Home office revamp – how to improve your workspace on a budget

Want to create a comfy and practical space to work from home but don't want to splash the cash on redecorating your home office? Here are some easy ideas that'll help make your workspace work for you...

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Rejuvenating your home doesn’t have to cost a lot and that goes for decorating your home office too. If you’re happy to do some DIY, it’s easy to transform any space to create a functional working area as well as making it a lovely place to work.

Here’s how to create a home office without draining your bank account:

Your must-haves

Before you start shopping for a new desk or begin reshuffling your furniture it’s a good idea to make a plan for the space. What are the must-haves for your home office? From an ergonomic chair to brighter task lighting, there are some things that are essential and it’s these that you’ll need to prioritise. Will you need extra storage? Require an upgrade on your tech?

List the things you need before the things you want to make sure that any money you’re spending will have a positive impact on your comfort and your work efficiency – then you can make those updates knowing that your money is being well spent.

Uplifting colours

Did you know that choosing the right colours for your home office can help you to be more productive? Green and blue hues improve focus and help to create a calm space for concentrated work. If you’re in a creative industry bright yellows can inspire new ideas.

You don’t need to paint the whole room to get the benefits of colour theory, you can just add a feature wall. This is especially true if your home office is within another room or tucked into an alcove; using colour will allow you ‘zone’ the space to make it feel like you’re ‘going into’ your workspace when you use that area.

Update existing furniture

I’m always keen to reuse and recycle the furniture that I already have whenever I need something new. A bit of sanding and painting can transform an old piece into something just for you. A fold-out dining table can be a practical option when positioned against a wall with one leaf folded out or you could build a frame around a drawer to DIY your own custom desk like the one I made below.

Rather than splashing the cash on new storage furniture, you can update cupboards and drawers with new handles for a few pounds. You can even change the legs on a coffee table to make it the right height to use as a desk.

When you need to add new items to the space, try shopping second-hand first before you head to any flat-pack stores. There are plenty of online marketplaces or charity re-use stores where you could find a bargain desk chair, filing cabinet or shelving unit. A little TLC can make that second-hand piece into the ideal item for your office, and you could paint it to match your feature wall for a seamless look.

Task lighting

Getting the lighting right is crucial in any office; you need optimal light so you can see what you’re working on clearly. Plus, you want to avoid bright light affecting your vision – if you position your computer monitor in front of a window you’ll be squinting at the bright natural daylight behind it all day but, if you position it opposite the window, you’ll be plagued with reflections that make it hard to see your screen.

Having a desk away from windows might help this but you’ll still need enough light to work comfortably and to boost your mood and productivity. If your office is poorly lit, adding multiple light sources can make a difference, for example: a desk lamp with a focused beam can help to reduce eye strain during close-up tasks.

Floor lamps offer a soft glow for a cosy ambience in your home office during the winter, while ceiling lights help on dull days. Simply upgrade your existing lighting fixtures with new sleek, modern switches like the clear light sockets offered by Corston and elevate the aesthetics of the room with new lampshades.

Clever decluttering

Having sensible storage to stow away clutter is crucial for maintaining an efficient workspace, especially if your workspace doubles up as a living area at the weekends. It’s handy if you can pack away your laptop and files into a cupboard and forget all about work outside of 9-to-5; you don’t want to be reminded of your to-do list when you’re not at work!

Storage solutions are therefore key to keeping your office orderly, whether that’s shelving, boxes, cabinets, files or cupboards. You could even use multifunctional furniture with built-in storage like ottomans to stash your stuff away when you’re not working. Plus, it’s important that all your office items and paperwork have a designated place to be tidied away, as this will stop your desk from becoming cluttered and therefore keep your mind focused and clear.

Essential accessories

If you want to inject a little personality into your home office, but don’t fancy painting the space or doing any bigger DIY projects, you can use accessories to revamp your desk with a pop of colour. I’ve previously upcycled some charity shop homewares to use as office decor, including a bread bin and milk jug so there’s no need to splash the cash on items that are specifically designed for offices.

Also, it’s a good idea to bring houseplants into your office space as plants promote wellness, help to purify the air and can add a sense of calm, which is ideal if you’re busy and have multiple meetings to attend on zoom. I’ve personally hung lots of motivational, affordable art prints in my own home office to add a touch of colour and inspiration to my walls.

Again, this helps to make your office space feel like a home-from-home rather than a blank space where you just go to work. This will encourage creativity and make you feel comfortable in your workspace.

Technology tips

You may find that the bulk of your budget for setting up a home office will need to be spent on tech, so it’s great that we’ve been able to save money on the decor and furniture so far. Technology is the thing that allows you to work from home so, with new tech can be expensive, there are budget-friendly options.

For a start, you might want to consider buying second-hand items, such as a monitor and a refurbished laptop or PC. A couple of things that I always buy new (if only for cleanliness reasons!) are an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, but those are relatively inexpensive compared to the larger pieces of tech you’ll need. And don’t forget the ‘cable management’ – keeping your cables organised and tucked out of sight can make your workspace much neater.

I hope this article has shown you that refreshing your home office on a budget is totally do-able, it’s just about prioritising spending what you need to be able to work from home and then getting creative with the rest. Let me know in the comments below your own tips for boosting productivity while working from home and I’d love to hear how you’ve personalised your workspace.

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This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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