DIY Office Makeover

It’s time to talk about my home DIY Office Makeover. Let me back up a bit.

We’ve now been our new home for over eight months. Let me back up a bit more. We’ve now been in our new downsized home for over eight months. Deciding what to keep and what to toss made this process even more challenging. Especially in rooms like my Sewing Studio which stays in a state of organized chaos. The living room and bedrooms got spruced up with simple changes like painting a lamp, or making pillows, more pillows, and a faux antique mirror. There was even an icy trip to pick up a glass cabinet. When you add it up, all of these changes factor into making downsizing manageable.

With one exception: The Home Office. This room did not get the downsizing memo. And to make things even worse, it is the first room you see when you enter our home.

Sometimes this is what you see. So far, not too bad.

Home OfficesI kept this bookcase tidy so it would draw your eye when you stepped in ~ hoping no one would notice the rest of the room. So far, not too bad. You might even question my DIY Office Makeover.

Home Office RenovationCue the scary Alfred Hitchcock music.

If you peek in a little further, this unsightly mess is what you see. Nothing on the walls, no style, and barely functional. Worst of all, there was no helping it. From the day we moved in this office was put to work. So, it stayed like this for months.

Office RenovationI did, however, make good use of every drop of space with this piece from Target. It had previously been hidden away in a closet at our last home. And this isn’t all of my office junk. I kept the unsightly junk in the hall closet across from the office. Disfunctional doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Organized chaos at the front of my home. Oh.the.shame. I usually save this sort of disaster for my sewing room which is hidden away upstairs.

DIY Office MakeoverWhen you look at this next photo you will see that the room is pretty small. It is 10′ x 10′ with a large window that faces the front yard. I began my search by looking at furniture from Pottery Barn and Ballard’s catalogs. There were so many bea-u-ti-ful choices. Perfect until I did the math. When I added it all up, the cost would’ve been over $3000. Uh, that’s not happening.

So it was (once again) off to Ikea {I swear, I should change my name to Leslie Ikea} to find some office furniture that would work in this room. We needed desk space for two, a filing cabinet, and storage cabinet(s). The entry hall closest was not going to be a part of my office. I was going to find a way to make this room work. Period.

DIY HOME OFFICENow, when you enter my home you see a filing cabinet.  When we were shopping for furniture we originally planned to purchase two 2-drawer file cabinets and use them to hold up the desk tops.  I had hoped to keep the bookcase, but after seeing this filing cabinet at Ikea, we felt it was sturdy enough and would hold all of our paperwork (once we had a bonfire to get rid of old paperwork) while not looking too file cabinet-y.

DIY Office MakeoverThe corner desktop and then the extension are the perfect size. We plan to purchase my husband a new computer later this year, but for now he has one that is all cords, cables, and (don’t laugh) Windows Vista. That alone will make a difference because there won’t be a cpu sitting on the floor or a ton of cables hanging down.

I’m showing this photo so you can see the overall width of the room and how all of these pieces fit together. It’s pretty shoe-horned in there but doesn’t feel crowded.

DIY Office MakeoverWe debated about adding these overhead cabinets. They’re from the Ikea’s Besta line of cabinets. You choose which cabinet works best and then select doors. I debated about getting white doors or these with the pine finish. I have so much white in the house that I felt like I needed a little interest. Unfortunately, the grain doesn’t line up, but I’m learning to live with it.

DIY Office MakeoverWe were able to squeeze in the Alex drawer cabinet where the printer sits. These drawers are perfect for holding all of those small things that can clutter a desk in no time flat. It’s one of my favorite pieces because it keeps the work surface tidy.

For the life of me, I don’t know why I purchased this ginormous all-in-one printer. As soon as it runs out of ink, I getting a small, cheap printer. Preferably in white.

Notice the two chairs. This was one of those decorating dilemmas. I wanted two matching chairs that were smallish and possibly in a really cute color. Mr. Seasoned Homemaker wanted his chair to have a high back and be extremely comfortable (I was looking more for cute). So, we came up with this solution. We got him the large chair (which he really likes) and purchased a second occasional chair from World Market. It’s really a dining room chair but it’s very light (think cheap) and when we are both in the office at the same time one of us scoots it up and uses it.

I really like having this non-rolly chair because it is soft and comfy. If we had purchased two of the black leather office chairs with arms, a high back, and lots of chrome I think the office would feel differently.

Compromise ~ the hallmark of a successful marriage.

DIY Office MakeoverThere was still the problem with that wretched Target cabinet that had stuff pouring out of it. We started with a Besta Shelf Unit from Ikea and added four drawer units and drawer fronts. Because Ikea’s Besta line has about a million options, I suggest getting their Besta catalog to configure options. I promise you, this wasn’t done while we wandered through the store. We poured over the catalog until we knew exactly which pieces we needed (and where to find them in the store).

DIY OFFICEWe’ve had the office together for about a month and I can honestly say that the clutter is tamed. There is so much storage and everything has a place and nothing is crowded. All of those things that take up office space like binders, cords, and computer software are now neatly tucked away in a drawer or cabinet. Best of all, it’s all within reach.

Who knew that a small room like this could manage all to hold all of the stuff that was pouring out of boxes, shelves, and closets.

DIY Office MakeoverI rarely do this because I’m just not that organized, but I’ve kept a pretty good record of what we spent on the whole project. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Ikea Cabinets and Desks – $968.29
  • Rolling Chair – $205.00
  • Occasional Chair – $82.00
  • Sold Old Desk and File – <$300.00>
  • Got a small tax refund – <$500.00>
  • Total Spent Out of Pocket – $455.29

Here’s a pinnable image.

Office MakeoverI still need to hang some curtains and I haven’t found a rug yet. I’m thinking something white and wispy for the curtains AND I have my heart set on getting a cowhide rug, but haven’t been able to find one that I can either afford ($300-$500) or that will fit the area (3′ x 5′ maximum).

If you’re interested, I pinned all of my ideas and searches onto my Home Office Pinterest board. It’s interesting to see how the ideas evolved.
Follow Leslie Rutland {}’s board Home Office Space on Pinterest.


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  1. Judi says

    Nice home office! I love the open feeling…uncluttered…not claustrophobic. White, wispy curtains would be perfect…or none at all.

  2. says

    This is a great and functional makeover! I actually just got back from a trip to Ikea, and seem to end up there when I can’t afford any other options. But somehow we make it work, right? I’m mostly impressed that you did this organizing a month ago and it still looks that way- congrats!

  3. says

    Your new and improved office is so beautiful! I really love how you added all that closed storage without making the room look too closed in with furniture! You did a great job! We would love it if you linked up with our party this week!

  4. says

    Looks great! I know what you mean about putting a space to work and not having a chance to make it actually function well. We are both self-employed and our office conditions at home are deplorable! I really need to use some of your ideas. Love the chair, too! :)

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