Office and Craft Room Update

office and craft room multi-purpose space done on a very tight budget.

Office/craft room revamp project {The Creativity Exchange}

I hope you guys had a fantastic weekend!

Today, I wanted to re-share my office/craft/family room project because after I shared it a year and a half ago, I immediately agreed to have the space shared in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine . I didn’t want to share too much until the room feature came out.  Since the magazine feature came out last month and the new February issue just came out, I can finally talk a little more about our special room and all of the DIY projects that we did in the space.


built in media center with tons of storage.


So today, I am re-posting the project, adding a few more updated pictures and linking to all of the projects tutorials that we did in this space.  I wanted to share as much information in one place for those of you who may be considering creating a multi-purpose space in your own home.

Keep in mind as you read this that no space is too small to create a special space like a craft room or multi-purpose space to meet your needs. This room is over our garage is only 250 sq. ft.  So anything is possible and I did it on a very limited budget, as you will see.


office/craft room revamp {before and after} The Creativity Exchange


When we did this room revamp back in early 2013, it seemed like this project would never end because we had so many issues to overcome in such a small space.  I spent a lot of my time on the front end thinking through precisely how we would use this space and what we needed.  My goal was to purposefully maximize every square inch.

I guess the best place to start is to show you again what this space looked like before we started the project:



Red Playroom


Red Playroom
This room was our daughter’s playroom and as you can see, we never did much with the space. Because my girl (at the time) was so little, we just wanted a place for her and her friends to play, eat and hangout. We didn’t want to worry about spilled sippy cups and goldfish embedded in the carpet.

Our daughter is 10 years old now and prefers paints and crafts over toys.  I also really needed an office and a craft/studio but we still needed a hangout space for our girl, so we decided to attempt to create a multi-purpose space that will fit all of our needs.

So here is what that same shot looks like today after the revamp:


office/craft room revamp reveal {The Creativity Exchange}

Here is a cool panorama of the room so you can see the space all together.  By the way, a HUGE thank you to my talented photog friend Shay from Lens to Legends for taking all of the awesome photos that I’m sharing today:

click on the panorama shot to see the full size!!

Office/craft room revamp (The Creativity Exchange)


Designing our new space was the ultimate challenge for me because I had to really maximize every inch without it looking cluttered.  My goal was to create four distinct purposeful areas; a family room, office, craft area and wrapping station. I also wanted the space to be beautiful and calm but I also had to balance it with functionality and high durability.


office/craft room revamp (before & after) The Creativity Exchange


office/craft room revamp from the creativity exchange


One of the most important elements going into this project for me was really the floors.  It was also the first decision I made in the planning process.  My goal was to design a space around unique (and beautiful) floors that are highly, highly durable.  I knew that the floors would tie everything together and  help make the space appear larger than what it is. I also knew I wanted some sort of gray wash look and after weeks of research, I finally found my beautiful gray vinyl plank floors (yep! these are vinyl!!) at Build Direct:


vinyl plank floors from Build Direct {The Creativity Exchange}


The vinyl plank floors are made by Vesdura High Performance 5mm in the Century Oak finish.  I cannot tell you just how beautiful these floors are in person and the best part is that they are 100% waterproof and they are really inexpensive!  It’s so hard to believe that they are vinyl because they come in long planks like wood and have a simulated raised wood texture that you can really see in this shot:


Vesdura vinyl plank floors in Century Oak from Build Direct {The Creativity Exchange}


Vinyl flooring has come a long way since my Grandmother’s kitchen floors!


Vesdura Vinyl Plank Floors in Century Oak (The Creativity Exchange)


office/craft room revamp reveal {The Creativity Exchange}

For more details about the vinyl plank floors and how they are installed, you can check out my previous post here.

My other primary focus when we began this project was the built-in cabinet storage pieces.  I wanted to create as much floor to ceiling storage and work space but I had to save as much money as possible. We saved money by using the wall as the back of the cabinets and ready-made inexpensive kitchen cabinets as our bases:


Inexpensive Ways to Create Built In Shelving



Inexpensive ways to create built-in counters and shelving using pre-made kitchen lowers {The Creativity Exchange}


We did all of the built-ins and countertops throughout the room for under $800.00! I shared all of the details on how we did the built-ins and ways that we saved money on the built-ins in this post here.

I am also really excited with how my desk turned out and how I was finally able to overcome the challenge of tying in the desk into the counter wrap around:


Desk and wrap station built in.


It’s hard to believe that my desk looked like this when I started:


Before and after hutch desk transformation {The Creativity Exchange}


I bought this desk from a friend for $150.00 because it would be a lot less expensive for me to tie this desk into the built ins than starting from scratch.  Tying in this desk was really a challenge for me but I was determined to make it work because the desk had everything I needed.  You can read about the desk revamp and bulletin board projects here.

