6 cheap ways to renovate up your home office

July 17, 2013

Back in April, I shared a glimpse of our apartment, and with it, a look at my meager home office. I had wanted to paint the desk all white, but Eaman thought it was too severe, so we comprised by making a couple of the drawers colorful. Well, the more I looked at it, the more I didn’t like it. And surprise, surprise, I care more about interior design than Eaman, so I repainted those drawers white and had my white-on-white dreams come true.

But I needed more than just a color change. Here are 6 other ways I updated my office space — all done on the cheap:

1. I had an empty frame from the Melrose Trading Post lying around for months. I so badly wanted to paint it mint green, but hung up against our ugly olive green walls that our landlord won’t let us repaint, it would’ve looked atrocious. I decided to keep the gold. (To make it a bulletin board, I bought a roll of cork from Michael’s, cut it to an appropriate size and attached it in place using the frame’s fasteners.

2. I was also partially inspired by Sarah Sherman Samuel‘s excellent use of black, white, and gold (see here and here), and decided to use that gold frame as a jumping off point to a whole new color palette. I had been eyeing that IKEA pillow cover for some time, but when I finally saw it in person, I didn’t love how big it was. But because I’m stubborn, I got it anyway. As it turns out, it’s now the perfect back pillow and makes me feel like I’m sitting on a recliner as I work. And though it’s a squishy pillow, it does take up seat space, forcing me to sit straight — a good thing!

3. I also spray-painted the drawer handles gold.

Teddy lost a ton of teeth recently, and I stumbled upon two baby fangs. I obviously kept them, stored them in a mini Ziploc and posted them to my bulletin board. That’s not weird at all, right? Don’t answer that.

5. Yep, that’s an empty can of garbanzo beans re-purposed and spray-painted as a pen holder.

5. I kind of hate my IKEA lamp, but it was cheap and I’m not really in the market for expensive lighting. I spray-painted it gold and am a lot happier with it now.

6. I love reusing empty jars as flower vases. Since they’re clear, they take up a lot less visual space. (To get labels off jars without losing your mind, peel as much off as you can and then use nail polish remover to take off the rest. Give it a whirl in the dishwasher before use.) Also, while I usually go for more exotic flowers at the market, I’m kind of loving the look of these Gerber daisies. That said, I hope you realize that bloggers don’t always decorate their homes with fresh flowers. It’s often just for photo styling. I personally allow myself the $3-5 fresh buds 1-2 times a month.)

All in all, I consider the renovation to be a success. I’m already working at my desk far more than I have in the last few months, which is a welcome change from congregating at the dining table for work + dinner + Netflix + everything else. The only problem is my executive assistant has been slacking lately.

6 thoughts on “6 cheap ways to renovate up your home office

    1. Archana Post author

      Why thank you, Cassie! I’m surprised it took me so long to spray-paint those handles. They looked so rusty and old before. The new shiny gold makes me happy. As for Teddy, he is definitely the most adorable assistant! He never tires of hearing how cute he is. Thanks for reading!

    1. Archana Post author

      Thank you! Definitely copy that can idea. I bet you could also do some fun patterns using masking or painter’s tape. Chevron perhaps?

  1. Amina

    This is great! I love using old candle jars as vases. Perfect for a couple buds and often they’re really interesting shapes.

    1. Archana Post author

      Yes! I have a candle that I’m just waiting to be done with already so I can use it for small buds. So much more interesting than a regular vase!


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