Setting up a beautiful WFH space should not cost the earth. Luckily, right now there are some seriously stylish yet inexpensive home office ideas to inspire your own setup.
Sure, office days were fun, but were they also the most stylish of places? Not always. So it’s time to find a place in the house where you can WFH a little more sustainably and that you can decorate to your heart’s content.
Whether you want your space to blend seamlessly with the rest of your home’s decor or you want it to pop out and become more of a work of art, you can bring the most brilliant home office ideas to life with even a little bit of money. It’s all about nodding to DIY and getting out of your pjs…
Budget ideas for home offices
It’s time to get creative, and anything is possible with a little inspiration. In addition, you do not need a professional to create a space that meets all requirements…
1. Make room in your attic
Converted attic spaces make ideal offices, they are tucked away so you can get some much needed peace and quiet for your zoom meetings. You don’t need a lot of space, a simple desk, chair and lamp are enough – check out Ikea’s TEAM CAPTAIN/CENTRAL BACK (opens in new tab) desk.
To give it a pop of color, paint a wall – Crown’s peek a boo can be seen here, and keep the rest white, lofts can be a bit dark so get the light where you can.
2. Paint a mini mural
The best wall mural ideas include some of the most creative and budget-friendly ways to quickly upgrade a dull space.
‘No clear place for a desk? All you need to create your personal workspace is a piece of wall, your two favorite Farrow & Ball colors in Modern Emulsion and a steady hand,” said Charlotte Cosby, Head of Creative at Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab).
‘This trendy arch marks the boundary between work and play in the most attractive way and creates a place where you like to sit, we have used Light gray (opens in new tab) and Sulking Cream Pink (opens in new tab).
If you’re feeling daring, you can even continue the form on the floor in Modern Eggshell.”
3. Create your own gallery wall
Sitting in front of a screen all day can be made a lot more fun when you create something fantastic for your desk. One of our top tips for furnishing a home office is to create a gallery wall – it’s a favorite of ours and a bare office wall lends itself to these kinds of design features.
Choose different frame sizes and fill them with photos of days out and family – when that deadline approaches, check them out to give you that extra bit of energy and inspiration.
4. Don’t panic if space is tight
There are always options – even if they are super slim. It’s about falling back and using only what you really need, which is essentially room for a laptop, notebook and some pen.
This neat storage system is really smart and you can adapt it to what you need. Beware of modular systems, they really are your friend when space is tight and you can spice them up with plants to make them look extra stylish.
5. Niches and ‘odd’ spaces are your friend
It can be difficult to come up with cheap home office ideas, but look around your home at existing spaces to see what might work. That awkward corner that’s essentially dead space? It will be perfect for a desk and if it is by a window so much the better.
Niches on each side of a fireplace are also a good option and most have shelves anyway, so all you need to do is add a desk and stool and off you go!
6. Go vintage hunting for a desk
A great DIY idea for decorating a home office if you’re on a budget is to scour flea markets and car boots for vintage furniture. Give them a clean up and then try painting furniture yourself. Go for the same color or opt for a new, different look such as multicolored drawers. You can do the same with a stool or buy a cute swivel chair for next to nothing and reupholster the seat.
7. Zone out an area for your home office
Another great idea for decorating a home office is to delineate your space. Often we have to share our home office spaces with the rest of the family – in the living room or bedroom, for example, if there is no guest bedroom, so it’s essential to come up with an idea to close off the space so you can get some peace of mind.
A screen is a great option for this, it doesn’t have to be sturdy, it’s just to create a soft barrier that gives you a corner to yourself.
8. Choose an easy-care floor that is super stylish
“With so many of us working permanently from home, it is inevitable that our floors will be subject to more wear and tear than before,” explains Inga Morris-Blincoe, General Manager Lifestyle floors (opens in new tab).
“So whether you want to create a home office in a dedicated space or integrate one into an existing space such as a living room or bedroom, it’s a good idea to consider which flooring is an affordable, hard-wearing choice. One suggestion would be vinyl, this versatile floor is available in a variety of thicknesses and comes in a wide variety of patterns and finishes, including those that mimic real wood. It is particularly budget-friendly, easy and quick to install on a clean, smooth and dry subfloor.’
9. Be resourceful with bits of wallpaper
So you have a space for your DIY home office, now you want to make it your own by coming up with a cool wall design, right? We all have scraps of wallpaper and paint samples lying around, so now it’s time to dig them out and make something beautiful with them.
Put them on the floor in a patchwork-style design, stick them on the wall and you have your own beautiful wallpaper that is unique to your home.
10. Open when space is tight
If you have no choice but to occupy a wall in your living room, opt for a versatile desk system that will meet your needs. Habitats gymnast (opens in new tab) desk will tick all your boxes.
The more planks you can choose, the better and the higher you go, because it takes up less space if you choose height over width. Sleek and stylish, this design is visually pleasing and not ‘heavy’ on the eye, accessorize with clear stationery and a chair to suit your schedule.
11. Make your home office space as personal as possible
‘Now that more and more people are opting for flexible working, it is important to not only have a functional office, but also a stylish office that inspires you to do the best work. Working from home gives you the opportunity to give a personal touch to your workspace,” explains Marketa Rypacek, Managing Director Industville.
‘Use art that inspires you, wallpaper that fits your schedule, or add plants to create a greener environment. Light plays a vital role in home offices; a well lit, nicely decorated office is necessary to stimulate creativity and motivation! There are some great lighting options available, so you don’t have to break the bank to create a professional home workspace.”
12. Use what you have at home
An unused roll of wallpaper and half a jar of paint is enough to give your desk a stylish accent wall, and it’s an innovative way to save money too. Paint the bottom half of the dado rail and the wallpaper above it.
this beautiful Wrest Trail wallpaper in pink plaster is perfectly matched to the Residual Gray paint, whatever you have left, choose a paint color that matches your wallpaper for a cohesive look.
13. Can’t choose a color scheme? Go for black and white
Simple is often best, and when you’re looking for inexpensive home office ideas, it can cost more to use multiple colors. Classic black and white is easy to put together – white paint is a budget buy and will give you a minimalist look that is light and airy to boot.
You can even paint accessories in black and white – cheap frames are easy to renew and you could also make a chalkboard to write on.
14. Desk organization is key
You’ve found your corner and set up your desk space, the next thing is to get super organized. Clutter is not your friend when space is tight and organization is your friend. We love Ikea’s tidy desk organizers – essential home office storage purchases for those on a budget.
Shown here is their THE ELECTRICITY ACT (opens in new tab) monitor stand with a drawer that perfectly stores and raises your computer to the right height, making it a great ergonomic choice.
15. It’s all in the details
Make the most of your wall space by hanging some oh-so-handy bulletin boards and small shelves. They are ideal for postcards, invitations and inspirational photos and you can also hang your favorite keepsake on them.
Shelves are great for small vases, pen and pencil jars, and small notebooks. In principle, you can never have too much storage space, but if space and budget are tight, you should keep it in more.
How do I make a cheap home office?
Creating a budget home office can be challenging because there are so many factors to consider. But well done and a home office can give you the best of both worlds. So you can work from home and also spend more time with your family.
The key is to try and create your own space – if you have a spare room, that’s the best option. But if you don’t, make the most of the space you have – a wall space is all you need, plus a desk and chair, of course. You can pick up furniture from thrift stores and flea markets and then use old cans of paint to spice them up, it’s the perfect opportunity to be more inventive.