The table in the center of the room was something else that was a very important element for us as well because it will help us address our multi-purpose needs and serve as a craft table, game table and pizza party table for my daughter and her friends:


Office/craft room revamp project from The Creativity Exchange


I love how the table turned out and the upholstered cubes from Ballard Designs were exactly what we needed.  They slide under the table, so we can push them in and work around it without having to move chairs.

I painted the table with oil based enamel for extra durability and I also shared a detailed tutorial for this table and how (and why) to paint furniture using oil based paints here.

By the way, this is what the table looked like before and after (this was our old kitchen table):

Tips and tricks for working with oil based paints to create a flawless durable finish {The Creativity Exchange}
I also made an ottoman slipcover with dishtowels.  I know it sounds crazy but I loved the Threshold dish towels from Target and shared that project here for those of you interested in making your own ottoman slipcover (it’s easy!):


DIY Dishtowel Slipcover {The Creativity Exchange}


Last but not least, if you’re interested in the paint colors that I used for this project, I shared all of the paint colors and palette as well. You can get to that post by clicking the image below:

Paint colors used for office/craft room revamp from The Creativity Exchange



Office Craft Room Revamp Project


We have now been using this space for more than a year and a half and it has really been such a joy and inspiration for my daughter and I to have a fun space like this for us to create.  I wish I would have done this years ago because it really was possible to create a dream room in a very small space and on a very tight budget.

There are a lot of projects and organizational tricks we used in this space that I haven’t shared yet and next week, I’ll be sharing a few of those projects as well.



This entry was posted in Build, Decorate, DIY, Do It Yourself Projects, Office, Organizational Ideas, Paint Colors and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Office and Craft Room Update

  1. This space is totally amazing. Such a gorgeous and well planned room.

  2. Stacey says:

    You are beyond creative and I wish I had half the design eye that you have. Love, love, love this room.

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you so very much sweet Stacey! It really is our little dream space and I only wish I would have done it years ago. Thank you so much!

      • Stacey says:

        Have you ever given input on a project? I have a family room that is a blank canvas that I’m looking to complete this spring. Would love to hear your vision!

  3. ann cariola says:

    this is a beautiful, comfortable and creative room…you are very talented! how is your ikea sectional holding up? i have considered buying the sofa for my den which gets a ton of use from my high school aged son and his large and very messy friends. do you think it would hold up?

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you so much Ann! I cannot believe how well the sofa has held up and how comfortable the sofa is. This was the first IKEA piece I bought and I was really worried. Our family talks all the time about how comfy the sofa is. It’s the Ektorp and we have loved it so much we are thinking about purchasing two for our living room.

      My daughter and her friends spill stuff all the time on it and it cleans up beautiful. Best deal out there! I hope that helps! Thanks so much for your note and stopping by!

  4. Kimberly says:

    This really is one of my favorite spaces in blogland! You did such an amazing job with this room, it serves so many functions, yet is so cohesive in it’s design and decor. I love everything about it. I especially love those swing arm shades sconces near the door (my eye is drawn to lighting these days as I need new lamps!) and I’ve long been a huge fan of those Ballard upholstered cubes.

    Question: are those matching closets near the door of this room? Very interested in those. If they are closets, I bet they have a lot of storage!

    Nicely done on this room. You and your daughter must be thrilled with it!



    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you so much Kimberly for your kind comments. Actually, those are built-in open shelves that I added doors. The shelves are built into the wall and by adding the doors, I wanted to make it look cleaner and less cluttered.

      Next week, I will be showing how I organized the inside of all of those shelves and how we did the doors.

      Thanks so much for your note and for stopping by!

  5. Shirley says:

    Maybe I missed it, but what did you use on the ceiling for the plank ceilings ?

    • Cyndy says:

      I have never shared what we did for the plank ceilings Shirley. I should though, hmmmm, maybe sometime in Feb. We used tongue and groove planks and simply nailed to the ugly popcorn ceiling. We then caulked in between. We used the knotty, cheaper planks, which really made this very affordable and great solution to popcorn!

      Thanks for your note and stopping by!

  6. I truly love this space! It is one of my favorite blogger makeovers ever! EVER! It makes me get excited for when my kids outgrow the “playroom” and I can turn it into a multi-purpose space like this. (But not too excited… no growing up!)

    • Cyndy says:

      aw Brenna, thank you for your sweet note! This made my morning and I’m so glad that you are inspired by our multi-purpose space. Yes, I totally get the not ready for them to grow up. It was hard for me to transition our playroom but once I saw how much my daughter painted and used the space more creatively, I was a little better (not a lot but you know… Hard to see our babies grow up!)

      Thx so very much for taking a moment to share your kind words with me! Cheers!

  7. Sara says:

    I love how your rooms works with all the great fabrics. Any tips on how to find/pick fabrics that work together and design a room with them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *