I’m so excited to share this space with you guys today. I’ve been wanting to redecorate our office since the end of last year, and was finally able to make some changes this past weekend. I’m not exactly sure why I put it off for so long, but I was prompted to finally dive in after receiving an amazing print of the city of Grand Rapids from an artist.
I wanted to use the print for our office, but I also wanted to have a nice backdrop for photos, and the old space just wasn’t cutting it.
When we first bought our home we had friends and family come over and help us paint. For the two spare bedrooms we used $5 “oops” paint from Home Depot. It was perfect for what we needed at the time.
In our office we have a huge l-shaped desk, a big dark brown office chair, and a dark computer screen. The walls were also dark. The space felt heavy and dark. Here’s an idea of what the space looked like before my redecorating (excuse the iPhone quality):
Don’t mind the clutter, but that’s what I was dealing with. Not the worst space ever, but it was dark and tired, and the energy was off. I would love to get a different desk and new chair, but that’s definitely not in the budget right now.
I’ve been really into choosing light paint colors lately, and new I wanted to choose a much lighter color for the walls. I was going to go with a more neutral color, but Mathew really prefers color and he felt like we went neutral in the majority of our home, so requested to see something other than off white in this space. I’m glad I kept looking for the perfect color.
I had two BEHR paint catalogs in the house from other recent projects, and I opened the neutrals booklet and spotted this light purple color. I originally hemmed and hawed over a light mint color, but put off buying the paint because it just didn’t feel quite right. When I saw ‘Chicago Fog‘ I knew it would be the right color and I absolutely love it on the walls.
I’ve been loving BEHR paint in other rooms of the house, and purchased the BEHR Marquee paint from Home Depot. The claim to fame with this high-end paint is that it covers in one coat. It does a pretty good job of covering in one coat, but sometimes needs a second coat of cutting in with the brush, and I’ve got to roll a thick coat to get it covered in one. Overall, I really loved the paint.
We’re having a baby and we have some other house projects going, so we’re on kind of a budget. I wanted to freshen the entire space with a little more than just paint, so I set myself a small budget and went to Target. I was able to revamp the feel of this space for under $200 (including paint), so it felt like a huge win.
I’ve linked some pieces below and also wanted to share my tips for breathing new life into a tired room. I’m learning a lot after redecorating almost every room in the house since we first moved in 5 years ago.
How to Redecorate on a Budget
Fresh Paint. Transitioning from my painting comments above, choosing a fresh paint color is the easiest way to change the look and feel of a room while getting the most bang for your buck. Any quality paint that is a paint/primer should do the trick, and I recommend either a Satin or Eggshell finish for rooms in the house (never choose flat paint, even though the price tag can be enticing, you cannot clean the walls).
I recommend Behr Marquee paint, just because I’ve been using it a lot inside, and being pregnant means I don’t want to spend my entire weekend painting a room so I love more coverage in less time. We did recently use their lower quality paint/primer (Behr Premium Plus) for the garage, and while we obviously needed two coats, I’m pleased with how that turned out as well.
I’ve painted almost our entire first floor since December of last year, and these have been some of my favorite colors: neutrals: Swiss Coffee, Spun Wool, Silver Bullet | colors: Chicago Fog, Zero Gravity
Add a Mirror. If you have a small, dark space, other than choosing a lighter color on the walls, you can also add a mirror to reflect light. I had been looking for a large mirror, and happened to find this one for a steal on my Target run. It’s a decent quality for a wall mirror that can be leaned or hung. My best tip for using a mirror is to reflect something you want to see more of in the room. I ended up changing the configuration of our closet because I didn’t want the mirror to reflect our huge printer or the computer screen, so I placed it across the room from some art and an extra chair.
Add Texture. Do you remember the show What Not to Wear on TLC? The TV hosts offered makeovers and they lived by the elements, “color, pattern, texture, shine” for building the perfect outfit. The same goes for a room in your home. Using color and pattern, then layering in different textures is a great way to add interest.
For this space I incorporated a few different textures. My budget didn’t allow for a rug, which is another great way to add texture, but I did find this hand woven wall textile, added a pillow to one of my chairs and a sheepskin throw to the other. I also had these wood chevrons in the basement that I purchased over a year ago and had never used (oops, better late than never I guess).
Add Plants. It’s been my goal to add more green in our home this year, and so far I’ve only added one succulent. I found this small tropical plant at Home Depot (while I was waiting for the paint pros to mix my paint) and found this ceramic pot too. I paid less than $15 for both the pot and the plant. So much cheaper than buying a vase, sculpture or other art piece to fill space, and plants help bring life in and purify the air. Hopefully I can be a good plant mom to this little guy and keep him alive.
Add Artwork. Art can be pricey, but you can also find great pieces of art when you’re on a budget. My biggest recommendation is to tap into local artists. I’ve purchased photos for our hallway from a Michigan photographer at a local art show, and I’ve also purchased art from Minted, which can be purchased framed (though I feel like the prices have increased since I purchased art for my gallery wall). Any time you can work with a local artist I think both the purchaser and the artist get the best deal.
I love this black and white print of Grand Rapids I received from Jennifer Beck. I have an 18×24, but the prints can be ordered in different sizes, and start at just $29.99 for an 8×10. Mathew loves maps, and we love living in West Michigan, so this is a fun piece to have in our home. I love the crisp, modern look of the black and white print, and it’s the first thing that catches my eye when I walk into the room. The size is great for that shelf.
Other artwork for this room include the hanging woven textile and the wood chevron wall art. Mathew’s diploma is proudly hanging on the wall (mine are tucked in a drawer someplace-ha!), and I decided to print some of my own photography for the wall above the computer.
I choose three prints from our trip to New York City to print in some 8×10 frames that previously had graphic tissue paper in them (hey, it was inexpensive and the colors coordinated with the wall color). If you have a decent camera and can get out and take a few artsy shots, I highly recommend hanging your own prints at home. I had these printed at Costco for less than $6 and I love how they turned out.
Being able to see the modern map of GR and my favorite shots from NYC from my office chair while I work has been pretty great. Inspiring artwork makes the energy so much more creative in this space. I love it!
Borrow From Yourself. My last tip for redecorating on a budget is to borrow from yourself. Visit other rooms of your house and see if you can swap out any accessories. I had a yoga candle holder that has moved around my house a few times, and I decided to pull it onto our cube shelf. I think it’s the best place I’ve put it so far. The wood chevrons were just sitting in the basement, collecting dust in a closet, waiting to be hung up. The Eames-style chairs are extra dining chairs that I thought looked nice in the office (plus we don’t have to walk to the basement to collect chairs from storage when we have extra guests).
Look around your house and see what old pieces you can make new again by layering them into your space.
Okay, that was an awful lot of text! If you made it this far, good job. 😉 I love making my house a home, and I’m always operating on a budget. Hopefully these tips help give you a little inspiration if you’ve been stuck looking at a tired space.
I like how clean and simple this room turned out (perfect for getting work done in my office), and I also left a lot of floor space so our little guy can play on the floor or bounce happily in a bouncy seat nearby while I get a little work done.
Sources: Behr Marquee Paint in Chicago Fog (Eggshell finish) | l-shaped desk (also here with matching bookshelf) | office chair | white molded chairs | cube storage | wicker crates ceramic planter | lamp base | lamp shade | leaning mirror | brass clock | woven wall hanging | Grand Rapids map art | poster frame | lumbar pillow | faux sheepskin rug | wood chevrons | white photo frames| letterboard | letter tray
How often do you redecorate? What helpful tips have you come across? Where are the best places to find what you need within your budget?
A huge thanks to Jennifer Beck for sending me one of her Modern Map Art prints for this space! You can check out more of her artwork and find your own city here. Plus, get 10% off your purchase when you sign up for the Modern Map Art email list.
PS – Don’t forget to declutter and organize when you redecorate – see my secret to keeping an organized house.