Bedroom Closet to Work Office Transformation


January 29, 2011

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4 min read

As many of you are aware late last year the company I worked for went belly up over some shady business they were doing. My job ended the day the FBI and IRS raided our building.

That was my last day working in an office building for me. Since then, I've joined the fine team at appendTo as a Senior Architect doing Front-end Architecture Reviews, JavaScript and jQuery consulting, writing for Enterprise jQuery, etc... The funny thing about appendTo is that we are all spread across the United States, which means that there is no real office!

The fact that I have 3 kids makes finding a quiet place around the house a tad difficult. I didn't really want to pay for an office space somewhere, so I tried to be creative in where I worked. First I tried family or neighbors close by that worked during the day. Then one day my wife suggested converting half of our Master Bedroom Closet into an office... and that is where I am right now :)

Thankfully the closet already had an air vent otherwise I'd probably suffocate. I did need electricity and an internet connection so, my Father-in-Law wired the electricity and DSL through the Bedroom wall.

The beginnings of my Closet Office were uncomfortable and cumbersome as you can see in this first photo. The computer I had worked on previously was owned by my work and... well, the FBI confiscated that ;) So, I was left with my netbook until I could order my next computer. I bought a picnic table from Wal-Mart as a stop gap solution, but it proved to be too tall and wasted a lot of precious desk space. Also, the fold up chain didn't cut it. I was drooping in my seat by the end of the day.

My Father-in-Law saw my working conditions and took me to Staples to buy me an appropriate office chair. It is amazing how much a comfortable chain can change your whole day! Ohh and and you can see, my MacBook Pro arrived :)

Next my Father-in-Law said that he could build me a custom desk to fit the small space. He had a bunch of wood left over from a desk he built himself a year or two ago. We took out the bottom clothes rack in half of the closet to install the desk. He used a ledger and a couple of braces to keep it strong without having table legs in the way.

The next step of my Closet Office was to build huge cabinets that stretched to the ceiling with lights underneath. This project took the longest and was a chore to install, but now I have tons of room to store books, pictures, coffee, bills, etc. At this stage of the project we removed the top clothes rack in half the closet.Note: The MacBook you see below wasn't mine. A client I worked for was really particular about security and I had to use one of their computers and work over VPN. Thankfully the project is over and I'm able to use my MacBook Pro again.

So, there you have it! As you can tell I own a HUGE thanks to my Father-in-Law for all his hard work.

And if you were wondering...

  • My office space takes up 5' 2'' x 4' 5'' of our total 11' 11'' x 4' 5'' closet space. We keep our clothes in the remaining part.
  • I like to call my working space as the "Man Cave"
  • And yes, I do come out of the closet every day LOL. As you could probably guess, I get that joke a lot :)

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