Steal 5 Budget-Friendly Office Decor Tips From Kelly Oxford

Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
It only took one (sneak) peek at Leandra Medine's new office space for us to see that the folks at Homepolish — the interior geniuses responsible for the streamlined makeover — know what they're doing. Whether it's a total renovation or culling the perfect finishing touches, designers work by the hour to create a balanced space that just works. Oh, and they just launched in San Francisco & Chicago, too.
Let’s face it, when it comes to clients, I can’t think of anyone more fun to work with than Kelly Oxford, a writer whose hilarious Twitter feed launched her into literary stardom. She’s busy these days working on screenplays and taking fancy meetings, so she brought in Homepolish to help spruce up her new office. She was the easiest person to design with, mainly because she likes everything I like and I basically got to design an office for myself and pretend it was for her. Just kidding! Sort of!
Advertisement
We looked at the offices of some of our favorite writers (Joan Didion and Roald Dahl topped the list) as our initial inspiration. Luckily, Kelly’s office is on a storied Hollywood film lot in a building filled with some of the industry’s most talented, hilarious writers, and the space we ended up with was a great representation of Kelly’s eclectic, unique style. It's cozy and small, and the makeover we did gives some great insight into how you can transform your office (or any space in your home) without going crazy and spending your whole life savings.
1 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Domaine Home.
Go nuts on color
An office (or guest bedroom, or nursery, or foyer, or anywhere really) is a great place to go bold on color. It’s a surefire, quick way to add character and dimension to a previously lackluster space on the cheap. Make sure to buy sample pots of paint and test them out on the walls first to make sure they look right in the space. Lighting is essential to the way a color looks, so it’s best not to waste your time (or money) painting an entire room without knowing exactly what the color will look like.
3 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
Advertisement
4 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
Don’t be afraid of vintage
Kelly wanted her office to have an old-school, vintage vibe. So, instead of paying top-dollar for brand new furniture that only looked vintage-inspired, I scoured local vintage stores and found some great, functional pieces. Of course, vintage can be expensive, too, but if you’re willing to make the search part of the fun, you can find some great, affordable pieces at thrift stores and flea markets.
6 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
Steal stuff from your grandma
Kelly loved the needlepoint of the sailor her grandmother made so we incorporated it into the gallery wall. If you have any awesome or quirky family heirlooms, an office is a great place to display them. Adding objects and art that have some personal meaning is also a great way to make your office feel cozy and welcoming and, well, less officey.
7 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
8 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
Advertisement
9 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
If lighting is lackluster, use mirrors
This one seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget about mirrors and what a huge difference they make. Not only are they a great alternative to art (sometimes, too many different pieces of art in one space can make you feel like a crazy person) but they also bounce light around the room. If you're not sure where to position them, aim near a light source to make the most of the reflection. Added bonus: If you get lonely working in your office you can just look in the mirror and pretend it’s someone else. For inexpensive versions, we like Bed Bath & Beyond, One Kings Lane, and Kirkland's.
10 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
11 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
Throw in a ton of throws & pillows
Though we normally think of pillows and throws for the living room, they also help add comfort to an office space. They soften edges, and, if you’re one of those office ladies who’s always freezing because of the out of control AC, they also serve a practical function. Often, buying pillow covers and pillow inserts can be less expensive, but Zara Home has some great options, too.
12 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
13 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
Seriously, stop it with the ugly office chairs
The most common mistake people make while decorating their offices is using a hideous, non-descript, corporate-looking office chair just because they think that’s all that is appropriate or comfortable. It's such a shame because, aside from the desk, the chair is one of the most important elements of a cozy office. Opt for something upholstered, perhaps in a color aside from black. Having a bright pop of color on your chair will help the office feel less like a cubicle in the worst office park in America. There are a ton of budget-friendly options for non-boring office chairs out there, from Ikea to CB2 (we snagged Kelly’s from AllModern). Happy hunting! Eurostyle Baird Low-Back Office Chair with Arms, $310, available at AllModern.
Advertisement
14 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
NEXT: Peep The Man Repeller's Stunning NYC Office

This post was authored by Homepolish designer Orlando Soria.
Advertisement