Before and After: A Smart IKEA Hack Makes This Home Office Extra Practical

published Feb 16, 2020
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
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Post Image
Credit: Fariha Nasir

Often, home offices end up squeezed into whatever spare space there is. But even when you do have a dedicated room, like Fariha Nasir did in her home, it can still feel like an afterthought. Not that Fariha’s office went unused! She and her husband shared the space, using it for work and play. “My husband is an avid gamer and needs his two monitors and an extra long desk,” Fariha says. “Our son plays in here too and needs his toys, but they would always be strewn about with no designated spot.”

Credit: Fariha Nasir

So the office needed to accommodate three people, and still feel homey and inviting—something that was sorely lacking. “It was a basic builder grade office with no personality,” says Fariha. Think: beige carpet, beige walls, boring flush mount light.

Credit: Fariha Nasir

A cozy accent wall instantly transformed the blank walls. Fariha used shiplap boards installed vertically with construction adhesive; then, she nailed them in place with a brad nailer. Once they were in place, she painted them a mossy green (Sherwin-Williams’s Thunderous).

The desk was a custom creation, hacked together using three sets of IKEA’s ALEX drawers and a wood top long enough to seat two. Above, Fariha hung a slim shelf to display her favorite pieces of art.

Fariha also replaced the blah flush mount with a much more character-rich 6-light chandelier that has a wrought iron look—a perfect complement to the farmhouse-y shiplap. The perfectly faded rug is from BoutiqueRugs.

Credit: Fariha Nasir

A new shelving unit on the other side of the room has baskets on the bottom shelf—a much more organized way to corral toys!

Credit: Fariha Nasir

There’s also a reading chair and a basket for some extra books. As a whole, the room is much more welcoming that it was before—just as Fariha envisioned. “I wanted a beautiful inspiring space to work in and it had to be functional as well,” she says. We’d call this space a success!

Inspired? Submit your own project here.