Office Space – Furnished on a $300 Budget

When you need it to function and look good … but the budget disagrees!

In the initial stages designing our personal house we knew we needed to create a functional office space out of a small nook off the kitchen. The good news… is that it has one of the best views in the house. The bad news… I had a rapidly shrinking construction / furniture budget. So my grand idea of a beautiful built in desk was quickly riding off into the sunset.

“Challenge Accepted!”

“I see you $35 executive desk at the Habitat ReStore!”

Now she doesn’t look like much here, but at $35 the price was right. Because this desk will get heavy daily use the included glass top was an added bonus. The husband was a little skeptical when I texted him this pic but after a quick discussion I got the always appreciated “if you think it will look good” nod of approval.

Fast forward to my first experience with chalk paint. I purchased a pre-mixed Amy Howard One-Step Paint color from my local Ace Hardware and went home to start my project. *Note: I bought the 8oz container with big expectations… had to go back for more, duh!

Now I don’t know if the paint I bought had been sitting on the shelf longer than it should have, but it had a funnnnnnkkkky smell! I’ve talked with friends and family who have not had any issues with other brands of chalk paint. Anyhoo, the smell is gone now but it did take awhile.

This was not my work space so I had to play nice regarding the finishing touches. I did get my faux fur rug that pretty much looks like I skinned a coyote but it actually holds up well under the rolling chair and the size and shape were perfect. *Note: I had tried a standard size rectangle rug first and it just looked wrong in the space (don’t be afraid to admit failure if it’s not right and try again). I let the “man of the space” pick his own chair…. it wasn’t my first choice but he was excited about it and it turned out to be pretty comfortable.


Still a work in progress… but not a bad view if you have to work!

He also decided which artwork he wanted to hang as well. Of course, it ended up as all things fishing… but I can always get on board with a pretty framed nautical chart.

This was a replica print found online and a standard size wall frame from Hobby Lobby.

Christmas gift from several years ago!

The finished product – total spent: $299

At the end of the day, the prices were right and the colors all worked together so it was nice to check one room off the list.

Budget Breakdown:

  • Desk – $35 (Habitat ReStore)
  • Chalk paint – $32 (Ace Hardware)
  • Desk chair – $125 (Wayfair)
  • Faux hide rug – $17 (orig. $90 but had rewards money from before they changed the program)
  • Blinds – $50 (
  • Artwork – $40 (ordered reel print online / $25 frame from Hobby Lobby / the framed chart was a gift)

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