When we learned we were expecting another child, our first impulse was to have the young’uns share a room. We arrived at this decision partially because we figured it had been done by millions of others, but also because we’d run out of rooms.
“We can always convert the office to another room if it doesn’t work out, and I can just work… somewhere else,” I reasoned.
And then, in a moment of Not-So-Big-House inspiration, I struck upon an idea.
“We could convert our closet into an office,” I tossed out, not sure if the suggestion would be met with derisive laughter, or actual consideration. While there may have been an initial smirk, I could see the wheels turning in Renate’s head.
And so we set out to convert our banana-yellow, L-shaped, smallish walk-in closet into a working studio.
First thing, though — we had to stop calling it a ‘closet’.
“The Annex,” Renate suggested.
“Yeah. Good. I can’t be working in the closet.”
The Annex, pre-construction:
Since moving in a year and a half ago, we’ve painted nearly every room in this house and put up a wall in the basement (well — my Dad put up a wall in our basement). But this was definitely the largest home renovation project we’d undertaken, and I relished the idea of ripping out those built-ins. DEMOLITION…
First, though, everything in the closet had to be relocated. We made our way to Ikea (two hours away in Cincinnati) twice during the same weekend to buy new wardrobes for the bedroom. We also picked up a new light for the closet annex, and about five pounds of Swedish chocolate.
After three long nights of wardrobe assembly, followed by several days of spackling, priming and painting, we were ready to move in the furniture. I learned a few things along the way, namely that painting trim is certainly a pasttime in one of the seven circles of hell.
The Annex, post-construction:
I have to say, I love working in this room. It’s peaceful and filled with natural light. Plus it’s just the right size; it doesn’t feel cramped, but it doesn’t leave much room to pile up papers, so it stays tidy.
Still. I’m working in a closet. If I hadn’t come up with the idea myself, I might wonder what this communicates about my spot on the family totem pole.