my place - a home office on a budget

The Mantra : 'Today is a good day'. 

Do you have any special room in the house that you feel kind of - by unspoken rule - belongs to you? I think most people do. A friend I know adores her bedroom. Another choose his living room. And for people like my husband, who loves to cook, kitchen is his kingdom. Me? as weird as it may sound, I always fond of my home office.

If there is a room in my house that I call my place, that would be it. I don't know why I choose the home office in particular to be 'my place'. It has started a long time ago I guess. I was a neat child. I have places for everything. Chaos repels me. As I grew up, I developed a hobby in writing. Short stories, mostly. Or poems. A bit random really. Actually you my say that I can do basically everything I do in my office somewhere else too. True. But I guess in some ways, I just love to have a place where I can do 'my things'. Nowadays that would include blogging, doing expenses things, crafting and sometimes even daydreaming. 

As a child, 'a home office' for me would be called a study nook. A nook in my bedroom where there was a small table, a chair, and small stack of books and stationaries on top of the table. Growing up, during younger years when I was running my own boutique and shoe shop, I can afford to rent (and eventually bought) a house with more than one bedroom and splurge a little on good furnitures and fixes. That time, a home office would be a proper room where I have a nicer table, ergonomic chair, and all books and filing cabinets for all my business and personal files. A room with a nook where I put a comfy sofa and standing lamp for reading at night, retreating from the busy world hours before. 

Then I moved to another country, got married and started a new life. At this point, everything went back from zero. We were actually pretty lucky. Our old apartment was located in the centre of the city, had three bedrooms, ( a total luxury if you asked me) one kitchen, a hallway and one bathroom. It was a pretty old building, but neat, and we paid quite low, regarding where we lived and where the apartment was located. 

I love that apartment. That apartment was a bachelor pad of my husband and his boys. So little renovations here and there were needed. We started small, being a newlyweds and all. My husband just landed his first real job, and I still needed to learn the language to even dream about having a job. We got help from his parents here and there, of course. But we still needed to start small.That being said, I went back from having one room as a home office to having a small little nook, shared with our dining room, and very minimum budget for it. 

A home office slash dining room at my old apartment 

Went back to having a nook. 

During my three years living there, that room was my place. It was a compact, a multi-function room but we refused not to at least dressed it a bit with small budget that we had. We painted the walls by our selves, got cheap furnitures and fixes from IKEA. 

I cut out some magazine's pages, created simple art (two blue frames by the window in the picture above) that happened to have the colours matched with the curtains, and threw a fake fur floor mat. Not because they were cheap, I just don't do real fur. Across from this corner, behind the shelf, I had my home trainer, a small white IKEA shelf for storing important papers and my small handmade mood board hanged on the wall (picture below). It was very simple to make. You can read how I made it from my older blogpost here

A couple of months ago we decided to move a little bit outskirt the city. We found a nice house in a small quiet compound with a little garden facing small calm river. I gained back the luxury of having one room dedicated solely for home office, at least for now. However with new house of course come renovations, which leave us, me, no budget whatsoever for my new home office. I refused not to dress it a bit though. So what I did was just a little mix and match of what we already have. 

Cheap chair (but comfortable). Got it for only 60 euros at Mömax

I sold the chair long ago and decided to buy a new one. Got it cheap, actually. This 'baroque' inspired black and white curtains used to hang in our bedroom. Got in on Ebay for more or less 20 euros. These storage boxes on the floor are also old ones. Got them cheap too at Brands4friends. The other grey storage boxes on the shelf are from Ikea.  

I know. What is with the extra mouse and extra keyboard. Well, they are totally handy sometimes. 

One of the thing I always do when 'filling' my home office is to have things I love in the room. Few things I love to have around are plants, books, and some little decorative items that means to me. 

This plant, the one above the shelf, is more than 10 years old! Belongs to the husband. Almost died. Told me to throw it away. I just re-potted it, gave it a new soil, and voila. It grew and is still growing. 

A new faux fur on the floor. Got it cheap at Westwingnow.de 

Some of my favorite decorating books, including favorite decor/fashion magazine, Couch

One of my favorite decor items. Bought it in Indonesia when I was 18 years old. 

Studying fashion design got it perks. I collected this colouring pencils and pens and although I am not using them that often anymore, they made great decorative items. 

These hat boxes are my favorite storage spaces. I stored hats and other things there. I got them extremely cheap at Brands4friends, the illustration on a frame on top, is this blog logo, created by my super talented friend Irene from Inspiration Never Ends. You may check out her work on her Facebook page. 

Including these beautiful boxes where I kept some of my other stationaries and items that I still love, also from Brands4friends.

Some of my favorite books. All of them bought second hand. Amazon is normally my number one source for cheap second hands books. 

And lastly. Things that keep you going. This is Louie, my 11 year old Golden Retriever who died last year.

Creating a workspace that suits you actually is not that hard. If you are like me, a girl who however always need to have her own workspace, the following tips from my experiences may be useful : 

  • LIMITED SPACE? NO PROBLEM. 

Nooks are great for a home with limited space. To avoid the space looking so cluttered, put visible things that you use the most. For me it would be my computer and agenda. If you do have bigger table, of course you can add one or two decorative items that inspire you. 

  • DISPLAY YOUR FAVORITE ITEMS.

Seeing your favorite books, a family picture or just your memories from last holiday will definitely lift your mood every time you enter the room. I normally change the items on regular basis, just to avoid being bored. A plant is a must on my table. On daily basis I stick with succulents, sometimes I do fresh flowers like tulips or peonis. 

  • MAXIMIZE STORAGE SPACES.

I love pretty storage boxes. You can also get them for cheap normally. This way I don't have to worry about items that I need but I don't to see them laying around. I would recommend this no matter if you have a nook or a whole room as a home office. 

  • BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET.

Creating a workspace, especially when you are blessed with having a whole room can be overwhelming and fun at the same time. I would say start with something you already have, like what I did with my current home office. I know sometimes we are tempted to start with the big theme, but if you have limited budget, or even if you are not, it's never hurt to examine what you have first. Normally you will always have ideas afterwards. If you still can't find anything you like with what you have, trying letting go some stuffs first to be able to have the funds for your new purchase. 

  • SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND! 

I love to find inspirations by looking at other people's home offices. How they dressed their rooms, their windows, even their table. I am also the type of girl who does not like to buy decorating stuffs with normal price tags. Here are some websites/apps I regularly use, and recommend, for you too look at (some of these websites are only available for delievery in Europe): 

  • PINTEREST. For thousands of inspirations on anything. It is like an online Bible for almost every little things this life has. 
  • MYDOMAINE. For beautiful inspirations on decorating your home. 
  • INSTAGRAM. There are plenty of interior designer on Instagram showcasing their works. Or simply an account that compiles beautiful homes and rooms. 
  • BRANDS4FRIENDS. A website that offers discounted items on fashion, beauty and home decor items. All offers are limited to time. Very recommended. I purchase a lot from these guys. 
  • WESTWING.DE and WESTWINGNOW. They offer plenty of very chic yet affordable discounted home decor. I also really recommend these websites. Sometimes they have nice fashion items too. 
  • MÖMAX, IKEA, MAISON DU MONDE, IMPRESSIONENLOFTONLINE.DE, These websites offer almost anything you need for your home with reasonable prices. Also, check out MONOQI for contemporary design with cheaper prices.

Succulents are cheap, but they do made your room feels nicer. Got this one for cheap at Ikea. 

I always believe that we can create pretty space without drying out our bank account. Hope my experiences and tips helps! 

Happy decorating and stay loved, 

Your Eve