Transform Your Armoire into a Workspace

See how one reader transformed her home's dated armoire into a cute, convertible workspaceBy Woman's Day Staff
Salt Lake City native Claudia Hanson loves to turn design inspiration into practical ideas for her home. So when she and her husband, Aaron, decided to carve a home office out of a corner of their living room, no boring desk would do. Instead, the stay-at-home mom and blogger (DeliciousSpaces.Blogspot.com) searched a local classifieds site and found a dowdy computer desk armoire for $40. Then, she spent less than $50 on paint and inexpensive extras to make it pretty-both open and closed. Get her tips for doing this yourself. Photo by Edmund Barr.

Dress Up Bargain Finds
Claudia painted blue stripes onto a set of white magazine holders (5 for $2 from a dollar store), and added bookplate labels (found at JoAnn Fabric & Crafts) to hanging letter holders.

Related: Check out these these 9 innovative kitchen accessories.


Get Creative
To make son Nolan happy, Claudia coated the inside of the doors with chalkboard paint (a simple $2 acrylic from a local craft shop) so he can scribble away while Mom or Dad works.

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Try these 15 clever uses for household items.

Use Every Inch
The armoire was already configured to hold a computer-there's a file cabinet down below and a roll-out shelf for a keyboard-but Claudia didn't stop there. She glued a metal plate from the hardware store to the interior cabinet to hold magnetized containers of odds and ends (paper clips, thumbtacks). She also attached letter holders to the insides of the doors to use more vertical space.

Related: Learn which 9 buys are cheaper online.

Add Color and Pattern
A coat of blue-gray paint (Olympic Georgian Silver) modernized the wooden cabinet-Claudia even spray-painted the dark hardware silver for a brighter, more cohesive look. She covered a bulletin board with perky chevron fabric ($7.48 a yard; Fabric.com) and used thumbtacks to create an upholstered look for the back wall of the armoire. A hanging floral clipboard and geometric patterned pencil cup (both found on sale at Target) make it even prettier.

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