Idea-Packed Home Office for the Whole Family

Clutter-taming tricks make this room an all-work, all-play family office. Adapt the DIY ideas for your own home office.

Color Cues

Color blocks visually separate the activity areas in this multipurpose room. Yellow marks the "grownup" desk and window frames, red equals storage, and chartreuse green signifies kids' craft and play space. Cool turquoise keeps the warm color from being chaotic.

Reuse Resources

A mix of old and new furnishings gives the room a relaxed air -- and it's easy on the budget. Have flea market buys reupholstered in punchy, unexpected fabrics. Accent pillows can be made from leftover fabric or from reused goods: The fabric for these red floral pillows came from a table runner.

Bargain Curtains

Each window is treated with one queen-size sheet, split lengthwise and hemmed. Curtain clips attach the panels to the galvanized pipe -- an inexpensive hardware-store find.

Reading Zone

Clutter-concealing doors cover some of the previously open shelves.

Try This Project
-- Tape paper over openings to figure out door placement.
-- Cut door inserts from red Plexiglas and extruded metal.
-- Fit the inserts into wood frames and attach to the shelves with European hinges.

Handsome Hardware

Make knobs for the doors by layering washers, large wing nuts, and large hex screws. Grand total? Less than $1 per knob.

Unifying Characteristics

Replacing standard doors with French doors opens the office space up to the rest of the home. White trim lines the room and extends to the adjacent space.

Magazine Caddies

Dress up boring magazine holders with this super-easy project.

Try This Project
-- Paint a caddy pale green.
-- Punch circles from contact paper and apply them to caddy.
-- Paint over it with a darker shade; let dry and peel off the circles.

Chic Shade

Inspired by a charm bracelet, this metal shade gives pretty lighting an edge.

Try This Project
-- Bend and glue a sheet of pierced aluminum around a duct cap.
-- Lace the seam with wire.
-- Dangle washers, marbles, and prisms from the wire.

Creative Containers

Shop thrift stores for a 1950s aluminum tumbler set to corral art supplies.

Kid Zone

A massive antique table provides plenty of room for kids to stretch out and draw or finish homework. Other thoughtful features:
-- Four coats of magnetic paint transforms the entire wall into display space.
-- Casters and a thick cushion make a storage cube into comfy and mobile seating.
-- DIY artwork made from patterned paper and paint brightens the room.

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