Decor, Kids, Viral posts

Home office and play area in one

This space, off to the side of our kitchen, is supposed to be a breakfast nook. But as soon as we moved in, our boys began putting their toys here. We didn’t have furniture for a nook, so I followed suit and put my puny little desk in the same space so I could work while they played. I thought it was temporary, but it actually was working great as a playroom/home office.

Ikea Micke desks in home office. Gray walls Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal

Home office and playroom together with Ikea furniture

home office before and after pictures

Here’s a view of what it looked like before. Your eyes are not deceiving you. That is a giant salmon wall. I traded that out for Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal. I got the VOC-free paint for this one. It truly was odorless, but I have to say, it doesn’t stick to the wall quite as well as the more toxic stuff. I’ve already had to touch up a few nicks from the boys. I adore the color, though. It’s a beautiful charcoal with warm undertones. Perfect.

home office play room before and after

The wall is expansive and I wasn’t sure how to fill it proportionally. For example, my tiny desk looked ridiculous against it, but I didn’t want to do a big shelving unit because the kitchen cabinets are farther down on the same wall. It probably would have been too much. So I opted for some DIY art and two desks side by side.

Almost the whole space is from Ikea. I used 2 of the incredibly affordable Micke desks ($69.99), the Micke drawer unit ($59.99), Tobias chairs ($79), and the Kallax shelf unit ($64.99). The little table and chairs ($20) are also from Ikea. The diamond rug is from Urban Outfitters and is currently on sale ($40). I created the space for only $400 — I already had the shelving unit and kids’ table and chairs.

Ikea micke series idea

The desk goes together like this. The solid side panel is able to go on either side. I put both of mine to the outside to make it look more like one piece. I love the sleek simplicity and versatility of this desk. Well done, Ikea.

Ikea kallax shelf can go horizontal or vertical for toys and books

Use baskets to organize books and paper in home office

Home office drawer organizer

Home office file folder organization in Ikea micke desk

Ikea tobias chair and micke desk in home office

So there you have it, our breakfast nook turned home office/playroom.

Here’s the same space with different art.

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28 thoughts on “Home office and play area in one

  1. Do you find that chair comfortable? I love the style of it but when I sit at my desk I tend to be in it for a few hours at a time! I will be refurnishing my apartment from ikea! I just stumbled upon your blog and I love it btw (:

  2. I don’t think it’s the most ergonomic chair in the world, but it’s worked well for me. My only complaint would be lower back support. But then again, out of all the chairs in offices I’ve sat in, none have ever fit me great. I don’t know if it’s because they’re designed for men or I have a weird body type. Ha! I suggest you go to Ikea and sit in it for awhile to see if it could work for you. I’d love to see pictures when you’re done!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I finally have the blueprint for my home office!!! Simply beautiful and wonderfully functional. Kudos!

  4. I LOVE this design!! Great job! Hate to bother but, may I ask where you purchased the gray drawer card beneath your DESK?! Thanks so much! Love your blog!!

  5. No problem! The cart is from Ikea, but it doesn’t look like they sell anymore :( Not helpful, I know. They sell some other carts though — I think they call them “drawer units.”

  6. Did you do anything to your filing cabinet to make the folders go sideways instead of front to back? My cabinet is really full and reaching the folders in the back is a nightmare! If my folders went sideways like yours do, then I would be able to see them all at once!

  7. I just painted my bedroom that color grey and I love it. I was wondering where you purchased the 3 beautiful pictures? The different colored squares? It would go wonderful with the color…

  8. It really is a great color, isn’t it? I actually made the art myself. It’s simple and cheap if you want to make some yourself. Here’s the tutorial.

  9. This is great! I’m planning on doing the same in my studio. However, strange question… I see that the Micke desk, when facing it, is solid on the left leg and open on the right leg.

    The very first pic of your Micke desk set up appears that both outside legs (right and left) are solid. Are the legs reversible? If not is there a left desk and right desk?


  10. Hi Jen! Not a strage question! Yes, you can put the solid leg on either side of the desk. I put mine on the outsides to give it a more finished feel.

  11. Absolutely love the transformation! I think the chairs go perfectly with that ikea desk combo. Can’t imagine it’ll stay that way once the kids get there way!

    It would be cool to add some stackable shelving for extra storage.

  12. Hi Kate, I really enjoy reading your blog. I absolutely love the 3 grey birds (flamingo, heron and another) pictures which you have shown on your office walls previously and wondered if I could please ask where you found them. Thanks very much.

  13. Hi Kate!

    I’m in love with your office space! By chance do you know the name and brand of the color used for the walls?

  14. Looking for home office inspiration and this looks great and affordable! I love Ikea. Will be checking out those desks soon.

  15. Where did you buy these oversized white frames? I saw you did the art yourself but was wondering where the frames were from. Seriously recreating your room in my house!

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