One of the rooms in our home that has been in desperate need of a makeover is my home office. After moving into our new place just over a year ago, my office ended up on the bottom of the to-do list…along with a few other last minute projects I plan on getting to this fall.
This small room was a bedroom originally but we stole the closet in it to enlarge the bathroom on the opposite wall. I guess you could call it cute and cozy at just 10.5′ x 9′. The two windows really let in a lot of light which I love. Along with being the place I work and blog, this is also where my daughter and I craft and create and where any homework happens. My husband has his own office thankfully – it was hard enough making this small space a workable, fun and stylish space for two. Being such a small room I had a hard time getting great photos of the whole room and the colour varies in different lighting but is actually Behr’s Pineapple Crush, a really pretty shade of yellow if you like bright colours.
Before this room re-do, I was using extra furniture pieces we already had to fill up the space. I used a vintage Arborite table as my desk which although spacious, took up a lot of room and without drawers, wasn’t all that functional.
For our new desk, I came up with the idea to repurpose a piece of glossy white cabinet panel we had left over from our kitchen reno as our new desk top; I knew there was a reason we had been storing it in our garage all these months. And although I really hated the idea of assembling furniture (I’ve done my share in the last year), I ordered three Ikea Alex drawer units (during their back to school sale.)
The whole family helped to put them together and I dare say that with some good music playing in the background, assembling Ikea furniture was actually a fun family activity…kind of. We placed the drawer units along the wall and the panel of glossy white board on top. This created two work stations, one for my daughter and one for myself.
My little filing cabinet from Winners fit nicely in my corner too for easy access and is a great spot for the printer.
In another corner of this cozy room sat my daughter’s little vintage desk – although I’m not sure you can really call it a desk it was so tiny. She definitely was in need of a larger work space and some drawers for storage.
The new dual work space set up gives her so much more storage and space to craft on. And another bonus, the glossy finish of the desk top is super easy to clean. I would highly recommend it for a craft surface.
To help my daughter stay a bit more organized, I used a utensil tray insert in the top drawer to help separate items.
And in another drawer I used vintage bread tins to hold her crayons and markers. They work great and they’re easy to take out for use.
The little aqua rolling craft cart (from Michaels) my daughter previously used as a catch all is now a handy little paint cart housing craft paint and accessories. It can be rolled out to use and then tucked back away in a corner.
Before the room makeover I had a retro buffet in the room that fit some of our craft items and was an alright spot to display my vintage camera collection. Although I do love this buffet, it wasn’t the most functional piece of furniture for the office. I moved it into the laundry room/entry way for now, that will be the next room to organize.
In place of the buffet, I put a storage bench and a chair that I already had. My plan is to eventually replace it with a small mid century sofa bed so the room can also be a guest bedroom; or a place to take afternoon power naps while working:)
The three colourful vintage metal trays on the wall made quick and easy art and since they’re magnetic, they double as a place to hang notes and photos. I made some button magnets with some co-ordinating colour vintage buttons to add a little charm.
Other vintage art in the room includes framed vintage Butterick sewing pattern booklets.
A canvas print of a photo of a vintage paint set I took a few years ago.
And I have a painting my dad did when he was just sixteen. He instilled a love of art in my siblings and I which I am very thankful for.
Another spot in the room that was in desperate need of help was book storage. I managed to stuff most of my books and binders on a small borrowed shelf. It was bursting at the seams and was really quite an embarrassment, especially for someone who likes to be organized.
I gave the tiny book shelf back and purchased an inexpensive two-tone grey tall book shelf from Wayfair. (I actually purchased two of them and although both arrived damaged during shipping, I managed to make one shelf between the two of them.)
I filled the shelf with books, magazines, binders and picture frames. And I thought it was a much more visible spot to display my vintage cameras in various spots on the shelves. I purchased a few decorative boxes to hold some of our craft supplies and I decided to put a vintage breadbox on the bottom shelf to hide some booklets and extra paper.
The shelf is close to my desk area so I can easily access my books when needed.
A few other small additions to the room that I love are the metal wall organizer for mail purchased from Winners.
I also discovered a use for my lovely vintage typewriter that is no longer functioning. It can be on display but is also a desk accessory holding pens, notes, envelopes, cards and a ruler.
An over the door hook was the perfect spot to hang our art smocks so they will not have to be shoved in a drawer any longer.
The colourful rug purchased from Wayfair was previously in our living room but was really too small for that room, not to mention the colours in it were perfect for this room. The vintage 1960s pendant light was purchased on ebay and definitely adds a fun vintage touch.
So all in all I was able to redesign the space with minimal cost because I was able to use a lot of pieces we already had. I did purchase the three Alex drawer units (while on sale), the book shelf, the wall organizer and some decorative boxes. The total budget came in around $350 so not too bad at all. The room still needs a few tweaks but it is now a space we love to be in. It is functional, fun and cozy – a great space to be creative!