A home office should be something you want to visit each workday. The atmosphere should be inviting. After all, if you feel at home in the place, you are more likely to want to spend more time there. On the other hand, if the space seems empty and cold, you may find yourself avoiding your home office. This is where decorating comes into play. Many people leave their home office a blank canvas because they feel the cost to decorate the space would be too extravagant. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many great ways to decorate a home office, even on a small budget.
Tip #1: Consider What You Want From the Space
Go into your home office, sit down, close your eyes and envision the perfect home office space. What does it contain? Are the walls painted an energizing color? Is there art hanging on the walls? Go a step further. Do you hear any noise in the background, such as a soothing fountain? It pays to think about what you want from a space before making plans or shopping. This will not only save you time, but money as well.
Tip #2: Make a Room Layout
Graph paper is extremely cheap and is the perfect way to get a feel for designing a room. Consider each block on the page as a specified measurement. For example, each block could be 1 foot. You then need to measure your room and draw out the room on the graph paper according to the measurements. It’s then easier to determine how big of furniture you can get. This will save you a ton of money. Once you determine how big the furniture can be, drawn the furniture out based on the measurements, on a separate sheet of graph paper. Cut the shapes out and place them in your room on the other graph paper. This allows you to easily move the furniture around to see how it fits in the space. This is also great if you already have furniture for the space because it allows you to look at new options without having to actually move the furniture.
Tip #3: Tackle the Wall Space
What do your walls need to make your home office functional and interesting? Most of the time, the answer is art and shelving. Almost ever home office needs additional storage. Shelves are a great way to take advantage of wall space. And, of course, art adds beauty to a room. Measure out the space you have available and determine which wall needs what. This will help when you hit the stores.
Tip #4: Start at the Paint Store
There are times that paint gets mixed up and it doesn’t come out quite right. That doesn’t mean the color is bad, it just didn’t match the paint chip. Choosing one of these colors is wonderful for a small budget. If for some reason there isn’t enough to cover the entire room, consider doing a two tone look in the room with the addition of a chair rail. One half could even be white, which could save you even more money.
Tip #5: Hit the Yard Sales, Thrift Stores and Flea Markets
Once you know what your room needs, and the paint color, you can then start shopping. The places listed above are the perfect places to shop on a small budget. Not only can you find furniture, but you can also find art and other accessories for your home office. Remember to not be picky. Many blemishes can be prepared and pieces can always be painted or reupholstered. Best of all, many flea markets have artists, which means you can often find beautiful pieces of art for unbelievable prices.
Tip #6: Save Discount Department Stores for Last
A lot can be found at discount department stores and the prices aren’t too bad. For example, you can often find prints of artwork, fountains, pottery and other accessories that will make your home office feel cozy and inviting. You’ll even be able to find furniture at good prices. Remember though, these prices are not as good as yard sales and thrift stores, it pays to shop around before shopping in department stores.