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Small DIY Home Office Makeover for Two

I’m beyond excited to be revealing our DIY home office makeover for two and the DIY office built ins!

When we first moved in there was two sets of french doors leading into a totally open space next to our living room, with all carpet and white walls. And there was literally zero storage space in this spare room.

The space was open to our dining room too. But, it was the perfect extra space to turn into a shared home office for Brandon and I since we both work on our business together from home.

Here is a BEFORE photo as the reminder:

office before makeover

This room makeover has been over a year in the making. Here is the AFTER:

diy home office makeover for two with DIY office built ins

And one more dramatic before and after:

french doors before office makeover
new DIY wall with interior window that opens to DIY home office

PROJECTS & PRODUCT SOURCES: I have a full product and project source list for everything in this makeover at the bottom of this post!

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you shop those links (at no cost to you). Thank you for supporting my small business. For more info see my disclosures here.

Like all of my past room makeovers, here is the story of this extreme DIY transformation!

woman DIYer in front of office DIy built ins

DIY Office Makeover Video:

You can watch the full transformation story and see all of the projects come to life in my DIY office built ins and makeover reveal VIDEO:

youtube video for diy built in office cabinets and diy office built ins in DIY home office makeover for two

Here is my written/photo version!

New Flooring and Building Two Walls

In phase one of this makeover, we replaced the carpet in our home with laminate wood flooring, took the french doors down, and built our very first two walls from scratch, to divide the space off and make it an actual room.

Then, we installed beadboard on the new wall on the inside of the office and vertical shiplap on the other side.

how to build an interior wall in existing room
DIY beadboard wall in DIY home office makeover

For several months we used the new wall as our office side and work area of the room and we used the other side as our kids play area. You can see all of this in the makeover video!

DIY Home Office Makeover for Two Plan

I couldn’t stand the look and function of the room any longer. So, we decided to add a wall of DIY built in office cabinets for storage and built in desks for Brandon and I to maximize the space since it’s a small room and we need it to function as both an office and play room.

Originally I wanted to place the DIY office built ins on the new beadboard wall side of the room and we even had an electrician put in 8 outlets!

But, after we went on a thrifting adventure, we determined the empty wall to the right of the windows was the best place for the built ins due to the size of our thrifted cabinets….

Thrifting Adventure

We went on a thrifting adventure to find cabinets to help keep costs down and save time on building.

We came across the most amazing find, 5 IKEA PAX cabinets for just $50 each, already assembled, with multiple shelves and baskets in them. It may just be one of my luckiest second hand finds ever!

We bought the 2 best cabinets, rented a truck for just $19, and brought them home to turn them into DIY built in office cabinets.

IKEA PAX cabinets found at a thrift store

Here is the vision and design I had for our wall of DIY home office built ins and cabinets after this amazing thrift find:

diy office storage cabinets and diy office built ins plan in sketch up

Originally I considered doing one long desk as a double desk or two-person desk and the cabinets on each side of the office desk.

But, the only way two of these IKEA cabinets were going to fit in our small space was placing them in the middle of the deeper wall space. By doing this, we could fit a small desk on each side of them.

This design was the best way to incorporate what we needed for this home office layout.

DIY built in office cabinets

To create the built in DIY office storage cabinets part of the built ins, we used an IKEA PAX hack with the IKEA PAX cabinets, by fixing them up and installing them to the center of our wall for the floor to ceiling cabinetry.

See the full tutorial on this IKEA PAX hack here, but you can see it in action in our Part 2 office built ins video.

For the upper cabinets, we built them from scratch so they would fit perfectly on each side of our IKEA PAX cabinets. Get the step by step DIY office cabinets tutorial here.

green diy built in office cabinets in DIY home office for two

DIY Beadboard

I wanted the built-ins to have lots of character. On the opposite wall of our built-ins is our DIY wall where we installed DIY beadboard. So, adding beadboard to the built ins was the perfect addition!

Painting the DIY Office Built Ins and Walls

We couldn’t wait to cover up the messy, green paint job that was on the IKEA PAX cabinets when we found them.

We primed and painted the inside of the IKEA cabinets Pure White by Sherwin Williams. It’s the same color we used on our non beadboard walls in the room, like our window wall.

diy office storage cabinets for diy built in office cabinets

Our walls hadn’t been painted in nearly 20 years I believe, they really needed this fresh coat of white paint!

