Compact Home Office

An upstairs hall closet is converted into a practical and colorful workspace for family members.
Alice Welsh Doyle

Challenge
To take an under-utilized hall closet and turn it into a useful and attractive home office.

Solution
Adding shelving constructed of medium density fiberboard and a laminate desk that runs the length of the closet. Electricity and a telephone line were necessities for proper lighting and computer use. Homeowners Lisa and Richard Todd installed a fluorescent light, which is hidden behind a trim piece on the front of the shelving unit. Electrical cords are tucked through a hole in the work surface. Below the desk, more shelves were added. "Three bedrooms adjoin this closet, so it's really convenient; we don't have to go downstairs every time we need to use the computer," Lisa says. "It's a versatile workstation and would also be a great gift wrapping center."

Low Cost, High Style
  • Bright color scheme: This small space comes alive with vivid colors. Lisa, an interior designer, chose an aloe green for the walls and even painted the back of the shelving unit. Blue is an accent color picked up in the accessories. Left white, the space would have felt drab and less inviting.
  • Bulletin board: Cork can be cut to fit any space for use as a bulletin board. Lisa went one step further and had the cork framed for a more finished look. It can also be painted for a seamless appearance.
  • Accessories: Decorative touches add to the closet's appeal. Lisa took inexpensive glass candy jars and filled with them with colorful candies. Linen boxes and metal pails store school supplies and compact discs. Pick a favorite theme, such as the butterfly motif shown here, and look for items that work within it.