DIY, Home, Interiors, Make Over, Online Shopping, Saving Money, Styling
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Home Office in a Day


I was recently set a challenge. Could I update a currently unused third bedroom from a room of storage chaos to a sleek and super cost effective home office?

In one day.

8 hours.

Let’s have a look-see….$_80

Well yeah, of course I can. They don’t call me Karen “make-over in a day” Knox for nothing you know. Bah!

Firstly, this rather large and unnecesary sofa needed to get the hell outta there. The room is about 2x3m so this took up more than a third of much needed space. A “free sofa to anyone that could collect” Gumtree ad worked a treat, giving me a near empty room and someone else a much needed free sofa. Perfik.


The CD towers, old cushions and a spare light shade were getting sent to the charity shop but everything else in that room needed a place to live.

I had a budget of £150 to spend on the entire room. Eek. I needed to purchase:

  • A desk
  • Filing drawers
  • Drawers for the existing Ikea Kallax unit
  • A chair

I measured the space, planned my room and selected my must have items, placing the order on behalf of the client. By now I’d done four hours work, leaving me half a day to make the magic happen.


I had literally no budget for accessories or styling, so went on a treasure hunt, finding and using bit and bobs I found in the space.

As you can see, there was a lot to sort through. There were actually plenty of really cool pieces that more than deserved to be out on display. I have always said… people rarely need to actually buy anything to get a room sorted. A room can be transformed just by placing items you already have around the house elsewhere. In fact most people need less.



So here is the room at midday. I arrived just before the furniture delivery to start emptying the room. This took some time.

The delivery came an hour later and once everything was signed for and carried upstairs, I got to work building everything. Yep, I did that too. All as part of my day’s work.



Everything built, and everything in its place. Not bad for a day’s work with a £150 budget.


The Eames Eiffel style chair was £28 from Amazon (now down to £22). I already have one of these at home and for the price, it’s great. Fast free delivery too. It adds a touch of designer to the room but on a complete budget. Nice. I added a black cushion onto the seat which I nicked from the living room. I don’t think they minded.

The Ikea LINNMON / ADILS desk with white top and black legs was £22. The chair and desk work so well together, a clean monochrome colour scheme. Easy to work in with the existing items.

Desk and chair = £50. Boom.

Ps. The plant was also pilfered from the porch. Perfect for adding a bit of green to a space (and cover up those nasty computer cables).


I advised my client to have drawers under the desktop to avoid having things cluttering up his work space. The Ikea HELMER drawers are perfect for this. They slot in underneath, have A4 sized drawers so are great for storing paperwork and files close by. At £25 you can’t go wrong. Love the fact they can be used in any room, not just an office; bathroom storage, a bedside unit, a side table, in a utility room. Versatile furniture at its best.


The one piece of furniture the room already had (thank god) was the Ikea KALLAX unit. I recommended getting drawers fitted in some of the spaces. Again for paperwork, printer paper and files. £34 for two sets. These were fitted within handy reach of the desk again.


The unit now stores everything in a more much logical way. Books, CD’s, DVD’s, stuff, folders …and more books.


This little guy was hiding in the back of one of these shelves. Now sitting proudly in front of the strategically placed lever arch files.


A very impressive mini figure collection (previously taking up an entire space in the unit) now stands on the very top shelf.


Quite possibly the coolest mugs were discovered under a box. These needed to be out on show. On the desk. Holding pens. I had no budget for a pen holder, so these saved my bacon.


Again, far too cool to be hidden in a cupboard. School of Life Aphorisms and Psychoanalytic Pencil Set. I love these, so they were placed on the window sill, adding a little yellow sunshine on a cold rainy November day.


The red lamp, skull mug and creative colouring book were also rescued from “stuff mountain” and now have a place and purpose once again.

The “Think. Act. That’s It.” quote (Alan Partridge) is something I printed out at home and put in an old frame. I thought my client would appreciate the sentiment. These really are the simple steps you need to take in order to get anything done.

  • Think you want your room sorting, for example?
  • Do something about it.
  • That’s it.

Easy, no?


What about the rug?

Oh aye. Funny story. The Enhance rug was already in that room. Rolled up.

Was it?

Yeah, it had already been bought by the client for his living room a few months before (without consulting his OH. How very dare him). But once it arrived, it just didn’t work in that room. At all. So the rug got rolled up, carried upstairs and shoved in the spare room, both of them not quite knowing what to do with it.

So I decided for them. And doesn’t it make a huge difference to their new home office?


The Shopping List:

  • Ikea Desk – £22
  • Ikea Helmer Drawers – £25
  • Ikea Kallax Drawer Inserts – £34
  • Amazon Eames Style Chair – £28

Total Cost: £109. (£41 under budget!) Plus one day’s hard graft from Making Spaces (aka. me).


Before and After

Before and After

Before and After

What do ya think? All done without you needing to lift a finger. Would you be happy with that?

If you need a room sorting and think a few hundred quid won’t be enough to get it done… think again peeps! All it takes is canny planning and a bit of creativity. You’ve probably got most of what you need. You just need to start. If that’s the bit you’re struggling with, you know, the starting, then that’s where Making Spaces can help.

And remember:


Would love to hear your thoughts on my home office makeover in a day. You like?


  1. Inspirational! I’ve got to do exactly the same, and all that is stopping me is that I have to ask my landlady to come remove a wardrobe from where my office space is to be. I’ve done the Think so must Act. That’s It. Thank you Karen!

  2. David Todd says

    Thanks very much for a great job! 🙂 signed one satisfied and organised customer!

  3. Wow what a transformation Karen. I love it. I need to take a leaf out of your book and just do it. I’ve been doing my bedroom for well over a year but still haven’t finished. I think the fear of it not being perfect or magazine worthy holds me back. While it’s in progress it has potential to be awesome lol. But 2016 is the year I will get it done. If not I’ll have to enlist your services lol xxx

    • Stacey, if you need my help, ASK! I would love to help you get it your bedroom done. All I ever tell people is “there is not one answer to a room’s problems, make a decision, act on it, then love your room.” I’m just here to take those difficult decisions away. Drop me a message if you need any help at all!!x

  4. Looks lovely Karen. I agree with you about scouting round the house for things to use when styling. Often, just moving something to a new home makes you appreciate it all over again. Good job!

  5. ma and pa says

    what a transformation Karen, my garage could do with some magic dust sprinkling in it.

  6. katy615 says

    WOW! I love posts like these – small, achievable changes that make a massive difference. You’ve done a fab job! x

    • Haha. No, I didn’t refit a carpet, there were loads of offcuts sitting in there, not really doing anything, so I emptied it out, gave it a good hoover and that rug saved my bacon! I’m sure your new folders are lovely Maxine 🙂

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