"Cloffice" Closet Turned Into an Office - DIY Desk
We're getting close to our due date! I'm 34 weeks today, so the pressure is on to get all of those big ticket items like completing the nursery checked off. In order to make room for the new baby, my former office needed to be relocated. And, since all of our other rooms are accounted for, we had to get creative with the new office space. I decided that allocating a space inside the kid's playroom would be ideal. How about a "Cloffice" (a closet turned into an office)?! I had seen this done before, and it seemed like a feasible DIY/small space hack, even pregnant, so I thought I'd give it a try!
What I like about the idea of a cloffice is that it's a tiny space separate from the room, and can be locked when not in use (a really important factor when considering co-sharing a space with toddlers and thousands of dollars of photo equipment). It would take some ingenuity, but this DIY seemed doable. Below, I've shared my tips and tricks as best I could to prove that really anyone can pull off a DIY like this. It is a SUPER affordable project!
Insta Highlights Be sure to check out my saved highlights on Instagram called: “Cloffice” for some more step by steps in this process, including photos of the stain I used as well as the drill bit used to create the hole in the desk to put the cords through. My personal Instagram handle is @ryaloveselle, and my business Insta handle is @ryaphotos
Shiplap (not a necessity, but really adds to the finished look of the space!)
Other misc. items: Screws, Wood Filler, Caulk and Satin (for shelves)
TOOLS (you'll need a Miter Saw, an Orbital Sander, a Stud Finder, a Cordless Nailer and a drill bit to cut a hole in the desk to feed the cords through)
Hubby already had all of these tools on hands, but I know that Home Depot will cut things for you if you're in a pinch. The hole in the desk isn't a necessity, but I really love not having cords on the desk, makes it neater and more polished in my opinion.
The first thing we did was clear out the closet from all of the clutter (there was a LOT, old photo props, etc. - wish I took a photo of THAT before, crazy how many things I had accumulated over the years, felt good to purge). Then, we filled all holes from the old closet with spackle and let everything dry overnight.
Next, we cut the shiplap to size and installed that with the nailer on the back wall. I LOVE the shiplap. Adds a great touch to the office and really pulls it together without having to use wallpaper or an accent paint. We did paint the shiplap and all of that later, but we installed it first, just primed and unfinished. We also used liquid nails to add even more security with the shiplap and to avoid gaps.
TIP: This is a "Cloffice" and was a side project to make room for the new nursery, so the budget for this wasn't huge (hence the DIY approach). That being said, we really had to keep an eye out for how much we were spending on materials. This shiplap is great, but because of the size it comes in, and the width of the back wall of this closet, we had to cut exact 6' pieces and leave a few inches on either side blank. Otherwise, had we not done it that way and trimmed out the sides with a little trim, we would have had SO much waste, not to mention have had to buy twice the amount of shiplap to complete just that little back wall. So we came to the conclusion that making all of the boards the same length and installing that way, with some trim on the edges, would make a lot more sense.
For the final step in this part, we filled all holes in the shiplap with wood filler and caulked allll the edges. I'm not going to sugar coat this, it's a lot. Like a lot of caulking. It really makes a difference though and gives a very professional and polished look. Lastly in this stage, we painted the walls top to bottom, and of course the shiplap. I also repainted the door to the room and the trim. I wanted everything to have a cohesive look and paint will always give you that.
Once the room was painted, and the shiplap was up and complete, we installed the floating desk. You want to brace your desktop with the 2x2s and be sure to nail them into the studs for security. Then, we used the nailer to attach the desktop piece to the braces. Of course, you'll need to use your saw to cut the desktop to the exact measurement. This part was pretty time consuming for us because our walls in this closet we realized were really off. So we had to go back to the drawing board, literally! like 3-4x times to get the desk fitting nearly perfectly. Caulk did the rest. Caulk caulk and more caulk. It seals your work and gives it that pro look - don't skip that step!
Finally, attach the 1x3 front piece using the nailer and sand and caulk it to avoid having a seam. Then, paint! We painted the desk (underneath too) the same color and sheen as the shiplap and the walls around it. When working with a small space, you want to make it look bigger so you'll use the same light color (and the same sheen) throughout the space. Gives the illusion of grandeur.
Next up, the shelves! The shelves are one of my favorite parts of this space. We cut the 2x10s to fit the width of the space and I stained the shelves with one coat top and bottom using Old Barn Living Weathered. I LOVE this stain so much! I don't get paid for saying this at all, it's just a great product. It's a one-step, organic stain with literally NO SCENT. What more could you ask for in a stain, right?! It's odorless, literally. I'm pregnant and the heat this time of year in our garage is awful so I actually stained the shelves indoors in our foyer with no issues or smell. Love it.
To give the shelves a floating look, we used the brackets (that we spray painted gold). It's such a cool idea. I saw someone do this online on Pinterest I believe and we gave it a try - perfect. I think it mirrors the floating look of the desk and looks very polished. Otherwise, I suppose you could use actual large shelving brackets but it wouldn't look the same. And spray painting gold helps the details to coordinate with the other items in the office. I love using gold, green and wood tones together (a lot of our home is like that) so I wanted to carry that over into the "Cloffice".
Once the big components were complete, we actually had to relocate an electrical outlet! Haha. Seriously, very intimidating, but this is an actual closet space so of course there was no electrical outlet in the closet itself so we had to move one from the room into the closet. Luckily, right outside the closet was a wall with a single outlet, so we cut the drywall, flipped the box to face inside the wall, and patched up both sides with more dry wall and hoped for the best! Ha! It worked though. It's actually not as intense as you'd think. And now, I have electric inside the closet! So I don't have to have wires running outside the space (very dangerous obviously with a toddler running around and playing).
Lastly, and the fun part, decorate and enjoy! In a small space it's always important to keep a continuous theme and color palette to give unity to the space so I chose the same green, gold and neutral I have in the rest of our home. I still have to put up personal photos (once baby is born). All in all though, we did it! I'm so pleased.
And that's it! I hope you enjoyed this DIY and find it helpful. We did, and now I can work in a separate space and lock the door and walk away when not in use - it's all I need! I kind of like the idea of the tiny living in this aspect, and it helped me to purge anything I didn't absolutely need to run my business. I've been offline for awhile completing this project so I'm glad it's done, and now I can get back to WORK! It's busy season over here and this baby isn't going to wait!