It’s DRAPERY. It’s a DOOR. NO, it’s a PANEL CURTAIN!

Tuesday this week was like Christmas and  I must have been a really good girl this year because Santa Apple brought me a shiny new Mac Mini.

It has been a very happy addition to the new improved office, but not the only one.

We also finally took care of the very odd 2 foot doorway/doorless-gap between the office/closet area of the bedroom and the bathroom. A door wouldn’t work because of the irregular size, so we decided to go with some sort of black curtain to at least block the light in the mornings.  I knew I wanted something more modern and clean than standard drapery — but I didn’t have any source ideas, really. I had also actually wanted something similar (but in white) for the sliding glass doors, so I took advantage of the wonderful Anna Dorfman’s (of doorsixteen) post a while back where she allowed readers to ask anything, a Q-and-A free-for-all of sorts and I asked Anna for recommended design solutions and she delivered (because she is amazing.) Her suggestion was to use IKEA’s panel curtains, they are slide along a track and are weighted on the bottom so that they hang straight – exactly the look I wanted. After some additional research we decided to go with it. It fits perfectly, we didn’t even need to cut down the curtain, although IKEA provides you with simple directions if we had needed to.

Here are the pieces required and the cost breakout in the event that you too have an odd 2 foot doorway/doorless-gap, or maybe just need/want a more modern curtain option:

One INGAMAJ black panel curtain: $14.99

One KVARTAL top and bottom rod set: $5.99

One KVARTAL single track rail: $5.99

Two KVARTAL ceiling fixture attachments: $2.50 ea/$5.00

Total: $31.97 

Not bad considering how much a custom door could have cost, and in this situation it looks much better than drapery, I would say.

We ended up going with simple white linen drapery curtains for the sliding glass doors, but mainly because purchasing enough panels to cover the length of the sliding glass doors would kinda add up, not to mention we would have to get a multi-track system so they wouldn’t run into each other if we wanted to enjoy our view. BUT, if we owned this place I probably would have gone for it. For now the white linen works fine in the still-needs-a-lot-of-work-kitchen.

Apart from needing to style the office shelves a bit and work on the cord situation, the office is pretty close to fini. Making progress on this apartment totally gives me some sort of equivalent to a runners high, without having to do that stupid exercise thing.

Oh and I need to do a THANK YOU MOM! shout out because this whole awesome office project was made possible with the IKEA gift card she gave us for our anniversary. I love you so much and Alex, Jenny, the new Mac Mini and I really, really appreciate your generous gift.

a little less PURPLE, a little more DESK

So, my computer was all like “Yo, Ryann, I am feeling like I am really ready to commit and settle down in one location, the life of a drifting laptop is getting a bit old.”

To which I naturally responded, “I hear ya, let me see what I can do, because I’m just that nice.”

I had thought of making a pipe shelving unit/desk, a la, The Brick House, but let’s be honest, I was too lazy. Instead we went with a much more simple DIY:

IKEA VIKA ALEX storage unit, white $50

IKEA LAGAN kitchen countertop 1″ x 25″ x 49″, beech $39

IKEA EKBY VIKTOR shelf 29″, white $6 (2)

IKEA EKBY STODIS shelf brackets, black $.50 (4)

Home Depot heavy-duty shelving brackets in white, $9 ea (2)

Screws, long and short

Screwdriver

Total Cost: $121

The challenge was the limited amount of space for the “office” in our apartment. In our previous place we had a whole second bedroom, but even there we never had a proper setup. With my classes I have been very excited to have my own space, a devoted area to do homework, and a much better spot to focus on my work rather than the couch or in the bed.

We needed something small for the very awkward, approximately 4′ deep space off the bedroom by the closet. Here is a before photo (please note again the purple):

First I painted over that yucky purple, which was the last of it – paint me a happy lady.

Secondly, I put together the storage unit. I am really happy with it and seems very sturdy. I also like that it is finished on the back, so there isn’t a bad angle for it to be seen from.

From here Alex and I went on a super duper fun wild goose chase – turns out Alex and I haven’t really ever bought any wood or been to a lumber yard — it also turns out a 1″ x 2′ x 4′ piece of wood isn’t something too easy to come by, at least in the South Bay. Everything is planks or thin pressed wood sheets. Maybe this is something most people know, but we didn’t and it was slightly embarrassing asking some workers who clearly thought this was common knowledge, that no, they didn’t have anything like that. So since we had already bought and put together the storage unit and had our plan, we didn’t want to back out and still wanted to find a way to make this work. As you can see from the supplies list above, we did find a solution, and while the dimensions were not perfect, I actually love it more than I thought. The IKEA countertop is great, it has a nice thickness and seems like good quality wood. I lightly sanded the countertop, cleaned it off with Murphy’s Soap and gave it some Teak Oil love and it came out looking perdy.

Once we had everything we needed, the rest was very easy. We put the storage unit up against the wall, marked the height and screwed in the heavy-duty L-brackets. Once the brackets were in the wall, we balanced the countertop on them and the storage unit, ensured that the placement was straight, and used small screws to attach the brackets to the countertop from underneath.

After then hanging a couple shelves, our make-shift office was turning out to be a nice little computer nook. It isn’t fully styled yet, but I am loving it so far. So is my computer. And Jenny. She is very pleased to be my fuzzy foot rest under this nice desk-cave we have seemingly built for her.

All we need now is to be on the lookout for a sweet office chair.

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