7 Smart Home Office Ideas That Don’t Break The Budget

If Captain Purple-Shirt-Subtle-Smile-Dream-Boat isn’t enough to get you interested in this blog post about smart home office ideas, then… well I don’t know what will.

Regardless, to give you a little taster, by the end of this blog post you’ll have some great home office ideas and resources for featured products so you can:

  1. Use that vacant space in the comfort of your bedroom
  2. Get into a spot of DIY with our DIY home office ideas
  3. Get back to nature and style with greenery
  4. Make use of that small space with home office ideas for a small space
  5. Give your home office the contemporary look that just never goes out of style
  6. Express yourself with some stylish home office ideas
  7. Work with company with our home office ideas for two

By the way, if you’re not a tech person and need help setting up the tech side of things at home, then you’ll find The Best Home Office Setup To Get You Up and Running useful.

Let’s not fluff about. Here we go…

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated, at no additional cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking on a link. 


Soften the hard working surfaces of a home office so it’s not out of place in your bedroom – To start off, here’s a great budget home office idea that would make your work place feel at home in your bedroom. Hanging a tapestry or a beautiful rug, throw or blanket softens the space nicely.

How do I do it? I would definitely rather look at this nature tapestry over a wall, or feel the softness of this Mkono macrame wall curtain. Yo so boho!

If the tapestry or hanging throw isn’t your style, then bringing your home office into your bedroom space can be made all the easier with decorations like this classic white room divider with matching white curtains, or perhaps a coat stand, a styled manequine, or a vintage dresser with mirror.

How do I do it? If you can’t find a screen or room divider at 1stdibs, stop looking haha.

Home office desk with map on the white wall

It doesn’t take much to turn a dead space into a nice place – No it’s not particularly stylish, nor does it have a wow factor, but we wanted to add this budget home office idea to show that neatly placing just a few pieces in the right way can turn an empty “what-do-I-do-with-that-space” into a simple, warm home office on a budget. Tips are:

How do I do it? Choose your desk, chair, and lamp to suit your style, grab a “warm” globe to soften the lighting, and check out these cool world maps: Vintage Style, 3 Piece Canvas, or Classic.

On a different note, if you’re one of the many who have found themselves having to work at home this year, you might find 9 Work From Home Tips to Get Through the Coronavirus Pandemic helpful.


home office with chalk board wall

Chalk this idea up as a win – Chalk paint is a great DIY budget home office idea. It’s a deep, rich color, it has an interesting texture, but most importantly it’s a canvas for your evolving creativity and style. Don’t like last weeks stick figurines, no problem, I’ll chalk up a new pendant light this week. We also dig the simplicity of the small wood mannequin and the quote posters which could easily be printed on the home office printer.

How do I do it? Here’s some chalk paint, the wood mannequin and some B&W motivational quote posters to help with your DIY style. Remember, with things like pictures or posters, work with odd numbers. A cluster of 3 or 5 can look great!

clean home office with 2 chalk boards

Chalk paint a bridge too far for you? Fair enough. Thought we’d slot this one in to show how chalk boards can look cool too. The black, white and grey tones of this home office with just a splash of green to break it up is a winner. Love that lamp too.

How do I do it? Here’s a 23 x 17 chalk board with oak frame, or a highly rated rustic whitewash easel chalkboard that could fit on your table. And that trendy floor lamp that fits nicely.

home office with lots of diy decorations

Put your nick-nacks to work – we all have at least a bit of bric-a-brac floating about. Install a little DIY timber feature shelf and fill it with quirky things that have no better home. Check out the piece of timber on the floating shelf, the sticky taped print-out on the wall, the hanging headphones. This picture is full of simple yet effective DIY home office ideas.

