The Little Office That Could

The Little Office That Could


Office Organization ideas


Is this the post you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for?


I mean I know American Idol has started and we are all voting and crossing our fingers that Lazaro makes it through to the next round….but today it is all about the details.

Remember the office make-over?

Remember the before.


Remember the after.


And somewhere between the before and the after….I left off the details…..until today.

It’s here.

Today is the day.

All you ever wanted to know and so much more……about the transformation of the over-looked, under-appreciated, almost forgotten little room under the stairs.



1. The chevron rug came from Ballard Designs.

I don’t know Ballard.

But if I did I would tell them thank you….for the best $49 I ever spent.

It’s indoor/outdoor rug that lives like it was hand-woven on looms by Italian rug masters when Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel.


The frames are from TJ Maxx and Hobby Lobby.

The stool is from the side of the road where all really good furniture with a story comes from.




2. The filing cabinets were ordered online from Office Depo and built in under the stairs by the cutest carpenter on the planet.

I don’t know Office Depo either.

But if I did….I would say thank you for making a three-drawer filing cabinet and putting all the two drawer filing cabinets to shame.

Absolutely brilliant with great storage.

We painted the built-in top and center white to match the filing cabinets and added a gray stripe to the top with painters tape.



3.  The numbers are from Farmhouse Decor.

I do know Barb.

She is amazing.

Unfortunately the letters are all sold out.  But she does have so many other incredible things in the shop like this and this…….oh……and these.

And the best part?

She’s having a sale right now.  Everything is 15% off until March 15.  Just use the code Farmhouse15.



4.  The bulletin board came from Hobby Lobby.

I love the shape and I love the shape even more with a 40% off coupon.

The wire baskets are another Hobby Lobby find.

The letters came off our high school marquee when they put in the electronic sign.

I love technology.



5.  This is an upside down cabinet handle from Lowe’s.

I flipped it upside down and screwed it into the bulletin board.  It’s perfect for holding push pins.

I also found those tiny enamel numbers at Hobby Lobby and made push pins by gluing them onto flat thumbtacks.


I love it all.


I adore those built-in filing cabinets tucked back under the stairs.

And the black and white damask file folders.

And the gray striped white table top.

And the chevron rug that makes my heart beat faster every time I see it.


And a month later…..I love it even more.

So here’s to you……you over-looked, under-appreciated, almost forgotten little room under the stairs…..

….you became the little office that could.


For more furniture projects….click here to check out out my furniture projects page.

This post is sponsored by Farmhouse Decor, but my opinions on lampshades with french script printed on them and bottle caps with numbers are completely and solely my own.  

Visit my disclosure policy for more information.

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  1. the curvy bulletin board is my favorite! well done

  2. Love it. Thanks for the sourcing!

  3. If I were a little office underneath your stairs, I love you right back…

  4. You did a beautiful job, great use of space! I love seeing people get creative with otherwise wasted space. I am curious, do you not have a basement? I am in the Northeast, all of the homes I’ve ever lived in have basements. There is no wasted space under the stairs, only another set if stairs. I would so love built in drawers under my entry staircase but it is not to be!

  5. I love, love, love what you did with this little space! The use of black and white actually makes it look like a spacious little room. I think that’s an oxymoron! Oops!
    Mary Alice

  6. I love it all too, Karianne! Such a perfect little hideaway! The weathervane…..was that a side-of-the-road find too? I love it…..all I can think is “North, South, East, West, wherever you go, home is best”!

  7. Love all your details in the “office that could”….and kudos to that cute resident carpenter!

  8. Ok…OBSESSED with this room. I think I’ve looked at each picture like I’m looking at Brad Pitt! And Farmhouse Decor?? YES, please! ~Kim

  9. Wow, it’s gorgeous!! Everything just ‘works’ together! I love your little office that could. And I agree, those filing cabinets are the best! I’ve seen those pulls used upside down for a few different project and need some, but they are always sold out…they sure are popular right now.
    Debbie 🙂

  10. Awwww, Farmhouse Decor says thanks, too. And I guess in a way you know them, too. Glad a small part of the shop found a home in your home. xxoo

  11. You are a miracle worker in my mind. What a pretty transformation!

  12. I have never picked up a stool on the side of the road. People here only leave dressers that I can’t lift by myself.

    And my little office tucked in the mudroom needs an up-doo.


