It's just one of those rooms in our house that never really got any attention after we moved in- the office. It has sat neglected for the past year, and I decided while the kids were visiting the grandparents for Spring Break last month it would be the perfect opportunity to get my own "to-do list completed- actually doing something with this space was #1 on my list!
I also decided something I wanted to try for this little project- actually completing it with a small budget. So here are some of the tricks I personally used on making this space not fun, functional, practical, but AFFORDABLE!
For starters, the furniture I added:
Yellow Chairs- Amazon
Round Table- Amazon
Modern Sofa (scale to the space, not bulky)- purchased on Amazon
Black Chairs- local antique store
Yellow Rug- Amazon
Total Spent on just new furniture, $400
Not too shabby!
The big mistake people make when redesigning a room or even starting from scratch, they think everything needs to match. You don't need to make a space look put together my matching everything, that is unless your design style calls for it. As in your style is monochromatic. In most cases that is not the style most of my clients are trying to achieve and definitely not the case for this area. I wanted something fun, someplace my kids would feel motivated and comfortable to do their homework, be creative- so that means color! I also wanted to make sure this room was consistent with the rest f the house- so I incorporated the colors I have throughout the house (green, blue, black, yellow), but yellow was really my primary anchor color for the vision of this room.
With the already dark cherry custom built cabinetry in this space, painting over it wasn't something I wanted to do for re-sale value purposes. So with a little extra labor, I added contact paper to the back of the bookshelves. Guess from where? The local $1 Tree! Yes! It sticks perfectly, and with a straight edge razor I cleaned up the edges, and it really helped brighten up those dark bookshelves. When I decide to redesign the space or sell the house, I can just peel it off. So easy!
Next, we needed some serious organization in this area. With 4 kids who love arts and crafts (I wonder where they get from!) you can imagine the over excessive amounts of markers, crayons, paint, coloring books, clay, beads...I can go on and on. Again, I took bright colored bins from the $1 Tree and added some fun labels I made especially for their art supplies with the help of Publisher and blank sticker paper (I will add the template later for those of you who want to use in in your own home office/homework area). I also took those fun little jars you see, yes, from the $1 Tree, spray painted the lids with a yellow spray paint meant for metal, added a chalk label, and Voila! Those little jars were perfect for small things like erasers, paperclips, and staples.
Again, keeping the fun and bright theme going, how about we talk about the cute way I displayed their artwork! Those cute little clipboards, yes...another $1 Tree find! Again, I spray painted them with the same yellow I used for the lids, and added some green ones too. These make for great picture hangers! You can customize these with just a little paint that matches whatever room you are decorating,
Probably my favorite creation for this room was the little modern table you see next to the sofa. Friends, this table was made for $3! Seriously. I took two wire mesh waste baskets and a pizza tray...yes, spray painted with the same yellow as the jar lids and clipboards- then used E6000 to glue to the tops of one of baskets, after I flipped one of the waste baskets around and glued the bottoms together. It is sturdy if you are wondering, and adds that modern feel to the room. The lamp you see was also spray painted the same green as the clipboards. It matched the lamp on the desk I had previously found at a barn sale, but was a brown color. I thought making it a happy green, contrasted well with the yellow table top.
The other little accessories you see throughout the room like:
Those are all courtesy of Target's $1 Bargain Area
The vintage map was one of two I bought at that same barn sale a year ago. I bought one with the intent of using it as a window shade for my oldest son's bedroom, which I did. I wasn't sure what to do with the second one, so it sat in my garage until I decided to do this little project, and now it looks like I intended on using it for this room all along.
My old typewriter was a gift given to me by my late Great-Uncle Dan, and I added some flashcards to it, sometimes I put photos in between the keys. Just a cute way to display things.
Of course this is our home, it's lived in. It needs to represent the people inside, just as your home should, everyone's homes should. Our bookshelves are adorned with the kids arts and science projects from years past, photos of old family pets that have since passed away but bring smiles to our faces when we look at them, our favorite story books, pretty rocks my 5-year old daughter has to keep,
Your home should make you happy, these things make us happy. I've always found that creating a conscious relationship with the space arounds us opens a whole new world of nurturing support in our lives. A beautiful, well-intentioned home reflects your true self back to you. It holds you through life’s lows and celebrates you through life’s highs. I think this space truly reflects that and my children are so happy each time they step inside this room now, and I am happy it is finally finished and I didn't break the bank doing it!
Author, Candance Toscano
"You can design the life of your dreams and acquire that luxurious, fulfilled and empowered lifestyle you know you have always wanted."