For the DIY office built ins, we used the same colors as our DIY beadboard wall, which I love. It’s Cornwall Slate by Sherwin Williams. Lately, I’m all about the green walls as my pop of color!

diy office built ins in DIY home office for two

DIY Window Makeover

When we first moved in, I loved the natural light in this room which made it a great spot for an office where we work from home.

But, the windows had those cheap, builder grade, plastic blinds. They were not in good shape and the cords were all tangled.

DIY window makeover with DIY window trim between windows and budget friendly bamboo blinds from amazon

We updated the windows by installing new bamboo blinds and adding window trim between each window, so the blinds would not touch each other, and they would each have their own trim box.

The new bamboo blinds make the room really feel like a room and add much needed warmth and character.

I think this new trim between the windows makes them looks more custom and craftsman style. It’s a small detail but I think makes a big difference visually! 

bamboo blinds in office with DIY home office built ins

Building DIY cabinet doors for the DIY built in office cabinets

I’ve always used pocket holes for DIY cabinet doors but for this project I wanted to challenge myself to make cabinet doors more professionally using a router, router table, and a rail and stile router bit set to create a tongue and groove connection.

Plus, the last time I made a 3 panel door using pocket holes for our DIY built in cabinet in our entryway makeover, it did not work well and I had to reinforce it. That method works best for standard one panel doors.

Using the router table took a few practice runs, but I got the hang of it and was able to create the tongue and groove joint!

office DIY built in desk and shelf

It was super satisfying sliding everything together to glue up and assemble the doors. See all of this in action in our DIY office built ins and makeover video!

And check out my post on 3 DIY cabinet door construction techniques where I cover the details on using this router method.

It was even more satisfying using this method to build our two nearly 8 foot tall cabinet doors for the IKEA PAX hack cabinets. Putting these huge doors together was stressful and again it took few times to get it right, but it worked out beautifully!

I can’t even begin to explain how amazing it feels to challenge myself to learn something new and advance my skills! It’s such a refreshing and rewarding feeling. I am so grateful I took the time to research and learn how to do this (even though it took quite a bit more time than I wanted)!

diy built in office cabinets in DIY home office for two with DIY built in desk and DIY floating wood shelves

Lighting Update and Installing a Ceiling Medallion

While working on our office makeover, we had two ceiling dilemmas. With our new DIY wall and DIY office built in cabinets, our ceiling light was way off center and too small. It had been bothering me a lot ever since we finished our DIY wall!

Solving the small light problem was an easy fix, I bought this semi flush mount light in brass to replace the small, outdated light.

In order to solve the light being way off center, Brandon and his dad moved the light closer to the center. To do this easily, they used a ceiling brace.

It’s basically a tension rod between two ceiling joists so you only have to drill one new hole where you need it.

Then, we installed a ceiling medallion to cover the original hole and to avoid ceiling repair/drywall work which I always try to avoid due to the huge mess it creates.

installing a round ceiling medallion in office makeover with brass semi flush mount light

I could have perfectly centered the light using a rectangle shaped medallion. However, I fell in love with this round ceiling medallion and the little details of it.

I also felt like the round shape worked much better visually than the rectangle shape.

It did mean that the light and medallion aren’t perfectly centered on the ceiling due to it’s size. But that’s ok for us.

It’s a lot closer and I think it looks so much better with the large scale of the medallion. It being a little off center does not bother me like before when it was way off and too small. I realize some people may not get this, but I love it and I love that we didn’t have to spend extra time and money hiring this out.

ceiling medallion and light in home office makeover diy

I love the look and vintage feel the new light and medallion are bringing to the room!

DIY Built In Desks

Obviously, when designing our DIY home office makeover for two, double desks were needed for Brandon and I to each have our own desk.

diy built in office cabinets in DIY home office for two

Adding DIY built in desks to our small DIY home office for two was key to maximizing the space and also being able to hide all of those computer cords I can’t stand looking at that hang down below a desk.

Once we get our computers set up we are going to hide the cords in the IKEA PAX cabinets where we have a wall outlet! Would you like a tutorial on that process? Let me know!

