Home Office Decor on a Budget

Several years ago, I set up a little office for myself on the upstairs landing with a desk and a printer stand that I found on Craigslist.

My home office needs are simple so the small corner on the landing was just enough space.  I hastily threw a few things together, including some mismatched file boxes and some smaller boxes to hold office supplies, and I wound up with a bland, cluttered, temporary-looking office that has bugged me ever since.

Home office decor: Office before makeover
My bland home office before the makeover.
Home office decor: Before the makeover
Too many boxes!

The Makeover Begins

I recently found a few things in our basement that could be repurposed or revamped and used in an office makeover.

For the makeover, the colors would be limited to black and white, and varying shades of cream and gold.

Home office decor: After the makeover.
After the budget makeover.
Home office decor: After the makeover
Several items from my basement were revamped and given a second chance.

Going Vertical

In the basement I found a WWII ammunition box in rustic condition that my father-in-law used to transport the tire chains for his old truck.

It’s painted white and we think it was used by soldiers who were posted in snowy locations since the white box would blend with the snow.

Second hand finds used as home office decor
The ammo case and the milk glass bowl were repurposed as home office décor.

This ammo case was too interesting to stay in the basement.  So now it’s holding my papers and reading materials vertically, replacing a two-tired wooden desktop organizer that took up too much space on the desk.

The white footed milk glass bowl, a garage sale find, is a stylish place to dump my shopping receipts.

File Cabinet Facelift

I love the look of my office desk with its turned legs, but the mismatched file boxes sitting under it detracted from the design.

File boxes beforeI needed a “real” file cabinet.  This oak file cabinet had been stored in our basement since we moved into the house.  I bought it in the mid-1990s.  But even then, the look was dated.

file cabinet before facelift

It took a coat of primer and three coats of paint (Valspar Ultra in Greek Tapenade) to cover the wood.  I spray painted the metal hardware with Rust-Oleum Metallic spray paint in antique brass.  My husband, Chris, had to make some repairs to the drawers which, as it turned out, had never been put together properly.

But it was worth the effort for this clean, fun look.

File cabinet after
File cabinet after facelift.

The Cork Board

I had a fabric bulletin board hanging over my desk.  I never liked the colors – too weak and murky.

So I found this cork board in the basement.

Corkboard before facelift

And turned it into this.

cork board after
Cork board after its facelift.

This look is easy to get.  Check out my how-to post for this cork board revamp.

The Chair

The office chair is attractive and comfortable, but the chair pad cover was a little bland and, being vinyl, didn’t breathe very well.

chair pad before recovering

I recovered it with a Waverly fabric called Strands Mocha.

chair pad after reupholstering

The Shuffle

After I purged some books and moved others to the top of the file cabinet, I was able to free up the lower shelf of the printer stand.  That shelf was the perfect size for one of the leftover file boxes, now filled with office supplies.

This meant more space on my desktop, so I was able to bring aboard a cute desk lamp (an estate sale find) and move the floor lamp to a different room.

There is even space now for one of my favorite photos of me and my father.

Lamp and photo 2 edited

All On a Budget

The chair fabric, a frame for a small art print, and the paint for the file cabinet were the only purchases I made for my office makeover.  Everything else was already on-hand.

The office is now organized, calm, and more attractive.  And as I sit at my desk typing this post, I am that much happier.

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6 Replies to “Home Office Decor on a Budget”

  1. Wow, you’ve really turned this space into both a functional and beautiful area. Love, love the ammo box and I adore milk glass!
    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

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