For anyone who works from home, the key to racing through the to-do list is having a dedicated space to settle down in. Whether you’re lucky enough to have a spare room that can double as an office, or you just have a desk in the corner of the lounge, your workspace should be functional, comfortable and stylish – things that often seem to come at a pretty high price. Here at Roost, we’re fans of getting the most for your money, so today we’ve come up with ten ways to create a stylish workspace on the tightest of budgets.
1. Find Purse-Friendly Furniture
Hands down, IKEA is the winner when it comes to fab furniture on a budget; if you’re looking for a desk, they do a range of table tops and legs (I bought the Linnmon top and Oddvald easel-style legs for a bargain-tastic £40) which can be mixed and matched, or you can go for a ready-made computer desk. Argos is also pretty good for low-priced desks and chairs, and of course there’s always Gumtree, eBay and second-hand furniture shops – we picked up a beautiful old desk for £10 from Gumtree once.
2. Opt for Lighting on a Budget
Anglepoise desk lamps are one of the most popular choices when it comes to office lighting, but the cost can run into hundreds of pounds. IKEA has a great range starting from around £8.50, and we fell madly in love with the Isaac lamp at B&Q which comes in a range of colours and is only £20.
3. Printable and DIY Artwork
If your walls are looking a bit bare, there are heaps of places to look for nice prints, but they can come at a pretty hefty price – luckily, you can get amazing artwork for absolutely nothing if you know where to look. A quick search on Pinterest for ‘printable artwork’ should give you loads of options (the number print is from here, and the feathers are from here), and if you’re the creative type, you could make a DIY version using a fancy font and an inkjet printer.
4. Use Postcards to Create a Collage
Prints might be pricey, but postcards are way cheaper – so if you don’t fancy printing out your own artwork, go miniature instead. Gallery shops are probably the best place to find postcards, and they often have small versions of the exhibition art, and Paperchase have some brilliant ones at the moment – we really like this one printed in copper.
5. Have a go at Upcycling
Storage doesn’t have to be all expensive filing cabinets and flat-pack bookcases – if you want something a bit different on a budget, try upcycling old materials. Floorboards or scaffold boards are great as shelves, and can either be left as they are or sanded and painted, while old pallets mounted on the wall make great paper racks. Cereal boxes can be anything from magazine files to filing trays, and if you’ve got the wall space, simply hanging magazines over a wire hanger is cheap and effective.
6. DIY Noticeboards
Wire noticeboards are the office thing-of-the-moment, but ready-made versions can set you back anything up to around £60 – make your own for under £20 by following our tutorial, or simply buy a length of retail display grid (there’s loads of these on eBay) and mount on the wall.
7. Use second-hand pots and cups to hold small items
Rather than buying dedicated storage for things like paperclips, drawing pins and other small items, raid the charity shops for bargain teacups, jars and pots. Alternatively, you could make your own by decorating old tin cans, jam jars or following our clay pot tutorial.
8. Add Some Plants
If you’re looking to add a little bit of calm to your workspace, try bringing the outside in by popping a few plants on your desk. Not only are they beautiful to look at, they also help your health by clearing the air of toxins – double win!
9. Find Some Budget Friendly Stationery
It’s possible to spend a fortune on stationery (trust us, we know about that here at Roost!), but if you’re trying to keep the costs down, there are two places you HAVE to visit. Tiger is an absolute goldmine for things like washi tape, paperclips, notebooks and pencils, while HEMA is fairly similar, but also has the added bonus of an online shop.
10. Stay Inspired with Books and Magazines
Keeping a good selection of books and magazines on your desk is one of the best things you can do; not only are they good to dip into every now and then for ideas and inspiration, but front-facing some of them means that they can double as artwork!
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P.S. Did you like this post? We’d love to be considered for a nomination in the Best New Blog category at The MAD Blog Awards (you can nominate here) and the Fresh Voice category at The Bibs (you can nominate here). Thank you!