InDIY & Home Improvement, Home Projects

Budget Floors and Painted Walls in the Home Office

We already finished some big-impact projects in our home office by installing budget floors and painting the walls.

Welcome to week two of the Fall 2020 One Room Challenge.  If you’ve never heard of it; the One Room Challenge is a platform where bloggers link up to encourage each other to complete one room renovation in six weeks from start to finish.  The challenge runs twice a year, and for this edition, I’m updating my home office!  It is such an exciting time for me – we have a lot to do in little time, but so far, I’m really enjoying it. 

Last week, I shared my design plan and ideas for the room.  Our home office was cluttered, messy and outdated.  This was the one room we did not even paint since moving in six years ago.  Let’s take another look at where we started before I share our progress with you.

Home Office before | www.windmillprotea.com

As mentioned before, we really neglected this room ever since we moved into this house.  We did not really need the home office space at the time, and it became a dumping ground.  You know that room – the one where you still have boxes that you need to unpack.  The room where you shove stacks of paper in.  The room where you pile all the stuff in when you rush to tidy up your house before you have guests.  Yes, we all know that room where you just close the door and hope no one opens it, that Monica Gellar closet.  Ours is right next to the front door by the way, and we always had to keep it closed. 

But when COVID-19 hit, and we both started working from home, we suddenly noticed the walls, the messy desks and the lack of storage space.  And we knew that it was time for an upgrade.

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Big-Impact, Low Effort Project:  Paint Your Walls

Our first step for our home office update was to paint the walls.  We have one base colour for all the rooms in our homes, so we knew that we would use the same colour in here.  It is called Ostrich Egg, by Dulux.  We use it because it is a light beige without any pink or yellow undertones.  I mostly decorate with cool colours, and it suits the cooler colour pallettes really well.  It also looks gorgeous with white, and I decorate with a lot of whites too.

We did the mandatory prep work with filling up some holes, sanding it down and cleaning the walls with sugar soap.  Good Prep work will ensure that your paint lasts long.

This is after painting, before removing the carpet.

Budget-Friendly Floors:  Sheet Vinyl

I was so excited to see that the sheet vinyl flooring we used in our main bedroom was back in stock again, and even more so when I realised that it was on special!  We have installed sheet vinyl in all our bedrooms so far, and we love it!  We always get our sheet vinyl from Airloom, and we used Slow Oak in the Quick Fit Range.  I also had a chat with Airloom the other day on why we use sheet vinyl and its ease of installation.

Sheet Vinyl is such a budget-friendly floor finish option.  We always install it ourselves.  No need for contractors in your house, and you can install it at a time that suits you!  Though you do need some logic to figure out the placement and size, the installation is relatively easy.  I’m going to list our steps, but you can look at the full tutorial on how to install sheet vinyl flooring over here.

  • Remove your current flooring.  We had carpet, so we removed the carpet, underfelt and tack strips.
  • Prep and clean your sub-floor.  We have concrete subfloors, so we always fill up the holes made by the tack strips and sand it down.  Then we vacuum the floors well.  The flooring adhesive we use requires the floor to be dry for at least 24 hours before application, so we usually do not even mop the floors, as we always try to install in one day.
  • Measure and cut you sheet vinyl.  We always leave a bit extra; walls are never straight, trust me, I know.  So for that reason, we cut the sheet a bit bigger than the actual room size.
  • Dry-fit your sheet vinyl and trim to size.  Take your sheet vinyl into the room, align it in a corner at two walls.  Fit and cut the remaining two edges.
  • Apply flooring adhesive according to manufacturers instructions.  We fold half of the sheet over, apply the glue to the screed.  Wait until it is touch dry and then apply the sheet.  Then we repeat the process with the other half.
  • Install skirting, baseboards or Quarter-rounds.  It is always best to install one of these afterwards to give you neat edges.  We have skirting & quarter rounds in our home, so we remove the quarter rounds before installation and put them back up afterwards.  I also paint them white – as it looks better against our walls and new floors.

It may sound a bit complicated, but it is totally doable in a day, and once you get to work, that you will see that it is easy.

Carpet, underfelt and tack strips removed – floor is ready for sheet vinyl.
New floors installed, and new rug.

You might wonder why we keep on choosing sheet vinyl? 

  • Apart from it being a budget-friendly flooring solution that we can install ourselves, it also has excellent thermal properties.  We had carpets in the rooms, but with the sheet vinyl, the rooms are just as warm in winter and even cooler in summer. 
  • It stays cleaner for longer – no carpets where dust gets stuck in.  And our sinuses are thanking us for it. 
  • It is still soft underfoot and does not make the noise that laminate flooring do. 

Adding an area Rug

I also added an area rug in the room.  I initially wanted to save costs as mentioned over here, but I decided that it would be better to get a rug from the start.  The rug will help define the desk space and will help protect the floor from the chair wheels.  I decided on a couple of designs that would work and waited for one of them to go on sale so I would stay in my budget.

Update your house by painting your interior doors

I also really wanted to paint our interior doors.  We have hollow-core timber doors without any character.  So far, I’ve painted the door in a light warm-grey colour called Stone Grey Aluminium in the Architectural Greys by Plascon.  I love the colour, and it makes the door more modern.  But I still want to experiment with adding some character to the door.  I might paint stripes on it, or add some moulding – it all depends on my experiments and weather I get to it in time. 

We’ve made significant progress so far with our Floor and Wall Finishes

I am delighted with how far we’ve come with this room.  It already feels so different with our budget floors installed and the walls painted.  It feels like you can breathe in the room a lot easier now, and the colours are more soothing, yet not monotonous.  We have also moved the redundant furniture out, and it feels so much bigger and less cluttered. 

Don’t worry too much about that strip where we did not install flooring, and did not paint the skirting – that is where we will install our built-in shelving.

What is left on the to-do list for our home office update?

Though we have done a lot, we still have a couple of projects left.  The most significant being the built-in shelving.  But let’s take a look at where we stand so far:

  1. Paint the room, door and skirtings.
  2. Install budget floors – our go-to sheet vinyl flooring.
  3. Install new lighting.  We’ve already installed new downlighters, but more on that later.
  4. Update our furniture.  I’ve already updated the small side table and the desk.  We still need to reupholster the chair back and get a small pedestal or table to use as a printer table.
  5. Built-in Shelving.  We’ve bought our supplies, but we are waiting for some deliveries, and we still need to build and paint the shelves.
  6. Wall art.  I’ve made my decision on wall art, but need to order the prints and build frames for them.
  7. Décor Accessories.  This will come together when the shelves are built, and I can start accessorising.  I don’t think I will buy anything, but I might shop my own home and update some of the décor accessories I already have.  

So what do you think of our progress?  Do you like it, can you see the transformation happening?  I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Until next week

Junette | www.windmillprotea.com

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