Having a home office nowadays it’s a necessity. Due to recent events, people around the world are forced to work from home. Many professionals must attend business meetings through video calls and they need a proper office to look presentable. Unfortunately, not everyone has a spare room to convert into an office, and many people can’t afford to invest a lot of money in fancy office furniture.
To help you handle this project yourself, we hired Minuca Elena to reach out to 62 interior designers and ask them the following question:
How to decorate a home office on a budget?
We received many tips that you can read below. Without further introduction let’s see what the home decorators had to say.
Amber Guyton – Blessed Little Bungalow
When decorating a new home office, it’s important to prioritize the most important pieces of furniture needed for the space.
First things first: a desk. Whether you select a smaller writing desk for a small corner space or need a larger surface to work or support multiple monitors, select a desk that’s both functional and complementary to the room you’re adding it to. It doesn’t have to be too fancy, as you can dress it up with a nice office chair and accessories. This purchase will likely take the bulk of your budget, so it should be your first purchase.
Second, a comfortable office chair. You want to invest in a chair that’s going to help you stay focused but also support your posture. Select a swivel or stationary seat that works best for your height and comfort level.
Lastly, an office should feel inspiring. Make sure there’s adequate lighting, artwork, quotes, and personality that reflects your interests and feeds your imagination.
Over time, you can add more pieces of furniture and décor to your home office as your budget allows including an area rug, curtains, additional seating, shelving and plants. Try not to overcrowd the space and keep it clean to preserve productivity. These are just a few elements that can make any home office functional and affordable!
Ana Cummings – ANA Interiors
1. Add ready-made drapery panels on windows to add colour and absorb sound when on video conference calls.
2. Frame a large piece of canvas or pretty fabric over foam core board for a DIY bulletin board solution that coordinates with your home’s colour palette.
3. Paint a vintage or reclaimed desk in a punchy colour.
4. Source file cabinets at a garage or estate sales and place them into a closet for hidden file storage.
5. Go to a used office supply store to find a super comfortable chair that supports your back and arms, get it re-upholstered in a new fabric that matches your home decor.
6. Find a stylish holder for your pens and pencils, even the little things on your desk should spark joy.
7. Fresh flowers in a favourite vase is always a pick me up in a home office.
8. Baskets are critical for stylish storage if you don’t have a closet.
9. Invest in one colour of binder so your open shelves look clean, serene, and edited.
10. Add a mirror to bounce the light around the room especially if you’re lacking natural daylight. A good desk lamp which can also act as a light for video calls would be great too!
Matt Riley – Tonic Design
The home office has become increasingly popular as COVID-19 has forced us into our own rabbit holes. We empathize with your struggle for productivity. While working from home, we’ve seen you Pinterest to your heart’s content.
You’ve pinned your dream space of $50,000 walnut desks sourced directly from the Amazon rainforest and $10,000 hand-blown glass lamps that turn on when you whisper to it, ‘light, good sir.’ However, not all our pockets reach that far so, budget-friendly solutions that create a sense of space are key. We vouch for:
- Sustainability! Recycling and upcycling; visit your local op shop. Think: a seamless combination of vintage and modern.
- Positioning yourself wisely. Natural light will make the biggest difference. Avoid glare towards screens and encourage filtered morning and day sun (afternoon sun can be very hot in Summer). Also, do you need the entire dining room table?
- Two words: plant lady (or man). This will be you. Shower your space in greenery.
- Spending your money on something special – a piece of art or a beautifully framed photograph – that encourages you to be productive and content within your new space.
- Paint! Paint! Painting is cheap, and colour can do wonders for creating a special place. Try an abstract mural.
- Also spending your money on all-in-one technology that lasts and does multiple tasks to increase your productivity. That’s the bin I hear calling after your landline.
The layout of your home office must also be functional for your specific needs. We recommend phoning your local architect for how they can help.
Ashley Spencer – Casart Coverings
An office space should be functional, organized, and personalized, even on a budget. If you don’t already have a home office, try to establish one in a room with natural light. This provides the most conducive environment for working long periods inside without feeling too cooped up. If your room doesn’t have natural lighting, consider getting a good task lamp.
Next, make sure the area is organized with contained work items in designated zones. Papers can go in file folders, low-cost desk trays, or a portable file cabinet with a low height, which can serve as another desk surface.
Simply saving and reusing well washed, 16 oz tin cans provide a quick, easy storage solution for writing utensils, rulers, and scissors. Covering the outside with self-adhesive wallcovering from the next item will help use any leftover scrap and help to personalize your space with decoration.
Finally, splurge a little on one roll of Casart self-adhesive, designer wallcovering to decorate your space with a stress-reducing design that has soothing colors. The perfect option is a Sea Spray or Wave Mural; something for you to enjoy and to show off to others in virtual meetings as you’re unique home office background.
A home office has become an essential space for many, since the invasion of COVID-19. Businesses, large and small, are moving their office into the home and communicating through instant messaging platforms such as Skype, Evernote, and Zoom to delegate tasks. Depending on the type of business you run, working in an office space will soon be a thing of the past.
If you are starting to work from home, there are several ways to create a home office on a budget. The key to a successful home office design is to plan it out, make the right furniture selections and make sure your selections can function in the capacity you need to be productive and not just a showpiece.
DEFINE YOUR SPACE
Find a designated area that will work as your office space. Whether it’s a large stair landing, a small closet, a spare room, or an unused corner of the living room; seek out an area you will be comfortable and happy to work in. If possible, use a room with a door. This will keep out the noise when you on a call and when you need a bit of quiet to think. If not, make sure the office space has enough room for you to work and be productive.
Take time to measure your space and create a floor plan on graph paper. Take your measurements when you are shopping for your office furniture. This will keep you from making major design mistakes.
MAKE A CHECKLIST OF OFFICE ESSENTIALS
Make a list of the office essentials you will need (i.e., desk, desk chair, file cabinet, printer, internet, computer, …). Invest in a printer that has scanning capabilities; this will save you money by not having to purchase a fax machine and having a designated phone line to send and receive faxes.
When seeking furniture options, shop your home to see what you can use in your new home office. You may be able to cut costs tremendously by using what already exists. Do you have some pictures that would be inspiring and decorative on the walls of your workspace? If not, visit your local resale or consignment shops. Their prices are good and you may be able to find something interesting that will add a sophisticated feel to your home office.
Of course, everyone knows Ikea is a great source for creative furniture options. Take time when setting up your home office; you don’t need everything at once. Create a wish list of items you want and watch for sales. This way, you can get what you want.
When shopping for office supplies, look to dollar and discount stores for pens, copy paper, file folders, staples, paper clips, and other office supplies that won’t break the bank. If you want to add some style to your office supplies, check out Amazon. It is my go-to for almost everything I have in my home office.
For instance, you can find the cutest concepts when it comes to office supplies; like an acrylic stapler, gold paper clips and staples, pens, trays, and a lot more. Also, invest in a surge protector for your printer and computer.
DECORATING YOUR SPACE
Get creative when decorating your space. Think of ways you can create shelves, filing systems, and in-and-out boxes. Use a decorative flower pot to hold pencils and scissors. Bring in plants and inspiring artwork. Include adequate lighting and music. After all, you will be spending a lot of time in your new home office—it should be a comfortable space and exude your style personality.
The advantage of working at home is having the freedom to make your space your own. Be creative and feel free to take a snack break.
Laura Cerrano – Feng Shui Manhattan
Use What You Already Have
One of my go-to recommendations with clients is to ‘shop-around their home’ and utilize what they already have before purchasing any new items. On a practical level, using what is already accessible within their home helps save money and promote sustainable living by reducing waste and the need to harvest new raw materials.
From a feng shui perspective, items carry a certain energetic frequency that could either be perceived as positive or negative. If reusing an object, artwork, or any furnishings, ideally you want to choose pieces that are in a good standing condition. It’s also important to pay attention to the emotional memories associated to any of the items you plan on reusing. Naturally, you’ll want to choose items that evoke good memories, which translates into good energy.
An example of this is, a few years ago I inherited a few of my uncle Peter’s things, which included some cookware and a lot of art supplies. Long story short, I was sprucing up my home office and was in need of a desk to a particular caddy-corner position.
At first, I searched online and then remembered, I have uncle Peter’s drafting table! I went to the garage, checked out the table’s condition, and found it was in great shape. To my delight, it also fits inside my home office perfectly! Not only did I get to reuse what I already had, this piece of furniture also contains beautiful energy from a loving, supportive family member.
