Thursday, February 15, 2018

Farmhouse Love Episode 10: Home Office

I'm a tad bit behind on my home improvement posts as this room was mostly finished between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you can picture it, this was the original kitchen in the formerly teeny, tiny farmhouse. It's actually part of the reason I fell in love with this house, because I could envision it as an office or a sewing room.

That window used to look outside, but then two additions later, and now it looks out into the garage--not a pretty sight on the best of days. Although it is somewhat useful for warning me when Peanut Head arrives home, so I can leap to my feet and pretend like I've been busy and not sitting on my buttocks the whole time he was gone.

I don't know why I do that. It's not like I'm not allowed to relax. It must be a list maker thing.

And now he's going to know because I put it on the internet. I feel so much lighter now.

I've dreamt about how I would paint this room and what colors I would use. I was surprised myself when I finally put the brush to the wall, on account of I kept changing my mind about every little thing. In the end, I'm very happy with how it ended up.

As you probably noticed right off the bat, there is too much "wood" in this room. The floor is actually laminate, but it competes with the bead board, which I happen to love. I could get down with new flooring, but I can't get down with the required funds for new flooring.

I really struggled with painting the bead board, even though I love it and I knew I would love it. I just couldn't turn off the voices of my great grandparents in my head, telling me that I should never paint wood. I pushed through it, but I still feel the guilt.

I love the white on the bead board. I think it looks so much better now. In fact, the pictures don't do it justice. The bead board had a lot of gaps, holes, and wonky alignment issues which I was able to camouflage with caulking. Once that was done, I came in with paint and covered all that mess up. If you haven't experienced the magic of caulk, you must become friends. It hides so much.

You might have noticed that we took the ceiling fan out and replaced it with a booby light. The ceiling fan scared me because it was so rickety and wobbly. Also, the light it provided was extremely inadequate.

I'm using both of my IKEA Expedit units in the office. I love them so much.

I used cabinet paint for the insides of the shelving which used to be the kitchen cabinets. It's supposed to hold up a little better than regular paint and provide a more durable finish.

This view is looking outside from inside the office, towards what used to be the original dining room. Now it's mainly a pass through area to get from the elderly part of the house to the young part of the house. Yes, I'm personifying my house. It's my baby. 

As I paint each room we've been changing out all the electrical switches and outlets from beige to white. We're also using rocker switches for the lights, and putting some lighted switches in some areas.

Peanut Head was doing it all for me, but with the office and sewing room he taught me how to do it myself. Again. He's taught me before, but I have Goldfish Brain. And did I mention that I'm terrified of electricity? It's one of my nightmare causes of death. Right up there next to burning alive and drowning. 

Peanut Head helped me turn the window into a gigantic magnet board. I've been obsessing about doing this for over a year. You can't imagine how happy it makes me to have this thing up and doing its thing.

Here's how we pulled it together.

First, Peanut Head cut a 3/8-inch thick piece of plywood to fit inside the window frame. We chose that particular thickness in order to position the magnet board to meet the existing window trim, so that everything would be all matchy-matchy.

I then bought a sheet of 18-gauge galvanized steel, cut slightly smaller than the dimensions of the plywood. The plywood is 35" x 36-1/4" and the steel is cut to be 34-1/2" x 35-3/4." Basically I deducted 1/2" from each dimension so that I would have a quarter inch border all the way around the steel sheet. I did that simply to avoid having sharp edges flush with the plywood. Because if danger is near, I'm a danger magnet, and I really would like to keep all my digits.

I bought the piece of sheet metal at Vernon Steel in Idaho Falls. I just Googled sheet metal in Idaho Falls, and then I went to their website to see what they carried. When I visited their construction trailer office, I told the nice gentleman who helped me that I was making a magnet board, and he walked me into his office to show me his magnet board. It was gigantic! I had magnet board envy. He schooled me on magnet boards and helped me with my order. I went in on my lunch, and I was able to pick the cut piece up after work.

I have to tell you, it was super dirty when I picked it up. That's because the metal has an oily coating on it to keep it from rusting, and because of that, dirt sticks to it. It gave me the willies to touch it. When I got home I cleaned it as best I could with paper towels and windex, and then I cleaned it five times more with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol removes the oily residue. Magnet Board Man told me to do it.

Once it was clean, I covered it with cotton fabric which I pre-washed and ironed. Then I sprayed the sheet metal with fabric adhesive and stuck the fabric to it. After adhering the fabric to the front of the metal, I sprayed the corners of the back of the metal and tucked the corners of the fabric in.

Then I folded the sides in last.

The next step I do not have a picture of, but I stuck the fabric wrapped sheet metal to the plywood with construction adhesive. I'd show you a picture of the adhesive I used, but I used the whole tube, and that was a month ago, so it's long gone. Basically I went to Home Depot and found a person in an orange apron, told him what I was doing, and he schooled me on the various adhesives and their benefits. Since I was adhering the metal to the plywood before installation, it was going to be on a horizontal surface until it dried, so I could go with a cheaper adhesive. If I were adhering it onto a vertical surface, it would be a little more expensive because it then has to fight gravity.

I left Home Depot with my adhesive and popped it in my caulk gun when I got home. Friends, it was an unsightly, gooey ooze, let me tell you. It was the color of snot when you have a sinus infection. It was grody. You should thank me for not taking a picture of that mess.

After spreading the adhesive all over the plywood, we positioned the fabric covered sheet metal onto it and squished it down. Then we strategically placed 300 books atop every square inch of that thing and left them there for three days and three nights. At least.

The final step was to pop it in the window frame and secure it with small trim pieces, which Peanut Head cut to size and routed with his router. I don't know if that makes sense, but basically Peanut Head made his own trim pieces with his router.

I love, love, love the end result.

So now my office is done, and I'm this close to finishing my sewing and craft room too. It's all painted and about 95% unpacked and organized. I'm not a fan of the effort required to finish projects. I much prefer starting projects. Finishing them usually involves yucky stuff that I procrastinate because I don't wanna.

I will conquer procrastination though! Just wait.


  1. I LOVE this! I'm curious to know what the sign in the red frame says?

    1. Thank you, Lori. There's a hot pink frame to the left of my desk. I'm going to assume you mean that one? It says BLOGGERS GONNA BLOG.