before & after: graphic office redo

Some people can work in a cluttered space, and I’ve always looked on them with awe, for I am certainly not one of them. The minute the papers start to pile up and the tools scatter themselves on the floor — okay, that’s a lie; I scatter the tools on the floor — my productivity level plummets. This behavior is probably why I appreciate Nadine’s office makeover so much. It’s simple, but not without personality; minimalist, but not boring. I imagine so much great work being done in this clean, bright and modern space. Great work, Nadine! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

See and learn more about Nadine’s office makeover after the jump!

Time: 1 month

Cost: $70

Basic Steps: We collected pictures of places and products we liked, made scribbles and finally just tried things out. If your budget isn’t that big, think of alternatives: What can be reused? What can you do yourself? What can be easily altered? We sprayed the lampshade,  painted the wooden stools, added labels to the drawer unit and added casters to the old bookshelf. — Nadine

  1. Shay says:

    Ah how I love a clean white room. It’s just a blank slate waiting for ideas to happen.

  2. Brian says:

    Awesome design space. Anyone know where to get that clock?

  3. This looks incredible! Amazing what a bold graphic punch, accessorized simply, can achieve in a space.

  4. maria says:

    love the black and white. simple and clean and allows accessories to stand out.

  5. Sharon says:

    Where does all the desk stuff plug in? Wouldn’t this mean at least one cord to trip over constantly? Also a big fan of the clock! ;)

  6. Daydream Kate says:

    It’s a bit more clean and contrasting than I like, but I still really like it. They totally nailed use of space and creating an iviting feel. And it’s so nice to see someone not abusing the ord “budget”.

  7. MegRuth says:

    Second that, need to know where that awesome clock is from!

  8. Alisha says:

    I LOVE that clock also!! I’m on the hunt! If I find, I will repost :)

  9. Hannah says:

    I will add one more request for the clock info! It is great!

  10. I love how simple, inexpensive and fresh it turned out! I like the casters on the bookshelf too. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  11. Laura says:

    here’s a lead on the clock

  12. Izabella says:

    BRAVO! That looks great! I love that the back of the built in bookcase is black. It really makes it look clean and makes it pop!

  13. Emily says:

    Where are those great desks from?


  14. Donna B. says:

    I *love* loads of black & white like this! Very nicely done and I especially like your ingenuity in repurposing things. It shows what a dramatic change you can make without breaking the bank.

  15. Allie S. says:

    Love the desks! Where did they come from?

  16. Amanda says:

    I think someone already asked…but where are those desks from. I LOVE them.

  17. I admire their restraint in keeping everything white. I’m always too tempted to start putting things on the walls; just like I can never leave the cover of my notebooks un-doodled :-/

  18. Tania says:

    I love a black and white room with punches of color in the accessories.

    The desk is great…

  19. Rodrigo says:

    I’m not 100% sure but I’m guessing those desks are IKEA. Maybe this is the one?

  20. Chelsea says:

    I believe both the top and legs of the desk are from IKEA. See below.

  21. Nadine says:

    Thank you a lot for the nice comments! The clock is from Habitat, the desk legs by Ikea.

  22. Stark yet cute, “cozied” up by the bare wood table/desk… Very much my style!

  23. jenny dias says:

    It’s absolutely fab, I love the clock, where could i get it?

  24. leona says:

    hello…just having given my studio a new fresher look, i can totally relate to your design transformation with you redo, reuse, alter attitude. a fresh coat of crisp white paint ( on just about everything that wasn’t moving, labeling containers, consciously keeping with a color scheme and totally reorganizing gave my work space such a fun & pretty place to create my cards!

  25. Kiki says:

    I’m wondering where the cords go too. That is most of my office battle…

  26. oli says:

    We (nadine an me) mounted this “cable organiser” under one table:
    This houses one power strip with the MacBook and display power supplys and one USB-hub (connected with the LED Display). So basically there are only 4 cables on the upper side of the desk. Printing wireless, the mices as well.

  27. Bec says:

    I love the desk set up – great way to bring conectedness to indivdual work. And black light is awesome!!!

  28. katrina says:

    omg. omg. the transformation is incredible!

  29. kristina says:

    After I evict the mouse which has decided to come down the chimney in my studio and terrorize me, I will get a wireless printer, some shelves and finally finish this place up! And for the lighting, will get some lamps from mud australia that are very similar to the nice ones used in this before and after!

  30. Jerri says:

    I’m all about my home office and this hip, colorful cable box from A+R! Mine is a tranquil white, but they have crazy bold colors now.

  31. levan charly says:

    I totally love what you have made. Awesome transformation.

  32. courtney says:

    i love it. this gives me a bit of inspiration to re-do my office this summer. i like the idea of painting the interior of the built-ins. very cool.

  33. Lucy says:

    love it! I’m crazy about the desks.

  34. rebecca says:

    it looks great! is the table top from Ikea as well? It looks fab!

  35. Liz Larraga says:

    I found a similar clock in Bed Bath and Beyond…

  36. Kelly says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t like this at all. I love the before & afters, but recently I’ve felt like white is being overused- not as a purposeful color choice but as a substitute for color choice. This whitewash has taken out all the warmth of the wood floors and instead of looking clean and bright, simply looks generic. I would love to see more thoughtful before & afters that actually show the person’s personality…

  37. Susan says:

    Love those tables! Where’d you get them/make them?

  38. JENNA says:

    Where are those cube storage bins from? Absolutely love them.

  39. April says:

    Great space! Just wondering how you got those casters to stay on the bottom of the Kallax?? It is a difficult wood to screw into!! Do you have any tips or tricks you used?
    Or perhaps your bookcase is not from Ikea?

    Thanks for your reply!

    1. Miriam says:

      I was wondering the same exact thing, April. I wanted to install a set of casters on a Kallax bookcase, but I’m concerned about the safety.
      IKEA’s website says “To avoid the risk of tipping over, these casters should only be used for units lower than 31 1/2″ and that Kallax is 71 5/8 ” high… so before I take that risk, I was wondering if Kate (or anyone here) ever had the bookcase tip over? Do the casters make it unstable?

      Thanks in advance, and Happy New Year everyone!

      1. Mark says:

        I was wondering the same thing, I’m hoping to put a Kallax 5×5 unit onto three of their IKEA casters but worried about how safe it would be. I’ve already had two 4×2 units vertically (4 up, 2 across) on casters for three years with no problems at all. Mark


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