DIY Home office

Yesterday was so much fun, seeing the first of the Styling the Seasons posts and photographs. Thank you so much to everybody who is going to take part (remember, you can share your styled surface on any day during September) and I hope that it has already helped you take a bit more time to reflect on the change of month and how to refresh your home – sometimes a jiggle around is almost as good as redecorating, I find.

That being said, I have done a rather large ‘jiggle around’ of what was our guest room/home office and I would like to share the results of that with you today. The room used to look like this…

Home office makeover 'before' | Apartment Apothecary

I never invested a huge amount in this room, mostly because I had run out of money by the time I had bought furniture for the other rooms in the flat. Therefore, it was always more functional than anything else. However, I always hated the carpet, I can’t bear staring at a wall when I’m working and the bed didn’t get used enough to justify taking up most of the room. So, I have done a DIY makeover with a budget of £300 (excluding the shelves, which Jules bought me as a present):


Floor paint – Farrow and Ball ‘All White’ £94

MDF desk top – £25 bought from a timber yard and cut to our dimensions

Four desk legs – Ikea £32

Pendant light – The Gifted Few £90

Cabinet makeover – £62 click on this post to see how I changed it: Furniture Makeover Challenge

Pegboard – Amazon £16

TOTAL: £319 (I also sold the bed for £150)

In brief, we sold the bed, ripped up the carpet, painted the MDF floor, removed everything from the left hand wall and cut the existing desk down to 150 x 70cm. We then bought another piece of MDF, exactly the same size, and painted it white to make a double desk. Neither of us wanted to face straight at a wall so I decided to place the desk in the middle of the room, which also means others can sit at it and I can use it as a very easily accessible sewing table and for pattern cutting. It is also good for taking photographs on from every angle. We had two trestle legs on the old desk, which we have kept and we have one each, and then I bought four more legs, which don’t take up the extra space trestle legs do.

My desk chair is from the wonderful Out There Interiors and Jules has had his Herman Miller chair for ages. I slotted the cabinet in next to the window and it has sliding glass doors, which is perfect for the space and it’s where I store all my sewing bits. Find out more about it and the pegboard in my furniture makeover challenge post. The String shelving was a massive indulgence but is such a flexible shelving system that can broken up or added to (I want the cabinets and drawers) and can be moved to other rooms – I hope one day to have a whole wall of it). I have left the wall behind my desk completely blank so that I can take photographs against it and there’s also a set of drawers, that were in the old guest room, next to the door as you enter the room where I can leave on-going craft projects or take photographs.

I hope you like the end result…

Home office makeover | Apartment Apothecary

My home office makeover by Apartment Apothecary

Did you see my first Styling the Seasons post yesterday that focused on my new String shelving?

My home office makeover by Apartment Apothecary

I love this Double Merrick print, which I used as colour inspiration for the room.

My home office makeover by Apartment Apothecary

I have hung three clipboards on the wall for inspiration – pages of magazines, fabric samples, photographs etc.

My home office makeover by Apartment Apothecary

The drawers are stuffed with craft supplies and the top of the drawers is a good place to leave on-going craft projects or to take photographs. During the makeover, I smashed my Original BTC clip-on lampshade – I HATE the feeling of breaking something! I had to buy a very expensive replacement shade 🙁

My home office makeover by Apartment Apothecary

I love these baskets that I bought from Tea and Kate. One is full of fabric and the other with my wrapping paper and wallpaper stash. I still need to find a new home for the phone.

My home office makeover by Apartment Apothecary

I used Mini Moderns Peggy wallpaper to line this cabinet that I bought from eBay. See more on my Furniture Makeover Challenge post.

My home office makeover by Apartment Apothecary

I’ve added my Little Dane lamp from Loaf to this room because the colour works really well with the new pendant light and it’s nice to have a really soft light sometimes rather than task lighting, which the pendant provides.

My home office makeover by Apartment Apothecary

The cup is from Tea and Kate and the jadeite tumbler is from Liberty.

