Office ideas, help needed

I need help on this room. This is the office at a HotRod shop. The 2 openings used to be closets. We are going to take out the center section and remove up to ceiling to open up. Walls are not load bearing.Then thinking of closing off door and opening "window" up to use as doorway.Room is approx. 14X14. I kinda want the room to have an industrial, auto theme. How should I arrange desk, seating? Need shelving. This will be low budget and was thinking of making a desk with plumbing pipe. Or taking ones already there, painting and maybe adding wood top? Thoughts , ideas? I am at a loss on how to arrange.
q office ideas help needed, doors, home office, organizing, shelving ideas, storage ideas
q office ideas help needed, doors, home office, organizing, shelving ideas, storage ideas
q office ideas help needed, doors, home office, organizing, shelving ideas, storage ideas
  25 answers
  • ...I would do a ' two sided ' desk arrangement , it saves space and each desk would have its own area for storage and books, etc. on each side of the two desks ...Which is ACTUALLY ONE nice desk, large enough, and long enough in surface space to accommodate a person on each side. The plumbing pipe desk idea is good, and although you stated you wanted to remove the walls between those closets...those ' closets' are ideal ' built-in' storage. Theres lots of ' Industrial - type' shelving out there, which may be cheaper than making your own. You really should have a window in this room, whether its an ' outside-looking' window or just a window to keep the room from feeling closed in and claustrophobic.

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    • @Jonna Musselwhite ...As long as you have some natural light ( or some kind of light ) coming in, thats a ' good thing'. May I ask why you wish to close off the door ? Is there another entrance to the area ? When closing off doors, you just have to make sure that the area ' blends in ' with the rest of the far as the drywall/ taping / mudding/ sanding/ painting. It is a process ! lol.

  • Organized 31 Organized 31 on Feb 19, 2015
    You can make industrial shelving with plumbing fixtures and wood from the big box stores. It's great because it's flexible as the room grows and changes.

  • Karen Colton Karen Colton on Feb 19, 2015
    I would use a U shaped desk but chairs on the outside instead of inside put it in the middle of the room, so two people can use the desk. and shelves on ALL the walls Put closet doors over one of those set in spaces for just coats maybe a vacuum and cleaning supply shelves

  • Monica Talley Monica Talley on Feb 19, 2015
    I would place both desks in the existing closets. Perhaps remove the top hutch pieces of the desks. That way you could place shelves above the desks for additional storage. If you placed papers in tin boxes on the shelves it would be streamlined and look more modern. The partition wall sould be a great place to add a decorative themed item. The desks and bookshelf could be painted a cohesive color. A chair or two with a low table (coffee or side) would offer seating if the desks were in the closet area. Perhaps storage files cabinet could offer valuable space but used as a credenza. What do you use this office for?

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    • @Jonna Musselwhite ...Thats a good clarification and you definitely do not want your back to people that are coming into the room.

  • Jonna Musselwhite Jonna Musselwhite on Feb 19, 2015
    So I see some are saying don't take down the wall between closets. I feel it is a strange space. It is open all the way through behind that center section. So that is unused space

    • @Jonna Musselwhite ...what about taking it out just enough to create a little division between those two closets ? It will be one large cavernous space, with taking out the whole wall to match the depth of the existing closets....and might become a distraction with a huge wall of ' just storage".....; if you wish to take the wall out, taking it out half- depth will still give you some space , but not make it feel like nothing but a huge wall of ' storage' . Gives the eye a place to ' rest' . Personally, i would use a bookcase type of thing, with a hidden space behind, you have the room for it.

  • Patricia C Patricia C on Feb 20, 2015
    I agree with you on taking down the wall and opening the "window" to make the doorway. Im assuming that the "window/door" are on the opposite wall to the closet, so when you walk in the focal point would be the closets. with the middle wall removed, you could paint the back wall a dark smoke almost black and put up industrial pipe shelves (planned out with your needs in mind). i would then put in a large table or 2 desks, or better yet some ikea kitchen cabinets with a recycled wood top that allows for bar stool seating on both sides or even all around. big enough to spread out pictures, etc. for clients. this option will also allow for clients to stand around the computer and overlook what is being done. add electrical to closet for lighting and electrical to center of room to power computers on desks. good luck with this very exciting project.

