Posted by John on December 13th, 2013
Happy Friday folks! Christmas is less than two weeks away. Hope your shopping and decorating is going well. I have yet to purchase a single item. Pretty par for the course for me though.
Today I wanted to start sharing some of our home office ideas. If you follow our Pinterest home office ideas board, you may have already seen some of these images, but I thought I’d elaborate on the concepts we’re considering. You’ll have some understanding as to why we pinned them.
First a quick update on the floors…. We scheduled the office redo sometime after Christmas. We agreed with some of the comments in our last office post that replacing the floors BEFORE building the built-ins was the smarter idea. Good call, guys. We’ll be bringing you some hardwood floor installation videos hopefully before the new year!
The office improvement project is going to to start with getting together some ideas for the overall look or concept that we’re shooting for. Once we settle on some of the more important ideas like furniture arrangement, we’ll talk about the more specific requirements we have. For example, Lisa wants the computer printer to be hidden inside a cabinet. That’s a pretty specific requirement that we can tackle later once we know what we’re building.
Just wanted to mention that process so you have a better understanding of how we approach more significant home improvement projects. The most important goal I have with our blogging nowadays is to not just share our projects ideas, but to pass along the skills and experiences we’ve picked up along the way. After this office series is over, you should have a much better understanding of how to start your own major room renovation from early ideas to the final paint stroke. We’re kicking that process off today with this ideas post.
Let’s dive in…
Here is a preliminary list of office design ideas that we like. We’re focusing on the orientation of the office furniture here. It’s the biggest decision we’ll have to make up front. Keep in mind that not all of these options are compatible and some may get discarded. We’ll narrow down our choices later and come up with a firm list of requirements from which we can design our finished space.
This is our bread and butter. The far wall will definitely have built-ins with some sort of desk in the center. We’re going to stick with inset shaker doors, but I’m going to add a couple twists. I’ll share more of the specific cabinet designs when we get to that later on down the road.
2. Separate Desk
Ideally, we’d love for this space to have two desks. Not sure how we’re going to pull this off yet. One option is a separate desk in the center of the room facing out. We both love the look of a darker desk and countertop for that matter. I would love to take a swing at building one of these too. Looks like fun.
3. Side by Side Desks
Instead of a separate desk, we could always make the built-in desk option wider to accommodate two workstations. This would be the easiest to build since I would just be making a built-in and no separate unit. Although, if we skip the detached desk, then we’d need to figure out what to do with the added empty space in the center of the room.
4. Desk Peninsula
This is a cool option. Bit of a hybrid solution to the question of desk location. It’s both built-in and separate. While I like it, I know Lisa wants a crafting station someplace in here and I don’t think she’ll have enough desktop space if we’re both sharing the same counter.
5. Coffered Ceiling
In addition to our furniture choices, we’re also considering a coffered ceiling. It adds some character and would be a helpful trial run for when I eventually attempt it in our family room and kitchen.
So what do you think of these options? Is there any in particular that catches your eye? What desk orientation do you like best? What do you think works the best?
Wondering if the options that look the best are also the options that actually WORK the best.
Posted in DIY Projects,Ideas. Tagged in ,home office, ideas
Posted by John on December 9th, 2013
We are excited to finally make some woodworking plans available. We’re starting with our Mobile Workbench. The plans include a complete material list as well as detailed, graphic instructions. The workbench plans are absolutely free to our newsletter subscribers. You may have seen our How-To post on this workbench on our DIY Projects page. The actual woodworking plans contain all the info you need to get started building your own.
To subscribe and get access to the plans, just fill out the form after this post or the one in the sidebar to the left. Once you subscribe, you’ll receive a confirmation email as well as a link to our new ‘Plans’ page. We’re going to be slowly adding in additional plans over the coming weeks and months.
Interested in plans for a project you’ve seen on our site? Tell us in the comments which project you’d like to see made into detailed plans next.
Posted in Carpentry,DIY Projects. Tagged in ,plans, workbench
Posted by John on December 5th, 2013
Even though we’re still wrapping up some work in our sitting room (paint and some decor still to-do), we wanted to let everyone know what project we’d be starting after we finish. We’re psyched to be switching gears soon and finally getting to work on our home office.
If you took our home tour, you may have noticed that the office is not shown. There’s a good reason for its absence. It’s one of our catch-all spaces. Whenever we get packages delivered, they get opened in the office and the boxes usually get left there for a few weeks. What else is in there? Grad school books and binders, craft supplies, the rest of the books we own, an old computer… you get the idea.