How do I do it? Here are a few clips to help you with some DIY floating shelves: This one has over 2.8m views, and this video over 1.3m. Then just sniff around for some nick-nacks, and if you don’t have any, drop into the next yard sale you see.

home office with wire mesh wall organizer

The simplicity of DIY personified – The photo above and the two below personify the simplicity of DIY. To point out a few features, the random collection of pictures, hung out of line or just sitting on the floor. The wire mesh wall organizer – use timber pegs to hang reminders, quotes or light-bulb moments. The timber boxes which can be whitewash painted or left to show the raw pine. A stylish magazine. Some letters and boxes, some wrapped in brown paper (surely brown paper packages tied up with string are one of your favorite things). A timber ladder with greenery draping down its rungs. A wire basket with rolled up paper. All of this is simple stuff.

Home office desk with the letter A on it

How do I do it? Just open your eyes, and your attic or garage, to the endless ideas around you in your day to day life, dust some cob webs off something you just couldn’t bring yourself to throwing out, make it a feature… and feel no shame stealing a good idea!

Wooden chair at desk with desktop computer in white home office interior with plant on ladder

Speaking of stealing good ideas, check out this pot rack I built in an apartment my wife and I used to live in. Sorry the photo isn’t great, it’s from the archives. But all it took to make the rack was some timber, wire mesh to sit the pots on and hang the pans from, chain, hooks, a few screws and it was a real kitchen feature. Not to mention making it way easier to access the pots and pans.


kitchen with hanging pots and pans


retro home office

Green and retro go together like Bonnie and Clyde – This space just oozes retro style, from the record player and mounted records to the shades of green and brown to the table with under-slung magazine rack to the open book shelf with polka dot back ground. And of course the greenery which gives that freshness like lettuce on a freshly prepared burger.

How do I do it? See below.

lady in home office with lots of pictures

Think outside the box – There’s no doubt that living plants give the most realistic feeling of reconnecting with nature, however studies show that viewing nature in paintings and videos even has a positive impact. The scene above has some great home office ideas that help bring some of the outside in, and on a budget too, including the rubber plant, a plastic fern frond, some succulents, and several pictures of flora amongst other green ornaments that boost the overall natural feel of the space.

How do I do it? See below for plants, but these Etsy items will get your creative juices flowing: a cross stitch kit, timber figurine air planter, set of 3 botanical prints, or a set of 4 antique botanical printable art that you can print from home.

Interior with a white desk, mint chair, chest of drawers and armchair

What! You work in a terrarium?! – Ok so we don’t want to feel like we’re joining Sigourney Weaver in Gorilla’s in the mist whenever we’re venturing into the home office, but a healthy collection of plants would make ‘going to the office’ a relaxing pleasure. And creating synergy between the living ornaments and the not-so-living décor can look great too. The greens of the chest of drawers, the desk chair and the armchair cushion do exactly that, not to mention the browns of the rug, the tripod tables and armchair legs which are obviously a match with green in nature.

How do I do it? Here are some useful blogs to help you choose the right plants for your indoor space and also find where you can buy them when the time comes.


Attic home office interior, poster

Attic’s… the most underrated small spaces for a home office – There’s something about the sloping ceiling, a skylight, cute little storage spaces, and being up and away from the rest of the house that makes an attic a productive space and a great home office idea for a small space. There’s plenty of scope to use exposed elements of the roof structure as a feature like the timber struts and trimming shown above.

I dig the color scheme of this attic home office with the dark timber breaking up the lighter whites and creams from the darker blues and browns. Very warm feeling. There’s also a neat use of storage solutions here which add some character and suit the color palette. Note the burgundy colored folders in the file holder which all match and work with the color scheme. It’s the little touches!

How do I do it? My mum recently had a design created for her attic conversion, so coming from a construction background my advice was to seek quotes not from your average builder, but from attic conversion specialists. There’s enough of a market in the attic conversion space to warrant attic conversions as a kind of trade, so I recommend jumping on Google and searching for ‘attic conversions *name of your town/city*’.

