Someone has an OFFICE (hint... it's me!)

Someone has an OFFICE (hint… it’s me!)

As a graphic designer and aspiring stationary/invitation designer it’s quite necessary to have a designated workspace. Typically, while I’m assembling invitations or working on projects, I’d set up shop out on the living room coffee table or at the kitchen table. At the time, that seemed to work just fine, with a few annoyances, but as I starting taking on more projects things just never seemed organized and I just felt all over the place.

A while after my new roommate, Siri, moved in she said to me “you’re an artist… you need your own space”. The problem was… there was absolutely no room at all left in my bedroom, since I already have a ladder desk set up with my big desktop computer, dresser, nightstand, big bed… and far too many clothes, plus I didn’t really like the idea of having an office be in my bedroom since it’s not the “healthiest” thing to do. Plus the common area in our apartment is just a big open space and it got kinda crazy when I had hundreds of invitations scattered about.

So this is when the creativity kicked in. I’d always, always, always wanted to convert a closet into an office/craft room/gift wrapping space… anything other than just a traditional closet. I’d look at magazines and would just stare at the pages with these conversions, never thinking I’d actually do it while I was renting a place. We have the perfect closet out in the common area that housed all of my many coats and some household items like brooms, Swifer, laundry rack… things that could easily be moved around to other parts of the apartment. I started the research process, thinking it would take forever to start getting ideas, but the first example I saw, I just fell in love with and decided to run with it. I, of course, had to put my own twist on it, cause that’s how I do 😉

…And voilà!

doors closed

(doors closed… duh)

closet interior

Why hello! All of the yellow is burlap that I purchased from a local fabric store and had cut (it was $31 for the fabric!). Then I wrapped it around a material called homasote, which is an extremely inexpensive material that I bought at Home Depot. A lot of schools use homasote for bulletin boards, which is what I’m planning on doing, since it’s so much less expensive than the “real” thing! All of this fabric purchasing means I finally had an excuse to purchase a staple gun, which means, watch out because I’m going to start stapling everything! I’ve been wanting one for as long as I can remember, and actually quite surprised it took me this long to purchase one!


The two wicker baskets on the left are from the Christmas Tree Shop and the others are from IKEA.

vintage clock and frame

The vintage clock my grandmother gave me and the long sought-after print I framed, the items that inspired the space!

detail shot

Wedding book, T square, and part of the photograph I snapped on Newbury Street last week. The desk surface was purchased at Ikea and Justo had to cut it down to size for me… because I took the wrong measurements… because I can’t measure… because apparently I was spacing out in first grade when we were learning how to use rulers.

structure and books

Of course, I had to make space for some cookbooks! Also, please note the beautiful structure Justo built for the shelf to rest on! He built the same structure for the desk to rest on as well. Perfect and completely level… I’m officially impressed! I purchased the shelf at Home Depot because Ikea didn’t have what I was originally looking for. Home Depot will cut any wood that is purchased in their store (for a small fee) and they also have cutting stations where you can cut your own molding, which is what I did for the structure that the desk and shelf are resting on! FYI you’ll look really cool, knowledgeable, and handy if you’re cutting your own materials in Home Depot… it’s FUN stuff! 😉


This is the cabinet from IKEA that I assembled. Long story short, it took me far longer than it should have to assemble this. My self-diagnosed ADD kicked in so I was extremely distracted and kept taking breaks. At one point it looked like this…


(I always organize all of the screws/nails/bits and pieces before I begin any project like this. Makes it ten million times easier… and there were roughly ten million pieces that I had to bring up four flights of stairs in armfuls since the box was so darn heavy. Unlike cutting your own molding at home depot, this is not fun.)



… so I’m just thankful that part is all done! I’ve always wanted a really large Bisley file cabinet but this little thang from Ikea will due for now! It’s actually quite sturdy and perfect for what I need it for!