Become Familiar with the Function and Layout of your Home Office
To help you gauge what is truly needed inside your home office vs not, review the type of business you’ll be engaging in. Are you an artist? A consultant? Reiki healer? Accountant? Real estate agent? Do people meet with you inside your home office? Do you travel to your clients or offer both methods in how to connect? Are there certain types of equipment that you need in order to conduct your work?
Taking the time to review how you conduct business will help you refine the function of your home office, leading to clearer guidance on the function of the space.
From there, you can then expand into the conversation about how to layout your home office with furniture. The principles of feng shui always promote a good ‘flow’ of movement when arranging your layout. This means, first incorporating furniture that is only needed to begin with.
Make sure the furniture you choose will not obstruct the walking pathway into and through your home office and establishing your desk and chair to be in a ‘commanding position.’ What is a commanding position? This is simply saying, you want to always have a clear vantage point of any doorway so you can feel physically, emotionally, and mentally feel safe and supported.
Metaphorically speaking, this is saying you’ll have a better chance of seeing opportunities as they arise and avoid unnecessary situations as they unfold. Ideally, if you could arrange your desk and chair with a solid wall behind you, this adds another layer of support as you work.
Allow The Natural Sunlight to Filter Into Your Home Office
Pull back the curtains, open the blinds, and let the outside in! If you happen to work in a room that allows for natural light to filter in, this is a great way to save on electricity, improve your mood, and increase focus. Another reason to consider testing out this recommendation is it’s believed in modern-day feng shui that various structures within the home relate to different body parts.
For example, in modern-day feng shui, windows relate to your eyes. The symbolism is, by you choosing to uncover your windows (pulling back the curtains or opening the blinds) is like saying you are not afraid to ‘see’ the truth.
Mihaela Buzec – RENTCafe
Probably the most important thing you need in order to be active and productive is natural light, so the first step in designing your home office is to put it near a window. This won’t cost you anything and it’s already a major boost.
Then, it’s important to define your space, so even if you have your office in your living room or bedroom, separate it by setting your chair with the back to the room. Out of sight, out of mind.
Decorate the space so that everything you see is defining it and inspiring you. Add plants to give the area a bit of life — there are inexpensive and resistant plants you can buy to hang on the wall or place on your desk. Add artwork or a board with messages meant to inspire you. These can be quick DIYs, thrift store finds, or whatever trinkets you already have that spark your creativity.
Sit in your chair for a few minutes and see where your eyes are drawn to. Those are the areas you want to fill. Decorating your home office is not about purchasing a lot of decor items and knick-knacks, but it’s about where you place the few(!) items you actually need. Don’t overcrowd it because you think it’s not enough. One decor item and a plant can be sufficient if there are two places where you go to rest your eyes when you take a break from the screen.
That’s sure to save you a lot of money as well.
Christina Simon – Mark Ashby Design
Here are some tips to designing your home office on a budget. Comfortable work seating is important and doesn’t need to be expensive. Chairs can come in many different varieties and you do not necessarily need an office chair with wheels for a small workspace.
Look at upholstered dining chairs for options as not only are these seats the correct ergonomic height but they’re designed for comfort as well and come in many more color options and fabrics than your typical roller chair.
A place for everything and everything in its place. Consider unique vessels to store your office supplies and reduce clutter. Pens and writing instruments can go in a vintage Indian Lassi cup and paperclips and fasteners can be concealed in a lidded stone box. Bring in elements that normally don’t belong in an office and make your workspace a more serene setting. The smell is important to your office ambiance as is your visual décor.
Finds some colorful candles and buy a special fragrance just for that space- something with fruit undertones are said to enhance concentration. Use a soothing wall color, paint is a great and affordable way to decorate. We suggest, Farrow and Ball’s ‘Pink Ground’ for a calming effect.
Lastly, consider the outdoors. Set up your workspace in your yard by transforming your outdoor dining table. Create an office set up with easy to reach office supplies so that your space feels truly productive. Keep pens, notepads, and all useful items you normally have within reach.
Work out what you need. Desk, chair, computer, pinboard, artwork, lighting, stationary. And then look at what you have to spend. I’d allocate a fair bit of the budget on a good desk and a comfortable chair as you will have those for a while and they are essential for comfort and posture.
Don’t be put off by getting a desk handmade vs a flat pack furniture – it may be more expensive but you’ll have a hand made desk for longer and if you keep your design simple, you can use it as a table in other parts of the home if necessary.
With accessories, look at whether there is anything at home that you can use or repurpose for your home office. For example, baskets can be used for rubbish bins. Little pots, jars and vases can also make interesting containers for pens. If you need to paint, use leftover paint or a small pot of paint to create a feature wall or highlights.
Inexpensive cushions and faux fur throws can also bring in some interest, colour, and texture (and hide an ugly office chair!). And off the shelf frames can be purchased for artwork (which can be pages from old books) or photos.
And don’t forget to have a good view behind you for Zoom or Skype calls. A plain wall, a simple bookcase or artwork can suffice (and needn’t cost much).
Second-hand stores can be good places to look at for items you need. And sample sales auction house and furniture clearance sites are worth checking out. Also, don’t forget to factor in delivery costs for some items as they can be costly and eat into your budget!
Michelle Meyers – Joli G Designs
The most critical piece is a desk, there are some attractive and affordable options available on Wayfair and overstock. Pick a desk that is stylish and functional and is an appropriate size for the space and for your working needs. Invest in a cute desk lamp and desk accessories.
Better yet, maybe you already have a desk lamp and desk accessories or even an old mason jars. Reinvent these pieces with spray paint. Choose a fun metallic or bold color to add some and visual interest.
Have any old picture frames laying around the house? Create a gallery wall of bulletin boards to post memos, work-related papers, etc. Simply pop out the glass of your old frames and cover the cardboard backing with felt and burlap or a fun fabric, spray paint the frame a fun and bright color and hot glue the backing back into the frame.
Hang your bulletin board frames in a spot that you can easily post reminders or other important notes. Apply a peel and stick wallpaper on an accent wall in your home office, don’t be afraid to do something fun.
Instead of purchasing a for a run of the mill unattractive black desk chair with wheels, Choose a chair that is comfortable and still looks great.. Does your chair need wheels? If not, purchase a pretty and inexpensive upholstered dining chair. Plants make everything better, a large oversized plant in a corner, and some smaller plants on the desk on imperative.
Ashley J Saunders – My Dream Haus
Before spending any money updating your home office, first, consider what works and what doesn’t. You likely love some elements which can be kept and have a small list of things to tweak.
A good starting point is to repaint the room in a neutral colour as this will breathe life back into the space and allow you to start with a blank canvas.
It’s worth upcycling existing furniture with a new coat of paint and looking at thrift stores or eBay to add some new pieces into the mix, albeit affordably. Again you can always freshen up pieces with a lick of paint.
I’m a big believer in spending big on the main chair as you’ll be sat most of the day. An uncomfortable chair will reduce productivity and put pressure on your spine which may cause backaches. So it’s worth investing in a suitable chair.
Don’t be afraid to include some plants as they’ll help purifier the air and add a touch of nature to the room. But don’t forget to water them or you might have a disaster on your hands!
If you have space, add a reading chair and lamp, as this will allow you to break up long days and enable you to try a different location if you get stuck in a rut.
Next, add some personal items such as family photos, ornaments, and your favorite books. As your home office, you want it to be personal to you and inspire you to work hard.
Finally, a home office allows you to psychologically distance yourself from work and so it’s worth be strict with yourself and only working in that room. This way the moment you close the door, you enter your home and can relax.
Decorating a home office on a budget:
- Shop your home. Are there items that could be put to better use in your office? A dining table can become a spacious workspace, a dresser can store all of your office supplies, a bookshelf can organize your reference materials.
- Add plants. Whether or not you have a green thumb, plants are a relatively inexpensive way to add life and décor to the space you’ll spend a lot of time in. If you have a friend with a lot of house plants, ask if they can propagate something for you – free plants are the best plants! You can always find pots at a local thrift store too.
- Wall décor – frame the art of a kid in your life for a look that will rival many more expensive abstract art pieces. Or use washi tape to hang pictures from books or magazines. Thrift stores are a great resource for large coffee table books filled with beautiful pictures that you can also frame.
