Creating the Perfect Work-From-Home Space: My DIY Office Renovation

I have to do a lot of my work from home--including writing Halftime articles, completing my freelance editing assignments for Writer's Confidante, and running The Furever Home Friends. Having a home office is necessary. When Tyler and I bought our condo in 2016, that was a requirement for me. If the apartment did not have an extra room that I could use as an office, I had no interest in buying it.

For the past two years, I've loved having a home office. I've accomplished so many beautiful things in this room, from publishing two Furever Home Friends books, to earning a spot in a Master's program. But there was always one problem--my office was ugly. 

When we first moved to this building in July 2016, the office was painted a gross shade of beige. Even the ceilings and windowsills were beige. Since my office never looked that nice to begin with, I never had much motivation to keep it nice. To me, my office served a function. It was a place to complete my work. As a result, I let it get messy. Sometimes I'd find plates and forks on the floor under piles of sweatshirts. When I'd get something new for my office, I'd leave the cardboard box it shipped in on the floor. Over time, my office got more and more cluttered. By the start of 2018, it was an obstacle course just to get from my door to my desk chair. 

Tyler's office, on the other hand, was awesome. He put a lot of time into making his office, which is in our basement, look really cool. He made his own desk out of wood and pipe, and assembled cool shelves to display all his statues. He put a lot of effort and money into his office, and it paid off. He gave me a good piece of advice: "Spend money where you spend time." I realized that I was spending tons of time in my office, but had spent no money OR time trying to make it a pleasant workspace. So two weeks ago, my office renovation began!

The first step, of course, was to clean up my office. I used tons of trash bags cleaning out all the crumpled papers, and gathered nearly an entire load of laundry from the towels and sweatshirts I didn't even realize were on the floor. Then, I got started on taking all the stuff out of the room and stacking it in the hallway. Chewie had a tough time during those couple days, since he didn't have much space to run up and down our long hallway.

The next step was to re-paint! My mom was amazing with helping me repaint and reorganize my office, and she deserves the biggest thank-you in the world! She came up with the idea to paint the windowsills and ceiling white, since that would brighten up the room. I chose a light grey for the walls, which is a much nicer color to look at than basic-ass beige. To have some fun contrast, I chose to paint just the wall by my closet a dark purple.

The painting immediately changed the whole mood of the room, which was awesome! Then, the next step was moving items back into the room, and rearranging the furniture to make better use of the space. This required coming up with a few new ideas.

Originally, I had three bookshelves in my office, which took up a lot of space. Instead, I decided to put one bookshelf in the closet to use for storage space, and then put two bookshelves in my main office space--one on either side of the room. I dedicated one bookshelf to displaying my favorite books, and I set the other one up as a Furever Home Friends headquarters!

From some of these pictures, you may also notice a few other cool things I got to do! One idea I had for my office was to include a whiteboard. When I'm mapping out new articles to write or new books I'm working on, it's important to have a malleable space where I can organize my ideas. In the past, I've tried using poster boards with post-it notes. However, having a whiteboard always seemed like the best way to try out new ideas. So my mom found an inexpensive one at Costco, and we got it up on the wall!

Another thing I was happy to add to my office was my magazine rack. Originally, I wanted to display all the magazines I'd written for. My original plan was to hang every article around my office. As a result, my walls were covered with articles tacked up onto the walls, which would collect dust. To streamline this, my mom recommended I find a hanging magazine rack, and display my magazines there instead. I found a great one on Displays2Go, and I have about 20 magazines on that rack, all of which have my writing in them--including issues of Halftime, issues of Yamaha SupportED, and issues of Delaware Beach Life from 2006, 2007, and 2008, which have my short stories in them.

Renovating my office was a long and tiring process. There were definitely times when I thought about all the other work I should be doing at that time. However, now that my office is much more streamlined and functional (plus it's pleasant to look at!), I have to say that I'm glad I did it.

Do you have any DIY tips? What are your experiences with renovating spaces in your home? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Monday!



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