How to Decorate an Office Space on a Budget

The office I’m currently sitting in (and absolutely loving) spent a good six months or so being our “just chuck that junk in there” room. For months it was a literal DISASTER with piles of random stuff all over the ground and definitely not a desk (or cute picture frame) anywhere to be seen.

During that time, I was blogging from the couch, bed, kitchen table, ground… pretty much anywhere BUT a desk. As young newlyweds, we didn’t even get our own couch until a couple months after we got married. So, the prospect of buying a desk wasn’t even on our radar. It wasn’t until I realized how unproductive working from the soft, sleep-inducing couch was that I decided, OKAY, I NEED TO CREATE AN EFFICIENT WORKSPACE!

Now, I realize that a lot of full-blown adults with children, bills to pay, and stocks and bonds (okay, I don’t really know what “real” adults have- I still feel like a child) don’t have a designated office space. BUT, I think that a lot of times that’s because they think they don’t need one or they think they can’t afford one. Everyone’s different, so you truly might not need any sort of space to call your own, but I think the majority of us would benefit from having at least one space in our homes that are just OURS. A space we don’t share with our husbands, kids, guests, etc. A place we can truly call our own little “sanctuary.”

Here are a few reasons you might not have created a “sanctuary” or office space for yourself yet.

  • You feel like you don’t need one if you don’t work from home. While this might be true for some people, it’s important for every person to have at least one little corner of the house to call their own. Even if that space is in the corner of the living room, where your children aren’t allowed to play. Even if that space holds an easel for painting instead of a desk. Or a workout area with a yoga mat and some dumbbells!
  • You stopped putting yourself as a priority after you got married/had kids. You don’t prioritize having a space to call your own- a space where you can get away and focus on yourself. You’ll spend hours making sure your children have cute rooms (or that your husband and you have a cute room to share), but then neglect even sectioning off a corner of a room for yourself!
  • You don’t make time for yourself, in general. You spend most of your time cooking, cleaning, working, and doing stuff for other people, while completely neglecting your own NEED for “me time.” My desk area is for working, but it’s also the space where I journal, reflect, watch TV shows while I stretch (if Connor is watching some action show on TV at the moment), etc. Ever heard of a “man cave?” Well, guess what!? Women can have one too (well not a “man cave,” but you get my point). It’s important for everyone to have a space to call their own!
  • You think that creating your own space (even if it’s in the corner of their living room) will be too expensive. Especially if you want to make that space cute and relaxing.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you DESERVE to create a space you can call your own and it CAN be done on a budget! My office room has become my “sanctuary.” It’s become a place that relaxes me and gets me excited and motivated to work. I love waking up and knowing I get to go in there, shut myself off from the rest of the world, and work my little heart out. I love going in there to decompress, make my to-do lists, journal, work out, and be my own independent person apart from my husband (because yes, marriage is about coming together, but that doesn’t mean you should lose yourself!)

I’m so excited to show you how you can create your own “sanctuary” on a budget. It’s a lot easier and less expensive than it looks. Here’s the low-down on how to do it.

1. Get a Desk

If you don’t already have a desk, it’s time for you to get one! Even if the only thing you’ll do at it is write in your journal or pay your bills. Since most of us have tablets and laptops now, desks in the home are becoming less common. But I honestly think being able to sit up straight and have your notebook next to you can be so powerful for actually getting stuff done. There’s just something about sitting at a desk that helps you focus in on what you’re wanting/needing to do.

We found my desk on an FB Buying/Selling group for $30. Yes, $30!!! There’s no need to buy something fancy when there’s all sorts of used stuff that you can buy and even paint over if you need to. Look on your local Buying/Selling FB groups and Craigslist before heading to Ikea to get a desk that’s probably going to break before any used desk would.

2. Buy a Lamp

Adding a lamp to a room will instantly brighten and cheer it up! Now, I’m a little weird and LOVE very bright spaces (perhaps more than the average person), but I think anyone would agree that lamps add a nice touch to a room. I bought this lamp from Home Goods for $30, but there are less expensive ones on Amazon and at Walmart. There are also a TON of cute ones at Target, but those are usually around $40.

