Before and After: A Stylish and Organized Office Created in Two Days for Just £26

published Aug 16, 2020
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Cream-colored wall with desk and no shelving
Credit: Amara

These days, a lot of at-home office spaces have to serve multiple family members. At Amara’s home, the shared family desk was in her main bedroom, and was used by her husband and three kids. While it was used on a daily basis, she says, “it was boring, basic and uninspiring.” The setup included just a white desk from IKEA and a white folding chair.

“I wanted to give it an uplift to make it more interesting and somewhat exciting to spend long hours of work,” Amara says. “The idea was to go for the open shelving look while still being able to utilize the desk space.”

Credit: Amara

Amara also wanted to be able to work with the IKEA desk she already had in place. So she started with the as-is section of IKEA to find pieces that she could add on to increase the functionality. There, she scored IVAR shelf unit pieces for just £5, and two HEJNE shelves for just £6. Once she fitted them together, Amara screwed on a couple reinforcement pieces so the shelf could attach straight to the wall for extra stability and security. “It looked instantly better and we had more space to store our books and display the accessories,” Amara says.

Credit: Amara

To highlight the desk space and give it its own dramatic backdrop, Amara created a whimsical stripe pattern. She measured the wall and marked where she wanted her stripes to be, then taped off the lines to ensure they’d be even. Once that was done, Amara created a ticking line using a sponge and olive green paint (Valspar’s Rugged Olive; for a U.S. match, try Brisk Olive).

“I love how it rejuvenated the white wall of my rental property, adding the spice of color to it,” Amara says. “It also gave me a space to display my accessories.” The new desk area is a cheery work zone that no one minds spending the day in—and it only took a couple of days of work and £26 in materials. Says Amara: “Don’t save all your ideas for that forever home, especially if you live in a rental property. Try it, own it, adore it.” Hear, hear!

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