Home Office Refresh

How’s it going? I’ve been giving a few sneak peeks of our recent home office refresh here on the blog and on Instagram. Today, I’m finally revealing the entire room.

Do you have a room, closet or drawer in your home that you try to avoid at all costs? Our home office was that room for me. It was a cluttered, disorganized and overall unappealing spot to spend time. I’ve avoided making any changes because the task seemed overwhelming. It was more important for me to make updates and changes to living spaces in which we spend the most time. I kept telling myself that there was no point in tackling our home office until I could make it into our dream space.

Fast forward to 2020 and the realization that my children needed a better space for remote learning. My kids had always done their homework at the kitchen island. I liked to be able to keep an eye on what they were up to on their computers and they liked snacking while doing their homework. When it became apparent that they would be home at least part time for most of this school year, we realized they would require a quieter space for Zoom classes. We decided to make our home office a dedicated remote learning space.

Replacing the awful laminate built-in shelving with something more to our taste just wasn’t in the budget this year. It would have been nearly impossible to make happen before the start of the school year. Instead, I set about in making the space as organized and aesthetically pleasing as possible while working with a limited budget. I do my best work in spaces that are orderly and I was hoping our office refresh would accomplish that goal.

Before

Our home office was pretty blah. It had blank walls, piles of paperwork and various other odds and ends that didn’t really serve a purpose. It’s only redeeming quality was the great view of the nearby hills from it’s large window. We never took advantage of the view thought because the thought of spending time in this room was rather unappealing. Just entering the space was a reminder of all the work that needed to be done. I decided that if this were going to be an enjoyable spot to learn we needed to make the following updates:

  • better lighting
  • an inviting spot to sit and read
  • a gallery wall to add warmth and personality
  • a bulletin board above the workspace for the kiddos schedules and to-do lists
  • comfortable (affordable) desk seating for two
  • an organized space for school supplies

I’m happy to report that I was able to achieve everything I wanted for under $400. It may not be the space of my dreams, but the the end result is a more useable space that we don’t avoid and actually use on an everyday basis. Now I’m kicking myself for not making minor changes sooner so that we didn’t have to wait so long to put this room to good use.

After

pillow, lumbar pillow, striped basket, gallery frames

Pops of black and white using geometric throw pillows, a crisp new lamp shade and gallery frames gave more visual interest to all the boring beige. I placed the books my kiddos made in elementary school in a basket instead of the high shelf they had previously occupied in hopes that they would be thumbed through more easily when someone was in the mood to reminisce on a break between classes.

An Inviting Spot to Sit & Read

The wicker storage trunk used to be buried under clutter. It continues to add much needed storage to a room that lacks a closet, but looks much more attractive without all the clutter piled on top.

Adding Personality to Our Walls

gallery frames, wicker storage trunk

My initial plan was to have an entire gallery wall of slim black frames with an oversized white mat. When I actually priced it out I realized that this clipboard wall would achieve a similar effect for a fraction of the cost. The total cost of this gallery wall was only $71.52. It is easy to change out the photographs and quotes with the seasons. A clipboard gallery wall in a home office is a little bit of a tongue in cheek reference.

clipboards

My mom had an Irish Blessing prominently displayed in our home growing up. I remember memorizing it early on because I saw it every day. My hope when I hung several of my most oft-used quotes was that my children would be forced to do the same. I hope these words will become as ingrained in their memory as the Irish Blessing is in mine.

Click here to download the printable version of the quotes.

An Organized Desk Space with Comfortable Seating

I felt fortunate that the existing desk had space to accommodate two people. The old space had a single chair that was hard to move back and forth and uncomfortable to sit on for any length of time. My children requested desk chairs that could easily roll around and offer a pleasant seating experience. These ergonomic chairs fit the bill and were under $100 for both.

I already had linen storage boxes and wicker milk crates. I added a few more linen desk accessories to store supplies that my kids reach for regularly. One of my favorite additions to the rooms is the section of wall over the desk area where I installed cork. I bought a roll of cork at Office Depot and attached it to the wall with Command mounting tape. The end result is an area perfect for posting schedules and to-do lists that need to be referenced often.

linen desk accessories, linen letter tray, ergonomic chairs, wicker milk crates

Who doesn’t love a well organized drawer! Outfitting a space with matching containers can get pretty pricey. I was able to buy ALL twelve of these containers for the price of ONE drawer organizer at a popular organizational store. The best part is that they don’t slip and slide around as you open and close the drawer. They come in gray and peach too.

Click on any of the images below to be linked to their product pages.

Did you find any of the ideas or products in this post useful? Our office refresh reminded me that I don’t need to embark on a major remodel to make a room an enjoyable place to spend time. Making a commitment to stop procrastinating when it comes to de-cluttering a room, repurposing items I already owned and using a little creativity provided our family with a home office that feels good and works for our current lifestyle.

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