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Need help with small extra room

Posted by mangomoon (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 8, 08 at 16:47

I have an extra bedroom that I decided to turn into an office, now I don't want it to look like an office at all. It looks like I stepped back into work, rather than at home. I have a sleeper sofa in the living room, therefore eliminated the need to keep my extra room for a guest room in which case even a twin bed and dresser would barely leave any room for a chair, let alone walking space. Currently I have an ergonomic computer table and desk top computer. The table takes up 1/3 of the room. I am thinking of using a hall table that I found in a thrift shop (I love incorporating older items) that resembles a writing desk, with just one drawer under the table top. It is a solid wood vintage table. I will eventually go with a laptop, eliminating ergonomics all together. What do you think of using a writing desk, or other type of table that won't make the room look like an office?

Currently I have a sewing machine in wood cabinet with a doily over it so that it doesn't really look like a sewing machine, but I need help in organizing it so it serves more than one purpose. Pics, ideas welcome!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need help with small extra room

Hi, nice ideas, but I do have one caution before you buy or redo anything (and this is from personal experience). Measure like mad - the height of the desk relative to the height of the keyboard, the chair, etc. etc. because you could end up with a great looking set-up and hate to use it if you're not comfortable.


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RE: Need help with small extra room

I just have a minute before I have to go to work . This is from the last house we had and it is a small writing desk. About 30 wide and 22 deep. My printer is under the cloth on the little chest of drawers. I eventually added a larger top to the writing desk. The top was from another table and it is just sitting on top of the desk. All of this worked really well for me. I was lucky there is a shelf on the bottom of the writing desk so I added another shelf to hold my calculator and other laptops.

I cut up an old spread and sewed covers for my chair to try to keep it from looking so much like an office. It all slips off for washing.

Off to work for me. Sigh

Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: Writing desk office


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RE: Need help with small extra room

Lucy, very good point. I did measure and always measure before buying furniture, etc. While the ergonomic table is very comfortable due to the keyboard placement, it will serve no purpose when I switch from a desktop to a laptop, which at that point it would be useless to have that tray there. Worst even, is that while the table is large I have no room for using it as a writing desk, or to pay bills.

I bought this vintage farm table yesterday for cheap on Craigslist. The gal did not know it was a farm table. Solid wood. She is in the catering business and used it as a buffet table, but since it has the one drawer that I need, I figured I could use it as a writing desk. I am going to replace the knobs with amber depression glass style. I didn't even have this table unloaded from my truck and started receiving many compliments on it!

Here is a link that might be useful: farm table


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RE: Need help with small extra room

OH YES and I can see why you already are getting compliments on it. Go for it. My farm table served me well for a computer desk for many years. Mine has the enamel top on it and two small drawers. I use it in the center of my studio room now to do my mosaics on. Or whatever I am doing at the moment. I did use the same shelf I have on the top of the desk I showed in the other picture. I took the bottom shelf off to accommodate the monitor. I had a small monitor.

If you can get away with it something underneath on one side leaving room for your legs makes for great storage. I now have a small one drawer with small shelf area on top on the side of my desk. Now the printer lives in the shelf part of that and I use the deep drawer for my files and paper stuff............... Picture of table in my studio now and YES I have a shelf on wheels under it to hold my pans of glass. Cutting board on top.

Oh Lucky you. So happy for you. The amber knobs sound wonderful. I have seen them on Ebay at a reasonable cost.

Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: Farm Table


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RE: Need help with small extra room

Hi Shades of Idaho. Love your picture. I do mosaics too! I have been doing them for at least 5 years. Have a houseful and yard full of 'my stuff'. Being that my table is white, the amber knobs (getting them from eBay of course!), will set it off. I love things on the eclectic side. On the wall I have a blue neon clock. Anyway, this farm table will suit my purposes and allow me enough room to even add a comfy sitting chair to the room which I cannot do right now. I have an old Borden solid wood metal brackets box that I purchased from eBay that someone painted in Shabby chic and added roses. I use this under the table area to store books. I used to collect old heavy vintage clothing irons and I have one that is a heavy steel like travel iron that used to use a cord you plugged into the iron. The cord is long gone, so I thought I would use that as decor or as a paperweight.


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RE: Need help with small extra room

I think the most important thing for us living in our smaller homes is to make them work for us however it is we need to do it. Re-purpose furniture in any way it will work for you no matter what it was intended for. I always considered the need for a guest room then decided we have so little company I have a sewing room or den that can be used as a place to sleep should guests come. This way I quit thinking of it as a non usable room.

