My NEW Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan

Sep 17 2018
My posts may include affiliate links Click here to read my full Disclosure Policy

Making a new office, creating spaces in an open plan. With my becoming a single gal I went back to my old plan of putting a rental suite in my basement. But then I needed to figure out where my workshop was going to go! So I moved it to my biggest bedroom on my main floor but then I needed a guest bedroom so I lost my office lol.

At first I squeezed my desk and computer into my living room which worked fine but I also hated it because I already don’t have a very big living room.

Where I do have some serious extra space is actually in my entryway and dining room. Amazingly this room USED to be my grandparents’ old wood shed! It was my mom’s idea to go ahead and incorporate it into the house and BOOM I have this amazing huge entry.

Here are the before and during the renovation photos. Yes, that is a picture of a blank wall because that wall is now gone and YES that is my incredible Mom helping me put in the floor in the old wood shed to make this space! 🙂

Before and after of my multi functional multi purpose entry and dining room that is also now doubling as my office and mudroom too! See how I transformed this space during a DIY do it yourself renovation, gutting my Grandma's 100 year old farmhouse and making it all new again!Before and after of my multi functional multi purpose entry and dining room that is also now doubling as my office and mudroom too! See how I transformed this space during a DIY do it yourself renovation, gutting my Grandma's 100 year old farmhouse and making it all new again!Before and after of my multi functional multi purpose entry and dining room that is also now doubling as my office and mudroom too! See how I transformed this space during a DIY do it yourself renovation, gutting my Grandma's 100 year old farmhouse and making it all new again!

When I first moved my computer in here I figured out real quick that my old computer desks were going to be just HUGE for this space. I already had this ancient kitchen table of my grandparents’ that I refinished years ago so I went ahead and used it for my new office desk.

Buuuuut….. it was kinda short for my computer chair. (At least, too short for me, I like to cross my legs up on top of the chair when I work for long periods of time.) With feet flat on the ground I could get under the table but it bugged me because I just can’t do proper posture for very long no matter how hard I fight it.

(It wouldn’t be the first time someone stopped by to find me with one foot on my desk by my monitor, one leg under me and my keyboard balanced somewhere in between.)

SO, at first I was going to figure out how to raise the desk and then I started working on this blog post and mentioned how much I loved my computer chair but I had my heart set on an old banker’s chair. Up until I found this chair I had NEVER seen one thrifting and I honestly believed it was a pipe dream.

And then there she was 🙂

It was like the thrift Gods answered my prayer!

My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.

My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.

And I literally did nothing but just bring this chair in, slide it under my old table and stare at the perfection of it all. What were the chances?! The fit is PERFECT – like they were made for each other!

Amazing note on how awesome my mom was. This chair was out of my budget. I knew I couldn’t get them down to what I was willing to spend so I was just walking away. My mom stopped me, told me to grab it and she bought it for me 🙂

At first I put the desk on the east wall (under the windows facing my deck) but that turned into a terrible idea. I mostly work at my computer after my day job in the evening so I had the sun setting at my back – the glare was so bad I couldn’t even see the screen!

That got me thinking about how I could better shift this whole area around. This is a LONG room (like over 20 feet) and breaking it up into sections seemed like my best course of action. Here’s the before and after of the floor plan.

I had this pretty red dresser in my old guest bedroom (now my workshop) so I brought that over and turned it to face the dining room table. This dresser had sat out on the screened in porch through decades of northern Minnesota winters and summers. Neither my mom nor aunt knew where it came from but I rolled up my sleeves and stripped it anyway. I think it turned out absolutely beautiful!

My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.

One amazing perk: The storage in the dresser is SO cool. Having that kind of space beside my dining room table means I have a place now for all of my cards and board games. I even have room in the top drawer for gloves, scarves, hats etc.

The dresser also provides me with a landing area when I get home from work. Mail, keys, purse and anything else I’m carrying goes right there.

Which is particularly awesome to me because I absolutely HATE anything on my table. Which makes no sense because my dining room table is usually totally covered in drop cloth and whatever project I’m currently working on lol.

(I’m pretty sure this is me unconsciously working against my own procrastination. I hate my dining room table covered so that means I get my projects done in double time!)

I refinished these two old rocking chairs when I refinished the table I’m using as a desk. They’re not the sturdiest anymore but I still love them and keeping them together is just natural.

The table between them I inherited from my grandparents’ and it is the only piece in the room I have not refinished. The storage bench my grandparents’ made and I fixed it in the post last week because my old dog Diesel actually left bite marks on the lid lol I also made a no-sew tufted cushion for it.

The closet doors I made years ago are still going strong! They need another coat of paint but, otherwise, I’m quite happy with how well they’ve held up.

The barn door closet that covers up my electric panel gives a nice spot for guests to hang their coats and I’m still pretty smitten with it because that door used to be the outside wood shed door, so it only moved a couple of feet!

My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.

My home keeps evolving and changing by the minute but where this room felt like SO MUCH wasted space before now I feel like I am actually utilizing it. I love having my new office close to the heart of my home. My old office was beautiful and having my own real room for an office was nice but it also felt lonely.

Moving this part of my life front and center and creating not just this section of my home, but my WHOLE home, based on who I am has been absolutely amazing.

You come into my house now and there is no question who the woman is who lives here, what she loves and how she lives. My grandma’s house is finally becoming a reflection of not just my grandparents but of me too!