As for the organizing elements, here’s a wire mesh wall file holder or a black variety made from 50% recycled material. And here are some magnetic wire mesh storage baskets that can be used for stationary, desk clutter, or even some succulents.

For more organization ideas, read 19 Awesome Office Organization Ideas – DIY It or Buy It!

Attic cozy home office

Here’s another great use of what would otherwise be dead space. The home office setup is basic, with a simple chair, desk, some cabinets, a pendant light and some clever file storage where the ceiling gets too low for anything else. With just a few matching items such as the blue chair, vase and filing binders, it quickly turns from a random desk in a corner to a cute home office idea for a small space.

How do I do it? Liking the bright blue look? Here’s a chair, some binders and of course a vase to finish off the look. Oh and don’t forget the orange runner rug to bring the space some warmth.

Home office built into a linen cupboard

Convert a linen cupboard into a study nook – that’s exactly what I did here. In this apartment there was plenty of storage space, but this corner just felt like dead space to us, so I pulled the cupboard doors off, removed the shelves and fitted this beautiful piece of timber into the space as the desk. I added some shelves on one side, some simple decorations and voila, a neat home office idea for a small space.


Front view of a desk with a laptop and lamp standing by the window

Contemporize by keeping it simple – White, grey, green and light brown. What a great contemporary color scheme. It just feels light and happy doesn’t it. Note the use of thinner items here such as the thin desks (one with skinny legs), thin rungs to the chair, thin lamp arms, thin venetian blinds and thin picture frames which gives this contemporary home office that light, minimalized kind of feeling.

How do I do it? Here are some items that carry that thin, light look: a beige ladder back chair, timber top table or a glass top L-shaped office desk, and a swing arm desk lamp to get the design creative juices flowing.

Modern home office area

Neutral colors and style matching for contemporary home office success – Soft tones and some matching items make this contemporary home office work. Lighter timber floors with various off whites and the subtle pink curtain which doesn’t dominate, but just blends in nicely. A few touches of black also work well here.

How do I do it? Again, look for open style furniture like an open desk, chairs with open backs, and floating shelves with just a few items neatly arranged.

grand home office with bay windows

Home office furniture turns a space for just work into a homely office – This clever use of windows brings the outside shades of green into the warmth of the timber furnishings and dark bluey grey paint finish. Note the touches of red and pink on the model cars and the rug which add both masculine and femenine style to this contemporary home office.

One of the stand-out items though is the armchair. Putting this in the corner facing out on an angle draws the line of vision across the room diagonaly, giving the feeling of space. It also makes the space feel more inviting and comfortable than if there was just a metal framed chair.

How do I do it? As pictured above, here’s a leather armchair from Wayfair (and of course a much more economical and animal friendly faux leather armchair), or another contemporary style is this Bryony armchair, also from Wayfair. 


Modern apartment with open room

Who needs walls to break up a space! – This living room come work space is a stylish home office idea that uses the wall finishes to differentiate functionality. Check out the wire rack organizer that we highlighted in the DIY home office ideas section, and the use of plants and plant pictures that we noted in the green home office section. Don’t miss the cactus and dark textured wall paint which give this stylish home office a more serious ‘let’s get to work’ feel.

How do I do it? Check out section 3 of this blog for advice on what plants work well indoors and where to buy them online, and don’t forget the grid wall panel which you can style up however you feel.

pink themed home office

Color me pink and purple! – Ok so purple may or may not be your color, either way here’s some stylish home office idea inspiration showing you how you can take your favourite color (obviously purple in this home office) and style with items you love (boxes and cases here) mixed with some touches like the timber table and cane chair. Again, don’t forget the timeless splash of green, so long as it goes with your color scheme.

simple home office desk with 5 floating shelves

Minimalize to maximize style – Who knows if the papers and books on those floating shelves are practical, or purely for styling, and quite frankly, who cares. I love the simplicity of this home office which could be a bedroom home office or a home office idea for a small space. Three simple tones, black, white and brown. Note the tactfully placed black camera so it doesn’t look too monotonous across all the shelves.

