Taking Control Challenge: part 2. Crazy Coat Closet to Cozy Workspace Makeover

Haha! You thought I would flake again! Who me? Here, as promised…the big reveal..
By the way, I wish I had time to dig around for photos of the coat closet before. Cos it was heinous. No matter how many times I purged and reorganized it would just be a matter of days before it became a catch all for whomever had the living room chore that day. And no matter how many times I instructed, implored or threatened, people would not remember to close the door on the chaos that lay within. It made me mental. Pretty much every single day for as long as we have lived here. That’s  a lot of time spent feeling mental.
A couple of weeks ago Cindi came over and as is my wont when Cindi comes over (she is my muse) I suddenly got a bee in my bonnet to turn the coat closet into a little reading nook. I pictured taking the doors off and putting a comfy armchair, a lamp and a sweet little bookshelf in there. This would mean that the first thing people saw as they walked up the path to our home would not be a closet vomiting all manner of clothing and sports paraphernalia (and whatever else whomever was cleaning the living room did not feel like dealing with) but an inviting and cozy spot to relax and read.  Oh, it was beautiful in my mind.
The problem is we had no comfy armchair. We did have a small couch but upon dismantling three rooms to get it into the closet we discovered that we had mismeasured-by a hair and it wasn’t going to happen.  I was not deterred, I’m not sure quite what triggered it,no doubt something Cindi said, when it suddenly occurred that this closet had finally found it’s true mission and purpose in life and was about to live up to its full potential.
And then I passed out from the ecstasy of this realization.
When I came around, I got to work.
I determined that this closet was born to be a workspace. And we had discovered that delightful fact it just in time for me to become a student again!
Lo and behold…this is what was created. (Ugh please excuse the horrid photos. I am having major camera issues and in my attempt to fix the haze, the colour got a bit messed up but you will get the general idea..)
Now you see it:                               Now you don’t!
insideoutside
Taking a bit of a closer look. I used wrapping paper I had bought at T.J Maxx a while ago (and rediscovered upon emptying out the coat closet) to “wallpaper” the wall. I actually got the paper because it is incredible quality. Really really thick  and I thought I could use it to decoupage something. (As if I decoupage things. Bygones).
I did not want to paint, or do anything permanent because the closet is cedar (it smells lovely) so put the paper up with sticky tack. Yup. I’m classy like that. I figure I will get sick of it at some point and then I can easily replace it with something new. Ohhhhh! Fun! (These pics are better representing the colour.)
backwall
I mostly shopped around the house the rest. It was absolutely amazing how everything fell into place. 
The desk and chair are both from Ikea. Both for under $20.  The desk fit in there…to the millimeter! It’s not gorgeous and I do want to paint it white when I get a chance, but functionally it definitely does the trick.
The cushion is from Big lots on sale and the blanket (an absolute necessity for me, a cold blooded creature) was from TJ Maxx.
deskshelves
I used water colour scrapbook paper to line the back of the bookshelves because I thought it brightened it up. And I found some random sticky (but not in a permanent way) blue paper for a buck at TJ Maxx for lining the yucky MDF shelves. I thought it was so funny (and awesome) how well all the turquoise-ish things worked together. They were all bought separately at different times.  Truly. None of it was bought together with matching in mind.  How cool is it that the file folders totally coordinate with the “wallpaper?” Even the little metal can I have the plant sitting in, in matches perfectly, and had been sitting in my kitchen looking awkward for ages. It’s the little things, I tell ya.
(The blue photo boxes have been sitting on those shelves for as long as we have lived here and since I didn’t need that space I let them stay, looking pretty and holding photos circa 1998.
The little turquoise rug was also at Big Lots and I found it completely accidentally. I dropped something and when I bent over to pick it up..I saw it rolled to the faaarr back on a shelf. Judging from the ancient looking (and cheap) pricetag I suspect it had been there for years. It was precisely the right colour, length, width and thickness. It helps make things much cozier in here and (weirdly enough) it makes it easier for my chair to roll around.
What makes me happiest about this space is that everything is 100% practical and at my finger tips. From the wastepaper basket to the highlighters.  I finally have a printer..right where I need it to be.  Imagine?! My books are right.there. I have a calendar and white board right in front of my eyes where I cannot miss them.  This has already saved my bacon. This space was meant for me and I for it.  I do not need one inch more. In fact if I had one inch more I would feel compelled to spread out in order to use it, and I would become instantly less efficient. See what a blessing little spaces can be?
Ok no I lied..here’s the best part.  Unlike every other closet workspace I have seen (and yearned for) over the years, this one allows me to go all the way inside, and CLOSE.THE. DOOR. Because the doors are slatted, I have plenty of ventilation and I can peek outside if I need to but it’s crazy how effective just shutting the doors is for helping me to focus and helping my kids to remember that I am trying to work. When I was sitting at a table in the living room they would walk by and remember some random anecdote that they absolutely had to share with me right at that moment, and I would feel compelled to stop and smile and nod politely and make some pertinent comment before I went back to work.  You can imagine how well that went down for my ADD self.  I cannot tell you what the simple act of closing these little doors does for my ability to buckle down and get the job done.  I know this sounds silly but I do believe that it was inspiration. God knows what I need, man.
So that’s my first reveal on taking back control of my house and attitude. I hope to get the next “reveal” in the series up soon. We’ve been breaking all sorts of rules to make our house more fun and functional.
 And again, here’s part one where I talk about taking back control of my relationship with food and consequently my weight.

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2 comments:

Sisters from Another Mister said...

Look at you all Martha ... super impressed by it all. And wish I wish there to share tea when you come out of the closet ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh my GOODNESS!!! It is WONDERFUL! I would have fainted with joy right besides you if I had been there. Muss Cindi, thanks for being a muse, and SO WELL DONE on executing it. My study suddenly looks big and inefficient! I even considered adios-ing the linen cupboard, and making that my study! Aish! You are a genius Girl.