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How Our Home Office Remodel Improved My Motivation and Productivity

I am so excited to finally share all the details of our home office remodel with you guys today!

As a blogger, I’ve had the blessing (and curse?) to work from home for 5 years now and have learned some lessons that may be helpful!

Working from home seems super glamorous until you realize how unproductive it can make us feel. Before you know it, you haven’t washed your hair in 5 days and you’re wearing yoga pants from 2003.

Which would be fine, except… 2003 was 18 years ago.


Over the last year or so, my motivation and productivity have really taken a nose dive. I blamed a lot of this on the pandemic and all the crazy things that happened. But a lot of it was due to me just being lazy and stuck in a rut.

So I’m determined to get my mojo back and this little home office remodel was the perfect jump start I needed!

Home Office Remodel – Before and After

When we moved into this house in 2016, I was so excited to finally have my own dedicated home office. It’s basically a sunroom that’s right off our master bedroom.

It’s not a huge space and is long and narrow measuring 8.5′ wide x 12.5′ long. But there’s plenty of space for everything I need in my new home office.

While we loved all the extra space in this house, the previous homeowner had much different taste than us (dark brown paint colors, and dark wood trim, and doors throughout most of the home.)

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home office remodel before and after
picture taken during our first viewing with previous homeowner
home office remodel before and after

Office Paint Colors

We definitely wanted to lighten everything up so Craig painted the walls in my new work space White Dove by Benjamin Moore. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find many other before pics so you’ll just have to use your imagination 🙂

But it instantly freshened everything up! As you can see:

boho home office makeover featuring diy desk and lots of plants!

My favorite thing about the room is all the windows and amazing natural light. There are 5 windows total, each measuring almost 6 feet tall! 😱 which is a dream come true for this sun loving girl!

We kept the cellular shades from the existing space, and they do a fairly decent job controlling glare and regulating the temp. But one of these days, I’d love to splurge on some woven roman shades to add a bit more texture to the room.

boho office makeover featuring office decorating ideas and coastal decor

DIY Home Office Desk

I knew I needed a dedicated workspace, desk, and lots of storage. But I had a very small budget to work with at the time. So we decided to build a DIY office desk by using kitchen cabinets and a butcher block countertop.

The cabinets were purchased from a local cabinet outlet store, which saved us sooo much money. I hope to write a blog post soon about them because you can find brand new cabinetry for ridiculously cheap prices.

Our office cabinets were only $3 per inch (width) regardless of height or interior finishes (pull-outs, etc…) The bottom desk portion has 76″ of cabinets, so 76″ x $3 = $228! And the upper cabs are 78″ wide, ($234 total); so the total cost for all our cabinetry was only $462 (plus tax.)

The downside was the bottom cabinets were originally a buttercup yellow color (actually, not a bad color but just not the vibe I was going for.) But for that price, we decided it was worth the hassle of painting them. And bonus: I got to choose a fun paint color! (Robin’s Nest by Benjamin Moore.)

An important factor to note: these are kitchen cabinets, not office cabinets. Which made them slightly too tall to be used as a desk.

But Craig was able to modify the height by removing the toe kicks. This made the overall desk height (including the countertop) about 31.5″ Which is still a smidge taller than an average desk, but my office chair adjusts up and down so it doesn’t bother me.

Here are a few other office chairs that offer a height adjustment:

boho office makeover featuring office decorating ideas and coastal decor. White desk chair


We kept the original white color of the upper cabinets. But we did have to tweak them a bit. The two end cabinets were missing the glass panel inserts. I lived with them that way for several years. But I finally got tired of staring at my ugly crap, so I grabbed some cute buffalo check fabric from my stash, a staple gun, and VOILA!

diy office desk before and after
upper cabs before with missing glass panels
diy hidden office storage

similar fabric // Similar staple gun

hidden office storage using fabric to hide paper clutter

Bye bye ugly junk and hello cute coastal office with closed storage!

hidden office storage using fabric to hide clutter
coastal office makeover featuring office decorating ideas and coastal decor. Teal aqua blue desk cabinets and diy butcher block desktop


Butcher Block Desktop

We used an 8 ft butcher block countertop from Menards for the desktop. I was able to find this similar birch wood countertop from Lowes which ships for free. A great option so you don’t have to lug this thing home in your car!

I wanted to keep that raw, natural look of the wood countertops, but I also wanted to protect them. So we used my favorite matte poly sealer to give the butcher block desktop a durable finish that’s light and bright. I love how they turned out!

coastal office makeover featuring office decorating ideas and coastal decor. Teal aqua blue desk cabinets and diy butcher block desktop

How to Decorate a Small Home Office

My goal was to create a personalized yet comfortable environment to help me be more productive. I spend a lot of time back here, so I wanted to create a space where I could escape from reality and just focus on getting work done.

