Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Low-Budget Bedroom Wall Turned Office

After a few weeks of bribing you to come back to see the progress we have been making in our bedroom, I can finally say that this room is getting closer to being done.  The biggest task we have took on so far is completed for now, until I decided to make a tweak here or there.

What am I talking about?

Well, thanks for asking!  Sometimes I ramble on without making any sense.  You’ll have to excuse me from time to time.  Mr. Converse Sneakers and I worked really hard brainstorming a way to incorporate a fully-functional organized (and pretty) office space into our bedroom.  Since the only other living space we have domain over (our roommate gets to dictate what goes on in the upper bedroom, living room, and bathroom) is our downstairs living room which has zero extra space for both of us to use as an office space, the bedroom was our only option for converting.

Let’s take a look at where we started.

In August, our bedroom looked like this:



We were smart and invested in a long desk from Ikea, but the placement was off.  We really liked the bed on the back wall because it was perfectly centered, but the desk area made no sense.

A couple weeks later, the room took on a new arrangement.



We moved the desk along the back wall, added a skirt, and placed the bed on the wall opposite the door.  We had to nix one nightstand and temporarily replace it with that hideous green storage stand because of a pesky step built into the floor (seen in the upper photo above) making our lives a decorating nightmare.  This layout made much more sense, but it did not provide any more storage for our office supplies.

I posted many ideas a little while ago that served as inspiration for our office space.

If I had to choose the two ideas I took the most inspiration from, I would choose this one (below) because I loved the symmetry of the desk in between the shelving units . . .

. . . and this one (below) because of the shelf, color, and cute storage ideas.

Now, drumroll please, here is what our office area looks like now:


Much better, right?  Here is a shot of it straight on:


We definitely combined both of the inspiration photos to come up with our own custom look.  We centered the desk on the wall, added two Ikea Expedit shelving units with three storage boxes (similar in price and look to the Ikea Drona boxes – I cannot find the name of these specific Ikea ones anywhere).  We also added an Ekby Jarpen shelf held up by beautiful curvy Ekby Hensvik brackets.  We used a lot of Ikea products, which we probably wouldn’t normally do because we like a little less modern aesthetic, but the price was right!


The left side is Mr. CS’s side.  The three storage boxes hold electronics (GPS, Nikon DSLR, Sony point-and-shoot, chargers, etc.), various paper items (envelopes, notepads, stamps, notebooks, etc.), with one box almost empty still (yay for overflow space).  The second to top shelf holds a few nick nacks that my hubby loves, a blue mason jar holding coins, a few magazines, and a basket I demanded he keep his keys, ipod, and other everyday items he usually leaves scattered around the apartment.  The top shelf holds some of his things like recipes (since he is a chef and a huge foodie), more magazines, a planner, and a notebook.  We bought the most awesome hanging file bins from Target that are housed on top of the left shelving unit. One is for my papers and one is for his.


To make our lives easier once we find new, smaller nightstands that probably won’t have any drawers, we are using the bottom two storage bins for things like socks and under garments.  The top storage bin houses some of my photography business products like DVDs, business cards, and large envelopes.  The second to the top shelf holds some of my books and my new beautiful camera bag.  We bought a large gray hanging file bin to hold our important papers we need on hand.  The rest of our paper storage is held in a file cabinet in our laundry/storage room (which I am still not brave enough to show you).  I store my school books and a few miscellaneous books in a silver tray on top of the shelving unit.


We are still working out the details with the contents on the shelf, but for now we store some books and use the rest of the space as an area to add pretty details like our ornate pink “S” and a blue frame with one of our engagement photos in it (the frame was a birthday present from Mr. CS a few years back and I still love it).  We cannot use every inch of space on the shelf because the only vent in the room lands right above the shelf.


Below the shelf, I used items we had on hand (two cork squares and a dry-erase board) to create a quick-reference area for notes, reminders, birth announcements, wedding invites, and any inspiration we come by that we want to showcase.  Fun fact: the purple card on the right cork square is the exact card I gave Mr. CS the last day before Christmas break our senior year of high school.  I ended the card with, “If you asked me out right now, I’m not sure I would say no . . . Anyway, have a great Christmas break!”  Such funny memories – that was the card that started this beautiful relationship!


To divide our desk areas, we keep charcoal paper drawers that store our everyday supplies (like white-out, rubberbands, staples, dry-erase markers, etc.) and paper for the printer.  In a mug I bought my hubby a few years ago with picture of various desserts he made at culinary school, we keep pens, pencils, and scissors.


On top of the paper drawers, we keep a floral bin that stores our external harddrives.  On top of that, we bought a stylish letter sorter to keep recent bills, letters, and lists we need to look at in the near future.  Years ago, I made the two floral decorative boxes out of greeting cards with my grandma, which now hold our tacks and paper clips.  I love them!


The one solution I had the hardest time coming up with was where to keep the printer.  It is too big and chunky (not to mention not very pretty) to keep on the desk.  It is too big to fit on either the shelf above the desk or the side shelving units.  The only solution I could come up with was to keep it under the desk.  It’s wireless, so all we have to do is turn it on when we want to use it.  After a week of keeping it there, it has worked out perfectly!  It might not work for all, but it works for us!

Let’s recap the before and after one more time:









What do you think?  Do you have a room that doubles as two rooms in the way it functions?


  1. Nice! Love the new arrangement and organization! The open shelving units are perfect for stashing all your supplies and look great while doing it! Nice job.


  2. Hey, love the shelves! Looks like a lot of storage, and attractive to boot. I like the shelf above the desk too, nice focal point as well as more storage! Great Job!

  3. It looks so great! I think those book shelves were a smart investment too. I bought an Expedit bookshelf 6 or 7 years ago, and we still use it. It's a versatile piece that you can use in future apartments or houses, for sure.

  4. I have a similar bedroom office, so I really wonder when people say it's impossible to work in the bedroom.

  5. The concept is well done. I love the conversion and integration of half-space office in the bedroom. Well done on this.

  6. Everything looks great, congrats! Looks like you made most of the space, without sacrificing style. I work at a virtual office malaysia so I don't have to bother with it.

  7. It actually cleaned up the clutter of your room, though the placing of the cabinet near the door could actually still be improved.

  8. I love the idea of combining the bedroom and the office all in one room. The cabinet looks great as well. By the way, you got good bookshelves there.


Thank you for stopping by! I am a little crazy sometimes (it's probably the red hair), but I would really appreciate if you would leave a comment. I love getting to know my readers and reading what everyone is thinking! - Mrs. Ruffled Flats


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