- Organization – I like to use fun mugs I’ve been gifted to hold my pens, pencils, and scissors. I use Birchbox boxes to keep my binder clips and batteries, etc. sorted in my drawers. Floating shelves above your desk add a place to keep things you need close without cluttering your desk.
- Floor – don’t be afraid to go bold! I just painted the floor of my own office because the hardwoods needed to be refinished and I didn’t want to spend the money. If your office is carpeted, layer a bold rug to add some color to the room
Josie Abate – Ambience Express
When planning a home office you must take into consideration the type of business you are running and were in your household it will be most effective to work. Some examples are the kitchen, garage, or perhaps a spare bedroom.
Then you have to ask yourself questions like “will clients be coming to the home?” or “is a space for one big enough to work from?”
You also want to take into account any possible distractions such as children or any unbearable noises. These are important factors to ask yourself to ensure your workspace will be functional and set a boundary between your work life and personal life.
There are so many ways to add some creativity to your space such as choosing unique office supplies and organizational furnishings that coordinate with your brand colours, this will tie the space together without breaking the bank.
Adding plants in your office is another way to enhance the space while improving the air quality. Lighting is very important and if you’re on video calls then it’s best to face a window to get the best natural light that won’t create shadows on your face. These simple ideas can bring your home office to life!
Vanessa Walker – Houzz
Many people have been working remotely due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, but not everyone has a designated space to work from home. In fact, home renovation and design platform Houzz polled its community and found that a quarter of respondents (25%) work from their dining or kitchen table and one in ten work from their couch (11%). The top challenges associated with unexpectedly working from home reportedly include, finding a private or quiet location away from high-traffic living areas (30%), securing a computer with a strong WiFi connection (25%) and creating a comfortable workspace (25%).
Houzz Australia & New Zealand editor Vanessa Walker offers a few tips for setting up an efficient workspace at home based on what we’re seeing from our community of homeowners and home professionals:
Location is important. Where do you need your workspace to be? Do you need a quiet place away from household traffic, or do you prefer to have surveillance over the rest of the home? Consider these questions before designating a spot.
Think about your posture. The arrangement of your chair, desk, computer and other office equipment should not be difficult to reach and should require you to slouch. An ergonomic setup will ensure that you avoid repetitive injuries.
Consider lighting options. Lighting designers on Houzz suggest creating multiple layers of light from several sources to avoid creating computer screen glare.
Call in a pro. After the pandemic, you might find yourself working from home more often and in this instance you should have a proper office area. Hiring an interior designer can help you figure out where to locate your new office and how it should be designed.
James Hepple – Staunton and Henry
I’ll start with the heart of any good home office – the desk. It has to be functional, but also beautiful – it’s also probably the most expensive part of any home office.
I’ve found that a great way to save here on a beautiful modern natural wood desk is to build one yourself! It’s actually much easier than it sounds – all you need are two things: trestle legs, which are inexpensive and usually available from places like IKEA or hardware stores – and a large piece of timber board.
The later can be sourced from building supply stores or timber yards with an internet search. From there you just need to cut it to size and place it on the trestle legs and the weight of the timber board does the rest – no need for screws or bolts. Apart from the savings, the other great thing is you can custom size it to the exact size you need for your space.
From there it’s just a matter of accessorising your office with a few other essentials, such as a designer lamp, chair, and set of under desk drawers – replica items can be a great choice here to get the look you want for less.
Finally, if you’d like to save even more, a laptop riser can be an economical and space-saving alternative to a stand-alone screen.
Sandra Moreno – Studio No. 8
Repurpose furniture/décor you already own: Look around your home for items that could work for your office. For example, if there’s a table lamp you aren’t using in your living room, move that to your desk.
Buy used: There’s always a gem to be found on sites that sell furniture second-hand, consignment shops or flea markets. Look for your next desk, bookcase, or lighting here.
Do-it-Yourself desk: You don’t need hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars to purchase a desk. Especially if you need a place to put files, take two filing cabinets, and get a slab of wood or scrap of stone from the stone yard for the tabletop. Or if you have an IKEA, they sell tabletops that work perfectly.
Look for deals: Retailers have sales all of the time. If you have your eye on a particular item, wait for a sale to scoop it up at a discounted price. Visit discount centers and furniture outlets for items that may be from past seasons but at great prices. Also, local showrooms oftentimes have to move out merchandise so you may be able to get a great deal on a floor sample.
There are five (5) simple ways to create and decorate your home office on a budget:
1. PROPER PLACEMENT: According to Feng Shui, placing your desk in the right location promotes prosperity.
Before you begin decorating, first find the best location to sit and work. Make sure that your desk or work table is in the “commanding position,” stationed so that you can see who’s coming into your space.
Ideally, place the desk or work table perpendicular to the window so you can look out the window, as well as see who is entering your home, office or studio.
2. LIGHT THE WAY: Lots of natural light or good lighting is essential for your work or projects. I always recommend a desk lamp in addition to a standing lamp. This way the light is not glaring into your eyes. This set up will also help reduce eye strain.
3. BRING THE OUTDOORS IN: It is always good to invite Mother Nature into your office to help reduce stress while working. Lush green potted plants or a vase of bamboo with 3 or 9 stalks, approximately 18 inches tall, promotes good health and vitality. If you are about to do a presentation or are about to submit a major project, bring in colorful flowers to symbolize “good luck.” Place them in a prominent spot in your home office.
4. EXPLORE YOUR ATTITUDE: Use artwork to inspire you. Choose one prominent piece of art such as a painting, a poster or a photograph that truly uplifts your spirit whenever you walk into your office or studio. It could be a collage that you’ve created, a photo that you took in your travels or in nature, a painting from a local artist or one from your children.
Whatever you choose, the art should be memorable and make you smile. Think about textiles too – hang a beautiful tapestry, quilt or fabric from a bamboo rod or curtain rod on brackets.
5. CONQUER CLUTTER: Organize and periodically clear your desk to make space for new projects or for your current assignment. Use ceramic mugs, empty jars, or colorful plastic bins from your home to help you reuse and organize all necessary supplies, files, and paperwork.
I hope these suggestions will help you transform your home office or studio into a welcoming and inspiring place to work. Simply look around your home for items that can be reused or utilized in innovative ways to organize and decorate your sacred space.
Jonathan Prichard – Mattress Insider
Many home offices become a catchall for clutter. Before you begin decorating, you need to organize and eliminate everything that doesn’t belong.
Separate everything into 5 bins: Trash, recycle, donate, store, doesn’t belong. “Store” is anything you want to be stored in the home office. “Doesn’t belong” means it doesn’t fit into the other categories but it also doesn’t belong in this room.
Next, decide how you want to use the space and what you want it to look like.
Decorate with existing paint you have on hand or buy sample size containers from the paint store. You can also use wallpaper.
Shop at discount stores for storage containers. Look for things like boxes with lids in assorted sizes, magazine holders, expandable file folders, etc. Aim for one solid color (ex: white) for all the containers.
Create labels for the bins in Microsoft Word with a decorative font and print them out on patterned scrap paper.
Put everything you organized early on into your new containers. Try out different locations until you’re satisfied with the setup and put things you frequently nearby where you’ll be sitting.
Shop at a garage/yard sales and second-hand stores for office furniture like a desk, office chair, bookshelf, and a filing cabinet. Look for items you can renovate on a low budget. Examples: Wooden office desks, bookshelves, and filing cabinets can be sanded and painted to look like new.
If your home office doubles as a spare bedroom, consider using a futon with a mattress for a sitting/sleeping area instead of using a twin or a full bed.
First and foremost, make your home office feel as close to your “real” workspace as possible. Get your favorite pens, your notepad, and maybe even a framed photo or quote. Gather everything you would normally have if you were in your office to give you a familiar feeling.
Next, make sure you have plenty of light and storage. If you can situate yourself next to a window, the fresh air, natural light and view will contribute to your wellbeing throughout the workday.
You can repurpose gift boxes or use rolling storage to tuck away smaller items and files. This will allow for an “everything in its place” feeling while presenting yourself as work-ready to virtual clients and team members.
Finally, if you can afford an ergonomic chair, invest in it—your body will thank you after hours of Zoom calls and emails.
Rebekah Carr – Sweet Bay Design
Incorporating fake plants is one of my go tos for personalizing your workspace and home office. Depending on the location of your space you might not have the natural light available, or the ability to always remember to water the plant, so places like Ikea, Home Goods, Hobby Lobby – all have great cost-effective options to bring a bit of the outside in.
