Before and After: 3 Hours and $110 Later, This Awkward Corner Is a Stylish Home Office

published Apr 9, 2021
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Office & Dens
Mid-century Modern
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Post Image
Credit: Becky Colley

The world is more than one year into quarantine, and DIYers are still going strong with fun home renovations. Some of the most popular transformations have been home office re-dos, since many people are finding themselves working from home for the first time. Whether it’s making a small office feel bigger or searching for that perfect chair, each office has different needs and different designs to explore. For instance, Becky Colley (@mymanchome) needed the WFH space in her rental to be a little less busy, and a little more inspiring.

Credit: Becky Colley

Last year, Becky moved into a 50-year-old warehouse in Manchester, UK, that was converted into lofts in the ‘90s. The spare bedroom she decided to turn into her home office was dominated by a large wallpaper mural of the NYC skyline. “As much as I love New York, it was not my style at all and far too busy to look at all day while working,” she says.

Becky set out to create a space that better suited her vintage style and that felt a little more grown up.

Credit: Becky Colley

Taking down the mural was just the first part of the project. While she didn’t care for the style, Becky did like the idea of an accent wall to set the nook apart. For a more toned-down look that still made a statement, she chose a deep navy blue (Dulux’s Sapphire Salute). “This shade feels grown-up and calm enough for a home office without being boring,” she says.

As a vintage furniture lover, Becky buys a lot of items secondhand — so when she saw this desk on eBay for just £58, she snapped it up. Other than that, she already owned everything else that she she used to style this room, including the cheery blue desk lamp and the bright yellow desk chair. (“The ‘proper’ chair is en route,” Becky says, so she’s borrowed this one from her dining table for now.) She also installed a wall shelf to display her collection of cool vintage cameras.

Becky did all of the work herself in about three hours — pretty impressive, considering the impact her work made. Even more impressive? The budget, which came to a total of just £80 (about $110 USD).

While Becky’s still considering making small additions, like painting the ceiling, this upgrade has already made a huge impact on her productivity. Just being inside her new office feels motivating, “not to mention good for my mental health,” Becky says. This space came a long way from its busy and distracting roots!

Inspired? Submit your own project here.