My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.


My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.My new Office Reveal: how to create designated spaces in an open plan, create office space in an entryway and dining room without closing the room off.

Hi guys :) Thank you so much for coming by and reading my posts! You might also like my Weekly DIY newsletter so you don't miss anything! Just type in your email to sign up!

My Newsletter

26 Comments

  1. September 17, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    The remodel looks incredible! Those floors are gorgeous!

  2. September 19, 2018 at 7:33 am

    A beautiful room out of nothing. Well done Tarah and that dresser is not only practical but very pretty!

    • September 19, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Thank you Mary, I am still SO in love with that dresser. It was so cool to be able to have a place for it front and center!

  3. September 19, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Your office looks great and I LOVE the chair! I’m so glad you found it!

  4. September 20, 2018 at 7:04 am

    This room is just beautiful. I hope it breathes new inspiration into your writing each time you sit down. It is warm and inviting!

    • September 20, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Thank you so much Joanne, have a great weekend!

  5. September 21, 2018 at 8:21 am

    I have a large dresser in my office, too. My printer and supplies sit on top and the drawers are such great extra space! Love your office!

    • September 21, 2018 at 8:44 am

      Thank you Donna, it is amazing how versatile dressers are, they are certainly not just for clothes lol!

  6. Toni
    September 23, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Oh Tarahlynn – How wonderful! You are taking care of current needs while honouring your family’s history! Brilliant! How do you find the time to do all that you do? I think this is my favorite of all your posts! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • September 24, 2018 at 8:54 am

      Toni, thank you so much! It has been an INCREDIBLY busy summer for me but I was so excited to get my office done I just couldn’t sit still til it was complete lol Have a great week!

  7. Toni
    September 23, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Please share how you made those doors – the one that looks like French doors. They look so lovely!
    Many thanks again for sharing!

    • September 24, 2018 at 8:55 am

      Hi Toni, the link is here: https://www.grandmashousediy.com/closet-doors/ – they were pretty simple to make, just 2x2s screwed together, painted and then fabric stapled to the back. They aren’t perfect by any means but they’re still holding up pretty well!

  8. September 23, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Tara, I absolutely luv this makeover and swooning over that banker chair. You are right, I’ve never seen one either thrifting. So glad you shared it with us at wall to wall DIY Wednesday!

  9. Kathy H.
    September 23, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    First I need to say … even though we( your readers) may not personally know you, we are all proud of you and how you have persevered. You are now doing what you want to do with your life. You did a great job on the dresser ( as with all your other projects). I like how it makes a separation between the rooms. Also putting your washer/dryer behind the French style doors. Saying this will sound selfish on my part..but Unfortunately owning a house and property is a never ending job. So I will keep looking forward to seeing your Blog in my email.

    • September 24, 2018 at 9:21 am

      Oh Kathy, thank you so much! And, OMG, you are SO right about the never ending jobs lol. Every time I feel like I get somewhere on my to-do list I’m reminder of several other things I need to do add to it! It is a good never ending job though, it feels wonderful to really make this place my own. Have a great week!

  10. Heather
    September 24, 2018 at 7:33 am

    Beautiful! I can’t even tell you what I love best as it’s all so wonderful; right from you and your Mom working on this together to all the memory pieces you have in your new space. It all fits together so perfectly, great job!!

    • September 24, 2018 at 9:18 am

      Thank you so much Heather, I just love that when I walk into my home now this is the space I step into! Have a great week!

  11. September 26, 2018 at 5:38 am

    It looks GREAT! I always love seeing what you are creating :)….
    Thanks for sharing at last week’s Reader Tip Tuesday – ca’t wait to see what you share at this week’s party!

  12. September 27, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Stunning transformation. I feel inspired to update too.

  13. September 29, 2018 at 7:39 am

    I have been following your blog and all the amazing things you have accomplished through your hard work and determination to get things done. Since I love old things, I am in awe of all the things you have redone. I don’t know of many women that have endured the hardship of the cold to take care of your animals and I love you for that alone. I look forward to reading more of your blog and see all the wonderful things you do and the care you take with restoring everything you can.

    • October 1, 2018 at 9:26 am

      Connie, thank you so much, it was a very hard winter with many trials that tested me right to my limits but this home just keeps on saving me. Have a wonderful week!

Leave a Comment

Iris Nacole

Disclaimer

Everything you see here on this blog the author has chosen to do so entirely at her own risk. And that is: risk to herself and risk to whatever she may be working on/her home and her own wallet. The author assumes absolutely no liability if you choose to follow in her foot steps and attempt anything you see on this website yourself. The author strongly urges you to do your due dilligence before attempting anything of a diy nature at home.

Disclosure and Privacy Policy

This post may contain affiliate links and, if you do choose to use them it will cost you nothing, but you will be supporting my little farm as well as this blog and my future projects. Likewise for the banners and ads you see around this site. This site also collects Cookies:
For my Full Disclosure, click HERE
For my Privacy Policy, click HERE

Copyright Notice

All the photos and text on this blog are copyright Protected and owned by the author. If you would like to feature or use any of the photos or work you see here that is wonderful! You may share one photo from a post, if linked back to the original post. You may not copy entire articles and posts (even if you link back to me) without my express permission. Email requests using the contact form HERE