The $200 Office Nook Makeover

Great things happen when you are willing to haul your neighbors’ discarded bulk trash down the street at 8:00 am in your PJs while they drive to work in their swanky cars.

Namely, you can makeover a 5 x 10 foot section of your bedroom into a happy, sunshine-filled office for just $200.

Office Nook 5

This is what I hauled down the street on bulk trash pick up day.

And here’s what my office looked like before.

Office Nook Before 2

You can read the rest of that story, as well as how I came up with my plan to makeover my office nook here.

Office Nook 3

I love my new little office so much. Our house has a study, but it’s been completely taken over by my husband. He’s hung his large collection of soccer scarves along one wall. He’s got a creepy Guy Fawkes mask hanging above the door. He even has a fake skull with scraggly hair hanging by the window.

So I didn’t feel one little bit of guilt over making my corner of the universe as warm and cozy and flower-filled as I wanted, even though it is in our bedroom, which technically should be a shared space.

The hair is really long and scraggly!

Books and the Tiny Collage

I made the curtains myself, and upholstered the chair, both projects I’d never undertaken before.

Fiddleleaf Fig

I don’t know if this is false confidence, but I’m even going to try to keep these plants alive. The only time I could keep plants alive before was when I lived totally alone—no boyfriend, husband, roommate, dog. And definitely no kids. So now that I have three kids, a husband, and a dog to look out for, these plants may be doomed.

I hope not! I’ve been wanting that fiddle-leaf fig for a long time!

Decorate with Plants

My sister-in-law gave me this Liberty of London mug over the summer. Doesn’t it look like it’s been waiting its whole life to hold a bunch of paintbrushes?

Liberty of London Mug and Paintbrushes

The Powerpuff Girls have agreed to look out for me on my new blogging and product-making adventures. Buttercup, in particular, has got my back.

That great painting is by my friend, Austin artist/teacher/community farm leader/all around impressive person Lauren Maples.

Powerpuff Girls and Lauren Maples Painting

After years of making lists, I’m finally embracing the fact that I am a visual person. I made these visual planners to help me keep the big goals in mind (and not get lost in the details, which I so often do).

Visual Planner and Washi Tape

I couldn’t decide between the black and the green, so I made one of each.

Did you notice the washi tape on the tape dispenser???

Visual Planner and Washi Tape 2

How serendipitous is this? I found a planner with a yellow chevron print on the cover. It was even on clearance because someone had written in it, luckily only on the first couple pages. But seriously, who writes in a planner and then returns it? Even I wouldn’t do that.

Yellow Chevron Planner

My kids make a lot of art, and a part of me would like to keep it all. But then there wouldn’t be any room left for the people in our house. So I just keep a few pieces, like this “biography” my son wrote about me a few years ago.

Decorate with Kids Art 1

Decorating with kids’ art is a great idea, especially if you don’t put it all together in one place. Just use a piece here or there throughout your home. Here I’ve tied up a necklace my daughter made for me.

Decorate with Kids Art 2

I always mean to make an inspiration wall, but in the meantime I have an inspiration pile.

Inspiration File

Even magazines can be put to work as a cheerful decoration, especially if they have meaning to you. This Tribeza issue from several years ago featured an article about my old handbag company.

Austin Monthly and Tribeza

One thing I love about my new office is how there is a repeating pattern of black iron in the structural details. I would really love to get an old rustic architect’s chair to go with my drafting table.

Office Nook 4

Here is how I spent my money:

$42.54    Fabric
$7.85      Upholstery supplies
$75.78    Shelves
$21.65    Desk legs
$18.87    Curtain rod & supplies
$27.03    Plants
$5.40      Magazine organizers
$199.12  Total

Office Nook 1

I’m proud of myself for finishing this project. I can easily get bogged down in the details and not finish things, especially big projects involving sewing! But I knew at the start of this year that I wanted to create a space just for me—even a tiny one—that filled me with peace and joy. It took a lot longer than I thought it would, but I did it.

Heart Amy© Amy Daniewicz

30 thoughts on “The $200 Office Nook Makeover”

  1. Amy this is gorgeous!! I am so impressed. I am trying to do a “reading nook” in my bedroom and I think I am going to have to bribe you to come over and give me some advice. I love how everything coordinates. And that alarm clock is really cool!

    1. Thank you, Emily! I will definitely come to help you–that sounds like fun! The clock is from Target a few years ago, I think.

  2. What a fantistic idea! I have a large bedroom with much wasted space. Now I’m inspired to make use of it. . . .

    1. Thank you, Beth! I know, I love its shape. I’m guessing it was one of those projects that sat unfinished in their garage for too long. I know how that can be! But it came to me at just the right time. :)

  3. Stunning transformation Amy, I can’t believe someone threw out that chair either! So love your drafting table all in wood, do not see them in wood anymore… your visual planners are something I might steal… have a great day, x

    1. Thanks so much, Carol Anne! I completely agree about the drafting table–an old friend gave it to me, and I’ve often said it’s my favorite piece of furniture. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Thanks so much! I got the fabric from I linked to the particular fabric I used on my post The Office Nook Makeover: The Plan.

  4. I LOVE everything about this!! Great job!!! My daughter is almost 13, also an artist and we’ve been trying to find ways for her to have her own creative space in her bedroom. Even though we live in an apartment, her room is pretty big as far as apartments go. I think we can borrow on this idea and make it for a teenager and her taste.

    1. Thanks, Patty! That’s so great that you are trying to give your daughter a nice space. It really does make a difference if you have somewhere that inspires you. I wish you and your daughter luck!!

    1. Thanks, Layla! Hanging the parasol . . . it makes me laugh to remember how I did it, actually. I wound some sort of lightweight wire–maybe the kind you would use to hang a lightweight picture–around the inside of the parasol, through a couple of the “spokes.” Then I think I connected the ends, so it made a big circle of wire. Then I stood precariously on a stool and tried to figure out where I should put a nail so that I could hang the circle of wire on that nail, and then I nailed in the nail in about that spot. Actually hanging the circle of wire on the nail is really tricky, though, because you’re on that stool, and because you have to do it and then get yourself out of the way when you let go. It was all very iffy! But I have managed to do it twice, so it can be done. Good luck!

    1. Hi Ann, thanks! And yes, you are right, I didn’t end up using them after all. (I should have retaken a photo of just the tabletop, now that I think about it.) If you read the post The Office Nook Makeover: The Plan, I talk about how I initially thought about using them but then decided they wouldn’t pass my husband’s standards. :)

    1. Hi Margot, I got them from IKEA, a month ago or so. I forget their name but I link to them in the post The Office Nook Makeover: The Plan.

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