My tiny office makeover is just about complete with just a few details to finalize on the opposite side of the room. I have been so excited about sharing this small space with you because it actually turned out better than I could have imagined. The best part about this small office makeover is that without planning it, it’s completely done with repurposed materials so the cost was almost completely free! Talk about an office makeover on a budget.
When tackling any home project, don’t be overwhelmed by the thought that you have to buy everything new. Take a look around to see if you have furniture, or other materials that you can repurpose to meet your needs. It’s a fun creative challenge and with some time and effort, can save you a lot of money. With the cost of just about everything these days, saving money anywhere you can is a win in my book!
As you may recall, I shared a little bit about my vision for the space several weeks ago. My vision was pretty clear, I wanted a built in “L” shaped desk area with closed storage below and an entire wall of bookshelves for storage and display. I also knew that because this is step one in a larger studio / shop makeover, I wanted to go with something different, moodier and more sophisticated but still relaxed and informal.
I really wanted to do black or super dark cabinets to set the stage for the same kind of look in the main studio area but was afraid black might be too harsh.
Once I settled on the final cabinet color, the rest fell into place perfectly.
Next week I’ll share a more detailed rundown of paint colors, materials and how we achieved the custom desktop / counter so if there is anything specific you want to know about, let me know so that I can include it.
My Repurposed Office Makeover
When I say repurposed, I literally mean repurposed except for just a few small details.
This entire project started with showing drawings of my plans to B to get his thoughts on what I’d need. He immediately suggested we take a look at the old kitchen cabinets we kept from our renovation a few years ago that have been collecting dust in our basement.
The Base Cabinets for the Desk
When we demolished our old kitchen, we kept all the upper cabinets. They were in good shape and were a decent quality so we hated to toss them knowing that we’d find a use for them eventually. They weren’t perfect but we were able to make them work so they formed the base of my desk. A fresh coat of paint and some new hardware (photos coming soon) and they took on a whole new look.
I went with my gut and painted them black. Even though I’m not a fan of the arched top detail, the black paint somehow elevated the look of the cabinets making them look more expensive. I knew immediately I wouldn’t regret the color!
The Wall of Bookshelves
For the wall of bookshelves above, B repurposed a stack of pine boards from our garage’s second floor. We’ve been told that a former owner used the second floor as a kind of hardware / auto parts store and the entire space is full of shelves and wooden storage bins. B has been taking some of the shelving down as he is converting the space to his workshop and these boards were exactly what we needed to create my shelves.
He ran them through his planer to clean them up and I painted them black to match the lower cabinets.
The Walls and Wallpaper Accent
Throughout the entire project I was back and forth on what to do with the walls. They are painted a light aqua color; something I chose when I started a makeover a couple years ago. I decided to hold off until more of the room was done and I’m glad I did.
Once the shelves were up, I started cleaning out a bookshelf that we were moving out into the main shop area and found the remnants of some peel and stick wallpaper from a past project. I wasn’t planning on wallpaper in here and the design wasn’t something I would have picked for this space but when I came across it, i knew it would be the perfect tie in piece because it has a little black, a little bit of aqua and some gold which nods to the counters.
I didn’t have quite enough to fill up the wall under the bookshelves so the last piece in the corner is scrapped in but when I love my little metal drawer piece out here, it will be hidden and no one will ever know. Now that it’s up, I really kind of love it!
The Countertop / Desk Top
For the countertop / desktop area, B kept telling me to figure out a way to use some of the leftover oak flooring scraps that are piled in our garage. I didn’t want it to look like flooring so I came up with the idea of cutting the scraps down into “tiles” and then laying them out in a herringbone pattern.
This project proved to be extremely labor intensive but I have to say it was worth all of it because it’s stunning!
Accessories and Décor
I added a new rug that I thought would better tie in all the colors. I’m in love with it and am considering a larger version for the main studio area. I’ve been holding off primarily because I’m undecided yet on the overall design of the room. (That’s next)
I really needed the bookshelves for storage and to house all my design and decorating books, but I tried styling them to be pretty and functional by mixing in some baskets, a couple of my original art pieces (I’ve started oil painting) and a few odds and ends that make it personal.
I’m keeping my DIY upholstered cork board on the back wall and I’ve brought back my plants for the desk. They take up a lot of real estate but I really love having them close by. They bring me joy and that’s so important.
What Still Needs Finished
You may have noticed in a few of the photos that I still need to add the black base trim under the cabinets on the floor as well as add the end cap by the back door. I also need to add the gold hardware to the doors.
The wall opposite the bookshelves needs to be emptied and we’ll be adding a wall heater unit over there.
Eventually I’d like to take out the leaded glass that’s in two of the base cabinet doors and replace with caning or something natural that ties into the oak counters. I also plan to replace the office chair with something softer when I find the right thing.
This project proves that with very little money and some willingness to think outside the box, you can make big changes to your home. My repurposed small office makeover cost less than $200 to complete by repurposing most of the materials from items we already had.
I’ll be back next week with all the details, resources and cost breakdown plus how we made my white oak herringbone counter. If you have questions about anything in my office, leave a comment below plus I’ll be sure to include it in next week’s post.
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