before and afterDIY

Before & After: A Tiny Closet Becomes A Charming Home Office

by Maxwell Tielman


After photos by Lea Hartman Photography.

There is a common, reoccurring dream that afflicts many city dwellers that involves the discovery of new, previously unearthed rooms in their apartments. It’s been theorized that this intangible dream is a subconscious response to an all-too tangible problem: the sardine-sized living spaces available to most renters. Small living quarters are nothing new to the modern urbanite, but in recent years, with rents skyrocketing to outrageous new heights, the problem seems to have been exacerbated and exaggerated so that it’s not uncommon to see shoebox-sized apartments rented for Xanadu-sized prices. Although finding an undiscovered room in a tiny living space is little more than an urban pipe-dream, some savvy tinkerers have been able to turn this dream into a reality with just a bit of imagination. Stacey Blake, the blogger behind Design Addict Mom, is one such tinkerer. Faced with a shortage of room and a need for an organized office, she was able to materialize a home office from a previously unused space—a closet! With a bit of formica, some cute wallpaper and a few choice pieces, Stacey pulled off the impossible and created a beautiful, functional space from practically nothing. Magic! Check out the rest of the photos plus Stacey’s design notes and sources after the jump! —Max

*Click here for more creative home office ideas!


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  • The lovely diva lady called Windy was purchased from one of my favourite Fashionistas, Edwina at Fashion + Art.
  • The write-on Chesapeake chalk candle is one of my faves in the space and I found it hidden amongst some other things at TJMaxx. The scent is eucalyptus and it smells so good!
  • The chair is the white Scoop back chair from West Elm.
  • The stylish and fabulous acrylic stapler was purchased from the Zhush shop.
  • The wallpaper is the Tanzania pink Thibaut wallpaper from their Resort collection. This was sourced and purchased through a local wallpaper business called Cumberland Paints and Wallpaper.
  • The lamp shade and base were purchased from Target.


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  • This is charming. I can’t work well (or comfortably spend much time in) highly patterned environments; lots of texture is a different matter. But I do enjoy looking at this from a distance and applaud Stacey’s creativity in a tiny niche.

  • I love this space! I’d probably add a shelf, towards the top and keep magazine file boxes and bins on it so that whatever I need is handy. This wallpaper makes me happy :D

  • So cute and charming, I think I would have drilled another hole in the desktop for a laptop power cord though! It looks like it might be big enough for two cords…

  • That looks great! As an architect, I would recommend taking the door off. Although it’s nice to close it to hide a messy office, it would make the space seem less claustrophobic. Also, you can then you can do something really fun with the door frame.

  • Nicely done, Stacy! I agree about the door comment, although you might like keeping tht area separate when you’re not using it, depending on what else is in that room. I am curious as to the sanding and painting of the formica top–really? How many coats, did you paint, and how is it holding up? I hate my kitchen countertop and a new one is not in the bueget right now, but I’m hesitant to try this on a space that gets a lot of wear and tear.

  • Don’t understand why you didn’t use white formica in the first place, but really very cute!

  • Love it. Great job. Can you possibly tell me what the blue paint color that is in the room next to the office. Thanks.

  • I love your work. Materializing a home office from a closet is a fabulous idea. I am going to try to do the same at home. The budget of 400 dollars absolutely works for me. Thank you for sharing your idea!