pineapple candle | similar desk | mirror | chair | sunburst mirror | b&w striped blanket | you're better than unicorns pen | zebra dish | faux fur rug | gold wastebasket | pretty dress fund jar (on sale!) | faux plant | love you mom box sign | rose gold stapler | Bear's jammies
photos by Diamond Oak Photography
First of all, let me say that I do not think my home office is super chic. It could definitely be chicer, fancier, and more elaborately done, but I'm happy with my little working space. I posted one of these pictures on Instagram last night and it got more likes than any other picture I've ever posted, which both surprised me and made me feel really good. If you were one of those likers, thank you! Believe it or not, I put together this small space, with some help from the hubs, in one weekend. That's shopping, painting, hanging, and lots of coffee breaks. I also put a lot of unnecessary holes in the wall, but that's another story.
We have a big open area upstairs in the center of all the bedrooms that doubles as Bear's playroom/my office. On one side is Bear's teepee (made by my grandma/Mom), a puppet theatre, giant car racing track, and lots and lots of other toys. I knew I wanted a space to work while Bear does his thing, so this spot made the most sense for my work area. Our upstairs is open and looks out on the living room, so I can also work while he plays downstairs and still keep an eye on the sweet rascal.
Creating a work space you love and enjoy working in doesn't have to cost loads of cash; in fact it shouldn't. Follow the ten steps below to fix up an office that will make you, and your wallet, very happy.
1. Shop your house. This point may seem obvious to some, but it's honestly the best thing I did when creating my office. In the beginning, I pictured myself getting all new furniture for my work space (thanks, Pinterest!). But the more I researched, the more I realized I just didn't want to spend tons of money on furniture pieces for this space. We already had a desk but I didn't like it because it was black. The easy solution: paint it! So we bought several cans of white spray paint and gave it a make over. We also had this large mirror just chillin' in the attic, which I also didn't like because of it's black frame. Used that same white spray paint and viola- good as new. We even already had this old cow skull just sitting in the garage from Zach's family farm. Zach spray painted it gold, mounted it on a piece of wood, and it saved us about $75 (what similar pieces run in stores).
2. Buy damaged goods. The majority of the prints hanging on my gallery wall were purchased 80% off at Hobby Lobby because they had a small flaw. Places like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and furniture outlets will put items on major sale for things like a tiny scratch or screw missing on the back of a frame (things no-one would ever notice!). If something is slightly noticeable, evaluate if it's something you can touch up yourself (for little to no cost). If the answer is yes, get it! Check the "as is" section and you might be surprised at the crazy good finds.
3. Establish a color scheme including at least one neutral. One of the first things you have to decide is a color scheme for your space. I knew I wanted to incorporate pink since I'm the only girl in the house, so I went with white/black/pink/gold as my color scheme. Including neutrals in your palette gives the overall feel of the area a more expensive, luxurious feel, so don't go for all bold colors. Having a base color such as black or white also saves money when you're buying things like paint and bulk organizing pieces.
4. Let there be light. Rather than spending bookoos of money on lamps and fancy light fixtures, choose a space that has lots of natural light. An area close to a large window is ideal. My office is in the center of the house, so it's surrounded by windows and I don't even need a lamp. I rarely turn on the overhead light, which saves electricity and money. You also want a well-lit space to keep you from getting headaches and straining to see your work.
5. Thrift stores are your best friend. Zach and I love thrifting. Like, if we could make a living off of thrift store hopping all day every day, we'd do it. We found this IKEA desk chair for $2 and the wooden basket organizer for $5 at Goodwill. The basket thing was in pretty bad shape; it was an ugly brown color and the baskets looked like they'd be eaten up some by a dog. I tossed the worst, unfixable basket and used an old cutting board to create a top shelf. We spray painted the wood (you guessed it) white, and I flipped the baskets around to where the good side shows. You don't wanna see the dog chewed side, trust me. I also scored the sunburst mirror at a local thrift shop for $3, and y'all know how expensive those can be! Moral of the story: thrift it up.
6. Spray paint your heart out. I've already mentioned our obsession with spray paint, but the stuff really can transform any room. If you don't believe me, you can see the before and after of this furniture here. Several of these frames were found at Home Goods and Hobby Lobby on sale for $1, then given a coat of gold spray paint to look flashy and new.
7. Get creative with your space. Renovating an entire room can be costly and time consuming, so opt for a smaller area instead. Choose a corner of a guest bedroom that's well lit, or even section off an area of the attic or basement. Don't try to tackle decorating and filling an entire room when you'll likely be stationary in one spot.
8. Have a swap meet. We all get tired of our home furnishings after awhile, even if they're in perfect shape. Have some of your friends over to swap decor and you'll all go home with "new" treasures!
9. Hit up auctions and estate sales. Zach loves and swears by auctionzip.com and we frequent auctions around the Houston area, especially for furniture. If I told you some of the deals we've gotten on pieces in our home, you probably wouldn't believe me. We've had the best luck with being either early to auctions or staying until the very end- that's when the crowds are smallest and you can score the best deals.
10. Sort before you buy. Before you go out and buy anything for your new office, do a full gutting of your current one (or if you don't have one yet, everything you know you want to put in the space). This way you won't overspend on organization pieces like baskets, shelves, etc. Decluttering will not only save you money, but also result in a cleaner, more efficient workspace.
Thank you for stopping by!
p.s. Thank you to my precious friend Aimey for not only taking these pictures, but also coming up with the idea for this post. You're the best!
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