What I’m getting at here is we don’t really use this space appropriately. We spend very little time in there and when we do it’s very task oriented. I go in to fax or scan something and leave.
We’d like to change that with this room refresh. That’s my main goal for this space.
You know what, the space doesn’t look too bad in these photos. We’ve since shifted the office desk to the wall and threw a bunch of crap in there. Consider these photos the high water mark.
So what are we planning to do with the office? Good question. We’re still kicking around some ideas in terms of layout and looks. You can follow our Home Office Ideas Pinterest Board to see what direction we’re heading.
We know we’re replacing the carpet and adding hardwood floor. That’ll probably be the first thing we do with the space. Of course, we’re going to be designing and building our own office cabinets and built-ins as well. The debate at the moment is whether I build the cabinets first, then do the floors and install everything or just do the floors first.
You can expect us to cover the entire remodeling process from design ideas to completion.
Should be fun.
Posted in DIY Projects,House Tour. Tagged in ,home office, house tour
Posted by John on November 24th, 2013
The TV stand is finally done. During the week I wrapped the bottom of the cabinet with some baseboard molding using the same procedure we used on our first built-in. The only thing I may still do to the cabinet is re-coat the top and shelves with some cabinet grade enamel paint. The latex paint doesn’t seem to be holding up quite as well as it does on the built-in. Latex paint isn’t designed for cabinets and it lifted up somewhat after I rested my camera tripod on it. No biggie. Here’s what it looks like now.
The baseboard molding seems to give the cabinet a fuller look. Big fan.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the features…
The baseboard trim ties into the wall and the seam where the cabinet meets the wall has a thin bead of painters caulk to make the cabinet look fully “built-in.” It only sticks out from the wall about 18″ to match the depth of the other piece in the room.
From the front you can see the open center section is just wide enough for our PS3 and a DVD player. I measured some of the electronics in our family room to make sure that they would all fit. All three sections feature a plethora of shelf pins for adjusting the shelf height. The cabinet hides all the outlets on the wall as planned.
Lisa is thrilled to have some more toy storage. She moved the shelf on the left side up to accommodate a larger plastic bin she bought from Target.
Here’s a little trick I learned from Norm Abram back when he was on New Yankee Workshop: the bottom plywood shelf sits a little higher than the face frame. It acts as a door stop. The cabinet has a door stop device on the top, but this beats adding a second.
So let’s do a quick recap.
1. Design the overall look of the cabinet and rough dimensions
2. Design the face frames
3. Design the cabinet box
4. Draw our cut sheets
5. Buy our lumber and plywood
6. Face frame construction
7. Cut the plywood
8. Add dados
9. Build our shaker doors
10. Assemble our cabinets
11. Cabinet Installation
I hope this post inspires you to not only build something from scratch, but to build something that meets the needs of the space.
*** UPDATE: Forgot to mention the cost. The total for the cabinet was around $155. Not too shabby.***
So what’s up next? Well, these two cabinets may be done, but the sitting room isn’t even close. We picked out some paint and lighting and we’ll be dressing this space up later this week. Stick around.
Posted in Carpentry,DIY Projects. Tagged in ,built-in, cabinets, carpentry
Posted by John on November 18th, 2013
So I was going to make another video of the cabinet installation, since we were already at that point. Then I realized, I’d be showing a 30 second long clip of me screwing the cabinet to the wall. (I just secured the cabinet to the wall with a couple of 2″ drywall screws. The screws went into the backstrap that runs along the back of the cabinet and into a stud in the wall.) I don’t think you need to see that.
Let’s go ahead and skip that video and get right to the good stuff.. the pictures.
Here’s what our TV wall in the sitting room looked like just a couple of hours ago..
And here’s how it looked with the new cabinet installed…
Looks pretty close to that concept drawing we made a few weeks ago.
Here’s a front view…
And that front view concept drawing…
So that’s it for this tutorial series. The only thing we have left to do is wrap the bottom of the cabinet in some baseboard trim to tie it into the wall and do a bit of caulking and touch up paint. If you’re interested in learning how to apply molding to cabinets*, you can check out the tutorial we did when we built the bigger unit. It’s the exact same process.
Next time you see this cabinet, it will be completely finished… and the walls may be painted too. We’ll see.
*Lisa actually really liked the look of the cabinet without the baseboard molding and was reluctant to add it. Then she saw the baseboard molding on the cabinet and thinks it looks even better.