Closet Office Makeover - Mission Accomplished!

Last weekend, we began a little desk refresh for our oldest son.  With school right around the corner, it was my goal to give him a place he would enjoy spending hours of his time reading and studying.  I had two goals, to give it a bit of sophistication and organization.  Here is where we left off:

I want to make sure that Preston's room is something that Preston and I both like.  Although he is still a youngster, it doesn't mean that his room needs to be themed and juvenile.  Because as much as the thought of him maturing and entering high school within the next two years scares the boogies out of me, it's a fact that it will happen.  No amount of babying him and pleading with him is going to keep him from growing and turning into a teenager.  Sigh....

And this kid looooves his closet nook.  It is his favorite spot in the home, so it is important that he not only continues to adore and utilize his space, it has to be easy peasy to organize.

The first step was to assess the purpose of the space, and ultimately, he and I both agreed that this is for homework, drawing, writing and studying only.  Not for Lego building or puzzles.  Those items would be addressed in other ways within the playroom and his bedroom.

The next step was to sort through everything that was previously in the closet.  This was a HUGE wake up call for both Preston and I.  When I originally created the space for this closet, I gave it too many functions.  It was trying to take on too much, making it a cluttered and confused space.  And I put in too many organizing systems, half which were not used.  Yep, wake up call Jen, you can have too many organizing systems!  Like whoa.

So after cleaning out every nook and cranny within his room, and coming up with a huge donate pile and another trash bag full of recyclables and trash {I have a stuffer on my hands you guys, he cleans his room by stuffing under his bed, behind his dresser and in every corner he can find...}, I was able to start with less.  And only items that either have oodles of meaning, or oodles of function.  Here it is now...

I could have gone crazy and stuck all sorts of organizers inside all of those panels, however, I had to hold myself back.  What would we gain?  Clutter?  Ineffective storage solutions?  Would we be just be doing something for the sake of doing it?  In the end, he didn't need a ton of storage on his wall.  And I wanted those panels to pop and shine.  

Aside from the three absolutely incredible paneled walls, we did a few other super simple DIY projects.

First, we took a store bought paper tray {which I found at Target}, and turned it into a charging station.  I figure if Nate Berkus approves, Preston will as well.

We started by finding a grommet that was large enough to fit Preston's phone charging cord.  Once we found the grommet, we had to find a drill bit that was equally as large.  Once we had the right bit, we drilled a hole into the back of the paper tray.

Next, we used a grommet setting kit to give the hole a nice finished edge.

The paper tray holds his phone on top, and extra loose leaf paper and a few homework supplies below.

Oh, and the crayon holder is actually a measuring cup I had been using to hold washi tape in my studio.  I liked it better in this space.

DIY number two was a wall organizer.  I could have done traditional peg board, but I wanted to create something a little more stylish, that could also double as storage.  It wouldn't need to hold much, but could offer easy access to a few supplies, and give him a place to display some of his favorite photographs.

To create the organizer, I stained a few pieces of trim, and once dry, my handy hubby ran the bottom edge of each piece, through his table saw.

We slid some metal radiator grate {which we found at Home Depot}, inside each piece of trim, to frame it out.  A few staples on each corner hold the frame together.

To add extra support to the frame, we also added some brass brackets to the front.  Both the grate and the brackets came in a brass finish, and I almost spray painted them.  But since mixing and matching finishes adds a little extra somethin' somethin' to any space, I left them alone.

To hang the organizer, we added a claw photo hanger to the upper back, and also added some Picture Hanging Command Strips to the bottom {to keep it sturdy and tight to the wall panel}.

A few things to note about this super fantastic project.  I would not recommend doing this on a grand scale, as I don't believe the grate is strong enough to hold a lot of weight without bending or buckling.  Also, only peg pieces with a longer backing or added support, will work within the grate, as the holes of the grate are a smidge larger than standard peg board holes.  Otherwise, it turned out absolutely perfect.  Lovity love.

The rest is about the small details.  I spray painted a basket, which I felt resembled a basket you would see holding baseballs long ago, with a deep navy color.  It is now used as his wastebasket.

Boxes received label holders and labels.  The boxes were ones we already had, mostly cheap options from IKEA, and one which came with one of my Silhouette kits {those are always the best boxes}.

The clip board is for Preston to clip up his weekly and monthly school logs for reading and music.  That way they never get lost in the shuffle.  The clipboard was originally a simple wood finish, and I added contact paper over the top to give it a little character and pattern.

I really wanted to leave the surface and wall as clutter free as possible.  Only some of the basics are there now, which leaves him plenty of space to spread out and get to work...

The task light was another item we already had, we just moved it to the opposite side of the closet.  It offers flexible and focused lighting during darker hours of the day.

The chair is one I originally used in my office, and it was comfortable for shorter periods of time, however, I didn't love it after eight or more hours of use.  So, last year I gifted it to Preston and he has been enjoying it ever since.  I love that the nail-head trim adds a masculine touch to his closet space.

In the end, Preston and I are both over the moon in love with his desk refresh!

Simple, organized and sophisticated.  I think he is set up to have a very successful school year!

This weekend we are hoping to finish up a little DIY puzzle storage solution, so stay tuned to see how we are addressing that issue next.

Have a happy weekend and...

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