How we renovated our home office for the Fall One Room Challenge on a budget.
The home office revamp room reveal day is finally here, and I am so excited to share it with you! Wow, this has been hard work, and to be honest, I expected to complete this room renovation a bit sooner. But here we are at week six (well, actually week eight) of the Fall One Room Challenge.
It has been an amazing, but also very challenging experience for us. We’ve never completed a full room renovation in 6 – 8 weeks before. But it is fantastic to call this room done and finally have a beautiful, inspiring space to work in.
Let’s take a look at Our Home Office before
We did not do any projects in this room since we moved into this house, almost seven years ago! We never used the room before. But then I started blogging, and we both worked from home during our lockdown, which forced us to use the office. It was high time for an upgrade, and I’m so happy that we did just that.
What did we do to improve the functionality of our home office?
We had some significant problems we needed to address in this room. I discussed them in my initial home office design post that I wrote just a while into our lockdown. This was when I started daydreaming about a beautiful office that we could work in.
Week 1: The Plan for our Home Office Makeover
In week 1, I shared my design plan. We realised that we would have to change the layout and add a good amount of storage, and for that reason, I designed a built-in bookshelf. We used to have a problem with clutter in the room because we did not have enough storage space. But we also had too much furniture in here. So, I set out our plan with reasons for my design choices and what we would do to address all our problem areas.
Week 2: Floors and Walls
In week 2, I shared how we installed new sheet-vinyl floors and painted the walls and door. I am always amazed by the power of paint and how it can transform a room. A fresh coat of paint breathes new life into a room and makes it feel spacious and clean.
I also painted the door, and although I did not get to it, I plan on adding some detail and interest to this door as well as the remainder of our interior doors.
And if you’ve been around for a while, you will already know that I love using sheet-vinyl as a cost-friendly alternative. It is easy to install and clean, and it looks terrific.
Week 3: Lighting
One of the big problems we had in this room was lighting, and I addressed this in week 3. The room only had one wall sconce, and even the desk lamp did not add sufficient light for us to use the room at night.
We added downlighters in the ceiling to give us the much needed general light. I purchased a new desk lamp, and we installed the old wall sconce onto the bookshelves. This has made a massive difference in the home office! Now we can use the room at night, without damaging our eyes.
Week 4: Furniture
To save on costs, we mostly used furniture that we already owned. I discussed how I updated some of them in this post. We now have only one big desk instead of two. It opens up the room and makes it feel less cluttered.
We brought in a small side table which can act as a second work station if we both need to work from home again. I also purchased a pedestal table to use as a printer table. I still have to re-upholster our current office chair, but will look into that sometime in the new year, when I have a bit more time on my hands.
Week 5: Built-in Shelving Unit
In week 5, I discussed how we (Marinus did most of the work), built the built-in bookshelves. By keeping the existing built-in closet and adding onto that, we saved on cost, while not compromising on storage space.
And now the final reveal
I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking now. But I simply love how this office turned out. It is no longer stuffy, bland and crowded room where we HAD to work. It is now a genuinely inspiring room where we LOVE to work. We both still spend some time working from home, and with all my blogging projects, this room will get a lot of use. Instead of working from the dining room table or the family room couch, we now have a dedicated and beautiful space, and I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short time.
The Built-in Unit in our Home Office
I’ve dreamed of having a built-in unit somewhere in my home for a while now, and I’m not disappointed. And I’m not just displaying décor items on the bookshelves, but most of our books as well. I’ll go into more detail sometime next year, but I did use some innovative ways to make all those books look more cohesive. This was my first attempt at styling a bookshelf this big, and it was a bit daunting. But I love how it turned out! I designed the shelves in varying heights, to allow for different groupings and displays.
Here are some shelves that really make me smile (clockwise from top left):
- I used my DIY butterfly shadow box together with my mini faux terracotta planter on this shelf. I grouped them with an inexpensive frame from Pep Home in which I added butterfly sketches I found on Freepik. Then I placed my new world globe to the side of this grouping.
- On this shelf, I placed an oil painting, painted by my Mother’s Dutch uncle. I love this birch tree painting and the colours and was so happy the day my Mom gave it to me to use in this room (thanks again Mom). I grouped it with a stack of books and topped it off with two of the DIY blue and white porcelain pieces I made earlier this year.
- There were a couple of books, that when I removed the book jackets, had a navy-blue cover with gold lettering. I wanted to mimic them in a couple of places on the shelf but decided to cover all the books on this top centre shelf in this manner. It really makes a statement and looks gorgeous with the two faux plants on both sides. I used fake plants here because I can’t reach that high without a step to water real plants.
- And this shelf, I used a multi-photo frame to display some photos of our sons and grouped it with our elephant figurines. I love how white and bright this shelf looks.
I’ve tried to keep clutter off the desk. Because clutter attracts more clutter and makes it challenging to keep a space neat, so apart from some stationery, and a box for some smaller items, we will try to keep this desk free of clutter.
I snagged these watercolour prints on Etsy and had them printed. Then Marinus built the frames of me. I wanted large-scale art above the desk, in the green hues, that is the primary colour for the room. But I preferred more abstract art, to add to the calm feeling of the space, but not attract all the attention to it. These are perfect, and I also love that I can just add something else into these frames if I ever feel like it.
How I feel about the room, the Challenge and our next steps
I am delighted with how this room turned out. And I’m so glad that we took part in this One Room Challenge. I think it is an incredible platform to motivate people to complete a room from start to finish, instead of having the renovation process drag on for months. But we were under a lot of pressure these last couple of months, which did make it even more difficult for us to complete the room.
We had some family commitments during this time, birthdays, school functions and of course, we both still work full-time. If I had known about all of the extra obligations, I might have postponed this renovation a bit. However, we did complete the room, and I am so proud of everything we’ve accomplished. I am so thankful that Marinus is so supportive and helps me in all the crazy projects I take on for Windmill & Protea.
Next Steps for our Home Office Revamp
Apart from the chair, and door that I would still like to give some attention to, I also need to start organising the cabinets and drawers now. I’ve focussed on the styling of the room to get the room completed in time for the One Room Challenge. But now, I will take my time to plan and create a system for the storage in this room. I will also purge and only keep what I really need and will often use in future.
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Please let me know what you think of this home office revamp in the comments below. What do you like, and what would you have done differently?
Next week, I can finally start focussing on Christmas and start to put up decorations. And I will share an easy way to make a table-top Christmas tree, this coming Thursday, so be sure to check back.
Until then, take care and stay safe