I admit I have a tendency to be unorganized and a bit messy sometimes. So one important thing I did was get rid of all the clutter. It feels so good to have a clean and clutter-free desk!

Then I added just a few simple accessories like this bulletin board. I bought this one at Homegoods, but here’s a great diy tutorial if you want to save a few bucks. Or here’s one from Walmart for under $30.

I love being able to swap out family pictures and other inspiration. And bulletin boards are an inexpensive and super handy solution (and can be moved from room to room if you need to use it somewhere else!)

Need to decorate your own blank wall? Grab my set of free watercolor printables – which includes the Home is Wherever I’m with You art print shown below.

office decorating ideas using bulletin boards

This brass lamp adds a touch of vintage vibe while giving me some great accent lighting near my computer – which my old lady eyes really appreciate!

matte brass table lamp for desk with coastal office decor


how to use vintage items for cute office storage ideas

Disco ball // Hen on a Nest // milk glass vase

On the right side of my computer, I placed a fun disco ball to throw a little sparkle around. And then I found an old milk glass vase to use for my pens and highlighters. And I used a cute vintage hen dish to store all my flash drives and camera cards.

Shopping your house (or using things you already have in a new, creative way) is a great way to decorate a new space without spending any money. And it let us complete our home office project in a cost effective manner.

Office Storage Ideas

I love having these large storage drawers in my work area to store paint decks, fabric swatches, and camera equipment. Then I use the other cabinet for the office printer and extra reams of paper. (still debating on what kind of cabinet hardware to get)

coastal office makeover featuring office decorating ideas and coastal decor. Teal aqua blue desk cabinets and diy butcher block desktop

The left side of the upper cabinetry stores our bills and important papers (since I don’t use a file cabinet.) And the rest of the cabinets are stuffed with all my paint brushes, acrylic and oil paints, and other craft supplies for the kiddos.

coastal office decor featuring pale aqua blue diy cabinets and diy butcher block desktop

Then on the other wall, I added this large wooden shelf unit. I absolutely love it!

office storage ideas featuring wooden bookshelves and boho office decor
boho home office storage and decorating ideas using natural light wood shelves, bins and baskets

Large Wooden bookcase

It adds functional storage for all my tshirt samples from my etsy shop, which I store in plastic bins. And I love having this new space to decorate seasonally to give my small home office some personality. Since it sits next to these windows, it’s also a great spot for all my new plant babies! 🪴

boho office decor and decorating ideas using light wood tones, plants, and baskets for texture
light and bright sunroom turned office space! Using natural light wood bookcase and shelves to store office supplies, home decor, and cute plants


FLUTED BOWL / similar greek head planter

similar storage bins / Similar Rattan boxes

office storage using plastic bins from Walmart

it’s a good day to read a book tshirt

botanical tshirt

Read my other post to see more summer office decor pics.

The Benefits of Indoor Plants

benefits of indoor plants in home office space

I’ve been meaning to add some plants back here for the last few years, but just never got around to it. (#procrastinatorproblems) I decided to finally make it a priority now that we were finishing this home office makeover. And I’m so glad I did!

I would never have guessed how much plants can affect my mood, creativity, and productivity! Plants are proven to improve air quality as well as adding texture and life to a space too. I can’t believe it took me this long to create this little oasis of greenery back here. Now let’s just hope I can keep them alive!

christmas cactus

Funny story… while I was shooting photos of this room, I had the windows open to try to get a wide-angle shot of everything. I had to run to the kitchen to grab something and when I came back, I had a new little office worker! Can you see him up there in my Christmas cactus? 😂

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Final Thoughts

I’m so glad our home office remodel is finished, and I have to say it was worth every penny! This entire project has given me a lot of positive energy and helped me create a better work-life balance too. The space is light, bright, and really helps me be more productive throughout the day.

The entire room just puts a smile on my face! And while I still need to pick out cabinet hardware and maybe paint the ceramic tile, it’s definitely come a long way since we first moved in.

Just repainting the walls or adding plants can make a huge impact on your mood and motivation levels! If you’re lacking in motivation these days or stuck in a rut like I was take some time out of your busy schedule to clean up the clutter and redecorate. You deserve it!

For more home office ideas from other talented interior designers, follow me on Pinterest.

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our home office remodel featuring coastal decor, mint blue cabinets, diy butcher block desktop and boho office storage ideas

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  1. Hello! I love the idea of a sunroom for an office. What is it like having it off your bedroom? That’s the only place we could put one. Is your office heated/AC? Love your style!

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comments, Jean! Yes, the office does have heat/ac. It was already built when we moved here, but I would guess that you could definitely add one to your home. I personally don’t mind it being off my bedroom since I don’t host clients back here or anything. And it’s actually much quieter here than if it were in the front of our house by our front door. It’s really nice in the spring and fall – I can open all the windows and my plants absolutely love all the sunshine (and so do I!) Thanks for reading 🙂

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