I recently moved from a nearly 3,300 SF home to one that is barely 1,400. Technically, it’s even smaller, as 250 SF is slated for an upcoming remodel and currently off limits. First world problems, I know, but it’s a significant change nonetheless.
I naively thought the transition would be a piece of cake. I mean, with such a small space, how much could I really take?! Unpacking would be a breeze! Well, it took a lot longer to unpack than I ever imagined. The culprit?...where to put all the things I “need” but don’t want to see everyday. When you go from living in a house that has a space for everything critical (because a thoughtful remodel MADE it that way) to one where each room feels as small as it possibly can be, you have to find ways to make your rooms, and the furniture in them, serve multiple purposes.
Cue my office dilemma!
Obviously, some of my personal effects did not make the move. My oversized desk, wood filing cabinets, and bookshelves were some of those items. But I had launched a new design business and needed room, not just for the typical office supplies, but for client files, design books, catalogs, and samples.
As I settled in, I couldn’t help but grimace every time I noticed a small, but vacant, strip of space between the back door and the kitchen. It wasn’t very big, but at 3’ by 6’, it was there for the taking! But it was also within direct eyesight of the front entry, so the space wasn’t just small, it would have to be tidy. Perhaps not the most optimal place to man the helm of a new business.
I initially set out with the idea of installing cabinets and a wooden counter top that I would stain to my liking. But a timely perusal of a popular furniture catalog uncovered a modular mudroom system that could be reconfigured to perfectly fit my tiny space. One dinner bribe later (to persuade the boyfriend to help with the install) and an inexpensive planked table (which required some custom resizing), and I was in business…literally and figuratively. In the interest of full disclosure, I planned for a second tower to house my files, but in the end it felt too crowded, so I tucked a filing cabinet into a nearby closet and called it done. The extra tower will get repurposed as linen storage in the bathroom that is awaiting remodel.
A few loose ends remain. I still need to patch the holes in the ceiling where we repositioned the pendants, and I need to construct a decorative rolling cart for the printer and shredder I shoved under the desk. (Somehow, a rugged furniture dolly just doesn’t offer enough design punch!) But at long last, my supplies are unpacked, I have a comfortable space to work (with natural lighting to boot), and the last of my moving boxes have been retired to their rightful destination…the recycling bin!!