Designing My Office Built-Ins

Designing My Office Built-Ins - roomfortuesday.comI promised more posts around my home office renovation, and while it’s moving pretty slow- I finally have the built-in design plan nailed down! That was something many of you expressed interested in seeing, so I’m packing all of the info and a peek into my process in this blog post. Click through to see my design plan, how the built-ins are going to look, and how I move ideas from my brain to reality. I think a couple elements may surprise you!

Formal Living Room Updates - roomfortuesday.comI begin all my millwork plans by sketching. I’ve had this idea in my brain for years and I’ve always wanted to try it- X details on glass doors. I incorporated a similar detail in the closed storage portion of our formal living room built-ins, pictured above. This time, I want to take it a step further and add that detail to glass for a chic look.

Designing My Office Built-Ins - roomfortuesday.comEmmett got me a Remarkable tablet for Christmas and I’ve been using it everyday since. I’m a pen to paper purist and this is as close as it gets- with the convenience of syncing to my computer. Anyway, I took my tablet on vacation with us to Jackson Hole and opted out of skiing one day to get my thoughts down. I’m glad I did because I knocked out the built-in design while sitting fireside in the cabin we rented. 10-12 sketches later, I landed on something I really liked…

Designing My Office Built-Ins - roomfortuesday.comMuch like my previous home office, pictured below, I envisioned negative space bridging the gap between two larger shelving columns. Instead of a desk living in the center, I opted for seating this time around. My current office is significantly larger than in our previous home, so I had more room to play and get creative.

Designing My Office Built-Ins - roomfortuesday.comI’ve always wanted a daybed, and I figured it would provide a beautiful moment while adding function to my office. I could easily see myself perched there with a book, answering emails on my laptop, I’m confident the dogs will lounge there while I work each day- or we could even use it as an extra sleeping space (for our nieces & nephews) when our family can visit again. I often work late nights and Emmett often ends up sitting in the floor, scrolling on his phone, while I wrap up my day. Maybe that will give him a comfy place to lounge while I finish up each day.

Rather than building our own daybed or taking the custom route, I bought this one. I liked the plinth base, the rectangular shape that will easily nestle between the two columns, and the performance Crypton fabric. I ordered it last week, BUT- I’m a bit nervous because the lead time said March, and now it’s reading May to June. Yikes. If that’s the case, who knows when my office reveal will happen. Ha! It’s fine though- I’m honestly not worried about timing. I’ve went this long, what’s a few extra months.

Designing My Office Built-Ins - roomfortuesday.comIn terms of my process, after sketching ideas and nailing one down- I move onto digitizing my plan. I’ll take really precise measurements and plug those into Adobe Illustrator to make a floor plan and elevation of the structure. I factored in the spacing of the shelves, the glass and panel size, the hardware placement, electrical outlets, and all of the nitty gritty details. I also had to consider the size of our crown moulding and baseboard, since those will be replaced. After a handful of iterations, my plan ended up looking something like this…

Designing My Office Built-Ins - roomfortuesday.comFrom here, I passed the plan along to Emmett and went over all of the details with him. He’s in the process of ordering the materials, then he’ll cut all of our pieces to size at his work. Once we have all of the pieces (like a giant puzzle), we’ll begin assembly in the space… but we have a ways to go before that can happen. If you’re looking for a built-in tutorial- I’ll link that for you. I shared one when we tackled my previous home office.

Designing My Office Built-Ins - roomfortuesday.comI also decided to incorporate another custom piece… which was actually Emmett’s idea! As you probably noticed in the floor plan below, there will be a credenza on the back wall. My plan was to buy one, but I was having trouble finding a minimalistic option (that won’t compete with the built-in) that was the correct size and color I had envisioned. I ended up designing one and Emmett is also going to tackle that at his workplace, as well. That means I’ll get to choose a custom stain, wood species, and we’ll get the exact size needed for the room. It will be extra work, but I think it will be well worth it- and actually save us some money.

All of this planning has me excited to get going on this space! It’s hard to believe that in a few short months, I’ll have a beautiful office to work in here at home. I started ordering things and I know once items begin to show up, things will start to get real. I don’t have the entire design plan finished, but I’ll give you a peek of what I have thus far…

Designing My Office Built-Ins - roomfortuesday.comObviously you’ve seen the window treatments already, you’re familiar with the daybed, and you’ve seen my project chairs. The desk is a long story. I ordered two of these desks for our Tuesday Made office at the end of last summer. They were on backorder, but the price was right- so I waited 3-4 months for them to arrive. Both desks arrived majorly damaged. I reached out to Wayfair and they were wonderful and promised to send two replacements. The replacements took another two months to arrive and both replacements also arrived damaged just before the holidays…

Designing My Office Built-Ins - roomfortuesday.comNow I have 4 desks… all of which are broken and noticeably damaged (MDF falling off in a variety of places, cracked drawers, a split leg, etc). Long story short- before anyone asks for source links, I would NOT recommend the desk I ordered for obvious reasons, as they were 0/4 on shipping without damage, BUT… I have them, I like the shape, and I think I’m going to roll with putting one of them in my home office (just because I have it). Emmett thinks he can do some serious desk surgery and make the damaged areas less noticeable, so fingers crossed. The other three are living their not so best (broken) life at our office building until I figure out something else. We’re using them in the meantime.

