How To Turn A Closet Into An Office Nook

I adore this little office nook, especially compared to what it use to be. This closet before became a ‘catch all’ for junk… it just wasn’t the best use of the space, and I hate to waste any square footage.

Today I’m sharing how to turn a closet into an office nook, including an easy hack to create custom bookshelf built-ins above the desk.

closet into an office nook

I remodeled this space over a year ago for a One Room Challenge, and I’ve had so many requests for the details of the space, I decided to revisit this project and share all the details!

This little office nook opens up to my family room, so I love that we can close the doors and hide any office mess away. However it is an attractive enough little nook, that we usually keep the doors thrown wide open.

This space, and the adjacent room made for quite the dramatic ‘before and after’. Definitely pop over to my blog post here to check it out…

Before and after of closet office nook

Watch The How-To Tutorial Here (Video):

Watch the tutorial here, and then scroll down to get a few extra details and tips to help you along the process!

Materials & Cut List

For this project you’ll need a 1/2″ sheet of plywood (8’x4′), and several pieces of 1″x2″ select pine.

The amount of each item you’ll need depends on how big your closet is, and how many shelves you want to add. My closet measures 53″ wide, and I needed four 12′ pieces of 1″x2″ select pine.

Shelves: 1/2” Plywood
-11-1/2” x closet length
Shelf Support: 1”x2” Select Pine
(per shelf)
-(1) closet length
-(2) 10-3/4”
Shelf Front Trim: 1”x2” Select Pine
-closet length, minus 3”
Vertical Side Trim: 1”x2” Select Pine
-(2) height from ceiling to desk
Crown Molding: (optional)
-closet length

Details/Tips You Might Need Along The Way

Now that you have watched the video tutorial above (if you haven’t, please do!), here are a few details to help you along the process.

For those who were wondering, the paint color I chose is ‘Winter Way’ by Behr, and the dimensions of my closet are 53″x64″ …but it is much deeper than I needed.

Faux ‘Bookshelf’ Build

By now you realize that the “bookshelf” is just a bunch of plywood shelves secured on the wall, and trimmed out to look like a full bookshelf built-in.

Closet being turned into an office nook

If you paint the walls, and add trim, it will look just like a real bookshelf! But you’ll use way less wood than if you were doing a full build.

The key is, once you are done installing the shelf supports, add two vertical pieces of trim (1″x”2 select pine) by nailing them into the 10-3/4″ shelf support overhang. Install the vertical trim from ceiling down to where the desktop will start.

Shelves being built

Now you can add the trim to the front of each shelf using pocket holes. And for an extra added sophistication, put a piece of crown molding along the top.

What If I Don’t Have A Way To Make Pocket Holes?

No biggie! Just attach the trim using finishing nails from the front. It’s a little more tricky to do if you are using a hammer and nails, but still works just fine. Of course, you’ll have to fill those nails holes, so it’s a bit more work all around.

Creating A Desktop

The desktop is literally just a piece of 1/2″ plywood cut to the width of the closet, and the desired depth. Just remember to extend the plywood all the way to the back of the wall and under the shelves.

Attached an extra piece of 1″x2″ select pine board to where the desk will slide in. This acts as an extra bit of support on the back end for the desk since that plywood is actually overhanging the desk base by a good foot.

DIY office nook being built

Drill a hole behind where your monitor will sit. Be sure to make the hole large enough for plug ends!

hole in desk for office nook

Choosing A Desk Base / Hiding Your PC

I actually salvaged these two cabinet units off the side of the road years ago. But cabinet bases are the perfect heavy duty choice for a desk in your office.

The cabinet with door serves as the perfect place to hide your PC, and keep it off your desktop.

cabinet base to hide PC

If you are concerned about it being able to vent properly, cut a large decorative opening in the side of the base cabinet. The wires can also extrude from the side in this way, although it is a little more attractive to have the wires come from a hole cut in the back if you can.

Cords out of side of cabinet office base
Please make your cords more attractive than mine! Lol!

Office Nook Source List

Office nook placed in a closet

If you turn an office into a closet, or any little cove into an office space, I’d love to see it! Share it with me over on Instagram or Facebook!

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7 Comments on How To Turn A Closet Into An Office Nook

  1. Lee
    September 26, 2020 at 3:20 pm (1 year ago)

    I really like your idea. I am all for closet offices! I see you posted the grayish color paint, but what color and type paint did you use for the white portion? Thanks.

    • Ursula Carmona
      September 29, 2020 at 8:24 am (1 year ago)

      It is just Behr’s Ultra Pure White… 😉

  2. Catherine Gotfrid
    August 15, 2020 at 8:07 pm (1 year ago)

    I can’t access the video, there doesn’t seem to be a link? I’m planning on doing this in a closet for my home office space but wanted to watch it first.

    • Ursula Carmona
      August 15, 2020 at 11:14 pm (1 year ago)

      It is embedded into the post, but if you can’t seem to view it there, it is also here on YouTube:
      Good luck with your home office!! I have no doubt you will love it when it’s done!

  3. Kris
    July 4, 2020 at 6:26 pm (1 year ago)

    Here from Thistlewood. This is wonderful! As someone who lives in a small house, I appreciate space-saving ideas like this.


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