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?
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!
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!
That is too cute! Thanks for sharing!
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!!
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!
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!
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 :)
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.;-)
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 :)
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?
Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog says
What a cute space! It must feel wonderful to be able to just shut away everything when she’s not at work.
So glad you’re loving Mary’s amazing mini office everyone! Here’s hoping she drops by to answer all of your questions soon. Stay tuned…
[email protected] says
Love it – so adorable, and a great use of space!
Katie @ Making This Home says
From our tiny home to Mary’s:
huge thumbs up! I absolutely love how she’s utilizing that space. That blue looks fabulous.
Thanks for sharing, guys.
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.
This is adorable, I love it! Way to go Mary :)
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!
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!
Jill Stigs says
Great job Mary! I am all about using as little as possible. I live in an apt and built in an office in the nook under the stairs.
this office is amazing! I can’t imagine actually working at the “desk” myself, but what a wonderful tucked away space.
Kim at Yellow Brick Home says
Mary’s home sounds like a palace compared to our 650 square foot home! This is inspirational, and proof that you don’t need all that space to make it work!
Great job, Mary!
Really, what more do you need for an office? An room-sized office usually just invites unwanted clutter. With a closet office, you are forced to keep it clean and organized. Great job, Mary!
This is a fantastic utilization of limited space. I am currently using a closet as a media center in my bedroom.
My only question has to do with ergonomics. Is it comfortable to use the desk for extended periods of time? Thank you so much for the idea!
Wow! How cute is that little office?! I love that the wall is painted and complete with framed wall art. I firmly believe that if we are faithful with little (in the case of this tiny space) God will bless you with more! You go Mary and I’m sure your sunroom office one day will be just as fabulous!
When we moved into our home we lost a bedroom too which meant we lost our computer room/craft room. We did however gain loads of closet space so we transformed the coat closet into our computer & craft area. It works rather well unless it is a mess like it is right now. :) It’s actually on my to-do list today so hopefully it’ll be back to full-functioning soon!
Handy Man, Crafty Woman says
very cute! I just love useful, tucked-away spaces like this! Great job.
i love that! definite inspiration!
Jenny @ DIY Newlyweds says
How fabulous! I’ve been pondering a home office makeover, so it’s very inspirational to see how Mary did it in such a small space.
Mrs. Money says
That’s ingenious! I love it!
Great job, Mary! So simple and organized.
anna see says
super charming little office! it is a delight to look at.
love this! even though we have an office in our upstairs landing, i’m now wishing we had a closet like this to do something similar!
Definently makes me want to work with what we got! Awesome job Mary!!
What a great mini work space–I’m of the “less is more” attitude and I think you can surprise yourself with what you can do with less. Lovely space!
I love the “less is more” use of space as well! I am a big fan of small space design- partly because I have to be, and partly because I just love simple living. It looks great!
Love it Mary! I’m hoping she stops by soon to answer “how did you stick up the cork?” question. I have the cork cut to fit the inside of one of the kitchen cabinets but am scared to try something in case it doesn’t work. I guess construction adhesive would work but i’m leery of that. So Mary, how DID you stick up the cork? And because I would like to redo one of the cuts, how did you manage to cut yours so perfectly?
When we hung cork in the inside of our cabinets (read more about it here) we used the self adhesive pads it came with (from Target) but also reinforced everything with Liquid Nails a few months later. Worked like a charm. Hope it helps!
As someone who also lives in a house this small I love this office! It’s a challenge to work with such little space, but it’s always nice to see that it can work. I’m brainstorming how to make our dining room a dining room/office/library/master bedroom.
I was jumping up and down and screeching with excitement when I saw that my mini-makeover made it onto Young House Love! Anyhow, just to answer a few of your questions. . . I used bulletin board squares from my old office (originally bought from Target) and I used a right angle to draw a straight line and then cut them out with regular scissors. I attached the bulletin boards to the door using that 3M double sided foam tape. (They’ve held up nicely so far.)
To answer Julie’s question about it being more comfortable without the door–yes, it probably would be, but I like being able to close it and hide the mess sometimes!
