Moving brings a lot of excitement as you find new places for your things and get to change up your decorations. However, anyone that’s moved can tell you that sometimes your new place doesn’t really work with your old stuff.

What to do? Who has the ability to go buy new furniture every time they move? Ok, maybe you move less than me. I’m in my 12th home in 14 years. That is just not a viable option for me.

I am a big believer in frugality. We moved into here and we swapped our mission style futon for a lovely green sofa with another family. This worked great for both of us.

But the office. Oh what a fright it was. No, I don’t have before pictures. Trust me, it was dreadful. Hodgepodge of this and that. Picture this, if you so desire: Two totally different computer desks, a kitchen table, two low white bookcases, one tall MDF bookcase, a drafting table…

What’s that? Please stop? The monstrosity of eclectic furniture too much for you? Us, too.

We moved in and I knew this bedroom would become our office. I had ideas, hopes, dreams for what it could be… but I just wasn’t sure how to make it happen.

Enter my father-in-law. He happened upon some countertops that were destined for the dump. Perfectly good countertops that had already been used for desks somewhere. He liberated these countertops, saving our landfills.

He turned one into a great table at his house. Wow, that thing is nice. He’s very industrious that way. Every time we go visit, we get to see his latest project on the house. Hopefully, we can be the same way! He is my inspiration!

He sent us three of these countertops. So we now had the perfect surface, but what else do we do? We brainstormed and came up with an idea, we just needed the money and the time.

Money and time – the two killers in any home improvement project, right?

Christmas gave us the perfect opportunity. Two weeks of vacation combined with some Home Depot gift cards.

Two boys and a dad set out to embark on a two day mission possible: Turn the nightmare of an office into a great place.

Could they do it?

First, after removing as much from the room as we could, there was the measuring. Following that, they attached 2×4’s to the chosen wall in our office. Take a look:

That’s right, my boys helped dad with everything!

After the 2×4’s were in place, next came the countertops. We ended up having to cut one in order for it to fit. We have saved that scrap of a countertop for a possible future use. We’d hoped for a little addition for our printer, but it is just a hair too small for the current printer. We’ll see what we decide. We also have one whole countertop left over.

Using L brackets, the countertops attached to the 2×4’s. While this held them in place, we in no way trusted it to do the job of holding moniters and other desk things, so the guys cut up some 4×4’s to make legs.

Is this project fully complete? No. We still need to paint the legs and properly attach them. We are unsure if we have them in the exact placement we’d like for them.

Now we had a new surface for computers/desk space so it was time to set everything up. Take a look:

Doesn’t this look nice? You can see the holes that the previous users cut for cables and whatnot to feed through. We have three of these. Because of the cut in the one countertop, we lost that hole. My husband measured it, and cut a new one. This gives us the ability for four workstations!

So you ready for the final view of the room? Take a look!

You walk in and see this:

That’s my corner of the room set up for sewing and crafting. Our next desire for this room is to make that closet a little more useful. Right now we’re doing with what we have – lots of plastics shelves and drawers! Maybe even a place for my stamps might show up in that closet! See my sewing machine? Underneath on that desk is my quilt project I hope to finish soon. The serger is my mother’s and I’ve staked a claim on it for the time being. HA! Best of all, I can look outside while I work, since I have the window seat! Prime real estate!

Keep going and you see this:

That white board needs to be mounted. It’s where I list our current homeschooling plans and family messages and the whatnot. The first workstation is Caramon’s Batman computer.

Then you get to the middle of the new desk:

Our spare laptop is there as is my husband’s workstation. He’s got the Demon Computer. The thing hanging on the wall above our desk centers over his workstation because it is an industry article about a project he worked on. His former boss had it framed for us. OK, really, I just wanted it out of our bedroom and it covered up the ugly giant sized holes in the wall from the previous owners. And the wacky mismatched white paints. Plus, I think it is great to have something proclaiming how awesome my husband is at his job above something awesome he made – like this desk!

Next up:

The end of the desk holds Joram’s workstation – The Spidey Computer.

Yes, we have the two bookcases still in there. They are empty until I move our large VHS tapes onto them. I have no where else for our Disney movies to go. I wish I had money (and the keys to the Disney vault) to convert them all to DVD, but I don’t. So for now… this is where they will go. They are in our spare bedroom where we moved some other things that need to find their proper home.

Finally you can leave the room this way:

That tall bookcase held our aforementioned tapes. The little bookcases held all these books. This was a better solution. Welcome to our school bookcase! Yes, we are book lovers and those are all the ones for our various homeschooling needs! OK, so some of them are the personal reading for the boys, but one of their school assignments is to read so many books each month for “free reading”.

So here’s what we did! What do you think?

Here’s the To Do List for this room:
1. Patch all those holes. Seriously, these people used the biggest nails possible for hanging things throughout the house. Check out HGTV, people. Learn what you do and don’t need. Geeze.
2. Get rid of the ugly border. Gaaaah. Enough said
3. PAINT! I’m taking ideas for colours!
4. Finish my Family Night board to hang over by Joram’s computer
5. Hang the white board by Caramon’s computer
6. Help, closet, help! (Though it’s about at 80% OK now. Just if we customized it, it would be better.)
7. Replace the ceiling fan so it is no longer taunting us – the lights are broken so it is unsafe to use.
8. As money allows convert from the old huge monitors to flat. Once we go to flat, I’m going to move my desktop upstairs as well. We have no flat screens now, so we thought four computers would just be too hard to fit. This is comfortable.

Ideas we have to further customize our desk:

1. Corkboard. You can buy corkboard squares to mount on your wall. I’d love to do something like this from the desktop up so far. (Not sure on just how “so far” that might be.) This would allow for us to be able to put up notes, pictures, whatever. Customize our little areas. Especially the kids. You know kids love their art work! Check out the origami on Caramon’s monitor top, need I say more? On Joram’s is a silhouette of himself.)
2. Above the corkboard a shelf for the little things that people like to put by their computer. Books, cd cases, or just the brickabrack. I know my desk has a shelf of little items I have like my green M&M lady and whatnots.

This room is so spacious now! It was all tight and horrible before. Now I keep walking in and going “Woah”. I walk in there every night before bed and just marvel.

I give my husband 50 stars out of 10 on being just downright awesome. I knew that just getting something uniform would improve this room tenfold.

Thanks for sticking around for this novel of an entry. I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at what we did with our home office as much as I love that room! It’s now a great office/school room!

Thanks go out to:
Home Depot for being not only an awesome store but practically next door to us – and having gift cards
My inlaws for the countertops, great ideas, and awesome support (and that mess of tools they sent down with the countertops… Dad, the saw worked great on these suckers!)
The T family (Sorry, won’t use their whole name as I don’t know if they’d like that… but they know who they are) for the use of some of their tools as well
-Chite for being the awesome real estate agent/friend that she is and hooking us up with this house we could work this project out on!

–Lady O

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