In this post, I’ll share how I took this room in our basement and transformed it into the office of my dreams. This project includes a custom built-in desk, board and batten, faux marble epoxy, barn door, peel-and-stick flooring and so much more! The transformation is amazing!
Complete DIY home office renovation
I’ve worked from home since my son was a baby but I’ve never really had a dedicated office.
It wasn’t really ever a problem because even when we moved into our home (which had extra rooms in the basement that I could’ve used as an office) I still found myself working in the dining room.
My kids were little, I had to keep an eye on them. So, it just made sense to work wherever they were playing.
Now that I’m finally able to get into a “work while they’re at school” routine, I figured it was time to tackle an office!
Every inch of this space had to be touched and it was definitely the biggest project I had tackled at the time! However, it’s easily one of my favorite transformations and I absolutely love my home office now! It’s functional, stylish, and makes me happy!
The “before” of the home office
Let’s start prior to the demo of this room. This is what the room looked like after we moved in.
The set up was always meant to be temporary but when we noticed water flooding the space a few months later, we tore a lot of it out.
We emptied the room, ripped up the carpet (which was not actually installed, someone had just laid it down in the space so it was easy to remove) and took the drywall and insulation out of the space that was leaking to prevent mold and to see where the water was coming from.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the space when there was a large hole in the wall!
We realized the leak was a result of not removing snow from our back patio area so we sealed the foundation and made sure to keep the back patio clear of snow. After going through a winter season and making sure there was no water issue, I wanted to repair the space and make it into my office.
The first thing I did was re-insulate and repair the drywall. This was only the second time I’ve drywalled but it came out much better than my first attempt!
The life-saving discovery was the use of sticky mesh drywall tape instead of paper tape. It was so much faster and easier to avoid bubbles!
After I finished repairing the drywall, I moved onto the vision that I had for the space.
My plans for the space
These are admittedly very rough sketches of a plan that I did with my phone. Nothing fancy here!
First, I decided that I wanted a very long desk and that it would probably be most budget-friendly just to build it myself. At first, I was going to use cabinets as the legs but ended up opting for the clean lines of a floating desk.
I’d also add sconces and flooring to the space.
On the other side, I’d move a storage cabinet that we already owned into the room and close off the entrance to our fitness room with a sliding barn door.
Applying brick paneling
I feel like now is as good of time as any to mention that I’m not a professional. I’m just a mom that loves her power tools. I don’t always know the right “way” to do things or the right “order” to do things and I jump around a lot.
Now that that’s out of the way, I knew I wanted some brick along with board and batten on the walls. Paneling was the budget-friendly solution so that’s what I did! I was going to paint it out white anyway.
You can see here that I got excited and put up the brick before I even primed the drywall. looking back, I can’t see any harm in doing this.
Priming is best before painting because the paint will adhere better and you’ll use much less of it (because drywall is going to completely absorb it if you try to paint on top of bare drywall)
To hide the seams of the panels and to add texture to the brick, I used my hands to smear joint compound all over the panelling.
It worked wonderfully to camouflage the seams and because I applied it everywhere, it looks like intentional texture.
I also painted the other half of the walls SW Rock Bottom.
Custom “floating” desk
I went with the clean lines of a floating desk and wanted it to have the appearance of a big slab of marble.
First, I built the frame of the desk and attached it to the studs in the wall. I added some brackets along the way to support the frame and level the desk (as seen in the photo under the next section). Lumber prices were crazy high due to COVID during this project so I attempted to wrap the desk with flex board.
Unfortunately, the flex board was not sturdy enough so I did end up purchasing some plywood to cover the desk with.
Board and batten wall treatment
We do not have textured walls so I skipped applying any boards. I wanted to keep this as budget-friendly as possible.
So, I purchased PVC trim for the top piece and I purchased one large piece of wood (it may have been 2×10?) and I used my table saw to rip down each batten strip.