I like getting creative with ways to display motivational items. This is a personal thing for each individual, but find what it is that motivates you. A vision board, pictures of family and friends, a postcard for somewhere you want to visit – whatever it may be, personalize and make it your own. Whether with corkboard squares you can mount to the wall or even a piece of ribbon with clothespins, these are creative ways to personalize your space without much cost.
If your business utilizes a lot of paper documents and print outs, find decorative file folders and organizational pieces. Target is one of my favorite places to get colorful file folders, and Ikea is great for organization items like boxes, magazine/book holders, bookends, etc. Again not a huge cost expenditure but something that will help your space feel more organized and efficient.
Candles – this again depends on your space, but there is something homey and comforting about having a candle burning. Providing a pleasant scent, and something that takes it from just work to a blend of home and the office.
Organize the clutter. No one likes walking into a chaotic space. So whether it’s your desk, the room, the backdrop for your video calls – just spend some time organizing things. If everything has a place, it will provide a more conducive workflow, and allow for a little less stress during your day.
As our timeframes for going back to work continue to get pushed out and extended, I have really encouraged my clients, family, and friends to personalize their space for them. If you do a lot of work calls, make your backdrop something comforting for you. Paint the wall, set up a shelf with pictures and plants, or even reposition your desk that may have been in the corner for temporary use, to a more conducive layout for the everyday.
Bring in a lamp that might cast a pleasant glow on your space and or face for the constant zoom calls. Whatever might bring you a little sense of calm and comfort for the unknown duration of this WFH timeline, do it!
Darla DeMorrow – HeartWork Organizing
The first thing is to not settle. Just because your project is an office doesn’t mean that you have to buy all of your office 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 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 magazines 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. Plan for plenty of drawers to store those 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, but you can also 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.
Nitu Patel – Phoenix and Rose
With so many people working from home these days, a defined workspace is crucial for being productive and maintaining our sanity! As an NYC feng shui consultant, I am constantly going into people’s homes and rearranging existing furniture and home decor to create a more peaceful space. Making the best of what you already have and purchasing a few decorative accessories is the easiest way to redecorate without breaking the bank..
Put your desk in the command position:
Sitting in the power position is a key element in office feng shui; this means you can see the door when you are seated at your desk. If you sit with your back to the door, you can subject yourself to office politics, gossip, and a loss of control.
Ground your desk with a small area rug to make it feel like it’s not floating in space. Opt for a black and white patterned rug or something with a colorful print to make the space pop. Place two small stools in front of the desk so you can easily chat with others.
Use Cork Board:
For easy artwork use a large corkboard in front of the desk to pin up inspirational images, important documents, or to-do lists so you can stay organized while adding visual interest to the walls.
Try Chalkboard Paint:
Paint a rectangle on a blank wall to create a quick and easy chalkboard. Use this space to write inspirational quotes or draw out a monthly calendar.
Add a large plant to the far left corner of your office. This is your wealth corner and can be very helpful with drawing more opportunities into your career. A statement plant adds vibrant green to the space and is one of the easiest ways to breathe life into an office.
Spray paint your desk accessories rose gold:
Buy metallic spray paint to use on staplers, paperclips, metal baskets, etc.
Create cheap artwork with a coloring book:
Tear out a few pages from a coloring book and place the images in studio frames for easy and cheap artwork!
Use faux sheepskin for texture:
Faux sheepskin throws are affordable and create an incredibly cozy vibe to any room. Place a throw on the back of an office chair or layer over an existing rug to make the space feel inviting.
Helen White – House Of
The home office is going to become increasingly important in the coming and months in years with the continued rise in home working and many more companies transitioning roles to being at least partially remote.
In homes where space is of the essence, one way you can free up surfaces in a cost-effective way is by utilizing task lights.
Whether it’s freeing up desk space or bedside tables, employing a wall light means you will have more surface space to work with. They are also perfect for narrow hallways, where any clutter can make an entrance seem extremely congested.
Kelcy Christy – The Inspired Abode
Even if you’re not going to have clients or colleagues stop by your home office, it’s still essential that your workspace feels calming, organized, and put-together – especially in today’s current climate. The great news is, it doesn’t take a huge budget to transform your home office into a 9-5 sanctuary.
I recommend sourcing “large-ticket” items like desks and file cabinets from budget-friendly sources – IKEA, for example, has some great options that you can customize for your space without spending an arm and a leg.
Next, find a comfortable chair (we’ve had the most luck with World Market and Wayfair for affordable, chic office/task chairs – or Amazon for ergonomic styles) and then fill your space with fresh greenery from your backyard or local nursery, or faux options if your office doesn’t get much natural light.
Next, fill your walls and surfaces with art and decor that inspires you. Use family photos or DIY artwork in inexpensive frames from Target or IKEA, browse accessories from CB2 – they’re elegant but don’t break the bank, and PB Teen can be a great resource (no matter how old you are) for on-trend calendars and bulletin boards, desk accessories, and small storage options.
Amanda Seghetti – The Old Summers Home
When decorating a home office on a budget, DIY projects are my secret! With a few inexpensive pieces and beginner DIY skill, any home office can be transformed with minimal cost.
These are a few of my favorite budget-friendly home office decor tips:
Search for any furniture at thrift stores or other second-hand sale sites on social media. A quick sanding and fresh paint can make an old desk or bookshelf look new again.
Consider building simple furniture like a desk from repurposed material. Two short bookcases or filing cabinets can be topped with a piece of plywood or other flat material that can serve as a desktop.
Create a cohesive look with a coordinating color palette. Find a color palette online that you like, then update walls and decor to match. Consider updating paint on just one wall to keep costs down. Use scrap fabric or thrifted fabric/textiles to make pillow covers and recover chair cushions. Use spray paint to update photo frames, knickknacks, and lampstands to match the color palette.
Update your office cork board with an easy 30 minute DIY project.
With just a little time and a vision, your home office can become a beautiful space!
Kim Valente – Brick + Beam Studio
Before you start shopping for your home office, plan your space so that you know exactly what furniture can fit and determine the ideal size of each piece of furniture. Purchasing exactly what you know you need eliminates the need for returns which could have associated restocking fees or return shipping costs.
Facebook Marketplace and your local thrift shops are great resources for furniture on a budget, especially for case goods like your desk or a bookcase. Look for furniture pieces that have lines that fit your design style – do you prefer furniture that is sleek and modern or traditional and ornate?
Also, make sure the pieces are sturdy or if you’re handy, you can fix a slightly wobbly piece of furniture. Remember, if you don’t like the wood grain, finish, or paint color of a piece of furniture, you can easily give it new life with a fresh coat of paint. There are a lot of helpful YouTube tutorials for painting furniture. Changing out the hardware on a thrifted piece of furniture will also help update it to fit your décor style.
I’d recommend putting the bulk of your budget into a good quality desk chair – look for chairs with options for height adjustment, arm adjustment and lumbar support – these will all help you feel comfortable while working and prevent strain on your neck and back.
Sherri Monte – Elegant Simplicity
DECLUTTER + ORGANIZE YOUR OFFICE
Like anything good in life, getting organized takes some time. But there are a ton of benefits to organizing your office at home so it’s functional, inspiring + gorgeous. Start by removing the excess + categorize each zone for exactly what you need. What this allows you to do is understand everything you have in your office space so you can clearly make decisions on what to keep vs what you’d like to get rid of.
And because the desk is where most people typically get work done in a home office, start here. After all, we don’t want it to feel overloaded with so many office supplies or decorative tchotchkes that you can’t actually work *yikes!* We suggest considering what you typically need while working at your desk + making those items easily accessible mixing in the pretty decorative accents when possible.
ADD OR REARRANGE ART
Well, there are actually a couple of ways to sass up your office space but the quickest way is to hang pictures or rearrange the wall art you already have hanging on your walls. Another way to create an instant impact, especially if your desk faces the wall, is to hang some eye candy that inspires + makes you feel good every time you look up. This can be word art like a favorite quote, a picture from your travels, your vision board for the year or even a collage of family photos.
*Super Tip: My husband, John, + I create a vision board each year digitally + we set it as our desktop background. This way, whenever we open up our MacBook’s to get some work done — we’re reminded of our goals for the year. We include word phrases as well as pictures that inspire us to serve on a greater level. If you’d like for us to share how we do this, just reach out 🙂
HOME DECOR ACCENTS
Next, decorating your bookcases + tabletops with books, candles, and other decorative accents you love + that bring you joy. Don’t be fooled though: less is always more when it comes to decorative accents especially in a workspace. So, truthfully consider each items meaning to you + why you feel it’s a good piece to display in your office as opposed to somewhere else in your home.