Designing My Office Built-Ins - roomfortuesday.comAnyway, I feel like I’m in a good place with the design plan- I’ve got the larger items nailed down and I can figure out the accessories, art, and smaller items later. I’ve done my part for now, and have passed the baton to Emmett. He’ll pass it back once the built-ins are cut, then I can finish sourcing.

I think that’s all I have to share for now! What do you think? Have any questions, ideas, or thoughts for me? I’ll keep you updated as the space evolves, but we renovate in real time- so it’s not going to be done next week or even next month. Sorry to keep you waiting! I’m looking forward to the process and to have a gorgeous workspace when it’s all said and done. This is going to be a room that really feels like me! It’s fun designing a space that is totally YOURS… for yourself, that is representative of your personality, workflow, and is filled with things you love. While I haven’t started finding art or accessories yet, I can definitely envision some horses and hands in this space- maybe even a pedestal with some sculptural art, and definitely plenty of vintage finds.

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  1. Eeeek! So exciting! I love, love, love the daybed! The shape and plinth base are fab. The glass doors are going to be so beautiful and classy! From the rendering, it looks like the closed portion is one door and the glass portion is also just one tall door. Is that right? The elongated X across the top-such a unique touch! The floorplan clarified the desk position; I pictured it oriented with your back to the windows. Duh. Now the credenza placement makes sense. Speaking of, another custom piece?! You are going to have the most brilliant, bespoke office ever! Watching this come to life is going to be SO fun! I’m imagining art, accessories, your desk chair! Lamps?! Thanks for perking up my snowy Monday!💜

    1. SO exciting!! I’m very happy about the daybed and am looking forward to its arrival (whenever that may be). We’re going to check out some local shops for the french doors this week, in an effort to spend things up (and maybe save some money). Here’s to hoping we can buy a floor model or find a set that is readymade. Yes- you’re right about the rendering… the lower portion is closed storage with a solid wood door, and the upper will be a tall glass door, with the X detail. The center pieces will be two separate glass doors that open upward (just like our kitchen cabinets above our sink). I can’t wait to see this room come together! I’m definitely going to cram in all the vintage things, art, and lighting that I can. Hah! I hope your week is off to a good start and you had a nice, snowy weekend. We’re getting a lot of snow this week, too! I’m honestly loving it. If it’s going to be cold, it might as well be beautiful, covered under a blanket of the fluffy stuff :) xo

  2. The built-in design looks great! I can’t wait to see it all finished. One thing I’ve always wondered is, when you have a desk in the middle of the room like that, how do you plug things in?

    1. Thank you, Lexie! I’m also eager to see it finished :) We’re planning to install a couple floor outlets that will help with the centered desk.

  3. Wow! Your office is going to be so sophisticated. It feels elegant and classic! Love the built in design and that daybed/bench ❤️ Incredible! It is a very generous space so that’s wonderful. I’m sure the pups will love lounging in there with you 😉 Lucky pups 🥰 My little Lorrie would love that bench, she is the queen of lounging. Haha! Beautiful design and selection Sarah, it’s going to be Amazing 🥂

    1. Thank you so much, Colleen! I’m really excited about it. I have zero doubts that the pups will take over the daybed. Haha! That’s why I splurged for a performance Crypton fabric. I hope your week is off to a wonderful start :) xo

  4. I love how excited you are!

    1. Haha! I really am. This is going to be such a special space for me, and I’ve had a lot of fun designing everything :)

  5. For the love of custom built-ins!! I love the x detail on glass! Over the years I’ve admired kitchens that have glass doors with any kind of detail on them, and these are going to be outstanding! What I love the most about seeing this part of the behind the scenes is how you take a sketched idea, floor plan it, and lay it out in a way that I can see it finished in my mind. Seeing things from that angle helps me envision my own rooms in a much better way; now I just wish I could wield Adobe illustrator the way you do! Haha!
    The daybed is the perfect idea- when you mentioned the initial plans I wasn’t thinking you’d have negative space similar to your previous office, but this is the most genius use of space-and so fitting for an office! The multi functionality really reflects what this last year has shown us, doesn’t it? That we need our spaces to be multifunctional, and I love the way you’ve designed this office to be the actual work horse for you.
    Let’s talk about that light fixture!! All the heart eyes! I’m really digging the contrasting elements you’ve selected-especially the desk! That stinks to have gone through so much for it. Do you think at some point you’ll choose something different? At least Emmett can fix them to be functional for the time being. They really are beautiful looking. All in all this space is going to shape up to be the absolute dream office, and though it will take more time than planned, it will be worth the wait in the end. Thank you for sharing this with us so thoroughly! I hope you’re off to a productive start of the week, and I have my fingers crossed for the French doors! Xo

