Before and After: A $2,200 Redo Turns a Cluttered Home Office into a Stylish Haven

published Mar 21, 2021
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Before: office with light green walls and a wood dresser

With all the time you spend in them, home offices should be a place that makes you feel comfortable and inspired. But Samantha Steinbring’s (Casa Del Sol) home office fell short of that. “My office was a bland and boring catch-all space. It contained all the mismatched furniture from our move that had nowhere else to live,” Samantha says.

The walls were a wishy-washy pale green, the decor was minimal, and overall the space felt unremarkable. “Nothing matched and the layout, while functional, was uninspired,” Samantha says. “I didn’t feel like it was a space for me, but rather like I was just borrowing a corner of space to do my work.”

Samantha knew she wanted to create an office space that inspired her, while also making room for (eventual) overnight guests. And, of course, she wanted a better organizational system for the clutter that was taking over.

Over seven weeks, Samantha was able to dramatically transform this catchall space. First, she painted the pale walls a dark green, and used a peel-and-stick leaf-print wallpaper to create a tropical accent wall. (She also installed two more outlets in this room, which previously only had one.)

For her new desk, Samantha turned to IKEA. She was able to create a custom workspace using ALEX drawers for the base and a plain tabletop for the top. The hack gave her an 8-foot-long workstation that’s way more functional than her previous tiny desk.

Rather than install a door in the open doorway, Samantha hung a boho-chic beaded curtain. It helps lend some privacy to the room without taking up any extra space, and can easily be pulled back, too.

For the rest of the room, Samantha mixed natural textures — bamboo on the shelf, leather on the chair, grasscloth on the shades — to create a cozy vibe. Finally, a textured rug on the floor adds some cushion underfoot. The total cost for paint, paper, and furnishings came to $2,200.

Now, the space is not only more stylish — the layout’s now more practical, too, with drawers that hold all of Samantha’s work documents and enough space leftover for a guest bed when needed. “I love the overall vibe and layout of the room,” Samantha says. “I think the color palette I had in my head came to life beautifully and the room has a really nice flow to it.”

Plus, she adds, the space took her out of her comfort zone: “I am most proud of taking a risk and going bold and moody with this room,” Samantha says. “The other rooms I’ve designed are more light and airy, and I wanted to challenge myself and take this room in a different direction, while still flowing with the rest of the house. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.