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Modern Home Office Design: One Room Challenge Week 1

Home Office Design Plan, How to Upgrade Your Workspace on a Budget. 

It is time for my home office upgrade, and I am so excited to be doing this room as part of the Fall One Room Challenge for 2020.  In my 2020 wish list, I did say that I wanted to upgrade our home office this year.  As I was working from home for the last six months, my mind started putting together a design plan, to not only improve the layout and functionality of the space but also create a beautiful space I could be proud of.

What did my office look like before?

I shared the before and some home office design ideas, as well as tips to keep your project on a budget previously, just a while into our COVID-lockdown.  The office design has evolved since then, and I am really excited to share my final plans with you today, and even more excited to get to the end result. 

Home Office before |
Office Before |

I’m going to recap just a bit. 

  • The room had way too much furniture and not enough storage, and it always felt cluttered and messy because of this. 
  • We lacked a cohesive design in the room.
  • Our home office had horrible lighting, so it was not ideal to use the room at night. 
  • And we never even painted the room after we moved into this house six years ago. 

Working from home only made us aware of all these problems once again.

Before |

What are the significant changes that we will be implementing?

We are planning a couple of bigger projects for this room.  It will make a massive impact on how the room feels, and it will help to solve some of the issues mentioned above. 

1.  Improved Office Design Floor Plan

The only way in which we could improve on the floor plan layout in our office was to move some of the furniture out.  Yes, we did use both desks and desk chairs during our lockdown when we both worked from home.  But two big desks were just too bulky for the space.  We are going to keep the one desk with drawers, to save on costs, but will eventually get two smaller desks to allow for two workstations.  The new and improved layout will allow for more open spaces – making the room feel bigger. 

Office Floor Plan Design - for small home office|
This new Layout will make the room feel more spacious while adding to the functionality

2.  New Sheet Vinyl Floors

If you’ve been around for a while, you will know that we simply love our sheet vinyl floors.  We have installed it in all three of our bedrooms, and we cannot be happier with how it is holding up!  We all suffer from allergies, and for that reason, we are slowly but surely removing all for the carpets in our home.  Sure, we could have gone for tiles or hardwood floors, but sheet vinyl is a budget-friendly option that allows you to install yourself.  We will be using Slow Oak from Airloom; this is the same type as we used in our master bedroom.

3.  Much-needed Paint

These walls really needed some paint, the walls were dirty, and the wall colour was faded.  I’ve seen time and time again how paint can transform a room!  But we are not only going to paint the walls and touch up the ceiling in some spots, but we will also be painting the door.  We have wood interior doors.  I will paint them, and see if I can do something to add some character to the otherwise plain doors.  But the new light warm grey will make it look a bit more modern.

Office Design Ideas |
The curtains were my Grandmother’s; they inspired the colour-scheme for the room

4.  We are adding a Built-in Unit for much-needed storage

Any office needs storage space.  And if you have any craft or paint supplies, you will know that you need a lot of it.  We have a built-in closet in the office, and we’ve made some improvements to the inside to make it more functional.  But we still lack storage space. 

The closet is not bad – as it hides our DB Board. To save costs, we will keep it in place.  But we will be adding cupboards and shelves to the side of the closet along that entire wall.  This will give us a lot more storage and create space for our books and some décor accessories.

Built-In Cupboards and Shelving - Modern Home Office Design |
The new built-in cupboards and shelving

5.  We will need to improve the home office’s lighting

Lighting in your home is ever so often overlooked.  My friend Sara at The Inspired Decorator has an in-depth post and guide on this matter.  We have one wall sconce in this room, and it definitely does not give enough light.  Even when we add a desk lamp, it is still not enough. 

We will add downlighters in the ceiling, to give us enough general light.  I will also change the existing wall lamp a bit and move it onto the built-ins for decorative lighting.  I’m getting a gorgeous industrial style desk lamp for task lighting. And I still might add a small table lamp to the side table.  These light sources plus the window for natural light is in line with Sara’s proposed four to six light sources for an office.

Smaller, but still significant updates in our office design

We also have a couple of smaller projects that we will do in the office upgrade.  They are less work, and less expensive, but will still make a considerable impact on the final design. 

