During the coronavirus pandemic, everyone has been spending a lot more time at home than they usually do. Spending time at home means noticing all of the little things in our homes that are less than desirable. Remotely working from home means that you may be working in a space that was not as well designed as your usual work environment. So while your employer is saving part of the $44 billion annually saved by remote work, you can try to improve the office you're working in. If you've been itching to start doing some home improvement while working from home, here are a few ideas of projects that you can start on while you're stuck at home to make your office space feel more productive and refreshed.
An Updated Desk
If you have realized that your current home office desk is no longer working to meet your needs, you have quite a few different DIY options to replace it. However, your experience level and your comfortability with building or customizing furniture will definitely impact what you're able to do. Here are a few ideas based on your skill level:
- Beginner. Try sanding down and repainting or restaining your desk. Try looking on Pinterest for ideas about what colors or stains would look best with your decor or with your desired decor style. If you are redoing a smaller desk, choosing a bright colored paint is an easy way to make your desk feel more fun without completely overwhelming the room. If you're putting a new stain or paint on a desk that you routinely eat or drink at, make sure to add some sort of a protective, stain-resistant coating on top to avoid the brunt of the wear and tear damage a dining table can sustain.
- Intermediate. If you have some experience with DIY projects, then you can try your hand at building your own desk for your home office. This is another time when Pinterest inspiration comes in handy–you can find a style that you like in desks and begin searching for a tutorial that will help you build what you want. Try to find a tutorial that will tell you exactly what tools, materials, and cuts you'll need to make the process as smooth as possible. A DIY option is only more cost-effective if you don't need to go out and buy an entirely new set of tools for one project. For example, if a design calls for a specific kind of bolt that needs a special type of torque wrench, it probably is not the most cost-effective DIY. However, if you find a DIY that doesn't involve a specialized wrench invented in 1918 like the torque wrench, then it could be the right option for you.
- Advanced. If you are a DIY expert, you can try your hand at a more complicated desk design, maybe even one that includes mixed media and welding. If you are interested in building a desk that includes metal legs and a wood top, this tutorial gives a great outline of how to create a table that could easily be modified into a desk. Once again, searching online for inspiration styles and building a desk based on a style you like is a good place to start.
Display What You Love
If you are spending all day at a desk doing work, you should try to have a view that you enjoy. Displaying photos, art, ticket stubs, or other personal items can really make an office space feel much more welcoming. It has been proven that relaxing work environments make you more productive, and displaying personal effects is an easy way to make your remote office that much more relaxing. Here are a few ideas for easy DIYs to hang up art, photos, or whatever else you may want to display:
- DIY a magnet board. Magnets are a great way to easily change out what is on display without worrying about damaging anything with push pins like a corkboard. Start by buying a picture frame with removable glass that is the desired size of your magnet board. Going to a thrift store is a great option for buying cheap frames that can easily be painted to match your decor. Next, get a piece of sheet metal to put inside the frame. Using something like stainless steel would probably be most convenient since stainless steel is one of the metals most often purchased by consumers. This means that it will probably be in stock at your local hardware store. If your frame is an unusual size, you may need to cut the metal, so check with your local hardware store to find out if they will cut metal for you. The final step is to place the sheet metal to the inside of the frame and hang it up!
- Create a gallery wall. A gallery wall is a great way to include multiple pictures and art prints in your office space. Once again, going to the thrift store is a great way to get frames for this project. Once you have all of your frames assembled, remove the glass and the backing (if it's possible) and paint the frames a uniform color. Spray paint is an easy way to do this if you have access to outdoor space to do the spray painting, but if you don't have space, acrylic paint will also work just as well. Once you have all of your frames painted, put back in the glass, and add your art or photographs. Use a roll of craft paper to cut out the shape and size of all your frames, and mark the spots where the nail will need to go on the wall on the paper. Use the pieces of paper to figure out the configuration you want on the wall, and once you have figured out where you want everything to go and put your nails in the wall where you've marked. Take down the paper one piece at a time and replace it with your frames, and your gallery wall is fully functional.
Making changes to your desk and what you stare at all day can give your office a much-needed facelift without necessitating an entire room redesign. These DIY projects are a great place to start when it comes to making your at-home office space feel more productive.
What other DIYs have you done in your office since switching to remote work? Did you try any of these out? Let us know in the comments below!