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Biophilic office makeover

by Clare Mansell
biophilic office makeover

My office makeover is finished and I’m really delighted with the results. It’s amazing what a bit of paint, a new desk and wallpaper can do for a room!

As you may recall I wanted to give this room a lift to mark the start of a new working chapter and as you will discover in a few weeks, it was appropriate for my next project that greenery was introduced.

Here’s a reminder of what it used to look like before. This is a rather unflattering photo as I’d just taken the pictures off the walls and the room was a bit of a mess, but aren’t before photos supposed to look a bit rubbish?

I spent a few weeks collecting decor ideas on Pinterest and then pruned back some of my more extravagant ideas to fit the budget.

After several months sitting on a rather uncomfortable stool in an office earlier this year, I was determined to have a sit/stand desk so I could adjust my working surface so I had a good posture. I looked at Ikea who sell manual desks for £200 or electric ones for £500.

I wanted an electric one, but the price was really hard to justify, so I went searching for a bargain and found one on eBay where there was a guy selling second-hand electric desks for £250. As well as being cheaper, they also appear to me to be much more solid than the Ikea ones.

The adjustable height stool was £85 from Ikea. They do a cheaper one which isn’t leather, but I’m so glad I spent the extra.

After using it for a couple of weeks I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I have ever bought. I’m absolutely thrilled with it and love having a higher work surface. The eBay seller was also really helpful and as we were local to him (although they deliver all over the UK) he even offered to drop it off the same day I bought it.

The wallpaper came from Amazon. I looked at lots of options, but many were ten times the price. We had two rolls of wallpaper sent from Germany for £29.

It’s quite full-on when you look at the wall straight on, but when I’m sitting at the desk it gives me the illusion of being in amongst a jungle which is exactly what I wanted.

We picked up a huge second-hand mirror from our local hospice furniture depot for £25. I painted the frame white and we hung it on the wall opposite the window to bounce light off it. It also gives a lovely reflection of the wallpaper which you can see from the hall.

Of course plants were quite important too. The Little Botanical who I’m already a customer of gifted me a couple of succulents and a Magical Hydrangea and I bought a money tree (of course).

My money tree is in need of a more attractive pot, but I have yet to find one that fits… This is exactly why I like The Little Botanical, as the plants come with pots that fit!

What we spent

Ikea Sit/Stand Desk – £250
Ikea sit/stand stool – £85
Amazon wallpaper – £29
Ikea drawer unit – £30
Ikea lights x2 – £30
Amazon mousemat – £5.99
Roller blind – £15
Money tree – £3.99
Plants – Gifted

TOTAL = £418.98

What we didn’t spend money on

I often read room makeover posts and wonder how people have the cash to buy everything they want, so I  think it’s important to point out that we didn’t do everything and there were certain spending options we consciously chose to opt out of.

Skimming our artex ceiling – We have two rooms in the house with artex ceilings and got a quote to skim and board both. This room had the added complication of coving and the quote was £450, so we chose to leave it as is.

Replacing the carpet – This carpet was laid 10 years ago and got damaged when we had building work 5 years ago. It’s been on the list to replace ever since, but would have cost £250

Buying a new printer – If you look at the pictures you’ll spot a rather dated wired printer. I considered buying a shiny new wireless one. In fact it would have been cheaper to buy a new one than to buy new cartridges for the old one, but then I thought about all the packaging and waste involved and decided to stick with our old working printer.

Buying a glass board – I really really want a yellow magnetic glass board to go next to my desk, but they are £120 and I already have a cork board, so I kept the cork board and for a bit of variation turned it 90 degrees when I rehung it!

A second desk – Initially we were going to buy two identical desks, so that Jim and I both had a work space, but the second-hand laminate desk I had actually does a perfectly adequate job for the limited occasions when he wants a desk at home. 

Office makeover complete it’s time to get on with some work….



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1 comment

Helen Tristram June 13, 2019 - 7:24 pm

I love the wall paper. I have just backed a quilt in a very similar fabric. Your budget was excellent – good on you for seeing that some things are not essential and can wait a bit longer before replacement.
Helen in France


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