Thursday, May 21, 2015

A New Office with a Small Budget, Part 1

I recently decided that I needed an office.  You see the thing was, we already had an office... but I had to share it.  We had jammed our very nice, but over-sized furniture into an under-sized bedroom and tried to pretend that it worked.  But it was cramped, cluttered, and became a dumping ground for stuff that didn't have another home.  So, when my hubby started talking about some projects that he had of his own and the equipment he would need to do it, I convinced him that his "studio" needed a large set of office furniture to work on, which left the old office empty and up for grabs.  Sounds devious I know, but if you could see the size difference between the "studio" and the teeny closet of a room the office was in, you wouldn't feel so bad for him.  Really.

The thing is though, even though I can claim this room for now, it technically is a bedroom, and may have to turn back into one down the road.  So, my main goal for my new office was to not spend tons of money on it.

I'm going to stretch my new office out into a couple posts.  This is mainly so that I can show you the little projects without having a gigantic post... and so that I can stall and finish the last couple things before I "reveal" the whole office. :)

So, today I'll show you my new bookshelves, some magazine holders, and my new chair.

The bookshelves
After much debating with myself (happens a lot), I decided to purchase, rather than build, my new bookshelves.  This was totally a time decision- I knew I had a lot on my plate, and convinced myself I wasn't going to be able to save that much money by building them.  So, I bought some bookshelves on sale from Target (you can find them here and here).  Rather than just leave them as-is, I decided to spruce them up a little by adding a pop of texture and color to the back.

So do this, I pulled the shelf backs out of the box:

Glued on some textured wallpaper I had laying around:


And then painted the back in Passion Fruit by Benjamin Moore (the official "this room belongs to the girl of the house" color):


So, now the shelves look like this:

Which might look like a lot of pink at first, but once there is actually stuff on them, it becomes much more subtle:


Sorry, I know the tightly cropped photos look a little weird, but I'm trying not to reveal too much!

The Magazine Holders
Like I said, this project needed to be completed on a relatively small budget, and for as little effort as possible.  I looked for magazine holders, but the nice ones were so expensive!  So, when I came across these in the Target dollar section (as in $1 a piece vs $10), I knew I needed to make them work:

Ok, so not really very nice looking, huh?  But, what do you think about them after a coat of gold spray paint??

Bam.  Much better! They went from some sort of odd-shaped Easter basket to something that actually belongs in a twenty-something's home office.  If you want to see them in action, scroll up to the photo of the tall bookshelf.

Side note:  I may have had a King Midas type moment with the spray paint... 

I swear, the nozzle was broken!  I ended up painting in gloves for the second coat!  

The Chair
We had purchased a chair a few years back from a Mud Sale (if you aren't living in Amish Country, think auction with everything an Amish person needs or builds, except barns) for something like $10.  We didn't really have a use for it, but no one else wanted it, and it was our first Mud Sale experience, meaning we were a little happy with our auction number.  Anyway, here she is:

After a few coats of spray paint and a new cover for the seat, here she is now, placed outside to avoid showing the office:

I used a paint + primer spray paint in an antique white.  I used Valspar, but I'm not sure that I would recommend it... it took 3 cans of paint for one chair... not including a separate primer coat.  Anyway, I used the same gold paint from the magazine holders on the bottoms of the chair legs for a dipped paint look.  The fabric was a remnant that I had bought a while ago.  I like picking up those little bundles of remnants from the fabric store.  They can really come in handy!

So, so far I'm to about $200 spent on the office, the vast majority of which is because of the bookshelves.  

It's so nice to find a home for some of my stuff, and to have it all in one place!  Tune in over the next couple days, as I will be revealing the rest of the office soon!

Have a great (long) weekend, and happy Memorial Day!