How we kept this home office on a tight budget

by / Sunday, 08 October 2017 / Published in INSPIRATION STATION, Sundays with Ydp

“How do you want your space to feel?” This is an important question I ask my clients. I  do this because it takes them away from the typical “box” relegated to design styles that most people think of like Traditional, Modern, Contemporary, Cottage, Shabby chic etc. and invites a different way to look at your space. Oftentimes when I ask clients what their typical design style is, what they say and what they show me don’t always align.  So using mood words to describe how my clients want their space to feel offers a better option and helps the space come together more authentically.

Remember the professor that I was working with from a few weeks ago who wanted an inspiring home office? Well here is how the project turned out.  While the initial budget seemed conservative for what we wanted, we made it happen with a few creative cost saving ideas and shopping at the right places.


The space already had a desk, office chair and bookshelf, but was in need of personal touches that felt welcoming.  We proposed an area rug to bring in some color, more storage, a chair,  side table, window treatments and art & accessories for the finishing touches.

Our chair, shelving, and rug consumed a good part of the budget, leaving less than $100 for the art and accessories, which as most of us know is how we achieve the identity or mood of the space.

Here is how the project came together

First of all, I knew that I had to work this lovely abstract art (etsy)into the design plan, because my client not only loved it but she”responded” to this image in a different way than any of the other options I presented. It was $70 plus shipping for a small 12 x 16.  It was both too small and cost prohibitive.

Wayfair was the first stop for 2 of the larger items

We fell in love with both the pattern and colors of the rug and chair

Ikea was next for our storage, side table and curtains

We went with the white Kallax because it was a good scale, lightened up the space and was a very good price.  I also liked that it could be styled vertically or horizontally.

The removable tray side table was a great choice and the draperies added a softness and warmth to the space.

When i saw these 15″ circular placemats, for 1.99 they became an option for adding interest to the walls and they harmonized with our rug perfectly. I attached them to the wall using command strips, for their easy application and for easy removal options, should my client decide to mount a TV to the wall down the road.

How did Etsy, Staples and Ikea played a role in keeping this home office on budget? You might consider the following things.

  • Shop Etsy for digital download options . The abstract art was available for download for $8.33. Woot Woot! Once downloaded, I took it to Costco’s print center to have the image enlarged onto a 24 x 32 canvas for $59 (a larger and much better option with no shipping)


  • Think of different ways to repurpose common things.  I decided to use circular placemats from Ikea as a way to add interest and whimsy to the space all while harmonizing with our area rug. Yep placements were a good art alternative. 



  • Have your images printed at staples or a local print shop You can choose various qualities of paper and they will trim your prints perfectly to fit your frames.  Printing was less than $3.00 this included black and white and colored images.


  • Once printed, Find affordable frames at Ikea to showcase your work.

Another way to save is to hire free labor!  In my case, it was my hubby, although I must say, he is wondering why he doesn’t get paid like other contractors. (oops)

We were pretty happy with the results for an inspiring home office that now functions as a Diva Den too.  

We were going for a space that felt inspirational and inviting with images that reflected strong women and empowerment. I think we achieved that.  Soon this professor, new wife and mom will be returning to work, but for now we hope she takes time to enjoy her space.  #goprojecttayo and thanks for the opportunity.

Thanks for stopping by friends.  We partner with busy homeowners to create spaces that feel authentic to their lifestyle and we blog about subjects that educate and inspire. 

Contact us to learn more about our products and services. You can email us at  or call 513-409-3759

Inspiring creativity,


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