1.  Easy Furniture Upgrades for our home office

Apart from moving out one desk, a bookshelf and a chest of drawers, we will also do some projects on the remaining furniture.  Our desk needs a sanding and a fresh coat of varnish.  I will paint a small side table we had elsewhere in the house with the same bone-inlay stencil I used for the toy chest.  This little table will also act as a second workstation if necessary. 

We will either buy or build a small table or pedestal to use for our printer and other electronic devices.  By keeping them off of the desk, it will minimise clutter and make the room feel bigger. 

I have bought new fabric and will attempt to reupholster the chair back of our existing office chair.  The chair has a good shape, and the black seat will remain as is.  I just want to replace the purple backrest.  I’m calling in my Mom’s help with this sewing/upholstery job. 

Industrial Modern Office Design - Interior Elevation |
Existing desk, large-scale wall art, indoor tree and painted door and walls

2.  It is always a good idea to add greenery in your home office

I will add some plants.  I wrote a whole post about why it is essential to add greenery, real or faux, to your home décor.  Not only does it improve your mood, but it adds life to the room.  You can use plants in various ways in home design.  I want to add a small tree next to the desk, to mimic the green of the built-ins and complement the wall art.  I’m looking at real trees rather than faux.  I’m not sure if it will last, but real indoor plants are a third of the price of fake plants, so I’m willing to give it a shot.  I’ll also add some smaller plants to the bookshelves.

Industrial Home Office - Watercolor Prints, Indoor Plants |
Large-scale wall art, desk lamp, baskets, indoor plants and paint colours for door and walls

3.  Budget-friendly Wall art

I have a lot of great ideas for budget-friendly wall art!  This is one of the areas where I always try to save.  I have one wall with a big window and one wall with the built-ins. That leaves only two walls for wall art.  I already have frames to display our degree certificates in.  And above the desk, I have my eyes on these lovely abstract watercolours.  I will print them on a large scale and DIY frames to save cost. 

Wall Elevation - Interior planning for Home Office |
Small side table and framed certificates

4.  Home Office Décor Accessories

I cannot wait to start styling the bookshelves.  Of course, I will have books on them too, but I will also display accessories to add interest.  I’ll shop my own home for this and see what creative ways I can come up with to transform some of them.  I already painted this gold ombre planter for the shelves, and there will be a couple of similar projects.  I am also going to look into how I want to display our books.  And I will add book covers, similar to my recipe books in the kitchen.  This will help to make the books and collections look more organised and cohesive instead of creating a mess that your eyes have trouble settling on. 

Décor Accessories for Bookshelf - office design|
Gold ombre planter, updated wall sconce, DIY book covers, new world globe and paint colours for the built-in unit

I hope This Home Office Design Inspires you

I hope that my office design plan has inspired you and given you lots of new ideas in inspiration for your own space.  This is the first time that we are looking at completing a room upgrade from start to finish in just over six weeks!  We still have a lot of work ahead of us. But I am confident that we will be able to get everything done.  We’ve opted for a lot of budget-friendly upgrade options in this room, but I still have not compromised on my vision for the room. 

Please follow along every week to see our progress.  For the next couple of weeks, I will be spending most of my time in the office getting everything ready.

Until next week, take care!

Junette |

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  • Sara

    This sounds so amazing! You have so many great storage ideas planned, I can’t wait to see how your diy’s turn out and how your office comes together! You have great style.

    October 11, 2020 at 7:56 pm Reply
    • Junette

      Thank you so much, Sara, I appreciate the kind words. I also can’t wait to get everything done – it is going to be such a big improvement.

      October 12, 2020 at 8:56 pm Reply
  • Brent

    Love the design! It looks like it’s going to be gorgeous, and it’s a very smart use of the space. And your renderings are so cute. They remind me of my mom’s pen and water color layouts from her interior design and architecture classes (she went to college in the early 70’s so everything was drafted by hand).

    October 30, 2020 at 4:40 am Reply
    • Junette

      Thanks, Brent. Then I guess the 1970’s style drawings suit our 1970’s style house!

      October 30, 2020 at 1:36 pm Reply

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