How Much For This Room?

Working from home and in need of a little office inspiration? You’ll like this week’s edition of How Much For This Room? because it’s a great example of budget friendly design in action. This is the workspace of decor8 reader Maryse who lives in Montreal, Canada. What I love the most is that this talented lady hacked some IKEA products and built her desk out of doors. I also love her creative use of wallpaper, sweet!

“As you will see, I bought a lot of my items from IKEA. It was the cheapest way to create a custom desk that answers all my needs and looks built in. I was to personalize the result by modifying things with wallpaper and spray paint.”

About Maryse: “I’m a 26-year-old French Canadian girl living in the suburb of Montreal. My boyfriend and I bought our first home (a triplex and it’s a major renovation project — I think we qualify as crazy) last year. I work from home as a project manager for a publishing house (so I need lots of space to pile manuscripts and drafts), but I wish to become a writer and publish young adult novels set in magical, dark and mysterious worlds (so I need an inspiring office, a place that connect with my imagination). I’m also an avid crafter, fortunately, I have a place in my basement to be messy which is also in need of a total makeover, and I write a blog in French about my creative pursuits.”

General expenses: 1) Ceiling and window trim paint, Cloud White, Benjamin Moore, 35$. 2) Wall paint, Sketch, Sico, $35. 3) Pendant light FADO, IKEA, $29.99. 4) Curtain fabric, Hollywood, Alexander Henry, $ 70. 5) White wood curtain rod, Club Tissus, $30. 6) Wallpaper, Ferm Living, $115. Total : $314.99

Tips for applying wall paper in the back of a bookcase: “You have to prepare the surface by sanding it and applying a wallpaper primer (even if the instruction for the glue doesn’t say so). We had not done this at first, and had to redo it all again! While the glue was wet, everything looked OK, but as it dried the wallpaper curled and totally detached from the panel. A friend is always useful to keep moral while applying wallpaper (unless I’m the only one with an incredibly bad wallpaper karma)”.

Desk area: 1) BESTA high shelf unit, IKEA, $160 for 2. 2) BESTA small shelf unit, IKEA, $60. 3) TOMBO door, IKEA, $ 135 for 3. 4) BESTA legs, IKEA, $20 for 2 pairs. 5) INREDA pull-out frame, IKEA, $80 for 2. 6) Keyboard drawer, Staples, $47. 9) Birdcage, Home Sense, $15 (I spray painted it black, as it was originally white… What I like about birdcages is the silhouette, and for this you need contrast with your walls). 7) Chain and hook for birdcage, local hardware store, $5. 8) Flower pot and artificial plants (I’m a black thumb), bought in a local shop while they were running a big sale to make place for spring stuff, $30. 9) BEKVÄM step stool, IKEA, $19.99 + $13 for paint (I should have spray painted it, I’m disappointed in the result). 10) Transparent chair mat (not very stylish, but…), Staples, $25. The task chair I already had. Total: $609.99

“I made the table myself to keep cost low, and because there were no pieces of wood long enough for my needs, otherwise I would have used a wood counter top from IKEA. I used two hollow doors to keep the table light that I cut and assembled with dowels and wood glue. I had never work with dowels, and it was a learning experience! You have to take careful measurements so that your pieces fit perfectly… The problem is that doors are not a perfect rectangle, and the sides did not match exactly in size. I sanded and planed it the best I could.. I veneered the assembled doors with an affordable maple wood veneer and contact glue (another learning experience). I then stained and varnished it.”

Here is the breakdown cost : 1) VIKA BYSKE adjustable leg, IKEA, $30. 2) Hollow doors, $35 for 2. 3) Mapple wood veneer, CEDAN (bought at my local hardware store), $55 for 2 24? by 96? sheets. 4) Stain, $15 (I mixed different colors together. The result was absolutely not what I wanted, but I like it anyway). 5) Varnish, $6. 6) Desk grommets for cables, $6 for 2, local hardware store. Everything else I already had: wood dowels from IKEA furniture we apparently didn’t assemble correctly, trims from another project, wood glue, tools, etc. If you don’t have tools, it obviously would cost much more. Total : $147.00

Storage area : 1) TROLLSTA sideboard, IKEA, $349. 2) BESTA small shelf unit, IKEA, $180 for 3. 3) TOMBO door, IKEA, $80 for 2. 4) KASSETT boxes, IKEA, $6.99 to 9.99 for 2. 5) KASSETT magazine files, IKEA, $11.97 for 3. Total: $644.94

Art cost : 1) Art above my desk by Anne-Julie Aubry, Art & Ghosts and Heisuke Kitazawa, around $35 (3 of the 5 artworks are actually promotional postal cards or art that they sent to me with another purchase). 8) Art on sideboard by Heisuke Kitazawa, $25. 9) Keep calm and carry on poster, BluLima, $12. 7) FANAHOLM frames, IKEA, $5.99 to 16.99 depending on the size, + $20 for spray paint primer and 2 bottles of black satin spray paint. I purchased mat boards at my local art supply store (from $2- 6) and a mat cutter ($100). Having them made by a professional would have cost me about the same price (around $10-30 per mat board), but I’m glad I made the investment and bought the mat cutter, since I have a whole house to decorate! I strongly recommend to buy a board mounted cutter to have professional and very straight cuts. Total : $286.96

Grand total: $2,003.88

If you are curious, you can see view BEFORE photos of her office renovation here on her blog.

If you have any questions for Maryse, please just ask below in the comments section!

(images from maryse)