It’s week three of ORC and we’re well on our way to getting our small condo den home office completed. This is pretty much the last space in our home that isn’t completed yet, which makes me even more excited to get the project done soon. As a quick recap the design concept for this space includes black, white & brass details with a touch of brown leather combined with warm oak accents. You can read more about the plans (& see the before photos) here.
At this point our old desk has moved into a new home and we’ve put together the new one. We’ve also updated the desk chairs to sturdier and better looking ones. So far this new set up has worked amazingly well for us. I actually love it so much it makes me wonder why we even waited this long to change it up.
The biggest change for this home office is going from a small desk to a full-wall-length one that can accommodate both of us working on our computers simultaneously side by side. I often see advice on how you should use smaller scale furniture for small spaces but I have to say in most cases I disagree with that. Using small furniture in a small space often only makes the space feel even smaller.
It really comes down to proper space planning and knowing where to place the furniture that’s appropriately sized. And by appropriately sized I mean as big as possible for the space. Nothing looks worse than clusters of small furniture to fill a small space let alone tiny furniture in a larger space. In this case we switched a small apartment sized desk to a large double desk and now the room looks much more spacious. Every inch of space is properly utilized and it looks and feels not only bigger but also much more functional than before.
I set a maximum budget of $500 for this project but my goal is to actually stay under that as much as possible. Office furniture can be pricey so the only way to not go over budget is to shop consciously and swap some new products to cheaper DIY versions. DIY is definitely my go-to way of saving a bunch of $$$ in every project I do and this makeover project is no exception.
My goal is to always share openly about how much home decor projects cost. It’s important to understand how much things cost in total to be able to find better ways to cut cost without compromising on the design concept. It’s definitely possible to create beautiful spaces with small budgets but only with careful planning and budgeting from the start.
Breakdown of costs:
- Furniture (desk, chairs, bookcase) $350
- Accent wall $100
- Accessories $50
Unsurprisingly I sourced most of the products for this challenge from the good old Swedish furniture giant Ikea. What I love about Ikea furniture is not only the low pricing but also the Scandinavian simplicity. Simple white furniture is always easy to dress up with more interesting accessories. Ikea hacks are also a great way to turn affordable furniture into beautiful statement pieces on budget.
Our old desk had a great amount of drawers for storage. In order to not lose any of that precious storage we decided to add the Alex drawer unit from Ikea underneath the desk. We chose the one that has a hanging file folder drawer at the bottom because it can store a large amount of documents safely. It also helps keep them easily accessible which is definitely important.
We already had the Billy bookcase from Ikea in our den and I decided we keep it. It’s the perfect size and there’s really no reason to replace it. However, my plan is to add doors to the bottom half of the bookcase for some closed storage. I’m attempting DIY doors using rattan.
List of products:
- Billy bookcase & height extension
- Svensås memo board
- Tjog magazine file
- Alex drawer unit
- Lagkapten desk top
- Adils legs
- Hayden chairs
- Hovet mirror
Next week I will be sharing all the details about how I’m planning to do the accent wall for our entryway (which is part of the den). That includes wallpaper/decals and converting a bench into a console table. Week 4 will also mark the halfway of this round of ORC so we’re getting closer and closer to the end – how exciting!
To do list:
Get rid of storage unit & old desk Move bookcase to the place of the old desk Add new double desk to the place of the old storage unit in the corner Get new chairs for the desk
- Add a full length mirror to the back wall to create a more spacious feel
- Build entryway console from old bench
- Create a feature wall behind entryway console using removable wallpaper
Are you new to The One Room Challenge?
The One Room Challenge is a design challenge sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens. Twice a year 20 featured designers are selected to transform a space. During the eight weeks of the challenge they share their progress with weekly updates.
For more information about The One Room Challenge you can visit the official website here.
One Room Challenge Spring 2021 Schedule
Week 4 – Inspiration & DIY projects (May 27)
Week 5 – Entryway feature wall (June 3)
Week 6 – Small home office storage solutions (June 10)
Week 7 – (June 17)
Week 8 – Final reveal (June 24)