Reader Redesign: Added Office

When Mary sent us her amazing closet-to-office makeover we just had to share it. Here’s her letter:

I wanted to write to you to tell you how much I absolutely love your blog! You two have provided me with so much inspiration since I stumbled upon your site a few months back. Keep doing what you do! On another note, I wanted to share some before and after pictures of a little project I tackled at my house. We recently bought our first home and had to downsize a bit. We came from a 2,000 sq. foot rental home and moved into a 1,080 sq. foot home that is all ours. The only thing this home lacked was an office. Our future plans include enclosing the back patio and turning it into a large office for me and my expanding design business, but that’s probably not going to be in the budget for another year or so. For the time being, I came up with the idea to turn the linen closet into a teeny tiny place to keep my office supplies, magazines, bills, laptop, etc. It’s not the office of my dreams, but it will work for the time being! Hope you enjoy! – Mary

Here’s the linen closet before:

And the lovely mini office after:

Don’t you love that work-with-watcha-got spirit? We think it’s a charming little place to store everything and get right to work without waiting for a big office renovation to come to fruition. Plus the cork boards on the inside of the door add even more function and display space. Thanks so much for sharing the inspiring before and after photos Mary (check out her blog here)! What do you guys think? Isn’t that a sweet and simple solution to get the job done?


  1. says

    You know I love anything that involves turning a closet into a room! (Remember? Modroom?) I love all Mary’s organization boxes and the fact that the inside of the closet is painted a different color than the outside walls so it really feels like a room. Can’t beat adding a room without actually adding on!

  2. Kari says

    This almost makes me wish I had a closet for and office instead of an entire room. Almost.

    Super, super cute!! And I love how it can only get so cluttered before it has to be picked up. Gotta love a space that can only take so much!

  3. julie says

    Amazing use of space! I have changed my little -used linen closet into more of a general storage space..but now I’m thinking..wouldn’t it be nice to have my own office space that does not include the kids video games, junk etc. mixed in with my stuff? thanks for the ideas!!

  4. Amanda V says

    WoW! LOVE IT! I have a closet almost identical to this…except it has bi-fold doors and the shelves are rather rickety. But I have been searching for a space to serve as a studying nook and craft space…Oh I am inspired!! Sherry do you have any reccomendations for bi-fold doors?? They are in excellent shape, so I wouldn’t need to replace them. But I love what she did with the cork!

    • says

      Hey Amanda,

      Well if your bi-fold doors will always remain open you can use the slats in the doors (assuming they have little slats) to stick cute images and inspiration pics into (just like cork board for some fun display space). If they don’t have slats you can just add cork or even chalkboard or magnetic paint (to create another easy-display area). Hope it helps!


  5. says

    Another benefit- besides being cute, the small space must make it easier to focus because all you have in front of you is your work! At least for someone who is easily distracted like me :)

  6. Jen Z. says

    Talk about making the most out of what you have. Great thinking Mary. Love it. Everything you need all in one place and you can even close the door and no one knows it’s there.;-)

  7. Julie says

    This is adorable and creative! Wouldn’t it be more comfortable with the door removed? But maybe Mary likes the option of hiding the office :)

  8. says

    Super cute! And I especially love it because we have a linen closet EXACTLY like this (well like the before shot, not the after!)- How did she stick the corkboard to the door?

  9. Stefani says

    That is amazing – what a creative use of space! And how fun to open up a closet door and – surprise! it’s a cute little office space! Very inspiring how functional it is in the minimal amount of space.

  10. Jamie says

    I think I would need a light in there, maybe Mary does have one? Like a little halogen one stuck to the bottom of the shelf above the computer. It’s a great job though, the cork boards on the door are the perfect touch.

    Completely random question, sorry: I was looking at your wedding page and just wondering if you had a back-up plan if it had rained that day!

    • says

      Hey Jamie,

      Since Richmond, VA is super dry in the summer months (especially July) we were pretty confident that our outdoor wedding would go off without a hitch. We figured if we looked at the weather about 7-10 days out and it looked like rain was in the forecast we could scramble to rent a tent or even move the wedding to a local restaurant instead, but sure enough it was dry and hot all month long. Hope it helps!


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