That rolling shelf under my farm table got scoffed at by my hubby when I drug it home from the thrift store right in the middle of our move. It went directly to our new house. I knew when I saw it it was the perfect thing I needed for that space. Yes it is ugly as sin but it works and was cheep.

In my sewing room I had a jelly cabinet and then married another glass door cabinet to the top of it making it a tall cabinet. Getting twice the storage on the same foot print. Both are a foot deep out from the wall and three foot wide. Holds all my craft books on the bottom and all my sewing things in the top cabinet.

I use the futon as a nice couch for me to take a nap if I ever get a chance. Or a nice place to go to to read. So like your small room mine does get used. My room is 9 foot 4 inches wide by 13 foot long. The only reason it is so long is I had them leave out the closet when we had this place built. I wanted space for furniture more then closet space.

I even considered having my office space in there but decided the added flat surface of my desk in my studio room is better used for mosaics when I am not using it for my computer. And OH YAH mosaics are so fun. Doing my guest bath counter right now. Link below.

Do yourself a HUGE favor and get a laptop as soon as you can. It has changed the way we live in our small house. I usually keep mine beside my living room chair for use. Hubby has one at his chair too.Since we are on wireless we can take them any where in the house or porch. And we will not talk about the other three in my office not in use. Good thing they are small.

Hope you can get pictures soon. Can't wait to see it all set up.

Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: Guest bath counter and back splash


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RE: Need help with small extra room

We are thinking of doing the same thing. I have a closet off the living room that can house the uglier stuff like file cabinet & printer, and then I want a desk to put behind the sofa like a sofa table, but work like a desk. I have a laptop and love it, and think dh will love it too once he finds out he can work from his recliner. lol


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RE: Need help with small extra room

Well I haven't yet taken any photos, since I am still waiting for my glass amber knobs to arrive so I can put them on the farm table. I will be eliminating the 2 drawer file cabinet. I thought I would start with a square wooden cabinet that I have under the farm table next to my computer tower (the laptop will come later, then the tower will be gone). I use this to hide gift wrap, bubble wrap, small boxes and packing materials. I don't get into it that often, so I can actually move these items into a box in my outdoor shed and use this cabinet to store my 12 file folders once I get a smaller crate to put them in so they stand up. Then the current bills that sit in the lower drawer of the file cabinet will go into a ...ready for this? vintage roll top bread box. I happened to find one at the good will yesterday. Painted a dark green. Solid wood and it has a flat top that doesn't interfere when you open the roll top. This will be my 'desk top secretary' and hold the daily incoming mail, stationary, etc and the flat top will hold photo frames or something. I found some on eBay that are identical to the one at the good will store. They are ideal, especially since they are solid wood and not used for bread, and also because they are not metal. Once I am done the file cabinet goes and I can put a chair in that corner. I am including a pic of the one on eBay. Similar to the one I plan on getting. I have one in my bathroom that is Shabby Chic with a pink glass knob. This holds my Qtips, small bath items. REALLY a great idea!

Here is a link that might be useful: Wooden bread box


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RE: Need help with small extra room

Oh That is GREAT looking. I have one I did mosaic on the top and sides. It was not as nice wood as the one you have. I also have one that has a drop down door on the front. I thought to use it for my mosaic tools but never got that far.

I love to re-purpose things. I have a small collection of medicine cabinets I hope to do something with some day. Like a collection on one wall in our bath for small thing storage. Or??? Maybe my sewing room.

Would to see the shabby one you have. Pink knobs to die for.

I know you can make it all work. And Hahahah just as I say we never have company. We will be having company some time soon after Christmas. Wonder how he will like my sewing room???

Chris


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RE: Need help with small extra room

Well my glass knobs finally arrived! I put them on the farm table and they just sparkle in the light. Also brought home the dark green breadbox which will become my rollup desktop secretary. It's awesome! Check out the patina on the handled knob. Yesterday it was $8.00, but they had a sale and I got it for $4.00. Note the Christmas card on the table. It is one of two that I purchased on eBay. The envelope is postmarked Dec. 24, 1929 and bears the handwriting of the Mr. and Mrs. who sent it to their friend. To think that they were on the eve of the Great Depression and here we are likely headed in the same direction.