To make more of a color statement you could have books, papers or other ornaments of matching colors on each floating shelf.

How do I do it? Here are some really nice floating timber shelves, however the table shown is hard to find. We did find this white and bamboo table from IKEA, or this solid wood writing desk from Wayfair.

modern styled black and white home office

Here are some more stylish home office ideas, from this more masculine-styled white and grey home office with very ordered, symmetrical shelf boxes….

Modern interior of home office

To this styled home office with its black and white themed feature shelving, with splashes of red, green and brown ornaments and furnishings to give it some pizaz…

Dark themed modern home office

To this vertical patterned minimal home office. See some ideas you like? Steal as many as you like!


twin desk home office in yellow and green

Use the 80/20 symmetry rule – By butchering Pareto’s principle (the 80/20 rule) and applying the 80/20 principle to symmetry and style, one home office idea is to aim for 80% symmetric and 20% asymmetric.

In the above home office (more of a kids study space, but same deal) the majority of the home office setup is symmetrical. Look at the chairs, the desk with the draws placed in the center, the lamps, the symmetry in the bookshelf, even the handles on the filing cabinet and bookshelf cabinet are symmetrical. If it were left at that, it would actually look quite boring, however a few asymmetrical touches such as the different sized rugs and the different items placed on the bookshelf give it the x-factor.

How do I do it? While the above home office was bespoke, we’ve managed to put together a lively home office set for the kids or for yourself. Here’s the double computer desk by Tribesigns, a funky orange filing cabinet sold by The Container Store, poly-mesh back chairs in a range of colors by OfficeFurniture.com, a gorgeous 3’ diameter natural fiber rug, some very cool, modern floating display shelves and a neat swing arm lamp that would be a feature in its own right.

twin home office desk white themed

Asymmetry for individuality – Unlike the previous home office setup that was more about the symmetry, the asymmetric look lends itself more to the concept that different people use the space for different reasons. As you can see there’s the online work side with computer setup and the more artistic display shelf side where you can envisage things are designed and created by hand.

How do I do it? There are a range of floating desks on the market that are cleverly designed to fold down as a drop leaf table to save space if needed. Here are some chair options on the theme of white, one with plastic chair on metal legs, and another in leather on casters.  Love that display rack which could be anything from this 8 compartment wall display shelf, to this 6 tier metal display rack, to this 3 piece floating wall shelves. Let your imagination run wild!

home office with space for two contemporary styled

Lots of little touches makes for great design – This spacious abode has some great home office ideas for two, including the variety of the asymmetrical design that we just mentioned, matching chairs, the L-shaped work space and the collaboration space between the two workstations.

This home office also takes advantage of two large windows overlooking greenery, giving loads of natural light, plenty of storage space with country style beveled cabinet doors, a feature corner cabinet with some country style ornaments and greenery, but a more modern use of downlights and LED’s over the desk. This home office looks great and functions perfectly.

How do I do it? Let’s not forget color theming which is so important and has obviously been thought about in this home office idea for two. Two home office fit-out items that work well are the matching adjustable height task chairs and the hidden LED light strip which also adds character to the otherwise plain wall.


We hope these home office ideas have been a great source of inspiration so you can create your own amazing home office.

Just to re-cap, we’ve covered:

  1. How to use that vacant space in the comfort of your bedroom

  2. Some neat DIY home office ideas that won’t break the budget

  3. The awesome beauty of greenery in the home office

  4. How to make use of that small space with home office ideas for a small space

  5. The home office contemporary look that just never goes out of style

  6. How to express your unique-ness with some stylish home office ideas

  7. And lastly some home office ideas for two

If you found this blog useful we would be endlessly grateful if you’d share it with anyone and everyone who would enjoy it or benefit from it. Have a great day!

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