Budget family home office makeover

Our attic room was used as a storage space since we moved in – boxes and boxes of just STUFF. It is mind-boggling just how much stuff we can accumulate over the years. So my main resolution this year was to reduce all this – give to charity, sell, recycle or bin anything that was surplus to our needs. As the boxes reduced, I saw more and more of the magnolia covering the walls and ceilings of this space. I’ll be honest, I have such a loathing for magnolia. It’s insipid and deadens anything placed against it. Utterly uninspiring. The previous owners just loved it 🙄.

Family Office Makeover - Before
Before: sea of magnolia

It was time to get rid of it. For the walls, I wanted a colour in the blue-green-grey spectrum, with white (Dulux Pure Brilliant White) on the sloping ceilings to keep the room feeling light and bright. If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember me deliberating between my final two paint choices –

Paint samples Livid and Prussian
paint samples on a sunny day (left) vs paint samples on a grey day (right)

I landed on Zoffany Prussian, a gorgeous colour rather similar to Farrow & Ball Inchyra Blue except a couple of shades lighter. Serendipitously, a paint company sent me a £25 voucher for filling in a survey and they also had a sale on at the time on their Zoffany paints so I was able to buy a 2.5 litre pot of Prussian for £11! Result!

Progress: so happy with my paint choice!

We already had office furniture – 2 white desks with drawers from the IKEA ALEX/LINNMON range and swivel office chairs bought nearly a decade ago and still going strong. It’s all super-practical so we have no reason to replace it yet. The desks went side by side along one wall – one for me, one for my husband.

Home Office Makeover - Arty Home
What a difference a pot of paint and a few pretty accessories can make!

The only new purchases here were the mint desk lamp from Made.com and a roll of cheap and cheerful floral sticky back plastic from Søstrene Grene which I used to cover my magazine folders. Everything else I already had. (Let’s not worry about fully showing my husband’s desk as I may have shoved all the mess from my desk onto his for the photos. 😬)

Desk corner - Arty Home
Hands up if you’re also a sucker for pretty stationery 👋


Now for the fun part – the kids’ side! There’s a funny thing about young kids – they have to be where you are. It doesn’t matter if they have cool playrooms or bedrooms, THEY HAVE TO BE WHERE YOU ARE. So for us to have a chance of getting any kind of work done up here, we needed to provide a little setup for them to do their colouring. Their space is along the opposite wall, which looked like this just before I got the Prussian on it –

Kid's wall - before
Kids’ side – before

And now it looks like this –

Kids work space - Arty Home.jpg
Kids’ work space in the shared family office

The desks are from IKEA and kid-sized Eames style chairs are from P&N Homewares. How cute are these chairs?! I adore them! More importantly, so do my kids. I’m decorating for them here, not me. Ahem.

I also bought a MOSSLANDA picture ledge and a SPONTAN magnetic board from IKEA. The kids have lots of brightly coloured stuff, so to reduce the visual noise, I painted these two items to match the walls. (I used this method to prime, paint and varnish them.) For task lighting, I went with JANSJÖ copper clamp lights on either side. Gotta love IKEA. 😀

Kids workspace details
A gentle reminder for the kids ✂. Never too young for a bit of Anthony Burrill wisdom, right? 😀


I’m so happy with the transformation! The wall colour is really beautiful and totally makes the space. It makes me smile every time I go up there. The kids love ‘working’ up here too. Here’s hoping that lasts so I can start to be more productive!


  1. 21 July 2017 / 12:29 pm

    Love this! Those mini eames chairs are adorable. X

    • Meera
      21 July 2017 / 3:36 pm

      Thank you very much Malcolm! I’m mad about the chairs, wish I could fit onto one! The kids get all the best stuff 😄

  2. 23 July 2017 / 9:08 pm

    This is fab! That paint colour is divine – perfect choice!!!

    • Meera
      24 July 2017 / 2:56 pm

      Thank you very much Melanie! I’m delighted with the paint colour, it’s very complex, hard to capture that depth on camera! xx

  3. 26 July 2017 / 5:23 pm

    Oh, Meera! This is perfect. I absolutely love the colour. I never think to paint the skirting boards but I love that you have. The crisp white of the desks really works well with the Prussian paint colour and the chairs really finish off the look. Just lovely.

    • Meera
      26 July 2017 / 6:56 pm

      Thanks very much for your very lovely comment Jane! Re: skirting – when I started painting, I wasn’t sure whether to paint the skirting (extra work with priming etc!) but when I painted part of the wall with the skirting staying white, it looked wrong somehow. So the skirting had to be painted and it was totally worth the extra work. 🙂

  4. 26 July 2017 / 6:20 pm

    Oh Meera! I LOVE that colour and the room looks amazing! Hope you’re doing well xx

    • Meera
      26 July 2017 / 6:57 pm

      Thanks very much for your lovely words, Clare. Hope you’re doing well too. 😊 xx

  5. 27 July 2017 / 4:14 pm

    This is gorgeous! I love that you have painted the skirting board and the magnetic board. Both sides of the room are beautiful.#homeetc

    • Meera
      28 July 2017 / 10:13 am

      Thank you very much for your lovely words, Fionnuala! xx

  6. 27 July 2017 / 7:04 pm

    Oh I love this. after our extension is complete out current (tiny) kitchen will be turned into a home office and this is great inspiration! x #HomeEtc

    • Meera
      28 July 2017 / 10:15 am

      Thank you very much Kimberley! So happy to hear you found this inspiring! xx

  7. booandmaddie
    28 July 2017 / 10:08 pm

    Such a great transformation Meera, I love it! And that colour is just perfect. Thanks so much for linking up to #HomeEtc, we hope to see you again next week X

    • Meera
      29 July 2017 / 6:37 pm

      Your linky is a wonderful idea, thank you for hosting it and for your lovely words about my office makeover 😊 xx

  8. 15 September 2017 / 9:48 am

    I’m so behind on my blog reading but I had to pop by to say how cute this makeover is! I loved your side so much but the kids’ side is just a triumph! I adore how you’ve planned for the whole family in this one – what a fantastic use of space and you were definitely spot on about that paint colour. It’s gorgeous! xxx

    • Meera
      15 September 2017 / 10:56 pm

      Aww thank you very much for your lovely words, Kimberly! ☺️xxx

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