The Room Under the Stairs

The Mister’s Birthday Part II


In most 100+ year old properties within the city of Chicago the rooms are small.  Especially the bedrooms.  Many of the vintage apartments here have the same layout which includes a small bedroom in the front of the apartment off the living room.  We have such a room in our house.  It has a window, a door, and a closet and therefore is considered (in the world of Real Estate,) to be a bedroom.  We use this room as our Computer Room.  It’s tiny, sort of L-shaped, and half the room has a low slanted ceiling.  When we bought the house, this “bedroom,” had icky  blue carpet and dirty white walls with handwriting on it in several places.  Not a room you wanted to spend time in.

We pulled up the carpet, refinished the floor, painted the walls, put in a new ceiling light, painted the tiny radiator, and refinished the wood trim.  We had to downsize our computer desk to something that would fit the space and were able to find a pretty and simple metal and blue-glass desk that fit perfectly between the radiator and the closet.  I was very happy with our little remodel.

computer room 2006

At some point, probably when I started to work from home, The Computer Room began to be referred to as My Computer Room.  I never really thought of it as My room, but I guess I was pretty much the only one using it.  Then, a few months ago maybe, the Mister began to complain about not having a desk and about not having anywhere to put his stuff.  He began to point out how I had two work benches and a desk and he had nothing.  I grew weary of his boo hooing so decided I would find a spot for him somewhere in this house.  Originally I intended to buy a desk and set it up in our basement, but I figured 1. he wouldn’t work down there, and 2. the only spot where I could fit a desk wasn’t near any outlets.  So then I took a new look at “My” computer room and decided it would be tight, but,  if I was able to find the right desk, we could both fit in there.

Sooo, long story short, I found a great desk and some cute organizing accessories and on his birthday, while he was at work, I put the desk together and did a mini computer room make-over surprise.  Here are some photos of how it turned out.

computer room redo

A glass desk with no front legs really helps to keep a small space from feeling too cramped.  I repurposed a vintage wooden chair from our dining room, eventually he will get a new and more comfortable chair.


computer room redo2

I had to buy a fairly small desk for it to fit in this spot.  A small desk means less space to house things so I re-organized the nearby shelving unit to allow room for the Mister to store paperwork, CDs, and other miscellanea.  I also incorporated a few accessories on the shelves like a photo of us, a vintage stapler, my grandmother’s vintage flip desk calendar, and a fun flip clock.


computer room redo3

I used the space above the desk to hang a simple magnetic strip for important notes.  Then to add some visual interest, I hung a poster for one of our favorite art fairs, a sweet photo of the Mister and little Bug, and a tiny finger painting that Bug did for daddy’s birthday.


Computer Room Redo4

One day I will replace my printer “stand” with something more attractive than a cardboard box.  Oh, and why yes, that is a lovely view out the window!  Another interesting fact about Chicago, the houses are Real close to each other.  ; )

P.S. My desk is from CB2, (although it was purchased 6 or so years ago so I don’t think they carry it anymore.)  The Mister’s desk is from Crate and Barrel, and the green, blue, and orange organizers are from The Container Store.

One Response

  1. Rebecca Dilello
    Rebecca Dilello March 19, 2013 at 2:40 am | | Reply

    Great use of the space; very cozy and attractive.

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