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RE: Need help with small extra room

Thank you for the great idea of using a farm table as a computer desk! I have one also...mine is solid wood...and not sure how I would use it, since I wouldn't have room for it in the kitchen. It also has two drawers and already has glass knobs. And I like the idea of the roll top bread box. Cool!

I don't like regular computer desks. Most look too modern for my tastes and are made of little more than pressed paper.


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RE: Need help with small extra room

mongomoon, how's it coming? I just had THE TALK with dh about moving the office into the den and he is moaning and groaning about it, losing the privacy of his office (a partitioned part of the garage), how difficult it is to put the printer in the office and hook it to a wireless, not enough space, and all that.

Post pics as soon as you have them, my sanity may be at stake! lol


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RE: Need help with small extra room

Marti8a , I hooked up our wireless system in two houses. I do not have the printer on wireless since I am not even sure it will do that. I do have it in my studio hooked to a hub with burner and a phone jack and a couple other computers. When I want to print something I just unpug my lappy and take it in there and print. Course that would be hard with desk top. Most wireless things pretty much hook right up.I think it is a matter of hooking a usb wireless stick to it somewhere as the receiver from your computer with another wireless device on it.

I was hoping to see it together too. Hurry Mangomoon. LOL

Chris


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RE: Need help with small extra room

Hi Chris,

Well it has taken me so long to get back to posting. Well,
so far not much progress. I got rid of the filing cabinet, purchased a small Rubbermaid that holds my only 10 file and that fits into the wood cupboard that sits underneath the farm table, so it is out of sight, and my incoming bills, small stapler, are in the green box (what was the bread box-LOL), who would have thought?

BTW, I did a mosaic years ago on a very old white wood medicine cabinet with original beveled mirror. This sits in my bedroom on my dresser.

Ok, Marti8a, can't recall if I mentioned or not, but I tossed the fax machine. I am using a fax software program, and I have been using that for quite sometime, and saw no reason to have a fax machine taking up space. Now as you can tell, I really don't want to the room to look like an office, and away went the printer last year. I use a flash drive that I take to work with any files, etc I need to print. As for photos, any that come off of my camera that I want printed gets uploaded to Walgreen's or Long's and the prints are under .20 cents each, so no more wasting money on fancy photo paper and cartridges. Just the other day I was reading articles online on how fax machines and other equipment (unless you are a web designer), are being tossed out.

I am still not done, because I struggle with the square shape of the room and the fact that a heating vent is on the floor in one corner, so I can't put anything over it, unless I close the vent entirely. The only things left that I have yet to find in a good will store, are things for the wall and possibly an open back book shelf of some sort so that I have more room to store upwards, rather than just on top. I have a small collection of 'used to be' shoe shine boxes, the old wood ones. One has the metal shoe holder inside and you can only see it when you flip the lid back. The interior serves as a place to hide my camera, cell phone charger, etc..things I want out of sight. No more collection of pens in cup on the farm table. No-no..that would look bad on this beautiful table, so they are hidden in the old shoe shine box.
Oh, one more thing. Looking for a tall faux plant or tree for a corner to help hide a few wires.


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RE: Need help with small extra room

Mangomoon, Your room sounds like it is coming along nicely. I think once we start to see things can be used in a different way it starts to become fun. Dang I am still the pens in a cup on my desk. LOL Need to think of something else. Course it is a bright colorful cup fitting of the room. I have my other desk items in a weird little one door box thing I bought at a gift store. Paid lots for it but it was the perfect thing.

I bundled wires together and painted the cords to match the wall at one time to hide them. Now they are way behind out of sight so it does not matter.There is also covers to go over wires. Not sure where you get them. Maybe Staples kind of store.

I would love to see the medicine cabinet you did mosaic on. I have several I would like to do.

If I ever get time I would like to change my studio room some. I want to look out my window in a different way than I do now. Silly I know but it makes a difference to me. Maybe you all can help me.

Darn time for me to go to work again. Sigh...........

Chris


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RE: Need help with small extra room

mangomoon, it sounds great. I wish I could find neat stuff on craigslist.

Today I put the lateral file in the closet, and one of those cheapie particle board bookshelf. Dh has a lot of heavy notebooks and technical manuals so I don't know how long the bookshelf will hold up. Dd also helped me move the old bookshelf secretary into the room so some equipment can go in there.

I know what you mean about not wanting an office look. That's my goal too, although knowing dh, the clutter will grow every day. I'm going to make a trip to Best Buy tomorrow to see about going wireless with the printer.


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