Throughout the years, I’ve added a sprinkle of decorative accents around our home, but I had come to a point where it wasn’t giving me all the feels I was looking for. Much of the spaces hadn’t been updated in such a long time and were well overdue for a makeover. 

The first on my hitlist is to transform a boring, cluttered mess into an awe-inspiring home office.

Revamp the Shelving

home office desk

To be honest, I wasn’t at all happy with how this custom shelving was built. It should have looked more like floating shelves, but the contractor didn’t quite grasp the concept of the picture as shown in my home decor magazine. I ended up spending more money than necessary on the oak plywood. yell

Anyhow, it was functional so I lived with it. It was actually my desk at first since the room also functioned as a guest room. Fast forward, the sleeper sofa, moved out and I purchased a desk with much more surface space.

As you can see, the converted closet with open shelving works perfectly for office supplies and equipment. Now that I have the home office on my makeover honey-do list, the dark-stained oak shelving and “walls” need to go.

Reduce Paper Storage

organized home office desk drawer

Oooh, this was an area in the office that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on! I’ve reached a time in my life where I’m craving more of a minimalist approach to things. I’m not a minimalist by any means, but having less stuff is just way easier to maintain. What’s not to love about gaining more time for the things I enjoy doing rather than losing time filing paper.  

My plan to reduce paper is by eliminating non-essential paper like instruction manuals. Important records like client files are on an external drive which is then backed up to the cloud. My efforts paid off since I was able to sell this file cabinet!

I also did well at purging many of the items on the metal bakers rack and also sold it too! Huge wins!


My Gallery Wall Isn’t Working

home office open shelving

Give me an expansive wall and I’m likely to start plotting the layout with frames of family pictures, artwork and wooden carvings. In fact, I have a gallery wall in my living room and basement that I still admire. This one in the home office is all wrong.

Here’s a few issues I have with this gallery wall eyesore:

  • I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the artwork and objects.
  • It could also be that this corner of the room was not the best placement for the gallery wall? 
  • I think I’m overstimulated by the junkiness in this corner: wheeled cart with random stuff.

Underutilized Office Accessories

Here’s another view of the gallery wall. You can see more of what isn’t working. The spacing between objects is so random. One of the reasons a gallery wall doesn’t work is unequal spacing. Truth is, I should have left the wall blank until I had all my curated pieces. While I work on “what not to do” in my home office, check out some really cool gallery wall inspo on The Spruce.

Want to know what else isn’t working for me? The wall clock is functional and decorative but I can use my android and laptop to view time. My cool animal print DIY corkboard isn’t getting used as I thought it would. You would think wall files are an office staple right? Not for me. Again, I’m on a mission to reduce my paper and its storage.


Dated Yet Multifunctional Hutch

I know the hutch is quite outdated with its orange-y wood BUT it has served me very well in my home office. It is my main storage for my craft, sewing supplies, office supplies and sewing machines. I plan to add some decorative items for visual interest as well.

There is a pint of white paint ready to modernize and brighten up the look of this hutch. I’m so excited to see this transformation most of all! It’s the largest item in my home office and will surely make a huge impact!

It’s also a cherished piece of furniture since it used to belong to my mom. Being able to utilize it has provided me with greater value than just being sentimental.


But First…

Everything must be removed from the office including the wood shelves.

Sorry, but I forgot to take before pics of the empty office including pics of me:

  • scraping and painting the undesirable popcorn ceiling
  • filling and sanding nail holes
  • sand and paint the desk
  • sand and paint the hutch

You can watch the recorded video footage in My Home Office Reveal on YouTube. You’ll also watch as me and the hubs declutter paper, scrape the popcorn ceiling and install the new shelves.

Wall Paint Colour Inspo

This mid-century modern drip glaze ceramic ginger jar table lamp is what inspired me to choose the wall paint colour. I saw this lamp at a thrift store about two years prior to this office makeover and saved it for the perfect opportunity. If only I had the same patience with the gallery wall. wink

I had chosen one of the darker shades of green in the lamp to give me the calming yet refined look that I was after. I selected Bombay Cat, Sico paint.

New Shelf Install

The design and installation of the shelves were super simple and inexpensive. We purchased one 4’x8′ board of 5/8″ MDF (medium density fiberboard) for the top and facing of the shelves. Rather than struggle with transporting such a large board, we asked the great folks at Lowes to make four, 18″ cuts for our desired depth of each shelf. Since the width of the closet is under 4 feet, we can measure and cut each shelf to fit.

The walls in the closet are not perfect! I measured each of the locations where I plan to place the shelves and all had slightly different measurements. If I took one measurement, a couple of the shelves would be too short and what a waste of materials.

For the supports, we used 1″x3″x8′ pine trim. We located the studs on each wall and used 2″ wood screws to fasten them in place. It’s important to use wall studs since it carries the weight load for the shelf including heavy items, like my printer. If I drilled only into the drywall, the weight would pull the nail out from the wall, crashing my printer and other items to the floor. That would be a disaster!

The Fresh Updates!

What a difference a fresh coat of white paint makes! Never underestimate the power of paint!

The only other minor update I made was removing the metal inlay from the hutch’s upper glass doors. I wanted the glass to look a little less formal plus it’s much easier to clean with the inlay removed. You’ll see the doors attached in upcoming pics. 

It’s Much More Inspiring Now

Look at how I condensed all my filing needs to one desktop file box!

The ceiling light was a recent update since the makeover. I had purchased it for $25 at an auction 2 years ago. I wasn’t sure if I wanted it and decided to place it for sale on Facebook Marketplace. I changed my mind and figured it was better than what was in the primary bedroom, so it was installed there. Eventually, I decided it would look better in my office after the primary bedroom makeover.laughing

A labour of love! It’s truly so rewarding to see all the work that we put into transforming this home office from meh to wow! This was such a low-budget makeover that made a huge impact.

I had initially set a budget of $500 for which I had blown, but was worth splurging for these new items:

  • ergonomic desk chair
  • bamboo roman shade
  • organizational products: acrylic file box, interior organizers to keep the office and craft supplies tidy
  • framed art (shown above file storage cart)

Here is where I saved money:

  • free hutch and wheeled cart inherited from my mom (cart diy’ed a few years prior)
  • desk from a hotel liquidation furniture store (also purchased years ago)
  • vintage mid century modern lamp from a thrift store

By the way, I was able to sell a few items which helped to cover some of the expenditures:

  • filing cabinet – $60
  • gold painted vintage wheeled cart (see before pic on right side of hutch) – $100
  • bakers rack (see before pic on the right side of the file cabinet) – $60

Truth be told, I’m playing a bit of a catch up with sharing my home update progress with you. It’s been more than a year (April 2021) since this home office makeover. But here I am now and I’m still in love!

Until next time.

Arlene xoxox

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