the office makeover: final reveal

9th January 2012

So here is the not-completely-finished-but-we’re-going-to-take-a-break-from-this-room final reveal of our office/guest bedroom makeover.

Back in November I started off the project with a coat of paint and a stencil. Since then we have built a desk, added shelving, DIYed a chandelier, built some custom storage solutions, DIYed a headboard, and added some fabric artwork.

Remember how crazy bright and totally cluttered the room was?

Oh man, that hurts my eyes.

Well, here is the new and improved room.

With our super narrow new desk, the whole room feels so much bigger and definitely feels like a more multi-purpose room (whereas before the monster desk took over).

Since our main filing system is now housed on those shelves above the desk, we’ve realized that we probably need a few more of those magazine files and boxes (both come from IKEA). We’ve labelled them all so that when we get receipts, invoices, or any other important paperwork it’s quick and easy to stick them in the right spot. We have a “his” and “her” side of the drawer units under the desk, so my side is full of my paint chips, design clippings, and pretty post-it notes, whereas the hubby’s side is full of tech stuff.

It feels fun, fresh, and welcoming. It’s definitely a cozy little spot for guests (my mum is a frequent flyer at our pad and loves it).

There are still a few things I want to do – like get a new office chair, add a small rug, and put up some blinds and curtains – but we’re going to put those things on hold until they are in the budget. But for now, the room is pretty cheerful.

Check out the links below for more info on each of the projects:

This was definitely a low budget, use-what-you-have kind of makeover.  Here is the budget breakdown:

  • Paint & stencil: $100
  • DIY chandelier: $2.50 (add another $15 if you didn’t already own white spray paint, string, hot glue gun, and wax paper)
  • DIY fabric artwork: $0 since everything was already owned (but would have been about $60 for the three frames and $10 in fabric)
  • the DIY desk: $130 (we already owned the stain, varathane and painting supplies)
  • DIY headboard: $20 (this was for the wood; we already had the stain, varathane and painting supplies)
  • Pencil/ribbon holder: $1 (since we already had the scrap wood and paint)
  • Throw cushions: $10 (I owned a few already and then snagged a few of those green puppies from the dollar store and the sale bin from my local fabric shop)
  • Magazine files and storage boxes: $20 (but we’ll probably go back and buy a few more..)

The grand total: $313.50

(but… since we had some IKEA gift cards, it was actually only $193.50 out of our pockets. hollaaaa)


So there you have it. What about you guys? Done any mini room makeovers lately? Any re-organizing of your office? Any stenciling? Do tell. 

  • Closet Systems

    Wow that turned out light and bright and seemed to make the room look bigger. I’ve never did a stencil all over a wall like that before but I love it! We just finished a bedroom and closet makeover. Crazy how little things can make such a huge difference.

  • Alana

    woah – i love the way you have spruced up my ottawa bedroom, i can’t wait to come for a sleepover ;)
    looks amazing!!

    • gemma

      it’s yours anytime! :)


  • Katherine

    Brilliant – that narrow desk makes all the difference – so stylish!

    • gemma

      thanks katherine! it’s definitely made the room feel waaaay bigger.


  • The Southern Product Queen

    Love this post! It’s linky party time again on my blog! I hope you can join! Here is the link! Your friends are welcome too!

  • A Lived in Home

    Love this green room! It is so beautiful. The fabric artwork is a nice touch! I will definitely be keeping up with your cute blog!

    • gemma

      thanks so much! the fabric artwork is super easy (and budget friendly).


  • Amber Wallace

    I love it! Especially the trellis wall. You’ve got my mind spinning with ideas for my office/guest room. Currently it’s just a card table. Great work!

    • gemma

      Yeah – the trellis wall is definitely my fave part of the room too. Good luck with your space!!


  • Lori

    You are such a talent! I love the new look, even though you changed the blue (I’m a blue lover) I like that you left the decorative blue paintbrush…so cute! I’m following you all over now cause’ I love great blogs…that’s your! Stop by anytime, Lori

    • gemma

      Aww thanks for your nice words, Lori! I totally love the little blue paintbrush too – it’s actually a stack of post-its!!


  • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse

    Wow – that looks gorgeous. Much more elegant and not eye-hurty but still bright and cheery with great pops of colour. Love your blog. Am off to check out more posts.

    • gemma

      thanks tanya! i agree about the “not so eye-hurty”! ha ha :) thanks for stopping by!


  • Marie Cole

    I bet painting over that blue wasn’t fun. The room turned out beautiful. :)

    • gemma

      actually it wasn’t TOO bad:) thanks!


  • Janet

    This is fantastic! Your blog has totally zoomed up my favourites list and I’m probably gonna “borrow” some of your ideas when I move into my own place. Especially the fauz capiz chandelier :D
    Awesome, awesome, and awesome!

    • gemma

      Oh good – I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks for popping by :)




    • gemma


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  • Alexandra

    Is there a post regarding the office space / nook in your basement? Couldn’t find more details here or in your basement section. I wanted to know where the tree- art that was hung over the desk is from!

    • gemma

      I’m afraid I don’t know where it came from, Alexandra! That space downstairs was decorating by our former tenant (it’s a basement apartment that we rent out), so I don’t know where she got her pieces from. Sorry about that! Maybe try somewhere like HomeSense/Home Goods? I have seen similar stuff there before.

      Good luck!