My home office makeover by Apartment Apothecary

Totally in love with Rifle Paper Co notebooks that you can buy from Liberty.

Home office

The vase set is from The Hambledon. I think I am going to buy a big plant in a terracotta pot for the centre of the desk – partly so Jules and I can’t see each other and therefore there is less chance of distraction!

I’m so happy it is finished and the light, bright feel of the room is so motivating. I had better get to work!

Katy x




  1. 2nd September 2014 / 7:01 am

    I love it – especially the bold desk positioning. As you say perfect for cutting out on.

  2. 2nd September 2014 / 7:02 am

    Very inspiring! I run a home business and my desk is facing the wall which I feel I must remedy immediately after reading this post. The up cycled cabinet with pegboard is also marvellous – a job well done!

  3. 2nd September 2014 / 7:53 am

    Just absolutely stunning! Love it – EVERYTHING about it! Enjoy working in such a beautiful space!

  4. 2nd September 2014 / 9:26 am

    Wow, looks great! I’m definitely a fan of moving a desk into the middle of the room too – just moved mine too.

  5. 2nd September 2014 / 9:33 am

    I love it. It looks so beautiful. I really like the shelves and the pops of nature and green you’ve managed to include everywhere!

  6. 2nd September 2014 / 10:18 am

    So pretty! Can’t wait to see what you make in that room. It is BEAUTIFUL! xx

  7. 2nd September 2014 / 2:05 pm

    This is so pretty, I’ve been trying to find a pegboard for ages. I have a simple situation with a guest bedroom/office, might have to move it around now!

  8. 2nd September 2014 / 3:04 pm

    What a transformation! I really want to give my home office a makeover and I definitely think I’m going to use the idea of the table in the middle!

  9. 2nd September 2014 / 7:58 pm

    This looks fab! You’ve got me looking around my home office now and wondering how I can re-organise it!

  10. 2nd September 2014 / 8:13 pm

    Totally gorgeous! Well worth all that work xx

  11. 2nd September 2014 / 8:37 pm

    Love your home office, looks so much better, the desk looks amazing in the middle!

  12. Charlotte
    2nd September 2014 / 8:49 pm

    Stunning! I love whitewashing everything and then adding a splash of colour here and there. It looks like a room you will feel inspired to work in. Thanks for sharing and also for letting me know about teaandkate, your cup sold it for me (ok, as well as the basket storage, vases, hanging clipboard’s etc etc).

  13. Farah
    2nd September 2014 / 11:28 pm

    Looks great and yet so functional. Love it.

  14. 3rd September 2014 / 6:56 am

    I love this…. It is so calm and yet has so many beautiful touches in inspiration… Such style! Have fun working in the new space…

  15. 3rd September 2014 / 3:00 pm

    So gorgeous! All of it 🙂 I also can’t work staring at a wall hence why I give our cupboard desk a miss and work it the dining room table!

  16. 3rd September 2014 / 9:31 pm

    I love what you have done so much, it’s such an inspiring space. The photos of it are just brilliant too, they really do it justice xx

  17. 7th September 2014 / 6:44 pm

    Just followed your link from Decor8.
    Wow! What a great studio/home office. All the white really amplifies the natural light from the single window. What I really love is how you managed to create a comfortable work space for 2 people to share–not always an easy task.

  18. Lyn Hamilton
    8th September 2014 / 12:44 pm

    Great make over and it is so organised

  19. katy
    6th October 2014 / 10:55 am

    Thank you all for such lovely, lovely comments xxx

  20. Rachel
    25th January 2015 / 4:34 pm

    This is so inspiring Katy! Just wondered if I could ask a boring question – where did you find your nice white shelving brackets for the bookshelf above the door? Thank you sooooo much xx

  21. 3rd July 2015 / 4:52 pm

    Where’d you get the white chair (with wooden legs) from? I’ve been trying to find one under $70 but no luck.

Leave a Reply to Rachel Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *