Ah, the hallway. It’s so utilitarian. Attic access in the ceiling. Smoke detector. Carbon monoxide detector. Thermostat. Air intake. Doorways…
A couple of black and white photographs of Jason and I from my college photography class back in 2003 (shortly after we got married) hang on one wall. They’re not excellent photos but I like that I shot them with an old manual film camera and developed them myself.
At the end of the hallway hangs this brass tree. I spotted it on an estate sale website a few years ago and Jason was able to find it for me. I don’t remember what he paid for it… maybe $40? My relatives from Sweden wanted to buy it from us when they were visiting.
I actually spend a lot of time in this hallway thanks to my cloffice (closet+office). I wrote about the original transformation from a coat closet into a home office earlier this year. It hasn’t changed much since then, except that the hallway was painted SW greek white.
When Jason removed the closet door and doorway to give me more elbow room, there was a strip of the original hardwood floors missing. We came up with this simple solution of inlaying a piece of wood and painting it with white trim paint. I like how it defines the space and it has held up well to 6 months of chair rolling.
The desk is not very deep. It works well for using the computer and not much else, unless I move my keyboard, mouse and laptop stand out of the way. I love having two monitors, and though I think side by side would have been better, this works. I don’t believe I mentioned before that the desktop is removable; it’s sitting on two wooden rails and tightly wedged into place so it doesn’t move. We didn’t make it permanent because there is an access panel to get to the plumbing of the hall bathroom tub on the back of the closet. See it there behind my pen cup?
It feels as small as it looks. Or maybe it looks bigger than it feels. It’s a pretty tight work space and I find myself paying bills on the couch and blogging from bed more than I used to when I had a regular home office. But, this solution was so worth it to free up a bedroom for our future kids. That little cardboard owl cup serves as my waste basket. My printer was relocated to the living room bookshelf. I traded my scanner for a slim design that can slip onto the top shelf of my cloffice, between my portfolio and my storage boxes. The best thing about it being small is that I can’t afford to let it get messy.
I got a ping-back notice that my Hall Closet Turned Home Office (AKA Cloffice) was mentioned on Retro Renovation today. RR is the flagship of mid-century home blogs. I’m flattered! I had no idea that my little blog was on their radar. If you’re a new visitor here after seeing our recent renovation project on Retro Renovation, WELCOME!
What do you get when you cross a closet and an office? A cloffice? An offet? The latter is cute but we’ve been calling it a cloffice ever since a friend made the suggestion. I’m happy to report that this home renovation project is FINISHED. DONE. COMPLETE. We’re undecided about adding bi-fold doors at some point. I kind of like it open but covering it up might be nice too.
Since my last post about the hall-coat-closet-turned-home-office here is what has been done: Jason re-hung my upper monitor (straight and centered this time; I’m a mess without him…), installed an electric outlet, removed the door and widened the doorway, finished my desktop, reframed the doorway and painted the trim, baseboards, hall wall and shelves. Oh, and he also painted a stripe on the floor for me. It was necessary because part of the wood flooring was missing when we removed the wall. But I like that it’s kind of funky and helps to define the space. I touched the cloffice wall paint, cleaned up the top shelf with new matching storage boxes and hung some Command hooks for my bulletin board and computer satchel.
I’m kicking myself for not taking a before picture. POO. Anyway… here are the first four parts of this series in case you missed them:
Home Office Part 1: Small Homes Require/Inspire Creativity
Home Office Part 2: Closet Offices & Inspiration
Home Office Part 3: The Coat Closet
Home Office Part 4: Decorating & Customizing
A home office in a closet can be a great solution when you don’t have a room to spare. We have limited closet space but we do have a 46″ by 24″ coat closet in our hallway across from the door to our bedroom. Before discussing my revelation with Jason I immediately started sketching out where everything would fit and where I could put everything that was currently in the hall closet: coats, hats, gloves, scarfs, extra blankets and pillows, vacuum, tools, cans of paint, lightbulbs and other odds and ends. Once I had a plan, I took my idea to corporate for approval. (Joking, but it does help to have a well thought out plan before presenting my crazy ideas to Jason.)
He was fine with my plan! Over the course of a few Saturdays when Jason was out on tour I managed to move everything out of the hall coat closet. Coats are in the closet of the spare room (for now anyway), extra blankets and pillows are in tubs in the attic, and the rest of that stuff is in our new but not-yet-finished laundry room. So on to that empty hall closet …
With Jason again gone on tour I decided to tackle this job on my own to 1) keep myself busy, 2) keep up the weekend warrior pace I’m used to when he’s home, 3) impress him with my renovation skills, and 4) get it done. When we had Jason’s giant birch desktop cut at the hardware store last month I had the guy trim one of the offcuts to 46″ so it would be the right length for my desktop. I used scraps of wood from Jason’s old desk to make little wood ledges on the side walls of the closet to hold up an additional shelf (the top one was already there) and the desk top.
For now my printer is on a crate to the left of my computer with paper underneath. I’m going to come up with another solution since my desk surface is limited.
I saw an ad for Unplggd’s Roundup of Home Offices In a Closet one day and had an epiphany. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? I know people put home offices in closets. That could be the perfect solution! (Between the time of the epiphany and the time of this post, one of my sweet blog buddies, Julia, actually suggested I try a closet as a home office solution. Great minds think alike! Heehee.) Here are some inspiration photos I found:
(All images from Unplggd’s Roundup of Home Offices In a Closet and here and The Black Hole Home Office)
The only hitch: our 55 year old house doesn’t have a whole lot of closet space. The two original bedrooms (master and my office) have closets with sliding doors—not large, not walk-in, and packed with stuff. The third bedroom (Jason’s studio) has a squarish walk-in closet full of musiciany things and is frequently used as an isolation room for his amp.
But wait, we have one more closet … the coat closet in the hallway!
See Home Office Part 1: Small Homes Require/Inspire Creativity if you missed it.