Home Office Make-Over

The 1K challenge is back! – a bunch of small facelifts that make a huge impact for under R1000 (USD100)!

This month, I have applied myself to my husband’s office. This is not a conventional office by any means: Joey works from home, but his work mostly consists of meetings with various people. He decided not to have a desk since he rarely uses his computer and can use the coffee table for his laptop when necessary. He does however need to have comfortable seating for up to 4 people. He also has a rather large collection of books and various personal and sentimental paraphernalia that I needed to accommodate. The shelves were put up temporarily when I moved into my studio space so there was a definite need for new ones and storage was needed since the desk was now out. Oh, and this room is also our quest room!

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I really had to think properly about this one: It was dull and uninspiring. I was happy with the sofa bed, but nothing else really worked. So I did all my planning, banned the man from his soon-to-be awesome cave for 2 days, got an extra pair of hands to help me with the painting and stunned him with the result!

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I am always amazed at the impact colour has. This warm grey (Hong Kong Mist) gives such a lovely depth to the room. And it works great with all the wood elements as well.

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Here’s the budget:

Lamp Shade: R169
Wood Stain: R59
paint: R295
Wood for Shelves: R85
Brackets for shelves: R214
Spray Paint & Primer: R140
Hardware: R26
Total: R988

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I rarely decorate with a theme, but since there were so many heritage items already, I took it as my cue and ran with it. This room is now an ode to Bruwers everywhere! Okay, maybe not that, but I framed the list of French Huguenots and resprayed the tacky-looking family crest which now sits proudly next to Joey’s grandmother’s nurses’ case.

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The sweet but very girly chandelier was replaced with the pendant that I took down when I revamped the dining room. It looks SO much better here!

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The medical plaque and Sherlock Holmes cap was his dad’s.

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The old pine chest which holds the bed linen for guests was sanded down and stained with Wondaseal in Protea Brown. Besides working much better with the rest of the wood in the room, I was surprised that it also looks a lot more contemporary in the warmer colour.

I used the same stain on the shelves: this is really my favourite thing in the room.


I loved some shelves that I saw on Restoration Hardware’s website, and then made my own version of them.

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This way I got a USD195 (R1950) shelf for R128. Crazy, right? And to be honest, I prefer mine!

tripod - watermarked

The tripod lamp is another project that was 6 years in the making. I had always wanted to convert Joey’s dad’s old tripod from the 70’s into a lamp but somehow life happened and the lamp didn’t. This was the perfect opportunity to get it done! I just fixed a brass lamp holder to the top and added a shade. Easy! The gorgeous retro filing cabinet was my grandfather’s. We really do have a lot of people represented in this room!

I am so happy with the way to room turned out but more importantly, Joey loves it!

*The Tripod Lamp and Pipe Shelf DIY’s in this post will soon be featured in The DIY and Styling Book.

Comments · 7

  1. Wow! Impressive! Looks great! I can’t believe you did all this for less than R1000!! That’s the one thing holding me back from redecorating at the moment, I’m so afraid of what it might cost. Really well done and thanks for sharing! 😀

    1. Thank you so much for the comment! I only realised now that I didn’t put my actual budget into the post – I will do that today so you can see how. A lot of the time it’s just rethinking the things that you have – have a look at my other 1K challenge posts for some more ideas. Why don’t you tell me which room you are struggling with then I will see what I can do for my next challenge! Germarie

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