Before and After: A Closet-Turned-Office Makes Use of Every Inch—for Under $1000

published Sep 29, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: walk-in closet with built-in bench and shelves, but low ceiling
Credit: Ashley Domm

If you didn’t have a home office in 2019, you were probably looking for a way to make room for one in 2020. Things were no different at Ashley Domm’s home, where she was trying to figure out how to fit both an office space and a desk space for her first-grade son into her condo.

“I live in a 1,000 square foot condo and using space well is vital, especially now that we are spending so much time at home,” Ashley says. “The building is a garden-style condo building and was built in the 1930s, so there is a lot of character throughout.”

Credit: Ashley Domm

That includes a walk-in closet with a small window, which up until recently she’d been using as… a closet. But, Ashley says, “we had to stop working and doing school at the dining room table, the couch, the bed, on the floor. I wanted a separate space for work and school to help us cope with 2020 and beyond.”

Credit: Ashley Domm

Ashley decided to make the most of the closet space and turn it into a work zone for both her and her son. She started by removing the shelving and rods that took up room on the walls and made the ceiling feel lower. She patched, sanded, and primed herself, then painted with a soft white she chose from Clare.

Credit: Ashley Domm

Ashley hired a pro to install the built-in desk, which is made from butcher block she bought at Home Depot. She uses half, with a cushioned chair she scored on Craigslist, while her son uses the other half that features a built-in window seat. A dual-head lamp ensures they’re both getting enough light to work.

Ashley also added a colorful floral rug from Rifle Paper Company, which makes the office feel more like a real room and less like a converted closet. All together, the project cost under $1,000, which was money well spent, Ashley says. “I love that it’s a good use of space and I like the rug, which helped bring the colors together.”

For other newly minted WFH-ers, Ashley has wise words: “Don’t discount a tiny space to become a useful home office. Especially if there’s a window in your closet already!”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.