When we think about decorating, we usually imagine transforming the parts of our homes that mean the most to us. We spend so much effort making our bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens feel like our own that we often neglect the place many of us spend a significant amount of time: the office.

You don’t have to be a CEO to have your own space, and you definitely don’t need a big exec’s budget to make it look good. They say one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, so let’s revamp some old furniture, gather some supplies, and decorate an office with a budget that won’t break the bank.

Plan ahead

Set a budget. This is an integral step before you start any decorating project. You may go over- or under-budget, but the goal is to stick as close to a set number as possible. The budget I set for my home office was $20. I am an extremely frugal shopper and, thanks to my Grandma, I believe that with a little time, it’s possible to find unique items that will make a room come alive without requiring an abundance of sprucing up.

Decide on a theme. Get a general idea of how you want your office to look. Play around with colors, patterns, designs, accessories, wall decor, and things that make you happy and represent you. I decided on a gold theme because it has a classy, royal, and chic essence. You may already have a vision in your head, but you can easily get inspiration from a simple Google search or a site like Pinterest. I like affirmations—a positive mind is a healthy mind—so I decided to make them the center of my theme.

Upgrade your furniture by adding some flair

Marble contact paper on desk
Get that smooth marble look without that rough marble price. Candis McDow

My computer chair was fine, so I decided to keep it, but I wanted to add some pizzazz to my desk because it looked like a big, bland, wooden rectangle. There was nothing special about it and it definitely didn’t showcase my personality in any capacity. For a little less than $6, I found a mix of white, tan, and gray marble imitation contact paper that would offset the tan wood color perfectly—and it did.

The great thing about contact paper is that it’s versatile, can be used on almost any surface, and is a low-cost way to upgrade dull furniture. The design made the desk go from looking like a less-than-$20 item to appearing to be something worth $50 or more.

It’s the little things…

Inspirational quotes on a wall
When you work at home, there’s no one to greet you at your office, but this “Hello, lovely” artwork will definitely do the trick. Candis McDow

Shopping for my office was initially tricky because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but as I picked up more gold items, the decorations for my home office began to create a space for themselves.

The golden basket, the mini Eiffel Tower, and the letter basket all matched the marble contact paper perfectly. The “Like A Girl Boss” nameplate didn’t exactly go with the gold color scheme but was totally on-brand for the affirmations theme I had set for myself beforehand, as was the “Blessed and Thankful” piece I found the last day I went shopping.

The “Hello Lovely,” “Dreaming,” and “Start Each Day With A Grateful Heart” wall decals all resonated with my intention so it was a no-brainer to purchase them. I even found pieces of wall decor at my local discount store for $1 each.

Make it yours

It doesn’t take much to turn an empty room into a warm and welcoming workspace. Ideally, your office should be a place you look forward to spending time, so creating an inviting atmosphere should be your main goal.

DIY projects are always fun because they give you a chance to express yourself artistically. Even if you don’t consider yourself that creative or are attempting something for the first time, you can pull inspiration from everything around you. My objective was to create a space that realistically met my workspace needs, and I wanted it to be cute, chic, and classy. I succeeded.

I went $5 over my budget, but considering I had set such a low goal, I expected a margin of error. Plus, I now have a functional office I can be proud of and comfy in while working. Feel free to stop by your local wallet-friendly stores and let your creativity take over. You’ll be surprised at what you can produce and how much you can get, no matter your budget.