  • Cindy Marks Cindy Marks on Feb 20, 2015
    @Jonna Musselwhite _ I agree with removing the closet wall and changing the window to a door. I would then have the existing desks (minus the hutch) sprayed a charcoal gray (some body shops will do this in the off season) Place the desks facing each other in the center of the "closet" opening, leaving enough room to access the closet. In the closet place the filing cabinets in the center and hang a large clock above them. You can then have industrial shelving on either side. Another idea for the shelving unit is to use concrete blocks and 2 x 4

  • Ltt834476 Ltt834476 on Feb 20, 2015
    You can use the existing openings now. One you can do some simple shelving all the way up and down. The other paint the too with caulk paint so you can use it for message and note center and build yourself a little coffee nook. Or you can use one side for a seating bench. Or as one other person said, use each side for your desk area, this will give you more floor space. There is just so many ideas to do with that space. It all depends what you need in that room and make it happen.

  • Ltt834476 Ltt834476 on Feb 20, 2015
    I would place a tall desk in front of that window opening to deal with customers etc.....with a tall stool.

  • Monique rios Monique rios on Feb 20, 2015
    I would get two nice New York or Industrial Black and White Posters, Make the closets into two shelves area and place the posters in the top center of the book cases. Paint Black. Get black and white folders for all your paperwork. Paint the desks in a silver with Black or White with Black. Under the window place chairs for waiting area.

  • Pgl Pgl on Feb 20, 2015
    I would get shelving brackets and line the closets with shelves. Shelves are for functional organization.This would give you ton of shelf space with out interfering with the decor. A good desk would be an old metal one [2nd hand stores flea markets] and use a white board for a top, great for scribbling notes while on the phone, comparing prices or model numbers.

  • Loretta Clark Loretta Clark on Feb 20, 2015
    I've always thought it smart to buy two, two-drawer filing cabinets and lay a solid service over the top for a desk with storage. You can also buy a pull out drawer to mount under the middle. I like the idea of an 'old door' with glass over it for the solid surface.

  • Gail Gail on Feb 20, 2015
    Why not place two metal desks facing each the middle of that wall with a closet for each desk. At which I would organize both closets completely with shelving. It would give more room on the other side of the office space, for a file system, Sitting area,or even a conference area.

  • MARY FISHER MARY FISHER on Feb 20, 2015
    It really depends on how large you want your office, take out middle wall and wall behind it, place desks next to each other for a front 'entry', place chairs to sit on for customers along the wall and any decorations you would like, even if you brought in a 'hot rod' for display at very front if there is room, width wise, if you want to keep it small, take out middle wall, make a 'sitting room' with books, magazine, etc, leave hooks for coats on side wall. Could you open the 'empty' room behind the walls to open up at back side for displays for your business? Like the idea of black and white, some red would help make it 'pop', shelves can go anywhere, above sitting area, desks, chairs, etc

  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Feb 21, 2015
    I don't know why you would take out the window. It seems to be the source of your natural light. I'd take out the entire closet wall. Put a couple of four drawer files in the center of the "closet wall". Look at the habitat Restore for some old work benches or kitchen base cabinets -- painted black -- for both sides of the file cabinets. Maybe use some running boards, or other car parts for open shelves above the kitchen cabinets. Diamond plate metal would make cool cabinet tops if the budget allowed. This area would probably need some additional lights. Might be a good place for a Neon advertising light or two. Pull that bookcase out of the closet and put it where the file cabinet is now and rotate the desk so it is perpendicular to where it is located now, facing the door/window wall. If there is enough room to get between the desks, make a mirror image arrangement with the other desk. If not, Leave it where it is and put the hutch on it. If you want to center the door in the wall and remove the Window you will probably need side lights on either side of the door for natural light. If you leave the door where it is you may be able to fit in a small round table and four chairs in the corner for customer comfort. Corrugated metal would make some really cool wainscoting.

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    • RH RH on Feb 21, 2015
      @Lindcurt the "window" in question is not a window letting in light - it's an open space between this office and what's on the other side (see bottom picture above, it's next to the door). It's akin to an "order window" in a restaurant - where waitresses lay/hang the orders for the cook on the other side to see. Since there is technically light coming through from the exterior windows in the next space, removing "the window" and expanding it to a door would actually let in more light... Especially if the width is kept, as it's much wider than the existing door.

  • Lisa Lisa on Feb 21, 2015
    I would leave the window, I worked in an office for a body shop for a long time and found that window was pretty handy, sometimes you need to see what's going on out there without having to open the door and let noise and dust etc,. in, if someone gets a call or you need them for something you can look right out to see if you should bother them, etc.

