In the summer of last year, we decided to make some changes to our home. Attached to the back of our home, accessible through the garden, we had an outhouse that was mainly used for rubbish. It had a roof that desperately needed repair, old single glazed windows on two sides and a door that didn’t even shut properly. We only used the space as a dumping ground, although as it had electric, it did house our washing machine and a huge chest freezer, it was a space we could use better and so with me not returning to work, I had the idea to convert the office and make it a space for us both to work from home.
We got some quotes from tradesmen and decided to go ahead with a company local to us. It was a choice of either asking several different tradesmen to do different jobs and project manage the work ourselves and possibly get the project done a little cheaper or get a building firm to do the whole job from start to finish for one price. We opted to go for the complete works, I didn’t want the stress and we knew it could be completed much quicker with one company doing the whole project.
The work started in mid-November and the builders were fantastic. The roof was completely removed and replaced, both windows taken out and one of the walls bricked up. A new UPVC door and window was installed and new fascia and guttering was added. All the walls, floor and roof was insulated and the walls and ceiling plastered and as we already had an electric supply in the room, an electrician fitted new spotlights and wall sockets with USB connections for our convenience.
The building work was completed in just under two weeks and we were so pleased with the results. My Father-in-law kindly painted the room for us over a couple of afternoons (Dulux denim drift on two walls and white on the other two).
I found a local company to supply the flooring. I was really upset with the flooring company as when they laid the floor, they managed to damage the paintwork on the walls and these have had to be repainted. The vinyl flooring is however practical and suitable for our needs.
Once the walls were dry, my husband and I went to Ikea for the office furnishings. We had chosen Ikea office furniture as a) Ikea furniture is practical b) Ikea is local c) it was within budget d) it fitted well in our room. We spent just under £500 for all the furniture which included 2 x Linnmon desk tops in white, 2 x Alex drawer units, 1 x Alex Add On Desk Drawer Unit, 4 x Table Legs, 2 x Kallax Units and 6 x drawer inserts plus 1 x Flintan Office chair.
My Dad kindly came over to help fix the Kallax units to the wall as we wanted these raised above our heads. He managed to screw them into the batons underneath the plaster and into the brick so they are not moving anytime soon!
The final additions to the room were our desk lamps both from B&Q. Mine is the Lyssa Ring Copper Effect Table Lamp and Greg’s is the Tani Brush Nickel version from the same range. We ordered a blind from Blinds 2 Go and my Dad fixed this to the window for me. Unfortunately I ordered it a little too short and it’s not long enough to fit the whole window in length but it covers the glass and you can’t see in from the outside so it will work for us for now.
We decided that I would have the longest desk in the office (I have more stuff) and we would share the office chair. It’s not feasible that we would both work in the office together anyway so we just got one chair to share. We have installed the printer out here and we have recently installed a Neos SmartHome camera which is connected to our phones giving us instant access to see into the office at any time of the day or night.
The wifi in the office is brilliant as Greg installed a gadget called Orbi. Without the fancy detail, it turns our home WIFI into a mesh wireless network which means we get equally good coverage anywhere in our house. It was an expensive addition but meant that I could work from the office without any wifi problems and we could also watch Netflix in there too!
On the wall, I bought a brilliant Magnetic Glass Board from Stationery Island and ordered some decals from DigtalstoDecal to personalise the board to my needs. I ordered ‘TO DO’ and one that said ‘MrsShilts’.
I also wanted a 2019 calendar on the wall so I could see at a glance what was happening throughout the year. Greg has given me his annual leave dates so I can pencil in when he’ll be available for days out and holidays etc and I found one from DoodleLoveDesigns and it’s perfect for me. I also ordered the monthly wipe board planner as I could use this to keep track of projects and deadlines and I really love it. It’s so handy.
Our office of dreams is complete and we really love it in there. It’s such a great space to work in and one that makes us much more productive when we’re in work mode. Such a good investment too as we’re hoping it will improve our property price for if and when we decide to move house.