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Room Investment Breakdown: The Office

Updated modern transitional work from home office finished by Houston residential design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

We've been getting a more than a few questions about budgeting for specific room remodels and furniture refreshes lately, so we thought it might be helpful to break down different types of rooms to give y'all a good idea of what to expect when going into a major project! Since a lot of us are still figuring out the work-from-home situation, we thought starting with the coveted home office would be helpful! The furniture costs outlined below are keeping good quality and middle of the road pricing in mind. I always suggest trying to work with the pieces you love or have in other rooms first before investing in new things, but knowing how to budget is one of the first steps to having a successful experience with a furniture refresh!

DESK - $1000-$2000+

Could you spend less for a desk? Of course. I bought a desk for my studio space, a pair actually, that was less than $200 each. I wanted something indestructible since we are always bringing boxes of fabrics or samples of tile in and out of our sample closet so I knew I wanted metal. I also wanted it on wheels so I could move it when necessary. I ended up going with this desk. Mind you, it did not come assembled. It took me about an hour by myself and there was a point where I definitely mumbled, "I'm too old for this."

For an executive type desk that's at least 60 inches wide, with plenty of workspace, and one that is made of good, solid materials (NOT particle board or MDF like Ikea quality), has at least two drawers for storage of supplies like pens and paper, plus great style with full assembly included will run a minimum of $1000.

Updated modern transitional work from home office finished by Houston residential design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

OFFICE CHAIR - $300-$1500

Yes, there is a huge range here. Can you find a good looking office chair that's comfortable for a few hundred? Absolutely. I, and many other designers I know, use this chair in our office spaces. It's comfortable, stylish, on wheels so I can scoot from desk to desk if needed. Would I recommend it for a male client who is a foot taller than me? Not really. I'd suggest a larger scale, padded desk chair, probably in leather that is supportive and stylish. That, my friend, is going to be in the 1200 to 1500 range and up because of scale, material, and functionality (think adjustable as far as height and tilt).

RUG - $500-$1500+

Depending on the size of the room...the larger the size, the higher the cost in terms of rugs. In the photo above we layered two rugs together, which will obviously up the budget for the rugs in the space. But if that aesthetic is important, you can pair a more expensive cowhide rug with a larger, more reasonably priced jute or sisal layered underneath to offset the overall cost of two rugs. Price also varies by material and type (handwoven versus machine made).

LIGHTING - $1000+

Lighting is so important in an office, so consider overhead and task lighting in your overall budget. Could you save money on lighting? Of course, but I'd aim for $1000 at least budget wise for an overhead light (chandelier, semi-flush, or flush mount depending on your ceiling height) plus table lamps for larger furniture items in the room like a storage console or bookcase and any specific task lighting you might need based on your industry. For instance, I just bought an LED articulating light for my drafting table. Lighting is a big reason for eye strain as well, so keep that in mind when you're shopping for bright-enough-for-you task lamps.


Having just purchased a new printer table for my office space ( I bought it specifically for the sizing...both for the drawer sizes to hold my special art paper and supplies but it also fits my color printer to a T), I'm here to tell you - don't go cheap. Save yourself the hassle and invest a couple of hundred (or up) on a cool filing cabinet that is already assembled. You'll thank me later. I'm still on the lookout for a better one but this one fits the bill for now.

And think about what kind of organizational containers you may want for interior drawers too. Those pieces can add up really quickly.

Have a look below for some of my favorite finds for home offices, even my favorite printer ink and paper! Did this help you budget for your office refresh? Let us know!

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