LAYER IN THE WARMTH
Worried that everything feels separate from one another + doesn’t feel pulled together? There are a couple of really easy ways to layer in the warmth + create an inviting space that you get to work in. Adding a rug that introduces color or pattern is an excellent way to visually anchor the space not to mention it’ll sweep you right off your feet 😉
Another trick for adding warmth, whether you have a single chair or a full-on sofa, is to not be afraid to layer on a throw blanket or decorative accent pillow to your office space. This will help create an inviting space that feels cohesive + cozy.
LET THE NATURAL LIGHT IN
Allow as much natural light to filter into your office as possible. Working from home can sometimes feel a little bit isolating but one thing that always seems to improve your energy level is embracing the natural light. If you have window coverings, keep them open while you work + if you can position yourself towards the window.
Ana Ochoa – Fiddle Leaf Interiors
Having renovated my own home office on a budget, my best advice is to either DIY build or refurbish your office furniture.
Office desks, shelves, and chairs can get pricey very quickly, and will definitely be the most expensive component of any home office, so finding furniture at a local thrift store and sprucing it up with some paint or stain can save you a ton. Or better yet, building your own custom workspace will give you exactly what you need for far less than buying it from a big box store.
Our DIY office desk was incredibly easy and gave both my husband and I a workspace in our tiny upstairs extra bedroom! But, if you’d rather not build from scratch, there are very affordable furniture pieces from IKEA that can be completely transformed with a little love and elbow grease – otherwise known as the infamous “IKEA hack” – there are TONS out there!
We transformed basic IKEA shelves into “built-ins” in our office by hanging them, adding molding, and painting, and they look like a million bucks! The true key to any décor on a budget is getting creative and thinking outside of the box – try to make the most expensive items less expensive, and you’ll save more than you think!
Elizabeth Dodson – HomeZada
Home offices are becoming more mainstay. When it comes to decorating a home office, how can we do this on a limited budget. Start by identifying what you need versus what you want. You will need a desk or workspace area, a chair, and some accessories. A simple table can become a great workspace and spending a little bit more on an ergonomic chair could benefit you in the long term.
An ergonomic chair can support your back, arms, shoulders, and more to prevent long term health problems. However, as it relates to accessories, ask yourself what you really need to get your office started. You may not use a lot of paper, therefore filing cabinets may not be a priority for you, but if you read a lot of physical books, you may need a bookshelf to store them.
When it comes to our offices, we may want to consider our own artwork. Creating our own art for our office is personal and affordable. Paint your office to spice up your room, choose colors like yellow, blue, and red to stimulate your creativity. Also, invest in a good desk light, it can make all the difference in your productivity.
Gena Kirk – KB Home
Recreate a dedicated workspace. Many homes do not have studies or home offices. In the current environment, with many families finding themselves working from home. It is important to find a space in the home such as a loft, master bedroom retreat or guest room to create a workspace that is private and productive.
It is important to make the space you have – even if it’s a makeshift folding table – as functional as possible. Use trays or baskets to keep your work tools in to stay organized and keep everything in one place. This is an easy way to put your work things away when you’re no longer in work mode.
If possible set up a desk near a window with plenty of access to natural light, as light energizes your productivity and alertness. For an extra punch of energy, add a live plant or fresh flower on your desk!
Jessica Davis – JL Design
Spend money on a chic but functional desk and chair, but with accessories use items you already own (lamps, pictures and etc.)
To create a focus point, color-coordinate books you own to draw interest.
Mira Rakicevic – Comfy Living
I think by far the best way to save energy and money is to upgrade your office to LED lighting. It used to be more of a hassle since LED lights are directional making them a bad choice for illuminating larger interior spaces. Nowadays modern LEDs use diffuser lenses and reflectors to mimic standard incandescent lights, so you get a comparable amount of light, making them a great option for the office.
Not to mention you can add an artistic touch to your LED setup by winding the lights around plants or finding creative ways to decorate using multi-colored LEDs.
Setting up the office with LED’s might cost you a bit more to set up at first, but it’s more eco-friendly and will save you money in the long run. Just to put it into perspective, an LED lasts 40 times longer than a regular incandescent bulb!
LED’s use anywhere from 3% to 30% of the wattage required to power a conventional incandescent bulb. Over the years, this will save you a ton of money, both from the longevity of LED bulbs and a lower electric bill. LED’s also run at cooler temperatures, which helps reduce the use of air-conditioning in the summer, which also saves you money on electric bills too.
Aya Bradley – The Golden
Now that we are in our “new normal”, more and more people are now required to work from home. This means that if you’re working from home it’s important that you set up a proper home office for yourself. You’re going to spend a lot of time there. You might be thinking that you wouldn’t need to do that because it’s a waste of money, but there are ways to decorate your very own home office, even if you’re on a budget.
4 Ways To Decorate Your Home Office On A Budget
Use What You Have. Think about what you want your home office to look like. Then, look around your house. I’m sure there’s a lot of things in there that you can use to decorate your home office. You may have spare desks and lamps, as well as office supplies lying around. Gather everything that you already have that you can use in your home office. Now you can see what it is you have and what’s left to buy if you need it. By doing this, you’ll already save up on a lot.
Be Creative. You don’t have to renovate an entire room for your home office. Think out of the box. Be creative. What can you do to isolate a space in a room to make it your own home office?
Go For Cheaper Options. If you don’t already have furniture for your home office, visit thrift shops or go for cheaper options when buying. You can buy a lot of furniture for cheap, but they will still last for a long time as if you have bought it at a higher price. Be wise in spending your money.
D.I.Y. You can never go wrong with doing it yourself. Instead of hiring people to do the work for you, you can do things yourself. The internet is at your disposal. Anything you need to learn to do something can be found there. Use it to your advantage, and you’ll find you’ll save so much money.
Setting up and decorating your own home office doesn’t have to break the bank. You need to think outside the box and be practical with how you’ll go about with it.
Redesigning to create a new office space doesn’t have to break the bank. A few designer tricks I like to use are…find your focal point.
A focal point is the area in the room where we want to create the most emphasis, this could be a sharp-looking new desk, a wall covered with a mural or wallpaper or a freshly painted wall color.
So many professionals are now working from a home office and believe me, your workspace if not functional and decorated to your liking, can impact you and your work!
Including textiles such as an area rug, a pillow, seat cushion or a window treatment will really warm up the space and create a cozier more inviting room.
An older desk or cabinet can easily be refreshed with your favorite color paint and for only a few dollars and a couple of hours of labor time.
If you have a dated ceiling or desk light, try changing it out for something fun like a hanging light fixture, it will really transform the space and for little cost and time to switch it out. Tip measure your ceilings beforehand to assure of the proper sizing.
Bring in a pretty upholstered chair to relax in when you need a break from your desk, chances are you may have an extra in a spare room that rarely gets used.
Kate Blomberg – This Place We Call Home
You don’t have to spend a lot to have a really good home office. The first tip I’d recommend is to prepare your budget. Know how much you’d be willing to spend and what pieces you want to spend more on. Planning is the key when working with a budget.
Even when working with a budget, however, I still suggest investing in a good office chair. The last thing you want is to spend long hours working in a chair that is uncomfortable and damaging to your body. And you don’t want to waste your money on a chair that you don’t like or won’t last in the long run. By spending more on a chair that is ergonomic, you’re saving your body and your posture.
As for the desk, I suggest trying to hunt for some good deals. Usually, the table is the easiest piece to find on a budget and you can get some really amazing pieces. IKEA has lots of desks for a good price that are not only functional but beautiful as well. For home office decor, IKEA is one of my go-to stores.
If you’re feeling crafty, DIYing a desk is a great idea! Not only can it save money, but it can look absolutely amazing and it’s completely unique! I also recommend searching your local thrift stores! Often time, many thrift stores will sell perfectly good tables or desks for a steal of a deal!
Something I always recommend to anyone creating a home office is to give themselves lots of storage. Try to find a desk with drawers or find a stand-alone drawer set. The ALEX drawers at IKEA make amazing office drawers.