There are many ways you can do board and batten in your home. You can purchase a large sheet of plywood and rip it down, you can buy individual pieces of trim, MDF, PVC. It all works just fine!
If you want to read more about different wall treatments you can do in your home, you can read my article about it here!
To attach my batten strips to the wall I simply used my nail gun. If the strip was not going into a stud I made sure to angle my nails.
If you angle your first nail to the left and then the next one to the right, it will create an X behind the drywall and keep your batten strips sturdy on the wall!
I filled every nail hole (on the board and batten and desk) with wood filler and sanded it down. I also caulked every seam around each batten strip. It’s tedious but makes a big difference!
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Paint and epoxy the desk
I wanted the look of a marble slab without the cost of one so I painted my marble!
I purchased this marble epoxy kit from Amazon and followed the instructions. I wrote a post about using this kit and things I’ve learned which you can read right here.
Hanging the barn door
I have always wanted a sliding barn door but our main living space has NO good spot for one! I finally got to live my barn door dreams with my office.
I hung a 6 foot piece of trim (which was actually extra trim left over from my parents new home build- I love using scraps!) and attached the barn door hardware.
I did NOT end up building this door from scratch because we got a good open box deal from wayfair.
Note: The door was supposed to come with the sliding barn door hardware but because it was open-box the hardware was missing and they would not replace it so we ended up ordering it from Amazon.
We did end up needing to use spacers to bump the door out a little more because the back of the bolts kept scraping the trim.
Peel and stick flooring
Again, leaning into the budget-friendly solutions, I went with an easy to install peel and stick floor.
After cleaning the concrete, I removed the backing to each piece of floor board like a giant sticker and stuck it to the floor.
I staggered the flooring like I would any other floor making sure the lines between boards were spaced appropriately.
You don’t NEED any tools to install this floor. You can use a box cutter. I used a box cutter for the majority of this. The last row needed to be ripped down which I did with my table saw so that the line was as straight as possible. You CAN rip it down lengthwise with a box cutter, just be sure to use a straight edge!
Finishing touches to style the office
Overall the office was not overly complicated and it wasn’t expensive but the transformation was huge!
I styled the room with a faux plant that I already owned. I added storage with a cabinet that we already owned as well. I purchased a leather chair from Home Depot (online) and used my already-owned computer desk chairs.
I don’t LOVE the color of the leather (and may try to paint it in the future) but it was inexpensive and it is pretty comfy.
The rug was from Lowe’s (unable to find it online now, here’s a similar option) and the desk decor was mostly purchased from Target. I will add a list of links to everything I used for this project at the end of this post.
The “OFFICE” letters were from hobby lobby which I purchased awhile ago. They were honestly a bit difficult to hang. I don’t know if it was the texture of the brick but the command strips didn’t want to hold.
I used a drill bit to make a tiny hole in the metal but the letters were so thin it was difficult and I broke several bits which was frustrating. Once I had a hole in each, I hammered a nail through the letter and into the wall and used a black paint pen to hide the nail.
The sconces were from Amazon and I did not hardwire them. I used the “magic light” trick and super glued battery operated puck lights inside the sconce. You can either turn them on by pushing them or you can use the remote that comes with them.
The reveal of this DIY home office
Lets remember the “before” of this space…
And let’s check out the “after” of this space!
Complete material list for this project:
- Marble Epoxy Kit
- Peel-and-stick flooring
- Valspar paint (Color: SW Rock Bottom)
- Valspar paint (Color: SW Cool Grey)
- 6 foot sliding barn door hardware
- Storage cabinet
- Battery operated puck lights
- Pack of 2 swing arm sconces
- OFFICE letters (linking similar- I got mine at Hobby Lobby a long time ago)
- Leather chair
- Barn door
- Rug (linking similar)
- Office/computer chairs (linking similar)
- Hanging plant
- Various potted plant decor is from Target
- Computer monitor wooden stand with drawer
- Throw pillow
- Faux floor plant