I always check places like T.J Max, Home Goods, and Ross for stuff like this before checking anywhere else. They have the cutest and least expensive options! Here are a few from Amazon that I found that are cute/inexpensive, as well.

3. Create a Gallery Wall

This is definitely optional but one of my favorite ways to make an office space cozy! I bought most of these white frames for $10 at Walmart. They’re also around $10 at Home Goods, Ross, T.J Max, etc. The beauty of buying your own frames is that you can print off your own beautiful prints to put into them! There are a ton of adorable FREE prints on Pinterest that you can print off and slip in. This is a nice option so that you can change them with the seasons/whenever you want to! 

Because my husband and I are renting right now, I made sure to buy renter-friendly, damage-free velcro Command strips. Because they’re velcro, you can easily take your frames off and on the wall to put new pictures in whenever you want to! If you don’t get the velcro ones and can’t use nails, you’re going to be stuck with whatever pictures you put in the first time (which is no fun!) 

Some of my favorite free prints:
  •  These tropical ones. 
  •  All of these trendy ones.
  •  These tropical watercolor palm ones.
  •  These inspirational quote prints.

4. Add Some Personal Touches

I decided to add a functional office supply organizer, a succulent, and a candle holder, but you can add whatever you want! Just keep it simple, functional, and fun so that you’re not spending crazy amounts of money to make your office space look cute. A few super cute touches will make all the difference!

Once again, you can find these types of items at T.J Max, Ross, Walmart, and Home Goods. I bought the gold candle holder for $2.50 at Walmart (I believe they still have them there), the office supply organizer for $3 at T.J Max, and the succulent at Whole Foods for $5. You can buy succulents at Walmart or Home Depot for an affordable price, as well! I only spent a total of $10.50 for those 3 items, and they make a huge difference! Creating a cute space DOES NOT have to be expensive! 

Author: Coral Allen

Just a passionate introvert with the desire to help you create a life you love and learn to love yourself for who you are.

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  • I think I told you this on Instagram, but I absolutely love and adore your office space! It’s so cute and I also love bright rooms – we definitely have similar taste in decorating! I have a desk but I think I’m in desperate need of changing the area up because I don’t always love working there, so these tips are super helpful!! 🙂

  • These are great tips, Coral! My bedroom doubles as an office space and I’ve been thinking of decorating the wall above my desk. Next time I go out shopping with my mom, I’ll look for things to put in my space.

  • Coral, sister friend! I absolutely love your desk space for the longest time I used my desk that I bought from IKEA which looks very similar to yours as a vanity when I was working for Sephora I needed all the room I could get but just recently I realized I blogged from the couch it’s not good for my posture or back problems so recently I just started re-organizing my desk so I can work at a desk and feel more productive I don’t know just working at a desk makes me feel so much better but also the way you decorate truly does impact the way you work clutter is not a great thing I love the way you’ve decorated your office space it’s so cute it also has a 70s vibe which is pretty awesome but very feminine and I absolutely love your blog and following you you’re such a great writer have the best Monday ever friend!!

  • Your office space is SOOOOOOOO cute!!! I am so jealous you even have room for this in your home. it’s GOALS!! I love your point about personal touches, this literally will make all the difference when I one day have room for a desk. I’m in LOVE.

  • yes yes yes! I love that you talked about people feeling like they don’t need a home office!! The excuses you listed are what so many of my friends say to me when they come over and say how jealous they are of mine! But it really is my sanctuary and just a total game changer for productivity!

    • Haha that’s too funny! I’ve heard those excuses so many times. My husband was saying the same things until I reminded him that he can have his own desk too… so now he has a desk in the living room to do homework at and play computer games. It’s so nice to have our own little spaces apart from our bedroom/common living areas 🙂

    • It really is difficult to do! And yes, I’m all for it too. It’s so nice to have a designated space to work and create 🙂