Also, don’t underestimate the value of wall storage. Oftentimes, wall space doesn’t get used as much in an office area. Take advantage of this by adding some shelves, basket wall organizers, or a wire wall grid for more storage.
If you tend to have lots of paperwork, you’ll definitely want to stay organized. Try using baskets and organizers to keep everything in its place! No office needs to be picture-perfect when it comes to organization, nor does it stay that way once you use it, but you’ll want it to be organized enough to keep your things where you know you’ll find them.
If you’re working with a budget, organizers and baskets can add up quickly and become a needless expense. I suggest going to your local dollar store or HomeGoods to find good deals on baskets and organizers.
Get creative! Keep your eyes open for things that aren’t designed to be organizers, but might do the job. And if it’s less than appealing, see if you can do some DIY to spruce it up. Sometimes all that perfect piece needs is a coat of spray paint!
As for decorating your newly created space, while still sticking to a budget, try using functional decor! Look around at your supplies and see if there is anything you already own or use that can double as decor. Can you hang your clipboard, display some books, or put your dry erase board on the wall? Not only will these items become easily accessible, but they can be beautiful too!
Kim Depole – Depole Designs
The challenge to decorate a home office on a budget is what I do best. The first phase is the equipment, computer vs laptop, charging station, printer, scanner, and file cabinet. has been confirmed to decide if your desk changes in height or is fixed. The reason this is key is that you always want to be eye level with the computer for all of these ZOOM calls.
The other critical question is where are you in location to the window. The window needs to be in front of you or to the side. It makes you look like a scary suspect.
Now that we have covered the essentials, we move on to the furniture. The chair needs to be comfortable and with wheels and arms. Always test drive with a tush test and expect to pay no less than $ 150.
For the desk this is easy. The least expensive way is a hollow door with no holes for the knob and two file cabinets. Set the door on the cabinets with heavy-duty velcro so you can relocate easily. Confirm the desk height with the door to be 29″. This can be accomplished with a piece of wood cut to the size of the depth of the door and width of the file cabinet Paint the top and the two small pieces of wood a nice gloss white for easy cleaning.
Two-drawer file cabinets range from $ 100 to $ 275 and come in a variety of colors Best for the file cabinets to be black and have a chair to match. This is a nice neutral that works everywhere. Colorful elements can be added to the accessories. Add a great table lamp that can be adjusted.
The finishing touch is a gorgeous painting or photograph and a framed print with inspirational words. I have a collection on my Instagram account that you can print and mount on the wall. I do love the magnetic strip from threebythree.com to display items. They produce a collection of fabulous accessories for your workspace and home.
The most important detail is to add a vase of fresh flowers. Elements of nature help to maintain a sense of calm and clarity. I love Luludi Living art elements for any workspace. The terrariums are like having your own landscape on your desk.
The home office is going to be an increasingly popular area for people.. So many are starting new businesses or deciding to ditch the expensive office space. I am a firm believer that your environment absolutely contributes to your performance. If we are not our best, we don’t produce our best work, which could be disastrous, especially if you work for yourself.
I think we should do everything in our power to create success and the home office environment is crucial to this. Some products that I think can help entrepreneurs be their best every day are:
1) Chair with the table. It’s been determined that we spend way too much time in one place during the day as evidenced by the popularity of the stand-up desk. I think we need to have more places to comfortably work and be inspired. A comfortable lounge chair with a small tabletop gives another place to work. Sometimes that block we are having will be removed just by changing spots!
2) Carpet tile. A great way to add some warmth and even customize the size to your home office space. Many companies who have been making commercial products for years are now bringing their products to the home office, too. Not all office chairs roll easily on the carpet and the low pile makes that so much more doable. Also, it is super durable so if you drop coffee on it, no problem!
3) Subconsciously feed your mind with your environment. I have a vision board and some of my favorite sayings directly in my sight. These are all reminders of why I am working so hard and also reminders to stay on track. An office that inspires you can be the single most important factor in staying focused – we spend a million hours a day in this space, it should be feeding our creative spirit!
4) A two-sided desk. A lot of times, this space is small or carved out from another area so anything that can serve more than one purpose is great. With a desk that has access to both sides, you can also have other people gather around for a meeting without having to move or change anything around.
Meggan Fadden Wynja – Color Cord Company
Now that working from home may be the new normal for a whole lot of people, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that well-decorated and organized home office spaces can really impact your productivity at work.
Elevate the feel of your office so that you enjoy spending your 40 hours a week there. One major way to transform the feeling of any room is with lighting. While lighting can quickly become expensive, there are solutions that will run you less than $50 for a light fixture of designer quality.
If you’re in a small space with no wired ceiling lights and if your budget is limited and you’re keen on DIY solutions to budget decor, consider choosing DIY light
With a plug-in swag ceiling light, for example, you can customize your light fixture to the vibe of your space, matching the cord and hardware finish, and install it using a swag hook to the ceiling above your desk or in the corner.
You could also buy custom DIY lighting parts and source shades at your local flea market. Your home office will have immediate character, and more likely than not, a conversation starter on your next conference call.
Alice Chiu – Miss Alice Designs
Color makes a big difference in how you feel in a room, especially in a home office where you need to be productive, creative, and where you need to concentrate and focus on tasks. Paint your walls, ceiling, or both. Select a color that makes you smile and gives you a feeling of tranquility and peacefulness. It can be affordable if you paint the walls yourself as a DIY project.
Another affordable way to decorate your home office is to incorporate plants. Plants help boost your mood and productivity.. It can help reduce stress and clean the air by absorbing toxins helping you breathe better. Incorporate plants like a hanging Trailing Ficus PumilaIf or group together clusters of smaller succulents and cacti.
If you have existing artwork whether it’s something you created, your kids’ artwork, art gifted to you by family or friends, hang them up! You can hang them in a gallery style or hang one large art piece as the focal point. Having something on your walls is better than having a wall that’s bare.
Lighting is another really important decor element to consider. Make sure you have enough light in your home office. Layer your lights from table lamps to floor lamps to ceiling-mounted lights. Lights can be very affordable on sites such as Wayfair or Lamps Plus. You can swap out your flush mount lights to a hanging pendant if you have a higher or taller ceiling. Add a simple LED task light to your desk and a floor lamp if you need additional lighting.
Rebecca Fernandez – Restyled Homes
Many fail to appreciate how impactful their office decor can be to their productivity. Therefore when designing your home office on a budget, begin by focusing on what your decor should accomplish. Your goal should be to boost your efficiency and inspire your creative side.
First, make good use of your space by laying the furniture in a way that best utilizes the room. This usually can be accomplished by anchoring the desk on the most massive wall.
Here’s a creative and inexpensive way to build a stylish desk in record time. For the base of the desk use two filing cabinets. For the desktop, just about anything could be used, such as a piece of butcher block or an antique door. If you’re aiming for a modern look, consider visiting a granite fabricator and ask if you could visit their mistake bin.
Granite and marble fabricator allow homeowners to purchase slabs that have broken or have mistakes at a discount. They will gladly cut and smooth the edges for you. I paid around $60 for my last tabletop found in the reject pile.
Next, the wall real estate can be used to place stylish wire baskets and shelving to keep you organized. For your wall decor, try to include motivational quotes, and to keep you running on time, add a clock.
Lastly, incorporate items that are related to your field of work. For example, if you’re accountant include artistic displays of numbers or a funny piece of art regarding doom’s day being April 15th.
Jim Kabel – Next Stage Design
Go to Your Local Thrifts Stores and Flea Markets
Local thrift stores and flea markets are great places to look for furniture pieces and office items that won’t put a huge dent in your wallet. These kinds of stores always have great, affordable items that can offer your home office a unique and sophisticated feel.
Make Good Use of What You Already Own
Before you start browsing in-stores and online for new items for your home office, see what you already have. Look for that old lamp that may be stashed away in the attic or dig up the school supplies you had from your undergrad days that’s buried in the closet.
Nicole Regan – Cedar And Rush
When decorating your home office, it’s important to create an environment that makes you happy and productive. Here are FOUR easy ways to make your workspace stylish on a budget!
1. Be Intentional Of Your Backdrop – Now that Zoom calls are the new norm, it’s important to consider your background. Strategically place your desk so your backdrop gives you that successful first impression. Not only will you feel more confident on web meetings, rearranging your office furniture is completely FREE!
2. Lighting – A commonly overlooked factor in workspaces is lighting! Adding a desk lamp is functional for completing tasks and creates a cozy, relaxed work environment.
