Budget Ideas for a Home Office

Unused space becomes a super-functional home office with the help of a few gallons of paint, smart storage choices, and creative thinking. Get ideas for your own budget transformation.

Sunny Space

Take advantage of natural light by placing the desk near windows.

How to Get the Look:

-- Coat wood floors in cream paint to brighten the space.

-- Put a slipcover over a retired dining room chair for fresh color and homey style (put casters on the bottom for mobility).

-- Build your own desk by attaching a flat door to stock leg posts bought at a home improvement store.

Bright Ideas

"Why didn't I think of that?" ideas keep the budget low and the style quotient high.

How to Get the Look:

-- A garden urn and vase hold pencils and pens.

-- Tall table lamps shed more light than short fixtures would have, plus, there's no installation hassle.

-- Buy inexpensive woven baskets for extra storage.

Message and Filing Center

Work board or work of art? You decide.

How to Get the Look:

-- Attach inexpensive molding to a dry erase board and paint to match the rest of the room.

-- Add new drawer pulls to painted file cabinets -- put several units side by side for an impromptu credenza.

Boxed In

You're only as organized as your shelving system.

How to Get the Look (and learn the system):

-- Spray paint dark shelving white.

-- Be firm with your labeling system -- it will force you to edit things you don't use or need.

-- Look for a unit with adjustable shelves so you can tailor your containers to ever-evolving storage needs.

Good Use of Space

An awkward nook becomes a useful space with an old coffee table pushed into it, but click to the next slide to see an even better use of the space.

Better Use of Space

Voila! A cozy seating area appears thanks to cushions placed on the coffee table.

How to Get the Look:

-- Buy box cushions for cushy seating (and don't forget throw pillows).

-- Add wall art and a long, woven basket for storage.

Smart Drawers

Assign each drawer one type of item, such as CDs, folders, and magazines to keep the spot uncluttered.

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