Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Home & Away: A Bedroom/Office Mini-Makeover on a Budget & Will Give You a Chic Place to Work (No Matter the Space You Have)

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Kelly Bertrand’s bedroom is given a makeover on a budget thanks to our pals at The Warehouse in order to make it both chicer and transform a corner into a work-from-home space.

When my partner and I moved in together, we spent most of our time and energy making sure the lounge and kitchen areas were up to scratch for when the inevitable influx of visitors traipsed in. Our bedroom, the easiest room to shut off and ignore, kind of just languished as other areas of the house were worked on, and for months its disjointed furniture and lack of personality were really getting on my nerves.

The other problem we had reared its ugly head when both of us were isolating with Covid – a lack of a space where one of us could work from at home.

So when The Warehouse asked if we wanted a little bedroom zoush, I jumped on the chance because 1) I was out of interior design ideas and 2) I was light on funds (and also I was sick of work crap being strewn all over the house).

So if you’re looking to update a room with a little bit more personality, or if you’re like pretty much everyone else in the country who is needing to work from home more and more but you’re currently using the kitchen bench and a few old Yellow Pages as a desk, then read on!

BEFORE: Lacking in a little personality, with mismatched furniture, plain walls and messy cords.

As you can see, there was nothing WRONG with the room, per se – it just needed a little refresh and an injection of colour (and TBH my beloved haircare tools deserved FAR more care).


Lucky me, I had an expert working with me to turn this room from drab to fab (God I’ve wanted to use that saying for YEARS). Here’s Jade’s top tips for a mini-makeover, no matter what your budget:

1. Work in a colour palette: It’s super-easy to work with one colour – here we went with green to match the existing curtains. It’s easier to stick with one colour, and use different shades of it by building up layers. Then you add in texture and it becomes cohesive and multi-dimensional

2. Work with what you’ve got: Like with the green curtains, you don’t have to start from scratch when giving a room a little facelift. in fact, it’s easier and MUCH better on the budget if you do build up from an existing foundation, and you can buy small, inexpensive items, like candles, cushions and diffusers, that will tie in with what you’ve already got.

3. Don’t forget about texture: Kelly’s not the biggest fan of colour (apart from green, thank goodness!) so we played with a lot of textures and neutrals instead, which is a really easy and timeless way of injecting warmth and personality into a room. We used lots of different throw pillows in different fabrics – to create a cohesive yet cosy focal point. It feels like it’s lived-in, which is a huge trend at the moment.

4. Bounce light around the room: This bedroom is lucky to have a ranch slider which lets in heaps of sunlight, and to maximise that we popped a full-length mirror against the wall. i’m a HUGE fan of mirrors – and even more so, a leaning mirror. It adds interest all the way down to the floor and it’s great especially if you’ve got dark carpets. Mirrors almost feel like pieces of art to me.

5. Lean into your personality: Everyone has stuff they love – knickknacks from travels, family heirlooms and other things that show off who we are. Use your trinkets as your foundation and create vignettes – little clusters of stuff – and introduce new things as you need.

6. Bring nature inside: When in doubt, take inspiration from outside and turn to plants. Whether you want to be a full-on indoor plant parent or you’re a fan of just one pot, nature plays a huge part in balancing us. We spend so much time staring at screens, having plants around connects us back to nature.

A calming, natural and nature-inspired vibe – think white waffle duvets, seagrass baskets, soothing candles, real plants and neutral textures

Carving Out Space

When it came to figuring out where to pop a workspace in our makeover on a budget, we decided to get rid of the draws that didn’t quite match anything else in the room and redistribute the clothes into the wardrobe, and make one wall a designated work area, complete with desk, chair and storage.

Says Jade, “It’s about working with the space you have – in this instance, it was this one wall. You don’t need two rooms; it’s just about being smart with the area you have to work with. Perhaps, if you are just using a wall or a corner, think about a slightly smaller desk, and one that has draws so that when the workday is done, your can pop away your work stuff and your bedroom turns into a room again.

“We’re all about rooms that are multifunctional now, so the minute you turn that computer is shut off, your space can convert into a sanctuary again. Perhaps you also want to use it as a makeup station, or another shelf to display your personal things. We love to work from home now, but we don’t live to work – we work to live. When it comes to using spaces, there are no rules. Do what works for you.

“And when it comes to working in the space, make it your own – think about photos of your family and friends, a cosy blanket, a candle. You’re going to be more productive in an environment you’re happy in, right?”

A workspace you ACTUALLY want to work at – a perfectly-sized desk, faux sheepskin, a replica Eames chair and gorgeous stationary

The Little Details:

“It’s the little things that make a room,” says Jade. “A small budget can make a big impact – it’s about the little moments, really. If a $6 candle can take your attention away from a screen and give you just a little bit of calm and happiness, that’s a wonderful thing.”

So, here are five of Jade’s favourite little pieces right now:

1. Living & Co Kalmar Mirror: An amazing piece but also still so practical ($70)

2. Living & Co Linen Rich Cushion: They’re an amazing way to add colour into your home, plus they’re at a great price point and the inside is made from recycled materials ($15)

3. Living & Co Homestay Candle Pear & Jasmine: I LOVE candles – this one is designed for relaxation and positivity, so perfect for a bedroom/ office hybrid ($12)

4. Uniti Kiwi Breeze Notebook: I have so many of these lying around – you never know when you’ll need one! ($10)

5. Living & Co Cotton Waffle Blanket: I bought one in every colour. They’re fantastic! ($39)

The devil’s in the details – squishy cushions, waffle throws, and home fragrance all add up to a makeover on a budget!

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