3. A Favorite Candle – a lovely scent is a simple way to make you happy throughout the day.
4. Cohesive Accessories – Mismatched office supplies make a desk feel cluttered and disorganized. An easy way to elevate your office is sticking with a color scheme for all your accessories. This attention to detail is the finishing touch to your office’s overall aesthetic. Not to mention items you have to buy anyway! I personally love the new Sugar Paper Essentials collection with Target. The entire line feels luxurious, cohesive, and best of all…affordable!
A great starting point for home office decoration is to identify items within your space that require some extra organization (papers, binders, pens, etc) and to consider how these moments can be transformed from eyesore to eye-catcher. There are wonderful (and budget-friendly!) solutions that not only help keep your office tidy, but that also add beautiful design elements, pops of color, and personality to your space.
For paper, catalogs, or small binders, consider mounting a magazine rack, basket, or mail receptacle to the wall — Wayfair and Amazon have great cost-effective options.
A quick tip: don’t be afraid to shop at kid-focused sources like Pottery Barn Kids, Crate & Kids, and RH Teen — there are tons of bookshelves and clutter-reducing options that work for users of all ages, and that are generally less expensive than their adult counterparts.)
For larger items that need heavier fixing, floating shelves are wonderful accent pieces that provide texture and color, and that get your supplies off of your desk top. Not only does a clear desk top inspire clear thinking, but it also allows the fun accent pieces atop it to have their time to shine.
Zoona Sikander – FCI London
One of the easiest ways to improve the look and feel of your home office is by adding more greenery. Buying even a few simple plants for your home office won’t just make it look much better but it will also help by lowering your stress and fatigue levels while making you more productive.
Another simple tip is that if you’re buying new furniture, look for items that are multipurpose. For example, if you need some extra storage space then instead of going for a built-in shelf or a simple book-shelf, it would be better to go for a mobile storage unit as it is more versatile.
Lighting is important in any office so if you feel like your home office has a lot of dark corners, you can use some old or unused mirrors to create a wall set up near any natural light source.
And finally, when it comes to accessorizing the home office – look for simple yet elegant DIY ideas that add a personalized touch. Perhaps you’ve completed some puzzles that you can frame and put up on the wall? Or you could just print a few pictures from the Internet and get them framed, as this is the most budget-friendly way of adding art to your office. Remember that when it comes to home-offices, less is more.
Jennifer Biswas – Paisley + Sparrow
My best tip for decorating a home office on a budget is to shop your home first! Is there a small table, an extra dining room chair or bookshelf that’s not being used? Use those!
Have a collection of picture frames that are collecting dust? Fill them with your favorite photos or motivational quotes, paint the frames the same color and create a gallery wall.
Clean out candle jars to hold pens and pencils. Get a simple box (Ikea has inexpensive ones or just wrap up your next Amazon box with pretty wrapping paper) to hide papers and clutter.
And of course, add a plant or two! Pick up a terracotta pot and fill it with a pothos plant (a hard to kill very inexpensive plant). Plants are proven to reduce stress so they’re a must-have for any office!
Bre Hance – InHance Interiors
You can really surprise yourself by how easily you can repurpose things you already have in your house in a creative way when trying to stick to a budget. One thing I recommend is layering existing rugs if you have an older one. Layering makes the decor feel intentional, and gives it a more modern look and feel while saving you money.
There are plenty of other inexpensive ways to give the office life, like using a cute cup as a pen holder and decorating your wall important family memories, such as diplomas, certificates, and other accomplishments you are proud of.
Another thing that can help is utilizing a shelf that you already have as a desk. Not only will this save you money as desks can be pricey, but it will also help to create a more open space as desks can be clunky, and take up a large portion of an office.
Finally, for a more fun and cost-friendly experience, have your family help you paint and assemble furniture!
The most important thing to design your home office is to create a space just for your office and nothing else. Remember to measure the square footage to factor your expenses into your income tax deductions. That could be anywhere from a closet to your unused formal dining room; depending on your needs.
If you like the idea of a closet, just clean it out, mount some shelves, and a work surface. Include a chair that can be completely touched under the surface, so that you can close the doors to your office when the workday is done. Your dining table can be your “desk” from 9-5, as long as you have a convenient spot to stash away your laptop and papers when you’re done.
Brutally de-clutter any cabinets in or near your office to use for files or other office supplies. Bins and boxes can be obtained inexpensively to place on the shelves to stash those items. Interject all of the elements that make your office serviceable to your needs. A wireless printer can go in a closet and be useful not only for your office but also for your home.
Include whatever is critical for you to be productive. Create an office environment. Turn the television off and have inspiring music or silence. Locate your office away from household chores or your bedroom. In order to peacefully blend work and home, it is important to distinguish physical and visualize the distance between the two.
I have recently designed several home offices – and done so virtually since the lockdown occurred.
My favorite resource is surprising, but absolutely the best option for a budget – The Container Store. They have an ELFA system that allows you to do a desk that is on the wall, with multiple options from shelving to under counter storage/carts. And because it is modular, they are able to design it for “you” with the measurements you give and virtually show you a photo.
This is a great option to satisfy your needs with a home office in a small space or simply in a closet. This is especially handy if you use your desk for computer items, and want a standing desk, or a high counter-level option.
My entire system cost less than $600 including installation by a professional – and the install took only one hour.
Megan Thompson – Spark Interiors
Your home office is your personal work area at home. When you are decorating this home workspace, think about how you want to separate this room from the rest of your home. What decorations will keep you productive and focused on work? You should also consider what you already have in your home that might be well-suited for your home office.
The homey accessories that litter your living spaces can give your home office a more comfortable feeling. A pretty mug can function as a great pencil holder and homemade artwork can often be the best inspirational posters. Small household plants can add a breath of fresh air to your office area and some cheap corkboard can become a fantastic visual task management system. And don’t forget to include a photo of your family on your desk as well to help keep you motivated!
Before you start looking for the right decorations, you should also consider how you will stay organized in your home office. Filing cabinets are always great organizational systems, but you should leverage the system that will work best for you. Old storage bins and loose-leaf binders can be great organizational tools to de-clutter any home office, plus they will save you some money as well.
Have you ever walked into a space and immediately felt something? Maybe it was a romantic restaurant, or a really calming hotel room. Maybe you walked into someone’s house and immediately felt welcome (or not). This is because our surroundings have an effect on us.
Those feelings aren’t always so prominent. Sometimes we feel them hit us in the face- like when we walk down a gorgeous tree-lined path. But other times it is subconscious and it is those times where we need to be careful and put in the effort to make sure it is having the right influence on us.
So how do we make sure that our office is having the right effect on us? How do we know it isn’t holding us back and making us feel stopped, trapped, overwhelmed, or unsuccessful? Here’s how: design it with intention. Set it up in a way that you know for a fact will make you feel all the positive emotions you want to feel when you’re working and BAM you have a positive space 🙂
So how do we do that? Here are a few tips that I have learned in my career as an interior designer.
First of all, you want to make sure your office is located in a good place. This means your office should have a location. Working on your couch sounds glam but we all know it is not as productive as having a space that you go to and work there and when you’re there you aren’t doing anything else. Try to pick a place that won’t become a dumping ground in the house, a space that is closed off from the rest of the house as much as you are able. And of course, you want to make sure there is plenty of natural light (again, if you can, do the best with what you got- a little effort does a lot)
Second of all, set it up for you. Don’t set up a perfect Pinterest office. Set up an office that works for you. Do you stand a lot? Sit a lot? Go to meetings or host meetings? Think about the physical actions you will be doing in the office and buy the furniture based on that. SO if you do crafts you want to buy a crafting bench, bookshelves with easy storage and a lot of bins. If you are a bookkeeper you want a super comfy chair and a spacious desk with a good computer. Personalize it. Focus first on making it something that works for you before you look for the Instagram worthy shot.
Now, once you know what you want to buy- don’t rush the purchasing process. People always ask me what piece they should start within a room and in an office, I always say the chair. As humans, our eyes are pulled towards the direction we’re walking in. If we walk into our office we are headed to the chair so that is what we are going to look at. Make that chair something that makes you smile every day (which means it has to be comfortable and pretty!)
Now that you have the basics you want to style it up and make it pretty. Now here is where I am going to tell you not to listen to google. There are all these psychologies about color and what it does for your brain and the different styles that evoke different emotions. The truth is if you hate the color blue it is not going to inspire knowledge no matter how much you look at it.
