Before and After: This Luxe Home Office Redo is Full of Smart Upcycles and Clever Hacks

published Jan 23, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Office & Dens
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
empty office before renovation blank wall
Credit: Van Tuyet

You don’t have to break the bank to create a bomb home office. In fact, tons of people who work from home are finding creative, budget-friendly ways to create dreamy workspaces from bland, boring rooms. If you plan your project right, you could skip the reno and get by with some crafty DIYs and bold new paint color.

Credit: Van Tuyet

For inspiration, look to Van Tuyet (Percival In Bloom). Van works from home three days a week and felt like she needed a space that was organized enough for her to focus, and also reflected her style. The room Van chose to repurpose as her home office was “bland” and offered a blank slate for her to design her dream office. “It had nice elements like crown molding and French doors, but details like the ceiling fan and blinds made the room seem outdated,” Van says.

Credit: Van Tuyet

With dated tile floors and blah pale blue walls, the room needed a refresh. Van started with the walls, skim coating them to remove the old texture.

Credit: Van Tuyet

Once the walls were coated, Van installed mouldings above the baseboards to make them look even more grand. Painting them (and the crown moulding) the same deep emerald as the walls gives the illusion of taller ceilings — not to mention a dramatic, luxe style.

Another smart trick? Instead of taking more time and money to install built-ins, Van bought two identical bookcases, placed them against the wall, and painted them the exact same color. The effect gives the illusion of bespoke built-ins, for half the price.

Van also had a clever hack for her curtains. “I hung up curtains I had DIYed from Walmart sheets, which was the easiest part of all,” she says. A beautiful set of gold curtain rings from Amazon suspended from an elegant brass rod makes these cheap sheets look anything but.

Overhead, Van installed a feather-look chandelier; underfoot, she added a vintage-y area rug, which helps make the most of the square tile.

Of course, a home office wouldn’t be complete without a desk. Van scored her “new” one off Facebook Marketplace and refinished it in a rich honey oak tone. Paired with a new tufted office chair from Home Depot, it’s now officially turned this once-bland and blank room into a functional home office with executive-level style.

Now, Van says, it’s exactly what she envisioned — thanks to two important factors: “I spent a lot of time planning out this project and collecting pieces I found from Facebook Marketplace, so when I actually executed the work, it wasn’t a huge expense,” Van says. “I also didn’t cut corners in the project and every detail is exactly what I wanted even though it was more time consuming, like the smooth walls.” All that effort and time was well worth it!