casa keinsley: the home office

This post could alternatively be titled "That One Time I Turned A Closet Into An Office." When we moved into our one-bedroom apartment back in June before the wedding, my biggest concern was where I would set up my desk. I didn't want it in our bedroom, that was for sure. Our bedroom isn't big, by any means, and I just knew that I wanted it to be a stress-free zone, which meant no desk, no 27-inch computer monitor and no piles of papers to be filed.

Because our apartment complex has private entrances, we have this large walk-in closet off our living room that has a slanted ceiling, because it's the space beneath the stairs that lead to the apartment above ours. It was kind of awkward to use for storage, plus we have a HUGE master closet, a large coat closet with built-in shelves off our dining area AND a big outdoor storage closet. I had joked about turning the closet into my office. And lo and behold, that's exactly what we did.

The first step was to take the closet door off the hinges and store it. The super important part of this step is to store the door somewhere where it wouldn't get damaged or scuffed. We are simply storing it elsewhere in our apartment. It'd probably make a great table, though, now that I think about it. Once the door was off, we painted. When we moved in, our entire apartment (walls AND ceilings) were beige. BEIGE. I could probably have handled a white wall here and there, but beige? It had to go. So we painted our whole apartment. And once we took the closet door off, the inside was visible from the living room and it actually is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door, so I figured it should probably match. So we painted it the same light grey as our living room walls, which I love. We also added a chalkboard wall for a fun touch!

My desk sits against the largest wall. I put a large filing cabinet in the nook area, along with a drawer unit to collect all my miscellaneous office supplies. A small printer stand sits next to my desk with a basket underneath to store printer paper, ink and cables. Although I don't love the closet rod hanging above my desk (it's firmly attached so we couldn't take it down) I do love the shelf that is built in. My camera equipment fits nicely up there, along with a crate of other, larger office supplies. The office gets pretty hot since there's no much air circulation, so I added a small fan on the shelf as well.

There were definitely some challenges when it came to converting the teeny space. First, and most importantly, there isn't an outlet inside the closet. Conveniently, there is an outlet directly outside the door, so I rigged up a power strip and connect all my office electronics to that. It's mostly hidden, but there are still a few black cords snaking around the corner of the door, which bugs me a little (okay, a lot.) And the overhead light in here is TERRIBLE. I'm still figuring out a solution to that problem, because my power strip is maxed out and I'm not sure how to bring a lamp or better light source in here. I'd also like to add a little rug and a plant or two, but we'll see.

Overall, I'm really proud of how the little space turned out and it's working quite well as vallarina creative HQ for the time being! I definitely made do with what I had, in the space I had, and whipped up a little space that feels all my own where I can be creative and get things done. And the BEST part? Getting up out of my chair, turning off the light at the end of the day, and leaving the work and the lists and the office, in the office. So good for my mental health. Still dreaming of my perfect huge studio with tons of natural light and an exposed wood beam ceiling though...sigh. Someday. And when that day comes, I'm going to frame a photo of this tiny little spot where it all began and remember it fondly.

Here's some more photos of my tiny closet office, if you'd like to see!