  13. What a gorgeous little room! I love it.

  14. I’m in process of making a craft space in my closet, I love what you did with your small space. I’ll have to hang out here to get some of your wonderful ideas!

  15. One month later and I’m still loving the little office under the stairs that could too! And I’m truly sad that those numbers are sold out! Still kicking myself that I didn’t scoop them up at the Southern Blogger’s Conference!

    🙂 Linda

  16. What a lovely space! I love the black and white! Once again, you’ve nailed it! Have a blessed day!!


  17. how did i ever miss this homecoming queen nominee’s original debut?! had to go back and read. gladly dusting off my old crown and placing on one of her perfectly placed built-in shelves!

  18. Hi KariAnne, You managed to create such a wonderful space in a small area. It is just beautiful. Love the curved bulletin board and the numbers are so perfect in the space.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Pieced Pastimes

  19. I absolutely love it! Perfection! Such a wonderful use of space …. I know you adore it.

  20. “The stool is from the side of the road where all really good furniture with a story comes from.” LOL!! LOVE IT!!

    Thanks for sharing the inside scoop with us Karianne! I would sit in there all day if I had that office. I’d become known as the crazy lady who lives under the stairs. I love all the touches of personality in there. Beautiful!

  21. It’s so cute and succinct. It’s all there…from fresh flowers to that adorable upside down handle used as a tiny catch all! And it’s lovely and all that…just like the rest of your home! 😉

  22. The cutest little room ever 🙂

  23. Such a delightful space, Karianne! (And I’m crushing on that black and white striped rug.)

  24. I love the Farmhouse decor stuff! I wonder how I can make my California home look more farm house-ish 🙂
    I also LOVE the green flowers…what a great pop of color!
    Well done!!!
    Ashley Rane Sparks

  25. Who but YOU could write a loveletter to the nooks & crannies in your home? Once again you did it – you made me smile! Kristina

  26. Love all of your little details in the “little office that could.” You never miss that extra something sweet…like the little gray border around the built-in top. Love. I just shared my frightening “little master bedroom that could.” I hope she’s as awesome as your office when it’s finished! xo

  27. It’s perfect Karianne

  28. So pretty! I just adore all the black and white!

  29. OH that is so cool! Congrats on the feature!! Now I’m off to go track down some boxwood… cause a girl desperately needs some greenery at this time of year… (and i forgot to plant my wheatgrass yesterday… hopefully tomorrow won’t be too late!)

    Have a wonderful day!!

  30. This is SO CUTE! I don’t have an Under-The-Stairs room (My refrigerator and pantry have that honor!), but I do have a little room that used to be a porch, that seems to be the “catch all” room of the house. It really NEEDS to be an office. In fact, we CALL it “the office,” because it has not one, but TWO desks, a filing cabinet 2 tall bookcases, and lots of JUNK. And my husband’s clothes hamper. (because it’s next to HIS bathroom)

    I’m liking your numbers. I’d probably use letters, since we’re all pretty “lettery” people at my house . . . Thanks for the inspiration! Have a great day!! AND pray for SUNSHINE! 🙂

  31. This unused space offers so many organizational items in such a chic way. You can enjoy the decor used and it be functional at the same time. I love it all!

  32. Dear Karianne!!! I have missed you!!! I haven’t been reading much, I was crazy getting ready for a Trade show. ALl done now! I should have brought BIG EARRINGS, like you did one when you had to do a presentation, I will never forget: confidence, confidence… You are so adorable!
    STUNNING makeover in the little office!!! You are amazing, no wonder WE (I did, too!) voted you the BEST BLOG! Congratulations!!! Now, you need to frame that page and put on the wall, too!
    Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  33. Oh, your little office is just perfect! Love your style and everything you’ve done!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  34. Your space looks awesome! I agree about that Ballard’s rug! I have been looking FOREVER for a black and creme chevron runner and found that same one over at Ballards a week ago and it was on sale for even less! I was so hesitant because it was an indoor/outdoor rug and I didn’t want it to be too rough – I needed it for a bathroom, but it was perfect… much softer than I expected! Love your blog!

  35. Thanks for sharing your sources on all this fantastic stuff.

    Just a couple thoughts:

    1. Hobby Lobby is full of good stuff. We love that place. And Kirkland’s is on our “favorite stores” list too.

    2. Finding cool stuff along the road, or in the junk pile, is a wonderful thing. We call it Dumpster Diving. Call it what you want, it’s so true: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”


  36. I love everything about your little office under the stairs. Especially that is so clean and clutter-free, the office that my office wants to be when it grows up. sigh.

