Before and After: Big Risks Pay Off in This $2000 Small Home Office Redo

published Oct 4, 2020
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Before: cramped home office with light green walls
Credit: Rebecca Stewart

When it comes to designing your home, spaces can be easy to ignore in favor of the bigger-ticket rooms like the living room or kitchen. But as Rebecca Stewart knows, some creative thinking and a little risk-taking can go a long way in these little secondary spaces.

For Rebecca, the space in question was a little office area in her San Francisco home. “If you’ve ever toured an older house in San Francisco, you’re sure to find one odd space—unpermitted, illogical, and likely questionable construction,” Rebecca says. “This room was added a half floor above the rest of the house, but with such little care that they left one window cut in half. The view from the guest room is half a hallway and half the floor of this space!”

And at 15 feet long and just 5 feet wide, the space was definitely tight—not helped at all by the pale greenish-white paint that made the walls feel like they were closing in.

Credit: Rebecca Stewart

But, Rebecca says, the room had some charm to it. “The view of San Francisco is amazing from this space,” she says. “I wanted the room itself to be equally amazing.”

Credit: Rebecca Stewart

So Rebecca started with a paint redo, using a pinky coral on the floor and a leafy green on one wall and the door. “The biggest risk was the floor color but I really love the contrast,” Rebecca says.

For her desk, Rebecca DIYed a two-level desk with live-edge wood and hairpin legs. It took the most time and money of everything in the room, the rest of which was purchased secondhand (other than a rug, which was bought locally).

Credit: Rebecca Stewart

To complement the tropical vibes of the floor and walls, Rebecca added in plenty of wicker accents and a healthy number of plants, too. All together, the project took five weeks of work and about $2,000, half of which was spent on the desk.

The space is especially cozy at night, when the warm colors seem to have a sunset-like glow. “I really think the mix of rattan and Moroccan vibe came together well,” Rebecca says. “We were really lucky to find so many of the perfect pieces on Craigslist.”

Her advice for other DIYers? “Take a chance!” Rebecca says. “When I told people I wanted pinky-sandy floors no one else got it. But I think it really gave the space its extra flair.”

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