After looking at tons of office pinspiration, I was all excited to overhaul the office with light, bright new furniture and decor. But then, I decided to issue myself a little challenge. What could I do to improve the space without spending very much money? In fact, let’s just set a limit and say $150. What could be done to improve the space with only $150? That would basically mean using what I have, shopping the house, and being very strategic about what is bought.
So, my challenge basically meant ‘goodbye’ to some of the things I’d originally thought about buying: a new desk, an Expedit bookshelf, and fabulous chairs (at least for now, I’m still on the lookout for these chairs on sale at Ballards Outlet). There are inexpensive ways to obtain those things but I also knew I definitely needed to paint and get window treatments so I decided to focus the funds there first.
First, let me show you what I was working with. Here’s how the room looked most of the time.
Yes, those are two patches of sheetrock mud on the wall. Just waiting to be sanded and painted. They were waiting for several years, isn’t that a shame?
And here’s how it looked to host a sleepover guest.
We have a guest room, but the futon has served as a spot for overflow on a occasion (not very often though). I would prefer to set the futon free, and let it go to a new home, but A is not ready to let it go. By the way, before I realized he really wants to keep it, I thought about selling it on Craigslist and looked to see how I should it price it. There are a ton of futons for sale. I don’t think anyone would buy mine! The market is over saturated.
I decided on Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Gray for the wall color (mixed in Behr’s Ultra Paint + Primer). We moved everything, either to the middle of the room or out, and I started painting. As I have mentioned many times before, all the trim in my house is a dirty yellowish color and desperately needs a coat of white semi-gloss paint. I have started attacking this slowly just doing one room at a time. So my painting task was not only the walls, but all the trim, windows, and doors too. The white trim (also Behr’s Ultra Paint + Primer) really made such a difference! You can kind of see here how the white baseboards look compared with the yellowish door. (Most of the doors in my house are this ugly color – ugh!)
Painting took about 8 hours and I did it all in one day. The next day, I had to scrape the paint off the windows because I’m a scraper instead of a taper. I use a razor blade to get the paint off of windows instead of just taping them. After that, I remounted the curtain rod I already had: higher and wider. The rod is a little thin, it’s not chunky and substantial, but remember, I’m (mostly) using what I’ve got instead of buying new. I did buy new curtains though. I picked up both the LENDA and VIVAN curtains to try out from Ikea. I like the material (cotton) of the LENDA but they are off white (they’re also tab top). I ended up with the VIVAN.
Here’s the running total so far:
Paint (1 gallon of Behr Ultra for walls, had semi gloss from trim painting project) – $33
Vivan Curtains – $11
Next up, I have an easy corkboard project and a search for lamps. In the meantime, how do you paint windows? Do you methodically tape all the panes? Or do you paint right over the glass and clean later? Or do you leave all painting to the professionals?
Update: See how the room turned out here.
Paint Colors We’ve Used