    1. I hope we can pull it off, Lauren! Ha! It’s going to be a challenge, but I love the look of it. I like our glass kitchen cabinets, and thought it would be fun to repeat that in the office (this time with regular glass as opposed to reeded). Illustrator and Photoshop are my go-to tools, but they’re definitely not conventional for designers. I’ve been sketching a lot lately, too. Last year really did have a major impact on the way we look at our homes and how they’re used. I’m all about squeezing every ounce of function from our home- especially in highly used spaces. As for the desks, those were a major bummer because I really love the way they look, the scale is great, and they’re functional with drawers… but they’re all broken in noticeable areas. Ugh. If Emmett can fix them, I’d love to keep them. Otherwise, I’ll donate them and try to find an alternative. I hope your week is also off to a good start! We’re having lots of snow here this week :) Happy Monday, my friend! xox

  6. Excited to see your design plan for the office! You are being such a good sport about all the wait time. I hope it all arrives earlier than expected. Your design for the glass is going to be gorgeous! Loving the daybed (aka dog bed, ha) idea…genius. So frustrating about the desks. I hope Emmett can fix one of them for you. Love the legs on it.
    I will be checking out the Remarkable tablet. I am very much a paper, pencil kind of girl and the ability to write it down and transfer to computer would be so helpful. I still take notes when I meet with a doctor, teacher, etc. and get the eyebrow lift reaction. Great gift Emmett. Also, I just saw the cabin you both stayed in on your trip to Wyoming. Hello! Such a cozy picturesque place! I don’t know if I could have left. Glad you got away.
    We were scheduled to list our house this Friday but Texas is experiencing crazy freezing temps (20* at the moment) with snow (4″) on the ground. For the past 45 days we have been packing, painting, cleaning, grouting, caulking, mending, planting, …you name it. Ready for the finish line. Now just need the weather and temps to get warmer. I have lots to catch up on on your blog. Have a great day!

    1. Thank you, Danna! I’m really excited about this space, and I’m also hoping Emmett can work his magic on the desk. The tablet is really my new favorite work (and play) toy! It has totally replaced my sticky notes, to-do list, and regular notepad (like you- I carry it everywhere). haha! We were so happy to escape to Jackson Hole for a long weekend and the snowy weather was dreamy. Although- it sounds like the entry country is getting snow and cold weather this week. I can’t believe you’re having such crazy weather in Texas! Hopefully you can list your house once it warms up- that is SO exciting and I’m really happy for you. You’re on the homestretch. All good things to come in this new chapter of yours :) It sounds like you’ve been one busy lady. Stay warm!! Hope your week is off to an amazing start. xox

  7. Oh, so fun getting to see this sneak peek, Sarah! I love that you’re doing a day bed in your office! When we used to have a big old house years ago in VA, I had a daybed in MY VERY OWN office😜 and absolutely loved it. It was great getting to move from the desk occasionally to sketch in my sketch book (still old school!), but still be in the office. A few naps may have been taken, as well. 😂
    Your layout is just perfect, too. I’m so glad you’ll have a center desk facing the door and won’t have to face a wall anymore! Did that drive you crazy or is it just me? I’ve got to be able to look out a window easily if I’m not directly facing it.
    Cannot wait to see this all come together and so excited E gets to make more incredible woodwork for you!
    PS-totally envious of your snow AND warmer temps! We finally got out of single digit highs and negative lows today, but snow has been seriously lacking. Y’all may just be proving my nephew right that UT has better skiing/snow than CO! 😳
    PPS-if you watch John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, he name checks SLC in his latest episode and it’s not very nice. WTH?! 🤭

    1. Thanks, Anne! You’ve convinced me that I made a solid decision on the daybed. Maybe this will be the year I learn to nap! Haha! I’m guessing the dogs will use the daybed more than me, but who knows. I’m excited for it either way! I think the floor plan and layout are going to work much better, and I’ll be happy to look out of the room, as opposed to at the wall. I’m with you on that one! Emmett is eager to get going on the built-ins and credenza- both will be things he has yet to try before, so it will be a challenge. Here’s to hoping we can pull it off! We are getting dumped on this week, and we’ve been lucky to have warmer temperatures. I’ve always loved winters in SLC- tons of snow, but mild temps… nothing like when we lived in Ohio or the midwest, with negative wind chills. It’s crazy that we’re having warmer temperatures than Texas this week! I think your nephew is onto something ;) There is a reason Utah is tagged “Best Snow on Earth”!! You’re making me want to skip work today and go skiing. I didn’t want John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, but now I need to go look up what was said about SLC. Hmmm! Hope your Tuesday is off to an awesome start :)

      1. You officially have my permission to knock off early and hit those slopes! (Even though I’m a little late…so maybe tomorrow?) xoxo….

  8. Hi Sarah, I love the idea of the daybed in the built in. Could you combine the 4 desks to get non broken desks? Or is it always the same pieces broken.? This is a puzzle to me. Good luck

    1. Thank you, Erin! The desks are all broken in a variety of spots, and unfortunately, they’re not the kind that can easily be taken apart to swap pieces. We’re going to try to repair one the best we can for my home office!

  9. Leslie Watkins says:

    Can you tell me where you found the gorgeous doors for the built ins?

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      My husband custom built them!