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ORC Week 1: Shared Home Office Makeover Plans

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The day is finally here … it’s time to kick off our latest One Room Challenge room makeover! And boy, does the room that I’m refreshing need some love. (More on that in a moment.)

What is the One Room Challenge?

Before diving into details about the space I’m redecorating, you might be wondering about the One Room Challenge.

One Room Challenge Logo

If you’re not familiar with the One Room Challenge (or ORC for short), the concept is pretty simple: Participants have 8 weeks to transform a room in their home, and they share the process through their blogs and Instagram accounts along the way.

That’s it! Simple, yes, but let me tell you, it really lights a fire under your you-know-what if you’re like me and tend to procrastinate when it comes to major decorating projects in your home.

I’ve participated in the ORC previously. Here are the other rooms I refreshed as part of this twice-annual challenge:

If you want to check out all the participants of this season’s ORC, you can do that right here!

Guest Room/Home Office: Before the ORC Makeover

When we moved into our home over seven years ago, the previous owners had used the fourth bedroom as a guest room.

Here’s an incredibly underwhelming (and poorly lit) photo from the MRIS listing when we bought the house:

Our guest room before the ORC makeover: a plain bedroom with tan walls, a metal framed bed, and simple furniture.

We decided to use the room as a space for guests, too. For years, the room contained a queen bed, a nightstand, a small dresser and a small desk.

It was nothing special, and it was typically only used when we had out-of-town guests come to stay with us. No one ever spent time sitting at the desk.

But then along came a global pandemic in March 2020.

And that, my friends, is where this makeover story begins.

Shared Home Office Makeover

Like so many of us, my husband and I have both been working full-time from home for nearly 18 months now.

In the last year and a half, we’ve both switched jobs too: He now works for a company in which all the employees are remote (it was that way pre-pandemic), and I now have my own full-time freelance writing business.

This means we both work at home — together — every single day.

Our upstairs has four bedrooms, and so we recently turned out guest room into our office, adding two desks to the space and moving the queen bed to our basement. 

But in the rush to get our office set up enough so that we could, well, work in it …  we haphazardly threw a bunch of things into the space without putting too much thought and effort into the design. 

Well, strike that, actually. We really put zero thought into the design. 

The space isn’t all bad, though. I love the wall color — it also took our painters six coats of blue to finish the job, so I feel kind of guilty even thinking about repainting it — and the rug is pretty.

Here’s an iPhone photo I snapped a couple months back:

Our updated home office: dark blue walls and open windows with natural light. Two desks sit across from each other with desktop computer setups.

Our desks will stay because they’re functional, even if they aren’t overly stylish or high end — and let’s be honest, my husband doesn’t give a hoot about having a great-looking desk. Which is really a shame, but we’ll save that rant for another blog post … ideally one paired with a glass of wine. 😉


How do I set up a home office for two people?

Well, if that isn’t the million-dollar question!

Actually, we should rewrite this question slightly to ask, “How do I set up a home office for two people who are often on Zoom calls?”

Because my husband and I are constantly on video meetings and need to have our backs facing different walls, the current layout of the room I shared in the video — or at least how the desks are positioned — won’t change. 

This is really the only way the setup works with those needs.

That said, we need to clean up some of the clutter, and be more intentional about where we place some of the room essentials, like:

  • Our printer and office supply cabinet — I found the cabinet (see below!) at a local thrift shop and painted it about a month ago 
  • Shelving to hold notebooks, fabric samples, and more
  • At least two lamps, in addition to the ceiling fan (it has a light)
  • A white board or cork board
  • The dog bed (he spends lots of time in the office with us!)
A thrifted storage cabinet in our home office - we painted it white for an upgrade. It sits against a navy blue wall, under an abstract blue striped art print.

I’m also considering replacing:

  • The rug (I like it but I’m not sure I love it, so I might try to sell it on Facebook Marketplace)
  • The curtain rods (I bought these on a whim years ago because they were on sale, and they’re ugly)
  • The curtains (we 110% need new ones — the current ones don’t even match, which is embarrassing)
  • Our office chairs
  • The bi-fold closet doors, which are old but depending on how far I get with this project, this “to do” might be saved for another day

Last but not least, I’m hoping to add:

  • Some decorative molding to help make the blue walls more sophisticated
  • More wall art

Our Shared Home Office Design Plans Are in Progress!

Guess what?

I’m still mulling over the design details of our shared home office makeover, so I don’t have an official design plan to share with you … yet.

I’m even considering finalizing two different plans and letting you all vote on which one I implement.

How does that sound?

Come back next week and I’ll have mood boards ready for you to check out!

In the meantime, make sure to follow me on Instagram where I’ll share some behind-the-scenes peeks at the space and the makeover process. I share a lot of real-time updates in my Instagram Stories that don’t always make it to the blog, so hop on over and give me a follow.

See ya next week!

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