After we were done working on the space I couldn’t help myself from starring at it. Every time I walk by it I look and smile (cause I’m rad like that). I’m SO excited to work here and it’s making doing work from home way better than I could imagine! I have to say “thanks” to Siri for encouraging me to have my own “artists space” and a massive “thank you” to Justo for building me the perfect office space … I’m waiting for an invoice, hehe! 😉 Very much appreciated!


26 Responses to "Someone has an OFFICE (hint… it’s me!)"

  1. Linda says:

    Love it! I have the same cart from IKEA for scrapbooking & it works great.

  2. Kelly says:

    Great use of space! and IKEA is always amazing!

  3. Kelly says:

    This is so cute! I wish I could do something like that but I’m stuck in the painting and reconstructing phases of home improvement!

  4. Kelly says:

    Wow. I love the finished space. And to think it takes me weeks just to paint my front door with magnetic paint.

  5. The new office looks great. This looks like it was professionally done. Wait I guess it was 🙂

  6. Chelsee this looks great! I have always wanted to do this as well. (Steven)

  7. emrlds says:

    you’re amazing! I love it. now can you send him to my apartment to build some shelves? 😉

  8. That looks fantastic! You must be SO proud!

  9. kitchenbelle says:

    I am so impressed! What a beautiful workspace you created!

  10. Lynn says:

    What a great use of space! Congratulations on dreaming it up and then getting it done. You’ll probably find you’re a lot more productive having a space to work in that you don’t have to dig out in order to work.

  11. Amazing transformation! You’re inspiring me!

  12. Alison says:

    Looking good girl! We keep it professional! 🙂


  13. Kristen says:

    Gorgeous! I love seeing creative before and after pictures. Never would have thought a closet could look so great!

  14. Your new space looks amazing! It’s so organized and I love the colors. Great job! I’ve seen closet makeovers before and yours could definitely be submitted to a magazine! Especially if you have a “before” photo….

  15. Richard says:

    I love it and now need to do the same overhaul on my office/ closet.. but two things… 1) i have just invested in a staple gun. I can’t stop.. i find reasons to loosen non loose boards and paper just so i can re apply them.. you are forewarned.
    2) where is a prerequisite Stonewall Kitchen menu or Cookbook in that fab pile of must have books? I’m just sayin…..
    See you guys soon, we hope.

  16. Madeline says:

    Wow, great use of space. Everything is so clean and organized. You must love it!

  17. katelin says:

    okay this is so cute! love it! and way to use what little space you had, you wouldn’t even know that was in a closet, so awesome.

  18. anne marie says:

    What kind of invitations do you do? Is it just freelance stuff? Do you have some examples?

  19. Katie says:

    that really looks amazing and it couldn’t be more “chelsee”! it’s a much better used of space for you – you and justo did an awesome job! (and i’m also quite suprised it’s taken you this long to get a staple gun!) 🙂

  20. Kat says:

    Your office looks wonderful! When I lived in the city and had a total of 680 square feet to call my humble abode I turned my long livingroom close into an office. It is such a great use of space and it is hard to believe it was a closet.

  21. I love the office, very cute and private too.

  22. Sarah says:

    I love the office — such an ingenius idea! I love the colors, too. I find yellow to be so inspiring.

  23. This is awesome! I love what you did with it. So cool that your office can just be tucked away with the shut of two doors!

  24. Justo says:

    This project was a lot of fun to put together. Anyone can do this with just a few simple tools that most people have at home. I am actually secretly jealous and I can’t wait to have the change to build something like this for myself.

    In case anyone of you needs one of these, you can reach me
    at 1-800-OFFICE-BOOM (not an actual number).
    Move over Vern Yip. ☺

    Glad I could help Chels.

  25. Nicole says:

    I love your new office! It’s great! I always see creative office spaces and I’m always jealous of how creative people can be with their small spaces. Now, I’m jealous of yours. Congrats!

  26. What a great looking office. So organized and love the bright color.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *