Working from home is here to stay, with more than 40 per cent of Aussie employees regularly working from home, according to ABS data. Many of us are left scrambling for budget home office ideas so that we can finally stop working from the dining room table.
One of the biggest factors that determine your ability to focus is your physical environment.
- The look and feel of your home office matter more than you realise.
I’ve scoured the World Wide Web to find seven stylish budget home office ideas that will elevate your current WFH setup without draining your wallet. I hope they help you feel good and stay productive at work.
(Related: 7 Career Ideas For Australians Who Are WFH).
1. An Office Nook.
Source: Love And Renovations.
This office nook proves you can create a stylish office space without needing to use up an entire room, using leftover space in the main living room.
With a practical yet stylish desk and chair combination from Target, and a small storage shelf attached to the wall, this home office is the ideal set-up for working with small areas.
(Related: The Only Work From Home Checklist You Need).
2. A DIY Desk Hack With Extra Storage.
Source: Grillo Designs.
This DIY desk storage hack takes budget-friendly home office style to the next level.
The designer removed the legs from this repurposed cork table (it used to be a dining table) and turned these IKEA drawers into a new set of legs with the added benefit of extra storage space.
Stylish, practical and a great example of how you can repurpose furniture for your home office.
(Related: Top Benefits Of Working From Home).
3. The Full IKEA Special.
Source: Making Joy And Pretty Things.
This beautiful home office goes heavy on the IKEA cabinets and shelves, and that’s because IKEA is renowned for its gorgeous yet budget-friendly office furniture.
With calming green floating open shelves and a large floor-to-ceiling cabinet, this is a great example of a budget-friendly office space you can create when you have extra room to spare.
(Related Article: Are Ikea Standing Desks Worth It?)
4. Add Accents Of Colour.
Source: My Kind Of Sweet.
Pops of colour – whether a bright office chair or an eye-catching rug – can be a very effective and budget-friendly way to make your home office more inspiring.
This pink chair and vibrant rug combination bring the whole office space to life, while the white and bright storage spaces (built into the desk, too, for better use of space) give the space a chic feel.
(Related: 7 Best Dual Monitor Arms In Australia).
5. The Floating Desk.
Most people’s first instinct is to push the home office desk against the wall, but you can give your workspace light, bright and flowing feeling by floating the desk again from the walls.
To achieve this look, check out your local thrift stores or online marketplace to find a similar white and brass desk, which is very on-trend, thanks to its clean lines and nice white top.
6. The Boho Look.
Want to achieve a cosy and bohemian look all under $150? Take notes from this designer.
This home office is brought to life not by its desk and chair set-up but by its leafy decorations.
By utilising an IKEA unit she owned and mixing wicker baskets with white storage containers and plants, she transformed her home office into a less cluttered space while still providing functional storage.
7. Trendy Wall Workspace.
Source: Love Create Celebrate.
If the idea of turning a wall into an office workspace has never crossed your mind, take notes from this trendy home office design.
Who knew a simple wall could turn into such a lovely workspace?
(Related: Best Under-Desk Treadmills).
The desk and floating shelves blend seamlessly into the wall and staircase, turning an otherwise basic wall into a functional office space without taking up too much precious floor space.
5 Tips for Setting Up A Home Office On A Budget
Now that you have received a healthy dose of home office inspiration, allow me to provide you with actionable advice you can use to transform your current office space into your mini-WeWork.
1. Choose A Dedicated Office Area.
As tempting as it can be to work on the lounge (or even on your bed – we’ve all been there), nominating a specific area in your home to be your office space will make setting up your budget home office space easier.
2. Create A Floor Plan.
It can be tempting just to start moving furniture around until you find a design that works.
However, measuring out the space you’re working with and creating a floor plan – no matter the size of your home office space – will ensure the final result is a much better use of the space.
Plus, when you have a floor plan (including measurements), you are better positioned to start searching for the right budget items to put into your stylish new office space, instead of guessing whether a new table and chair will even fit in the space.
3. Consider Your Office Vibe & What You Need.
From Scandinavian designs to minimalism, to boho and everything in between, knowing what kind of design and style brings you joy will make shopping and decking out your budget home office easier.
(Related: 13 Best Home Business Ideas).
Once you have your ideal vibe and style, you can start considering what you need to create the perfect budget home office.
Make sure you take ergonomics into account (like an ergonomic chair). On top of that, here are the other home office essentials you need to think about:
4. Use What You Have & DIY.
Take stock of what you have and what you can repurpose.
- Maybe you already have a sturdy desk you can use, but a little DIY paint refresh will give it a whole new lease on life. Or…
- If you don’t have a desk at home, you can get crafty and create a simple desk by placing two filing cabinets next to each other and laying a board across them.
(Related Article: Ultimate Home Office Setup Guide).
Paint it your favourite colour, and now you have a desk with storage capacity too.
In terms of decorative pieces, perhaps you have some plants and artwork cluttering up your bedroom, which can be moved to your home office to spruce up the space.
There are plenty of ways to use inexpensive items to create office shelves, filing systems and organisational boxes. You could use a nice flower pot to hold your pens or use containers to create an organised storage system for things like scissors, paper, staplers and so on.
(Related Article: How To Claim Home Office Expenses).
5. Put On Your Bargain-Hunting Hat.
From Etsy to Facebook Marketplace to garage sales and second-hand stores, there are many places to find budget home office furniture.
Second-hand goods can get a bad rap, but even second-hand furniture in the worst condition can be repaired and uplifted with a little DIY, like sanding and painting.
If you don’t like the idea of second-hand office furniture, you can visit your favourite online or in-person stores to find pieces you like, and then wait until it goes on sale.
Trading pieces of furniture with family or friends is a great way to find new (and free) home office furniture.
Perhaps you have a dining table you can trade for a smaller desk, or you could even trade skills and services for furniture (maybe your friend needs some accounting advice in exchange for an office chair).
- Have you ever dreamt of having a Herman Miller Aeron in your home office, but didn’t have the money? There are ways to buy it second-hand, for less than $700.
Bonus Tip: Improve The Lighting.
A single overhead light is the number one ambience killer in your home office.
Not only can poor office lighting be the cause of eye strain and headaches, but it can also impact your mental health and productivity.
- The main goal of office light is to illuminate your workspace without creating harsh glare, contrast and shadows.
This can be through one or two well-positioned upward-shining floor lamps, which can bounce light off the walls and the ceilings, or some nice lampshades to diffuse the ambient lighting.
(Related: Complete Guide To WFH Ergonomics).
To make things easy for yourself, position your office space in an area or room with great natural lighting from a window or skylight.
In general, it’s good practice to have natural light in front of or next to your work surfaces and computer screens to avoid glare (and give you a nice view outside).
To accommodate varying levels of sunlight during the day, invest in some budget-friendly solar shades to reduce any harsh heat, without compromising brightness.
Final Words About Budget-Friendly Office Spaces.
Use these home office ideas on a budget to create a new and stylish office space you’ll enjoy working in.
It is certainly tempting to just work from your kitchen table, or your bed, but a dedicated office space will not only make work more joyful but will also make you more focused and productive.
Start getting creative and building your budget home office ideas today – your future self will thank you!