Friday, November 8, 2013

An Easy Update for the Computer Nook.

We don't have a office in this house.  We have a large Game Room upstairs with a computer armoire that houses all our office essentials. It works since we can close it off and keep certain things away from tiny hands. This was a our solution for serveal years but now the boys are into computer games and use this space sporadically for homework. It has recently come to our attention that our upstairs "office" has slowly been taken over by the boys. I'm never up there much since the baby perfers downstairs and J has a laptop that he keeps in the Family Room. He likes to spread out and work at the kitchen bar but occasionally leaves his laptop out I'm always afaid that the kids will mess with his things or worse yet, spill whatever it is they are snacking on at the time around or on it. This always leaves me cringing a tiny bit because I CAN NOT STAND to have things just sitting around out of place for days on end. I am a bit anal-retentive that way. I admit it, everything has a place so put it back where it goes!

When we moved into this house 7 years ago. It was your basic run of the mill track house with nothing of interest what-so-ever. We had a empty enclave in our Family Room that I knew could be something really cool if I could just figure out what to do with it. About 5 years ago, I decided to turn the space into a little computer nook for our old laptop. It wasn't a real work area but more a of place for displaying pretty knick-knacks. There was no real lighting or storage. Visibility was limited but that was ok because my nook was pretty and I didn't want a bunch of dangling cords. It filled in all the dead space without throwing in a plain boring bookshelf.  With the boys moving in on J's work space upstairs I decided to revisit this little nook and make it a little more functional. My goal was to add some lighting, simple storage and update the paint inexpensively as I could. Simple right?

Here's what I came up with. The total spent was around $30 and only took a day or two to put together. I think it blends better with the Family Room now. I love it!  



The breakdown.
I bought stencils (yes, I know stencils!) at Wal-mart for $3.97 and 2-2oz bottles of acrylic craft paint in Old White for $.47 apiece. I cut out the stencil and applied the paint with a paintbrush working in rows moving across the wall and down. When I was done, the stencils looked too perfect. I decided to give it a "aged" look by brushing in a few light coats of more craft paint all over and letting it dry. I then rubbed it all down with a damp cloth to blend in any lines. I added a few "splotches" of my chalk paint in Antibes Green to give the entire wall a bit of a patina. 

Next thing I did was rehang the shelving tracks a bit lower to add a new shelf. I painted the tracks with more craft paint to help camouflage them on the wall. The shelves went lighter with a couple of coats of my leftover chalk paint in French Linen. I restained the desk with a darker walnut stain I had in the garage and sealed it with some poly.

For the lighting, I found these industrial clamp lights at Home Depot for $6.97a peice. I painted them in Robin's Egg Blue with spray paint that I bought I Michael's with my 50% off coupon. The paint was horrible, more oil and water than anything else but it was only $4. I hid the cords to the lamps down the sides of the shelving tracks with electrical staples hammered in for a tight fit. When I was satisfied with the placement of the cords, I gave them a coat of more craft paint.
hidden track and cords (hopefully).

I didn't buy much in the way of new accessories other than a couple of things. I found a rustic basket with tin containers for pencils and pens but I didn't care for the tin when I got home. I replaced the tin containers with glass jars that I save from the fridge, usually jars from pickles, jams or jelly's. J got a charger caddy for his bday and I painted that (yup, you guessed it- with more craft paint) to help it blend. I also painted my black framed cork/dry erase board white and rehung it over the new monitor shelf. I had the chipboard boxes in my closet and pulled them out and used my crappy Robin's Egg Blue spray paint to give them a quick new look. The wicker basket was from Wal-mart and was $7. The blue wire baskets came from Homegoods and were $5 apiece. I bought those a few months ago for the kitchen but wasn't crazy how they looked in there. The rest of the accessories were either here on the old shelves (ceramic dogs and amber glass bowl) or gathered from other areas of the house. I love it when that happens! I was afraid the overall look was kind of busy so I reworked a few things but I think this works now. I really enjoy this little nook and it's now as pretty as it is functional and all under $30!


  1. So clever! And the stenciling is phenomenal, I would not have your patience but wish I did. I am SO with you on everything in its place...although in my fanaticism to put everything away I end up hearing a lot of "where did you put my so-and-so?" :)