I’ve been asked more and more recently how to decorate a home office on a budget…because don’t we all need to make more of our work from home spaces right now???
The first thing is to not settle. Just because you are decorating an office doesn’t mean that you have to buy all of your supplies from the office store. Don’t settle for an ugly high-backed black chair just because it has wheels on it. Be encouraged and build an office that you love just as much as any other room in your home. A pretty chair really doesn’t cost more than an ugly chair.
Look around your home for decorating inspiration. Pick a color scheme that you love, or borrow one from another part of your home. If you want to mix it up a bit, reverse a color scheme that you already love. For example, if you love navy blue with white accents, reverse it so you have a mostly-white office with turquoise accents. Still blue and white, but in a different form. Paint is often the most affordable way to change the look of the entire room. For a $30 can of paint, you can set the entire mood of the room and fix many problems including lighting.
Take it one step further and unify mismatched furniture by painting it all one color—including ugly metal file cabinets! White is a fresh choice that will make random furniture odds and ends seem like they were made to go together, but any color you love will work just as well. Curbside treasures can be solid storage pieces, and so much nicer to look at than plastic bins or cardboard boxes.
Build your home office from the ground up. Choose flooring that will help you meet your goals. Choose hard flooring that’s easy to clean if you are a messy crafter or if you need to eliminate dust. If you already have a hard floor surface that you don’t love, paint again can be your friend. You can DIY a beautiful stencil pattern in a weekend.
Add a plush carpet or an area rug if your office to add warmth. Choose pattern that makes you happy. Rugs are often a great place to add bold color and pattern to a room because they generally won’t be visible on video. Carpet tiles are budget-friendly because you can install them yourself, they don’t require padding, and you can replace small sections if they get damaged.
Your desk is probably the most important part of the room. In fact, you might need two or more desks or workstations. Choose a desk that is the right height for you or one that adjusts to standing position, especially if you have a standing desk at your corporate office location. Don’t be fooled by magazine and Pinterest layouts. Beautiful desks aren’t always the most practical. Trestle-style or clean glass-topped desks don’t offer much storage, if any. Offices contain papers, supplies, projects, cords, electronics, and lots of little things that most people would prefer not to look at all day. Add storage by adding a file cabinet or shelves for plenty of drawers to store office essentials.
Absolutely everyone needs more workspace in a home office, and here’s an easy way to add flexible space, especially in a built-in wall bookcase. Add a pull-out desk to a built-in bookcase by adding a small piece of plywood attached with drawer runners. For about $30, you can expand your workspace with this easy DIY project.
Speaking of bookshelves, basic cube shelves (including the Expedit series from IKEA) are a workhorse miracle cure for offices. Not only do they provide a ton of office storage, you can brighten them up and fit them into your own décor by adding storage bins that fit perfectly in the cubes. Most homes already own cube storage, but it’s super useful in a home office. Whatever your style, minimalist black and white, colorful, or a riot of pattern, bins can brighten your storage spaces for less than $10 each.
Don’t pay a lot to outfit your shelves. Look around your home for baskets and bins to store things in. I re-use product boxes and Mason jars. Boxes that stationery came in are usually very pretty. Inexpensive photo storage boxes are as big as shoe boxes and can be had for as little as $5 each. Simple magazine files and wicker baskets, as you can see from the photo above, can look artful while giving you a lot of storage. If all else fails, store the clutter behind some framed art.
What are your favorite tips for decorating on a dime?