  37. Sandy Miller :

    I must be super nosey! What is the saying on the framed sign next to the W? I tried to enlarge it but it just gets blurry.

  38. I loved it a month ago and I love it even more now. Wish I had a little forgotten room under the stairs… or any room that looked like this!! All the little details, make this one BIG beautiful room!
    Green with envy,

  39. That was an inspiration that more than exceeded its thought, I think! It turned out great and I love it. What a perfect idea for that space. Headed over to Farmhouse Decor-xo Diana

  40. NO! Please don’t tell me that Farmhouse Decor is out of those amazing number signs! I had to go check for myself and dang you were right, all gone!! They everything looks wonderful, enjoy your new space!

  41. I love your little office under the stairs. Your cute carpenter did a fabulous job framing in those file cabinets.
    Love all of it.
    And now I love Farmhouse Decor. Especiallly everything in the Vintage French Farmhouse section. Ugh.
    However, did you know you could make your own French script lampshade? I did. 🙂
    Have fun in your fun new space!

  42. Wow! That is so sweet! I adore the way you put a room together. Wish I had that knack. And
    don’t you just love “curbside shopping” 😉 You just never know what you’ll find!

  43. the perfect use for that little space.
    i would have never thought to put a little office under the stairs:)
    love all the letters and numbers……:)

  44. Love that little room KariAnne!

  45. Pinning this little o’l space to the rockstar board tonight.

  46. It was definitely a gorgeous makeover, Karianne! Especially for one under the stairs, you’ve gave it such a great look {plus you used my favorite black & white color scheme}. Love all the little details and I’m off to Farmhouse Decor to see if there is anything I can add to my entry/foyer wall gallery.

  47. Love the time-worn numbers. Too bad they are not available anymore. Everything in that little space just clicks and so well done. Love it all.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  48. KA=

    Well for heaven’s sake happy birthday, chum!

    I won’t forget it because it’s also my hubs birthday so you share it with someone very special.

    Totally love your big reveal. It’s AWESOME.

  49. Such fabulousness just begs to be shared. But how incredible to be featured by one of your heroes. Total best day ever.

  50. Zolane Gordon :

    Just perfect…every charming detail. And what an incredible use of space! You never cease to amaze me, KariAnne. Thank you so, so much for all the details and for some new resources, too.

  51. The beauty is in the details and I don’t think you missed one! And those green mums. I think you’ll need a standing order for those at the supermarket.
    You rocked the office makeover Miss Rock Star!!

  52. Truly…and absolutely mahvalous! It’s just that….and so much more! Congrats on a beautiful space. 🙂 k.

  53. You’re just the bomb-diggity. This little office is just so stinkin’ cute…Loved your post over at Melaines….So which room did you turn into your new sitting room? Im in love with that area. That’s where we’ll have sweet tea when I come to Kentucky! 🙂

  54. Hi, I don’t have a website – I’m just a fan of Thistlewood Farms! I post you on my FB page! Your blog is my number one favorite that I wouldn’t, couldn’t miss reading! Thanks for all you cool work! 3/8/2013

  55. This little room definitely has my number!!!

  56. Just stunning! Black and white rule ~ 🙂 Just incredible what you’ve created in this tiny space. I so wish I could see each frame and all the items on the adorable bulletin board. I think I would sit here for hours just loving it.


  57. Beautiful space. I love how you turned the cabinet handle upside down to hold thumbtacks. Genius! I’ve been needing to spruce up and organize my computer armoire and this has helped to inspire me!

  58. How fantastic this looks. Don’t you just love black & white?

  59. I love everything about your office, girl. Did you print out all the fun things on your bulletin board? Just fabulous. 🙂

  60. Small space with Huge style!!
    Love it!

  61. I love this room, and those numbers are great! Definitely off to check out the rest of her stuff.

  62. Um yes, when will this little office space be available for rent? I am flexible and can move in anytime!

  63. What a fantastic makeover into the perfect little space! I LOOOVE your numbers – they are vinage-isholous! How inspiring to step inside (or is that underneath) and pull up a seat. Great job KariAnne!! 🙂

  64. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the
    page layout of your website? Its very well written;
    I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little
    more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  65. Karianne, you are brilliant! I love all of your projects and this one makes me wish I had stairs 😉

    Much love to you and yours,