The Office (The Room not the Show)

Disclaimer: The photo above is not our actual office space but it is the look we are going for.  My office was too messy for me to want to post a picture of it in its current state.

Listing Photo

They pitched what we are using as an office as a fifth bedroom.  It would be the only bedroom downstairs and there is no door on the entryway to the hall. So I don’t think it would make for a good bedroom. Plus, there’s no other place to put an office. You can also see from the picture below that the former owners didn’t use it as a bedroom either.


Before I came out with my daughter to look at the house in person, we had our realtor give us a tour via facetime. She said this room, and the whole house really, smelled strongly of dog. When we came to look at it, by golly she was right!  This room in particular smelled like the dog used it as is bathroom. Gross.  Getting rid of this smelly room was literally the first project we did.

What’s happened so far

To get rid of the nasty odors, the first things we did was rip out the carpet.  The carpet and pad were disgusting.  Luckily for you, we didn’t take pictures. If you want to use your imagination, just close your eyes for a minute and picture a carpet pad that has been soaked over and over in dog pee that is now dried and crusty and flakes off when you try to roll it up.   You’re welcome.  That’s what we experienced.

On a more happy note, we were very pleased to find nice hardwood floors underneath all that nastiness! Although the floor was not without it’s own oddities.  It was at one point painted green and at another point painted brown. There was also a bunch of plaster spread in places (the white part in the pictures).  We got a lead paint testing kits from Home Depot and made sure we weren’t going to expose everyone to any lead.  It came back negative so we started working on the floor.

Office Floor
Leland ripping out the nasty carpet pad
Lucy helped with the tear out.

I will let Leland describe the experience of what we did:

Yep, that room smelled terrible.  We either had to rip out the carpet, move, or likely die.

Unfortunately, I forgot all my tools in Vegas (our neighbor picked them up for us!). So I bought the following supplies for this project (and maybe some other stuff):

  1. Utility knife – this is used to cut old, nasty carpet into around 4 ft strips. The reason you do that is to make it easier to roll up and carry. I suppose the knife could also work on carpet that is not old and nasty, but I’ve never tried it.
  2. Needle-nosed pliers – I used this to pull up the carpet, pad, and the thousands of staples stuck into the floor.
  3. Hammer – I used this for pulling out the tack boards and nails.

Ripping out the carpet was fun but also gross.  Lots of pee stains. The thing I like about doing projects like this is that you get a sense of satisfaction in seeing the results of your labor.  You get to say, “Look, I did that.”  When you work a desk job you don’t really get that same sense of accomplishment.  You can still get a sense of accomplishment; it’s just different.  

That being said, I do find that there is always a point when we do things like this where it goes from fun to tedious.  Pulling out the staples, tack board, and nails got tedious. No matter how careful I thought I was being, I always missed staples. You just reach a point where you are thinking, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” Same goes for cleaning the floors.

Once we got everything cleaned up, we had to decide what to do with it. I first we thought we could rent a floor sander, sand down all the paint, and then stain it. But most people I talked to said not to try and sand the floor by myself. Apparently it can be tricky and there’s a risk you can scratch up the floor or end up sanding it down to nothing.  And, as mentioned, I was pretty much done mentally with working on this floor. So I was happy not to do it.  We also didn’t want to hire out for floor renovation because we basically just spent a ton of money buying a house and moving (and buying necessary tools–that’s right necessary).

So we just decided to paint it. What’s another layer of paint anyway? If we later want to redo the hardwood, we can do that. But painting was faster, cheaper, and easier–which sounded great!

All I did was clean the floor, primed it, and used two coats of latex floor paint (slate color). It turned out nicely. And then we put a big scratch in it when we moved the couch in. Oh well!

Ok bye,

Once we finished painting the floors we moved in the furniture.

Now we have a functional office that doesn’t smell like dog! The kids (and Leland) can finally play Minecraft!!!! Yay.  I will post a picture when I get it cleaned up.  The kids found their art supplies so the room is a disaster right now… But here’s at least a little teaser of the floor.

This is the slate gray floor with some of the mess...
This is the slate gray floor with some of the mess… You can also see the scratch 🙂

What’s in store

I’m not thrilled with the paint color, which is still the green and brown in the listing photo. We’re holding off on painting for now though because I eventually want to turn this room into the “Library” instead of the office. We plan to put in some bookcases and are considering putting a large homework table in the middle. Kind of like this:

Office concept

It’s not super high on our priority list. So for now we are happy having a functional and non-smelly office in the meantime.

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