When I first introduced my home office project, the new LPI headquarters, like many who take on the renovation process themselves, I underestimated how much time and physical labor it would take to complete this first phase. I don’t know who I was kidding, but apparently, in my timeline, I expected to complete the installation in one day and paint over two days. Clearly, I was dreaming!
What instead happened is that the installation process was time-consuming and challenging and highlighted some serious curves in our walls and floor that took many wood shims to fix. Thankfully, I had help with installation since the pantry cabinets were especially difficult to bring into the room. Measuring over 80 inches in height, they required two people to move into the room and slide into place. The installation process for the cabinets and countertops only took about three days, and once completed, it looked amazing. I could see the design plan starting to take shape.
As a reminder, I chose to save by purchasing in-stock cabinets from Lowes (this Wintucket style) and using kitchen countertops from IKEA (the Ekbacken in the marble pattern). I knew that the cabinets with their door detail would look lovely once painted, and the IKEA countertops were made to withstand daily use in a kitchen and were affordable, especially in the longer lengths I needed. Since I intend to build quite a bit of miniature pieces on these, it is a great choice that can hide spills and scratches.
The LPI home office measures about 13 ft by 17ft and so I elected to install three cabinets on the broadest wall (two 30-in drawer units and one 12-in drawer/door combo) and two 15-in-drawer/door combo cabinets to maximize the amount of storage on the shortest wall. In the center of it all, I gave myself about 6ft of space to move about in a chair.
For the nook area, I made a change and added two 15-in drawer/door combo cabinets so that I can use that space as a computer station and use the longest stretch of counter space for my minis.
The opposite wall has the three tall pantry cabinets that store a combination of items (more oversized items) and has helped me corral the LPI stuff that I had in multiple closets in the house.
When it came to the right shade of color, I tried many swatches and finally settled on French Toile by Benjamin Moore. It is a blue that looks lovely in the sun and under soft, warm light in the evenings. With this shade, the hardware I selected from Rejuvenation in an unlacquered brass stands out, and as it ages, it will look even better. This unlacquered finish will hopefully one day look like the aged hardware below:
Phase I took forever, but it is worth it to save the cost of paying someone else to complete all the work, and of course, all the lessons I learned will only help me complete future projects a bit faster.
Next up? I begin Phase II, which includes building, painting, and attaching the bookcases (now with glass doors) that will sit on the broadest wall. I will also try my hand at installing several different moldings (base & crown) and adding trim pieces to the ends of cabinets to make them feel more custom. That part might take another 1000 years, but I plan to document it as well and share the results – soon-ish.
If you have questions about the installation process or want to see something about the process let us know below!