I have a step by step tutorial for our DIY built in computer desks! These desks were easy to build because they are basically a floating desk.

DIy built in desk office

Originally I wanted to install drawers on them but I decided not to because we really don’t need them with the pull out baskets in the IKEA cabinets. Plus, it kept this project more simple.

For the DIY wood desk tops, I decided to use plywood and bevel the front edges for a seamless joint. I just love the final look!

DIY Wood Shelves

Open shelving was a must for these built ins. They are perfect for small office spaces where you want to add extra storage and pretty home décor.

I wanted a shelf above each desk for this DIY home office makeover for two.

diy built in office cabinets and shelf

For our floating shelves we repeated similar steps as our DIY built in desks except I used thinner wood for the frame.

I used a very similar build method that I used on my thin DIY floating shelf for our laundry room makeover. The biggest differences with these thinner office shelves are that we used 1/2″ plywood for all sides and that we beveled all of the front edges to match the desk tops.

I did this so that all of the wood has a consistent look and because it’s cheaper this way all coming from the same plywood sheet!

I also used the same wood stain color on these floating shelves as the desk tops. But, I didn’t use oil based polyurethane on them like the desks. I only used water based poly on the front trim only of the shelves.

Installing Picture Lights and Hiding Cords

One of the finishing touches for our DIY home office makeover for two was installing a picture light above each desk.

After shopping around, I fell in love with the look of this picture light, they have that vintage look and just so much character compared to everything else I found, but they came with a plug in cord which I wanted to hide. 

office DIY built in desk and shelf and picture light over built in desk

We hid the cords behind the drywall and beadboard and pulled them out right below the desk frame. Then we ran the cords through a hole in the IKEA cabinets where our outlet is located. 

Here are the supplies we used to hide the cords. These cord covers worked out great for covering up the holes in the wall and cabinet to run the cords. See this all in action in the makeover video!

Decor and Hardware for the DIY Office Built Ins

For the cabinet hardware, I always like to splurge on Rejuvenation hardware after working hard and saving a lot by building the cabinets.

I bought these small latches for the upper cabinets and these pulls in the 6 inch size for the floor to ceiling cabinets, all in the aged brass color. I just love them and the look it creates.

pulls from rejuvenation on diy cabinet doors

The bentwood chairs are thrifted and we have had them for years, but they needed a paint refresh, so we painted them Soft Chamois by Benjamin Moore.

I actually have an ergonomic desk chair that I use, but these looked super cute here for the photos!

diy home office built ins in DIY home office for two

The rest of the decor was pieces I already owned, plus a few new items, like these linen storage boxes, cane/rattan boxes, and marble box that I love. All of the decor and everything else is linked below!

storage boxes on DIY floating wood shelves in office

Although this small DIY office makeover for two was all about adding much needed storage and function to a small space (or just a wall), I really tried to make it look and feel like a welcoming, beautiful work space to create, work, and enjoy.

I know I always say this after nearly every room makeover, but this new home office makeover is one of my top favorites! I can’t wait to start filling up these cabinets and getting organized.

I feel like we did a great job of using up the vertical space on this office wall with these DIY built in office cabinets.

green diy built in office cabinets in DIY home office for two

It feels great to finally have a dedicated, functional, and beautiful space to work!

I hope you were able to get some small home office ideas for your office or shared office if you are creating a DIY home office makeover for two too!

Here are some final BEFORE AND AFTER photos! I just love looking at these:


before office makeover


new DIY wall with interior window to create home office


before office makeover with empty wall and french doors


green diy built in office cabinets in DIY home office for two

Don’t forget to check out the office makeover video and DIY office built ins on YouTube to really see the total transformation story and how it all flows together!

Let me know what you think in the comments below or on social media!

When I wrote this reveal post, I realized it has been nearly two years since I shared a room reveal, what?! But, no worries, I have a lot of room makeovers planned for this year!!! Make sure to follow along!

Follow along for my latest projects and sneak peaks on Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest!

DIY Office Makeover Sources & Projects:

Stain and Paint Colors Used

  • Cabinetry and beadboard – Cornwall Slate by Sherwin Williams, eggshell
  • Walls – Pure White by Sherwin Williams, eggshell
  • Trim/Windows – Pure White by Sherwin Williams, satin
  • Wood Stain on desks and shelves

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