You will hate it and it will start off a negative train of thought and that is what we are trying to avoid. The same goes for style. If you like victorian go for it, don’t worry about what people say about the busyness of it, etc. do what makes you happy so you will be happy.
As you are setting up this office you also want to make sure that you are setting up a layout that is easy to navigate. Make sure that everything has a clear walkway to access it (18” is a standard walking width minimum) You also want to make sure that your desk is facing a window or door or at the very least a picture of something that makes you feel inspired.
Ok, now bring in the personal items, get the pictures of your kids. your certificates and degrees. That picture of the dream house you are working toward. Whatever it is that gets you working on a hard day put it in the room. We need constant inspiration in this world so give it to yourself.
One more piece of advice, try to make sure to drag the eye up. Don’t put everything on the floor- hang things on the walls, get a cool light, do what you need to do so that you look up more than you look down. Sounds silly but it really makes a difference!
Sarah Macklin – Dream of Home
Decorating a room on a budget isn’t as difficult as you might think. Paint will be cheaper than wallpaper and is something that you can do yourself, so start by painting the room in a colour of your choice.
Then, the key is to decorate the space with cork boards, plants, prints, rugs and other home decor items that are relatively cheap to buy. A rug can help to cover flooring that you can’t afford to replace and even shelves can be bought for a few dollars and really help to add interest to a space.
I think cork boards are a wonderful and budget-friendly idea as they’re cheap to put up but can be a brilliant place to store post it notes, to-do lists and other pieces of information. They can also look lovely when decorated with photos, inspirational quotes, and other pieces of decor. The board can be as big or small as you want it so, if you can’t afford to fully redecorate just yet, it can hide the wallpaper underneath it.
Finally, a cheap home office that looks expensive is all in the detail. Instead of purchasing a plain grey bin, choose a rose gold or copper one. This will instantly make the room look luxurious.
Ben Soreff – House to Home Organizing
When setting up a home office most people try and duplicate what they experienced at their office in a building. However, we want to review our office supplies based on how often we use them, their expense, and how hard they are to find again. No where is excess more visible than technology. Are you still burning things to CDs? What about that dot matrix printer?
Once we review and donate the excess we want to keep out a reasonable amount for daily use and then keep the backup supplies in the closet or remote storage area like the basement.
Another home office clutter area can be piles of paper. Many people keep paper piles out on their surfaces as a reminder to do something. However, we want to focus on the action. If you have a tax project to file but are waiting for a form. Keep the entire project in a file cabinet or other storage solution and keep the action item (call accountant) out on a post it or in your productivity app.
Additionally, home offices sometimes become dumping grounds for random items around the house. Since they are seen as safe spots to keep things especially from kids they tend to fill out quickly with items that belong elsewhere.
All the design changes in the world are not going to help unless you deal with the clutter first.
Sarah Bailey – Life in a Break Down
First up – get a personalized sign for the door of your home office. This will make your office seem separate to the rest of your home and allow you to separate work from your leisure time. You could get an inspiring quote on it to ensure that you enter your office in the right frame of mind for the day. A sign will also let your family know when you’re busy working and not to disturb you!
For storage, shelving with colour coordinated folders and trinkets makes for an eye-catching wall feature. You can even invest in some office plants to put on them as it’s well known that plants are good for your mental health and wellbeing – just don’t forget to water them!
Get a chalkboard or a whiteboard near to your desk so that when inspiration strikes you can write it down, or write your to do list on it – the satisfaction of wiping it off is immeasurable! You could even paint one of the walls of your home office with chalkboard paint – this way you’ll be able to mind map to your heart’s content.
Eva Bowker – Fantastic Handyman
I have a small home office, where I sometimes work in the days when it’s impossible for me to get to my real office. The design is simple, but everything in it is arranged perfectly, so I can navigate through it quickly and find whatever I need in seconds. As for the colours, in my opinion, it’s best to go with something bright, vivid, and welcoming, like red, orange or violet.
These colours will keep you awake and fill you with energy. I also have a nice patterned rug near the couch, this way if I meet with someone, I do it in a vibrant atmosphere. The mandatory furniture for my dream home office – a desk, a rotating chair, 2 cabinets for files, a few shelves on the wall, and a couch with a small coffee table for meetings.
The couch is located next to the door, so it’s closest to sit on it, and the desk is on the opposite wall, so it can face the door. The more important cabinet is next to my desk, and the one with less important things in it – next to the couch.
Christie Bell – OPO Interiors
Sophia Clark – Galiatea
Jeneva Aaron – The House Wire
When you’re thinking of decorating your home office but you’re on a budget, it is only right that you bring out your creative side. Not only that, but you also have to be resourceful. You need to use things that are already in your home. You don’t need to buy new things. You just need to repurpose things that you already own.
As for me, I repurposed my filing cabinet. I put my printer/scanner on top of it. As for the drawers, I used them to hide my snacks and drinks. Below are three tips to help decorate your home office without spending too much money.
Repurpose Unused Furniture: If you have used tables or chairs that are in your attic, now is the time to use them in your home office. Just wipe them clean or better yet, repaint them to make them look brand new.
Go Green: Your home office would look even better if you have indoor plants. Not only that, but these plants also will improve the air quality in your home office, set the mood, and make you more productive.
Exercise equipment: Now that you’re thinking about decorating your home office, its put to also think about your health. You’ll be sitting there for hours and hours so its best to have a stationary bike, a dumbbell, or a yoga ball in your home office where you can easily access them when you take breaks.
Leigh Lincoln – Pure Salt Interiors
CHANGE YOUR LAYOUT
Chances are, you didn’t design your home with the intention of three kids doing home school and two parents working full time from home. Now is the time to look at your space with functionality being your number one priority. Give yourself permission to make some quick changes to get everyone focused and productive, using items you already have in your home..
Create a home office that is functional by moving items from around your home. Move tables and chairs, add lamps, and repurpose storage items from around the house… those magazine caddies in the living room will make great organizers for your home office. And that old accent table is perfect as a printer table. Update these items with a fresh coat of bright white paint.
If and where possible, create a separate space for kids and one for working adults. Improvise with what you have – that extra folding table in the garage can now be a dedicated learning space. Cover it with a neutral linen table cloth to add texture and warmth.
CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN
As we navigate this uncertainty there is a desire to have control over something… anything would feel like a small victory. So we are big proponents of controlling what you can and it will give you a sense of calm and contentment.
- Keep it clean. Creating a visual calm can help create emotional calm. Make sure each family member participates and has a specific area of the home that they are responsible for keeping clean.
- Forage outside. Collect greenery and flowers from around your home (where safe) and quickly (and cheaply!) enrich your space with plants. We use foliage in all our projects. They truly bring new life into any space.
- Refresh your space. Given that you are spending more time at home than you ever have before why not give the area around your workspace a little refresh. Swap out blankets and pillows, move plants and lamps to give each room a breath of newness. We are not suggesting buying new things – simply re-envisioning your space with what you’ve got in the next room. Swap and Shift things around. You’ll be surprised how good it feels.
When planning your home office you will need the basics a desk, a bookcase, chair, and desk lamp. Here are some of my resources when shopping on a budget. They have some great low-cost desks at IKEA and Target and I also use Wayfair. You will need to invest a little time to assemble these items and that is how you can save money. I prefer L Shape desk because they are very functional.
For an amazing bookcase, I like the Kallax from IKEA, I have two of these cube style shelving units in my own home, you have the option of adding doors and drawers which is super functional.
Task lighting is very important, there are many styles so this is one more place to let your style show with a functional piece. Lamps Plus has some I like the Bronze Turnbuckle or the Jarrett if you prefer a modern touch.
Another way to go is to find a desk at a thrift store paint it and refurbish it. Blues or green, white or back are very popular colors. Next, you need a chair, IKEA has some good option for this or find a cute statement chair at a thrift store, make sure it has an upholstered seat or you can sit on a cushion or pillow for comfort. If you pick a chair with arms check the arm height to make sure it will slide under the desk.
House plants in cute terracotta pots will add a nice touch and a bit of greenery or faux florals are nice too they have come a long way and many look like the real deal.
Thank you so much to all the interior designers that shared with us their tips! If you enjoyed reading this post, then please share it on social media with your friends and followers. Of course, if you are looking for house cleaning services in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or most cities in NZ get in touch with our friendly team today.