Computer Armoire Makeover

August 20, 2012

We’ve had this computer armoire for over ten years, we bought it when we were first married and it used to sit in the corner of our family room and hold our huge 300 CD stereo equipment and speakers, remember those days before the iPod?

A few years ago we got rid of the stereo equipment we weren’t using and started to use the armoire for its intended purpose – as a computer station.  It’s a fantastic piece I scored on sale at Macy’s furniture store years ago, but sitting in front of it felt like staring into a cave, it was dull, dark, and unorganized.

This year, I’m determined to be as organized as possible when it comes to all the activities, from school to extracurricular sports and lessons.  I thought it best to keep it all housed in one place, so the computer armoire has now become family organization central.


Goodbye dark and dreary interior.


Helloooo cheerful bright blue!


It all began last week in my frenzy to prepare for back to school.  I started with my favorite primer and a disposable kit which makes working with oil based products easy.

I spilled some all over my hands wiping up the gallon, but no worries.  I discovered years ago the easiest way to get it off is not with mineral spirits or paint thinner but with regular ol’ kitchen cooking oil and dishwashing soap.

I didn’t buy any new paint for this project, I have so much extra blue and gray latex paint that I mixed up the interior color myself from three different leftover paints, but after it dried I color matched it – the closest is ‘Boca Raton Blue’ by Benjamin Moore.

Inside the blue interior is a new pale gray monitor (practically impossible to find white for a PC, don’t get me started) a lamp, and other colorful office supplies.  Don’t worry about the heat from the lamp housed inside, it’s a 25 watt bulb and I’ll likely replace it with a task lamp soon.

It’s so kid friendly now which is great since the kids have homework and testing to complete on the computer.

The workstation and printer hide down below, so convenient that they actually fit!


I made a fabric covered corkboard with the left side door for pinning calendars or other miscellaneous papers.

To make it, 1.  I used a package of cork tiles purchase at an office supply store and trimmed them to fit with a box cutter.  2.  A basic stapler will affix the fabric to the cork.  3.  Use a strong glue designed for adhering multiple surfaces to secure the cork to the wood.  4.  Paint cans weighed down the fabric covered cork to the door overnight for maximum adhesion.


I also made a cute fabric covered mousepad with some scrap fabric, for the step-by-step follow this tutorial from a few years ago.

A white keyboard helps keeps it light and bright!


On the right side is a chalkboard for weekly reminders – oh yes you can make your own chalkboard paint which is what I did with some leftover paint from these bookshelves (closest color match is ‘Fiji’ by Benjamin Moore) and non-sanded grout.


I kept the outside the dark stain because it sits on the edge of our family room and blends in better this way.

The kitchen and family room are just to the right so I can keep an eye on kids and their homework when it’s open.


All it needs now is my big binder I put together every school year with all the schedules, handouts, and miscellaneous papers.  School starts Wednesday, so I’m ready!

Fingers crossed I can keep it this organized when school is back in session.

Sources: magnetic storage and hooks from The Container Store; calendar from Silhouette Blue; fabrics:  Bohemian Ikat and Boho Chevron; paint color (closest match) ‘Boca Raton Blue’ by Benjamin Moore; monitor & keyboard: Planar & Microsoft; lamp from Target; white paper inbox trays by Martha Stewart for Staples; palm leaf panel from Z Gallerie; white chair from a thrift store.


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