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  • Writer's pictureKatie

Home Office Transformation - Design Concept + Demo

One Room Challenge - Week 2

ORC Week 2 - Detroit Interior Design

Onto Week 2 of the One Room Challenge! Last week, in Week 1, I really just wanted to identify my room and starting thinking about my plan. It was fun to see what all of the other Guest participants were kicking off as well for the ORC Spring... check those out here!

So now we decided on what room…. time to pull put my gloves on to start the demo! Well… almost. Let’s talk design concept and layout first. This is something that is seriously so important before you start any home renovation project. Don’t just have a “kinda” plan when you start ripping things out. That is a reno set up for delays, mistakes, and a whole lotta frustration. When I talk about how important hiring a designer can for your project, avoiding all of this is the main reason!! Having a detailed and specific plan before you pull the trigger allows you to order materials/furnishing early so you are ready to go once the first demo hammer swings! It also speeds up construction and eliminates miscommunication if you are working with someone else on the project.

OK, so anyways, lets get back to this guest bedroom turned home office transformation. Here is a reminder of what the space looked like as a guest bedroom… very dark, “Harbaugh Khaki Pant“ tan walls, dingy carpet, with old furniture just thrown in there, and those super 70’s mirrored bi-fold doors! Everyone’s favorite!

ORC Week 2 - Detroit Interior Design

Here is the quick CAD drawing of the layout. You can see the space is pretty small with a typical reach in closet. To give you a little more background, this is one of three bedrooms in our small, 1600 sf, 60's or 70’s ranch. All of the bedrooms and main bathroom are grouped together, situated down a hallway at the West end of the house. We have no kids so three bedrooms are not necessary and the other bedroom was already turned into a giant (well, bigger) closet since our closets are all super small. My fiancé, Jeremy, already has a home office in the front room of our house - but it is open to the rest of the house, so it is important that I have a door on my office and have as much soundproofing as possible since we both WFH.

Here is what I want incorporated into the space to meet my needs (it is a lot, I know):

- remove carpeting and replace with LVP

- paint everything

- add lighting

- add a ton of storage

- make the closet a functional storage space

- new closet doors

- soundproofing (as best as I can)

- add bold character to the space

- reading corner to take breaks

- spot for my ”Office Manager” Maverick to come and hang out

Phew… that is a lot for about 120 sf! But I think we can make it happen with a little creativity and a lot of work! So… here is the design concept:

ORC Week 2 - Detroit Interior Design
Home Office Concept Board

Yep! I’m going for black walls!! About as bold as it gets… especially for such a small space. And yes, Jeremy and every single other person I have told that I was painting the walls black said, “Really? Why? It is going to be so dark!“ But here is why I think it is actually going to feel brighter than it did before. First off, the crappy fan is being replaced with a pendant that will provide equal or more light than the fan. And look better while doing it! I’m also adding a couple of can lights since there isn’t a ton of natural light coming in through the window. And the reading corner will have a lamp as well for task lighting. So a lot more lighting throughout.

But in addition, the new flooring is light and the whiter ceiling paint will also brighten up the space! The furniture it a combination of black and natural wood to also bring warmth and lighter color into the space. The focal wall will bring more natural wood into the space as well. And lastly, the largest, uninterrupted wall will be covered with a gallery wall with large, heavily matted frames to bring in a lot of white! So, with a lot of lighting and brighter furnishings and decor, I think this super bold, black room will feel light + bright!

But, on the flip side, this is a little bit of an experiment for me, because I’m not 100% sure yet. But, this is how I figure this stuff out! Sometimes you just gotta dive head first in and trust that it will look amazing or it is an easy fix. In the grand scheme of things, it is a $60 can of paint and a Friday night to change to a different color if it doesn’t work. But I’m going for it and am super excited about!

You can see in the concept that I have also layered in a lot of texture into the space with natural wood in the furniture and wall, leathers, natural jute, cowskin, linen, etc. This will help add a lot of dimension to the space since so much of it is black!

Before I officially sign off on my design, I always do space planning and drop everything into AutoCAD to make sure the furnishings will fit and will flow well. This is a super important step. I almost always alter things with my design at this point because I see that I have a little more or less room than I thought or that items don’t always work well together. This is my 4th iteration of this plan to give you an idea of why doing this is so important!

As you can see, there is a lot packed into this space! And it will be tight but it will provide so much storage which I need, give me desk space and also a seating space. I had to be very careful about the furniture I selected for the seating corner to make sure it wasn’t too big in the space but still provided a comfortable sitting/reading corner!

ORC Week 2 - Detroit Interior Design
Future Furniture Layout

Now that I have my basic plan in place... it's DEMO time! Luckily, its a small and fairly empty space so demo is pretty easy. But I have to take the ugly fan down, rip up the disgusting carpet, and say bye-bye to those 70's mirrored bi-fold doors! I'm also taking all of the baseboards and door/window casing off as well because that will be replaced! But for the most part, demo in this room should be a breeze!

Ready for Demo - ORC Week 2 - Detroit Interior Design

Cut the Caulk first!!! ORC Week 2 - Detroit Interior Design

I got most of the stuff out, but the bed and furniture is waiting to go to it's new home down in Indiana, so I unfortunately have to work around it for now until my next trip down there! I started on removing the doors and trim first. When you are pulling off trim, it always helps to run a blade down the caulk line first to break that seal. If the trim was done correctly, it will have been caulked at the edges, and if you just pull that trim off without cutting it, you are likely going to rip up some of the top layer of drywall as well. It is an extra step but saves steps fixing later.

Unfortunately as I pulled down the window casing, I found they apparently decided to use both liquid nails and trim nails to put it up, so it broke some of the other window trim and ripped off a whole bunch of drywall in the demo process. Adhering trim this way is not the norm in my experience and it is definitely overkill. Very frustrating... more things to replace and fix.

Lastly, I pulled up the dingy old carpet/padding. It took FOREVER to pull out all of the staples, and if you have ever pulled up carpet, you know the drill. I knew there were hardwoods underneath, but there was some sort of underlayment stuck to the wood floor under the carpet padding that I didn't really want to scrape off. We were not going to refinish the floors, just leave them as the subfloor to put our LVP (luxury vinyl plank) over the top.

Carpet Demo - ORC Week 2 - Detroit Interior Design

While I love real hardwoods, I have also refinished a lot of hardwood floors in a previous house (check out that blog post here) and it is SO MUCH WORK. Not to mention so much dust and fumes, and we still have to live in this house during all of our projects. Plus, I have these three cuties that are anything but gently on floors. So vinyl has been the best thing that every happened to our floors! Vinyl can really go over mostly any subfloor including some existing floors, it just has to be flat/level. So it was really important that I got all 8 million of those little carpet staples out. But now that I did... it is time for paint prep and getting some paint up on the walls. Stay tuned for next week when that bold black goes up!

Happy Designing + DIYing!


Check out my ORC Week 1 post HERE if you missed it! And view the other Week 2 participants for the Spring 2022 ORC HERE!

ORC Week 2 - Detroit Interior Design

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