When my father passed away 2 years ago my mother needed to stay with me to help her with her grief. My son had also recently returned home from college to finish his last year of school. This meant reworking some space in my home to make  room for both of them so they would feel welcome and have their own rooms to sleep in.

closet unter the stairway converts to home officeMy office had always been located in my living room because of the size and convenience of the space. But for these 2 reasons it was also the logical choice for a room for my mother so that she would not have to climb stairs.I started rethinking the available areas in the house and quickly arrived at the conclusion that a home office for me did not require a lot of space and could easily be tucked into the closet under my stairs.

The first step in making this happen was to have an electrician add an electrical outlet, cable could also be added for a computer but was not needed since we have a wireless router. The next area to tackle was to make space for my files and office supplies, so I purchased a small bookcase from a thrift store and faux finished it to match the mantel in my keeping room to make it appear to be an architectural element and tie the 2 areas together. I also purchased a small hall console with a drawer to use as my desk. Once these elements were in place then I went through the items I wanted to have in the office.

make a pen and pencil holder from a depression glass frogThings like files, office supplies, light, laptop, mail, CD’s, and inspirational artwork. In order to have room for the files I visited Target’s office supply area and found some great mesh file boxes that fit easily into the bottom shelf on the bookcase which put documents right at my fingertips. I added some bright fabric covered boxes to store pads, pencil lead, and other small supplies to get them out of sight and tidy. I always love to re-purpose items too so I took a couple of antique canning jars and threw in some pencils and rubber bands, and  a depression glass frog with pens and pencils inserted into the holes to conversation piece made from depression glassfashion a stylish holder.By adding some leather, soft side down, to the bottom of the frog you can prevent pens from leaking through and avoid surface scratches on your furniture. I use leather scraps from out of date samples but you could also use felt.

I hope this helps you to think of new ways to use your closets and for more ideas check our Projects page “What’s in your Closet”.