Written by Gaylene Drew, GIW Design

Need a space to work from home? Or even a space to call your own, but don’t have the budget for custom cabinetry? Then this blog is for you!

We had a guest bedroom that was no longer being used for its namesake, and instead became a dumping ground for items in limbo. The goal was to convert the space into a work zone for ME! A zone that was my own style with items that bring me joy. A zone that was not dictated by what will or won’t work with children (e.g. won’t be touched, dirtied or broken). I wanted a space that was light, bright and pretty.


I used a canvas print from Kmart as my inspiration for the room; it is floral, green and light.

Designers Tip: Pick one or two focal pieces as your guide for colours and decor in the room. I did this by pulling the green from the canvas and placing it on the walls. I also decorated with other floral elements through-out the room.

To bring life to the room we painted it in Half Strength Foille by Dulux. Designers tip: Purchase some sample pots and test the colours first.

By testing first, we learnt the full strength colour would be too dark and which left the space feeling smaller. To assist in lightening and brightening the space, we conducted DIY on pieces of wood by painting them white (Chest and Shelf). They were then styled with existing and new pieces that aesthetically connected with our focal piece.


I was clear and decisive about my desk objectives: long and moveable. To meet these objectives the desk was put together by items from IKEA. IKEA can be a cheaper alternative; however delivery soon adds up when living regionally. Don’t just presume it will be the cheapest route and do your research by comparing other suppliers.


To get hubby on board with my project I had to set a budget and we felt $500 would be ample. Unfortunately, I went a little bit over! Upon reflection, overheads could have been reduced with more DIY tasks.

Cost breakdown:

$164  Décor
+ $140  Desk Set-up (including delivery)
+ $233  Paint & Equipment
= $537


Big or small renovations can be overwhelming. To help ease the stress and assist in the decision process you can engage an Interior Designer. A Designer can give professional advice on selections, layout and functionality (just for starters).