When my daughter’s birth was imminent, we converted the room I’d been using for a home office into her nursery. While home on paternity leave with my new baby girl this winter, I spent a few weeks (between naps, etc) building a small home office for myself under the basement stairs. The term ‘Cloffice’ (Closet Office) is going around the internet to mean a tiny office in a closet, and I think this fits the bill! My wife jokes with me that because it’s under a stairway it’s Harry Potter’s office. Because the room lacks windows, I wanted to make it nice so I’d like being in there.

The Before and After shot of the closet office (cloffice).

With our family likely to be self-isolating from home for the next while, and me working from home once paternity leave is over, I imagine I’ll be using this room a lot.

See the full build below!

The starting point was in an unfinished section of our basement. It had electricity on the left wall and bare concrete on the right.
First, I drew a line to continue the wall straight across the floor.
Next, I attached some 2x4s to the underside of the stairs
I made sure to mark on the wall where each of the 2x4s was located.
Then, I attached some plywood to the 2x4s.
I found a cheap used 24″ door at a used hardware store, and framed out the rest of the wall using tapcon screws to connect to the cement.
I attached some treated 1x4s to the cement walls as a very thin frame.
The thin frame let me keep as much of the room as space as possible.
Next, I attached some beadboard to the ceiling. I also ran a 2×4 across the back of the closet to use for a backstop.
Macsen (middle child) helped me put some plywood on the back and right side.
I roughly cut the plywood to fit, knowing I’d cover it with trim later.
Plywood all the way to the ceiling!
Before I could cover the left wall, I had to figure out the electricity.
I ran a switch to an outlet for an overhead light, and also made an outlet that was always on (computer, etc)
I added some insulation to help with sound and heat. I thought briefly about putting inset shelving between the studs, but the sound deadening from insulation seemed more worthwhile.
Then I covered the left wall with plywood.
Next I spackled the plywood joints.
And then caulked the seams.
Next, I painted the top half of the walls gray.
I added a plug-in row of track lighting.
Next I added some vinyl flooring from Costco.
Next, I painted the trim and wainscotting in the garage.
I added some walnut stained trim to the door. I’ve always liked florets, so I added those.
Next I nailed in the painted baseboards with brads.
And then attached wainscotting.
Installing the baseboards made the floor edges look good.
I built a 36″ x 40″ in desk out of plywood., and stained it with walnut stain.
Finally, I caulked and applied touchup paint.
Next, I added railings for the desk to sit on.
The edge of the plywood desk was rough, so I also stained an edge piece of oak.
I attached the oak edge piece.
I next added a pull out drawer to the bottom of the desk.
All done! The desk is big enough for a 27″ in monitor and speakers, and deep enough for a UPS and computer behind. I’ll use the space below for storage.
The space with a computer set up and some art on the walls! Could still use some cord control.

If you do a similar project in your home, I’d love to see pictures in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Building an Under-Stair Cloffice (Closet Office)

  1. Evan – awesome “Cloffice”/Harry Potter Office — I was just thinking though since the desk was deep enough could have split the depth and put the front on standing desk legs to move up or down — the back would have been a problem hitting the sloped stairwell/ceiling – but would the front have cleared if raised? Can’t tell from the photo — but love it! I love efficient space utilization – tiny houses, the small Mercedes RV conversions. Very cool!!

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