    • Jonna Musselwhite Jonna Musselwhite on Feb 21, 2015
      It's so dated though. This part of the shop is not dated, the room outside this is a room that is really only used for wiring, glass, "clean" assembly stuff

  • Joyce Overbay Joyce Overbay on Feb 21, 2015
    I have always likes the idea of sitting behind the desk. Have your chair back against the wall and a place for visitors to sit in front. Need some kind of divider so you don!'t hear one another talk. I would decorate w/grille of a car or front on wall, signs relating to hot rods eye........maybe when you paint use a black/ white checkered floor and an old refrigerator, old jute box etc.... They make cool 50's wall border that would link good to divide the room instead of waynescoating!

  • Jonna Musselwhite Jonna Musselwhite on Feb 21, 2015
    Love all the ideas that are coming in. One thing I didn't mention was the floor I was thinking along the lines of a distressed wood laminate but then @Joyce Overbay mentioned a black/white checkerboard. Didn't think that direction!!! Tempting....... But not sure if I want something that bright. Got me to thinking..... Maybe beige or gray colors? But still do tiles in a pattern? Would be easy to clean also.

  • Myrna Engle Myrna Engle on Feb 22, 2015
    Take out everything that's not load bearing. Paint in colors that appeal to new use. White is boring. Be sure you face anyone that might harm you. Position both desks away from each other enough to allow quick movements both in and out ( and passing each other ). After deciding perfect colors, then stain your concrete with contrasting and unusual colors. Study the web for artwork that compliments new use. If still being used in automotive field, try antique rusty car parts. Headlights, horns, a running board for a shelf. A radiator to punch floral arrangement into. All sorts of interworking gears are quiet pleasant. There it's perfect. No one more item is, pull a wood graining comb through your new stained floors. Wood grained concrete, unique, but impressive.

  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Feb 22, 2015
    I see what you mean about the window. It does look very outdated. Since the room is heated with an electric heater you probably need a window with glass in that area. You could probably get one cheap on clearance. There would be sheetrock and stud work to make it fit. I wouldn't move the door. I got a bruise on my knee at the county courthouse when someone swung the door open and I was in the chair behind it. If anything I would put a glass in the door so you can see who is coming through the door. Also at least one of the desk chairs needs to be facing the door. It is really important to be able to react quickly to anything that could happen. There are epoxy paint kits with color chips to throw out on the wet paint. It is a definite upgrade from the plain concrete floor. It is also easy to keep swept and mopped. I think a kit can be bought at Ace Hardware but probably any paint store has them. I like the black and white checker board idea too. If not on the floor then maybe on the wall somewhere. It just screams hotrod racing. I wrote this twice because I don't think I clicked on the comment button the first time so it was lost. If I did -- just know that I have a tendency to repeat myself a lot lately. Have fun with the project.

  • Ksm9542 Ksm9542 on Apr 20, 2015
    Like the idea of removing the center 'wall' between the two closets. Need to decide what will go in the opened closet area ---- filing cabinets, bookcase, printer, etc. Regarding the desks, can the hutch on the one desk be removed so IF desks are turned to face front there won't be that obstruction. If desks can't each be placed on the side wall, can. They be staggered for ability to move around easier? If 'interior window' is used for new doorway does that mean getting rid of current door by closing up that wall? If so, will that cut down on natural light coming in? IF you don't need to be 'closed off' from mechanical area, I would remove the entire wall. As for decorating, get pictures of hot rods, or hot rod parts and take to local office supply store to have them"blown up"and frame them to hang in the office. As for customer/lobby area, why not use car seats/benches as the waiting chairs. Place glass or plexiglass over hubcaps to make into small tables for the waiting room if needed. Or By stacking tires on top of one another then topping with glass/plexiglass could also make a table.

  • Rose Henderson Rose Henderson on Sep 23, 2015
    I wouldn't make a desk if I were you to be honest. It would be more cost effective to find used office furniture somewhere if you can. Also; the idea of removing that center wall is really smart. That will open up a lot of space for you to use. Joyce makes a good point of turning the desks and having the chairs against the wall. That would make the space feel much more inviting.

  • BiGHaRRy BiGHaRRy on Jul 10, 2021

    Enough time has already passed. Probably there is no point in advising any more. Can you brag about how your office looks after the renovation? I would really like to see the result after the huge number of tips that you have received. I also wanted to ask, have you bought an office or are you renting it?

  • Gellehaiak Gellehaiak on Jul 10, 2021

    In my opinion, such offices can only be rented. I have not yet heard of any company buying an entire office building, perhaps only huge companies like google or amazon are capable of this. By the way, I personally really like the minimalistic style, I don't like when there is a lot of extra stuff in the office. All you need for work is a computer, an office MFP and a locker for documents. In all other things there is no sense, they only create a feeling of mess.

  • Gellehaiak Gellehaiak on Jul 14, 2021

    but i'm not sure