A small project…

When we moved into our house last year there was a lovely space in the hallway which I immediately pictured as a small work-space. We wanted to create a small office-type area that was close to the rest of the living space in the house so that when I was busy prepping work for supply teaching days we could still be spending time together. We purchased a fairly cheap desk from Homebase (it cost around £100) which fitted the space perfectly. We chose a dark walnut colour to match the furniture in the living room (and ultimately the colour we want the other woodwork in the house to be) and paired it up with one of our spare dining chairs. It has worked out really well and is a great use of the small space, however there was definitely room for improvement.

As you can see from the (not very good) photograph, the space was boring. The plain walls looked bare and the desk (which I’m afraid you can barely see) looked a little out of place.

The surface of the desk itself was a mess and there never seemed to be any space to work with papers or documents. Every available space was taken up with stationery and electronics. (By the way, I tidied the desk before I took this photograph because the actual mess was just far too embarrassing to show you, but you get the idea – it was cluttered!)

My solution to the problem was to purchase a couple of floating shelves (again from Homebase, on sale at half price – £12.49 each) and use them to create extra space. They are almost the same colour as the desk so are as close to perfect as I am likely to find. The wall space was 1200mm across and I very nearly bought shelves that length but I realised that they would stick out just at head height right beside the bathroom door (on the left) so I decided to go for the shorter 800mm ones instead to avoid bumps to the head, especially during night-time trips to the bathroom in the dark! (I had also thought about using small square corner shelves as opposed to the long ones but they were out of stock in the shop so the decision was made!)

Now I’m by no means great at DIY, but this job was fairly straightforward. This is all that was needed:

What I haven’t shown is the extra screws I had to use and the masking tape that I used to mark where the holes in the wall should go. The shelves only came with two screws each for securing the shelves to the brackets. There were no screws to attach the brackets to the wall but I had a box of small screws so just used them.

I am delighted with the end result. The space looks much more complete now and it is definitely much more tidy. Its a shame that our printer is so big because it takes up a huge space on the desk. I’m not sure how to get around that – perhaps a small hutch that it could sit on/under? That will definitely be a project for another day.

I am amazed by how such a small and simple project can make such a big difference to how functional and practical a space is. The only thing that is missing is a noticeboard and callendar. I have been inspired by projects like this and this and plan to have a go at making my own in the near future!

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