Jamie mentioned adding a light, and YES, that is on the never ending ‘to-do’ list. My boyfriend is going to run electrical into the closet so that I can plug my laptop in (and leave it there to charge) and so that I can mount some type of light as well.
Andrew asked about how comfortable it actually is to ‘work’ in the space–it’s small and cozy but if I need more space I sprawl out on the dining table, but can still tuck everything away in my ‘closet-office’ when I’m done!
Thanks for all the wonderful comments guy!!!
You can check out my blog if you would like. . .
Thanks so much for stopping in with all those answers for everyone! And how could we fail to realize that you have a blog? We love directing people to all of our Reader Redesign submitters’ blogs, so we’ve even updated the post to include a link to yours (that way everyone knows where to find you). Enjoy that office of yours and thanks again for sending it our way!
Wow-o-wow! I’m so impressed – had to star that one for my inspiration file – that is so DO-Able!!! Thank you for sharing with us!
I swear this blog is like a little virtual treat. Whenever I finish a stressful task , home, work, or family related I check your blog for updates. It’s refreshing to see how your hard work affects others. This is the cutest little office. Best Wishes to Mary on her new home and future projects.
Mama Without Borders says
Love the make-over! I always enjoy looking at other people’s workspaces, especially those organized so well as this one.
Nice job, Mary! I love the color you chose for the inside of the closet, and the way you maximized both storage and cuteness in a teeny tiny space!
Wow that’s impressive! And so cute! A good reminder that a small space can be turned into something very useful. Thanks for sharing!
Shut the front door!
We just spent a couple hours at IKEA last night (hey now, we had dinner too haha) looking for a way to do this exact same thing!
We found a cabinet with a roll up door that would work wonders for our tiny closet. We also discovered you can even get pull out shelves on sliders that would solve the squished in uncomfortable feeling of working inside that door!
So excited to get started, especially now that I’ve seen this :)
I LOVE this idea! Now that we’ve lost our office to the nursery, I have to find a place for my small desk and laptop. We were talking about putting the office’s filing cabinet in our big walk in master closet, but now I’m thinking the desk could also go in there to make a makeshift “office.” Great idea–and so cute with the blue wall and accessories!
Jessie P. says
I did this, too! Mine also, like the commentor above, had bifold doors. I took them off, and put a curtain rod and curtains up so that I could easily access it, but still hide it when I needed to. Maybe she could consider that??
Ooh great idea Jessie! Thanks for sharing your method!
Judi B says
Inspiring! I’ve thought about these types of reno’s before, but it never really hit me that it could actually be a good me for me. Thanks for posting. I guess that it just had to “hit” me at the right time! With this direction I’ll be able to have my computer and all it’s ugly wires shut behind a closed door with the bills, the mail etc.!!!
heather s. says
It looks great but there’s no way I could use that as my office space. I write user documentation so I need a lot of desk space to spread out the manuals I’m working on. It even seems a bit small for the average person to use – how do you fit there with the chair pulled in (and I’m a small person at only 5’4) in order to use the desk space?
Thanks for adding the link to my blog Sherry! (When I submitted my mini-makeover to you a while back, I didn’t have my blog very organized–but now it’s up and running!)
In response to Heather S’s comment about my office space being ‘too small’–I just wanted to make it known that I don’t sit there for hours on end doing computer work or paperwork or anything like that. I basically just use the space to keep all of my office supplies, bills, receipts, etc. and to sit down for a few minutes and pay bills, file a few things, etc. If I am going to be on the computer for long periods of time, you can usually find me plopped on the couch with my laptop, or sitting in bed! Yes, the space is small (and although I am short–5′-3″) it’s functional and works for me! Thanks again for all the lovely comments everyone!
I love this use of space but I wonder…where does she put the chair when not using the office?
I’m wondering if Mary would be willing to share where she bought everything? The little drawers and other organizers are too cute!
Lauren (pen.ny) says
She did a WONDERFUL job! Work-with-watcha-got is the best kind of attitude for small spaces:)