs. Then came a person to measure the space. After that the floor plan was sent off to the design people to figure out the best configuration. I got to give my input on the configuration, making a few tweaks since I'm left handed, as well as the colors of the hardware and shelving itself. I ended up picking white hardware to match the trim and baseboards in the room already, and sand shelving to match the wood laminate floors. With the purple on the walls I wanted to keep it light and clean looking in there.
The clean and empty space with Elfa delivered.
During this time I spent about two days going through all the stuff, throwing out what I didn't need, donating what I didn't want, and moving the furniture out to the other side of the shed, which is separate and is a garage space. After that I had to clean the room itself. Being a shed outside, it does tend to collect bugs like no other, even though I do get it treated just like the house. First vacuum for the dirt, a second for the large dead bugs, and a third to get the cobwebs and moldings.

A few days later we scheduled delivery and installation. I did my best to stay out of line of sight of the shed all morning of the install as I wanted to keep it a surprise for myself. There is a big difference between seeing a line drawing and the real thing in the space. Once it was in, I was shocked at how big the room felt. The new long desk space running down one full wall was amazing, and all my art books and supplies now fit in orderly and neat ways.
The installed shelving with a happy dog for scale.
I did tweak the placement of one shelf up just a bit to be able to slide my clear tubs underneath the bottom shelf. I used a few of the drawer bins from an old cart for more compartment storage on the shelves of various smaller art supplies. Now that so much of the walls were shelves I did have to move a lot of the art to sit on the shelves, but I have plenty of space for that and to grow into. I still have two empty drawers and tons of space to fill.
Before again.
The finished space. Art back on the walls, comfy chair back in. 
I can totally see myself continuing to tweak and arrange and add to this space, but for now it is simply a dream come true. As my mom always says: If you don't enter you can't win!

So I don't buy physical CDs anymore, who does, but I had a lot of old album art inserts in my stash of stuff that I didn't want to throw out. So instead I cut off the cover art of each one and tossed the rest. Eight of those covers, mainly for anime and Katamari Damacy, went into a frame on the wall (you can see it on the left in the finished space image above) and the rest sat in a drawer. At Ikea this weekend I saw they had a glass topper for their long Hemnes dresser, which is the set I have in my bedroom, but that glass topper was also the perfect size to fit on my new Elfa desk!

So I took all the album covers and laid them out in a grid on the desk under the space where the glass would go (affixing them with a little bit of tape) and then just set the glass down on top on its rubber feet. Volia! Nice smooth long desktop with cool art underneath. It's so cool to have good colors and nostalgic art right at my fingertips.