Little Budget, Big Plans: How to Create a Home Office Without Spending a Fortune

Don’t get discouraged. 

With a little planning and preparation, it is possible to create the perfect home office for you without going deep into debt to do it.

Here’s how:

Think about what you need…and don’t need before setting up your home office

What motivates you? What do you need to get your work done? If you already work outside of your home think about the tools you use to get your job done.

Do you need big, bold calendars on the wall? A whiteboard with lots of beautiful markers? Fancy artwork? What do you need to keep organized? 

Do you need lots of natural light, or will a window just distract you from getting your work done?

If you’re already working from home what can you do or change to feel – and be – more productive?

Use what you already have and buy ONLY what you need

You’ve given some thought to what you need to feel productive. Now make a list of the specific items you’ll need. Look around the house for something that will work before making a list of things to buy.

While it may be tempting to drop a few thousand on a Herman Miller Airia, look around your house first for something you can use.

You can build your own desk fairly cheaply.

Use a board spread across a couple of small filing cabinets and there you have it – a desk!

A stain and/or polyurethane will polish it off. Or, you can leave the wood bare for a natural look. To really spice it up, add moulding to the edge and/or paint the filing cabinets. This will really set off the beauty of your new wood desk.

Other items you can make

Using decorative stencils, contact paper and even craft paint to design your own desktop accessories such as a matching filing system, “in” and “out” boxes, pencil cup, paper clip holder, etc.

Repurpose glass jars, coffee cans, and other household items to save on your office decor.

After spending an hour – or more, who am I kidding here – on Pinterest and you’ll come away with more ideas for decorating your home office than you can use!

Bottom line, the key to a home office that works – and that doesn’t break the bank – is to use whatever space and items you have that will help you do your work.

Freshen up the space

If you’re painting, consider doing it yourself. Remember that even if you’re not so hot at painting most of the walls will be covered by your furniture anyway. 

Don’t let fear hold you back from creating a space that you love.

Think about the colors you want to use. Either match them to your existing pieces or paint the walls in a complementary color. 

Bright, lively colors or a cool, calming color…only you know what color scheme will impact your productivity, so go with what works for you, not what you think a home office should look like.

Save money by making your own artwork

Print out inspirational sayings or artwork and place them in cheap dollar store frames. Or, use your printer to printout sayings on contact paper that you can stick to your walls.

Stencil borders where they’ll catch the eye such as around your desk. Or, wallpaper a feature wall to help set apart space if your office is within a larger room (e.g. a corner of your living room).

Measure before moving

Whether you’re creating a new home office or revamping the one you’ve already got, measure the available space first.

Then, measure the pieces you want to put in the room.

Next, on paper, draw a rough sketch of where you want the pieces to go before moving them. You don’t want to have the hassle of moving something into your new home office only to find out that it doesn’t suit your needs.

Look for bargains

Garage sales, thrift stores, consignment shops, and even antique stores are all great places to find good used furniture and accessories for your home office…at very affordable prices.

Recover or paint them to match or for an eclectic look use them as they are to design a one of a kind home office for very little money.

Remember…the perfect home office will depend on your personal needs, tastes and of course budget. Always keep in mind that you can make changes as you use your office so don’t feel as if you’re stuck with your choice. If something isn’t working for you – even though it seems to work for someone else, then ditch it.

Keep in mind the overall goal of having a workspace that suits your needs and your personality. You want it to inspire you and to be a place you look forward to visiting every day.